Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thesis Update

By Sean Hartman On Tuesday I gave my second review for my thesis. Out of all the discussion amongst my committee and I there are a few changes that need to be done. One of the main aspects that was discussed a lot was bring a garden into the area, whether that be in a covered garden that is private to the Emergency Department waiting or is open to the public. I am starting to generate some ideas on what I would like to do and need to do some research on the particular type of garden I would like to do. But over all my committee seemed to be pleased with what I had done to this point. There are a few other changes that need to be completed which I agreed on doing was creating a sub-waiting room once you were processed through the triage area, and to do a detail of a room so that you can see all the different components that go into the room. After completing the changes that the committee and I agrees on I will the contact them and see what they think. I hope to have this completed by the end of this semester. Then we are on to the summer semester. During this time it will be final tweaks, and a whole lot of writing. Along with the design portion of the thesis we also have to have written portion. I hope to get a good jump on this during the three week break we have during the end of this semester and the start of the summer semester. But all in all this semester and my thesis is starting to come to an end. Wish me luck as the end is near of schooling and soon will be out in the work force.

Freiburg, Germany

By Molly Moran Freiburg, Germany Freiburg, Germany is a city renowned for its sustainability and is often refer to as solar city. It has innovated polices in place that require residences to participate in a more sustainable lifestyle. Although it is an exceptional example of green living Freiburg is not without its faults. Like all cities Freiburg is constantly evolving and is not the definitive end all solution for sustainable living. The city is still in the process of building, policy changing, and researching what works and what doesn't. On a more physical scale Freiburg is located in the south Western corner of Germany very close to the border of France and Switzerland. The city also borders Germany's Black Forest, the Black Forest is a mountain range thick with conifer trees, it plays an important role in Freiburg's past and present. The climate is moderate with an average of 2 to 3 inches of rain fall per month. The average temperatures range from a high of 79°F (26°C) in July to a low of 28°F (-2.2°C) in January. The city is also a university city with approximately 24,000 students which is about one eight of the total population. The university being the main source of philosophical ideals and Freiburg's relatively young and single population. The transportation of the city is mainly a public tram system followed by bicycles, with cars and parking garages essential shunned by the residents. Now looking at Freiburg straight through the eyes of Kent E. Portney and the 'Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously index' we can compare the city to the others Portney compared in his book. The index lists thirty-four points under seven categories the system works by answering yes (one point) or no (zero points) to the thirty-four questions. Sustainable Indicators project 1. Y Indicators project active in last five years 2. Y Indicators progress report in last five years 3. Y Does indicators project include "action plan" of policies/ programs? Freiburg should have some annual or system of reports recording its progress since it first began to rebuild sustainably after WWII; not to mention the recent publication done on the city for its progressive energy conservation policies. "Smart Growth" activates 4. N Eco-industrial park development As far as my sources have lead Freiburg is not a major industrial city, but a major university city based in academics. 5. Y Cluster or targeted economic development After the devastation of WWII while the world was quickly building economic security Freiburg focused on the past aesthetic of their economic center and build slower than the rest of the Europe, but there was still a focus on economic development. 6. Y Ecovillage project or program 7. Y Brownfield redevelopment (project or pilot project) Technically, since the majority of the downtown was leveled during an air raid in war and the city has over a nine hundred year history the majority of the city is a brown field. Land use planning programs, policies, and zoning 8. Y Zoning used to delineate environmentally sensitive growth areas 9. Y Comprehensive land use plan that includes environmental issues 10. Y Tax incentives for environmentally friendly development This section dealing with land use and policies complies with Freiburg for several reasons. Bordering the Black Forest, an ancient forest, is a responsibility that requires a delicate balance of growth and protection. Within the city the rule for car owner ship reduce C02 imitations and is also coupled with a fee waiver is a resident declare they will never own a car. Transportation planning programs and policies 11. Y Operation of inner-city public transit (buses and/ or Trains) The tram lines make public trans portion throughout the city accessible. 12. Y Limits on downtown parking spaces Car are frowned upon within the city and have all parking garages on the outskirts of town to avoid cars and park downtown. 13. N Car pool lanes (diamond lanes) Cars are avoided so car pool lanes may be unnecessary. 14. Y Alternatively fueled city vehicle program As before cars are avoid but there are car share programs. 15. Y Bicycle ridership program The vast majority of the resident own or have access to a bicycle and bicycle storage. Pollution prevention and reduction efforts 16. Y Household solid waste recycling Recycling is encouraged, but not enforced. 17. N/A Industrial recycling Freiburg is more of a university city then an industrial city, but I would imagine there would be a industrial recycling program. 18. N/A Hazardous waste recycling Same with Hazardous waste recycling; I would imagine there would be plans or policies in place for it, but the research I have done did not cover it specifically. 19. Y Air pollution reduction program There are public and political polices in place to reduce CO2. 20. N/A Recycled product purchasing by city government 21. N/A Superfund site remediation 22. N/A Asbestos abatement program 23. N/A Lead paint abatement program Points 20 though 23 did not crop up in my research of the city specifically. Energy and resource conservation/ Efficiency initiatives 24. Y Green building program 25. Y Renewable energy use by city government 26. Y Energy conservation effort (other than Green building program) 27. Y Alternative energy offered to consumers (solar, wind, biogas, etc.) 28. Y Water conservation program The energy and resource conservation section is a portion where Freiburg shines. The recent articles on the city are usually focus on these aspects. Building code is constantly updating to reduce energy consumption. The city government is very involved, the city's nick name is the solar city, wind turbines are present in the vicinity, and water runoff is considered for all new buildings going up in Freiburg. Organization/ administration/ management. coordination/ governance 29. N Single governmental/ nonprofit agency responsible for implementing sustainability The effort put into Freiburg involve a multi level approach utilizing city government, nonprofit, and public participation so no single source is responsible for the development of the city. 30. Y Part of a city-wide comprehensive plan 31. Y Involvement of city/ county/ metropolitan council 32. Y Involvement of mayor or chief executive officer 33. N/A Involvement of the business community 34. Y General public involvement in sustainable cities initiative (public hearings, "visioning" process, neighborhood groups or associations, etc.) The multi-level approach utilizing government policies, public participation, local businesses, and regional indentify make the continuation of the idealistic sustainable lifestyle possible. So according to Portney's index Freiburg scored a twenty-four of thirty-four points with seven points as indeterminate, more than likely yes points. These points would put the city at a 31. This rates the city one point higher than the leading city in Portney's study. Seattle tops out at 30, Scottsdale, San Jose at 26, and Santa Monica and Portland at 25, and so on down the line. This doesn't mean that Freiburg should be the end-all case study of sustainable living, but one of several works in progress on the right path towards sustainable cities.

