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Architectural Agency and a Theater that Remakes Itself [ TED Talks ]

14 Dec

Joshua Prince-Ramus makes a strong point about architects:

architects are for decorative purposes only, and architects are cowards

Ouch…but he makes some valid points that are very true about our industry that can be summed up by the warning label on a construction helment…check it out

Joshua’s video is two parts that are both fantastic.  The first part outlines the unfortunate state of much of the architecture industry at present while addressing some excellent ideas for moving forward.  The second outlines an innovative project that shows how these steps can create amazing built form!


Personality vs. Professionalism

5 Dec

Can personality and professionalism get along? Who says that in order to be professional you must wear a suit and maintain a serious demeanor? Who is more professional Jon Stewart or Glenn Beck? Most importantly, is the view of professional changing and how?


A Narrow Victory [ Dwell Magazine ] – Creativity and Invention

28 Nov

A recent Dwell Magazine email update drew my attention to this great New York City apartment renovation.  Most would think it impossible for a family of 4 to live in 700 square feet, but these guys make it look easy!

A Narrow Victory [ Dwell Magazine ]


Porsche Designed Condo: Rethinking the Highrise

23 Nov

When you think about cities, you think the need to limit your number of cars for several reasons…lack of parking, expensive gas, tons of traffic, pollution, etc.

But a condo developer in Miami is starting a project that will at least take care of the lack of parking…while giving you your own personal valet!

Porsche-designed condo lifts owners and cars to high-rise homes


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!

The Future of Cities [ TED talks ]

21 Nov

What’s your vision of a “sustainable” city?  Much of what we see today are cities full of buildings covered in trees, plants, waterfalls, and other natural items.  However, a sustainable city isn’t a city pasted over by a green film…check out what Alex Steffen has to say:

What I like most about his talk is the fact that he wants us to THINK DIFFERENT…greening anything isn’t just about the green on top, it’s about the systems underneath, the nitty gritty things that aren’t always talked about.  He makes a good point…what about rain collection systems, animal pollination, and the recovery of carbon?  Many of these things aren’t seen on the outside, so many people ignore them, but they are an extremely important component of moving our future forward.


Recycling Gets Real: Plastics [ TED Talks ]

21 Nov

I know that many people question the recycling process and how well it really works.  As an avid recycler, even I question the realities of recycling, and the biggest questions come to the realm of recycling plastics.  Plastics 1-7, certain factories only do certain types, ooops can’t do plastic film, bla bla bla…there are so many issues with plastic recycling!

Well, here you go green fans…now, plastic recycling gets real…real sustainability, real economics, real recycling!


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

Advertising, When does it go too far?

15 Nov

We all know the reason for advertising but is there a line it shouldn’t cross? Is there a point where it becomes too obtrusive?

I came across an article in the Chicago Tribune: “First ads go up on Chicago River bridge houses” and my immediate reaction was that the bridge houses should not have advertising on them. It made me even more disappointed when I saw the photo.

New Bank of America advertisements on the Wabash Avenue bridge houses. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune)


An Upside-down Skyscraper?!

9 Nov

What do you do when you are restricted from building a skyscraper?  Duh, build an EARTHSCRAPER of course!  This is something you have to see to believe…

Talk about flipping architecture upside-down…and yeah, pun intended!