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Steedman Architectural Collection in SLPL

Steedman murals in the Great Hall – visitors to the main St. Louis Public Library (SLPL) in downtown St. Louis, MO will have the unusual opportunity to see books from the Steedman Architectural Collection on display through May of this year.  The exhibit is in the library’s Great Hall – itself worth …

H. Lee Waters’ Movies of Local People

H. Lee Waters Film Collection at Duke University Libraries – from 1936 to 1942 North Carolina photographer H. Lee Waters made hundreds of captivating short silent films of local people. During the Depression, when many couldn’t spare hard-won wages for a portrait but did allow themselves the luxury of going to the movies, …

John Kormeling’s up and down bridge

            Up and down with John Kormeling – one-page article in Mark #46 (Oct/Nov 2013, page 32) about architect John Kormeling’s bridge in the Dutch city of Tilburg.  It’s designed with a small building that serves as counterweight.  Kormeling designed the building as both bridge master’s house and …

The best of space and sky, APOD

  Cap Cloud over the Sierra Nevadas – today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is by Guido Montanes, one of the many professional photographers whose work is posted on APOD.  You’ll find a brief explanation of this unusual cloud phenomenon in the photo’s caption. If you’re interested in astronomy, …

Libraries and the mystery of Toynbee tiles

Toynbee tiles – If you’re in the mood for a real-life mystery that involves imagination, single-mindedness over spans of time, great ingenuity, a fair amount of what many might describe as wackiness and that remains, despite knowing who the person behind the tiles is, at its heart still an enigma, …

Shed of the Year

      Shed of the Year: boat-roofed creation sails to victory – annual competition in the UK got almost 2000 entrants this year.  See some of the others at Shed of the Year 2013 entrants. Why sheds?   From Shed of the year contest trumpets UK’s love of garden hideaways: Novelist …

Book-illustration-lovers delight

  BibliOdyssey – one of my favorite places to take a break; here’s the tag line:  Books~~Illustrations~~Science~~History~~Visual Materia Obscura~~Eclectic Bookart.  Each post features images based on a theme, or from a specific book or manuscript.  The images are wonderful and plentiful and unexpected.  Most sources are from early printed books or manuscripts …

3 for bicycle riders

The Atlantic Cities often covers how cities and urban areas around the world accommodate bicycle traffic.  Here are three recent posts:   10 Brilliant Pieces of Bike Infrastructure – examples, many with clips, from ten cities in Europe, China, and the U.S.   A Real-Time Bike-Share Map for the Entire World – …

Lullaby Factory for children’s hospital

  Sculptural pipes play secret lullabies to entertain hospital patients – the kids at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital are in for a treat, an “audio-playground for the young patients.” The Lullaby Project (check out the drawings and the backstory) was developed by architects at Studio Weave and sound artist Jessica Curry.  Sculpture?  Sound …

Graph Words – visual thesaurus

  Graph Words: online thesaurus – if you’re visually oriented and either enjoy words or want to understand them better, try Graph Words.  It maps the various meanings associated with a word and color-codes them as nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.  Shown here is ‘design’ and related nouns and verbs. …

Visual & optical phenomena

102 Visual Phenomena  & Visual Illusions – website of Michael Bach, a German professor of ophthalmology.  Each illusion or phenomenon is explained, includes references, and an interactive way to convince yourself of what’s really happening.  Absorbing and fascinating, especially for anyone involved with design, color, signage and wayfinding.  Shown here …