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'An extreme cantilever', 'Boom Boom' and 'missing the landing pad'

Dr Sutherland Lyall

The AR’s pick from the world wide web

Seeking a method for attaining extreme cantilever using a coilable material

Bustler is sister site to Archinet and has a weekend newsletter. It’s one of those sites/newsletters which runs stories about new architecture and, collectively, keeps everybody in the world pretty much up to date on what’s hot - more accurately whatever designs/buildings have been released into the wild.

Bustler has an annoying editorial habit of not worrying to much about oleaginous marketing-style captions such as ‘Austin-Smith:Lord have shared with us their entry to…’ and ‘Jose Herrasti and Maria Fernanda Oppermann Bento have shared with us …’ and spelling such as ‘perverbial’ for ‘proverbial’.

Don’t get me wrong: such sites as these are part of the great architectural information mash-up and this site has the great virtue of going straight to a more detailed exposition of the design/building than, say, the materialicious newsletter.

Materialicious starts off with a largely redundant list of contents followed by a one line heading to a key illustration, here to a clover armchair. Clicking on this takes you to the materialicious website where you have to click again to get a few words and more images. The Bustler newsletter home page has two columns adjacent to the main images detailing (largely US-based) competitions and events of the week which is where the call for ideas about how to do extreme coilable cantilevers could be found this last weekend.

Boom Boom

There’s always a certain amount of duplication on these latest-in-the-world sites and there is a kind of samey-ness about them. On the other hand designboom has a recognisable editorial voice: the selection of architecture and design and stuff is carefully considered rather than looking like a quick cull from the week’s public relations email offerings. Under the management of the indefatigable Birgit Lohmann and her team of nine it now has an online shop, online industrial design courses, a big interview section and much more including Korean and Chinese language versions. The team runs design talent shows in Sydney, Vaalencia, Tokyo and elsewhere plus a weekday news summary, hoards a massive archive of articles, and has a channel on YouTube. And all run from Milan.

Missing the landing pad

Here’s a site from Eric Morehouse’s Eyecandy collection. It’s owned by San Francisco practice Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects. The home page is one of those pointless Enter Site things whose only useful button - actually the words ENTER SITE - takes you into the home page where you should have landed in the first place. Then the dreaded slide show, each image apparently illustrating a keyword: PRECISION ENVIRONMENT, CRAFT and, for goodness sake, CIRCUMSTANCE. Whatever.

And after a bit of aimless looking around you notice the familiar words in tiny text across the bottom of the slides: NEW, SUSTAINABILITY, EDUCATION, RESIDENTIAL and so on. Click on NEW and up slides a list of names one of which you click. Aha, a big image, but you’ve already forgotten the name of the building.

More rolling eyeballs and then you spot some tiny numbers up on the top left of the main image and the magic words INFO. Click and images slide across and there it is, the North Beach branch library with a very brief and informative caption. So this is a site you have to learn. But hey, it’s nice and simple once you’ve grasped the essentials.

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