Posts tagged with "Geoff Manaugh":

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Geoff Manaugh’s “A Burglar’s Guide to the City” to become TV crime drama

CBS has pledged to do a TV pilot show based on Geoff Manaugh's A Burglar's Guide to the City, which came out in April this year to rave reviews. Manaugh is also the author behind the architecture blog BLDGBLOG. CBS's TV show (by the same name) will be produced by Alex Kurtzman, Justin Lin, Heather Kadin and co-executive producer Paul Grellong. Grellong has written the show, which will feature a gang of contemporary Robin Hoods, orchestrated by an architect with a dark history, who steal from wealthy crooks and give to those in need. Manaugh tweeted yesterday that he was "over the moon" that his book was being adapted to screen format. "Really looking forward to this," he also tweeted, "such a great team is behind the adaptation, as well." Kurtzman and Lin were both executive producers on the CBS drama, Scorpion, now in its third season. Lin directed Scorpion's pilot and, according to Deadline, may do so for A Burglar’s Guide to the City. Manaugh's book looks at architecture through a burglar's eyes and includes real-life accounts of criminal break-ins and escapology. A Burglar’s Guide to the City draws from interviews with F.B.I. Special Agents, reformed bank robbers, private security consultants, the L.A.P.D. Air Support Division, and architects to take readers through walls, across rooftops, into bank vaults and panic rooms, and down elevator shafts.
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Here’s how a phone booth on the side of a highway in Arkansas landed on the National Register of Historic Places

It's no TARDIS, but the Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Airlight telephone booth, on U.S. 62 in front of the Colonial Motel, has defied cell phones and a near fatal encounter with a runaway SUV to become the first phone booth listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1959, this metal-and-glass Airlight booth was nominated in April by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. On November 9th, the National Park Service (NPS) accepted the Airlight into its pantheon of historic structures. Initially, the NPS had hesitations about the nomination. Arkansas Online reports that the National Register/survey coordinator for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Ralph Wilcox, received a letter from the National Register stating that the "'listing blurs the line between a 'place' and an artifact, and it begs the questions about where the line between significance and nostalgia is drawn.'" Wilcox emphatically disagreed, and re-submitted a nomination that emphasized the Airlight's distinctive historical characteristics. Prior to the development of the Airlight in 1954, Wilcox explained, phone booths were mostly made of wood and installed indoors. Developed for Bell Telephone System, the Airlight is the first telephone booth in the United States designed especially for the outdoors. The phone booth was intended to serve motorists traveling on the adjacent highway. Wilcox's response has precedent among progressive voices in the critical establishment. Almost a decade ago, BLDGBLOG founder Geoff Manaugh called for a democratization of the definition of architecture in a jeremiad on old school, Adorno-laden architectural criticism. To Manaugh, (some) architecture criticism repels potential readers because critics disdain the vernacular, the architecture of everyday space that most people experience:
Temporary Air Force bases, oil derricks, secret prisons, multi-story car parks, J.G. Ballard novels, Robocop, installation art, China Miéville, Department of Energy waste entombment sites in the mountains of southwest Nevada, Roden Crater, abandoned subway stations, Manhattan valve chambers, helicopter refueling platforms on artificial islands in the South China Sea, emergency space shuttle landing strips, particle accelerators, lunar bases, Antarctic research stations, Cape Canaveral, day-care centers on the fringes of Poughkeepsie, King of Prussia shopping malls, chippies, Fat Burger stands, Ghostbusters, mega-slums, Taco Bell, Salt Lake City multiplexes, Osakan monorail hubs, weather-research masts on the banks of the Yukon, Hadrian's Wall, Die Hard, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, Akira, Franz Kafka, Gormenghast, San Diego's exurban archipelago of bad rancho housing, Denver sprawl, James Bond films, even, yes, Home Depot – not every one of those is a building, but they are all related to architecture.
The register divides important sites into five typologies: buildings, districts, sites, structures, and "large objects." The National Register has not shied away from kitschy or unusual listings in the latter category. In August 2002, the NPS granted a register spot to the World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville, Illinois. The 70-foot-tall condiment container has a capacity of 100,000 gallons and was built in 1949 for the Brooks (rich and tangy!) catsup company. Generally, properties have to be at least 50 years old to be listed on the National Register. According to David Parks, president of Prairie Grove Telephone Company, there are no plans to add an official marker to the site. The telephone company has thought about removing the phone booth, but keeps it standing for nostalgic purposes. It's a revenue generator, besides: the coin box yields three to four dollars in change per year.
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On View> SPUR Urban Center Gallery presents VENUE

VENUE SPUR Urban Center Gallery 654 Mission Street San Francisco Through October 21 The product of an enviable 16-month-long road trip across the United States, VENUE is the documentation of a series of sites from around the country that are not always considered when surveying architecture and design. The successful bloggers Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG) and Nicola Twilley (Edible Geography) tackle “often overlooked yet fascinating sites through the eyes of the innovators, trendsetters, entrepreneurs, and designers at the forefront of ideas today,” giving a more honest assessment of the American landscape then is represented in traditional urban-centric design media. The exhibition and installation includes books, photographs, maps, ephemera, and more. The tour was thoroughly 21st-century, however it was inspired by the great expeditions of the 19th century.
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Breaking Out & Breaking In: Designers, Critics, and FBI Agents

