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10 Jan 08:23

At CES 2020, the AirPods Pro competitors arrived in droves

by Jon Porter
Image: 1More

Whether it’s Audio-Technica, 1More, Panasonic, or Klipsch, at times, it felt like every headphone manufacturer at CES 2020 had a pair of wireless earbuds to announce. It’s not been long since most of these companies were getting into true wireless in the first place, but many of this year’s models arrived with a new feature: active noise cancellation, which is quickly becoming impossible to leave out of a pair of premium earbuds, just months after Apple added the feature to its true wireless lineup with the AirPods Pro.

At CES this year, there were over half a dozen companies with active noise-canceling headphones to show off. From Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC300TW to Nuheara’s IQbuds2 Max, they all have pretty awful names but are set to...

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19 Apr 06:03

Pilots Say American Airlines Plane Rolled on Its Own and Hit a Sign During Takeoff

by Alan Levin and Mary Schlangenstein / Bloomberg

U.S. aviation accident investigators have opened a probe into how an American Airlines plane struck a runway sign while taking off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport on April 10, forcing the plane back to the airport where it landed safely.

The plane, an Airbus SE A321 headed for Los Angeles carrying 102 passengers and eight crew members, hit the sign with its left wingtip just at it was preparing to lift off, the National Transportation Safety Board said in an email.

The plane had experienced an unusual roll, rotating the left wing downward, at a time when aircraft are usually level, the NTSB said.

“American Airlines is investigating this incident in coordination with federal authorities,” the carrier said in a statement.

The pilots reported to air-traffic control that their plane had banked to the left on its own, according to CBS News.

The Federal Aviation Administration also is investigating the incident, the agency said in a statement.

The plane landed a short time later and there were no injuries.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents aviators at American, declined to comment on the accident because of an investigation.

28 Jan 09:24

A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform

by Adele Peters

Loop will send you name-brand products, like Tide detergent, Crest mouthwash, or Häagen Dazs ice cream. When you’re done, you ship the empty container back, where it gets cleaned and reused for the next customer.

In the not-too-distant future–as soon as this spring, if you live in or near New York City or Paris–you’ll be able to buy ice cream or shampoo in a reusable container. When you’re done eating a tub of Haagen-Dazs, you’ll toss the sleek stainless steel package in your personal reuse bin instead of your trash can. Then it will be picked up for delivery back to a cleaning and sterilization facility so that it can be refilled with more ice cream for another customer.

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15 Mar 08:31

Acoustics and Auditoriums: 30 Sections to Guide Your Design

by Fabian Dejtiar

Seeing the space of an auditorium in section is a key tool in allowing us to approach a design's of acoustics, accessibility, and lighting. These components are what make the design of an auditorium a complex task, requiring detailed and specific studies.

There are a number of ways to design an auditorium that offers multiple responses to these challenges. For this reason, we have selected a number of sections from different auditoriums that can help you understand how other architects have solved the challenge.

Check out the 30 auditorium sections below, they are sure to inspire you!

01. Schouwburg Amphion / Mecanoo

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02. Auditorio Blackberry / Estudio Atemporal

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03. Hancher Auditorium / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

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04. Ulumbarra Theatre / Y2 Architecture

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05. Princess Alexandra Auditorium / Associated Architects LLP

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06. Culture Center / Arkitema Architects

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07. Kadare Cultural Centre / Chiaki Arai Urban and Architecture Design

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08. Katowice International Conference Centre / JEMS

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09. Winspear Opera House / Foster + Partners

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10. Conservatoire d'Aubervilliers / Agence Chochon-Pierre

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11. El Plaza Condesa / Muñohierro + Esrawe Studio

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12. Engineering School and Auditorium University Campus / Gerardo Caballero, Maite Fernández

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13. Everyman Theatre / Haworth Tompkins

Courtesy of Haworth Tompkins Courtesy of Haworth Tompkins

14. Sines Center for the Arts / Aires Mateus

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15. Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center / Bora Architects + Rhotenberry Wellen Architects

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16. Hamer Hall / ARM Architecture

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17. Han Show Theatre / Stufish Entertainment Architects

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18. The Cloud / Studio Fuksas

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19. Guangzhou Opera house / Zaha Hadid Architects

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20. Rehabilitación del Teatro Góngora de Córdoba / Rafael de la-Hoz

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21. Lycee François Truffaut Multi-purpose Hall /

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22. Auditorio A / Eduardo Souto de Moura + Graça Correia

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23. Stormen / DRDH Architects

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24. Auditorium Theatre of Llinars del Valles / Álvaro Siza Vieira + Aresta + G.O.P.

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25. Bahrain National Theatre / Architecture-Studio

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26. National Theatre / Haworth Tompkins

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27. Albi Grand Theater / Dominique Perrault Architecture

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28. Theatre de Kampanje / van Dongen-Koschuch

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29. Kuopio City Theatre / ALA Architects

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30. Municipal Theater of Guarda / AVA Architects

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09 Mar 10:23

5 More Women Sculptors You Should Know

by Chelsea Jones

In honor of International Women’s Day, and the month-long #5WomenArtists campaign, and just because we love these artists, meet 5 female sculptors who changed the game.

#1 Louise Bourgeois (born 1911)

Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture is emotional and cathartic, confronting the viewer with a visceral experience embroiled in the vocabulary of her psyche. Her work was groundbreaking in the realm of confessional art, often expressing deeply personal themes of loneliness, confusion, and betrayal. Bourgeois was born in Paris and lived with her parents in an apartment above an antique tapestry gallery the family owned and ran. Though she was close to her mother, her relationship with her father was strained, as she failed to meet his tough educational standards. An ongoing affair her father had with Bourgeois’ live-in tutor deeply soured their relationship. Left disillusioned, Louise turned to art as means to both escape and challenge patriarchal oppression. She created alongside other Surrealist artists in Paris, and in 1938 she began to exhibit her work and work by friends in a small section of the family gallery she claimed for her own. During this time she met her husband, art historian Robert Goldwater, and the two relocated to New York, had three children, and immersed themselves in the Abstract movement. She exhibited works made from driftwood wood, junkyard scraps, and other found objects. She later transitioned into using materials more vulnerable to human error during the creation process, notably marble and plaster, exploring how the unexpected loss of control paralleled emotional experience. Her Soft Landscape I series (1967) and colossal Maman sculptures explore, through figuration and metaphor, themes alluding to maternal qualities. After a brief return to Paris and the death of her husband, Bourgeois began teaching art throughout NYC, and spent the remainder of her life educating the next generation of artists. Louise continued to challenge gender constructs with her later works; her innovative and provocative sculptures and installations continue to greatly inspire artists working today.

Her works can be seen at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Kemper Museum in Missouri, the National Museum in Oslo, and more.

¡Creatividad tienes nombre de mujer! #DíaDeLaMujer #5womenArtists

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#2 Yayoi Kusama (born 1929)

Kusama in Infinity Mirror Room, 1965 (via Wikiart)


Yayoi Kusama’s signature polka dot is widely recognized, on display in one form or another in museums and galleries throughout the world. Kusama, born in Japan in 1929, established herself as an avant-garde artist across multiple mediums, turning to art at a young age to illustrate visual hallucinations she suffered from, and to cope with the corresponding anxieties. Her meticulous polka dots mimicked the psychological intensity she often experienced the world through. She once claimed, “I have a flood of ideas in my mind. I just follow my vision.” In the 1960s, after a tumultuous relocation to New York fraught with financial struggles, she began making sculptures that caught the attention of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Like Bourgeois, Kusama drew inspiration from traumatic childhood experience. Her soft-sculptures featured objects covered in phallus-like appendages, exploring and releasing fear surrounding the male form. She reified these anxieties through performance, installation, and writing, and is still creating today. Her iconic pop art aesthetic also lends itself to large and brightly colored public sculptures, which can be seen in Japan, France, and Los Angeles.

#3 Mona Hatoum (born 1952)

Born in the Middle East, Mona Hatoum’s art functions as a personal reaction to permeating political turmoil she experienced growing up. Her work combines sculpture, video, and installation to encompass viewers, relying in turn on their reactions to complete the piece. She turned to sculptural pieces in the late 1980s, and works like Light at the End, Light Sentence, and Incommunicado touch on themes of displacement and confinement. Cots, kitchen graters, and other household items are manipulated and taken out of context as a way to express individual anxieties associated with their use. The recurring presence of an infant’s crib, stripped bare to its metal grid or recreated from glass tubing, is meant to suggest a connection between the helplessness of infants paralleled throughout human experience. The Tate Modern held a comprehensive exhibition of her work in 2016, including Hot Spot III, seen above.


#4 Lee Bontecou (born 1931)

“Untitled 1959” by Lee Bontecou (via Wikipedia)


Lee belongs to a group of celebrated postwar artists who drew upon violent and tumultuous imagery seen in their youth, seeping into the development of their artistic skill set. Bontecou is lauded for her use of unconventional and found material—particularly for a female artist—creating work that is both physically and aesthetically heavy. Born in Providence, Rhode Island and raised outside of New York City, Lee’s parents were both involved in the domestic war effort during WWII, building military gliders and submarine transmitters. This gritty, mechanical exposure, coupled with the summers she spent in Nova Scotia amongst marine life, would come to inform her artistic practice. Bontecou was trained in painting at Bradford Junior College before turning to sculpture and learned to weld. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Rome in 1956, where she deepened her personal style, mixing bits of ancient Italian architecture with abstract expression and figuration. Her method really took form when she began to utilize her blowtorch to emit bursts of black soot, relying on its effect to create otherworldly beings and formations. Her work Untitled (1961) uses found and repurposed materials to fashion her interpretation of a cyborg-like being, human and mechanical. Its gaping, saw blade encrusted “mouth” references Rome’s Mound of Truth fountain. The repetition of orifice is a leitmotif Lee often used to imbue a mysterious sense of fear or entrapment, although some interpret these as more directly corporeal and tied to a dominant understanding of female genitalia. Bontecou attributes the aggression that exudes from her pieces as a reaction to war, the gruesome images she saw from the Holocaust, sustained violence in Vietnam, and continued air of Cold War hostility all around her while growing up. Throughout her carrier, she broke many barriers for a female artist, holding her own in the male-dominated New York scene.

#5 Isa Genzken (born 1948)

Genzken’s colossal Rose sculptures are made from enameled stainless steel. The one seen here was on temporary display outside the New Museum. One can be seen permanently in Leipzig, Germany (via Wikipedia)


Isa Genzken’s true nature as a sculpture relies on using materials that are diverted beyond their usual recognition in a manner that suggests impermanence, asking viewers to question the world around them. Born and raised in a small city in Northern Germany, Isa studied art and art history at multiple universities throughout the country. After graduating in 1977, she spent years teaching sculpture and creating her early work, which included experimental performance art and film. Genzken is informed by the Constructivist and Minimalist movements of earlier in the 20th century, both challenging the classic “beauty” and aesthetic preoccupation associated with art. Often described as contemporary ruins, Genzken reimagines Modernist architecture by stripping it to its bare, exposing vulnerabilities and our capacity to both build and deconstruct in perhaps the same breath. Some of her earliest exhibited sculptures, called ellipsoids, were crafted from lacquered wood and ranged in size from ten to thirty feet, relying on the pioneering use of a computer to help create their specific shape. These works employed Genzken’s recurring concern of engaging the audience in a sort of physical dialogue with her work, here forcing them to consider the tangibility of their space and presence. Her recognizable Rose sculptures represent the artist’s challenge to how we perceive objects through our senses, manipulating size, scale, and suggesting an inherent architecture of all things.

