History

Some More Thoughts On Ruins

I’ve talked before about “ruin porn” and my discomfort with the topic. I recently came across this seven-year-old essay on the topic: “The Unspeakable Pleasure of Ruins” by Rick Poynor. His thesis is that my misgivings are wrong, that there’s nothing wrong photos or other representations of ruins, regardless of the aesthetic intentions of the …

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Elmina Wilson

I happened across a link that led me to an article about Elmina Wilson at the website for the Iowa State University College of Engineering. I had never heard of her, but her bio is impressive. After getting her BS and MS in Civil Engineering (1892, 1894) at Iowa State, she then taught there for seven …

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Concrete, Part 1

I mentioned once that engineers tend to develop personal styles in their designs, which is something obvious to engineers but occasionally surprising to other people. Part of those styles is preference for some materials. For example, I prefer steel for building frames, although I’ve also worked with concrete. In any case, the Guardian’s “concrete week” …

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The Discussion Will Be Fascinating

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – a group that treats skyscrapers as an integral part of architecture, engineering, and urban planning – is planning on having a discussion of the origins of skyscrapers at their upcoming 10th World Congress this fall. The discussion – officially, the First Skyscraper/Skyscraper Firsts Symposium – is …

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