Kazys Varnelis teaches in and is the Coordinator of the History + Theory of Architecture + Cities Faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.

Kazys.net is my website, dedicated to architecture, network culture, and postmetropolitan urbanism.

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Friday, March 30, 2001

Will the Boeing "sonic cruiser" bring only joy to us? Probably not. You might remind yourself of the terrors of travel by reading Ian Gilmour on the Horrors of Heathrow at the London Review of Books.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/30/2001 04:33:24 PM

Thursday, March 29, 2001

Major news from Boeing. Boeing Shelves Superjumbo for Faster Jet
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/29/2001 01:13:42 PM

Boom-and-bust is a perennial cycle in California. It's looking grimmer and grimmer for San Francisco.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/29/2001 12:01:44 PM

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

The aadrl design research lab has been updated. Check out the work at one of the more intriguing programs of architecture out there.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/28/2001 08:43:43 AM

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Did I say the Santa Monica School was dead? Read the LA Times article Architect Firms Moving In on Downtown L.A.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/27/2001 09:31:32 AM

Monday, March 26, 2001

If it wasn't enough that there was a race between SCI_Arc and the Standard for who will occupy their downtown digs soonest, Los Angeles's classiest architecture bookstore, Form Zero promises to open near SCI_Arc in the third week of April.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/26/2001 03:28:11 PM

Those of you delighting in design for the common person and the possibilities of creativity be forewarned: Interior Desecrators is a website that records the horror that was 70's interior design.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/26/2001 03:24:36 PM

Sunday, March 25, 2001

Keller Easterling is one of the more promising young thinkers in architecture. Check out her Wildcards.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/25/2001 11:39:56 AM

Next time that you're in Copenhagen, I suppose that you'll have to visit Christiania. Don't go if you don't approve of the 60s.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/25/2001 09:53:30 AM

Saturday, March 24, 2001

Time to expand your practice into the office furniture market? Not! Reuters repeorts Office Furniture Makers Suffering
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/24/2001 10:20:55 PM

Friday, March 23, 2001

Sources say that the The Downtown LA Standard Hotel will be opening by early August. A week ago it was only a shell. Sound familiar? So who's going to occupy their empty shell first? The Standard or SCI_Arc? Demolition work was ongoing at school earlier this week. Now everything is quiet. Hmm...
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/23/2001 05:29:48 PM

The BBC has an article about the radical changes in English that will take place because of globalization and the spread of the Internet. Not only is English becoming the dominant global language, it will also be deformed by this process. See

Internet English = Netglish
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/23/2001 12:35:32 PM

Thursday, March 22, 2001

Someone asked me the other day who my favorite contemporary architect was. I suppose that they were trying to provoke me. Most historians, after all, avoid answering such questions or give qualified answers or whatever.

The answer isn't very difficult. Although Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron would be close, their recent published work is lacking a bit. The choice is quite easy then: the work of SANAA [Kazuo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa].

So much recent "modernism" is only PoMo in disguise, crippled by an absurd attempt to add gesture that bridges the gap between the alienation of modernism and the individual. So we add a twisty curve, or a jaggedy line, or a round corner, or whatever. Now really, must we? It won't work anyway, you know. And must we really demonstrate how "creative" we are? Really? Must everything be about asserting one's Nietzschean self?

The answer is no. We need a relief from all that. A future article on the topic awaits.

There's pitifully little on Sejima's work on the web. This is
about as good as it gets.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/22/2001 12:50:00 AM

Sunday, March 18, 2001

Want to know about globalization? Start at the Lexicon of Globalization and then check out the rest of the Homepage of Prof. Drs. Ruud Lubbers
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/18/2001 10:05:16 PM

Saturday, March 17, 2001

Before you go on your next trip to Lagos or wherever, check out Robert Young Peltonšs Come Back Alive
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/17/2001 09:59:24 PM

Thursday, March 15, 2001

What is Kazys reading? I bought this incredible book at the MOCA bookstore today. On the way out I swear I saw Michelle Williams. She was dressed incognito, wearing sunglasses and various other disguises. It had to have been her: who else would be trying to hide their identity?
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/15/2001 10:30:49 PM

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Ok, ok, all this remembrance of my seminars with Hal at Cornell lead me to a nostalgic bent. Perhaps that indicates that indeed, I should get back into Lacan. But hey, it's 21st century. Why shouldn't I look to the Internet for action?

