Tag Archives: rural

Aerial Farm Photography by Edward Burtynsky


Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of mines, quarries, oil fields, ships and airplane graveyards have transformed landscapes of devastation into a thing of beauty. His new photographic series depicts the earth from above, abstracting the terraced farming practices of Spain into a Kandinsky-like painted canvas.

via Kiša Lala | SPREAD ArtCulture



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Young Crops

Young Crops
by Aerial Photography on Flickr

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Farmland World


::Farmland World::

The nature of farming is forever changed. 

Farming is a practice that by it’s own nature unites humans, technology and animals in productive combinations. Hybrids and various mutant bio-mechanical mixtures—Caterpillar combines, John Deere tractors, etc.—began transforming the rural landscape of America beginning in the early 20th century by subjugating the pastoral ideal to the ingenuity of human invention. From utilitarian machinery, to show piece display, both farm animals and machines express a range of complex personalities. Which poses the question: can these overlaps and mutable identities expand to contend with the various crises the farm industry is facing today?

Farmland World is a chain of agro-tourist resorts sprinkled across the American Midwestern countryside. Part theme park and part working farm, guests arrive to the resort via train and stay as part of 1-day, 3-day or 5-day experience packages. Capitalizing on both recent investments in high-speed rail infrastructure and the plentiful subsidies for farming, the network of resorts combines crowd-sourced farm labor with eco-tainment. Guests perform daily chores as self-imposed distractions from the toil of their daily lives. Among the countless activities offered, guests can choose to ride the Animal Farmatures, the dual natured farm implements that complete traditional farm tasks while performing grand rural-techno spectacles. When its time to leave for home, guests climb back into the train, weary and satisfied from their labors as they marvel at the passing landscape they helped transform.

Year: 2011
Location: Middle America
Team: Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer with Kitty Bayer and Hugh Swiatek

Design With Company


via BLDG BLOG + Animal Architecture


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The Inner Workings of a New York Photo Agency in 1978

“Moving Stills” is a short 10-minute documentary created back in 1978 to show how New York-based photo agency Contact Press Images operated. It’s a fun blast from the photographic-past — a world where images are captured on expensive rolls of film and where editors review photographs on a lightbox with a loupe.

via Photoxels | PetaPixel

Hat tip:  Don Crowley

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Ettore Guatelli’s rural museum in Italy

A true master of the art of collection display was the late Ettore Guatelli. This set of photos of his rural museum in Italy are absolutely spellbinding and show just what is possible when displaying an assortment of objects.  

via Reliquary

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A Revival of Rural Craft, With a Modern Twist

“There were so many differences in color, texture and finish even in the same small area,” said Ms. Sterk, who works together with Ms. van Ryswyck as Atelier NL. “Clay is such a rich, beautiful raw material, and we’d never known that, even though we’d been walking on it for years.”

They made bowls and plates from different types of clay, so that each vessel could be used to eat fruit and vegetables grown on the same patch of land. But the Atelier NL designers are not the only ones to be experimenting with rustic styles, techniques and traditions. Other designers are also drawing inspiration from rural life, which appeared again and again in this summer’s design graduation shows.

This is a radical departure for design, which has been steeped in urbanism since the Industrial Revolution. After two centuries of prizing industrial efficiency over the folksy idiosyncrasies of craftsmanship, why has design gone country?

If you rewind through design history there have been occasional glimpses of the countryside. During the 1930s, the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed furniture to be made from silver birches in a nearby forest, and the work of the French designer Charlotte Perriand was inspired by Alpine peasant life. In 1950s Italy, Gio Ponti upholstered his spindly Superleggera chair in rustic straw, while Achille Castiglioni added a tractor seat to his Mezzadro stool.

But these were rare exceptions. Design, as we now know it, is a product of industrialization. For centuries, objects were conceived and made by the same artisans, but those processes were separated when production was mechanized during the Industrial Revolution. The new role of “designer” was invented for the people who then developed the concepts, such as John Flaxman, the British sculptor who designed ceramics for Wedgwood in the late 1700s.

A century later, industrial culture was demonized by the Arts and Crafts Movement, which condemned it as soulless and destructive. But by the early 1900s, the Modern Movement was celebrating the speed and convenience of the “machine age,” and dismissing craftsmanship as drearily archaic.

The balance is changing again. One reason is that the environmental damage caused by industrialization is so severe that it is impossible to ignore the consequences. Another is the backlash against globalization, which is making us critical of its blandness, and more amenable to the quirkiness, sensuality and frailties of craftsmanship. There is also our immersion in digital technology, which, according to the American sociologist Richard Sennett in his 2008 book, “The Craftsman,” encourages us to favor things that seem intuitive and personal, over chilly uniformity.

“The Craftsman” also called for the definition of craftsmanship to be broadened to include software design and computer programming as part of an intellectual reassessment of craft. This process had already started in industrial design, where Hella Jongerius and Jurgen Bey have experimented for over a decade with using craft motifs and techniques to “humanize” mass-manufacturing.

But design’s antipathy to rural culture is now being reassessed too. This is partly because, as the environmental crisis deepens, cities seem less appealing, and the country more so, at a time when digital technology is erasing many of the old constraints of living and working there. Li Edelkoort, the Dutch design theorist, has described the result as “a new romantic yet also realistic” vision of rural life.

By ALICE RAWSTHORN Published: July 25, 2010


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The Rural Studio: Proceed And Be Bold!


Rural Studio, Samuel ‘Sambo’ Mockbee

“Proceed and Be Bold!” is a catchphrase used by the incredibly talented Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee, cofounder of Auburn’s Rural Studio (and winner in 2000 of a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, among other awards).

The Rural Studio was developed within the Auburn School of Architecture with intent to get students out of the classroom and in to hands-on experience with members of a community that would actually be utilizing their work. In the past, the students’ hands-on experience consisted of them building temporary works…a beam or truss, which would later be torn down. D.K. Ruth, who hired Mockbee at Auburn, discussed with Mockbee that one could take such materials and (rather than a temporary exercise) they could “build something substantial”. The idea for Rural Studio was less pre-conceived notions of what architecture is – be it for glass skyscrapers or McMansions – and more a noble architecture of decency for poor people – beautiful whether built with carpet squares, car windshields, or tires. Mockbee died December 30, 2001 but left behind were stunning, noble works for people in one of the poorest areas in the country.

The Rural Studio is still going strong.


via deep fried kudzu (ginger):

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