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'Atlas Obscura, What We Do is Secret and The Day After You Die'

Jack Self

The AR’s pick from the world wide web

In lieu of a formal introduction, let me instead set the scene by paraphrasing Douglas Adams: the Internet is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. Indeed, it is so fantastically complex, so richly diverse, that even if limited to the domain of architecture we could never hope to do anything more than paddle at the shores of this cosmic informatic ocean.

I spend a lot of time on the Internet, but as I drift further into the event horizon that marks the black hole of my social life I find that it is not the number of hours that counts, but where those hours are spent. I subscribe to over 300 RSS feeds, and regularly read more than 150 blogs. I don’t intend to categorise the usual architectural suspects (surely by this point everyone has heard of the BLDG BLOG). Rather, I thought as a gesture of good faith I would present, in no particular order, ten of my favourite web escapes:

1. Things (a near-daily blog) categorises Internet trends, nostalgia and technology through our relationship to real (and virtual) objects. Always a fascinating read.

2. Atlas Obscura is a chronicle of unusual and curious places, from natural phenomenon like the upside-down forests of Alaska to weird architecture like this conical Irish barn. Similar to the (now dead) websitededicated to modern ruins: Artificial Owl.

3. Colt & Rane: a design, fashion and art site - a nice source for contemporary photography.

4. But does it float? A sea of images, separated out into categories like Architecture, Generative Art, Typography and Sculpture. Ace visual stimulus.

5. Japanese Scientists: is an eclectic stream of sublime images, not always architecture-related, but always beautiful.

6. Unhappy Hipsters: take one pretentious architectural photograph; add a suitably pithy caption. What’s not to love? As they say themselves, “because it’s lonely in the modern world”.

7. What We Do is Secret: upset by an introspective design culture, a perfume designer set himself the task of translating and disseminating cool Japanese architecture to the Western blogosphere.

8. This Isn’t Happiness: this not always safe for work (NSFW) tumblr never fails to present startling and inspirational images and goes hand-in-hand with number 9.

9. The Day After You Die.

10. Haddock Blogs: Haddock is a mailing list for (and by) several hundred designers working in new media - Haddock Blogs (and Haddock Links) list all the web tid-bits they find interesting.

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