#isagensken hyperbolos and Ellipsoids, works between 1977 and 81

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Love reading and learning about all things art? You can have articles from Canvas, curated collections, and stories about emerging artists delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for the Saatchi Art Newsletter.

Can’t get enough female sculptors? Check out part one of our list below.

5 Modernist Women Sculptors You Should Know


09 Mar 10:06

The Studios / Graham Baba Architects

by Valentina Villa
©  Lara Swimmer © Lara Swimmer
  • Architects: Graham Baba Architects
  • Location: Seattle, WA, United States
  • Design Team: Jim Graham, Melissa Glenn, Maureen O’Leary
  • Area: 10000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Lara Swimmer
  • Structural : Mike Wright
  • Acoustical : Arup
  • Contractor : Dovetail
  • Owners : Shanna and Ryan Waite
©  Lara Swimmer © Lara Swimmer

The Studios is a 10,000-square-foot venue dedicated to the disciplines of acting, dance, and music. Occupying two floors of the historic Carl Gould-designed Times Square Building (constructed in 1916), the project transforms a dated, street-level retail space and basement into a bustling community and arts educational center. Composed of seven rentable studios, The Studios was established to fill a city-wide void in state-of-the-art space for rehearsals, auditions, readings, recording sessions, and performances.

©  Lara Swimmer © Lara Swimmer

With four 1,000-square-foot studios, two flexible classrooms, and a recording studio set within the walls of a former bank vault, the facility provides a venue to incubate and launch local talent, and meet the growing demand for flexible performance space. Studio floors are sprung for dancing; two of the basement floors have resilient flooring for specialized dance and dance shoes, such as ballet point, and tap. 

©  Lara Swimmer © Lara Swimmer
©  Lara Swimmer © Lara Swimmer

 Having served a variety of uses over the past century, the surface conditions of the building—walls, floors, and ceiling plane—were in poor condition. The design concept for The Studios was to create a simplified background where the activity of its occupants becomes the focal point. Volumes were stripped back to their essential forms, and virtually every surface was painted white. The exposed mechanical systems at the ceiling plane were sprayed with an acoustic material to create an visually simplified surface while enhancing  acoustic performance. Perimeter windows were preserved to provide the city with opportunities to vicariously experience the artistic process occurring inside. Crisp modern insertions, such as the office which appears to float above one of the dance studios—the office is accessed via a step ladder—are rendered in simple, geometric forms. The custom-designed front desk is made from powder-coated steel and topped with large slabs of maple. Locker rooms are outfitted with minimal built-ins for temporary storage. Smaller studios feature glazed openings which visually connect the studios to one another and to common areas.

©  Lara Swimmer © Lara Swimmer
Courtesy of Graham Baba Architects Courtesy of Graham Baba Architects
©  Lara Swimmer © Lara Swimmer

The two-level space was opened up to yield twenty-foot-high spaces, sharing light and visually connecting the spaces. A new, floor-to-ceiling, steel-framed window wall divides the street-level performance space from the entry sequence making the activity visible to all. In addition to providing a direct visual connection, the window wall symbolically creates a frame to capture the dancers movements, celebrating the activity as you would art on a gallery wall. Similarly, people in the common spaces are framed from the perspective of the dancers, thereby fully merging art with daily life. 

09 Mar 10:02

10 Architecture Books to Look Forward to in 2017

by Strelka Magazine

In this article, originally published by Strelka Magazine, journalist and writer Stanislav Lvovskiy recommends ten forthcoming books (which will be published this year) on architecture and urbanism written by leading experts and scholars.

A person of prescience never renounces the pleasures (and, yes, perils) of forecasting, especially the realistic kind, and even more so after all the "bad news" of the past year. Without a doubt, the year to come has its own surprises in store. For those who still relish reading or, at the very least, find it useful, let’s now have a preview of the pleasures we can expect from the university presses in 2017.

Forensic Architecture

Weizman E., Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (MIT Press) – April 2017

Eyal Weizman is professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College (University of London), Director of the Centre for Research Architecture and Global Scholar at Princeton University, as well as the founder of the ERC-funded Forensic Architecture project, the book resulting from which, Before and After (co-authored with Ines Weizman) was published by Strelka Press in 2014.

His new book presents an in-depth description of the novel research methods developed by the Forensic Architecture collective to investigate human rights abuses, military conflicts and destruction through the unique lens of architecture. The book features insights into the history of Forensic Architecture’s methods, peculiarities of their practice, their underlying assumptions and perils, as well as a representative collection of relevant documents, maps and images. The subjects of Forensic Architecture vary from the architectural reconstruction of a secret detention centre in Syria to the detailed investigation of environmental violence in the Guatemalan highlands. For those more inclined to a synthetic rather than analytic approach, Jenny Donovan’s remarkable Designing to Heal: Planning and Urban Design Response to Disaster and Conflict may also prove to be a useful complementary reading.

Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability

Walking in Berlin

Hessel F., Walking in Berlin: A Flaneur in the Capital (MIT Press) – March 2017

It’s hard to image a new book having something to add to our understanding of the flâneur, a figure (and concept) thoroughly studied by scholars coming from both urban studies and architecture, urban and cultural history. However, here it is: the first English translation of Franz Hessel’s Walking in Berlin, capturing the images, sounds and rhythms of the German capital through the years of the Weimar Republic, catching onto the tectonic transfigurations of German and European culture and politics. Hessel, known mostly for his connection to Walter Benjamin, with whom he produced the German translation of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, is a thoughtful and sensitive observer of the city in his own right. Focusing on the theatres, clubs, cinemas and public spaces of the city, he contextualizes the Berlin of the 1920s, sharing with the reader tales of the past as well as his analysis of the links between the parts of the city, from the Alexanderplatz to Kreuzberg, so meticulously that the 1929 book, after everything that has happened to Berlin since it was written and published, can still be sort of a guide for the present-day flâneur. Aside from the complete translation, this edition includes Walter Benjamin’s essay on Hessel’s book, which was written as a review of the original edition.

Walking in Berlin: A Flaneur in the Capital

The Icon Project

Sklair L., The Icon Project: Architecture, Cities, and Capitalist Globalization (Oxford University Press) – April 2017

Leslie Sklair, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is the author of numerous works on the role that iconic architecture plays in a globalised economy (and the globalised world as such). Here he offers his perspectives on a new form of architecture that has appeared in the course of the last decades in the world’s major cities: designed by several architectural stars or architectural firms, it is owned by them as well, and inevitably serves private interests by externalizing power in the form of buildings, renovation projects or even whole cities. This in turn, according to Sklair, helps to promote consumerist values, be it by the "buildings recognised as works of art in their own right" or by what he calls "typical icons," which copy the unique ones. Though the ideological component of Sklair’s project may seem predominant in this work, The Icon Project proves to be more of a case of sober critical analysis of vanity-fueled global architectural practices.

The Icon Project: Architecture, Cities, and Capitalist Globalization

Across Space and Time

Haughey P., Across Space and Time: Architecture and the Politics of Modernity (Transaction Publishers) – February 2017

The concept of modernity is at one and the same time one of the most widely used concepts in various contexts and one of the most problematic. We tend to think of this concept as recent and applicable mostly to the West, or in other words to the Anglo-Saxon and several other Western European countries. The architectural history of modernity is in turn, according to Patrick Haughey, the editor of this volume, "unstable" since we always have to rethink "how humanity and its interventions transform space over time. We inhabit the buildings, but our beliefs, languages, politics, social structures, and environmental influences are subject to permanent change."

What makes it possible for architectural history to exist as an optical device that can be used to explore the world are the remnants and physical traces we leave in the environment. Across Space and Time brings together scholars of art and architectural history to in a collective effort to see architecture through the lens of modernity as defined in different parts of the world. The resulting book provides strong architectural and cultural evidence for the claim of modernity being a far more powerful concept in terms of geography and time, in no way limited to the "Wext" of just a few (albeit politically, economically, and culturally influential) countries. Undergoing various transformations in the course of its expansion across the globe, modernity "has been negotiated through architecture, urban planning, design pedagogies, preservation, and art history in diverse locations around the world."

Each chapter focuses on a particular case of such negotiation, from Robert Cowherd’s Identity Tectonics, which explores the story of two Dutch architects who met in 1923 in the Dutch metropole of Bandung, Java (contemporary Indonesia) to Jeremy Bentham’s Russian journey, during which the idea of his famous Panopticon was arguably conceived, and further to the study of competing discourses on urban modernity in 1960s Slovenia, Yugoslavia by Veronica E. Alpenc. Across space and Time is a contribution to the contemporary social critique of architecture as well as to the process of rethinking the theoretical frames and methodologies of architectural history.

Across Space and Time: Architecture and the Politics of Modernity

What Happened to My Buildings?

De Haan H., Keesom J., What Happened to My Buildings: Learning from 30 Years of Architecture with Marlies Rohm (NAi010 Publishers) – February, 2017

Architecture and time are condemned to a relationship that is at the very least complicated. However, this complicity is generally seen as somehow theoretical: it is something discussed by John Dewey, Yuri Lotman or other scholars. The one who is going to dedicate his or her life to architecture has to address these issues—usually once, usually during the early career stages—simply because one has to address them. Once we’ve elaborated our stance on architecture and time, we rarely rethink it, precisely because of its philosophical, theoretical nature.

But what do you do when you realise your craft has changed so dramatically that you are not sure anymore if your buildings are good or bad? When Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer found himself in this very situation, he bought a van and went for a trip—well, let’s say along memory lane—to reexamine 25 buildings he had created as an architect. Re-examination is probably an understatement here since Rohmer did a great deal of work talking with commissioners, residents and users, systematising and analysing information and making sense of the resulting insights. Hilde de Haan and Jolanda Keesom then wrote a book, a "sometimes moving, often hilarious and always informative exploration of what really counts in architecture."

In short, they put the lessons learned by Marlies Rohmer into the broad contexts of urban life and city planning. Rohmer’s study cases provoke "questions of cause and effect, of control and contingency:" do an architect’s individual design choices matter and to what extent? Do the building’s users continue to construct it after the architect leaves, and if yes, then how? What about the significance of rules and regulations? And last but not least, what is the nature of the relationship between architecture and time at the relatively small scale of a human life, especially if this human happens to be an architect?

