Category Archives: WISDOM

Journalism in the age of Data

Among all kind of designers visualizing information/data is always a vital topic of conversation.

A domain mainly evolving through trial – error but with a lot of potential to place events into context.

Enjoy bellow “journalism in the age of data”

(I know is a bit long but is a must.see for those interested in this domain)

Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?

Watch the full version with annotations and links at

Produced during a 2009-2010 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.


& a couple of links to interactive visualizations

1) Turning a Corner ? ☞ Link

2) How different groups spend their day ? ☞ Link


Rem, Strelka, One.Man.Army

Lets get straight to the point,

the following videoz already exist for a while but since we got active and non-stoopid readers we decided that if any of you has not seen them yet…guess what?…

Its about F*ckin time!!!

This October, Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design will welcome its first ever class of students for its all-expense-paid postgraduate education program. The curriculum for the 2010-2011 academic year has been developed together with AMO, the think-tank for the international architecture bureau, OMA (the Office for Metropolitan Architecture). Research projects will be led by OMA head Rem Koolhaas, AMO director Reinier de Graaf and cultural advisor Michael Schindhelm.

The curriculum for Strelka is based on five interlocking research themes, which address issues at stake internationally that hold a particular relevance for Russia – from the preservation of the urban environment and migration to the future of energy and the role of virtual space.

Each course of study consists of a two-month-long foundations course, a research trip, and six months of instruction. During the foundations course, students will become acquainted with the themes of research for the main part of the program, mastering a series of critical and practical methods of working. After this, the students will take a research trip. The main instruction follows the winter holidays, during which time students will develop research projects, supervised by the world’s leading specialists and addressing five themes: design, energy, preservation, public space and thinning. The results of work on each of these themes will be publicly broadcast.

Strelka President Ilya Oskolkov -Tsentsiper explans, «Each of the five projects will be realized in a tangible form, on which a student of ours has worked in collaboration with some of the leading international theorists and practitioners. In this way, the student becomes a co-author of this particular story»

* * *

OMA warmly thanks the Berlage Institute for sharing this film
May 30, 2011

Rem Koolhaas: Three in One.

The lecture provides an overview of OMA’s recent thinking and will cover three interrelated topics: the growth of Preservation, and its blind spots; architecture and democracy; and the ongoing development of the office itself.

* * *


How Google Search affects our Memory ?!

mooorning my minions,

New week and lets start with something stimulating for yo brains.

Im sure you are all familiar with the cyborgian agent known as GOOGLE SEARCH

(if not [omg] click ☞ here)

visualization via Crisp360 Link ☞ Here

“We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools,

growing into interconnected systems that remember less

by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.”

This sentence comes from the findings of a new study conducted by psychology professors at Columbia University, the University Of Wisconsin-Madison, and Harvard University.

Essentially, the study asserts that internet search is destroying our “internal memory.”

“When people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it.”

In other words, instead of remembering the name of every U.S. President, we now remember where we can find those names on Google (“external memory”).

“It may be no more that nostalgia at this point, however, to wish we were less dependent on our gadgets,” the study concludes. Perhaps relying on external memory isn’t such a bad thing—unless your smartphone runs out of battery, that is.

Google Effects on Memory:

Cognitive Consequences

of Having Information at Our  Fingertips

The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic
search engines, has made accessing information as easy as
lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly
efforts to find the things we want. We can “Google” the
old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor
who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four
studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions,
people are primed to think about computers and that
when people expect to have future access to information,
they have lower rates of recall of the information itself
and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The
Internet has become a primary form of external or
transactive memory, where information is stored
collectively outside ourselves.
In a development that would have seemed extraordinary just
over a decade ago, many of us have constant access to
information. If we need to find out the score of a ballgame,
learn how to perform a complicated statistical test, or simply
remember the name of the actress in the classic movie we are
viewing, we need only turn to our laptops, tablets, or
smartphones and we can find the answers immediately. It has
become so commonplace to look up the answer to any
question the moment it occurs, it can feel like going through
withdrawal when we can’t find out something immediately.
We are seldom offline unless by choice and it is hard to
remember how we found information before the Internet
became a ubiquitous presence in our lives. The Internet, with
its search engines such as Google and databases such as
IMDB and the information stored there, has become an
external memory source that we can access at any time.
Storing information externally is nothing particularly
novel, even before the advent of computers. In any long term
relationship, a team work environment, or other ongoing
group, people typically develop a group or transactive
memory (1), a combination of memory stores held directly by
individuals and the memory stores they can access because
they know someone who knows that information.

