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Manuel Herz Architects has completed a housing block in Zurich, named Ballet Mécanique, and it features dynamic facades that transform into balconies for its five apartments. According to Dezeen, “On all four sides of the three-storey, the walls on the two lowest levels are opened using hydraulics to form colourful balconies and sunshades.” See more images on that site. (via Dezeen)

Covers now function as advertisements for something far beyond a single magazine issue: merchandise, collector’s items, spinoff publications, books, recommended products, behind-the-scenes YouTube videos, television shows, and in-person events or conferences. “Somebody from our marketing department once said to me, it would cost us up to $3 million a month in advertising to get as much exposure to the public as having our magazines out on the newsstand,” said Susan Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of National Geographic. “Even when there were more newstands, it was never our biggest source of revenue, but it’s worth a lot to us to just have it out there and have it in the public consciousness.”

However, Lenin was not the first casualty of change in Armenia. While in 1988, the Karabakh movement unified the people of Armenia around the demand for the reunification of Nagorno Karabakh with Soviet Armenia, today’s Sakarov Square was named after Meshadi Azizbekov and featured the bust of the Azerbaijani Marxist, one of the 26 famous commissars. One morning in 1988, Yerevan woke up to news of a truck driving at the statue and toppling it over. It was said but never confirmed that the driver had a heart attack at the wheel and lost control. The bust was never re-installed. In 1991, the square was renamed after Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, a nuclear physicist and human rights activist who was outspoken about the pogroms of Armenians in Soviet Azerbaijan. Sakharov’s bust was installed at the square in 2001.

Ghukas Ghukasyan’s statue was next. In 1990, in the middle of the night, unknown people blew up the statue of the Soviet revolutionary located on Abovyan Street, at the student’s park. In 2009, the slot was conveniently given to famous astrophysicist Victor Hambartsumyan, because the park also has a small observatory.

According to artist, art critic and independent curator Ruben Arevshatyan, contextual and paradigmatic shifts deriving from political or regime change assume the consequent elimination of certain symbols. Statues, as the symbols of veneration of individuals or their servitude to society are the first to go.

If Volvo’s 360c is designed to replace short-haul flights, why are there literal bedrooms in these cars? Maybe because Volvo doesn’t want to replace short-haul flights. It wants to replace “leading aircraft makers.” It wants to replace airports. It wants more cars driving more miles to get “first-class” people where they need to go—in a way that’s fast, safe, secure. Sound familiar?

Unless we fix a whole bunch of other problems with our transportation system, automakers will continue to swoop into our cities and propose new ways for people to use cars. This will in turn lead to building more car-centric infrastructure to support these uses, and we won’t have any kind of hope for addressing the gargantuan amount of space we devote to automobiles, cars’ climate impacts, or traffic deaths.

The Chrome team has been thinking about URL security for a long time. In 2014, it tried out a formatting feature called the “origin chip” that only showed the main domain name of sites to help ensure that users knew which domain they were actually browsing on. If you wanted to see the full URL, you could click the chip and the rest of the URL bar was just a Google search box. The experiment garnered praise from some for making web identity more straightforward, but it also generated criticism. Within a few weeks of showing up in a Chrome pre-release, Google paused the origin chip rollout.

“The origin chip was Chrome’s first foray into the space,” Porter Felt says. “We discovered a lot about how people think about and use URLs. [But] frankly, the problem space proved harder than we expected. We’re using the feedback that we received back in 2014 to inform our new work.”

Fifteen years ago, he picked up the book Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, by David Von Drehle. In the back of the book, the author supplied a list of the dead, something that had never been compiled before. At the top of the list was the name Lizzie Adler and her address on East 6th Street in the East Village, then the Lower East Side, of Manhattan. Hirsch happens to live on the same block. In that instant, he felt a connection to Adler. “She would’ve been my neighbor,” he says. “From my fire escape window I can see her building. Who was she? What could I know about her?”

These questions led him first to fill in the blanks—“Lizzie was a twenty-four-year-old woman from Bucharest in Romania,” he relates. “She was five feet, four inches tall with brown hair and hazel eyes. She’d been in the country only sixteen weeks when she died”—and then to find Adler’s grave, after two years of searching, in Mount Richmond Cemetery on Staten Island. Hirsch brought Von Drehle’s book with him that day, to see who else he might find buried close to Adler. He checked the list against nearby graves and located more victims of the fire: four men and four rows of women and girls. The name Bertha Wendroff stood out. It didn’t match the spelling of a similar name on Von Drehle’s list. In fact, many of the names didn’t match.

  • Writing for Africa Is a Country, Sindre Bangstad discusses academic institutions and their self-criticality when it comes to decolonization:

The late Norwegian social anthropologist Marianne Gullestad who never tired of pointing out that the myth of Norwegian exceptionality when it comes to colonialism and racism is part and parcel of a long-standing and widespread social and political imaginary inside and outside of Norway. It is by no means limited to the political right, and has the support or tacit consent of a great number of Norwegian tenured academics. As a case in point, one need look no further than the bestselling popular title of the former militant Maoist-Leninist turned professor of development studies, Prof Terje Tvedt, who in his last book presents an image of a Norway that was ethnically and religiously homogeneous until the late 1960s, and which enthusiastically and unreservedly welcomed immigrants and asylum seekers from the post-colonial world. Given the long and protracted anti-racist struggles against assorted Norwegian right-wing extremists from the 1970s and well into the 2000s, that is, to put it mildly, not necessarily how most actual former immigrants and asylum seekers to Norway remember it; but it is of course the privilege of Norwegians in hegemonic positions in academia, the media and in politics to leave out any trace whatsoever of their voices and experiences like Tvedt does.

By modern standards, Goldfinger wasn’t doing anything wrong, apart perhaps from dodging some taxes. He was buying up gold at a price people were prepared to pay for it, then selling it in another market, where people were prepared to pay more. It was his money. It was his gold. So what was the problem? He was oiling the wheels of commerce, efficiently allocating capital where it could best be used, no?

No, because that wasn’t how Bretton Woods worked. Colonel Smithers considered the gold to belong not only to Goldfinger, but also to Great Britain. The system didn’t consider the owner of money to be the only person with a say in what happened to it. According to the carefully crafted rules, the nations that created and guaranteed the value of money had rights to that money, too. They restricted the rights of money-owners in the interests of everybody else. At Bretton Woods, the allies – desperate to avoid a repeat of the horrors of the inter-war depression and the second world war – decided that, when it came to international trade, society’s rights trumped those of money-owners.

All this is hard to imagine for anyone who has only experienced the world since the 1980s, because the system now is so different. Money flows ceaselessly between countries, nosing out investment opportunities in China, Brazil, Russia or wherever. If a currency is overvalued, investors sense the weakness and gang up on it like sharks around a sickly whale. In times of global crisis, the money retreats into the safety of gold or US government bonds. In boom times, it pumps up share prices elsewhere in its restless quest for a good return. These waves of liquid capital have such power that they can wash away all but the strongest governments. The prolonged speculative attacks on the euro, the rouble or the pound, which have been such a feature of the past few decades, would have been impossible under the Bretton Woods system, which was specifically designed to stop them happening.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning ET, and is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.