What Happened to My Buildings: Learning from 30 Years of Architecture with Marlies Rohmer

Architecture and Waste

Kara H., et al. (ed.)., Architecture and Waste: A (Re)planned Obsolescence (Actar) – February 2017

This book also pursues, in particular, the same theme: that is to say the perishable nature of the mortal plane and architects’ issues with this fact. When it comes to industrial buildings, the role of designer generally and, in particular, a kind of ambiguous due to the complexity and technical purposes of such buildings. Architects are rarely involved in addressing the economic, logistic and ecological issues that emerge in the process of industrial construction, and the case of waste-to-energy facilities is no exception. However, this type of industrial buildings is still in high demand even within the de-industrialized developed economies. This collection’s primary editor, Hanif Kara, is well-known for his expertise in design structural engineering: he is, among other things, design director and co-founder of London-based structural engineering practice AKT II and professor of the Practice of Architectural Technology at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Consequently, this book presents a "refreshed, design-led approach to waste-to-energy (WTE) plants," reflecting work done at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). The volume compares the well-established waste-to-energy industries in Sweden with less established cases in the northeast of the United States. According to the results of the study, architects should definitely have a role to play in "integrating waste-to-energy plants physically and programmatically within their urban or suburban contexts, as well as potentially lessening the generally negative perception of energy recovery plants." While industrial architecture is much less trendy nowadays than, say, in the 1920s and 1930s, the re-industrialization trend emerging across the developed economies as well as the constantly growing demand for the relevant specialists in the Third World, along with the noticeable disappointment in "iconic architecture" (see Leslie Sklair’s book above), can make industrial architecture once again an attractive career choice. There’s no harm in giving it a thought anyway, right?

Architecture and Waste: A (Re)planned Obsolescence

Post-Metropolitan Territories

Balducci A., Fedeli V., Curci F. (eds.)., Post-Metropolitan Territories: Looking for a New Urbanity (Routledge) – February 2017

Some of us have just managed to get used to the idea of the metropolitan areas as the future main centers of power, finance, innovation and culture. But that’s because some of us are still a bit slow for the brave new world of globalization, or one may even say that according to the latest electoral trends in the West many of us are too slow for it. But there are others who are fast enough to think several moves ahead. Among these are, of course, the editors of this collection, Alessandro Balducci, Valeria Fedeli and Francesco Curci, all urban studies scholars from the Politecnico di Milano. What we have historically thought of cities, how we have imagined and built them was always in a state of constant reconfiguration. The worldwide process we call today "multi-scalar regional urbanization" is different from the similar processes of the previous two hundred years: neither city, nor metropolis (or our ideas of those) are the same now as they were in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Post-Metropolitan Territories features a thorough, albeit broad overview of Italy, one of the most complex and diverse European countries, which makes it a perfect subject for scholarship focused on regional development and performance. This collection, a result of a research project funded by the Italian Ministry for Education, Universities and Research (MIUR), studies several "Italian cities and their hinterlands and looks at new forms of urbanization, exploring themes of sustainability, industrialization, deindustrialization, governance, city planning and quality of life." The ultimate goal of Post-Metropolitan Territories is to find the right, if still preliminary words to describe the contemporary turn in the very ideas of "cityness" and "urban.".

As the editors write in the introductory chapter in relation to Rome: "[it] is today a metropolitan region which, connected and interacting [...] with the surrounding areas, arrives to include confining regions. It is an ‘urban region’ with specific characteristics, where the territories and the way the city is lived are experiencing a reorganization which is following unusual routes and is creating new urban realities which requires new political solutions." Since "not only living conditions have changed, but also the way the urban reality is conceptualized, perceived, represented and imagined." we face the necessity to distinguish "new forms of appropriation and reappropriation of the living space, new way of giving sense to abandoned spaces, new forms of ‘territorialization’ as well as the explosion of alternative economic strategies and, in order to respond to diverse urban challenges, to promote new networking systems and new organizational forms." This book seems to be essential reading for those who plan on entering the terrain of urban and spatial planning in the years to come, since chances are that it will be already referred to as "the pioneering study."

Post-Metropolitan Territories: Looking for a New Urbanity (Routledge Advances in Regional Economics, Science and Policy)

Urban Animals

Holmberg T., Urban Animals: Crowding in Zoo-Cities (Routledge) – April 2017

Urban Animals is not just another expression from Urban Dictionary, akin to, say, "party animal." Neither is it an ancient but now commonplace metaphor like "political animal." Urban animals are very real living creatures roaming our cities, whether by four paws on Earth’s surface or by a couple of wings high above. Tora Holmberg, Associate Professor in Sociology and Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research in Uppsala University (Sweden) argues that cities provide various opportunities to animals (and, of course, impose various constraints on them) as well as to humans. Our attitudes to urban animals are ambivalent: notwithstanding the fact that until the early 20th Century human-animal encounters even in the largest European capitals were merely a matter of everyday life and that such encounters involved a much larger variety of species than cats, dogs and pigeons, nowadays we often complain about urban animals and perceive them as dangerous or at least unwanted. Animals generally "transgress geographical, legal, and cultural ordering systems," which is why we tend to see them as uncontrollable, and anything uncontrollable within the limits of contemporary cities becomes a source of anxiety, sometimes unconscious. At the same time, we care about urban animals; they are involved in conservation practices and are subject to bio-political actions (see sterilization of stray dogs). So how can we "consider spatial formations and urban politics from the perspective of human/animal relations" and why do we need to?

Holmberg offers a number of case studies exploring the controversial nature of human/animal relations in the city. These cases include, but are not limited to: companion animals, free-ranging dogs, homeless and feral cats, and urban animal hoarding (consider "crazy cat ladies"). The theoretical framework of "zoo cities" is suggested, embracing two very different fields of scholarship: animal studies and urban studies. This results in a reframing of urban relations and space. On the one hand, Holmberg expands the theoretical instruments of urban studies beyond the human, and on the other, she brings to life familiar sociological theories using the animal studies apparatus. Ultimately, her book seeks to describe the phenomenon that she calls "humanimal crowding;" numerous "urban controversies and crowding technologies are analyzed, finally pointing at alternative modes of trans-species urban politics through the promises of humanimal crowding – of proximity and collective agency." While urban ideology, intended to enforce the social order, requires the exclusion of animals, a look at reality reveals a multitude of practices that add up to a picture of diverse, disordered, and sometimes even disturbing experiences.

Urban Animals: Crowding in zoocities (Routledge Human-Animal Studies Series)

Making Places for People

Coffin C.J., Young J., Making Places for People: Twelve Questions Every Designer Should Ask (Routledge) – February 2017

This title is of a more practical nature but, at the same time, it is in no way a mere manual. Making Places for People, written by  Christie Johnson Coffin from the Design Partnership architectural firm, and Jenny Young, Professor at the University of Oregon, combines the best of two worlds, offering new questions as well as answers to old ones. Their book is focused on the twelve social questions of environmental design. Using their unique combination of theoretical and practical expertise, the authors challenge common assumptions about how places meet human needs and offer a much more complex view, which is far from being self-evident. Coffin and Young ask themselves (and us), whether answers for the usual, "by-the-book" questions of urban and environmental design, e.g."What is the story of this place? What logic orders it? How big is it? How sustainable is it?" can be easy and if there are easy ways to find answers. While the underlying assumption of the authors looks quite familiar ("critical understanding of the relationships between people and their built environments can inspire designs that better contribute to health, human performance, and social equity"), the book is thought-provoking and is recommended for those who are not strangers to the particular kind of excitement we use to call "curiosity."

Making Places for People: 12 Questions Every Designer Should Ask

Digital Architecture

Burry M. (ed.), Digital Architecture (Routledge) – June 2017

Mark Burry, Professor of Innovation and Director of the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) of the RMIT University (Melbourne), who is well known for his expertise on the work of Antoni Gaudi, takes on the editing duties for the unprecedented summae of digital architecture scholarship. Of course, it’s not the first time he has turned to this subject (see for example his Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming). This collection, one of the opening titles for the new Routledge series Critical Concepts in Architecture, which is intended "to meet today’s research, reference, and teaching needs" by bringing together :canonical and cutting-edge scholarship to provide users with historical context as well as a thorough, broad overview of current issues and debates," seems to be truly unique.

The four volumes, amounting to 1600 pages, summarise the whole of contemporary scholarship on all aspects of architecture engaged with computation. Digital Architecture proves that its subject has developed into a full-fledged field in its own right and has invaded all other architectural subdisciplines, as well. These two volumes feature all the relevant key texts on a wide variety of issues, including but not limited to info and data management, digital representation, computer science philosophy and trans-disciplinary approaches. Such a collection, focusing on the period starting from 1980s but also embracing earlier scholarship, will undoubtedly be a very useful addition to the library of any academic, practitioner or, for that matter, student interested in this subject, as well as for those who would like to have a glimpse into the future of architecture, near and distant alike.

Digital Architecture (Critical Concepts in Architecture)
23 Jan 01:33

The Best Architecture Drawings of 2016

by Fernanda Castro
Courtesy of RIGI Design Courtesy of RIGI Design

Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen Courtesy of Studio Fuksas © OMA Courtesy of Wülser Bechtel Architekten

Designing and building a project is a challenge in itself. However, once the project is complete there are also challenges in expressing the project so that it can be understood by a new audience. This is especially true in digital media, where online readers don't necessarily spend the same time reading an article as in print media. This way, drawings and all visual representation and it's new forms -such as the animated Gifs- play an important role in the project's understanding 

At ArchDaily we push ourselves as editors, as well as the architects in our network, to get the best out of the projects we receive and share with the world so that we can deliver knowledge and inspiration to millions of people. The drawings we chose are not only visually entertaining but they serve as a way of educating and learning on particular issues where architectural representation is fundamental.

Regardless if they are digital or hand-drawn, all the architectural drawings we have selected this year have a sensitive expression, whether it be artistic, technical or conceptual, they all aim to express and explain the project using simplicity, detail, textures, 3D and color as main tools. 

This year we want to highlight a selection of 90 drawings arranged under eight categories: Architectural Drawings, Axonometrics, Context, Diagrams, Sketches, Animated Gifs, Details and Other Techniques. 

