Facade: Fantail Fabrication / Conceited Cowlick And Wilting Empennage Interlocking Assembly Building
Diogenes is a peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes papers four times a year in the field of Philosophy and the Humanities. It has been publishing since 1953, when issue No. 3, above, was published, with a great cover by famed modernist designer Alvin Lustig (1915-1955), who trained at the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles and briefly studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. Sadly, they no longer hire great designers to make interesting covers, as you can see on their website at the link above.
The journal is named after Diogenes of Sinope (412/404-323 BC), an ancient Greek philosopher also known as Diogenes the Cynic, and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy:
Diogenes of Sinope was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and when Diogenes took to “defacement of the currency,” he was banished from Sinope. After being exiled, he moved to Athens to debunk cultural conventions. Diogenes modelled himself on the example of Hercules. He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticise the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt society. He declared himself a cosmopolitan. There are many tales about him dogging Antisthenes’ footsteps and becoming his faithful hound, but it is by no means certain that the two men ever met. Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and slept in a large ceramic jar in the marketplace. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts such as carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man. He embarrassed Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates and sabotaged his lectures. Diogenes was also responsible for publicly mocking Alexander the Great.
After being captured by pirates and sold into slavery, Diogenes eventually settled in Corinth. There he passed his philosophy of Cynicism to Crates, who taught it to Zeno of Citium, who fashioned it into the school of Stoicism, one of the most enduring schools of Greek philosophy. None of Diogenes’ many writings has survived, but details of his life come in the form of anecdotes (chreia), especially from Diogenes Laërtius, in his book Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. All we have is a number of anecdotes concerning his life and sayings attributed to him in a number of scattered classical sources, none of them definitive. [Wikipedia: Diogenes of Sinope]
Here is a cool (and funny) video — made by a “professional philosopher” — that provides a good overview of the life and philosophy of Diogenes:
Cynical fun with etymology
Because Diogenes believed that dogs were prefect beings, faithful and honest, always living in the moment without pretense, he earned the nickname “Diogenes the Dog.” The Greek word for dog is “kyon,” with the adjective form “kyonikos” (“dog-like”), which is the root for the modern name of his philosophy, Cynicism. Does that mean your dog is cynical? Yes, but not in the modern meaning of the word:
Cynicism, in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics. Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans. The first philosopher to outline these themes was Antisthenes, who had been a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BCE. He was followed by Diogenes of Sinope, who lived in a tub on the streets of Athens. Diogenes took Cynicism to its logical extremes, and came to be seen as the archetypal Cynic philosopher. He was followed by Crates of Thebes who gave away a large fortune so he could live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Cynicism spread with the rise of Imperial Rome in the 1st century, and Cynics could be found begging and preaching throughout the cities of the Empire. It finally disappeared in the late 5th century, although some have claimed that early Christianity adopted many of its ascetic and rhetorical ideas.
By the 19th century, emphasis on the negative aspects of Cynic philosophy led to the modern understanding of cynicism to mean a disposition of disbelief in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions. [Wikipedia: Cynicism (philosophy)]
So your loyal dog is a Cynic philosopher, but not a cynic. “Diogenes” would be a good name for him. Or “Alvin.”
ISO Graphical Symbol No. 17,623: Please No Expulsion from Paradise / No Fall From Grace / Mind the Cherubs and Flaming Swords While Exiting
From a story today on Co.DESIGN: In his Spun series from 2002, Danish designer Mathias Bengtsson created “a series of benches and chairs woven from super lightweight carbon fiber. Each piece weighs about two pounds (the lightest furniture ever produced!) thanks to a low-cost industrial fiber spinning technique used by aerospace engineers.” The Co.DESIGN story continues:
A new show at Industry Gallery in D.C. is exciting new interest in Spun, even though the series was designed a decade ago. Why? Because the curators of the show asked Bengtsson to weave 12 Spun benches into a single sinuous tube that spirals around the gallery in a figure eight. Since each bench weighs only a few pounds, the mega-bench doesn’t weigh more than 11 or 12 pounds. And while it may not look structurally sound, it is: visitors are welcome to relax where it touches down on the gallery floor.
“The pattern of the fibre is designed to produce maximum strength from minimum material–only 20% of the surface is carbon,” Bengtsson told Design Museum. Carbon fiber is notoriously expensive (think road bikes or climbing gear). That’s because it’s usually made by hand. The difference here is that Bengtsson is using an industrial fabrication technique in which a robot arm spins around two rotating discs, pulling a thread of carbon into a form dictated by a 3-D model. The final piece is then cured in a kiln, sealing its shape in place. It’s how NASA rapid prototypes things, and it’s far quicker and less expensive than handmaking carbon fiber objects.
From space to your living room, just one example of advanced technology that NASA begat. What other potentially amazing future technological advances might we miss out on if we continue to shortchange space exploration in the name of crashing budgets here on earth?
Sources: Co.DESIGN | Mathias Bengtsson
Exhibition: INDUSTRY announces SPUN: An Installation by Mathias Bengtsson, May 12 – June 29, 2012, Washington D.C.
The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form
Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour
Learning from Las Vegas created a healthy controversy on its appearance in 1972, calling for architects to be more receptive to the tastes and values of “common” people and less immodest in their erections of “heroic,” self-aggrandizing monuments.
This revision includes the full texts of Part I of the original, on the Las Vegas strip, and Part II, “Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed,” a generalization from the findings of the first part on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl. (The final part of the first edition, on the architectural work of the firm Venturi and Rauch, is not included in the revision.) The new paperback edition has a smaller format, fewer pictures, and a considerably lower price than the original. There are an added preface by Scott Brown and a bibliography of writings by the members of Venturi and Rauch and about the firm’s work.
Denise Scott Brown, in the video above (at 8:15): “Basically, if everyone is striving to be revolutionary, you will be really revolutionary if you try to be ordinary.”
Life on the deserts sands, a man-made oasis of the mind as much as land. Ziggy Stardust Memories, gigantic hotel logos floating in the night sky. Sprawl becomes epic, the decorated shed monumental. For all its many faults, Las Vegas is a potent dream, an electronic foliage spreading a mirage of shade over the gila monsters, mobsters and imported lobsters. From there, it moved out over the land and mindscape, to concert halls and minimalls, invading the collective subconscious or civic life the world over, but especially in its birthplace: America. Americana.