Author Archives: Emma Fraser

Finished exhibition


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Exhibition planning phase 1

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Exhibition mock up and plan of things to do.

We have filled out the health and safety document.

We have spoken to Joel about getting the TVs, he says they have limited availability as a certain unit booked most of them 6 months ago. Email has been sent to continue trying to get them.

We have sent some enquiries about getting some vinyl printed for the flooring, trying to get sponsorship to make it cheaper as the cheapest quote we have so far is £316!



Lots of love the 4th years

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Conclusion updt and mini models

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Conclusion updated, need to cut out one of the sentences in red.




Mini wall void casts.

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New Conclusion, new garbage patch image and updt to void image

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New possible conclusion, Im not sure about introducing the ‘role of the architect’ to the project as Im not sure if it sways to far away from the narrative, or it could actually be useful in being more conclusive and ground the project slightly more in reality. WHat do we think?

I will post another conclusion soon for comparison.



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New Garbage patch image, not sure which one to use.

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New void added on the far right of the image.

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circle plate words

Having a look at different map ideas, thinking of maybe integrating words, it looks quite out of place with the other project work though so I may use a render and within it, the pattern around the edge is a placeholder for machinery line drawings that will surround the edges.

There will be two maps, the first will be the ‘intent’ of the project and the second will be the ‘reality’ of the salvage.

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Map type thang and Brancusi images UPDT








New Brancusi wall void with ornate door. You may notice some other Brancusi references in the brackets..

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On Thursday we spoke about maybe having a map for the boats, but I didn’t want to open up a line of questioning as to why the Paddleboats get lost so I have drawn a kind of speculative sketch of the project narrative.

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New Images UPDT

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Another Holey also updated text

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New wall cuts.

Updated text post-meeting with Manolis.

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Presentation Update

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New Images, Speech and Book.. UPDT

I have been finalising some existing images and having a go at a couple of new ones, still working on the presentation and putting all my images into a book. Tomorrow=PRINT, finish text and practice READING WITH FEELING so panel don’t get bored to death and start napping…

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Modelssss UPDATE 2.0




This is the model, I may laser cut some more details to put inside it/ I think I’m going to cast it again in plaster to see if the finish is better. I do think the colour will lighten though as it dries further. Also I reckon I could get some quite nice photos of it.


Here is me inside the wall!



It dried! not as smooth as I would have hoped but a good first try (*second try).






I made a concrete model, I am praying that it dries properly, only time will tell, stay tuned…

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Wall Voids


Il Redentore docking station.


Brancusi’s endless column slots into the wall.


WIP Casa Malaparte cave in the wall.


WIP Modi’s resting place.

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WIP horizon images and water world

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misty boat ooooooo



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I am having some technical issues with my 3ds file which I am trying to remedy at the moment, updates to come once i have sorted the problem. Fingers crossed.

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Open call for models!


Hello everyone, pretty please can I have any of your 3D models you have built for your projects this year to go on paddleboats and form a shanty-town garbage patch of stuff in the sea? You will all get billing in my presentation :)

I am currently adding to my presentation and thumbnails, updates to come!

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Waterworld is naturally amassing where ocean currents collide.

Sturm and Drang:

The paddleboats and their cargo are reclaimed by nature, collected by the currents a new ground is formed by centuries of sea-borne detritus, somewhere far away the wall continues to be built.

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mexico cathedral

Continuing with the theme of saving monuments from physical place, I may excavate the Mexico city Metropolitan cathedral to save it from sinking, the lowered water table and it’s uneven foundations mean the cathedral is sinking every year. However, being so inland the escape route via water is out of the question….FITZCARRALDOOOOOO




‘Mexico City’s was built during the 16th century by the conquering Spanish, perched prominently atop the ruins of the defeated Aztec city of Tenochitlan. Foundations of Aztec monumental structures still lie beneath the equally monumental colonial constructions, which include the largest cathedral in North America. Xochimilco, 30km south of Mexico City and representing over a thousand years of land reclamation and urban development, is sometimes called “The Venice of the Americas”; the city has retained its indigenous network of artificial islands and canals (“Floating Gardens”), while colonial and modern structures now dominate architecture on its banks. Both are world-renowned for the magnificence of their historic architecture and vibrancy of life.

The historical structures, canals, and pre-Columbian vestiges that remain in both these locales are constantly under threat from increasing population and urban pressures. More and more of the scenic Aztec canals in Xochimilco have been filled in for urban and industrial development. Meanwhile, Mexico City’s 18 million residents have been draining the aquifers under the city dry, causing historic structures around the city center to be at risk of collapse. Most prominent is the Cathedral, built in 1536, which has been sinking since shortly after it was built but recently has begun to collapse at an alarming rate. If the Cathedral goes, so do the archaeological remains of the Aztec Pyramid of the Sun, the foundations and lower section of which make up the foundations of the Cathedral itself; much of this important monument has not been archaeologically excavated.’

Save Xochimilco from encroaching waves of people, the land is being flooded by the expanding human population.



Frida Escobeda

Excellent website gifs of her projects.

The projects on the whole seem to have a certain element of flexibility or malleability which responds directly to the space and context that they inhabit or frame. These moveable elements within the created spaces and artefacts are visually, functionally and ideologically intentional to form the desired collaboration between architect, space and user. They all have an element of interactivity, most obviously shown in the installations with the structures responding to direct touch and weight distribution etc and then more subtly in the practice’s space designs where moveable and perforated elements are integrated into facades and partitions.

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Also after reading the project descriptions the schemes are described to question place and identity as well as continually referencing mexico in part by mirroring parts of the Tenochtitlán grid as well as describing excavations as ‘unearthing ancient ruins’. The practice also strives to create narratives through construction of space, all of which is VERY DIP 9. Is it important to the practice to be able to integrate some fragment of the identity of Mexico into projects at a local scale as well as internationally?

Derek Dellekamp

After reading the practice information the ethic seems to be focussed on integrated and collaborative work WITH PEOPLE in conjunction with their environments on an urban scale. The philosophy being to foster open discussions and conversations when it comes to space-making and situating built interventions within existing cultural contexts.

They also have a huge breadth to the range of projects they take on which would be interesting to ask about, it’s kind of Eamesy in a way as they design buildings of varying scale and type from singular houses to shopping centres and then also design furniture etc.

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Again the practice has a huge breadth of projects covered internationally, the projects place emphasis on boundaries and thresholds between between built and unbuilt space internally as well as between architecture and landscape. Are these thresholds and the careful treatment and manipulation of these boundaries where the practice situates itself?


Zeller and Moye

The creation of microcosms or little worlds within their work is interesting as with the ‘Flower Terrace’ project, does the practice continue to seek re-inventions of the way we associate with and can personalise green space within an urban environment? The project has a very interesting re-working of the conventional concrete floor slab by extending the slab to create structural outdoor spaces.

zeller moye zeller moyee


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The White Elephant

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Scale and Piranesi, finally got the scaffolding to the right-ish scale.

Building of the refuge.

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Deserted island or ruin?



Post TS submissions and Post Previews I have been questioning where the project is going to arrive, I quite like the ambiguity of the big wall or ‘Capriccio’, however I have been reading the AA Adgendas 2012 book ‘Drawings that count’, there is a conversation between Mary Beard and Francesca Hughes during which they discuss ‘the ruin‘ in conjunction with construction.

A ruined city is indistinguishable from a an unfinished city. ‘The ruin is both a beginning and an end, both a death and a start and you cannot tell the difference between the two’.

This is interesting to me after previews, and the speculations I have made for what the project might be, as I referred to the wall as a deserted island (referring to Deleuze’s quote) which even when inhabited by the elements and artefacts that are saved will still remain deserted. What I’m thinking now is that maybe the artefacts never arrived, the journey was too long and the Capriccio planned inside the wall was never realised, none of the artefacts made it to the island.

If this is the case then the island hangs between the states of construction and ruin, the intent of the wall to be filled is a dead end, the island exists in limbo, a subtracted landscape of infrastructure built for what never arrives.

The above WIP images show the abandoned spaces meant for the arrival of Il Redentore in a state of construction or ruin.

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Finalising images

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Compass making update

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Presentation WIP

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More updates to follow, I am getting there….

