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Energy…getting a lil political here….

17 Oct

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Architectural Record seemed to be reading my mind today, there online “WEB INSIDER” came out with a critique today by James Russel titled “All Quiet on the Eco Front

Energy is a big thing, lets not kid ourselves here, and one of the big issues I’ve been having with the election is how Energy isn’t becoming a larger topic. Granted yes Taxes, Healthcare, the Economy, Foreign Policy they all are big issues as well, and rightfully should be front and center while we decide who is going to be the next President of the United States. I honestly haven’t decided who I am voting for yet, but one of the MAJOR ISSUES I have with Governor Romney is the fact that he keeps boasting about how he will be successful in making us Energy Independent over the next 8 years (assuming he’ll be a two-term President should he win).

My issue with this is that ENERGY IS A GLOBAL ISSUE !


Happy Valentines Day!

14 Feb

Architecture puns and innuendos have to be some of my favorites, mostly because they were so much fun to create while in school. This year for Valentines Day it seems very fitting that they are being shared to express a love for others as well as a love for the field itself. If you think about it romance is always connected to architecture, especially in the movies.


Why? because in “On the Town” Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra they agree to meet the girls they’re crazy about on the top of the Empire State to start there night out. Sinatra sings an amazing song called  “You’re Awful” while looking through the binoculars on the observatory deck. (Click the title for the YouTube Video).

Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks plays an Architect whose son tries to set him up with Meg Ryan and they meet at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentines Day.

Also King Kong takes the object of his affection to the Top of the Empire State Building (lets just forget the fact that he gets shot at while he does it just for today)

#architectvalentines courtesy of Coffe with an Architect   
#architectvalentines courtesy of Coffee with an Architect

I encourage you to follow #architectvalentines on Twitter today and find that someone you want “Aalto” yourself, and let the romance of design become an inspiration to what the rest of the year has in store.


Architecture Ryan Gosling

Also if you know a girl who really likes Ryan Gosling (aka Picture Above) you should check out this website: Architecture Ryan Gosling, complete with valentine quote ideas as well as interesting twists on taking architectural concepts (i.e. less is more) and turning them into pick-up lines.




Memorial Design…is there a wrong way

19 Dec of Capitol from Memorial=167051688

Architectural Record posted on its site an article from the Washington Post voicing concerns about the planned Eisenhower Memorial set to break ground early 2012. The preferred design by the memorial commission was created by Frank Gehry in collaboration with set designer Robert Wilson.

The main concern voiced by 2 grand-daughters of Eisenhower is that the memorial doesn’t to them truly represent the essence of who their grandfather was. And there not to thrilled about the statue of their grandfather being a representation of him as a “barefoot boy from Kansas”.  This idea stemming from a quote Eisenhower said during a coming home speech following WWII…

Eisenhower Memorial

“Because no man is really a man who has lost out of himself all of the boy, I want to speak first of the dreams of a barefoot boy” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 22, 1945



I couldn’t find a picture of the proposed statue, but their concerns over the memorial bring up the question, at least to me, is there a right way or a wrong way to memorialize a person through design?

Memorials can be as large as the recently opened September 11th Memorial in New York, or as small as a tombstone or a sign saying that this place is in remembrance of a person. So many corners and streets throughout New York City I have seen named for people and I have no idea why. Older memorials think back to the idolatry the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had for their Gods (The Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Washington Monument for examples). More recently memorials are becoming more artistic, and open to interpretation, for lack of a better word, you could call them modernist or avant garde. Personally while I think the design is beautiful and that it would be a very interesting space to experience first hand, if I was to look at these images and not know their context, to me its a new design for the park space that is already there and getting an upgrade. Would I have known it was supposed to be a memorial, not at all, let alone one for one of the past Presidents of the United States.

So truly is there a right way to design a memorial?

Hello Low Line

22 Nov

Check this out:

High Line meets Low Line, underground New York getting a makeover into a rich green paradise, only thing is that its actual underground in an abandoned Trolley Station closed in 1948…I really hope the MTA approves this, because this could revamp the entire way people view spaces below grade and instead of always building towards the skies and figuring out who can build the next tallest skyscraper that wont make any profit because no one can afford to rent the space…I can see it now, underground cities coming back alive, totally something out of a comic book, I LOVE IT!

Green Retrofits on existing housing in Urban Areas

15 Nov

Found this article reading my weekly Urban Green Council e-mail. Made me think back to all the good times in IIT’s College of Architecture… I think to the Mec/Elec classes learning the basics about reducing energy in design, then re-learning them in Energy Conscious Design, and to the stories told in “The Dwelling” of the houses that were fixed up by Professor Davis. I also remember people thinking its a good idea and something to add to the list of things they’d want to do after they graduate.

Now in a report that will be published by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Living Cities the idea now is that those fixer uppers will be retrofitted with the means to create Energy Savings, because now there are actually numbers to back up all the talk that older buildings can be made green and that the cost put in will in fact be made back in energy savings. This totally justifies my wanting to retrofit my grandmothers 5 family residence in downtown Brooklyn, this report just made it easier to help convince my family to maybe let me do it. *Fingers Crossed*

See NY Times Article:
Study Clarifies the Energy Savings in Retrofitted Buildings