Archive for December, 2010

Architecture Film series

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Design, Event on December 7, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

I was excited to see what looks like a great film series in these parts. Specifically, this is the second annual Nowells Architecture Movie Series at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary. All films screen on Thursdays at 7pm.

this School of Design newsletter gives a shout out to “My Architect: A Son’s Journey” the film that Louis Kahn’s son made about his father, his father’s work and still existing buildings and their unconventional family life. We saw the movie years ago at the Film Forum on a NYC getaway weekend and liked it so much we bought copies for friends and relatives.

Film website

Complete Film Series is here.

from the website…
“Last in the series, on March 17 is Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio. A documentary film on the late architect Samuel Mockbee and the radical educational design/build program known as the Rural Studio. Hale County, Alabama is home to some of the most impoverished communities in America. It is also home to Auburn University’s Rural Studio, one of the most prolific and inspirational design-build outreach programs ever established. Revealing the philosophy and heart behind the Rural Studio, the documentary is guided by passionate, frank and never-before-seen interviews with Mockbee himself. The film supplements Mockbee’s words and the students’ experiences with perspective from other architects and designers who share praise and criticism of the Rural Studio, including Peter Eisenman, Michael Rotondi, Cameron Sinclair, Steve Badanes and Hank Louis. Their dialogue infuses the film with a larger discussion of architecture’s role in issues of poverty, class, race, education, social change and citizenship.”

I was pretty impressed with the work I saw in the Rural studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency I bought a few years ago. Rural Studio book I’m looking forward to learning more. Seems to be interesting in both concept and aesthetic execution.

Good article about higher education

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Politics/Philosophy on December 2, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

This was an op-ed in the N&O that ran a few weeks ago. (link at bottom of copied article)
The well-written historical summary at the conclusion of the article has been highlighted for emphasis. Spot on brother.

The Humanities: At America’s Core
By Geoffrey G. Harpham

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK—When the ax fell, it was not a complete surprise. Colleges and universities all over the country are looking for ways to cut costs, and the humanities are an obvious target, given their negligible economic impact. So when, on Oct. 1, George M. Philip, president of the State University of New York at Albany, announced that the departments of French, Italian, Classics, Russian and Theater would all be eliminated, it seemed to many to be the first Arctic blast of what might be a long and bitterly cold winter of discontent for the humanities at colleges and universities across the country.

But just as troubling as the cuts themselves was the rationale for them. “Given the University at Albany’s reduced revenue base,” President Philip said, “it is critically important for the university to rethink, balance and reallocate resources to support its core academic and research mission.”

What “core mission”—especially in a public university whose motto is “the world within reach”—is served by stripping out the humanities or cutting foreign languages?

What is a core mission, anyhow?

The idea of a “core” has a history that is hard to ignore. As World War II was ending, Harvard President James Bryant Conant convened a committee of professors and charged them with devising a national program for higher education that could address the needs of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who would be returning from war and going to college on the new G.I. Bill.

In their 1945 report, called “General Education for a Free Society”—which quickly became known as the Red Book—they called for a “core curriculum” with required courses in the natural and social sciences, and, most importantly, in the humanities, a curriculum that centered on the knowledge the committee thought was essential for all students.

This was a plan not for Harvard but for the entire nation, high schools as well as colleges. And the humanities were central to the plan—were, in fact, the core of the core—because they alone could address the deep goals of higher education, which were to instill in students a sense of history and culture, to educate them as citizens not merely as employees or workers, and to enable them to lead enriched and fulfilled lives after they graduated and outside the workplace.

The plan seemed innovative, but it was also deeply traditional. Elements of it could be found in the writings of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and in the experimental educational reforms of Horace Mann, Bronson Alcott, John Dewey and Robert Maynard Hutchins. The core curriculum was, the committee thought, the culmination of the great American experiment in democracy, and was intended to “embody,” as Conant put it, “certain intangibles of the American spirit.”

The Red Book was taken as a national symbol of renewal, and its recommendations were incorporated almost immediately into the Truman Report of 1947, which described the goal of education as “a more abundant personal life and a freer, stronger social order.”

