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Before The Wizard of Oz

8 May

Wizard of Oz is a childhood classic that I took very seriously, well serious in a fun way! I grew up watching that film far too much to the point where in 8th grade my family took a trip all the way out to Chesterton, Indiana from Massachusetts just to go to a Wizard of Oz Festival where I met the few living cast members from the movie including the Coroner! So I am always interested to see variations on the classic story and went to see prequel Oz the Great and Powerful recently and was sadly disappointed. On the other hand I am a huge fan of the prequel musical Wicked which I have gone to see numerous times and I came to the conclusion that there is a key difference between the two: depth of substance.



Louis LeRoy – Endless Work in Time and Space

19 Apr

What would you do with a pile of bricks?

After a great showing of “Into the Garden of Glass and Steel,” we dramatically switched gears to focus on the patient and, in some ways, odd work of Dutch artist Louis LeRoy. He works alongside several friends in Mildam in the North of Holland on what he calls the “Ecokathedraal.” If you are anything like me, the idea of a Cathedral usually brings about visions of larger scale, often ornate religious architectural design.  However, the Ecokathedraal was nothing of the sort.

Dutch artist Louis LeRoy

We were first met with a pile or rubble: bricks, chunks of stone, and other solid building materials dumped on a seemingly random (but beautiful) site as the dumping ground for construction waste.  Then comes along an aged, Dutch artist, who begins to tell a story of his vision in his native language while the film translated through subtitles. What we were left with was nothing less than something beautiful.


Into the Garden of Glass and Steel

18 Apr

This movie was a great way to kick of the Architecture and Design Film Festival. Into the Garden of Glass and Steel was a very strong portrayal of how the Canary Wharf section of London has been turned into an engineered world devoid of life. The tone of the movie was very negative against this grouping of buildings and explained the are in very Orwellian terms.

“Representative democracy had been replaced by the surveillance camera”

Canary Whart, London, United Kingdom



14 Apr

Sandworm © Nikita Wu

Willow and sand are the only two materials used to make this amazing structure on the coast of Belgium yet it may be one of the most beautiful works of architecture I have seen in a long time.


CTBUH YPC Aqua Presentation

6 Apr

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (disclosure: CTBUH is my employer(feel like I should make this like real news)) Young Professionals Committee held a lecture on Aqua. It was presented by three of the members who worked on the project. What made this presentation strong was that each of them represented a different viewpoint of the design and construction of Aqua. They covered architecture (of course), structural engineering, and construction management. Overall it was a really good presentation.

Aqua (source: Skyscraper Center)


Where does the building begin?

27 Mar

This one project just struck me when I first saw it. Yes it has some really interesting curves but what really fascinated me was the way the building seemed to grow out of the ground. It seems to almost be growing out of the ground with no defined edge leading me to the question:

Where does the building begin?

Nanjing Jianning Highrise



23 Mar

A few of us ventured over to the opening of the Chicago Photography Collective’s newest exhibit: KIZUNA: THE BONDS OF EMOTION


Auto Show – The Architecture Files

28 Feb

Of course as an architect when I went to the auto show I wasn’t just looking at the cars. Now overall I must say if I was judging the show based on the booths I would have been sadly disappointed but luckily the filled them (as planned of course) and it was a great show.

Auto Show Globe

Chicago Auto Show 2012


Being Elmo: Inspirational! (commentary and insight)

10 Dec

Remember Elmo? Of course you do…Sesame Street has been a major part of the lives of millions of kids. But do you know the story behind Elmo’s puppeteer? Well, a group of us found out the story at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and it was an absolute inspiration!

Trailer | Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Kevin Clash’s story is full of struggle, opportunity, and passion, as well as a variety of life lessons and inspiration. It’s amazing to see that a passionate young kid from Baltimore can follow his dreams from as early as 10 years old to become successful, loving everything he does and touching the hearts of millions.

So, what about the rest of us? What about the teens, 20s, and 30 year olds, and beyond, that know they want to do something great but have no idea what? What about our journeys?!