May 2004 Archives

'white mughals'


love and betrayal in eighteenth century india

william dalrymple writes beautifully and i intend to catch up with his back catalogue, including his 'from the holy mountain', a study of the demise of christianity in its middle eastern homeland

white mughals tells the story of james achilles kirkpatrick the british resident at hyderabad and his relationship with a mughal princess, khair un-nissa

i finished this at mum's and tried to tell her the story and showed her the copy of 'cities of mughal india' i'd found that had once been sold as a secondhand book for 60 rupees

long thin unit 2 cultural context

are there any good reasons for contemporary designers to employ geometrical systems of proportion to order the design of built environments?

or, to put it another way

the reasons why the architecture of our age is almost invariably crap

computers have revolutionised the ability of individuals to concieve and model the geometry of structures in the built evironment but our knowledge of the intrinsic order of the universe is in its infancy ... to be continued after a tutorial perhaps

in the middle of all this

the children's first visit to copinger after the stand up fight. watching princess mononoke as i watch them. they're all having beauty attacks but how would i know. in the middle of all this process crap with kiad and i was hoping to win it this time

'developments in structural form'


i have a memory of alan latham mentioning this book at one of our first lectures but he should have been more enthusiastic about it

rowland j mainstone's book was commissioned by riba to fill a major gap in the literature and it is full of original research, photographs and drawings. i picked it up as a reference in 'brick: a world history'

i started reading it after i was excluded from kiad and realised that i was learning architecture faster outside the shit heap than when i actually have to attend the piss poor lectures there

the shaker chair


there is a fantastic poster included at the back of this book which charts the various differences in design that can be attributed to the separate communities

bill eastwood having made shaker chairs in which he strenthened the joints between the back legs and the side rails with iron rods was amused to find the x-ray of a pommel that had been reinforced in that way


i now agree with his reasoning after learning that the shakers had rules that emphasised the care that members should take with all the communities possessions. hence there were rules for how to move your feet when turning at the top of the stairs in order to avoid wearing out the carpet at that point

shaker commode.jpg

having made a commode i appreciated this shaker example

'hegemony or survival'


�What has been reviewed here is the barest sample of what we readily discover if we pay some attention to elementary fact and agree to apply to ourselves the standards we impose on others. More follows if we are willing to enter the moral arena in a serious way, going beyond the merest truisms and recognizing the obligation to help suffering people as best we can, a responsibility that naturally accrues to privilege. It is not pleasant to speculate about the likely consequences if concentrated power continues on its present course, protected from the scrutiny that would be second nature if we were to take seriously the legacy of freedom we enjoy.�

�We are entering a period of human history that may provide an answer to the question of whether it is better to be smart than stupid.�

�What matters is whether we can awaken ourselves from the nightmare before it becomes all-consuming, and bring a measure of peace and justice and hope to the world that is, right now, within the reach of our opportunity and our will.�

many others before me have declared noam chomsky a prophet and he is certainly one of the most important thinkers alive today. inshallah i will live long enough to meet him

(for the very young amongst us that's an old bbc joke written for/by kenneth williams)

(to be imagined by the viewer) - the 140 wordpuzzles on the lower shelf are in a small clear plastic bag and can easily be thrown into the recycling bins at the nearest supermarket

i will find a use for the 25 postcards at some point and will report it here - (for to do lists and for designing my tatoo)

the remainder of julian or sandy is displayed on the copinger coffee table and consists of pieces of wood that seem to pass through my hands quite often

(25 images that were wasting bandwidth)

and after all this i fail to understand wtf this has to do with learning architecture and i do not believe any of the staff would actually be able to defend this crap for more than five seconds in a serious academic debate

edward r. tufte rules

i am writing a post for multi-story about tufte's essay "the cognitive style of powerpoint"


this graphic of 66 named elements of letter forms is derived from nine major sources

meanwhile, this is to show that i have considered the coherent graphic identity of my catalogue and decided to stick with the default template of movable type for the moment

not the catchiest title but the book is part of my fivebooksblog entry for good reason

edward r tufte is the god of information graphics

the recent essay on the cognitive style of powerpoint is witty, incisive and enlightening

"comrade, why are we having this meeting? the rate of information transfer is asymptomatically approaching zero!"

my first eps file

Download file

with a tip of the hat to joe mulcahy for gimp work and to seamus mcmoriss for teaching me how to port eps files from autocad. that was how to teach and learn but all done in far too much of a hurry. i saved the file in photoshop and made the following image and resisted the temptation to render it. i like it without a border


the creation of this technical drawing during the design and making of the coffee table has reinforced my belief that it is simply not possible to make a living thing using autocad. the proportions of the table can only really be judged when i am holding the wood in my hands and in fact the design arises as a direct response to the nature of the specific pieces of material

reproducing this drawing at a scale of 1:1 would be inappropriate

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