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1. Finish writing spoken presentation for previews and post on the blog by thurs morning.

2. Do the opening sea/sky image for the introduction.

3. Do an image of the endless column extending into the sky and an aerial view of Il Redentore in Venice.

4. Work on the first draft of the Compass model.

5. Do cool stuff.

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First part of the presentation set out. Still needs a bit of editing. Updates to come in the morning.


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Golden Compass

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This is a navigation device that belonged to my Grandpa, I am using it to design my horizon visibility device.

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The endless column breaking free of Brancusi’s studio.

Brancusi copy

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Modi’s Effigy

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Constructing Modi’s colossus.


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Storyboarding and revisiting interiors


Having focussed so far on the pre-wall section of the project and hinted at the post-wall landscape I have revisited the interstitial space of the wall interior and the opportunity for mechanisms within the space, having looked into and displayed how the initial construction of the wall from an exterior perspective, (based on the Panama Canal construction), I am now interested in exploring the condition inside the wall and if/how this could be exploited for the progression of the project.


Storyboarding, I am beginning to spend some time storyboarding the narrative with all of the project work to date to visually show the continuum in its present entirety and clarify the sub-texts that weave into the story as a whole. I think this exercise will be useful as a starting point to see the sequence of drawings and where the project has arrived with regard to the overall narrative and argument.

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Brodsky & Utkin Il Redentore




During the cutting of Il Redentore the inside of the church is stabilised to maintain the structural integrity as it is pulled onto the paddleboat. Editing the bracing also makes some interesting interior conditions.

I bought a book of Brodsky and Utkin’s etchings which are a great reference to draw from.



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Sorting sorting sorting


Thinking about ‘the parking’ and some of the designed elements that could exist within the wall.

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Shipping Tales, Christina Varvia Dip 6 2014. Her project is really interesting in its focus on boundary conditions and the horizon as a measuring means, I also like how these images look quite like turner paintings, the painted quality makes the images much more evocative than if they were to look more realistic.


Starting to map out the distances in the isolation horizon drawings.


One of the disputed islands in the South China sea.

Sansha City, Woody/Yongxing Island part of the Paracel Islands.



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Sorting out the presentation into sections and making thumbnails and captions.

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Map Room


Map room

Inside Brancusi’s endless column the map room contains miniatures of the original fragments set sail and their possible journeys.

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Cutaways 2.0


A monument is built in the image of Il Redentore.

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Il Redentore on the move



A matrix of trusses built on wheels supports the bulk of Il Redentore as it is dragged onto the paddleboat ready to set sail.

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I have been focusing on ‘The Great Cutting’ specifically the wounds left behind, the ‘Cutaways’.

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The above images show the building of the Casa Malaparte Monument in sequence. The Cutaways show traces of the buildings that have been removed to float on to the collection. After the cleaving of Casa Malaparte from the rock at Capri, the left over stumped rock is reshaped into an inverse of the Casa M, a space at the south end of the rock jetty frames the ocean view and a stair extends into the rock face behind forming interior vignettes.




The above images show the cutaway left behind after Il Redentore’s departure, a resevoire-esque extrusion of the church’s foundations mark the spot where Palladio’s masterpiece once stood.

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White Book, The Great Cutting, Isolation…..



Isolation- In the above image the wall can just be seen as it hardens the horizon line.


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Ugly place holders for ‘The Great Cutting’.



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The Map Room

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Starting to think about the mapping of the paddleboats and their trajectory within the ocean, ‘ The Map Room’ becomes speculative navigation center.

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White Book

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White Book is coming along, as is the technical book..