* * *

The present research explores whether having online access to
search engines, databases, and the like, has become a primary
transactive memory source in itself. We investigate whether
the Internet has become an external memory system that is
primed by the need to acquire information. If asked the
question whether there are any countries with only one color
in their flag, for example, do we think about flags—or
immediately think to go online to find out? Our research then
tested if, once information has been accessed, our internal
encoding is increased for where the information is to be found
rather than for the information itself.
In Experiment 1, participants were tested in two withinsubject conditions (4).

Participants answered either easy or
hard yes/no trivia questions, in two blocks. Each block was
followed by a modified Stroop task (a color naming task with
words presented in either blue or red) to test reaction times to
matched computer and non-computer terms (including
general and brand names for both word groups). People who
have been disposed to think about a certain topic typically
show slowed reaction times (RTs) for naming the color of the
word when the word itself is of interest and is more
accessible, because the word captures attention and interferes
with the fastest possible color naming.
Paired within-subject t-tests were conducted on colornaming reaction times to computer and general words after
the easy and difficult question blocks.

Confirming our hypothesis, computer words were more accessible

(colornaming RT M = 712 milliseconds (ms), SD = 413 ms) than
general words (M = 591 ms, SD = 204 ms) after participants
had encountered a series of questions to which they did not
know the answers, t(68) = 3.26, P < .003, two-tailed. It seems
that when we are faced with a gap in our knowledge, we are
primed to turn to the computer to rectify the situation.
Computer terms also interfered somewhat more with color
naming (M = 603 ms, SD = 193 ms) than general terms

(M =559 ms, SD = 182 ms) after easy questions,

t (68) = 2.98, P < 005,

suggesting that the computer may be primed when the concept of knowledge in general is activated.

Comparison using a repeated measures analysis of
variance (ANOVA) of specific search engines
(Google/Yahoo) and general consumer good brand names
(Target/Nike) revealed an interaction with easy vs. hard
question blocks, F(1,66) = 5.02, P < .03, such that search
engine brands after both easy (M = 638 ms, SD = 260 ms) and
hard questions (M = 818 ms, SD = 517 ms) created more
interference than general brands after easy

(M = 584 ms, SD =220 ms) and hard

(M = 614 ms, SD = 226 ms )

Simple effects tests showed the interaction was driven by a
significant increase in RT for the two search engine terms
after the hard question block, F(1,66) = 4.44, P < .04

Although the concept of knowledge in general seems to prime
thoughts of computers, even when answers are known; not
knowing the answer to general knowledge questions primes
the need to search for the answer, and subsequently computer
interference is particularly acute.
In Experiment 2, we tested whether people remembered
information they expected to have later access to—as they
might with information they could look up online (4).
Participants were tested in a 2 × 2 between-subject
experiment by reading 40 memorable trivia statements of the
type that one would look up online (both of the new
information variety e.g., “An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its
brain” and information that may be remembered generally,
but not in specific details, e.g., “The space shuttle Columbia
disintegrated during re-entry over Texas in Feb. 2003.”).
They then typed them into the computer to assure attention
(and also to provide a more generous test of memory). Half
the participants believed the computer would save what was
typed; half believed the item would be erased. In addition,
half of the participants in each of the saved and erased
conditions were asked explicitly to try to remember the
information. After the reading and typing task, participants
wrote down as many of the statements as they could remember

READ the rest of the paper


Betsy Sparrow,* Jenny Liu, Daniel M. Wegner

Department of Psychology, Columbia University, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA. 

Department of  Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1202 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA. 

Department of  Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:



Google Store View // Virtual Tour of B & H

Google Street View is now Google Store View. A recently released feature of the well-known mapping app lets you go inside participating businesses remotely and take a look around. B&H’s giant photo and video store in Manhattan, above, is one of the first to invite Google into their establishments.

When you look up B&H on Google Maps (B&H Photo Video Super Store, 9th Avenue, New York, NY), you can click through a virtual tour of the space, zooming in and shuffling around the same way you would on any street view map. While the store is mostly empty, you can still see a couple of straggling customers who wandered in as opening hours approached.

“We thought it would be cool for people who can’t come to New York to be able to take a virtual tour,” says Bryan Formhals, B&H’s social media manager. “We wanted to create a bridge between what we do online and what we do in New York.”




B&H officials had heard Google was considering the project, so B&H contacted them and offered to open their doors. The Google folks stopped by at 7 a.m. — two hours before opening — and scanned in the first floor of the superstore, using GPS devices to ensure the location services were accurate.

