The world is filling with ever more kinds of media, in ever more contexts and formats. Glowing rectangles have become part of the scene; screens, large and small, appear everywhere. Physical locations are increasingly tagged and digitally augmented. Amid this flood, your attention practices matter more than ever. You might not be able to tune this world out. So it is worth remembering that underneath all these augmentations and data flows, fixed forms persist, and that to notice them can improve other sensibilities. In Ambient Commons, Malcolm McCullough explores the workings of attention through a rediscovery of surroundings. McCullough describes what he calls the Ambient: an increasing tendency to perceive information superabundance whole, where individual signals matter less and at least some mediation assumes inhabitable form. He explores how the fixed forms of architecture and the city play a cognitive role in the flow of ambient information. As a persistently inhabited world, can the Ambient be understood as a shared cultural resource, to be socially curated, voluntarily limited, and self-governed as if a commons? Ambient Commons invites you to look past current obsessions with smart phones to rethink attention itself, to care for more situated, often inescapable forms of information. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Figure of Speech: The Place of Radio in the Space of Architecture
Order of Things in the Wireless Museum
Politics of Broadcasting and the Broadcasting of Politics
Speaking of Conservation: The Oral Travelogue and British Historical Imagination
The Box on the Dresser and the Sacralization of the Everyday Spaces.
How the BBC shaped popular perceptions of architecture and placed them at the heart of debates over participatory democracy. In the years between the world wars, millions of people heard the world through a box on the dresser. In Britain, radio listeners relied on the British Broadcasting Corporation for information on everything from interior decoration to Hitler's rise to power. One subject covered regularly on the wireless was architecture and the built environment. Between 1927 and 1945, the BBC aired more than six hundred programs on this topic, published a similar number of articles in its magazine, The Listener, and sponsored several traveling exhibitions. In this book, Shundana Yusaf examines the ways that broadcasting placed architecture at the heart of debates on democracy. Undaunted by the challenge of talking about space and place in disembodied voices over a nonvisual medium, designers and critics turned the wireless into an arena for debates about the definitions of the architect and architecture, the difficulties of town and country planning after the breakup of large country estates, the financing of the luxury market, the expansion of local governing power, and tourism. Yusaf argues that while broadcast technology made a decisive break with the Victorian world, these broadcasts reflected the BBC's desire to continue the legacy of Victorian institutions dedicated to the production of a cultivated polity. Under the leadership of John Reith, the BBC introduced listeners to the higher pleasures of life hoping to deepen their respect for tradition, the authority of the state, and national interests. These ambitions influenced the way architecture was portrayed on the air. Yusaf finds that the wireless evoked historic architecture only in travelogues and contemporary design mainly in shopping advice. The BBC's architectural programming, she argues, offered a paradoxical interface between the placelessness of radio and the situatedness of architecture, between the mechanical or nonhumanistic impulses of technology and the humanist conception of architecture. (source: Nielsen Book Data)