Weekend 393.0 (All I do is keep the beat and bad company)

“At the heart of all Catholic life is a miracle, a mystery, the Blessed Sacrament. Surrounded traditionally by ritual and awe, it has been the formative aspect of Catholic art, drama, and poetry.” – Charles A. Coulombe

(1) Treasures of New York: The Heckscher Museum of Art

(2) A quote from The Vignelli Canon:

“The knowledge of design history is important because it provides us with an insight into the motivations related to each period, movement or expressions that generated the artifacts. It is only by knowing deeply the why that we can understand the what and further appreciate them. The more we can spend on reviewing the past the better we can understand contemporary phenomena and the better we can formulate our own theories and therefore our designs.”

(3) Bishop Barron on Evangelizing Through Beauty

(4) Inspired by the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour & The Walt Disney Film Archives: The Animated Movies 1921-1968 here’s my wish list of KH3 worlds:

(a) The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
(b) Meet the Robinsons
(c) Wreck-It Ralph
(d) Frozen
(e) Lilo & Stitch
(f) Music Land (Silly Symphonies)
(g) Up
(h) Lonesome Ghosts or Brave Little Tailor
(i) WALL-E
(j) Clock Cleaners (Twilight Town???)

Notes
Does Disney Town encompass the world of DuckTales? Disney Town is a nice tribute to Mickey’s Birthdayland & Starland (and I believe Scrooge McDuck was the mayor)
I would like to be able to summon the Rocketeer, Pedro (Saludos Amigos), V.I.N.CENT, Susie the Little Blue Coupe and the BIG Mickey from Thru the Mirror
Square Enix / Disney should include worlds from Studio Ghibli
Didn’t include Tangled because some of the KH3 trailers show it
Other considerations: Flowers and Trees (Sill Symphonies) and Mickey’s Fire Brigade

Weekend 381.0

‘Even though an old proverb says, “too much special knowledge makes you stupid” I, as a craftsman, must say that having gone through an apprenticeship in the field of applied art, gives me certain advantages in the difficult art of design, as compared to those who partly or completely work from theoretical knowledge.’ – Kay Bojesen 

(1) Made in the U.K. (YouTube)

(2) A Water Lily by Jia Peng Fang

Subcityscape

A Gruen inspired renaissance?

(1) The Mall Rises Again: How to breathe new life into America’s much-maligned indoor shopping centers. (City-Journal)

(2) A related quote from Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Imagineers said that when they were planning Tomorrowland, Walt would carry books around on city planning and mutter about traffic, noise, and neon signs, and he kept three volumes in his office to which he frequently referred: Garden Cities of Tomorrow by Sir Edward Ebenezer Howard (originally published in 1902 and reissued in 1965), which promoted a vision of a more pastoral urban life; and The Heart of Our Cities and Out of a Fair; a City, both by an architect and mall designer named Victor Gruen, who urged the reconceptualization of the city as more ordered, rational, and humane.

*You can see a copy of the Gruen book on Walt’s desk in the Fall 2010 issue of Disney twenty-three.

(3) Excerpts from Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks by Karal Ann Marling

Both his office bookcase and the studio library contained multiple copies of architect Victor Gruen’s 1964 The Heart of Our Cities, a study that proposed remedies for an “urban crisis” the author described in chilling detail. The reason for the crisis was the decay and disappearance of the ancient city center under the influence of cars and suburbs and media, the television, that made face-to-face contact irrelevant. When the center eroded, the sense of community usually vanished along with it…Southdale, which was built as Disneyland was being completed, was a Main Street for a new suburb that lacked one, having many of the same characteristics that made Walt’s streetscapes so appealing. For example, Gruen championed the interests of pedestrians at Southdale. He reassured the frazzled shopper with open, lively, readable interior spaces and codes that harmonized the facades of stores, to stave off visual fatigue. In the absence of an organized political structure, he fostered a sense of place by providing urban amenities in the form of public sculpture, artist-designed benches, and fountains.

Weekend 307.0

Splendidum(1) Designer Jasper Morrison on Beautiful Basics and Tintin (WSJ)

“By worrying when the next idea might come, you restrict yourself—with the perspective of time, he’d learned to treat design more lightly, to enjoy it.”

(2) A quote from The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved by Hunter S. Thompson

“Pink faces with a stylish Southern sag, old Ivy styles, seersucker coats and buttondown collars. ‘Mayblossom Senility’ (Steadman’s phrase)…burnt out early or maybe just not much to burn in the first place. Not much energy in the faces, not much curiosity. Suffering in silence, nowhere to go after thirty in this life, just hang on and humor the children.”

(3) The Art of Freight Train Painting: Canada’s railyard Rembrandts create art that moves (Utne Reader)

Weekend 296.0

NYC Cityscape“I hope you are teaching Quality to your students.”
— Sarah to Phaedrus (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

(1) Commuting: The Joys of the Brompton Bicycle

(2) Northampton’s Traditional Shoemaking Revival (WSJ Magazine)

(3) Designer Konstantin Grcic on Dream Cars, Puffed-Up Trends (WSJ)

“My greatest passion today is: bicycles, specifically small-wheeled ones. I have an old Moulton with its so-called “F” frame. The [circa 1960s] design by Alexander Moulton is one of the first modern bikes with front and rear suspension.”

(4) AOC adds wall-hung bicycles and basket-weave flooring to London townhouse (Dezeen)

*Scan is from Cut & Assemble New York Harbor, 1986

Weekend 288.0

(1) These 20 Pictures Of Expo 67 Will Leave You Speechless. There Are No Words

(1a) ‘Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future’ (WSJ)

(2) As City Cycling Grows, So Does Bike Tax Temptation

(3) Horst Brandstätter My Last Meal: The octogenarian head of Playmobil shares lunch at the staff canteen of the company he runs and loves (DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013/14 issue of Monocle)

“If I could eat with anyone it would be [Konrad] Adenauer [first post-war West German chancellor] and I would like to discuss the global economic situation. I don’t understand it because I have a company. At the end of the year I need black figures, not red. The government gets so much money from taxes; I don’t understand why they cannot make their budget work.”

(4) American Gothic (WSJ)

(4a) Iconic Architecture Card Game

(5) Dish Towels to Dry For (WSJ)

(6) Classic Ski Lifts: The best classic ski lifts, from Vermont to Colorado, let you relax, reflect and enjoy the scenery (WSJ)

“As Klaus Obermeyer, founder of ski-gear maker Sport Obermeyer, once observed, it’s much easier to score a date on a creeping double chair than on a sprinting quad. Here are five old-school transports that offer a break from the hustle.”

(7) Infographic: The Selfie Syndrome – How Social Media Is Making Us Narcissistic

(8) First ever Scalextric set from more than 50 years ago is given to inventor’s grandchildren as a Christmas present (Daily Mail)

*The scan is from Here Is New York City (1962) by Susan Elizabeth Lyman and Dorothy W. Furman. Illustrated by Mary Royt and George Buctel

Weekend 285.0

(1) ‘Non-Stop’ by Jack El-Hai: How a small local carrier grew into the most debonair of airlines before declining into “Northworst.” (WSJ)

(2) 20 Odd Questions for Designer Marcel Wanders (WSJ)

With design, the most common mistake is: to think it’s about functionality. If something is functional, you no longer think about it. I care about how meaningful things are.”

(3) ‘The Power of Glamour’ by Virginia Postrel: What is glamour? A dream of flight to a perfect world, of being transformed into who you want to be. (WSJ – Registration Required)

“In the end, when history, art and advertising have been combed for evidence, we are left with the idea of a dream of flight to a perfect world and a process of transformation that will (presumably) turn the aspirant into the person he or she wants to be—a concept necessarily rendered bittersweet by the knowledge that, save in exceptional circumstances, the dream is unlikely to get off the ground. To the fascinated observer, its allure lies in the existence of an abstraction, tantalizingly elusive to begin with, whose manifestations can end up light years away from its source.”

(4) A House Rooted in Nature (WSJ)

(5) ‘Ecstatic Nation’ by Brenda Wineapple (WSJ)

“But her descriptions of public events are beautiful. ‘On a sunny, warm Wednesday, May 23, [1865] Washington decked itself out for a two-day victory parade’ by the armies of Meade and Sherman. Abraham Lincoln, assassinated just five weeks before, ‘should have been in the reviewing stand,’ all agreed. ‘Clover Hooper said, ‘It was a strange feeling to be so intensely happy and triumphant, and yet to feel like crying.'”