July 28, 2009

The Grass Grew There Mythically Tall

(image via)
"Built on the foundations of Victorian Nonsense, Alfred Jarry’s ‘Pataphysics, and Absurdist Theatre, Absurdity expands the limits of human reason by presenting a paradoxical solution. By allowing solutions which would normally have been ruled out due to irrationality, absurdity provides non-linear alternatives which interrogate contemporary logic." [more...]

July 23, 2009

Salmela Architect

^shown here is the Emerson Sauna in Duluth, Minnesota by Samela Architect. If you're not familiar with David Salmela's work, he engages with traditional building methods and materials, playfully (yet subtly) manipulating them in unconventional ways. This particular project is an Aldo Rossi-esque elemental composition of a "house." Salmela's work is incredibly simple - both in form and materiality - allowing for his subtle gestures to make an impressive impact. He has a published book with great photographs by Peter Bastianelli Kerze. For more images, check out his website and blog. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

July 17, 2009

De-Monumentalization of the Sears Tower and Beyond

The Sears Tower has officially (as of yesterday) been renamed to Willis Tower according to the iconic skyscraper's owners. CNN's story about the name change claims 90,000 angry people have joined the Facebook group, "People Against the Sears Tower Name Change." Note: the group size is currently up to over 93,000 members...probably much larger by the time this post gets to you. Many people are downright refusing to stop calling the building the "Sears Tower."

According to the Facebook group, whoever owns the most square footage in the building has the rights to name the building, which is why a British Insurance Company, Willis Group Holdings is buying out all unused office space!

This simple act of name changing has - in some bizzare way - de-monumentalized Chicago's famous building, reminding architects worldwide that architectural popularity commonly extends beyond the physical design of buildings. Has the Sears...I mean Willis Tower become the world's next Non-ument!? Its tough to tell at this point, but here at Mockitecture we jump on the bandwagon of any and every popular trend. Chicago's recently started trend of de-monumentalization is no different.

I present to you, the NEW Leaning Tower of Pisa, renamed, "An Ordinary Tower":

Next, the Eiffel Tower undergoes a bit of shrinkage:

And finally, in a defiant act of over-monumentalization, or enhancement per-se, I present the new and improved Midwestern city...a river town turned oceanside metropolis (thank you Miami, for the lovely aerial beach imagery):

July 16, 2009

Stimulus Funds Gone Awry

Yesterday, The Infrastructurist posted an interesting article on the ineffectiveness of the stimus bill in supporting small eco-business growth in the Midwest (St. Louis, to be exact). The company featured specializes in painting roofs with a reflective white coating. We all know the benefits to this simple conversion: less absorbed sunlight = cooler summertime temperatures = less energy dedicated towards cooling the building.

Here at Mockitecture, we are interested in fads. With the "green" movement in full swing, what would happen if eco-businesses were funded to the max full of taxpayer dollars!? Would mark would they leave on our unhealthy, over-consumptive lifestyles? Like a parasite, they would certainly target and invade the epicenters of consumption: suburbia's sprawling shopping centers and beloved McMansions.

In a culture dominated by image and simulation (e.g. a suburban house screams, "I am a palace, not a cheaply constructed box."), this "white roof" thing would take some getting used to. After all, these houses sport faux wood shingles, simulated clay tiles, and an assorted selection of eye-pleasing colored asphalt shingles. But let's say this painting company, pumped full of steroids ($$$) by Uncle Sam, started white-washing entire suburbs. What would happen? I present to you, the Non-Roof:

50 years from now, we may look back on this silly early 21st century "stimulus" era as a time defined by acts of anti-architecture or anti-design in general...where massive resources were hastily channelled into retrofit projects that ignored original design intent and logic altogether. These follies of our time - catalyzed by a desperate investment in "infrastructure" by a desperate government - have the ability to change what is socially accepted as "normal." In the end, we are left with a curious image of paranoia, identity crisis, and paradox.

