Category Archives: activism

Reviving Newcastle

It can take a heroic effort to bring an ailing city district back to life but often all it takes to spark it off is one person or one small group. Marcus Westbury‘s efforts to revive Hunter Street, the ailing main street of the Australian industrial city of Newcastle (think rustbelt if you are not […]

Happy Fossil Fools Day!

It’s good to see an old meme meaningfully adaptively reused, but isn’t every day Fossil Fools Day? Well if you’re fool enough to think you’ll be saved from climate change by the Rapture or some other supernatural event like the US rejoining the planet any day soon then you could be in for a sad […]

Fight climate change, not war

We are supporting the March 19 blogswarm marking the fifth anniversary of the start of the insane and unjust Iraq war. From the beginning it was nothing more than an unjustified war of aggression by a group of countries, the US, UK and Australia, whose historical pretensions of moral superiority can now clearly be seen […]

We told you so

According to the great Gore Vidal, the sweetest words in the English language are “I told you so!” and here’s where we get to use them. We’ve always argued that in most cases the best building is the building that is already there. In sustainability terms, at least, the reasons for adaptive reuse of existing […]

Don’t be brutal to Robin Hood Gardens

Some suggest that Alison and Peter Smithson were the first examples of starchitecture, as Norman Blogster calls the “more PR than architecture” careers of stylists like Hadid and Liebeskind. But when our reader Kristian Seier challenged us to find something bad to say about the Upper Lawn Pavilion (later known as the Solar Pavilion), their […]

Ark

Maya Lin is an architect with an extraordinary ability to find the symbolic form that will reconcile all the conflicting elements of a public design brief. Most famously she did this in the Washington Vietnam memorial, (Photo genenphotos) that deep black scar in the earth that paralled the scar the war left in the American […]

Panic NOW!

The subtext of this blog is sustainability and when we started two years ago it was still possible to maintain the illusion the planet could be saved and even fairly trivial actions like adaptive reuse could contribute to making things right. Of course we don’t believe that any more. There will be no fairy tale […]

Abjects in the landscape

The problem of redundant nuclear power stations can’t easily be swept under the carpet, you need something bigger than that, like a small mountain perhaps? (Photo ellyll) If this dinosaur technology gets revived cleaning up after it will become a chronic problem so it’s interesting to consider a 1994 project to adaptively reuse the Trawsfynydd […]

Breathe easy

Appropedia is a wiki that has been slowly bubbling along collecting a range of material around appropriate technologies. At times it feels a bit hokey, a bit neo hippy, but that’s what the open source software movement was like ten years ago and look at it now. We predict a great future for it. As […]

The return of the dispossessed

(Photo Sean Hemmerle) You will have noticed that we’ve been updating our links since new year. While trawling our bookmarks we noticed a thread of links about apocalypse that we discussed in our last post but also about attempts to adapt to catastrophes/war/dystopias, providing visions of a future that is all too possible. Beirut seems […]