the guardian Fri 03 July 2009
Californian architectural writer Geoff Manaugh's website "BLDGBLOG" has a reputation for highly original speculation about buildings, landscapes and cities, informed not just by architectural flights of fancy but by video games, films and science fiction. The BLDGBLOG Book draws on similarly eclectic sources, mashing up the factual and fictional to form a strikingly creative work. He explores four themes - the urban underground (sewers, subways and nuclear bunkers), climate ("weather control is the future of urban design"), architectural acoustics (city sounds from Muzak to grime), and "landscape futures", an unsettling riff on tomorrow's cityscapes. As sea levels rise, Manaugh predicts, London will become "a new Atlantis, sinking deeper each day into a hydrological embrace". He has a truly Wellsian ability to conjure up the structures and spaces of the future. Packed with illustrations, text boxes, brief interviews (Mike Davis, Sam Jacob) and mini-essays, his book fizzes with new ideas about the architecture that frames our lives.