IT TOOK A POLICE battering ram to bust down the door of the West Philadelphia apartment. Once inside, police discovered a colorful cache of psychedelic drugs — enough LSD to open thousands of “doors of perception” for six to eight hours at a time.
The Jan. 31 raid appeared to be a true flashback to a bygone era, with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration calling the 9,500 hits of LSD on tie-dyed images of Homer Simpson and Jerry Garcia an “anomaly” in Philadelphia. And since two of the five suspects arrested were Drexel students, the raid became known as the “Drexel LSD bust” in the media, with reporters interviewing students and getting statements from university officials.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams cautioned the public from equating Drexel with Haight-Ashbury.
“It is sad that this was taking place on a campus of higher learning, but I hope that the actions of a few do not tarnish the image of educational excellence that we associate with Drexel University,” Williams said in a statement the day after the raid.
That small apartment on Florence Avenue was much closer to the University of Pennsylvania than Drexel, though. And Williams likely didn’t know that institutions of higher learning across the country are delving into psychedelics. Meanwhile, Penn professors, students and curious residents are trying to wipe away psychedelics’ tarnished images.
In the midst of a global ecological crisis, architects and designers are relentlessly pursuing design strategies that manage to mitigate the toxic byproducts of our consumption habits, while maximizing our use of sustainable energy sources. Meeting these challenges means more deeply integrating green technologies like wind and solar power, natural climate controls and space-age materials in to the building processes.
The results can be pretty mind-blowing.
In the spirit of eco-optimism, we’ve curated a selection of some of the most disruptive designs in the green building space, with an eye for both sustainability and aesthetic innovation. Click through below for photos and renderings of the most innovative projects around the world.
My dearest Chicago, you are the architect for the house that Jack built, but did you have any idea that your music was fueling the rage and resistance against apartheid? Did you know that this electronic music created in your mama’s basement would become a part of the cultural fabric of one of the most historically complex places on earth? That House Music is a part of the Mandelas’ (both Winnie and Nelson’s) cultural vocabulary?
Many a househead in the U.S. would like to believe we “discovered” House Music in South Africa, when the truth is house has had a home in South Africa long before we tuned in. Sort of like the pre-existing civilizations that Sertima suggested Came Before Columbus. But let’s be clear, it wasn’t that we didn’t care. We can use this moment in electronic music history to admit that not enough of us in the States received a reliable education about the contemporary cultural developments of Africa. And at the risk of sounding like an Intro to Afro-centric Studies course, we’ve learned a great deal about Africa through the lens of white supremacists who sought the resources of Africa (both human and natural), to help institutionalize their superiority. But today, I need us to know better.
Now granted, ‘heads were busy with our own developments, blending music that Traxx Records, Paradise Garage and Mr. Fingers gave us. Not to mention what The Warehouse, West End Records and Steve “Silk” Hurley offered. We had our hands full and our dance floors powdered. We had no idea that the migration of this electronic cultural product called House was travelling beyond our housing projects, ghettos and boroughs and settling in the South African township. How could we know? There was not a single network I can think of that broadcasted music, videos or favorable images of modern Africa. National Geographic doesn’t count.
Contagious sit down with Jaron Lanier – father of Virtual Reality, musician, author (You are not a gadget) and silicone valley legend.