July 11th, 2004 - Open Knowledge
Jul. 11th, 2004
06:02 pm - The Floating Neutrinos
It may look like a
garden shed garbage barge on water, but the "Son of Town Hall" is the first scrap raft to sail across the North Atlantic. By design, it's not watertight. Instead, it's built instead with recycled polyurethane foam and large wooden logs which are inherently bouyant. It's also self-righting (most of the mass is in the logs at the bottom of the boat.
06:15 pm - Samuel Mockbee
Architect Samuel Mockbee was convinced that "everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul" and that architects should lead in procuring social and environmental change. But he believed they had lost their moral compass. The profession needed reform, he believed, and education was the place to start. "If architecture is going to nudge, cajole, and inspire a community to challenge the status quo into making responsible changes, it will take the subversive leadership of academics and practitioners who keep reminding students of the profession’s responsibilities," he said. He wanted to get students away from the academic classroom into what he called the classroom of the community.
Mockbee’s ideas and his aesthetic evolved while he was in private practice, first in a partnership he formed with Thomas Goodman in 1977, then with Coleman Coker in 1983. He described his architecture as contemporary Modernism grounded in Southern culture and drew inspiration from such vernacular sources as overhanging galvanized roofs, rusting metal trailers, dogtrot forms, and porches. "I’m drawn to anything that has a quirkiness to it, a mystery to it," Mockbee said. His designs tended toward asymmetry and idiosyncrasy, as seen, for example, in his Madison County, Mississippi, Barton House (a 1992 Record Houses Award winner) and his Oxford, Mississippi, Cook House (a 1995 AIA National Honor Award winner).
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06:32 pm - Whale Rider
Jon Mackay’s at home sweet home, Allison Lawlor reports.
If you can still picture those simple, blue whales you used to draw as a kid you can imagine Jon Mackay’s new home.
Earlier this month, Mackay, a carpenter, and sculptor and deep believer in living in harmony with our environment, moved into his mobile, baby-blue whale.
After months of planning and building, Mackay completed the exterior of his shelter made to suit his modest needs. It’s a plywood, four by four by seven and a half feet structure, designed in the shape of a whale, complete with tail and fins. It has wheels and can be pulled behind his bicycle so he can set up in “friendly backyards.” That’s where he has it parked right now—in a backyard on Russell Street in the city’s north end.
“It is complete and I am doing finishing touches,” he says.
Mackay’s whale, built for just under $3,000, has sleeping and eating space. Eventually it will also have a propane stove and fridge, and the walls will be lined with quilts, with pockets sewn in for storage. A sewing bee organized by a few friends has already been held. For a shower, he has plans to set an area where he could have an old-fashioned bucket system. But he might still have to rely on a few friendly neighbourhood bathrooms.
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10:16 pm - Bikes at Work
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