This non-vocational approach to mass education represents one of America’s great achievements. It produced the generation we now unhesitatingly call “the greatest,” and is still the envy of the world. Europe may have invented universities, but European nations are now struggling to make their system conform to the American model not just because American universities lead the world in research, but also because the American system has proven to be most effective at educating its citizens.

People who have had some exposure to literature, the arts, philosophy and history—where judgment, evaluation and interpretation are important—are equipped for democracy in a way that people educated in a more fact-based or authoritarian system are not.

They are also equipped with the flexibility and adaptability required in today’s world, where one may have to change occupations several times over the course of a working life. Those who spent their college years focusing on the job they would have when they graduated—those, that is, who were trained rather than educated —may well find themselves at a disadvantage when the job they trained for disappears or mutates into something else.

Judgment, adaptability, enrichment—these may be “intangibles,” but they embody the American spirit at its best, and developing them ought to be part of the core mission of any university, public or private, that seeks to serve its students and the larger society.

N&O article

Mobile City issue 7 has landed

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Bikes/Cycling, Design, Friends, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature on December 2, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

James Kerns and Stephen Gibson, the founding co-editors of Mobile City, have awakened the cycling associated urban literary arts journal/zine/whatever beast and published a new issue, all 48 pages of which were printed in the glory of full-color.

If the name Stephen Gibson rings a bell, that is because he is the author/illustrator of City of Midnight Skies, the 2001 Horse & Buggy Press title which is still available (trade edition, $13; the hand-printed letterpress edition is out of print). Until Dec 17, everyone who orders a copy of City of Midnight Skies, will get a free copy of Mobile City. Email or phone me your order. We don’t do etsy, credit cards, pay pal or any of that shite. We send out the book with an invoice, you send us a check when it arrives. Simple.

Anyway, back to the Mobile City program…

I designed issue #7 this fall and it is available for sale (for a mere six bucks) here at the All Hail the Black Market website

Over in San Fran, Jake has fought off computer viruses to get a new Mobile City website up and running. It’s a work in progress, for now it has a sampling of some of the content from the latest issue.

Below, catch a glimpse at the front cover and some of the spreads.

If you are in the Durham area, H&B is also acting as a distributor, six bucks cash or check. we will pass along the money to the MC crew. But again see above, drop thirteen bucks to get City of Midnight Skies and we’ll throw in a free copy of Mobile City.

Last, Mobile City is accepting submissions (in all media) for the next issue. Send your work to machinewilkins@gmail.com and tell him you heard about it from the Squire.

Local pre-teen publisher/ Reading Sat Dec 4 at the Regulator

Posted in Design, Durham, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature on December 1, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Continuing the local theme of late, I’ve just finished designing the first book from Durham based publisher Sleepy Hollow Books which is a new venture by Amy Spaulding.

Yuri’s Brush with Magic is the thirteenth book from acclaimed Raleigh author Maureen Wartski, and is a compelling story geared towards 9 to 13 year olds and which takes place on the Carolina coast.

Jason Strutz of Carrboro created the original artwork for the cover. I designed the cover and typeset the interior.

There will be a reception and author reading at The Regulator Bookshop this Saturday, December 4 at 3pm. See you there. (The book is a mere $9.95 and will likely be enjoyed by kids and adults alike)

“Yuri’s Brush with Magic flows as easily as a slide down a sand dune. Unpretentious and authentic characters walk right up to the tough issues in life…”
—Susan Reintjes, author of Third Eye Open

“Weaving Japanese folklore and contemporary detail into a thoughtful novel, Maureen Crane Wartski deftly handles her themes of family, art and forgiveness…
—Jacqueline K. Ogburn, author of The Bake Shop Ghost

Shop Local-Durham campaign

Posted in 21st century life, Durham, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project on December 1, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

I designed a poster for the Shop Local campaign happening this week (Nov 29-Dec 5). Credit goes to Nancy Frame for designing the logo/bumper stickers you might be seeing around.

Full details including special discounts running this week only at the Sustain A Bull website

This will be an annual, or more often, campaign I’ve been told and I’m hopeful it will grow and expand to include other districts of Durham and gather some healthy momentum.

I think if we are going to wrap the Bull City Connector buses, it’d be great to cover them with Shop Local ads. Hopefully the Chamber of Commerce agrees and puts their weight behind this.

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