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Books

Factory Towns Of South China

Factory Towns of South China

Big names like Rem Koolhaas and John Friedmann give it up for the book Factory Towns of South China, written by the Dutch architect and urban designer Stefan Al. We’ve read it and couldn’t find anything to disagree on. This one-of-a-kind illustrated guide book opens a window on the massive factory towns in China. It provides a cross-disciplinary approach to understand the process of rapid urbanization and industrialization, and delivers unique insights in how life runs from the perspective of the factory worker.

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  • A Recipe Book For DIY Urban Farming

    ELIOOO

    Antonio Scarponi likes to cook. But only if it does not take more than 20 minutes. Surely, he understands the value of a great recipe book that does not only have great recipes but also explain the process in clear terms. Now being an architect, information designer and a passionate activist for urban farming, he produces the obvious recipe book that was missing from the shelves — a book for building your own micro-infrastructures for urban farming in easy steps using readily available IKEA components. The project, named ELIOOO, plans to develop an instruction book for building and configuring indoor (can be kept outside too) hydroponic systems for growing herbs, vegetables etc. Scarponi and his team also plans to build some of the systems described in the book and make them ready-to-order in case some urban farmers are in real hurry. The project is on display at Indiegogo and looking forward to crowdsource sufficient funds to begin developing the book and devices.

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    Geologic City: A Field Guide To The GeoArchitecture Of New York

    Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York

    Anyone could point out several factors that make up a city. In a quick glance, it’s easy to see the layers of pollution, vehicles rushing by, statues that hark to another era of local history, buildings being built up and other ones being torn down. But where did the city come from? All those buildings are made out of something. And what about time? How has the literal influence of time changed the landscape, health and aesthetic of the city? In Smudge Studio’s Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York, the guide visits twenty sites in New York City that identify geologic material and consider their relationship with the space they inhabit and once inhabited. The examples takes readers all over New York City and the world — sometimes even the galaxy — and the guide provides an interpretation the human connection to this geologic material or process. Smudge Studio follows the Dutch scientist Paul Crutzen’s idea that the modern human impact on the planet is so massive that is is “geologic in scale” and worth of its own era, the Anthropoecene.

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  • Making City: Catalogue Of The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

    IABR Catalogue

    Over the past couple of months, we’ve written a fair amount on the 5th International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (you can see our overview of the IABR here). There’s been a lot going on in the contemporary world’s architectural heart as part of the 5th version of the IABR, including a rooftop farm, a pop-up urban village for surfers, and an exhibition about art interventions in Douala. In addition to all the happenings across town, the curators of the IABR have put together a nice catalogue of the exhibits that we’re excited to be giving away three copies of the catalogue to our lucky readers!

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    A Smart Guide To Utopia: 111 Inspiring Ideas For A Better City

    A Smart Guide to Utopia

    Last year, Le Cool invited us to be one of the contributors to a new book about ideas and projects that improve the city. We were very glad to find the final result in our post box some weeks ago. ‘A Smart Guide to Utopia’ is a book about cool urban initiatives, but not just another book about cool urban initiatives. It starts out with a fabulous admission from Ben Hammersley: that the city is the natural habitat of humanity. We need our cities just as much as they need us. They are the engines of humanity, and this book shows 111 different ways that this is happening right now.

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