Speculative Architecture • 26 August 2009 • The SnowBlog

Speculative Architecture

"No one knows how many underground cities lie beneath Capadocia. Eight have been discovered, and many smaller villages, but there are doubtless more. The biggest, Derinkuyu, wasn't discovered until 1965, when a resident cleaning the back wall of his cave house broke through a wall and discovered behind it a room that he'd never seen, which led to still another, and another. Eventually spelunking archeologists found a maze of connecting chambers that descended at least 18 stories and 290 feet beneath the surface, ample enough to hold 30,000 people - and much remains to be excavated." That's not fiction. It's real. It's one of the bits I like best from Alan Weisman's book, The World Without Us, which I've mentioned before. But I'm mentioning it again because that passage gets quoted in Geoff Manaugh's The BLDGBLOG Book (from the website of the same name). And Geoff can keep up that level of spellbinding revelation for chapters at a time. In this book his departure points for architectural flights of fancy include Redesigning the Sky and what Geoff calls Landscape Futures. And all of it is wonderfully stimulating for the imaginative juices. In fact if I have a complaint about the BLDGBLOG book, it's that every ten minutes I totally tune out because it's given me a great idea for a novel. And then another one. And another. If you read it for no other reason, it's a great way of devising the plots for seventy or so Hollywood blockbusters and a couple of hundred eery novels. Or you could just read it because it's the most tangential, daydream-inducing treasure chest of ideas. Recommended.


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