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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Green Mountain Hut

Students at Green Mountain College in Poultney,Vermont, developed a shed for urban situations that addresses needs of the urban gardeners of the future. The Occupy Vacant Lots , or OVal shed. Having spent some time with both the students and faculty at the college, I appreciate their continued commitment to developing a creative approach to sustainable living

Occupy Vacant Lots Project Constructs a Pre-Fab Shed for Urban Gardeners | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Thursday, December 22, 2011


From a FB post shared by Alexandra Kostrouble:

These futuristic structures are distributed in the Blackburn, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale districts of East Lancashire, England.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Eccentric Enclosures

An artist named Whiting Tennis constructs anthropocentric shelters and sculptures that also embody animal forms, giving the work a surreal combine quality.

This work is titled:

BOVINE, 2006 Lumber, found plywood and found objects 8.5 x 14 x 7.5 feet

I find this piece interesting in that it is less articulated, more brute, than some of his other work.

More of his work can be seen at:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Soap Box Shelter, 2011

In a project I  concieved for NEXT,  whose link is :

I've combined the means of public address with a built -in shelter. The progressive steps are also symbolic of progress/ a jumping off point.   Thanks to Chris Sollars at 667 Shotwell for a great compilation of ideas in issue #1 of NEXT.            

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Tale of Two Cabins

A James Benning image from the book "Two Cabins" . (Thoreau's and Kaczynski's) published by A.R.T. at:

"a project based publication edited by Julie Ault that documents and analyzes a recent body of work by critically acclaimed filmmaker James Benning. The book includes photography by Benning, essays by Ault, Benning, and Dick Hebdige, and extracts from Henry David Thoreau’s and Ted Kaczynski’s writings." from Julie Ault on FB

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Alp Shelter

This shelter in the alps combines anthropocentric design and passive systems in an way that is reminiscent of the set design in Kubrick's 2001.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The space of contingency

An interesting selection of art and theory exploring mapping , moving, meaning. Below is Adam Bartoll's scale model concretion of a popular online video game "Counter Strike". Virtual architecture made real.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bus Shelter as Memory

A friend in Belgium, Erwin Keustermans, posted this on Facebook recently. I'm re- posting it here since it brings together the prosaic with the personal in a way that re-enchants the generic locale/ architecture.

"I was twelve when I decided to run away. Not that I was being mistreated or anything. I waited till dark, put a few coats over each other and slipped out of the house. I sat on the floor of this bus stop opposite the house (*) to think of a plan. Then walked for several hours and finally pushed an alarm button on a police station. The police came from a nearby town, gave me hot coffee, and brought me home, warning me that my parents might be a bit upset by their late call. Which they were. The net result was that a Latin test due shortly after that was delayed because of 'serious reasons' which my teacher sniffed at as being a particularly fishy excuse."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shelter in Art and Design at MOMA

At the Museum of Modern Art currently is a show from the 1980's until the present which had a display of Andrea Zittel's concepts for modular ,contingent living.

In the design section was this pod/womb-like sculpture (Cries and Whispers), conceived by Hill Jephson Robb to help comfort his seven month old niece for the loss of her mother.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eastern Woodlands

An American Museum of Natural History artist's rendition (circa 1950's) of a pre-contact village in the Eastern woodlands.

For some contemporary artists versions of "Arcadia" , go to:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Portable Shelter Action

These two had the great idea to be both pragmatic and poetic by mounting effigies (color- coordinated, no less) of blanked out I Pads on umbrellas for the afternoon Union Square assembly of Occupy Wall Street's Nov 17 Day of Action in NYC

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dyson's Designs

One of the architect Arthur Dyson's models for communal housing units from the "East of Fresno" exhibition. His work was one of many artists who presented their work in the ruins of a former intentional community in the Sierra foothills in September 2011.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pata-psyco-physic- geography

A path from west to east Manhattan, noting shelter/container landmarks along the way. Nov 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Whitman's Steps, Risers and Rests

