The extra-large architectural complex–art museums, libraries, office complexes–built so prolifically over the past decade are commonly described as expressions of civic pride. They might just as easily be called grandiose expressions of runaway prosperity and municipal vanity. Whatever you call them, shrinking government revenue and newly parsimonious corporate donors have combined to bring the curtain down on mega-projects. Welcome to the post-big epoch. advertisement advertisement Nothing signals the death of an era more conclusively than academic post-mortems. On Saturday the Cooper Union held an all-day conference, “Arrested Development,” to discuss the dubious fate of mega-projects. Point of debate: Are projects like the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and sustainable neighborhoods like the Beddington Zero Energy Development in England (above) beneficial or harmful to surrounding communities? Like many such mega-projects, Atlantic Yards would … [Read more...] about The Post-Big Era: Will Small-Scale Ingenuity Replace Large-Scale Architecture?
Apple’s iPhone division cleared $1.6 billion in operating profits in Q3 of 2009, leap-frogging Nokia as the world’s premiere mobile money-maker, according to Strategy Analytics and GigaOm. (Chart below courtesy of GigaOm.) advertisement That’s an incredible feat (for Apple) and an incredible indication of mismanagement (for Nokia.) The Finnish phone-maker shipped 60.9 million smartphones last year and holds onto nearly twice the marketshare of any other mobile phone maker. With roughly 44% of the market, you’d think they could make a few more bucks than Apple, which holds just about 10% of the market, depending on whose numbers you believe. The difference may be accounted for in Apple’s vertical sales model and its posh brand image. Apple just opened its 277th store in the concourse of the Louvre art museum in Paris. Nokia may have a difficult time turning the tide, even if new app phones like the N900 are runaway hits. As GigaOm notes, … [Read more...] about Apple Is World’s Most Profitable Handset Maker