According to Formhals, Google told them they didn’t have the technology in place to offer street view on upper floors, but they scanned the second floor of B&H anyway. Hopefully that means the little orange man in Google Maps will soon be able to climb stairs, too.

via: wired (+)

Amazing no?

Fractal Geometry \\ Naturally Occuring Fractals

Having a discussion earlier today with Prof. Matsoukis on Coastline Fractals.. and the way there is an evolutionary pattern in almost everything ( leaves, rivers, clouds ,stocks, galaxies, population patterns), fractal behavior came really HIGH on my list.

Here are some  naturally occuring fractals that exist, existed, and will continue to exist [considering HALE scale](+)

Continuing in a friendly manner, one taste of a Digital Fractal Landscape

XP UPGRADE [to get you more into it]

Dr. Lipton’s point of view on Fractal Geometry

[+low mind streaming continuation approved+]

off in a Mandelbrot way


Adam Somlai – Fischer


If u are a FG addict you will have probably realized that the last 9-10 days we are laying low and not doing our usual stuff, a.k.a making fun of our beloved architecture world.

So lets do it right and post something worth sharing

Adam Somlai – Fischer

(link to his vimeo account)

An artistic installation built by Bengt Sjölén and Adam Somlai-Fischer and displayed at Belsay Hall, UK, 2007 summer, Aleph is an experimental public display, that is using the spaces, people and objects it faces as a palette to display messages from hidden viewpoints. When looking at a small mirror, it reflects a fraction of the space around us, when looking at a mirror façade, it reflects most things around us, containing segments that are dark or bright, red or green. But if we build a matrix of small mirrors, which can adjust their tilt according to the site they are facing, we can create a display that uses the ever changing flux of the place to show images from certain points in space.

Stop City // DOGMA

DOGMA (Pier Vittorio Aureli, Martino Tattara)

Stop City


In a provoking text written few years ago, the Italian philosopher Paolo Virno1 described contemporary fascism as the new ways in which economic power seizes and orchestrates the totality of subjectivities in order to reproduces itself – as having disregarded its prior image of “top down” power, and having instead taken the kaleidoscopic forms and sense of existential instability of metropolitan life. Virno describes contemporary fascism as the “twin brother” of the most radical instances of social newness that emerged within the crisis of modern forms of labour, namely Fordist modes of production. Fascism today takes the form of informal social behaviours that escape intelligible forms of political life. In Europe economic power extends its possibilities of management and reproduction within the most progressive forms of “bottom-up” creativity, participation and informality. It is by understanding the deeply political nature of this social context and the way that flexibility has become the most powerful way of mastering the city and its conflicts, that we may be able of explain the critical fortune of a concept such as informal urbanism. In this concept lies a mystifying rhetoric of power whose main ideological goal today is to render capitalism’s uneven geography of redistribution—its systematic de-regulation and laissez-faire policies— as the natural, “spontaneous” and thus acceptable evolution of the city.

As a critique of such rhetoric, and especially of the way it has been represented by architects and urban designers within the recent avalanche of so called “bottom-up” strategies for the “informal city”, we re-invest the architectural project with its (proper) mission: to establish a principle of order through which to frame and construct forms of inhabitation. Yet we understand the project of the city, not as the ubiquitous design and the managing of its inhabitation, but as the rethinking a controversial topic that in recent years has become a taboo: the definition of the form of the city. In the project that we present we understand the problem of city form not

Practicing the limit through the production of an architectural project acquires two levels of meaning: it first refers to the physical space of the limit, namely establishing constraints and processes of stoppage to the endless growth of the city; and, secondly, in more conceptual terms, it refers to the idea that architecture should turn its back to the drama of newness and define with conceptual clarity and formal exemplarity the prototypical forms of density: living and working spaces that would counter the life- style of individualism and laissez-fare propelled by neo-liberal urban policies.

The richness and multiplicity of meanings of the concept of limit finds its origin in the ambivalence of the simple act of marking a limit. If on the one the concept of limit represents the beginning of every human settlement, it is also – as Carl Schmitt affirmed in his seminal work on the “jus publicum Eeropaeum”, the starting point of the formation of any form of jurisdiction. Marking the land, tracing the limit are not only the primordial forms of establishing the settlement form, but their consequences reach the possibility of the coexistence of people, and power formations of every sort which are always “founded on new spatial divisions, new enclosures, and new spatial orders of the earth”.2

We have decided to address the possibility of the project of the limit of the city by means of our own tools: with drawings and with words. The proposal that we present here is an ongoing research for a city model called Stop City.


