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Architecture

This category contains 131 posts

Hidden beats

The online book City Rhythm published in 2018 explores rhythm to explain cities and their internal diversity, as well as differences between cities. As I have explored elsewhere, mundane and ordinary events are also everyday events i.e. events that occur every day, repeatedly, and relate to people’s habits, their habitual activities. So a rhythmanalysis can focus … Continue reading

Beyond averages: DCT graphics

The visual field is full of smooth curves. Shadows don’t have sharp edges but fade out. Colours blend, sometimes imperceptibly. At some level of detail, most things transition smoothly, but to varying degrees. The variation across such transitions is noticeable in a high quality digital photograph, i.e. a pixel image. Here is a random row … Continue reading

Hiding one surface inside another

What’s it like to get inside a surface? I’ve been reading Avron Stroll’s seminal philosophy book Surfaces. He exhausts most of the ways people use the word “surface” in everyday speech. E.g. you can be on a surface or under it, but it’s not usual to speak of a surface inside a surface. And some … Continue reading

Ornament and crime

The Austrian architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) wrote Ornament and Crime. It is a celebrated polemic against the superfluity of ornament in the modern industrial age: “not only is ornament produced by criminals but also a crime is committed through the fact that ornament inflicts serious injury on people’s health, on the national budget and hence … Continue reading

Steganography for architects

Steganography is hiding one picture (a secret or data) inside another (a host or carrier) image. As with cryptography in general, there are several reasons someone might want to hide content in this way. The hidden image could serve as a digital watermark. That’s to assert your claim on a picture. If someone copies it … Continue reading

How to hide one picture inside another

Here’s an anamorphic image of Karl Marx in the aptly named Karl Marx House in Trier, Germany. Face on, the image is a blur. Side on you can see him. That’s one way of concealing an image, revealed only if you know where to stand. Digital images offer other methods as well. Here’s a fragment … Continue reading

Urbanise rasterise

“Raster” is a suitably old fashioned term suggesting the scan lines of a cathode ray television screen. “Pixel” is more up to date. Pixel images have a privileged relationship with architecture. Much architecture is about the grid. Pixel images provide one means of depicting space, i.e. plans and elevations of buildings, zones, regions, city blocks. … Continue reading

Less is more: Signatures, cities and hash codes

In 1997, the Hubble Space Telescope’s Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) picked up the signature of a black hole. Instead of a vertical straight scan line, the STIS showed an S shape. Signatures point to the presence of something (a referent). But you see the thing only indirectly, i.e. you get to know that the referent exists, … Continue reading

What a calamity!

Calamity, cataclysm, catastrophe, crisis, catalysis and cacophony bear no common etymology as far as I can see, though they sound as though they should. A calamity derives from the idea of a corn harvest gone bad. A cataclysm is a deluge. A catastrophe is an overturning. A crisis is a moment of decision. A catalysis … Continue reading

Architecture post-COVID

What are the spatial implications of social isolation? Demonstrators arranged themselves on a social-distancing grid at the Athens May Day gathering, conjuring up a scenario of a gridded world, where citizens move about as if on a chessboard or an early version of SimCity. Architects gravitate towards extreme conditions as a way of unleashing new … Continue reading

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