Tuesday, August 23, 2011


As you may have noticed, i've been having trouble keeping a regular Tuesday schedule.  It's more important to me to deliver high-quality posts than to post regularly, so i've changed the sidebar to reflect the "most Tuesdays" attitude.  Facebook followers will still receive updates each time there's a new post, so hitting that "like" button is a good way to stay informed.

Today's post about Toronto will go live later tonight.
(More about movies next week)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Architecture in the Movies (LotR)

   As part of a larger theme of exploring imaginary architecture, i'd like to spend some time examining movies in which architecture plays an important role.  I'll avoid the obvious and rather boring choices of The Fountainhead or Towering Inferno, which really don't have nearly as much to do with the setting as one might be lead to believe by the premises.
   Instead, i'd like to link to a production video for the Lord of the Rings.  More about this below the video.

   It goes without saying that a good flick on the silver screen needs to have a good script and quality actors, but the extra details that go into set design and sound are the difference between "good" and "important".  It's not just that elves are slender, graceful and sing haunting melodies whereas dwarves are stocky, tough and drink heavily.  Consider the difference between Rivendell, Moria and Minas Tirith (no links, i don't have rights to film stills -- you could spend 11 hours in a lot worse ways than rewatching the trilogy).  There's an implied difference in the way each race LIVES, not just their aesthetic style.
  The real trick though, is in creating a used universe.  These sets don't define the aesthetic of the movie -- the backstory of the setting defines how the aesthetic must be.  This is the difference between Star Wars IV, V and VI and the more recent I, II, and III.  The juxtaposition of the sleek and the grungy is part of the appeal of The Matrix.  To make my point with another behind the scenes video: Joss Whedon.

  Watching these making-of films are making me nostalgic for worlds that never existed.  The sideways point i'm trying to make is that these worlds are lush with details that aren't thrown in haphazardly but are intentional and part of the larger story arc.  This is how all design should be.
   More on this during the week (or next Tuesday, as time permits).  Also, Facebook fans should stay tuned for some design work i've been tooling around with for the past few weeks!  I'm pretty excited about it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Abandonment Week (Tuesday)

Due to unforeseeable circumstances, the culmination of Abandonment Week is ironically postponed.  I hope to have it up sometime, but i can't make any promises at the present.  Hope you enjoyed the rest of the updates -- if you missed them you can see the whole set here: http://fstoparch.blogspot.com/2011_07_27_archive.html

Monday, August 1, 2011

Abandonment Week (Monday)

   It's almost the end of Abandonment Week, so stay tuned for tomorrow's conclusion to the series.  Today's abandoned sites of note are now-defunct United States missile bases, many of which have been sold to the public (ICBMs not included).  Some of the best pictures of these silos are located here, while there are some great conceptual renderings located at this site.  It's a bit confusing to navigate, but be sure to check out the Properties for Sale and Atlas F (remodeled) sections.