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Monthly Archives: October 2009

In this handout photo provided by photographer Gregory Holm, ...
(From YAHOO news) “In this handout photo provided by photographer Gregory Holm, architect Matthew Radune is seen holding a mockup of the Ice House Detroit project in downtown Detroit on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009. Radune and Holm plan to freeze one of the city’s thousands of abandoned homes to draw attention to the foreclosure crisis that’s battered the Detroit area.”

ICE       At least they are doing something artistic in Detroit – although the artist is now a resident of  NYC.


Just because assault weapons are highly instrumental doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have STYLE.

Of course, I’m kidding.  This is WRONG.  

If you appreciate this, then YOU ARE A POSTMODERNIST.

Linked Hybrid - Beijing

Linked Hybrid - Beijing

Architecture = Integral Phenomena
At the beginning of the 21st century, architecture can be the most effective instrument for reconstructing the relations between our species and the earth. There is no better tool with which to redesign the link between mind-body and environment. The mind cannot be separated from its phenomenal senses via the body, which in turn should not be separated from the phenomenal aspects of architecture. The study of architecture is subjective, intuitive, psychological, and scientific.

Today’s new knowledge connects the psychological pressures of modern life with chronic stress-provoking illness. The link between mind-body and environment is now a territory of focus, and we can scientifically argue the timely importance of architecture as an integral phenomenon.

A mind-body environment focus might integrate organisms in structure or volume with complex geometric relationships. This new three-pronged vision will identify several lines of disruption of the given order. Each straight line, each curved line, each twisted line, when integral to a new order of mind-body environment linkages, becomes an active element catalysing the reformation of one reality into another. The urgent need for this new architecture can readily be felt in any reading of the Science Times (as can the urgent need to displace a corrupt fossil-fuel obsessed national leadership). Man belongs to a category of thinking and reflecting species whose behavior affects all non-reflecting species. The crucial tool, architecture, must be put in futuristic service of the new dynamic linkage of mind-body-environment.

It may seem paradoxical – yet as the recession bites and building projects grind to a halt, a record number of British students are applying to study architecture. With so many architects underemployed, or plain unemployed, surely these legions of young people must be either oblivious to what’s going on around them, or else slightly mad?


Image has nothing to do with the article,  but somehow still works.  It is a still from a series of videos called Mister Glasses.

From the article:   “Now, architects, I know you’re going through tough times. If even Lord “Moneybags” Foster is ditching a quarter of his workforce, things must be bad. I know the public don’t appreciate you. I know your job is thankless: anyone watching Grand Designs can see that only a masochist would ever consider building anything larger than a garden shed. And I know that the last thing you want to hear is criticism. But, here goes.”


A compelling article  from the TIMES ONLINE, discusses the current situation for architecture students in the UK, which also applies to the U.S.

From the article:  “So, what do you go into architecture for? Iain Borden, the head at Bartlett, puts much of the rise down to the Grand Designs factor. “Architecture is much more visible nowadays,” he says. “It’s on the TV. Icon projects are a factor. Students see them on adverts or on holiday. People such as Norman Foster are household names.”

Allen agrees. “We get students at 18 who all like Foster and the Guggenheim in Bilbao and Santiago Calatrava. Architecture is a bit cool. But it’s also a career, so the parents like it too. Everyone’s happy.”

sf open studios

The San Francisco Open Studios, sponsored by ARTSPAN, are a monthlong event, occuring four the four weekends of October.  The final weekend is the best one, taking place at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, where there are over 100 artists having studios in the old naval barracks.   This is a highly recommended event.   Take a break, get out of the architectural studio and look at some art!


Not being satisfied with her status as a superstar architect, Zaha Hadid is also designing shoes for LACOSTE.  I believe this is the same company with the annoying little alligators on the shirts that all the prepschool types in the U.S. consider de rigeur.   Also take a look at Rem Koolhaas’ shoe design here.

toilet paper

Robin Williams will tell you how CRAP design can actually be made into a good one.*

She is the author of The Non-Designer’s Design Book

*  (When CRAP means Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity.)


(from the linked Wired magazine article): 

Night owls are more creative.
Artists, writers, and coders typically fire on all cylinders by crashing near dawn and awakening at the crack of noon. In one study, “evening people” almost universally slam-dunked a standardized creativity test. Their early-bird brethren struggled for passing scores.