Architectural Drawings

Courtesy of People's Architecture Office Courtesy of People's Architecture Office
Courtesy of Ambrosi I Etchegaray Courtesy of Ambrosi I Etchegaray
Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO
Courtesy of AD+studio Courtesy of AD+studio
Courtesy of Fernando Menis Courtesy of Fernando Menis
Courtesy of Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Courtesy of Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
Courtesy of Valerio Olgiati Courtesy of Valerio Olgiati
Courtesy of Ludwig Schoenle Courtesy of Ludwig Schoenle
Courtesy of MRDA Architects Courtesy of MRDA Architects
Courtesy of Boundaries architects Courtesy of Boundaries architects
Courtesy of Héctor Fernández Elorza + Manuel Fernández Ramírez Courtesy of Héctor Fernández Elorza + Manuel Fernández Ramírez
Courtesy of CURE & PENABAD Courtesy of CURE & PENABAD
Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au
Courtesy of Fabienne Bulle architecte & associés Courtesy of Fabienne Bulle architecte & associés

Axonometric and Isometric

Courtesy of Vázquez Consuegra Courtesy of Vázquez Consuegra
Courtesy of Logical Process in Architectural Design Courtesy of Logical Process in Architectural Design
Courtesy of Kazuyuki Takeda Courtesy of Kazuyuki Takeda
Courtesy of República Portátil Courtesy of República Portátil
Courtesy of CarverHaggard Courtesy of CarverHaggard
Courtesy of NUDES Courtesy of NUDES
Courtesy of DATA Courtesy of DATA
Courtesy of NUA Arquitectures Courtesy of NUA Arquitectures
Courtesy of Bajet Giramé Courtesy of Bajet Giramé
Courtesy of Héctor Fernández Elorza + Manuel Fernández Ramírez Courtesy of Héctor Fernández Elorza + Manuel Fernández Ramírez
Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects
Courtesy of West Line Studio Courtesy of West Line Studio

Context Drawings

Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO
Courtesy of Studioninedots Courtesy of Studioninedots
Courtesy of AZC Courtesy of AZC
Courtesy of feld72 Courtesy of feld72
Courtesy of B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio Courtesy of B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio
Courtesy of IAPA Design Consultants Courtesy of IAPA Design Consultants
Courtesy of Fabienne Bulle architecte & associés Courtesy of Fabienne Bulle architecte & associés
Courtesy of Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Courtesy of Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP


Courtesy of Wülser Bechtel Architekten Courtesy of Wülser Bechtel Architekten
Courtesy of People's Architecture Office Courtesy of People's Architecture Office
Courtesy of Yushang Zhang Courtesy of Yushang Zhang
Courtesy of SUP Atelier + School of Architecture Tsinghua University Courtesy of SUP Atelier + School of Architecture Tsinghua University
Courtesy of Ludwig Schoenle Courtesy of Ludwig Schoenle
Courtesy of Logical Process in Architectural Design Courtesy of Logical Process in Architectural Design
Courtesy of Studio A dvaita Courtesy of Studio A dvaita
Courtesy of Supermachine Studio Courtesy of Supermachine Studio
Courtesy of NUDES Courtesy of NUDES
Courtesy of ArchSD Courtesy of ArchSD
Courtesy of Supermachine Studio Courtesy of Supermachine Studio
Courtesy of MAT Office Courtesy of MAT Office
Courtesy of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh Courtesy of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh


Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA
Courtesy of Peter Salter Courtesy of Peter Salter
Courtesy of António Costa Lima Arquitectos Courtesy of António Costa Lima Arquitectos
Courtesy of BCHO Architects Courtesy of BCHO Architects
Courtesy of BCHO Architects Courtesy of BCHO Architects
Courtesy of Héctor Fernández Elorza + Manuel Fernández Ramírez Courtesy of Héctor Fernández Elorza + Manuel Fernández Ramírez
Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA
Courtesy of Alberto Campo Baeza + Gilberto L. Rodríguez Courtesy of Alberto Campo Baeza + Gilberto L. Rodríguez
Courtesy of ArchSD Courtesy of ArchSD
Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au
Courtesy of TEN Arquitectos Courtesy of TEN Arquitectos

Animated Gifs


Courtesy of Atelier Alter Courtesy of Atelier Alter
Courtesy of MESURA Courtesy of MESURA
Courtesy of SUP Atelier + School of Architecture Tsinghua University Courtesy of SUP Atelier + School of Architecture Tsinghua University

Other Techniques

Courtesy of Nuno Brandão Costa Courtesy of Nuno Brandão Costa
Courtesy of Studio Fuksas Courtesy of Studio Fuksas
Courtesy of CURE & PENABAD Courtesy of CURE & PENABAD
Courtesy of Studio Fuksas Courtesy of Studio Fuksas
Courtesy of Fala Atelier Courtesy of Fala Atelier
Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Courtesy of Studio A dvaita Courtesy of Studio A dvaita

The Best Architecture Drawings of 2015

03 Jan 09:41

Elegant Scent Drops Installation by H&J Studio

by Charlotte

Pour le nouveau Grand Musée du Parfum inauguré à Paris le 22 décembre dernier, le studio anglais H&J a imaginé une élégante installation faisant découvrir aux visiteurs les 25 ingrédients les plus utilisés pour faire du parfum. Inspirée de la forme liquide des fragrances, elle prend la forme de plusieurs gouttes suspendues au plafond et ondulant au milieu de la salle. Chacune présente une odeur différente, préservée sous un dôme en cuivre. Doté d’une technologie innovante, celui-ci joue également le rôle de haut-parleur et une fois que le visiteur l’ai soulevé, il s’active pour lui donner – dans sa langue maternelle qu’il aura reconnu grâce à des signaux infrarouges, plus d’informations sur l’odeur qu’il renferme.

Scent Drops from Harvey & John on Vimeo.

8-Scent-Drops 6-Scent-Drops 5-Scent-Drops 4-Scent-Drops 3-Scent-Drops 2-Scent-Drops 1-Scent-Drops
30 Dec 05:21

Barcelona-Based Startup Gets Unconventional Digs

by Caroline Williamson

Barcelona-Based Startup Gets Unconventional Digs

Barcelona-based startup, Typeform, was growing by exponential bounds resulting in them running out of office space. They found a new 2000 square meter (approx. 21,527 square foot) venue but the interior didn’t work for the company’s unconventional needs. That’s where Lagranja Design came in. Since they operate as a small community of multicultural and talented individuals, they wanted their new modern office space to convey that and most definitely it does.


Right off the bat, they installed a bar at the reception area, which is outfitted with beer taps and food, making every employee happy I’m sure. The space invites the employees to have breakfast when they arrive, a beer on their way out, and as a place to gather as needed.


Live plants were incorporated throughout, helping to add fresh air for everyone working. In total, there are 810 plants, which are kept alive by a gardener there.



Meeting rooms are distinguished by color making it easy for everyone to know which room to go to.



Massive co-working table sits under a metal frame that holds various green plants and lamps by Lagranja Design.


A tiered, semicircular space hosts presentations and group meetings.








Photos by Albert Font.

29 Dec 02:38

30 Plans, Sections and Details for Sustainable Projects

by Fabian Dejtiar

The dramatic improvement in recent decades in our understanding of sustainable design has shown that designing sustainably doesn't have to be a compromise—it can instead be a benefit. When done correctly, sustainable design results in higher-performing, healthier buildings which contribute to their inhabitants' physical and mental well-being.

The benefits of incorporating vegetation in façades and in roofs, as well as materials and construction systems that take energy use and pollution into account, demonstrate that sustainable design has the potential to create buildings that improve living conditions and respect the natural environment.

Below we have compiled 30 plans, sections and construction details of projects that stand out for their approach to sustainability.

Read more »

02 Dec 09:38

Mighty Mumbai: Urbs Primus in Indus

Palimpsest. Microcosm. Hybrid. Pluralist. Diasporic. Cosmopolitan. Third world. Postindustrial. Postcolonial. Post-Independence. Global. Hypermodern. Slum. Polynuclear. Agglomeration. (Con)fusion. Bombay. Mumbai.

“Mombay.” I kept typing it. “Mombay.” When I was looking for articles on Mumbai and had little luck typing “Mumbai” I decided to search instead for “Bombay.” The city only officially changed its name in 1996 after the Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena won elections in the state of Maharashtra. Literary scholar Rashmi Varma characterizes this act as “provincializing the global city.”1 Much of the literature I read discussed architectural and urban trends in “Bombay.” Somewhere along the way, however, “Mombay” was all my brain could manage. Bollywood, a nickname for the Indian film industry, is a portmanteau of the words “Bombay” and “Hollywood.” Bollywood is still Bollywood almost twenty years after the city name changed. Most Indians I spoke to still referred to Mumbai as Bombay. I came across the keywords above in the literature on the city, and my research on Mumbai has led me to understand the city as all these things, but not just any one of these things.2 Most scholars I have consulted agree – more research must be undertaken to understand and analyze the city on its own terms. In many ways, the city I experienced was indeed “Mombay:” the hybrid provincial capital of Maharashtra and the global millennial city.

Figure 1. Null Bazaar in Bhuleshwar neighborhood of Mumbai.

Roots of Mumbai

The human occupation of the area we know as Mumbai dates back to prehistory. The region that forms metropolitan Mumbai was originally an archipelago of seven islands with fishing villages settled by the indigenous Koli. The patron goddess of the Koli fishermen was Mumba Devi. It is from this goddess that the city derives its current name. The area was successively ruled by separate Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim kingdoms until the Portuguese gained control in 1534. The architectural heritage from these various political and religious entities includes the Buddhist Kanheri and Mahakali caves, the Buddhist and Hindu Jogeshwari Caves, the Hindu Walkeshwar Temple, the Buddhist and Hindu Elephanta Caves, and Portuguese forts and churches. The name Bombay is a derivation of Bombaim, or “Good Bay,” the Portuguese name for the settlement.

Figure 2. Mumba Devi Temple in Bhuleshwar.

Most of my reading, however, focused on the time period after Portuguese rule. Many architectural histories began with the Portuguese handing over Bombay as part of the wedding dowry for Catherine de Braganza to Charles II of England in 1661. The English East India Company leased the islands from 1668 until 1757 when the company took over rule in the region. The East India Company continued to expand into the subcontinent and gain further autonomy until the Indian Rebellion of 1857. From 1858 to 1947 Bombay was under control of the British Raj.

On Hybridity and Pluralism

After writing my preceding entry on Harar and Goa I realized “hybridity” might not be the word I needed to describe the conditions I experienced in both regions. “Pluralist” is. This is an important distinction, not just given over to semantics, because it helps encapsulate the architectural variety. There were aspects of various cultures that remained distinct and clearly identifiable as belonging different architectural traditions. Catholic churches of Goa. Egyptian mosque in Harar. Indian merchant houses in Harar. Portuguese villas in Goa. Italian municipal buildings in Harar. These carry the ambitions and messages of each cultural entity in architectural program, form, and function. Hybridity can only truly be found in the small decorative details – the woodwork in Goa, for instance, or the use of a certain color palette in Harar.

Architectural pluralism is also central to the understanding of the urban fabric of Mumbai. This is a direct result of the city’s position as a “factory” in the English East India Company. The Company sought to bring merchants, traders, and artisans of high standing from various castes and religions to the city, and therefore offered a freedom of cultural and religious tradition. This included Armenians, Hindu and Jain Banias, Muslim Bohras and Khojas, Jews, Parsis, and Gujaratis.3 The architecture of Mumbai reflects the cultural autonomy of these various groups.

Figure 3. David Sassoon Library (1870), Army and Navy Building (1890), and Watson’s Hotel (1869) in Kala Ghoda.

Sassoon was a Baghdadi Jew, businessman, and philanthropist responsible for funding many projects in Bombay, including the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue. The expansive parking lot in front of this row of buildings is the former site of the statue of King Edward VII, the Prince of Wales (also financed by Sassoon). The statue was called “Kala Ghoda” or Black Horse. The neighborhood derived its name from the statue, which was removed to the Byculla Zoo.

Figure 4. Jain temple, Bhuleshwar.

Figure 5. Mosque, Bhuleshwar. This mosque has classical details, including double-height Corinthian-inspired pilasters along the main façade.

I walked extensively throughout South Mumbai: 4 the Fort area, Kala Ghoda, Colaba, and Bhuleshwar. The Fort area and Kala Ghoda immediately took me back to London. The scale and uniformity of the structures, the cool, reserved face of classicism in the Fort and the dark, expressive Victorian Gothic spires. These were mixed in with the major Indo-Saracenic monuments erected at the end of the nineteenth century, and the Art Deco structures of the interwar years. The street scale in Bhuleshwar was much more intimate than that of other areas of South Mumbai. Part of this is due to the fact that Bhuleshwar is located in the high-density area previously known as “native town. As architectural historian Preeti Chopra notes: 

The British viewed the city in terms of color and settlement pattern. In their eyes the Indians lived in what the British called the "native town" or "black town," characterized by its high population density and intricate network of streets. The Europeans lived in the "European quarter" or beyond the bazaars in spacious, low-density suburbs. In contrast, the complex mapping of the city by Indians included religious buildings, water tanks, statues, markets, and other localities inhabited by Bombay's diverse populations.5

One can find deliberately hybrid architectural design in its truest form in Mumbai. British architects developed and popularized the Indo-Saracenic style in the late nineteenth century. George Wittet, a major proponent of the style, was the architect of the Prince of Wales Museum, now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, and the Gateway of India. Both structures were erected to commemorate King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to India in 1911.

Figure 6. Interior view of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum). The interior details of the central hall are inspired by architecture from across the country.

British architects who traveled to India to find work in the late 1800s and early 1900s frequently wrote about the state of architecture in India and the need to create something at once traditional and modern. Articles appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architects with titles like “Characteristic Architecture for India: A Plea for the Saracenic Form,” (1909), “Government Architecture in the East: Indian Architects for India,” (1911), “Architects’ Difficulties in India: The Need of Trained Men,” (1912), “Indian Architecture, and Its Suitability for Modern Requirements,” (1913). These called for the study of traditional Indian architecture, and the necessity for training of architects on the subcontinent (as opposed to England) to promote a new and eclectic style of modern Indian architecture. Architects Magazine, a short-lived British periodical, featured articles on ventilating buildings in India and highlighted outstanding building design, such as the Grant Road residence of Parsi industrialist Jamsetji Nusserwanji (J. N.) Tata.6

Parsi Patronage

Parsi patronage of the building arts is one of the most fundamental points to understand the architectural heritage of late nineteenth and twentieth century Bombay. I spent all of my first day in Mumbai being whisked around the city in a cab trying to get technical support for my Apple products. Several of the stores and service centers that had what I needed were in the major shopping area near the Royal Opera House. When I pulled up to the Royal Opera House I oohed and awed. My cab driver stated the Parsis constructed the building. I was confused, as I never heard the term before. In my mind I decided he meant “Farsis,” and instead of saying Persian he accidentally said the language of Persians. I quickly learned of the small, well-connected community of Parsis who had migrated to Bombay from the Gujarati region, where they had settled after escaping persecution in Iran for the religious practice of Zoroastrianism.7 Initially traders, this community penetrated many aspects of commercial and industrial enterprise, and had a favored position in the British trade hegemony.

Figure 7. Maneckji Seth Agiary (1733), second oldest surviving Parsi fire temple. Kala Ghoda neighborhood.

The Parsi community was active in architectural patronage in Bombay due to the success of various business ventures. One of the most important was the involvement of Parsi entrepreneurs in the cotton production and export industry in the nineteenth century. The American Civil War and port blockades on the exportation of cotton from the South forced England to increase its importation of cotton produced in India. This cotton boom created great wealth and opportunity to turn economic capital into cultural capital. Members of the Parsi business community were some of the greatest patrons of British architects practicing in Bombay. As historian Christopher W. London notes, “The Parsis were not the only benefactors to contribute to the 19th century architectural fabric of the city, but they helped set the tone and they established the precedent.”8

While London highlights Parsi involvement in building Victorian Bombay, architectural historian Michael Windover shows how Parsi architectural patronage continued in the interwar years. Windover examines patronage of Art Deco structures in general, and cinemas more specifically. While Mumbai is widely known for its amalgamation of Victorian Gothic, Indo-Saracenic, and Art Deco structures, particularly in the historic Fort Area, the Parsi connection to placemaking should be highlighted more. Perhaps it is not emphasized because the community has long been a minority population, and today it has considerably declined. When the nomination of the Victorian and Art Deco ensemble of Mumbai to the World Heritage List does not once mention the Parsi involvement in creating this varied and impressive heritage, something is amiss. 

Figure 8. Regal Cinema (1933) financed by Parsi film exhibitor Pramji Sidhwa and designed by Charles Stevens, whose father Frederick William Stevens designed Victoria Terminus (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) Station.

Curating the City

Mumbai has little in the way of heritage conservation of its industrial infrastructure. For a city that was built on trade and industry, this may seem surprising. Imagine Liverpool, Glasgow, Detroit, or Pittsburgh without an emphasis on their industrial heritage. It would be hard to truly understand the evolution of those cities. As architectural historian Jyoti Hosagrahar notes, the nineteenth century:

Saw the rise of a new and broad category of institutional buildings, including courthouses, museums, libraries, banks, city halls, elite boarding schools, colleges, and post offices. Railway terminals, factories, bungalows, and a network of dak bungalows (inspection rest houses) were other types of buildings that transformed the landscape of the South Asian subcontinent in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet these buildings of the modern age did not find historians until recently and many still await them.9

Perhaps this is because the areas in neighborhoods such as Girangaon and Parel surrounding former factories and cotton mills reveal the economic disparity that is modern Mumbai.10 It is at once the richest city in India, but more than half of its urban population lives in slums. These neighborhoods spread far beyond the boundaries of the Fort Area, upon which most of the architectural and heritage tourism is focused.

It is exceedingly important for historians to understand these economic conditions and disparities when making decisions about what and how to conserve. Mumbai in the millennium has moved beyond its colonial and industrial past, yet so much of the urban fabric in the historic core reveals these pasts to us.

Figure 9. Beyond South Mumbai the city continues to grow.

Bombay was the second most populous city in the British Empire after London. It was the “Urbs Primus in Indus.” As such historians have often tried to understand Mumbai in relation to both the history of British colonization and the rise of megacities in the Global South. Geographer Andrew Harris argues for new frameworks in understanding the city today, moving away from a Eurocentric approach to something more dynamic. He contends that we must:

Challenge conceptions of Mumbai as only a replicator or mimic of urbanisms fashioned elsewhere, whether in 19th-century Manchester or London or 21st-century Shanghai or Singapore. This involves greater acknowledgement of, and engagement with, Bombay’s specific socio-spatial formations of urban modernity and with the fundamental disjunctions into social experience and urban form shaped by colonization.11

I cannot say that I have succeeded in that attempt, as my frame of reference is mainly Western and therefore tied into the longer tradition that Harris maintains we most move away from. One way to think about this in a useful and theoretical way is to look at urban fabric of Mumbai – its past, present, and future, as parts of the kinetic and static city. Architect and urbanist Rahul Mehrotra put forth this proposition as a means to understanding and reconciling disparate aspects of the urban environment. Mehrotra asserts:

Today in our urban areas there exist two cities – the static and kinetic – two completely different worlds that cohabit the same urban space. The static city is represented through its architecture and by monuments built in permanent materials. The kinetic city that occupies interstitial space is the city of motion – the kuttcha city, built of temporary material.

In a way, Mehrotra’s conservation work in Mumbai through the Urban Design Research Institute speaks directly to the intellectual challenges put forth by Harris. Mehrotra is cognizant of two very important aspects of conservation in Mumbai. First, that the Victorian core represents the exclusion and repression of British colonization. Second, that while this is true, the cohesive face of the area is in fact a relief from the sprawling nature of the millennial megalopolis. He does not see these two points as contrary to the need for conservation, but as facts that need to be acknowledged in the planning process. This is the complexity of conservation in the post-colonial, post-industrial, post-Independence, millennial moment.

Figure 10. Souvenir coffee mugs at Starbucks in Kala Ghoda district, Mumbai. Image depicts Gate of India in New Delhi by Edwin Lutyens.

H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship Google Map

Recommended Readings

Arjun Appadurai, “Spectral Housing and Urban Cleansing: Notes on Millenial Mumbai,” Public Culture 12 no. 3 Fall 2000: 627-651

Arjun Appadurai, “Burning Questions: Arson and Other Public Works in Bombay,” ANY: Architecture New York 18, Public Fear: WHAT'S SO SCARY ABOUT ARCHITECTURE? (1997): 44-47

Bill Ashcroft, “Urbanism, Mobility and Bombay: Reading the Postcolonial City,” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 47 no. 5 (2011): 497-509

Manish Chalana, “Slumdogs vs. Millionaires,” Journal of Architectural Education 63 no. 2 (2010): 25-37

Sandip Hazareesingh, “Colonial Modernism and the Flawed Paradigms of Urban Renewal: Uneven Development in Bombay, 1900–25,” Urban History 28 no. 2 (August 2001): 235 - 255

Meera Kosambi and John E. Brush, “Three Colonial Port Cities in India,” Geographical Review 78 no. 1 (January 1988): 32-47

Rahul Mehrotra, “Constructing Cultural Significance: Looking at Bombay’s Historic Fort Area,” Future Anterior 1 no. 2 (2004): 25-31

Kaiwan Mehta, Alice in Bhuleshwar: Navigating a Mumbai Neighbourhood (New Delhi: Yoda Press, 2009)

Radhika Savant Mohit and H. Detlef Kammeier, “The Fort: Opportunities for an Effective Urban Conservation Strategy in Bombay,” Cities 13 no. 6 (1996): 387-398

Michael Pacione, “Mumbai,” Cities 23 no. 3 (2006): 229–238

Howard Spodek, “Studying the History of Urbanization in India,” Journal of Urban History 6 no 3 (May 1980): 251-295

Stuart Tappin, “The Early Use of Reinforced Concrete in India,” Construction History 18 (2002): 79-98

Michael Windover, “Exchanging Looks: ‘Art Dekho’ Movie Theatres in Bombay,” Architectural History 52 (2009): 201-232

1. See Rashmi Varma, “Provincializing the Global City: From Bombay to Mumbai,” Social Text 22 no. 4 (Winter 2004): 65-89.

2. I will refer to the city as “Mumbai” when discussing present context and “Bombay” in the historical context.

3. Partha Mitter, “The Early British Port Cities of India: Their Planning and Architecture Circa 1640-1757,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 45 no. 2 (June 1986): 102; Meera Kosambi, “Commerce, Conquest and the Colonial City: Role of Locational Factors in Rise of Bombay,” Economic and Political Weekly 20 no. 1 (January 5, 1985): 34. See also Frank Conlon, “Caste, Community, and Colonialism: "The Elements of Population Recruitment and Urban Rule in British Bombay: 1665-1830,” Journal of Urban History 11 no. 2 (February 1985): 181-208 and Amy Karafin, “Around Mumbai in 7 Faiths,” Lonely Planet September, 19 2012

4. This is only possible due to nineteenth century land reclamation projects.

5. Preeti Chopra, “Refiguring the Colonial City: Recovering the Role of Local Inhabitants in the Construction of Colonial Bombay, 1854-1918,” Buildings & Landscapes 14 (Fall 2007): 110.