A sketch of a proposal for a social sculpture for a corner of Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, in part inspired by Walt Whitman, who, while writing editorials for the Brooklyn Eagle, helped raise awareness of the need for a park to ease the "bad air" and overcrowding of the shanty town that then existed in that area. (now Myrtle Ave)

Whitman's Steps, Risers and Rests, Tom McGlynn, 2010

The artist Laura Napier collaborated with me on a this proposal, incorporating aspects of her prior participatory projects for this piece

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Home on Ice

Spirit House, 2009, digital color print, Tenesh Webber

from a series of images taken on Lake Bomoseen, Vermont and featured in "Arcadia Now"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Clearing of Intents

Point No Point

What’s the point here? A multiplicity of perspectives doesn’t allow for restful contemplation from a single vantage point. The power of group- think is not in its collective wisdom but in its ability to maintain blind spots of intent, while in the midst of a creative, transformative process. Being pre-occupied in this way does not correlate to a willed ignorance but to a clearing of space for things to happen before they are known.

So what’s the point here? The point is, that nothing is not nothing, and that in nothingness there is contained a m├ętier. (with a nod to Wallace Stevens)

The link below leads to a poignant explication of why no agenda might be the best agenda for OWS, from one of the encamped:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Discussion of Civil Relations and Winter Preparation at OWS

Yesterday afternoon I was at a meeting on civil relations and winter prep at the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Upshot of the beginning discussion (before I had to leave) was that negative race and class relationships did not have to be replicated in the community. A representative for the homeless asked that they not be "criminalized", making the very good point that "we were here long before all of you ". If any know how to survive a New York winter on the street-

Some notes on shelter elaborations seen in response to cold- casual use of rigid- foam insulation in the openings of some of the tents. Plastic pallets to elevate tents from ground (more of both, apparently, are on the way) and some double walled, used US Army tents seeming recently back from Iraq (some with remnants of sand still in their folds).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quinzee Principles and Free Speech at OWS

Incorporate insulation principles to maximize warmth /minimize potential therm needs.

An elaboration on the HDT Box with modifications based on responses/ suggestions at:

Box would be elevated on storage crates, maximizing space needs. Vent hole/s could be located to minimize water seepage. Rigid insulation foam could be used- to be later recycled, or shallow, waterproofed, hay- bale- wafer units could be fabricated and assembled as an alternative

Backwards , truncated corporate logo optional, but such re-appropriations of text may allow for the temporary structure to remain as a free speech gesture.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy Wall Street-Winter Shelter Design Forum

Target/ Shelter, 2010
Rigid foam insulation and paint, dimensions variable.
copyright Tom McGlynn, 2010

Occupy Wall Street- Winter Shelter Design Forum ( for submissions of design proposals to solve issues of winter encampment)

This blog is conceived to initiate an open forum to address the need for winter shelter solutions for the OWS encampment. Please feel free to send your ideas and designs (factual or fanciful) to get some practical solutions underway. The designs should be light and portable and be able to retain the maximal amount of body heat.

Here's one possibility, inspired and based upon Henry David Thoreau's section from his "Economy" chapter in Walden quoted below:

"Formerly, when how to get my living honestly, with freedom left for my proper pursuits, was a question which vexed me even more than it does now, for unfortunately I am become somewhat callous, I used to see a large box by the railroad, six feet long by three wide, in which the laborers locked up their tools at night; and it suggested to me that every man who was hard pushed might get such a one for a dollar, and, having bored a few auger holes in it, to admit the air at least, get into it when it rained and at night, and hook down the lid, and so have freedom in his love, and in his soul be free. This did not appear the worst, nor by any means a despicable alternative. You could sit up as late as you pleased, and, whenever you got up, go abroad without any landlord or house-lord dogging you for rent.'

"HDT Box" , active- use social sculpture. Rigid insulation foam units would be lightweight and easily stored, and/ or dissembled after active use. A nylon vestibule could be added at entrance and a sterno can (the type caterers use for warming trays) used for local warming. "HDT Box" , copyright Tom McGlynn, 2011.


For more comments and suggestions: