Indulgent Quoting: Buckminster Fuller 1981

I can’t believe there are no Bucky quotes on this blog yet. I was reminded of this passage from Critical Path, p223, while writing piece on the subject “Schools of the Future: Why Architects Matter.” Paying people to stay home and asking students to learn from TV does not strike me as a workable social structure because it is ultimately isolating and stratifying. But the line of thought regarding energy, labor, and technology is compelling, particularly considering technology’s effect on society and the environment in the past 30 years.

As mentioned, World Game finds that 60 percent of all the jobs in the U.S.A. are not producing any real wealth—i.e., real life support. They are in fear-underwriting industries or are checking-on-other-checkers, etc. The majority of the jobs occasion the individuals using three to four gallons per day in their automobiles to go to and form work—at true cosmic costing this means four million dollars per worker per day. Obviously the computer finds that it would save the planet Earth’s energy account $500 trillion a day to give all the non-wealth-producing workers their full pay to stay at home.

In the same way the World Game’s world-around-integrated computers will show that it will save-pay handsomely to pay all professors and teachers in full to stay at home or in their laboratories and relinquish all teaching to video cassettes, whose selectable programs are to be called out by the indvidual students of all ages around the world to be shown on their home television sets. The old educational facilities and a small fraction of individual teachers who love most to teach will use the old educational facilities within which to produce the cassette programs.

The computer will prove to society that it will pay to introduce automation wherever feasible and to allow the machines to work twenty-four-hour days while paying yesterday’s workers in full to stay home. Only those who love each particular technology will keep the world-around video education in operation. those who pass the exams to qualify for such working will not be paid for it. They will ct as does any amateur athlete—doing what they do for the love of it. This competing to qualify for all the production and service jobs will govern all work. The work will not be paid for . Everything the individual needs is already paid for.

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Neenan Clips: May through August 2011

Self-Cleaning Buildings and Other Ideas from Nature

Material Facts: Adapting to Adaptive Reuse

Summer Reading for Design Inspiration

Big Ideas for Small Schools

Holla for Rolla: Lean Healthcare Makes Some Noise

Learning to Sit in Rows?

Biomimicry: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Waste Not Want Not

From the Inside Out: Furnishing for a Sustainable Workplace

Designing for Health in the Tweetscape: Highlights from #RethinkArch

Image: State Records NSW
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In Bup We Truss

I finally made it out to Governors Island for Burble Bup construction. Today was all about building walls by stacking wattles and trussing them together with aqua-colored ropes. Much to my surprise I think this thing might actually end up looking something like the renderings. The wood-chip stuffed netted tubes blend artistically into the earth… and check out the pieces for the inflatable canopy!

There’s still time to get in on the building action but it needs to be done by Thursday, May 26th. Sign up on Rocket’s list here.

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Processing Drawing #1

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Recent Neenan Clips

Revisiting Renewables at a
Nuclear Moment

Stairs 4 Us

The Active Design Challenge

A Deep Breath of Radical Innovation

Rethinking Use: Towards Sustainable Inventions?

Triple Cheers for Alamosa

Underlining the Triple Bottom
Line at Sargent Junior and Senior High School

Image credits: ssoosay, Andreas Tille, e³°°°, The Neenan Company, dsearls, metrodsm
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Wattle You Bring?

Burble Bup Wattles

What a beautiful day to make architecture. It’s week number two of year number two for building the Figment NYC City of Dreams Pavilion. This year the Mexican/NYC firm Bittertang won the honor and hard work of design-build for the season long structure. It’s called Burble Bup and in the end will take shape out structural elements including earthen berms and inflatables.

Today we worked on stuffing wattles. They’re similar to the kind of thing you might use to, say, clean up an oil spill, though in this case a standard mesh is custom dyed pink and green, and they’re filled with wood chips. Fun fact, if you ever need wood chips in Brooklyn, the impeccably manicured Green-Wood Cemetery has mounds and mounds of them for the taking! The wattles you see here are the culmination of today’s hard work. They will become wall elements, and are also very comfortable to sit on.

From the pavilion’s Guadelajara-based office, Architects Antonio Torres and Ubaldo Arenas are in NYC for the duration of bup-struction (and by the way they’re looking for a place to sublet for a few weeks, so you if you know of anything…). This is Bittertang’s second prominent NYC structure, last year they were part of Sukkah City in Union Square.

Over the course of this week, construction will be moving from Greenwood Cemetery to Governors Island. In the meantime the inflatable roof is being welded together–apparently it will hold its shape without the need of a fan blowing. Pavilion Foreperson Rocket Osborne has taken on the mantle of coordination, and he could use your help, so please sign up to volunteer!

A bunch more images from the day are available here. (And if you’re missing last year’s Living Pavilion a little bit right now, why not relive some memories.)

Thanks again Figment, Emerging New York Architects, and Structural Engineers Association of New York for being so supportive of participatory architecture.

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Indulgent Quoting: Mumford, 1961

“There is nevertheless one outstanding difference between the first urban epoch and our own. Ours is an age of a multitude of socially undirected technical advances, divorced from any other ends than the advancement of science and technology. We live in fact in an exploding universe of mechanical and electronic invention, whose parts are moving at a rapid pace ever further and further away from their human center, and from any rational, autonomous human purposes. This technological explosion has produced a similar explosion of the city itself: the city has burst open and scattered its complex organs and organizations over the entire landscape. The walled urban container indeed has not merely been broken open: it has also been largely demagnetized, with the result that we are witnessing a sort of devolution of urban power into a state of randomness and unpredictability. In short, our civilization is running out of control, overwhelmed by its own resources and opportunites, as well as its super-abundant fecundity.”

Lewis Mumford, The City in History, pp. 33-34

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