July 15, 2009

"The Freakiest Building on Earth"

Thanks to Mark Hogan, a.k.a. markasaurus for tweeting about the world's largest duck building. Brief story and more images can be found here: http://gizmodo.com/5314991/maybe-the-freakiest-building-on-earth

Local note of interest: if you're a local Cincinnatian and attended the Fei Wang lecture half a year ago hosted by Aaron Betsky and the Cincinnati Art Museum, this will be quite familiar to you...reminds me of many great buildings and interesting discussions from that lecture. Perhaps an upcoming post?

July 13, 2009

Giant Robot Takes Over Tokyo

Gundam in Tokyo
Originally uploaded by switchstyle

I'm enjoying the Japanese take on public art...considering opening a mockitecture office in Japan after seeing photos of this 60-foot robot construct.

July 12, 2009

Crosley Tower Tee

N O R T O N 's first attempt at screen printing...a sloppy shirt for a sloppy building?

July 11, 2009

Thought of the Week by N O R T O N

As the countries fastest growing region for a long while now, will the American southwest become the 21st century's version of the 20th century's postindustrial midwest? Let's steal their thunder when they're not looking and get those thirsty South-westerners back to the Great Lakes and River Valleys of the midwest.

The sprawling American Southwest is in big trouble when it comes to water distribution. Various proposals to redistribute the Colorado River, and to establish more efficient methods for irrigation exist currently, but the long term impact of water shortage will be the commodification of water (MSNBC suggests this as a new industry to invest in), and the shrinking/redesign of sprawling cities in this region...

July 10, 2009

Mockitecture's Grand Promotional Event!!!

I was browsing around an abandoned building and discovered a post modernism gem: 

a 1994 Michael Graves calendar!!! 

The first 12 people to comment on this blog post will receive an authentic, full color page of the historic calendar along with a special gift from N O R T O N. Just one way we would like to thank all of you in the eWorld for reading and sharing your opinions about the wonderful world of mockitecture.

If you would like to receive via post mail a 10" x 14" tribute to Michael Graves, along with a gift from the Mockitecture WebLog Team, comment on this post with an email address where N O R T O N can contact you. This is a limited edition, free offer from us to you...the first 12 responders will recieve this genuine piece of history!!!

A few images to wet your whistle:

July 9, 2009

Political Mockitecture

More local political news has recently invaded the strange world of mockitecture (deeply sorry to all of our non-Ohio readers - but this will make you glad you don't live here, as if you actually need a reason to not want to live in the American Midwest). Desperately attempting to come up with a word for political mockitecture, but only getting the super-lame "mockilitics." Hopefully our intrepid readers can help with this.

So what's the big news!? Cincinnati's City Council members are getting in trouble for tweeting during city council meetings! Hah, that's right. It's like that time in fourth grade when you were passing secret notes around in the back of english class! A creative journalist came up with this catchy opening line to the article: "A fleet of tweets has Cincinnati City Council member Leslie Ghiz catching heat." What's even better is the end of the article: City Council won't address a call to ban tweeting during their meetings until after their summer vacation. What a joke of a city.

Reminds me of @Mockitecture's recent use of the phrase "sneak peek tweet." Oh...I totally forgot I was blogging, not tweeting. Sounds like social media is getting the best of us all. Twitter has officially trumped Tamagotchi as that hot new trend that everyone publicly hates (but secretly LOVES).

July 8, 2009

Non-Candidate for Mayor! Local Mockitect Invades the Political Arena

Hats off to non-candidate for mayor, Jason Haap, whose dropping out of the mayor's race saved Cincinnati, OH over $400k (with now two instead of three candidates for mayor, the city will not have to conduct an early and expensive mayoral primary).

In a move that seems fit for Urban Prankster, Haap presented the city with a large fake check for the money he saved them! ... oh, and by the way...he's running for the school board instead (all you mockitect-leaning voters).

Perhaps the city should build a Haap Memorial with the $$$ it saved? It's really the best way to thank him.

July 3, 2009

Thought of the Week by N O R T O N

Have you ever studied the shapes of animal crackers. They are actually VERY flawed. Perhaps a call to customer service will fix this?: