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Daily Archives: March 14th, 2009

Architects are cool.  So they show up in product commercials ….  too bad the product is a phone thats not an i-phone.



7. Bunker
Hide behind the nearest chair or pinup board.
8. Narcolepsy
Fall to the ground fast asleep, or if this is inconvenient, gently lean back against the pin-up board and doze off.
9. Camouflage
Prepare in advance and dress in a color similar to the site model or surrounding furniture. Then, in your moment of crisis, stay very still and make no sound.
10. Postmodern simulation
Leaf through your sketchbook and then look up and say, “I’m sorry, that’s not in the script. What page are you on?”

In this article, it is pointed out that while the goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) is to allow people with disabilities to be independent, in reality, many with disabilities are not, and require the assistance of another person, whether a spouse, or caregiver.    What happens when the helper is of a different sex?   Which restroom should be used ???  

I recently encountered a building plan checker criticize a design with single accommodation toilet stalls as being “not equivalent facilitation” to a multiple accommodation restroom,  although for this particular situation it is by far the better solution ! 


An article in Harvard Design Magazine which discusses the future of the office building.   With work becoming more decentralized and networked, is there still really a need for the office building at all, or better put, how will it change?   A study was done at the AA,  comparing two parts of london with approximately the same footprint:  Soho, and Canary Wharf.   Soho is flexible and changing and low-rise,  occupied by multimedia companies, entertainment companies.  Canary Wharf is occupied by financial institutions.   The conclusion is that Canary Wharf is a “dinosaur” whereas Soho, although a much older urban fabric (actually based on the medieval layout of London) represents the future because it is flexible. 

aerial view of soho london

aerial view of soho london


canary wharf, london

canary wharf, london

Personally, I love Soho, and despise Canary Wharf, so this article is preaching to the choir in my case.

A provocative article by Mohsen Mostafavi, in the current (March 2009) issue of Harvard Design Magazine.


Mostafavi became Dean of the School of Design at Harvard in 2008.   Previously, among other positions, he was Chairman of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London for 8 years.    He was born in Iran.

He maintains a “global consulting practice.”     My question – how does he do it all?   How can a single person take on the responsibilities as Dean at Harvard GSD and also maintain an active architectural office?    Yet, if he was not in practice, his value as an educator would undoubtedly diminish.


Mister X, is a comic book from the 1980s.  It was published by Vortex, a canadian company.  The character was somewhat based on Le Corbusier, he is the designer of a city mean to be a utopia, but which has failed.  The name of the city is amazingly RADIANT CITY.    The artwork is related to WATCHMEN.

A cool use of Google SKETCHUP to illustrate the volume of $1 trillion in $100 bills.


This is only a BILLION dollars palletized.   Click on the link to see a TRILLION.  (you know you want to)

This project was delayed for 2 years,  deposits from purchasers were returned.  The units are now selling for approximately 25% less than the original price.    The 1918 Del Monte Cannery is being renovated into condominiums. 

The website for the project is interesting to me in 3 ways:

1.     They have a neat feature where you can use your mouse to move furniture around on the floor plans to understand the scale of the layouts.

2.     There are very few images of the interior spaces, or exterior photos for that matter.  All the photos seem to be small details, or people drinking wine, etc.

3.    The couples shown are predominantly inter-racial.  (nothing wrong with that!) .

Obviously the developer is paying someone money to do the marketing for this project, design the website, etc.   Its interesting to critique the specific images that are being used to appeal to potential buyers.  

The first availability of the project to the public to tour is this weekend (march 14, 15).    I may go check it out, or I may go see WATCHMEN instead…..

Quote from another website:   “I have a great idea: Let’s save the historic Del Monte Cannery Plant 51 only to then add multiple floors to it and make it as generic in appearance as possible!”


An image of the project during construction.  In fairness, I haven’t seen it personally,  but the fact that they don’t show any overall images of the project on the website does make me suspicious.    That being said,  this is possibly a place I would like to live, vs. my current pseudo-mission style single family house.