6. Tata financed the construction of the Taj Mahal Hotel (1903).

7. See Gijsbert Oonk, “The Emergence of Indigenous Industrialists in Calcutta, Bombay, and Ahmedabad, 1850–1947,” Business History Review 88 (Spring 2014): 43–71 and Talinn Grigor, “Parsi Patronage of the Urheimat,” Getty Research Journal no. 2 (2010): 53-68.

8. Christopher W. London, “High Victorian Bombay: Historic, Economic and Social Influences on Its Architectural Development,” South Asian Studies 13 no. 1 (1997): 101.

9. Jyoti Hosagrahar, “South Asia: Looking Back, Moving Ahead-History and Modernization,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 61 no. 3 (September 2002): 358.

10. The mills in particular have a rich connection to the labor and freedom movements in India. For research on their history and potential for adaptive reuse see INTBAU India, “Mumbai Mills Report, Analysis & Conclusions of INTBAU India Workshop,” March 2005 and Alain Bertaud, “The Formation of Urban Spatial Structures: Markets vs. Design,” Marron Institute of Urban Management

11. Andrew Harris, “The Metonymic Urbanism of Twenty-first-century Mumbai,” Urban Studies 49 no. 13 (October 2012): 2966.

02 Dec 09:38

Harar and Old Goa: Architectural Hybridity on the Periphery

I started the New Year in Harar, Ethiopia, where I was one of few who actually acknowledged the event. The day was like any other day for most Hararis. Ethiopian New Year falls on September 11 (September 12 in the leap year) so there were no fireworks in the sky the night before. It was quite surreal to wake up in a traditional Harari house in this historic walled city and think about the year that lay ahead.

Over the past month I visited two regions that can be considered “on the periphery” of their respective countries: the Harari region in Ethiopia, and the state of Goa in India. These regions are the smallest in Ethiopia and India, and are often characterized as being in their respective countries but not of their respective countries. It is this air of exceptionalism that attracted Victorian-era intellectuals like poet Arthur Rimbaud and explorer Richard Burton. Harar is the Muslim heart of Ethiopia, and Old Goa the Catholic heart of India. At the same time that they are portrayed as epicenters of great religious devotion, they are often branded as colorful, relaxed, fun, and “other:” a deviation from the norm, a place to break free from the usual.

Figure-1_WileyFigure 1. Arthur Rimbaud Cultural Center in Harar, Ethiopia. An Indian merchant built the current edifice, now over 100 years old.

These were trade cities – Harar thrived because of its strategic location along trade routes connecting landlocked Ethiopia to the port city of Zeila in Somalia, the Gulf of Aden, and the Arabian Peninsula.1 Part of the reason I chose to visit Harar was its trade relationship with India. I believed it would be a nice transition between the two countries. Old Goa, a prosperous port under the Islamic Adil Shahi dynasty, fell to the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. Since these were cities with far-reaching cultural and economic contacts they are often defined by their architectural pluralism. Their positions on the periphery, however, often paint them as “exceptional” which is problematic if one is attempting to understand them within the larger context of cultural heritage and preservation studies. As architectural historian Preeti Chopra emphasizes, “Far for being pure, most cultures are a product of diverse influences from others, a result of trade, travel, and conquest.”2

Figure 2. Church of St. Cajetan (1655), Old Goa, India.

These regions were contested grounds, important strategically for various empires, dynasties, and religious orders. Trade influenced the development, urban character, and architecture of both the Harari region and the state of Goa. The resulting architectural heritage, then, often highlights structures that facilitate trade such as fortifications, administrative buildings where transactions occurred, and the resultant residential areas and educational and religious facilities that reflect the splendor and magnificence of the trade economy in these areas.

Harar the Walled City

If one chooses to visit Harar by air, one must fly into Dire Dawa. Harar and Dire Dawa (formerly Addis Harar) are located in eastern Ethiopia. I spent a week in Dire Dawa, a city established at the turn of the twentieth century that owes its development to the railroad. Although the city acted as an important node from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, the portion of the rail network running from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa is now defunct.

The Compagnie du Chemin de Fer Franco-Éthiopien took over railway operations in 1908 after the Imperial Railway of Ethiopia, founded in 1894, folded under financial troubles. The Dire Dawa railroad station is the key architectural edifice associated with the city, and its construction had significant impact on the city’s planning. There is scant literature written about the urban development and architectural heritage of Dire Dawa, and most travel guides treat it as a place one should only visit in transit to Harar.

Figure 3. Google Map depicting the two major sections of Dire Dawa: Kezira and Megala.

I found the layout of the city to be quite intriguing. In Dire Dawa there is a stark contrast between the European Kezira section or “new town,” and the older Islamic section, Megala. In Kezira one finds airy restaurants such as Chemin de Fer, housed in a building constructed in 1912, tree-lined streets, shaded villas, and grand boulevards that converge on the railroad station. In Megala one finds a more organic growth pattern, narrower streets, winding roads, and cul-de-sacs. The presence of Indian and Arab traders in Dire Dawa influenced the design details of buildings in both sections of the city.

Figure-4_WileyFigure 4. Commercial building in Megala, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

Figure-5_WileyFigure 5. Residential buildings in Megala, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

The jugol city of Harar is considered the architectural prize of eastern Ethiopia, and it also stands as the heart of Muslim Ethiopia. Muslim Ethiopians consider Harar to be the fourth holiest city in Islam, after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.3 There are an estimated 90 mosques and many Quranic schools within the 48 hectares enclosed by the city walls. Harar was founded in the eighth century, Sheikh Abadir introduced Islam in the twelfth century, Emir Nur built the city walls in the mid-sixteenth century, and the city was an independent emirate from 1647 to 1875. The Egyptians occupied the city from 1875 to 1885, Menelik II conquered it in 1887, and the Italians occupied it from 1938 to 1942. Each phase of governance is reflected through the remaining cultural heritage within and outside the city walls.

Figure-6_WileyFigure 6. Mosque built during Egyptian occupation of Harar.

For much of its history the city was closed to non-Muslims, and it was only after Egyptian occupation did the city become more accessible to opportunistic foreign traders and merchants. Today coffee and khat are two of Harar’s primary exports, and while those industries are still important to the lifeline of the city; increased tourism is also a welcome addition to the economic structure. UNESCO recognized Harar as a laureate city in its short-lived Cities for Peace Prize in 2002-2003 and inscribed the walled city on the World Heritage List in 2006.4

 Figure-7_WileyFigure 7. Gidir Magala. Italians built this market structure during occupation of Harar.

The walled portion of Harar retains much of its urban fabric. When Amir Nur erected the walls in 1567 there were five gates through which visitors to the city had to pass (today there are six). These gates have become a distinguishing architectural feature of the city, and are even imprinted on the bottles of the locally produced Harar beer.

 Figure-8_WileyFigure 8. Courtyard of house with elaborate detailing near the Sheik Abudir mosque, Suqutat Bari area.

The most celebrated aspect of Harari architectural heritage is the traditional Harari house. I chose to stay in one of the popular guesthouses to get a feel for the everyday use of the structure. The programmatic layout of the house is highly prescribed, following cultural conventions. Women and men have certain spaces dedicated to their use, all with various layers of privacy. There are numerous levels to the seating in the living room (gidir gār) that denote the status of family members and guests. Basketry is a prime decorative ornament for the interior of the houses.

 Figure-9_WileyFigure 9. Interior of model house at the Harari National Cultural Center.

Modern Harar extends to the west outside the city walls. While it was certainly not my intent to highlight architecture of the Italian occupation in all of my blogs on Ethiopia, I find it necessary to mention here. Whenever I made my treks outside the walled city to document architecture from the twentieth century, people were surprised, curious, and a bit baffled as to my intentions. The heritage of significance, according to the guides, townspeople, and tourists I spoke to, was to be found within the walls. Serge Santelli’s chapter “The Structure of the City,” in Harar: A Muslim City of Ethiopia was most useful to me in this regard, as he treats both the old and new city as what they are—two sides to the same coin. That chapter helped me overcome the disconnect I felt when trying to piece the city together myself. It is true, the richness of traditional Harari culture is concentrated within the walls of the old city, and that should be admired. This should not happen, however, to the detriment and disregard for the rest of the city itself.

Figure-10_WileyFigure 10. Former Italian municipio in newer portion of Harar, outside city walls.

Goa: Rome of the East, Pearl of the Orient

I do not believe Goa to be the Rome of the East. Perhaps in a religious sense it is a useful analogy, if one desires to think about Old Goa as a powerful concentration of Catholic practice. Perhaps. But trying to reconcile the nickname with the reality feels false for two reasons. The first is that Rome, the “Eternal City” is truly incomparable. The second is that Old Goa never reached the complexity in function, design, or development that Rome did. Part of the colonizing project, however, is to recreate the familiar in foreign lands, and to engage in heavy boosterism to spread propaganda for political and economic reasons. All that being said, Goa is a gem. An absolute treasure.

I spent half of my time in Goa in Panaji (Panjim). It is the capital of the state of Goa. I was surprised to learn that the Portuguese had control of the area until 1961. The second thing that surprised me was the discovery that, along with a distinct architectural style that made a lasting imprint on the region, the Portuguese brought the marigold to India. The practice of Catholicism and the architecture it produces felt very much imported, but the marigold has been thoroughly integrated into the social, religious, cultural, and political customs of India. Hindu, Buddhist, and Catholic shrines are all embellished with marigolds. Marigolds are draped on the shoulders of important figures memorialized as statues. The marigold is a ubiquitous symbol of India.

Panaji was colorful – a distinction also held by the city of Harar. The main advertised attractions of the city were the Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Goa State Museum. The museum was a gloomy affair – its modernist and geometrical design hinted at the grand intentions behind its erection. The building maintenance and the lackluster curatorial effort, however, belied a slim budget that held the operation back from its potential.

Figure-11_WileyFigure 11. Commercial building in São Tomé neighborhood of Panaji.

It was the vernacular architecture of Panaji that stood out the most. I stayed in the Old Quarter, or Fontainhas. This was one of the Portuguese residential quarters, and heritage tourism was gaining a foothold in the area. Boutique accommodations catered to a range of economic situations, and several art galleries displayed a variety of work—from traditional ceramic designs to contemporary Goan expressions.

While doing research on the region I came across a curious passage in an article about the contested heritage of Goa. Travel writer David Tomory covered the protests against the 1998 quincentenary celebration of Vasco da Gama’s landing in India. Tomory states:

The beauty of heritage—or the privately run heritage business—is that it doesn't depend on the past, offering only history without tragedy—the simple recreation of history's fun bits, such as food, costume, music and “ambience.” Heritage is the old romantic stuff that nobody minds. You can't see it being as contentious in Goa as “history” can be, but you never know…5

This passage made me think about the tricky relationship between heritage and tourism and the ability for those who have an appreciation for both heritage and history to gloss over controversy for the sake of tourism. I am writing about the beauty of Fountainhas, but I am not writing about the Goa Inquisition. I delight at the beauty of architectural syncretism as it is manifest in Goa. I wonder what the Hindu-practicing Goans think about this heritage. When I visited the Goa State Museum I cringed at the images of Goans carrying Portuguese men from one place to the next on palanquins. The beauty of the architecture comes at a price—one of religious oppression and cultural subjugation.

