Terrorists should definitely stick to destroying buildings rather than designing them: that’s one really ugly villa. More ugliness, via ABC News (which will undoubtedly spin the story for another few weeks),  here  – annoying commercial alert – and here (in PDF format). Post-mission-reconnaissance or morphological analyses can be done through Google Earth, and please do check Boston.com’s semi-interactive feature if you’re interested in web 2.0-ishness and 3D models. The 2005 and 2011 satellite images makes one wonder: was Osama just as afraid of urban sprawl as, for instance, these Canadians? Did he tremble too, like so many urbanists, watching suburbia slowly crawling towards his once… Read More

Design As Politics goes Youtube: as of now, we have our own channel/tube! Since everyone has one nowadays (I mean, even MIT has one, and so does North Korea), we decided to jump the bandwagon – a couple of years late perhaps but whatever. We can’t wait to subscribe, favourite, rate, comment, dislike, share, and video-reply all that is out there, so keep posted for updates on things to come. The first two lectures of the Blame the Architect series have already been uploaded  – other parts will follow asap. Although the video’s look like they have been shot by drunk… Read More

Politics as vehicular design: the interior of a US Airforce C-17 Globemaster (a huge airplane) retrofitted with a series of classic Airstream trailers to transport political celebrities and house in-flight press conferences, or a tactical command post, or top-secret VIP meetings. US Secretary of defense Robert Gates is on the frequent flyer list, as are/were Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Also, NASA apparently transports its astronauts to and from spaceships in Airstream trailers. Political hotshots eating microwave meals inside a vintage trailer inside a plane cruising over Afghanistan at 30,000 feet – it doesn’t really get more fascinating. Lots of pictures… Read More

More radical geography: nuclear testing obsessed Richard L. Miller this time. Pretty self-explanatory, the above map is called “areas crossed by two or more radioactive clouds during the era of nuclear testing in the American Southwest, 1951-62.” Found here. Want to know more? Read this. Or this. Or contact Richard himself to order any of his books: his e-mail address (and a short bibliography) can be found here.

An economic crisis, huge cuts in government spending, heated debates about the use of renewable energy sources and soaring oil prices due to unrest in the Middle-East notwithstanding, Dutch minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Melanie Schultz approved plans (about 6 gazillion pages of research results and detailed descriptions of virtually everything remotely related to the plans, all in Dutch unfortunately; do see section D for some great clover leaf designs though) to upgrade highways connecting Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam and Almere – a project worth 4,5 billion euros. Awesome. In a generous attempt to serve the masses, and appear to… Read More

On February 3rd 2011, Wouter Vanstiphout lectured at the AA School of Architecture, London, discussing and summarizing a series of talks on the relationship between the built environment and riotous behaviour he gave at the Delft University of Technology the past couple of months. For those who missed it, the lecture can be found in its entirety at the AA’s website. The AA’s program of public talks and exhibition is nothing short of outrageously interesting by the way; please be sure to check a list of upcoming events here.

The longer a protest takes, the more architectural it becomes: check out the BBC’s nifty spatial analysis of Cairo’s Tahrir Square (and both this 3D diagram by the NY Times and AlJazeera’s documentary/summary of the protests), which has become somewhat of a makeshift micro-city over the past couple of weeks. Not very often does government legislation generate physical urban transformation this fast, right? Design as politics? More like politics as design this time.

Pretty self-explanatory: this Tuesday Charlot Boonekamp presents her graduation project – a study into Palestinian refugee camps – at the TU Delft faculty of Architecture. Expect painstakingly detailed drawings. The lecture, officially a part of the “In the Ghetto” graduation studio Design as Politics hosts at the moment, is open to all – so please attend!

Food for anti-capitalists perhaps: Damon Rich lectures on the destruction of cities for profit at the AA London. Nomen est omen, an old man once said. Rich, currently working for the City of Newark, is the founder of  the Center for Urban Pedagogy, whose main activity seems to be raising awareness of the built environment – our neighbourhoods and cities – as an important and quite perfect educational tool because of how it relates to and communicates with people – or something like that. Think user participation and lots of colourful models. Also, he designed an exhibition focused on the… Read More

Design as Politics goes UK: february 3rd, Wouter Vanstiphout will give a lecture at London’s at least somewhat legendary AA School of Architecture. Rem, Zaha and Cedric Price went there – nuff said, right? Since everybody likes violence (even jolly, well-mannered Brits supposedly) the lecture will re-visit the relationship between riots and urban planning, the subject of an earlier lecture series held at the Delft faculty of architecture. Expect (pictures of) destruction, racism, French gangster rap, radical geographics, police aggression and modernism at its worst – all PG-rated so bring your kids too! If you’re attending, make sure to visit the Broadwater… Read More