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Octavius making a sneaky appearance


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Gatun Gates




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Paddleboat 2.0

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The feathering sidewheel was perhaps the most successful attempt to improve the efficiency of the conventional paddlewheel. The idea was to continually adjust the paddle blades, or “floats,” as the wheel turned, to get the best, most effective use of the engine’s power. In the feathering wheel, each float was secured in an iron frame so that it could pivot slightly. Attached to the rear face of each float was a short arm, which was itself attached to second wheel, attached to the outside frame of the paddlebox, and set to pivot slightly forward of the main wheel. It was a complex arrangement, but it worked well.
The feathering paddlewheel was first patented in England in 1829 by Elijah Galloway. In 1838 the rights to the design were transferred to an attorney, James L. Lucena, who turned it over to his partner, William Morgan, an engineer from Surrey. Morgan refined the design considerably, and by about 1850 feathering wheels were becoming increasingly commonplace. Although they were not widely adopted by large transatlantic steamers, due to their cost and “likelihood of derangement,” they quickly became the standard for vessels like excursion boats and harbor tugs.
Feathering wheels possessed an additional advantage for smugglers- because the floats entered the water at a more efficient angle, they were quieter and kicked up less spray than conventional wheels, an important consideration sneaking past Federal warships.
Feathering sidewheels quickly lost favour in the latter half of the 19th century as the efficiency of screw propulsion became evident. For a few purposes, though, sidewheels retained an advantage. They were especially useful for harbour craft that needed to manoeuvre in narrow channels and docks. Frequently, a steam tug equipped with independently-controlled sidewheels could spin on its own axis like a top. Paddlewheel steamers remained in widespread use into the 20th century, particularly in the United Kingdom, where several examples were still in active service in the years after World War II.
from Peter Allington and Basil Greenhill’s The First Atlantic Liners: Seamanship in the Age of Paddle Wheel, Sail and Screw (London, Conway Maritime Press, 1997).
Laxey Wheel , Isle Of Man
Steamboat J.S.Deluxe , New Orleans. Built in Dubuque in 1896
Boats isolated against the horizon.
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Building the wall


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Concrete laying machines build the wall.


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I have been looking into the technicalities and logistics of removing a building from its context and setting it onto the paddleboat. Here we see Il Redentore being excised from Venice.

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Elephant caryatids support portholes into the collection.


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Locus Amoeneus

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A New Terrain




The island and wall have morphed into a continuum of displaced objects.

An island forms the idealised setting for the displaced fragments to collect. Beginning with the grain fragments the paddle boats set sail. Their cargo remnants of cultures past travelling the sea for thousands of years, when their trajectory finally guides them to the island the outer wall is breeched and the grains settle into the bedrock forming a new terrain; re-contextualising the fragments into a new landform conceived by displacement. The conical wall increases exponentially as waters rise, unfurling as more displaced fragments are lured into the scene over time.

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Inauthentic thoughts


Saw spectre this week – Bond eyes up a fragment of his beloved vintage Aston Martin in Q’s workshop-  ‘when I said bring it back in one piece, I didn’t mean bring back one piece’ quips Q.

Got me thinking on authenticity – I half remember an account of the ‘ship of Perseus (?)’ that deals with the conundrum of authenticity. The ship was rebuilt and refitted so many times that nothing original remained- was it still the same ship? Does it matter? Notions of worth attached to authenticity seem to vary with type.

Unrestored paintings, pottery, sculpture demand much higher price than restored ones – while with cars and buildings sympathetic restoration is a plus. Maybe it has to do with the implied presence of the hand of the author (rather than a builder)

This brings me back to the struggle of the ‘ displacement’ thesis I’m developing from the grains.

I find it difficult to project an outcome on actually moving buildings around (although I’m maintaining an open mind) the idea of a simulacrum or facsimile, especially seen through the lens of my hologram grain, is in my thoughts.

We are at a time when the sci-fi holy grail of teleporting is actually formally possible. I can send a copy of form to be constructed anywhere with a 3D printer in pretty much any material I can think of. If I can print a copy of S.Reditore why bother moving it or saving it from the waves? (I must reread FAT’s take on the copy)

This sort of musing applies itself (fairly) conveniently on some of the other grains. Brancusi’s sculptures take on an inauthenticity of purpose when they have to clear immigration described as ‘kitchen items ‘  Burlington collects representations and copies of fragments and drawings of Palladio (the ‘cast court’ frenzy of grand tourists testifies to this need for simulacra)

The decontextualisation inherent in the displacement thesis can be extended to the decon of the material itself – everything gets rendered in white plaster/ white marble. (Also maybe abstraction in classical sculpture?)

Goddard leads us on a forward/backward timeline through memory (memory in this case as inauthentic copy ) and sentiment through the teleportation red towel.

