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Disappearing act.


Edited by Georg Flachbart, Peter Weibel. Basel: Birkhauser. 2005. [euro]39.90

After the heady days of the 1990s, it is now well established that the most fertile field for architects interested in virtuality is in research focusing on Mixed and Augmented Reality--where cyberspace is somehow stitched into the real. This can take many forms: smart materials, remote sensing, computer-aided manufacture, and robotics to name but a few such ways of exploring this area. Disappearing Architecture is a good title for a book such as this. It is divided into parts: Intro, The Infrastructure, The Architecture, Special Reports of Mixed Reality Environments, Summing Up and Compact Extro. The book starts off well introducing various concepts and notions of computing and networking that the authors think will be important to architects in creating the cyberised architecture of the near future. The authors are numerous and include names that are familiar such as Bill Mitchell (MIT media Lab This article or section needs sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications. Alone, primary sources and sources affiliated with the subject of this article are not sufficient for an accurate encyclopedia article. ), Hani Rashid (Asymptote asymptote

In mathematics, a line or curve that acts as the limit of another line or curve. For example, a descending curve that approaches but does not reach the horizontal axis is said to be asymptotic to that axis, which is the asymptote of the curve.
 Architects, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
), Diller and Scofidio and names that are not known within the architectural context. I was particularly taken with Andrew Daley, Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller's essay on 'The Development of Quantum Hardware for Quantum Computing'. However, when we proceed to the architecture it all gets a little pedestrian. Much of the architectural work in the book is well known, some actually now quite old. For me these schemes for buildings and interiors which are obviously meant to astound a·stound  
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.

[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen,
, titillate tit·il·late  
v. tit·il·lat·ed, tit·il·lat·ing, tit·il·lates
1. To stimulate by touching lightly; tickle.

2. To excite (another) pleasurably, superficially or erotically.
 and refresh my tired old reactionary understanding of architectural space, all look a bit old-fashioned and above all mutely clumsy. This seems like a swiftly composed book, starting well, but the architects often fail to deliver a substantial denouement de·noue·ment also dé·noue·ment  
a. The final resolution or clarification of a dramatic or narrative plot.

. The technologies described here could be used to create whole new areas of architectural protocols, spatial tactics and epistemologies, but architects seem content on continually going over the same tired blobby blinkered blink·ered  
Subjective and limited, as in viewpoint or perception: "The characters have a blinkered view and, misinterpreting what they see, sometimes take totally inexpedient action" 
 ground. This book has its heart in the right place and like many books of its genre will fly off the shelf, denouement or not.
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Author:Spiller, Neil
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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