Alex Dent is an avid crafter with an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati. Although he has worked in New York, Copenhagen and Los Angeles, he now spends his days in Guntown, Mississippi working, taking classes, and plotting revenge. He is excited about the future.
Earlier this week, Bobby mentioned that he’s been on a recent “neon and lasers kick.” I thought “Oh yeah, lasers are awesome!” and then I came across this video of a recent installation by a group calling themselves Marshmallow Laser Feast that makes extensive use of… what else… lasers.
This past weekend I helped put together a trampoline for my nephews. Well technically, I watched my brothers-in-law put together a trampoline for my nephews, but I wasn’t entirely useless: my sisters and I spent the time trying to figure out what to get our mom for Mother’s Day. I also helped by doing a sweet flip once the trampoline was all together, just to test it out. My nephews were astonished, and one remarked “I didn’t know old people could do a flip.”
Children really are precious gems, aren’t they? I’m certain I had worse remarks for my mom growing up, which is part of the reason why my mom will receive a Mother’s Day present from me each year without any bickering. But it wasn’t just my mouth that got me in trouble or caused my mom emotional anguish when I was a kid. One summer, such anguish started on the edge of a trampoline. It was a trampoline down the street, in a backyard overgrown with tall grasses and weeds. My twin sister and I jumped on the trampoline with the kids from next door, a brother and sister about our age. Between games of crack the egg, I decided I would quickly pee off the edge of the trampoline, a task made difficult by my neighbor’s refusal to stop jumping. What made the task even more difficult was his sister’s curiosity about what makes boys, boys. I turned to the side and tried to walk around the circumference of the trampoline away from her, and as a result, a wobbly and wide arc of pee circumscribed the trampoline. As soon as I was finished, the game of crack the egg resumed as if nothing had happened.
The whole area surrounding the new, a-lab designed Statoil Regional and International Offices used to be Oslo’s central airport. In fact, many of the airport’s building still stand, even if they’ve been repurposed. But this is a new construction, a shining stack of office spaces on the site of what used to be a parking lot. So when the architects describe their conundrum of designing a large office building and ”making it blend with Fornebu’s idyllic shoreline” I sort of wonder how idyllic the parking lot really was compared to the outstanding new spaces the architects have created.
A long way from their offices in Oslo and New York, the Architects from Snohetta have put the finishing touches on the Hunt Library in Raleigh, North Carolina. The library is a sweeping and modern addition to North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, where the project’s aluminum skin and contemporary presence contrast the more staunchly traditional brick buildings that flank the silvery structure. Aside from standing out among the buildings on campus, the project stands out among libraries because it pushes the typology toward something more contemporary. Instead of a staunchly academic space, the project is relaxed and collaborative; it just seems like the future.
Growing up in a rural area, I probably passed by dozens and dozens of useless, sinking grain silos without ever stopping to think about them. But I’m not photographer Timothy Hursley, who has spent the last six years documenting a ruined grain silo which is slowly slouching toward the ground in Hale County, Alabama. One day he happened to drive by a tornado-damaged grain silo, and became enamored. You may be asking what an architectural photographer would be doing in Hale County in the first place. I’m guessing he was photographing work from the Rural Studio, a division of the Auburn School of Architecture that has been transforming public space in Hale County for years. We actually talked about the concession stands the studio created a couple of years ago, and I’m happy to see the innovative play structure that has been completed since.
In a video from the Oxford American, Timothy describes how his fascination with the silo began. He compares the form of he silo to the work of Frank Gehry, and even explains how he eventually purchased the silo for himself. If you live in a rural area, it may change the way you look at your surroundings, or it may make you wonder how many other silos are on the brink of collapse and will spend the rest of their days rusting in a scrap yard.