Bringin' it back to the old school, to the days of 3D online meet-up spots and avatars, when chat rooms were actual digitally-modelled rooms, "Breaking Out and Breaking In" was a "distributed film fest," where users watched movies at home and came together in the comments section of BLDGBLOG to discuss the films. It was a blurring of the real and the digital. In partnership with Filmmaker magazine, the series focused on films which were either about bank heists (breaking in) or prison escapes (breaking out), positing them as "the use and misuse of space." Films were watched during a period of four months, and the festival culminated with a panel discussion at Columbia's GSAPP featuring two FBI agents alongside designers and critics. The panel was moderated by Studio-X director Geoff Manaugh, and consisted of Jimmy Stamp, writer and editor from Yale University, Matt Jones, designer and principal of Berg, Special Agent Brenda Cotton, bank robbery coordinator with the FBI, and Thomas McShane, a retired special agent from the FBI Art Crime Team. The discussion explored a variety of questions, including how criminals need to understand buildings differently from architects as they attempt to subvert them and what the alternate routes and spatial scenarios of crimes reveal about hidden architectures within buildings. Through a close analysis of classic heist movies and escape films, and with the help of the virtual pop-up space of the online comments, the film fest attempted to answer these questions. The panel zoomed out, looking at the practice of breaking in/out in general. Jimmy Stamp explained how in academia they took a very rational approach to analysis of crimino-spatial activity, but after a writer from Law and Order visited the school, they were taken aback at how emotional and real these stories were. "These were actual people being murdered," he said. While a student at Yale, Stamp co-organized a crime and architecture symposium called "Fugitive Geographies," but also worked as a bank designer in San Francisco, designing odd, maze-like structures, which to his surprise, clients often loved. Using check counters as barriers against robbery, sometimes counter-intuitive plans were favored. Stamp quipped, "As long as your bank is harder to rob than the one next door." Brenda Cotton, who had the most practical experience with bank heists made some interesting comparisons of Los Angeles to New York, having worked in both cities. Los Angeles has freeways and parking, which make it much easier to rob a bank there. In New York, there is less parking and more congestion with less access to freeways.  Also, surveillance in New York is much better. When a bank is robbed, the first thing the FBI does is canvass for security footage. It can come from banks, nearby businesses, the subways, and the NYPD. McShane recounted stories of various NYC criminals who used nefarious architectural experiences to rob people.  The Fly was especially athletic and would climb buildings, sneaking into windows and handing valuables down to friends waiting below. He also noted that museums are guarded by people making very little money, and are thus vulnerable to heists. Designer Matt Jones explained that crime is a series of designs and counter designs. Cameras were designed, then facepaint to obscure the camera's watching eye would be invented, so cameras that were immune to the facepaint would crop up. Scott MacCauley, editor-in-chief at Filmmaker, spoke of his time making films, where consideration must be made for realistic movies. For instance, you can't bounce around from neighborhood to neighborhood and maintain the spatial drama that is required for a heist movie. Overall, an entertaining night, which ventured outside the box (and into the tunnel) for architectural insight from a well-rounded panel.
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SHFT+ALT+DEL> Architects & Designers on the Move

Studio X, the downtown outpost of Columbia's GSAAP program, named Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG) and Nicola Twilley (GOOD/Edible Geography) as co-directors. The fall season of programming under Manaugh and Twilley kicked off September 1. Deborah Marton, who announced her resignation as Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space in March, assumed her new role as Senior Vice President of Programs at the New York Restoration Project. David Glover of Arup Associates has left the firm to become deputy chief executive of AECOM’s building engineering business. Dagmar Richter, former teaching professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, has been named chair of Pratt Institute's Undergraduate Architecture Department. Perkins+Will Seattle acquired Hinthorne Mott Architects to boost their Pacific Northwest presence. Will Alsop left RMJM to start a new practice with fellow RMJM principal Scott Lawrie in London. The new firm is called  ALL Design. Have news on career moves in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to people@archpaper.com
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Postopolis! Comes to LA

You remember Postopolis! don't you? The reality show-worthy architecture blog-a-thon that sequestered five bloggers for five days at the Storefront for Art and Architecture two years ago? Well, hold onto your laptops, kids, because Postopolis! is back and promises to be bigger, better, bloggier and more exclamation-pointy than ever before...because it's coming to LA, baby! Geoff Manaugh announced the lineup today and it's a doozy; six bloggers hailing from Sydney to San Fran (and including Manaugh himself, who we know is still an Angeleno at heart): —David Basulto from Plataforma Arquitectura and ArchDaily (Santiago, Chile) —Jace Clayton from Mudd Up! (New York City, USA) —Régine Debatty from we make money not art (Paris, France) —Bryan Finoki from Subtopia (San Francisco, USA) —Dan Hill from City of Sound (Sydney, Australia) —Geoff Manaugh from BLDGBLOG (San Francisco, USA) Postopolis! will still be sponsored by the Storefront (who had temporary digs here last year) and the lovely folks at ForYourArt as part of the LA Art Weekend. From March 31 to April 4 at a TBD location, the bloggers will post at a feverish, around-the-clock pace. Students from local architecture schools will be hired to monitor feeding tubes, administer 20 oz. Monster energy drinks on the hour and empty their bedpans as needed. In addition to the ancillary interviews, presentations, lectures, panel discussions, and slideshows that we saw last Postopolis!, Manaugh promises: "This time it will be all that plus more art, film, and music, a larger international scope, hopefully several Spanish-language events and lectures, hopefully at least one minor earthquake." We'll try our best to deliver on that last one.