Door without draft of air

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Read this article on how Theophilus Van Kannel was awarded US Patent #387571 A for the revolving door (a “Storm-door structure”) and how some researchers have found out that people don’t like to use it. Via 99percentinvisible.org

There is a lot to read about the revolving door. However, I have found not much on what’s happening when people go through them. Further reading:

James Buzard on Perpetual Revolution

Reyner Banham on The Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment (pp.73-75)

Study on revolving door usage

Demolition of Moscow flats

4000Following an official decision, some 4000 apartment blocks, the so called Krushchevka flats, will be demolished. Scattered all over the city, the buildings are home to around two million people. The Guardian covers the story in an article and a great photo essay.

From house occupation to pop-up-event

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A newspaper article on interim uses (and pop-up events) in Zurich as a driving force for business investment. A few sentences from the article translated:

“In the past, landlords would do everything to discourage squatters, today they give them a valid contract.”

“Liberal handling of squatters exerts pressure on landlords, to renovate immediately or release for interim use.”

“[…]interim uses cover operating costs of empty properties. They contribute retaining value because interim users invest in infrastructure. And interim use enhances the image of the place. A non-place is transformed into a place to be. The value of the property increases. Not the least, illegal squats can be avoided.”

” ‘Zurich owes a lot to the 1980s squatting movement’, says ETH-lecturer Philippe Klaus. Cultural interim uses like those on the Gerold-Areal or in the Toni-Molkerei have helped to free Zurich from its image as a somehow rigid financial hub and to present the city as lively and innovative place. ‘Interim uses have become places for business start-ups’, says Klaus. Emphasising that this is worth mentioning the more so as in Switzerland, compared to other countries, the government provides for only little start-up financing contribution for young entrepreneurs.”

The Wikipedia entry ‘pop-up retail’

 

The fake turned into reality

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How to catch a copycat criminal when it comes to map making? To protect their work – collecting data, drawing, check spelling etc. and constantly double checking with what is really out there – companies use a simple trick. This is to add small fake cities, streets or houses to the maps they produce. If someone copies the map, instead of producing a genuine one, the company will be able to identify the copycat criminal by indicating the artificially introduced features that do not exist in reality.

Agloe, a city on the maps of New York, was such a copyright trap. It was added by Otto G. Lindbergh and Ernest Alpers from General Drafting Co. to a road map in the state of New York that they made in the 1930s. A few years later it appeared on a map of the rival firm Rand McNally. Lindbergh and Alpers had every argument at hand to bring legal proceedings against the makers of the new map.

However, Rand McNally could prove that the place exists. They could show that there is a shop at the place in question that is named as ‘Agloe General Store’. The fake place was transformed into a real place through a series of events: The shop owner found the name on a map. The map was issued by Esso. Esso obtained the map from Lindbergh and Alpers. The shop owner used ‘Agloe’ from the Esso map to name his store.

‘Agloe General Store’ has vanished since. However, Agloe still appeared on Google Maps a few years ago. Whilst Google has removed the name since, the US Geological Survey added Agloe to the Geographic Names Information System.

John Green uses the myth of Agloe in his novel Paper Towns. The book was adapted into a film. Fans of book and film have recently reopened search for Agloe. Today, there is a sign where the coordinates appear on the map.

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Via the Cabinet of Chic Curiosities and Amusing Planet. Photo via NPR.

A science of queueing

Queueing looked at through truly psychological lenses. The last paragraph of the article includes a sort of garfinkelian breaching experiment with queues:

Social psychologists Stanley Milgram’s “students visited places they expected to find queues […] and systematically cut in between the third and fourth person, saying: “Excuse me, I’d like to get in here.” If someone protested, they would leave; if not, they would leave after one minute. His students reported finding it extremely stressful, yet only about 10% of the time were they ejected from the line.”