Sharif Abraham

Window washing, Vanessa van Dam /

I came across this unrealized piece by Artist Vanessa van Dam’s. It's a proposal for a window washing installation at the Pharos Office Tower near Amsterdam. It offers a critique on the anonymous glass office building, exploring the relationship between architecture and maintenance. Van Dam proposed the installation of 85 industrial-sized window wipers typically found on airplanes and lighthouses. This is very intriguing as maintenance (a desire to maintain "newness") is an obsession in Australia. With a movement towards a mechanized environment, I can imagine a city where the machines, apparatuses, materials, and techniques of maintenance become part of the image of the city. 

vanessa van dam 2

Roden Crater, James Turrell /

James Turrell is interviewed on a journey through the Arizona desert to his site specific work at Roden Crater. Really extraordinary. A disused crater is turned into a massive light art project, partly funded by the Guggenheim (40 million) . What I like the most about this work is the way it mediates landscape, phenomenological and cultural experience. There's a small piece at the beginning about the Goldstein "skyscraper"- purpose built room for sky/light experience. see the video here

Roden Crater Aerial View Turrell

Minus K House, Shanghai /

It is refreshing to see work in China that does not allude to a generic western perspective and deals with Chines culture and its collective memory. This house by the Foreign firm KUU in Shanghai, is 170 m2 and is designed as a duplex composed of a normal dwelling for the family of a worker combined with a weekend house for the owner of a slipper factory. It is located in the compound of the firm's warehouse. The location seems already odd, and so does the program. The designers based their layout on 19 squares, each three by three meters, to form an irregular grid. This recalls the experience normal Chinese people had until recently with shared kitchen, bathroom or communal courtyards and semi public collective neighbourhood streets. But in contrast to the forced arrangement by shortage of housing, in this case a choice is offered which creates an opportunity for communication in a cultured way. More images

Minus K Shanghai