Stop City is the hypothesis for a non-figurative architectural language for the city. By assuming the form of the border that separates urbanization from empty space, Stop City is proposed as the absolute limit, and thus, as the very form of the city. Stop City develops vertically. Stop City is an archipelago of islands of high density. The growth of Stop City happens by virtue of its limit, i.e. by the punctual repetition of the basic unit, which is a city of 500.000 inhabitants made of eight slabs measuring 500 by 500

Given the extreme height of each immeuble cité and the overall density of inhabitants, mobility acquires the complexity a traditional city. Several means of vertical and horizontal transportation at different speeds are deployed to allow for convenient movements between the city parts (floors) and among the immeuble cité. Similar to the city, transportation becomes the device to establish hierarchies, rhythms and possibilities in the way inhabitants experience urban space. The immeuble cité has no elevation: its face presents the vertical array of floor slabs with the free distribution and position of rooms in each floor. The square defined by the eight slabs positioned along its perimeter is empty, a simple urban void filled by a forest. This horizontal canopy of densely planted trees represents the limit against urbanization, and thus renders the very form of Stop City.

Stop city refrain from architecture; it is a model of a city in which there is no architecture as traditionally intended, but only the attempt to architecturally frame the city. Our proposal pursues the idea of an ohne eigenschaften architecture – an architecture without attributes – in other words an architecture that is freed from image, from style, from the obligation to extravagance, from the useless invention of new forms. Stop City is architecture freed from itself; it is the form of the city.


In the 1930’s at the time of the capitalism’s restructuring after the crisis of 1929, Walter Benjamin critically assessed an early form of capitalist power – the architecture of Parisian arcades—as pre-condition for class emancipation after the crisis of capitalism3. Writing on this Arcade Project, Susan Buck-Morss has said that “The Passagen-Werk is a historical lexicon of the capitalist origins of modernity, a

No-stop City reduced the capitalist city to a continuous urban field meant to dissolve the built structure of the city into its constitutive infrastructural elements – column, elevator, wall, etc., by envisioning the city as a vast, artificially lit, air-conditioned interior5. Differences such as inside and outside, landscape and city, production and consumption, living and working, were collapsed into one equipped surface that was meant to be extendable in all directions along its underlying grid, which represented the most generic order possible. Contrary to many utopian projects of that time, No- stop City was meant to be a hyper-realistic project: The city is what it does. The city is a continuous ambiance made by repetitive conditions of light, communication, air- conditioning, mechanized transportation, and all of the social connections – material and immaterial – that were needed in order to make a city works and reproduces itself. Thus No-Stop City formalized the conditions that make the city. Neither a proposal for a new city nor a utopian transformation of the existing city, No-Stop City was meant to be a conceptual X-ray of the existing capitalist metropolis, in which the conditions for reproduction were no longer localized in specific sectors, such as the factory, housing, and recreation spaces, but proliferated everywhere. In this scenario, the iconoclastic form of No-Stop City can be understood as a merciless memento mori 

for architecture as a shape-maker and producer of difference. Within the objective conditions of the metropolis, formal complexity becomes ideological and a false consciousness that pretends to explain the functioning of the city with futile formal gestures. For this reason No-stop City was not an avant-garde project, nor it was a anti-modernist project, but a hypothesis that attempted to bring to radical terms the very premises of modernity: the project for a generic city in which living is reduce to biopolitical mechanisms of production and reproduction.

For this reason No-Stop City should be read as the continuation (and critical exaggeration) of the urban research tradition undertaken by planners such as Ildefonso Cerdà in the 19th century and Ludwig Hilberseimer in the first half of 20th century.

Instead of planning the city by means of architectural figures, Cerdà established his extension of the city of Barcelona, by focusing on the bio-political management of the city, such as demographic control, infrastructure, and zoning. This strategy resulted in a “non-figurative” design of the city6. City form was reduced into an isotropic and thus extendable grid, which articulated the equal distribution of services and roads throughout the city area. A religious center appears in every nine-block district, a marketplace every four blocks, a park every eight, a hospital every sixteen, and the formula continues. For Cerdà the city was urbanization: the potentially limitless growth of the city by means of production and reproduction7. Correspondingly the action of planning of urbanization became a reformist project in which amelioration of the workers living conditions inevitably coincided with the containment of their political subjectivity. This containment was defined as the possibility of urbanization to be a continuous process of expansion of its own logic that would progressively proliferate in any aspect of life. With his city plans and theoretical writings, Hilberseimer gave an even more radical interpretation of urbanization. He asserted that the effects of capitalism on the organization of the city were reformable only by assuming, as principle of urban design, capitalism most extreme cultural conditions: uprootedness and genericity of urban space. Hilberseimer manifested these conditions in his plans for territorial settlements – from his project for a Verical City (1927) to his proposal for the American New Regional Pattern (1949) – by advancing an architectural form on the verge of its disappearance, made of generic and repeatable elements.

