Over the weekend, I visited Chicago for the first time, to attend a friend’s wedding. It was a good trip, but a very busy time. While I saw a lot of the city and surrounding area, there were still some sights that I wasn’t able to see. I’ve read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, and while I know there’s not much left in terms of the fair site, I had wanted to see more of the city that dealt with that part of its history. I did manage to take an architecture boat tour, where I heard more about Daniel Burnham and John Root. Also, the architecture in the city is really grand-in addition to skyscrapers, there are many great Art Deco buildings. Our guide also mentioned that a several buildings had recently been filmed as part of Gotham City in The Dark Knight. The trip also made me want to pick up a few books on the Chicago Fire of 1871.
I came upon this really cool blog post at Dark Roasted Blend, a site devoted to “weird & wonderful things”. Well this is pretty wonderful. Usually when you see barcodes, you think of consumerism and mass-produced objects that lack individual character, so this post refreshing for me personally. The cute barcode designs at the beginning are distinctly Japanese, and they actually ended up being used on packaging for grocery items. When you scroll down to the designs created by Art Lebedev, a Russian design studio, the barcode is translated into several arrangements with different objects with a long, vertical structure such as icicles and kebab skewers. Further down are examples of the barcode being used on as large a scale as the facade of a building and just below is it being used on a small scale as composite of barcodes to create a photorealistic work.
I recently came across this slide show on Slate, titled “How do you build a public library in the age of Google?” It’s an interesting tour of current library architecture, and the different ways cities are trying to adapt libraries into popular public spaces. What do you think? Do you have a favorite public library? How does the building design play into your appreciation? I know I prefer smaller libraries, and sometimes I find some modern architecture a little too sterile for my taste. In any event, I still plan on checking out books for a long time to come!