Thursday, January 31, 2008

now sunshine -

now sunshine -, originally uploaded by jadziajadzia.

I find in Jadziajadzia's photographic ode to Plato a harbinger of what I hope ensues at this weekend's "Everything Must Change" event taking place in Charlotte's Area15 this weekend (on 15th & N. Davidson, opening at 6 pm) with the Brian McLaren gang. Now the sunshine, indeed.

now sunshine -
'(...) And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision,--what will be his reply?'

Plato, The Allegory of
the Cave, Book VII of 'The Republic'.

Translated by Benjamin

Monday, January 28, 2008

Books That Make You Dumber

Aaahhh...The things Facebook reveals! By Caltech's Virgil Griffith (via the blog of Richard "His Spikiness" Florida).
Turns out the average SAT of Bible readers is 1050...Which puts us slightly behind most Mormons but just ahead (whew!) of Dan Brown readers (and, interestingly, C.S. Lewis readers...except the ones that read Mere Christianity). Most interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, readers of Captivating are neck to neck with the Bible crowd at 1050 ave, but readers of Wild at Heart are slightly dumber.
What I want to know is how Blue Like Jazz readers pull out smarter than Bible readers....what?? Not the same crowd? Too cool to list the 'Bible' on their faves list? (I admit I'm a culprit...guilt trip, guilt trip...Will make amends ASAP).

"A President Like My Father"

Caroline Kennedy weighs in. I agree with her 100%. This election is will not be about substantive differences in policy (and promises to that regard), but about the character of leadership...The ability of the candidate to inspire a new generation of leaders to become plugged into the civic grain of our society. I believe that no generation of Americans has ever been more disengaged civically than the present. For me, a "new leaf", or change for the sake of change, is not what is important; what is at stake is the national character and the preservation of the optmistic spirit of American civil society. We need a John F. Kennedy in office like never before.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sign Concept #1: The Martini Billboard

My first concept for a Billboard in Charlotte...Cheers!
Let me know what ya'll think. A billboard can be urbanistic too...Why not the centerpiece of a fountain? I can't think of another object to represent Charlotte better than a martini glass.
Yes...this is a day in the worklife of a camp urbanist. =)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Muni of Tomorrow

The Muni of Tomorrow, originally uploaded by ol slambert.

Awesome "Postcards" by Packard Jennings and Steve Lambert with a zany vision for the future of San Francisco.

It is things like this that make me delighted I'm an urban designer...Inspirational indeed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

gave in

gave in, originally uploaded by mondolind.

Ok...back to the signs again. Just encountered A GREAT SIGN PHOTOGRAPHER on Flickr

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Totally Random Post of the Month: "Liminal Park Crossway"

I've been searching for a term to call an urban-and-accidental-or-informal-gardenscape space which exists on the verge of formal public space or is really in-between space, existing at the edges and left-over spaces between public and private realms. Merge a park with a parking lot or an alley or a back lot (hard to think about, I know, but it seems I encounter these areas quite often). Whimsical urbanists, especially those given to poetic flights like me, know these places. But for the life of me, I have never heard an actual term for these spaces or found ungoofy candidates to call them so that I can actually recommend them for plans.

Well, I came across one playing google games! Inputting "liminal park" I came across two website gems, one a kind of miniature landscape of crossing terraces, which seems to be a sculptural installation of a miniature world, which is a perfect sliced representation of the kind of space I could mean, and the other a poetry blog called "Crevice Weeds", which supplied both the first good candidate for a term, "Liminal Park Crossway", and a poem with an embedded description for it:

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Sign Elegies II

Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.

"Between going and staying the day wavers", Octavio Paz

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Sign Elegies I

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet--
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,

and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.

But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

"Buddha In Glory" Rainer Maria Rilke

a semiotic horror vacui

My firm is undertaking a possible signage project for Uptown Charlotte...I'm finding Studiosmack's videos inspirational. Charlotte will never be the same....muaHAHAHA!!! ;)