Check out jacques lacan/lacan dot com

I can't tell you how immensely relieved I am that Lacan is a dot.com! Although that may be because lacan.net and lacan.org are taken.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/14/2001 10:22:33 PM

While we're on a Hal Foster kick, why not read his review of John Seabrook's Nowbrow at the London Review of Books? Slumming with Rappers at the Roxy
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/14/2001 10:17:45 PM

Feel Traumatized? Why not read this article by Hal Foster on Trauma Culture.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/14/2001 09:01:58 PM

Thursday, March 08, 2001

The New York Times describes A Robot That Works in the City Sewer to maintain sewer lines and lay fiber optic cable. Given the shape that Wilshire Boulevard is in as a result of new fiber - when will it end???? - and work on the water mains, it can't be a moment too soon. Hope the crocodiles don't mind.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/8/2001 02:07:47 AM

NASA's Visible Earth web site holds impressive and colorful images of our planet. The nighttime map of the earth, revealing the world's lights, is particularly impressive.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/8/2001 02:01:35 AM

Tuesday, March 06, 2001

I just updated the master index for kazys.net so if you used the index without any success in the past, you may want to try again. I had assumed that it was being updated regularly, but it wasn't. From now on, the index will be updated every Sunday at noon, PST.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/6/2001 08:06:03 AM

Perhaps the most disturbing recent art I've seen is Jon Haddock's site, Isometric Screenshots. Don't miss these.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/6/2001 07:37:54 AM

Crimson Architectural Historians are now on the web. Unlike many historians, Crimson see themselves not as pure academics but as a consulting practice. As they put it, Crimson is "a hybrid practice that takes the contemporary city as its object. Crimson designs for the city, researches it, writes texts and books about it, shows it in exhibitions and works of art, teaches about it, gives advice on it and makes policies for it."
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/6/2001 07:34:32 AM

Monday, March 05, 2001

Speaking of Mart Stam's Trousers, Wouter Vanstiphout's essay on Consensus Terrorism is now available on the Web. Vanstiphout raises the question "Whatever happened to the Dutch 1970s?" We're inclined to agree, but we also wonder what happened to Van den Broek en Bakema?. Even if last year there was a show at the NAI on the rather amazing work of this firm, we suspect that, unlike many shows at the NAI, this was for internal consumption only. Rem Koolhaas may say that his work is a "one-sided dialogue" with Peter Smithson, but somehow we suspect that the ghost of Bakema is behind it.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/5/2001 12:29:09 AM

Sunday, March 04, 2001

The truth is finally revealed. If you have read Mart Stam's Trousers and been left wondering about the famous image of Mies and Corb walking in Weissenhof out of which Mart Stam was purportedly airbrushed out, wonder no more.

And draw your own conclusions.

posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/4/2001 10:22:27 PM

The New York Times has an article on how mountain lakes don't easily recover from fish stocking. It seems that this attempt to improve on nature doesn't work so well after all. This should be of interest to those of you who've read my Owens Valley Driving Guide. Expect on-line revisions to the Guide after the Center for Land Use Interpretation publishes the project later this year.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/4/2001 09:55:55 PM

What might life be like without adequate public transportation in one of the world's largest cities? Today's LA Times has an article on how
Above Congested Sao Paulo, the Commute Is Heavenly
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/4/2001 09:24:20 PM

Saturday, March 03, 2001

The website DEMOGRAPHIA: Demographics, Development Impacts, Market Research & Urban Policy argues against Smart Growth and against New Urbanism. Demographia also has a lot of useful information, like population density per square kilometer for districts in Los Angeles and boroughs of New York city.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/3/2001 09:38:41 PM

If driving to work in Los Angeles wasn't bad enough, you may want to reconsider staying home after you read the Internet Traffic Report.
Never, never forget that the post-Fordist world has its down sides and various kinds of traffic jams are always going to be with us. Check out the skinny on traffic jams for a brief overview, then head over here for a way in which you (yes you!) can make a difference with your car as an amateur traffic dynamicist.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/3/2001 02:02:17 PM

How often does the average American move? Every seven years, sort of. Check out this page on migration at the
Population Reference Bureau and while you're at it, check out the rest of their web site, too.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/3/2001 12:14:11 AM

Friday, March 02, 2001

Finally some reflexivity! And some links on Quartzsite... Kazys.net is included on this list of Media reference links regarding Quartzsite, AZ.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/2/2001 09:06:29 PM

The New York Times has a review of the Andreas Gursky show at MoMA: Stun-Gun Reality, Magnificent in Its Artifice. You may also want to visit the Museum of Modern Art's website on Gursky.

posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/2/2001 09:45:09 AM

Thursday, March 01, 2001

Wondering How to Live with Your Architect? Check out the essay on the topic by Victor Gruen at TechnidunkingFungus - copper dreams. Warning: You really do want to see this, believe me.
posted by Kazys Varnelis 3/1/2001 10:53:48 PM