Is 2150 Venice to be saved or recorded?

Is Atlantis to be pulled from fiction and materialised as a fragment outside the context of Plato’s story?

The holo-copies of Modi continue to be projected across the terrain.

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The fragments dock in the Island of Identity.

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Super Harbour



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Like a Bond villain I’m testing out the holo-ray on the mediterranean island of Capri…

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Squad Goals



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Field of fragments: Identity tied to place






Placement and representation can be used to convey the identity and attributes of an object. When an object is displaced from its original context the identity of that object as tied with place changes and as a result the meaning of the object to the viewer is redefined. Brancusi sought to convey the most archetypal representation of his subject matter in his work. However successful he was in reducing his pieces to the very essence of their subjects, outside of the walls of his studio and removed from their plinths, the perception of the sculptures as art pieces is reconsidered and the intended meaning displaced. Upon arriving in America the sculpture ‘Bird in Space’ is re-branded as a kitchen utensil by the US customs office. The geographical displacement of the sculpture from the backdrop of Brancusi’s studio redefines its identity to something completely ‘other’ than art. Brancusi’s sculptures flee Philadelphia to find like-minded objects; they come across a familiar friend; Duchamp’s chocolate grinder.

Venice has faced a cultural displacement; the identity of the city as it once was has been lost. Now almost solely viewed through a camera lens, the desperate attempts to save Venice from the ocean seem pointless. Instead of saving the city as a whole, can certain notable characters of the Venetian architectural landscape be saved and maintain their identity alone?

The physical manifestation of displacement comes from the excising of a terrain; Venice, threatened by the rising tide, is broken into pieces. Paddleboat barges save chosen fragments of the city and float away leaving the rest to Atlantis’ fate. We choose which of Venice’s many treasured landmarks to save through Lord Burlington’s eyes. On his grand tour of Europe Burlington became obsessed with Palladio and longed for authentic pieces to build his architectural library. Hence Il Redentore and San Giorgio Maggiore join the pilgrimage.

After projecting himself across India, Narendra Modi, now displaced onto a paddleboat stands amplified to a great holographic height, without his speech and political platform the projected super-Modi is removed from his constituents in search of new socio-technological conquests. His image is one of many projections; the location of the real Modi is unknown.

An inverted paddleboat shows a window into time, the paddleboat hovers over a lost underwater city in 330BC.

In an attempt to reconsider the identity of the fragments, they are removed from their original context and placed onto paddleboats floating on water; the paddleboat becomes the vehicle for displacement and water assigns a possible trajectory. The staging of the fragment within the world also becomes important in the making of the image and what it represents to the viewer. When represented without water as context the fragments are isolated and only exist within the paper-space, when displayed on water the fragments take on a three dimensional quality, a level of abstraction is removed and we read the composition as fragments existing in a world rather than an image of fragments in a model space. When displaced onto plinths the fragments take on a static, fixed quality, when on paddleboats there is a level of propulsion implied.

Will the displaced fragments reach the collection or are they destined to float in a sea of possibilities until they join a trajectory that attaches them to the continuum or perhaps another world. Will they remain tied to the water or will they reach land and cut-through its bulk just as the absurd steamboat in Fritzcarraldo once did.

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Fragment island barges

The grain fragments set sail…

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Red towel flash


Le mepris flashback gif

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Grand Tour of 2150 Europe



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Il Redentore makes land at eastbourne 2150, a suburb of London




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Palladio’s Grand Tour


Il Redentore is re-possessed.

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A greedy rubber baron is determined to move his steamship over a steep hill, can Il Redentore make the same pilgrimage…

Click the image.

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Burlington Video

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A series of gifs animating the collection.

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Burlington’s Future Collections



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Bill Burlington’s desire lands him an authentic Palladio



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Form follows function





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Duchamp Brancusi Timeline

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Homemade Holodeck






Holographic ‘Torso of a young man’ after Brancusi.

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Lord Burlington Scribbles notes

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Lord Burlington (1694-1753) transformed English taste in architecture. During his grand tour of Europe he visited Italy and made notes on blank pages of his copy of Palladio’s four books of architecture.

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