Archizoom’s No-stop City was not simply a radical accommodation of this legacy but also its class-critique. Following the idea that the working class is strongest only at the level of its utmost level of alienation, Archizoom strategically adopted the radical reformism of Hilberseimer not as simply as amelioration, but as working-class appropriation of the urban condition. This “appropriation” consisted in the possibility for the inhabitants to be confronted not only with reform of the urban environment, but also with a straightforward and didactic architectural translation of such reform liberated from the rhetorical forms of humanitarian socialism and rendered in its literal terms of (political) framework for life.


Almost 40 years after No-stop City, our proposal for Stop City appropriate and continues the non-figurative language developed by Cerdà, Hilberseimer and Archizoom, completely reversing their urban thesis. If Cerdà, Hilberseimer and Archizoom conceived the city as formless and limitless – as urbanization – our project, by assuming the form of a border that separates urbanization from void space proposes itself as an absolute limit, and therefore as the form itself of the city.

The main thesis of Stop City stems from the observation that today the relationship between those who live and work in the city and the city itself recalls the relationship that workers use to have with the factory during the era of industrial expansion8. If the factory was dominated by the spatially and temporally choreographed rhythm of the assembly line, today’s cities are dominated by the pervasive informality of social relationships in which any aspect of human communication and cognition is expected to become a factor of production. In other words, the contemporary city in spite of its increasing complexities, contradictions, and informalities has become reduced to simply being the contemporary factory, and its inhabitants are (potentially) the new working class. This is evident if we consider the fact that capitalistic production has historically and radically evolved by expanding its domain from the manufacture of goods to production of services such as communication, education and cultural exchange. Production occurs not only in terms of what we traditionally understood as working activities, but tends to coincide with the whole spectrum of social activities as the ones related to culture, media, and education, and all the bio-political means of life (re)production. In this context the optimistic and harmonious representation of multiplication of identities and subjectivities that characterize the social and political landscape of post-Fordism and that sociologist, artists, and architects effortlessly map, analyze and celebrate as the triumph of diversity and of difference, represent a great mystification. Behind the superficial praise [and facile image of] for multiplicity, the mystification concerns the fact that the pervasiveness of work within the entire spectrum of social relationships implies an ethos made of increasing generic, uprootedness and abstraction with which contemporary forms of production actualize their processes within society. Urban theories and social analysis that overlook this reality produce the same kind of rhetoric rehearsed by images of the city as a site of value-free congestion, leisure, spectacle, and consumption.

Stop City is a model of the city where the ubiquitous attributes of contemporary production such as generic, uprootedness, and abstraction are not rejected in the name of some humanistic good intention, but are radicalized to the extreme: they become the “political, and aesthetic surplus” of the same attributes: their legibility aims at stimulating a new class consciousness that may introduces stoppages – i.e. a limit – within the continuous space of urbanization.

Our project for Stop-City maintains that to propose projects at the scale of the entire city is to address the possibility of a political subject. We maintain that political subjects are not the by-product of sociological identity: lifestyles, groups, communities, social targets, etc., but that political subjects are made of the balance of powers at stake. “Labor power” refers to the fact that anything that exists in society has to be productive and thus must be put at work, and the workers, those who find themselves shaped by this condition of work, can potentially express a subjectivity that exceeds such social, cultural, and political boundaries. This excessive subjectivity cannot be proposed through architecture, but architecture can provoke this

subjectivity to emerge and take a position. It is precisely in this framework that Stop city introduces the issue of limit as its main theme. Architecture no longer as what implies growth, extension, multiplication, flexibility, but as the practice that limits such possibility. According to this logic, architecture does not become the design of everything, but becomes what releases everything from being designed.

In 1970, No-Stop City prophesized total urbanisation of the city. Today, Stop City suggests the beginning of a slow but inexorable comeback of the city against urbanisation. If the urban perception of liberal democracy coincides with the theoretic premises of the No-Stop City, namely diffusion, ubiquity and individualisation, the form of Stop City suggests the possibility of a new communitarian life that introduces a renewed spirit of secessionism within the smooth and totalizing spaces of urbanization. To imagine a form of communitarian life as phenomenon of separation rather than one based on universality means to imagine the limit within which each of city life is constituted.

Against the taboo that form means to abdicate from a political vision of the city, Stop City intends to provide a theory (in the original, non-intellectual, sense of the word vision) of political organisation and of the city through the absolute form of an architectural project.