But in Fleet Road, Alexandra Road, etc I began to reject the notion of modernism as wiping out the past; I embraced a modernism which took on board the notion of a continuing culture and history.

[…] First you have to set up a basic national building authority, then draw up a national document on house building, working on the Parker Morris standards of the 1960s. Morris created “Homes for Today and Tomorrow”, which was an absolutely remarkable adventure into housing. It meant housing could be flexible, with a range of designs; it encouraged experiment. We need a new version of this. These building standards would be used by local authorities, who would build the houses.

Neave Brown on social housing


The very sobriety of Georgian architecture, meanwhile, is what has made it so commercially expedient. Flat walls of yellow brick and simple grids of windows mean it can fill any plot of land and allow for endless repetition, while the general flimsiness can be hidden behind signifiers of permanence and solidity. Its easy negotiation of building codes and its suitability to historically sensitive areas has made it indispensable to developers, too, so it’s easy to see why this often shoddily built pastiche rubbish has become so endemic.

Pablo Bronstein’s pseudo Georgian wonderland

In Tucson, Arizona, for example, house finches have developed longer and wider beaks than their rural counterparts to more easily consume sunflower seeds in bird feeders. In Puerto Rican cities, lizards’ toes have evolved to grip and move more easily on artificial surfaces, like concrete or brick. Several studies have also shown that urban pollution can increase mutation rates of DNA in birds and mammals. A new species of mosquito appears to be emerging that survives underground in sewers and subways.

Urban-Based Evolution: Species Are Rapidly Adapting to City Habitats (Yale Environment 360)

A cynical view of Crowdtap is that it’s just another form of social media marketing — people being paid to tell their friends to buy things. But then you realize that these people don’t have large social media followings (in fact, Crowdtap users I interviewed said they create throwaway social media accounts to use exclusively for Crowdtap). And sharing content on social media isn’t even required — the default option is to share, but you get your points either way. Crowdtap passes members’ responses on to brands, but otherwise nobody is listening to what they say. No one is responding. There’s very little about this that might be called social. Imagine someone wandering alone in a giant desert, shouting “I love Big Macs!” into the sky. That’s Crowdtap.

The only job a robot couldn’t do – Daniel Carter (The Outline)