Block by Block. Brooklyn-based illustrator James Gulliver Hancock is attempting to draw All the Buildings in New York in quite beautiful pen and ink sketches like the one above. Watch a video of the artist explaining his inspirations, style, and how a chained up wheelchair is architecture after the jump. (via Gothamist.)
Last Friday, our friends at Curbed spotted this amazing Rubik’s Cube by and puzzle connoisseur Kenneth Brandon and artist Heather Kent. The custom-made creation actually works, as demonstrated in a video after the jump (we imagine things can get pretty surreal inside the house when the twisting gets going). Named House Cube, the puzzle was made with painted stickers, complete with a basement plumbing system.
Mississippi Metro. Strange Maps pointed out a clever reinterpretation of the Mississippi River basin as a subway system. Check out a bigger version at Something About Maps. (You may also be interested in the Sustainable City Collective’s list of top five urban infographics.)
Byrne-ing Down the House. David Byrne waxes poetic on the arts-and-crafts bungalows of Berkeley after taking a recent bike ride through the city’s early 20th century neighborhoods.
Janie’s got a Walk. With warm weather closer on the horizon (despite a fresh blanket of snow across parts of the country), Shareable recommends planning a Jane’s Walk in your city, after the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs, to explore the history, ecology, and social issues in your neighborhood.
Design, desert-style. Palm Springs Modernism Week kicks off today, running through February 27, a sunny celebration of mid-century architecture and design. Find a map of all the sites included in the event at MyDesert.com.
Just press print. The Cooper Hewitt acquires a MakerBot, the open source 3D printer for crafty prototyping, reports the museum’s blog.
Consuming matters. This week Rob Walker signed off from his “Consumed” column in The New York Times Magazine–and just as he was turning his gimlet eye to architectural matters! In case you missed it, here’s his recent article about the mysterious populations of architectural renderings.
Drafted. Mattel‘s new “Architect Barbie” comes complete with black-framed glasses, a model townhouse, and a (pink) blueprint holder, reports Arch Record. Part of the “Barbie I Can Be” line, one hopes Ms. Architect is smart enough to avoid the new “Sweet Talkin’ Ken.”
Green Boom. Blair Kamin takes a look at the sustainability of two billowing icons in Chicago and New York. Studio Gang’s Aqua Tower is going for LEED certification while Frank Gehry’s New York tower will not seek the USGBC’s approval but claims to be green nonetheless. Kamin notes the importance of such moves, saying of Gehry: “What he, in particular, does–or doesn’t do–can have enormous influence, not simply on architects but on developers.”
Trolley Boom. NPR has a piece on the explosion of streetcars across the country with planned or completed systems in over a dozen cities.
Bike Boom. Cycling advocate Elly Blue discusses a new study on Grist stating that bikes deserve their own infrastructure independent from autos. And not just a striped bike lane, Blue notes, but separated lanes called “cycle tracks” like one installed along Brooklyn’s Prospect Park West.
Soane Boom. The Independent reports on a planned renovation to the Sir John Soane Museum in London, that architect’s treasure trove of antiquities and architectural memorabilia from across the world. Plans include opening up a new floor that hasn’t been open to the public since Soane died in 1837.
Mega Watts. The Los Angeles Times reports that the James Irvine Foundation has granted $500,000 toward the preservation of LA’s Watt’s Towers, declaring the folk-art stalagmites “an important cultural icon.” (Photo courtesy Robert Garcia/Flickr)
Luck in School. The NY Times relays the story of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck who has chosen to pursue a degree in architectural design at Stanford’s School of Engineering rather than head off to the NFL draft. We wish Mr. Luck, well, all the best in his endeavors, but life as an architect can make the NFL seem like a walk in the park.
Al Matisse? Variety brings us news that Al Pacino has been selected to play Henri Matisse in an upcoming film called Masterpiece detailing the French painter’s relationship with his nurse, model, and muse Monique Bourgeois. Producers will soon be looking for female leads.
Like Jane. The Rockefeller Foundation is accepting nominations for this year’s Jane Jacobs Medal honoring two living individuals who have improved the vitality of NYC and, among other things, “open our eyes to new ways of seeing and understanding our city.”
Double Dutch. First Manhattan, now Governor’s Island–the Dutch just can’t get enough of New York Harbor. Adriaan Geuze of West 8 talks with author Brian Davis about West 8’s proposal for a new public park on “the island next to the island at the center of the world,” via Design Observer.
No more Jersey Shore? Speaking of the Dutch, oceanography professor Malcolm Brown told WYNC that residents of the New York-New Jersey area should brush up on their dyke-building skills, warning that higher sea levels may come sooner than we think, via Transportation Nation
City Center. Planetizen pointed us to a fascinating post on Per Square Mile about Cahokia, a pre-Columbian settlement on the Mississippi, which, until Philadelphia surpassed it ca. 1800, was the largest city in North America.
Start Spreading the News. New York: If you can make there…well, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll make it in Moscow. For whatever it’s worth, New York now ranks as the most affordable of the four cities that the world’s wealthiest citizens are likely to call home. New York beats out Moscow–yes, Moscow–as well as Hong Kong and London. The Real Deal quotes a study conducted by Savills PLC, an affiliate of Stribling.