 Figure-12_WileyFigure 12. St. Francis of Assisi (1661), Old Goa.

With those factors in mind, it must be said that the churches and convents of Old Goa are truly exceptional. The crisp white structures stand as strong contrasts to the ultramarine sky. The heavy concentration of religious structures at once reminded me of Antigua, Guatemala, another abandoned capital of a colonial territory.6 I visited Old Goa on a Sunday, Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus had active church services. Tourists (and there were many) were not allowed into the sanctuaries during that time, but they could stand to the side of the entrance and take pictures. The Basilica of Bom Jesus additionally allowed tourists to take a side entrance to visit the relics of St. Francis Xavier, the Jesuit leader entombed in the building. Circulation continued from the tomb to the cloister where a Christmas display was still exhibited, and an art gallery highlighted the work of various artists. This setup made me think of some of the major pilgrimage churches I taught about in class, and how they worked as both sites of visitation and sites of worship.

 Figure-13_WileyFigure 13. Detailed woodwork embellishing the St. Francis Xavier tomb niche. Scholars have highlighted the masterful dexterity of Indian carvers who worked on the churches in Goa, albeit in a Portuguese Baroque style.

Circulation was an important component of a church’s functionality, one that was often overlooked in art historical texts that focused on paintings and sculpture. I wondered how people related to each other in pilgrimage spaces—were they rushed through and hissed at, as I was at the Basilica of Bom Jesus? Was it always the crowded spectacle I experienced on that Sunday in January? I had, up until my time in Ethiopia and now in India, a very romantic idea of religious pilgrimage—a journey of solitude and quiet reflection. I participated in a great pilgrimage while in Harar, traveling to Kulubi for the feast St. Gabriel. The sea of bodies pressed together, the noise, and the vendors reminded me of my time in a crowd of thousands at the first Obama inauguration. My experience at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, being funneled through passageways for a quick glimpse of St. Francis Xavier’s tomb was reminiscent of my trip to the Louvre and the half-second I spent in front of the Mona Lisa. I have begun to think that the chaos of pilgrimage sites is but a small fraction of what makes the experience exciting for the pilgrims/tourists.

The big story on the news this morning was President Obama proclaiming that Gandhi would be disappointed in the religious intolerance of contemporary India. I have been in India for less than a month, and I am not an expert on the religious or political situation, but that certainly was the opposite of my impression of the country. While in Panaji I came across a governmental sign discouraging city residents from dumping garbage. It stated, “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness” and displayed religious icons of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. It was in Panaji, the capital of the Catholic state of Goa, where I visited two active Hindu temples. The imposition of Catholicism on the region did not snuff out other religious practices.

 Figure-14_WileyFigure 14. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.

Figure 15. Temple in Panaji. I was unable to ascertain the name of this structure.

Harar and Goa offer very important lessons about our assumptions of architecture on the periphery. These two areas are “othered” in the critical discourse of their respective countries, but are in fact central to their respective religious communities. Harar and Goa are at once on the edge and in the center. Architectural, cultural, and religious syncretism can be found in these places, and in other cities around the world that have served as major nodes for commodity trading. These cities are not an exception – they are the result of trade, travel, and conquest.

H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship Google Map


Recommended Readings

Paul Axelrod and Michelle A. Fuerch, “Flight of the Deities: Hindu Resistance in Portuguese Goa,” Modern Asian Studies 30 no. 2 (May 1996): 387-421

Carlos de Azevedo, “The Churches of Goa,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 15 no. 3 (October 1956): 3-6

Avishai Ben-Dror, “Arthur Rimbaud in Harär: Images, Reality, Memory,” Northeast African Studies 14 no. 2 (2014): 159-182

John F. Butler, “Nineteen Centuries of Christian Missionary Architecture,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 21 no. 1 (March 1962): 3-17

William Connery, “Within the Walls,” World & I 15 no. 12 (December 2000): 184-191

François-Xavier Fauvelle-Aymar and Bertrand Hirsch, “Muslim Historical Spaces in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa: A Reassessment,” Northeast African Studies 11 no. 1 (2010): 25-53

“Goan Residences,” Architecture + Design 17 no. 4 (July/August 2000): 76-84

Elisabeth-Dorothea Hecht, “The City of Harar and the Traditional Harar House,” Journal of Ethiopian Studies 15 (August 1982): 57-78

T. P. Issar, Goa Dourada: The Indo-Portuguese Bouquet (Bangalore: Issar, 1997)

Rumi Okazaki and Riichi Miyake, “A Study on the Living Environment of Harar Jugol, Ethiopia,” Journal of Architectural Planning 77 no. 674 (April 2012): 951-957

Philippe Revault and Serge Santelli (eds.), Harar: A Muslim City of Ethiopia (Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2004)

Isaac Sequeira, “The Carnival in Goa,” Journal of Popular Culture 20 no. 2 (Fall 1986): 167-173

Tibebeselassie Tigabu, “Dire Dawa's Good Old Days,” Africa News Service November 24, 2014

David Tomory “Reluctant Heritage,” Index on Censorship 1 1999 67-68

David Wilson, “Paradoxes of Tourism in Goa,” Annals of Tourism Research 24 no. 1 (1997): 52-75


1. See Richard Pankhurst, “The Trade of Central Ethiopia in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,” Journal of Ethiopian Studies 2 no. 2 (July 1964): 41-91 and “The Trade of the Gulf of Aden Ports of Africa in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,” Journal of Ethiopian Studies 3 no. 1 (January 1965): 36-81.

2. Preeti Chopra, “Refiguring the Colonial City: Recovering the Role of Local Inhabitants in the Construction of Colonial Bombay, 1854-1918,” Buildings & Landscapes 14 (Fall 2007): 124.

3. This title is disputed, as Kairouanin, Tunisia is also held to be the fourth holiest city of Islam. See John Anthony, “The Fourth Holy City,” Saudi Aramco World 18 no. 1 (January/February 1967)

4. See Jan Bender Shetler and Dawit Yehualashet, “Building a ‘City of Peace’ through Intercommunal Association: Muslim-Christian Relations in Harar, Ethiopia, 1887-2009,” Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace 4 no. 1 (Fall 2010) 

5. Tomory, 68.

6. A series of plagues forced the abandonment of Old Goa for Panaji. Constant, deadly, and destructive seismic activity in Antigua forced abandonment of that capital.

09 Nov 06:54

How to Be Both

by Dan Van Note

I’m consistently asked how I keep a foot in two contrasting worlds – one in the entertainment industry, predicated on wealth and indulgence, and the other in humanitarian work. To me, it’s less of a question of how can you do this, and more a question of how can you not? Below I share my candid thoughts on this very topic…

“I don’t know, Flower. You were just born that way.” This is my mom’s response to the aforementioned question, and indicative of the character traits she knows me to have so well: opinionated, driven, and with a deep desire to affect change. “It’s just who you are,” she says. (And yes, she calls me, “Flower.”) I’m sitting in my trailer with her in Toronto where we film “Suits,” now in its sixth season. This in and of itself is a novelty – the idea of my mom sitting in my trailer, on a show in which I am a series regular, and that’s lasted more than half a decade. It’s surreal. We never would have dreamt that this would be my reality, our reality, as my mom eats the special order of scrambled eggs the production assistant just brought her from the catering truck. This is not where we come from. Yes, my hometown is Hollywood, California, but what you think of as The City of Angels, and what I know to be home, are two very different things.

So let’s begin there.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, a California girl who lives by the ethos that most things can be cured with either yoga, the beach, or a few avocados. I’m being cheeky, clearly, but it speaks to the temperament I grew up around. With a free-spirited clinical therapist for a mom, and the most hardworking father you can imagine (a television lighting director by trade), I always had a foot in two worlds, because their work and home environments were so vastly different. With my mom, we spent time traveling to remote places – taking trips to Oaxaca, Mexico where I saw children play in the dirt roads, peddling chiclets for a few extra pesos to bring home. My mother raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities. I must have been about ten years old when we visited the slums of Jamaica. I had never seen poverty at that level and it registered in my glazed brown eyes. “Don’t look scared, Flower,” she said. “Be aware, but don’t be afraid.”


My father was the lighting director on two television shows as I was growing up. And there I was, behind the scenes of a glossy soap opera and a TV sitcom, surrounded by famous actors and their glam teams, multi-million dollar budgets, and crew lunches that always included filet mignon and enough sweets to make you think you were at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. What I didn’t know then was that just twenty years later I would appeal to the executives on my show to ensure that our extra filet mignon and sweets aplenty were no longer thrown away, but rather donated to a soup kitchen I had been volunteering at since my arrival in Toronto. Or that they would say, “Yes.”

Despite the contrast of my two worlds growing up, there was a powerful commonality: both my parents came from little, so they made a choice to give a lot – buying turkeys for homeless shelters at Thanksgiving, delivering meals to patients in hospice care, donating any spare change in their pocket to those asking for it, and performing quiet acts of grace – be it a hug, a smile, or a pat on the back to show ones in need that they would be alright. This is what I grew up seeing, so that is what I grew up being: a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could, and to, at the very least, speak up when I knew something was wrong.


I was just eleven years old when I was in my classroom at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and a commercial came on for a popular dish washing liquid. The tagline of the campaign said, “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” The boys in my classroom yelled out, “Yeah, that’s where women belong. In the kitchen.” My little freckled face became red with anger. I went home and wrote letters to powerhouse feminist attorney, Gloria Allred; to a host of a kids news program; to the soap manufacturer; and to Hilary Clinton (who was our First Lady at the time). With the exception of the soap manufacturer, they all pledged support – and within a few months, the commercial was changed to, “People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.”

I spoke about this in a speech I gave for International Women’s Day with UN Women just two years ago. It is a testament to the fighting spirit I had as a young girl, and the responsibility I now feel as a grown woman; and even more so as an actress. The moment Suits became successful and I realized people (especially young women) were listening to what I had to say, I knew I needed to be saying something of value. This is also, in part, why I started this website, The Tig. I knew that girls were checking the site to see fashion tips or how to get a stellar blow dry, but in reframing the beauty content to include think pieces about self-empowerment, or feature dynamic women such as Fatima Bhutto, I was hoping to integrate social consciousness and subjects of higher value than, let’s say…selfies. A subtle means to pepper in what really matters.


And don’t get me wrong – the entertainment industry matters: it gives people an escape, a catalyst to laugh, to reflect, and to balance the realities of life. Plus, my gig as a working actor is the hand that feeds me. Without that hand, I could never be the hand that feeds another at this level. Were it not for my show and website, I would never have been asked to be a global ambassador for World Vision or an advocate for UN Women, both of which are honors I relish. And it makes sense that I see it that way, because while most become star struck by A-list actors, you’ll only see me gobsmacked with delight in the face of leaders affecting change. Put me in a room with Madeleine Albright or former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and for once in my life, you’ll find this girl with the gift of gab, unequivocally without words.


