(waves, says hello, disappears again)

[Image: Collage by Michael Hession, based on this image from the Library of Congress].

The last few weeks have been extremely busy, and there's been no real time to post here on BLDGBLOG; so many interesting stories have come and gone, so many ideas to discuss and write about here, but I've primarily been working full-throttle in my new role as Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo, where I've joined an amazing team tasked with continuing the site's transition away from pure tech news and gadget reviews to include the worlds of architecture, urbanism, and design.

Gizmodo, of course, has always had an expansive view on technology's role in popular culture, so this is more of a shift in emphasis than a wholesale change in direction. But what I'm most interested in exploring there are technology's spatial implications, of which architectural structures are only one example, whether it's mechanized landscapes or inhabitable machines, infrastructures or megastructures, materials science or immaterial new electromagnetic sensors used by police (and the vernacular techniques for evading them). Any sufficiently large technology is indistinguishable from a landscape, we might say; any sufficiently ubiquitous machine indistinguishable from a city.

[Image: Inside a wind tunnel, courtesy of NASA, via Gizmodo].

In any case, I will be very busy for the foreseeable future in my new role—but we've published some really fantastic features there over the past few weeks alone, and I thought I'd throw up a quick post to give BLDGBLOG readers a taste of what's to come. Here's a solid list for a long day's perusal:
Gizmodo was part of the first media tour since the 1980s of Hart Island, the largest mass grave site in the United States, run by the Department of Corrections on the outer maritime edge of New York City.

—"Capture houses" are entire decoy apartments and homes—furnished, lit, and run like actual residences—that, in reality, are elaborate traps for capturing burglars.

—The lost cow tunnels of New York City are no longer an urban myth: Nicola Twilley dug up blueprints for Gizmodo.

—The Los Angeles Aqueduct's 100-year anniversary just rolled by and, with it, an historic reenactment of the moment the city's floodgates were opened.

—New Yorkers receive junk mail from the future, thanks to designers Chris Woebken and Elliott P. Montgomery.

—"3D painting" creates working machine parts from directed aerosol layering—in effect, spray-painting objects into existence.

—A South Carolina archaeologist, citing Star Trek: The Next Generation as an influence, has scanned Linear B so that machines can help catalog the ancient past.

—The future of disaster recovery is a constellation of semi-autonomous robots swarming over avalanches and ruined cities to find survivors.

—An incredible "tangible interface" roils like the surface of a mechanical sea, reproducing any object you place within view of its sensors.

—We were on hand to see "Bertha," the largest-diameter tunneling machine in the world, start spinning its way into the underworld of Seattle.
[Image: Bertha, a tunneling jaeger, undergoes assembly, courtesy of WSDOT, via Gizmodo].
—Norway has buried so many bodies using large plastic bags that the country is running out of cemetery space; the bodies can't rot.

—We learned what life is like on the job of a New York City archaeologist, digging up water mains, old bottles, and the foundation walls of lost prisons.

—Take a look at these chains 3D-printed from ice and igloos algorithmically constructed by architectural robots.

—A man in São Paolo melts down cans he's collected on the streets, then reshapes the metal into handmade chairs.

—This herky-jerky rock-climbing robot from NASA could someday conquer the glaciers, cliffs, caves, and mountains of alien worlds.

—Cheese made from human bacteria, cultivated into tomorrow's sci-fi brie.

—Cold War weapons that terrified U.S. military intelligence.

—New techniques for turning nuclear waste into glass.

—And another tour of the Brooklyn super-factory producing modules for what will be the tallest prefab tower in the United States, right here in New York City.
Enjoy! Meanwhile, I'll see you on the internet, here, there, and elsewhere, though the frequency of posting here will now be closer to just 2 or 3 times a month.

Comments are moderated.

If it's not spam, it will appear here shortly!


Anonymous greg said...

Too bad about fewer posts, Geoff, I very much enjoy your work here.

November 14, 2013 7:54 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Thanks, Greg - I miss writing here, as well, but I'll still be popping up now and again. I appreciate the note.

November 14, 2013 8:44 AM  
Blogger Chuck Stephens said...

I'll surely miss your writing here but at least I can look forward to the spatial exploration of all new Apple products. In all seriousness though Giz is a fine site and hopefully you can continue that.
With you slowing down here and Pruned all but shriveled up (ooh bad pun) maybe you could give us some recommendations for other sites to get our architectural speculation fix.

November 17, 2013 3:51 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Chuck, your guess is as good as mine!

November 18, 2013 8:05 AM  

Post a Comment