Yangon 2015

Happy New Year! This blog has become slightly inactive over the past months as the bulk of my writing takes place inside the manuscript for the forthcoming Yangon Architectural Guide. To wrap up the research for the book, I was in Burma for a few weeks in December.


New pedestrian overpass – Strand Road

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New Tumblr

I’ve been doing a fair bit of research in connection with the book project I’m working on. Trying to find footage (both still and video) from post-war Japan (which for the convenience of the project is loosely defined as the first three decades after 1945) has become a bit of a hobby along the way. Instead of posting too much of this on this blog, I have decided to put all these little snippets up on a new Tumblr called “1945-1975 Japan”, to be found at postwarjapan.tumblr.com. Enjoy!



Financial Heretics

I finished my friend Brett’s book The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money a while back. I wanted to post my observations a back then already, but the big move to the US came in between and I dropped the ball. But Brett’s recent piece in Aeon Magazine was a timely reminder. So herewith, though unfortunately not as fresh as I would like them to be, some reflections.

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New York

Welcome to New York City! We arrived here a few days ago and are slowly settling in. In what has become tradition since Japan, my instincts immediately led me to two iconic 1950s buildings on Park Avenue. Jotting down some observations is one thing, yet I feel that exploring this city may need some more structure this time.

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Documenting Yangon

The old colonial architecture (I wrote about it here) is one of Yangon’s greatest assets. Everywhere in the downtown area you are surrounded by the crumbling jewels from the old days, setting you off on a trip back in time. Alas, there does not seem to be a decent effort out there at making an appealing visual document of this amazing heritage.

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Book project update

It’s been a while that I wrote about my book project on some of Tokyo’s iconic 60s/70s buildings. Work has been ongoing over the last couple of months and the project has been growing in scope and depth. There is now four confirmed chapters written by four different authors. Architectural photographer Manuel Oka has started taking shots of the buildings. Here are some of his photos:

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Finding miracles – Norman Macrae

The Economist’s anonymity policy makes it somewhat difficult for individual journalists to rise to fame. It’s thus not surprising that the death of Norman Macrae in 2010 did not create more widespread coverage given that he spent his entire career with the weekly paper. With Macrae, though, the world lost one of its most formidable journalists that had a very special connection to Japan.


Fancy flying to Tokyo on Alitalia? Ad in Economist 1962

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BBC Horizons

DuPont is a chemical industry conglomerate headquartered in the United States. It has its fingers in everything from agriculture to materials to electronics. It started a pioneering collaboration with BBC World News a few years ago when Horizons first aired. It is a BBC produced show about global sustainability challenges. It raises wider questions about ethics in journalism.

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