Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City

[note: if this video won’t play, visit the original here at PBS]

Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City examines how Detroit, a symbol of America’s diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and progress in America. The film debuts nationally on PBS on February 8 at 10 pm (check local listings).Detroit is the crucible in which the nation’s ability to move toward a modern 21st century transportation infrastructure is put to the test. The documentary shows how investments in the past — beginning with the construction of canals in the 18th century — profoundly shaped Detroit’s physical layout, population growth and economic development. Before being dubbed the Motor City, Detroit was once home to the nation’s most extensive streetcar system. In fact, it was that vast network of streetcars that carried workers to the area’s many car factories. And it was the cars made in those factories that would soon displace the streetcars in Detroit — and in every major American city.

Detroit’s engineers went on to design the nation’s first urban freeways and inspired much of America’s 20th century transportation infrastructure system — from traffic signals to gas stations — that became the envy of the word.

But over the last 30 years, much of the world has moved on, choosing faster, cleaner, more modern transportation and leaving America — and Detroit — behind. Viewers are taken on a journey beyond Detroit’s blighted urban landscape to Spain, home to one of the world’s most modern and extensive transit systems; to California, where voters recently said yes to America’s first high speed rail system; and to Washington, where Congress will soon decide whether to finally push America’s transportation into the 21st century.

.:more info + the original video->via PBS

Reluctant Start-Ups

More and more designers are starting their own practices after losing jobs during the recession – but oftentimes out of reluctant necessity, not inspired independence.

.:full article->

Posted: February 19th, 2010
at 3:25pm

Categories: sidenote

Comments: No comments

Ninjas on the ‘Net

[AMNP's mouse path, Feb. 16th 2010]

I had seen images generated by these ‘mouse path’ programs, but had never actually used one – it’s pretty cool. I’m not sure what it is you can use them for, but it’s fascinating to see a visual representation of your movements on-screen.

With that in mind [what?] – here’s this week’s link roundup.

- Vancouver tops list of livable cities [Planetizen]

- why are you in architecture? [gray matter(s)]

- Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City (video) [PBS]

- a sit down with Shigeru Ban [Wall Street Journal]

- an aquarium in Times Square? [WSJ]

- Mass Pike Air Rights project struggles []

- Haiti + disaster zone architecture [the Guardian]

- Architecture, Violence, Renewal [Design Observer]

- SOM reaches for the sky [Independent]

- Burj Khalifa closes doors to public? [unbeige]

- Saarinen on display at Yale [Yale Daily News]

- Shepard Fairey + architecture, in particular the CAC []

- 57th annual P/A Awards [Architect]

- exploded city [Archinect]

- China as a ‘green‘ example to US? [Next American City]

- Palestinians petition U.N. to stop ‘Tolerance Museum’ from being built on Muslim cemetery [Haaretz]

- painting your walls is for suckers [Gizmodo]

- new V-Ray for SketchUp [Digital Architecture]

As always, if you see anything on the web that you believe should be linked-to from AMNP [as part of Ninjas on the ‘Net, the news sidebar, or as a full post] feel free to drop me an email at

Posted: February 16th, 2010
at 8:56pm

Categories: Ninjas on the 'net

Comments: 2 comments

Broadway To Stay Closed

To car traffic, that is. Bloomberg has announced that the pedestrian plazas created by closing off parts of Broadway in Times Square to car traffic will be made permanent – and that they will get a serious redesign as well.

.:full story->Arch Newspaper

Posted: February 16th, 2010
at 1:11pm

Categories: sidenote

Comments: No comments

Cup O’ Mimi Zeiger

The ninjas over at the archiCULTURE project have started a podcast-ish interview series, and has had the chance to sit down with Mimi Zeiger of Loudpaper fame and alsot author of Tiny Houses, and New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World.

.:listen to the interview->

Posted: February 16th, 2010
at 1:08pm

Categories: sidenote

Comments: No comments

Joshua Prince-Ramus: Wyly @ TED


Joshua Prince-Ramus believes that if architects re-engineer their design process, the results can be spectacular. Speaking at TEDxSMU, Dallas, he walks us through his fantastic re-creation of the local Wyly Theater as a giant “theatrical machine” that reconfigures itself at the touch of a button.


Posted: February 14th, 2010
at 5:00am

Tagged with , , ,

Categories: architecture,videos

Comments: No comments

Evicted by Madonna

Madonna, super generous & benevolent pop-star extraordinaire, has purchased land from the Malawi Government to build a girls school for the local population – a local population of which hundreds are being displaced by the project. My ninjas, PLEASE. Who would want to send their girls to a school set up by Madonna anyways? She’s no role model for young girls…

.:full story->Washington Post

Posted: February 12th, 2010
at 12:40pm

Categories: sidenote

Comments: No comments

Ninja Weaponry: The Tape Measure


The good people of Architect Magazine tweeted [twit? twittered?] this to me over a week ago and I somehow missed it until today. This ninja right here is crazily silly sick with a tape measure. Mad skills.

In case you were wondering – yes, this kind of thing is exactly why construction jobs rarely finish on time or on budget. I, for one, think its worth it.

Posted: February 11th, 2010
at 2:21pm

Tagged with , , , , ,

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,videos

Comments: 1 comment

Commercial Collapse

What, you thought we were in a recovery and that things were clearing up? Well, that may not be the case – as its being predicted that over the next SEVERAL YEARS the commercial real estate market will tank as businesses fail and default on mortgages, etc.  Pray for school and hospital projects, my ninjas.

.:full story->abc News

Posted: February 11th, 2010
at 2:11pm

Categories: sidenote

Comments: No comments

Zaha Goes for Green

In what I can only call a hilarious move, Zaha Hadid is designing a petroleum research center that is going for LEED Platinum. Say it with me now: My Ninja, PLEASE.

.:full story->via Inhabitat

Posted: February 11th, 2010
at 12:17pm

Categories: sidenote

Comments: 2 comments