Cahokia. Gender roles in an ancient city.

"The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site /kəˈhoʊkiə/ (11 MS 2) is located on the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (c. 600–1400 CE) situated directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri. This historic park lies in southern Illinois between East St. Louis and Collinsville. The park covers 2,200 acres (890 ha), or about 3.5 square miles (9 km2), and contains about 80 mounds, but the ancient city was much larger. In its heyday, Cahokia covered about 6 square miles (16 km2) and included about 120 human-made earthen mounds in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functions.

Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement of the Mississippian culture that developed advanced societies across much of what is now the central and southeastern United States, beginning more than 1000 years before European contact.[5] Cahokia's population at its peak in the 13th century, an estimated 40,000, would not be surpassed by any city in the United States until the late 18th century. Today, Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the great pre-Columbian cities in Mexico." (Wikipedia)

"Archaeologists in Illinois say a prominent pre-Columbia burial mound in the famous ancient city of Cahokia was hardly a monument to masculinity, as their predecessors in the 1960s had claimed. They published their findings in several journals, including American Antiquity." (mental_floss)

"We had been checking to make sure that the individuals we were looking at matched how they had been described," said anthropologist Kristin Hedman. "And in re-examining the beaded burial, we discovered that the central burial included females. This was unexpected."

Even the notes about those two central elites were wrong. They weren't two men; they were one man and one woman. This completely changed the meaning and symbolism behind Mound 72.

"Now, we realize, we don't have a system in which males are these dominant figures and females are playing bit parts," Emerson said. "What we have at Cahokia is very much a nobility. It's not a male nobility. It's males and females, and their relationships are very important."

And this actually lines up better with some other stuff we know about this city, too. For example, a lot of the temples around Cahokia weren't dedicated to war or male power at all." (Upworthy)

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Image via Latin American Studies

Arrival Cities

"(...) Arrival City argues that the ad hoc, self-determined neighborhoods that emerge out of mass migrations, termed “arrival cities,” are integral to integrating newcomers in their destination country. Saunders contributes an essay to Making Heimat. In it, he cautions that arrival cities are “where the new creative and commercial class will be born, or where the next wave of tension and violence will erupt.” The difference, he adds “depends on how we approach these districts both organizationally and politically, and, crucially, in terms of physical structures and built form.”
The cities of Hamburg and Berlin have come up with two different approaches to designing arrival cities. (...)

Berlin’s Kreuzberg district was first established as an arrival city in the 1970s by Turkish men who had traveled to West Germany as part of its gastarbeiter (guest worker) program. Initially, these men lived in dormitories, until their employers realized that workers were more productive when they were happy. Guest workers’ families then joined them, and the men moved out of the dorms and into Kreuzberg. Along the Berlin Wall in Kreuzberg, the rents were cheap. More importantly, landlords were willing rent to Turks.
Today, Kreuzberg is a mix of first- and second-generation holdovers from the 1970s migration, arty Berliners, hipster tourists, and English-speaking expats from the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere. Shabby-chic bars and white cube art galleries push up against kebab houses and hookah lounges. Saunders describes it as having “gone from disreputable to fashionable in a generation.”
But for all the cocktails and kebabs, Kreuzberg still plays host to new arrivals in Germany. It’s become a ground zero for Berlin’s refugee advocacy movement since asylum seekers occupied a disused school building in 2013. This past weekend, the refugee rights group Women in Exile held a rally there, seeking, among other things, more viable housing solutions for refugees and asylum seekers."

Via/More CityLab

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Photograph via Fashion Underground

Daniel Libeskind says...

"Universal Design (UD) should be embodied in every design process and not seen as an afterthought, because architecture is universal and it should be for everyone."
Daniel Libeskind (todayonline)

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Photo via Alchetron


DAM - Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt, "ZUKUNFT VON GESTERN - Visionäre Entwürfe von Future Systems und Archigram", 14. Mai – 18. September 2016.