It was just last year that I was in the van heading back from Gihembe refugee camp in Rwanda. I was in the country as an advocate for UN Women; I had a week of meetings with female parliamentarians in Kigali, celebrating the fact that 64 percent of their government are women – the highest in the world. I was also spending time speaking with grassroots level female leadership at the refugee camp a few hours outside of the capital city. Driving back on the dusty roads that day, now back on the grid of tech and Hollywood, I received an email from my managers with a request for me to attend the BAFTAs. I had never been and had always romanticized the idea of it – and per the email, a high end jewelry company was going to fly me in, get me dolled up in the fanciest of gowns, and I would travel straight from Kigali to Heathrow, to the makeup chair, and immediately onto the red carpet.

My brain, heart, spirit couldn’t shift gears that quickly – from the purpose-driven work I had been doing all week in Rwanda, to the glitz and glamour of an award show – plus the pomp and circumstance that comes with it. “No,” my heart said. And it wasn’t a soft whisper to myself; it was a lion’s roar. Because I looked out the window, seeing a world of verdant beauty that had been riddled with genocide and unrest only 22 years prior, but having recovered with a decisive choice to be better, to overcome. The children’s magnetic smiles, the rolling fields, the goats and thump-thump of the ground as we decision was clear. My gut said, “No.” While my two worlds can coexist, I’ve learned that for me, being able to keep a foot in both is a delicate balance – because while they are not mutually exclusive, guiding my heart though the swinging pendulum from excess to lack of access is sometimes challenging.


When I gave the speech for International Women’s Day, and UN Secretary General Bahn-Ki Moon led the standing ovation, I thought, “This right here, this is the point.” To use whatever status I have managed to garner as an actress, and maximize my opportunity for impact with the moments of value that resonate far greater than an audition ever could. I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches – I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works. And this type of work is what feeds my soul, and fuels my purpose. The degree to which I can do that both on and off camera is a direct perk of my job.


But here’s the other thing that I think is often misconstrued: the assumption is that by doing humanitarian work, that there is some sort of savior mentality, when the truth is that the connections you make on these trips have so much reciprocity – if there is an imbalance, it is most certainly the other way around. I returned to Rwanda earlier this year as Global Ambassador for World Vision, and while I was there, met a young girl named Claire whom I immediately felt drawn to. She was on the third hour of her walk to bring her father medicine – a task that for most of us would be a quick Uber to the pharmacy. These small moments of perspective anchor me to what’s important. And in my industry that is often riddled with superfluous demands, my barometer of what’s valuable is validated on these trips. Not to mention, when I share my photos with my friends, they note that undoubtedly I never look happier than I do when I am on field missions. It’s a different smile than the one for the paparazzi – it’s the one that doesn’t require any retouching.

With fame comes opportunity, but in my opinion, it also includes responsibility – to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings, and if I’m lucky enough – then to inspire. A truly impactful moment for me was when a teenage girl, Emily, who follows me on social media, shared a letter saying my aid work inspired her to do a humanitarian trip to Costa Rica; she happens to be on the trip as I write this piece, and I check her Twitter updates grinning widely – seeing myself in her, and remembering my days volunteering on LA’s impoverished Skid Row when I was her age. I see what Emily is doing and I think, “YES.” Whatever I’ve said and shared has landed somewhere, and this incredible young woman has decided to #bethechange she wishes to see in the world. Whatever small part I had to do with that is the most affirming and humbling part of my life.


So be it an Instagram post that tags #adoptdontshop with a photo of my rescue pups, a speech advocating for women’s rights, a trip to a refugee camp in Rwanda, or traveling to Afghanistan to support our troops overseas, these are facets of my life that I share with as much gusto as I do behind the scenes photos with my cast; perhaps more so. And while my life shifts from refugee camps to red carpets, I choose them both because these worlds can, in fact, coexist. And for me, they must. My eleven year old self would be proud, because while I may not have realized it at the time, I, in fact, have always had a foot in the world of entertainment as well as the world of public service; my life now is simply a more heightened version of the very reality in which I grew up. And, truth be told, it’s the most beautiful gift I never knew I always had.

*A condensed version of this story can be found in the November 2016 issue of Elle UK, as revised and edited by the Elle UK team.*

**Photo Credit: Gabor Jurina**

The post How to Be Both appeared first on The Tig.

25 Jul 09:17

Found by Tony Ferreira
09 Mar 03:18

50 Brilliant Sarcastic Jokes That Will Crack You Up When You’re Feeling Snarky

by Mélanie Berliet

Daniella illo

1. I hate it when I go to hug someone really sexy and my face smashes right into the mirror.

2. Not all men are annoying. Some are dead.

3. If you’re here, who’s running hell?

4. I swear I wasn’t lying, I was just writing fiction with my mouth again.

5. Would you like to dance? No? You must’ve misheard me. I said you look fat in those pants.

6. I can totally keep secrets. It’s the people I tell them to who can’t.

7. Did you fall from heaven? Cause your face looks kind of funky.

8. If I promise to miss you, will you go, like, really far away?

9. Don’t you hate people who use big words just to make themselves look perspicacious?

10. Take my advice — it’s not like I’m dumb enough to.

11. Light travels faster than sound, which is why people like you appear bright—until they open their mouths.

12. Did something bad happen to you, or are you just naturally this terrible of a person?

13. If at first you don’t succeed, stop trying already. You’re probably dumb.

14. My son asked me what it’s like to be married so I told him to leave me. When he did, I asked why he was ignoring me.

15. You might love your life, but I think it just wants to be friends.

16. I always tell new hires, “Don’t think of me as your boss, think of me as a friend who can fire you.”

17. Why0 is it that everything you love is either unhealthy, addictive, or has multiple restraining orders against you?

18. When I see ads on TV featuring smiley housewives using some new cleaning product, the only thing I want to buy are the meds they’re clearly on.

19. Those of you who think you know it all are really annoying to those of us who do.

20. Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.

21. Hear that? It’s the sound of you not talking for once.

22. I’m pretty sure I married someone else’s soulmate. If only they’d come around and take him off my hands.

23. My girlfriend told me to go out and get something that makes her look sexy, so I got drunk.

24. Why do people make end-of-the-world jokes like there’s no tomorrow?

25. Your opinion is very important to me. Please stay on the line until you hear the beep for voicemail.

26. Hi there, I’m human. What are you?

27. Always remember: You’re just as unique as everybody else.

28. Strong people don’t put others down. They lift them up and slam them on the ground.

29. I would kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

30. Tell me what you need, and I’ll tell you how to get along without it since you’re not that bright.

31. If at first you don’t succeed, blame someone else and seek counseling.

32. Please tell me this train of thought you’re on has a caboose.

33. Even people who are good for nothing can bring a smile to your face—once you shove them down the stairs, that is.

34. If you see me smiling it’s because I’m thinking of doing something bad. If you see me laughing, it’s because I already have.

35. The sooner I shoot you, the sooner I’ll get out of jail for it. Don’t assume that’s not a major incentive.

36. This obviously isn’t working out. I think it’s time for us to go our separate ways and start making other people miserable.

37. If you need so much space, there’s always NASA.

38. They say you are what you eat, so lay off the nuts already.

39. Your mind might want to dance, but your body is a really awkward white guy.

40. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

41. Sorry, my dog ate your text again.

42. Would you rather have a million bucks, or [insert name]’s head full of nickels?

43. Oh, I didn’t tell you? Must be none of your business then.

44. So many freaks, so few circuses.

45. If idiots grew on trees, this place would be an orchard.

46. I have as much authority as the Pope. There just aren’t as many people who believe it.

47. Honesty may be the best policy, but insanity is the best defense.

48. I’d be fine if there weren’t so much blood in my alcohol system.

49. Masturbation is like procrastination—it’s all good fun until you realize you’re just fucking yourself.

50. Think I’m sarcastic? Watch me pretend to care. TC mark

07 Mar 05:08

This Photographer Captures Love Just As It Is

by dmitry


Romanian photographer Natalia Mindru depicts love in her photographs, the very sensuality and passion that live in people who can exist only if their soulmates stand by their sides. You can feel something special in her work, something attractive and magical. Natalia says such an effect comes with the emotions of people in love because of their feelings, smiles, hugs and kisses.

h/t: brightside


01 Mar 05:15

30 Electrifying Quotes To Inspire You When You’re Feeling Broken And Defeated

by Tatiana Pérez
Coley Brown
Coley Brown

1. “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”

— Maya Angelou


2. “No one can pull anyone back from anywhere. You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

— Alice Sebold


3. “Never stop just because you feel defeated. The journey to the other side is attainable only after great suffering.”

— Santosh Kalwar


4. “A lot of people are afraid to say what the want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”

— Madonna


5. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

— Oprah Winfrey


6. “expect sadness
you expect rain.
cleanse you.”

— Nayyirah Waheed


7. “I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

— Muhammad Ali


8. “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.”

— Sam Levenson


9. “There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”

— Bernard Williams


10. “Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”

— Malcolm X


11. “We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.”

— Laverne Cox


12. “For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat.”

— Wallis Simpson


13. “I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

— Dalai Lama


14. “it is being honest
my pain
makes me invincible.”

— Nayyirah Waheed


15. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

— Winston Churchill


16. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

— J.K. Rowling


17. “Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.”

— Janis Joplin


18. “Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.”

— Roger Crawford


19. “in the chaotic rubble,
she still remembered
who she was.”

— R. M. Drake


20. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

— Tony Robbins


21. “You’ve got a dream, you’ve gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

— Pursuit of Happyness


22. “Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”

— Malcolm Gladwell


23. “A year from now, you may wish you had started today.”

— Karen Lamb


24. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

— Ernest Hemingway


25. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

— Anais Nin


26. “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”

— Denis Waitley


27. “If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor.”

— Al Anon


28. “When life gives you lemons you paint that shit gold.”

— Atmosphere


29. “Remember no man is really defeated unless he is discouraged.”

— Bruce Lee


30. “I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.”

— Oprah Winfrey TC mark

28 Oct 01:43

cine ești tu

by admin

tu râzi de mine când plâng
îmi arunci jucăriile când uit să le strâng
tu mă înveți doar cifrele cu multe zerouri,
îmi tai aripile ca să nu dăram cu ele bibelouri
și-mi dai altele care nu știu să zboare;
tu îmi calci șotronul în picioare
apoi, murdar pe tălpi de cretă
lași urme de pași către o lume concretă
atât de concretă că pare o cutie
în care mintea mea nu vrea să fie;
tu mă iei în brațe doar în poze
tu îmi spui că stăm pe roze
iar eu mă chinui să dau spinii la o parte
ca pe niște speranțe deșarte
tu îmi torni sare în amandine
așadar, cine, cine, cine
ești tu, care ucizi copilul din mine?

25 Feb 02:29

André Simón Designs A Whimsical Clothes Rack That Looks Like A Llama

by Erin

Spanish designer André Simón has created LLAMA, a fun way to keep your clothes off the floor.


continue reading

05 Jun 05:09

Where I See Fashion, Designer Matches Fashion Images With Art and Nature Photography

by Inspiration

Italian fashion student Bianca Luini of The Tumblr blog “Where I See Fashion,” brilliantly matches fashion images with art, photography, and architecture …

























via Where I See Fashion