"Im Fokus stehen außergewöhnliche Zeichnungen, Collagen und Modelle des 1968 nach London emigrierten, tschechischen Architekten Jan Kaplický aus den 1980er Jahren. Konfrontiert werden diese Exponate mit zwanzig Jahre früher entstandenen Werken von Archigram aus der DAM Sammlung. Die Entwürfe der Londoner Architektengruppe Archigram um Peter Cook, Ron Herron und Dennis Crompton sowie Future Systems um Jan Kaplický und David Nixon sind in der utopischen Architektur angesiedelt. Archigram entwarfen organische Architekturen für das Überleben in unbehaglichen Sphären, Future Systems technoide Konstruktionen für die freundlichere Erdlandschaft. Das Gros dieser Utopien blieb auf dem Papier und Anregung für das (Über)leben in gesellschaftlichen Umbruchphasen. Die Weltraumarchitektur von Archigram entstand in der Zeit der Mondlandung. Future Systems dagegen entwarfen ihre autarken, Wohnkapseln in der Hochphase des Kalten Krieges." (Deutsches Architekturmuseum)

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Bild: Archigram, Walking City (Project 064), 1964. © Deutsches Architekturmuseum.


"Das Architektenbüro Nice Architects hat eine wohnwagenartige Unterkunft entwickelt, die sich selbst mit Energie versorgen kann. Das Projekt namens "Ecocapsule" nutzt dafür Sonne, Wind und Wasser. Auf dem acht Quadratmeter großen Dach des eiförmigen Miniaturheims befinden sich Solarzellen. Zusätzlich produziert das Haus eigenen Strom mit einer ein- und ausfahrbaren 750-Watt-Windturbine." (Die Welt)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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The Dementia Simulator

"Di Peng's Dementia Simulator has a frosted casing with distorting eye-wear inside. An inhibiting mouthpiece makes it difficult to speak, and a noises and voices are played into the user's ears to imitate sound-based hallucinations. Essentially, the wearer perceives a severely skewed impression of his surroundings and finds it extremely difficult to communicate. With the awareness that this symptom simulator inspires, no doubt there will be further creative developments in products that make living with the disease more tolerable."
(TrendHunter Tech)

"Peng created the helmet as a way to help non-sufferers experience aspects of the disease, thereby increasing empathy and helping them care for patients or relatives with dementia.
'In order to weaken the stereotypes and misconceptions towards dementia patients, I believe we could use simulation and pretence as a method to further understand their inner world,' he said.
'Mostly, it enables the stakeholders around dementia patients, usually their family members or caretakers, to better understand dementia beyond what modern medicine could explain.""

Vibeat. An Alternative Sensory System

"Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design graduate Liron Gino has designed a set of jewellery-like devices that allow deaf and hearing-impaired people to experience music through vibration.
The Vibeat collection is an alternative to headphones that features a necklace, bracelet and pin with circular modules attached to them."

Narborough Road

Narborough Road in Leicester is home to more than 35 ethnicities and Britain's most diverse street. Lovely!

"Narborough Road, south west Leicester, LE3. A mile-long stretch of shops and bars, cafes and restaurants, writes Lee Marlow.
For the 11,644 people who live in this busy suburb of Leicester, this is the commercial heart of their community, the fulcrum around which everything else turns.
For the academics at the London School of Economics and Political Science it's more than that, though. It's a nationwide curiosity. Narborough Road is, officially, the most diverse street in England, they have discovered.
There are 222 shop units on Narborough Road. Researchers at the LSE found that the owners of those units come from 22 countries around the world."
(Leicester Mercury)

Blindenkongress erstmals in Graz, 1.August - 5. August 2016

"Mehr als 600 Experten sind am Montag in Graz beim europaweit größten Kongress für Blinden- und Sehbehindertenpädagogik zu Gast. Es geht um neue Errungenschaften in den Bereichen Technik und Medizin." Zum Artikel (ORF Steiermark)

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Foto: Odilieninstitut Graz (via/©