‘The Life of Airports’ Discussion and Exhibition

By Matt Owens i2a istituto internazionale di architettura will be organizing a round table on airports and their complexity on Friday, March 16th at 8:00pm in Vico Morcote. Representatives of the fields of airport management and design will be joined by two artists to exchange stories, uses, criticality and design of several airports in and around Ticino. They will be offering a more poetic vision of infrastructure as a reflection on spatial types. This discussion will coincide with the opening of the exhibition The life of airports. Two case studies: Lugano and Santa Maria Island (Azores). More information on the event after the break. The event is part of the program of studies infrarealities on infrastructure and contemporary urban territory launched by i2a in 2011 directed by Jachen Könz, architect and urban planner, and Alessandro Martinelli, researcher in residence and curator at i2a. In this sense, the area that spans from Lugano to the Vedeggio plain and the Ponte Tresa pass is a perfect case study. i2a operates by bringing together the analysis and design work of students from universities around the world (from the Master in Urban Vision and Architectural Design of the Domus Academy in Milan to the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in New York etc…) and also experts from a variety of disciplines. The goal is to create proposals for landscape management and development, useful for public, private and academic administrations. Taking part in the round table include Alessandro Sozzi, CEO of Lugano Airport SA; Rocco Martelli, Technical director of Orio al Serio-Bergamo Airport; Nicola Marinello, Design and development manager of “Alpha Team architettura e territorio”, currently designing a neo-tertiary (office and residential) development near Milan’s Malpensa Airport; Vicente Padilla Goméz-Guillamón, founder and director of Aertec solution, a Spanish firm that provides consultants and engineers specialising in aerospace and aviation industry; architect Paolo Belloni of pbeb Architetti (Bergamo) who has long been dealing with airport design; architect and video-maker Donatello De Mattia and photographer Giuseppe De Mattia. Contributors will highlight the fact that airports, like other infrastructure, are not a static territorial presence, but rather a living structure under constant development and physical (terminal, runway etc.) and managerial evolution. Which places and forms are characteristic of airport activity? Which realities and practices define it? The exhibition in Vico Morcote illustrates the relationships of balance and unbalance, the paradoxes, ambiguities and latent potential that emerge between an airport and its context. Five films shot by the architect and video-maker Donatello De Mattia capture the space of Lugano airport. Images and sounds illustrate the tight cohabitation between infrastructural, residential and leisure functions, principal characteristic of Lugano airport. On his part, Giuseppe De Mattia presents a report consisting in 30 photographies of different formats (courtesy of Nowhere Gallery in Milan) on the everyday life of Santa Maria Island airport (Azores), which for years has been one of the compulsory technical stops before a transatlantic crossing and a real urban experiment. To open the public to the topic, the exhibition will be completed by a research on the airport of Orio al Serio-Bergamo by the Politecnico di Milano, under the direction of Paolo Belloni, and another by i2a on the typology of Lugano airport. Source:

A brief introduction to the Bamboo Houses of Yunnan China.

By Erik Illies The bamboo houses of the Yunnan Province China have been a vernacular tradition for over 1000 years(Chinavista, 2010). They represent a response by indigenous peoples over many generations to their surrounding environment. Generation to generation, the practice of lashing bamboo elements together and layering chutes to create floors, walls, and roofs is handed down (Yanxin, 2010, p. 147). Perpetuating this tradition is part of and over all cultural preservation of the Dai village. The houses, built in Dai villages, are typically located in low lying valleys near rivers that produce an abundance of bamboo forests. Specifically, these houses are predominantly located in the Yunnan Province of China. The Yunnan Province is located in the southwestern most region of China and covers an area of approximately 394,000 square miles (Wikipedia, 2012). It's geographical coordinates are 24 degrees 30 minutes North/101 degrees 30 minutes (Wikipedia, 2012). This area of China seems to be characterized by numerous mountain ranges and valleys in between. Overall the province has its highest elevations toward the north and its lowest elevations toward that south. The majority of the 45,966,239 population of the Yunnan lives in the eastern portion of the province (Wikipedia, 2012). It could be assumed that the population tends to shift to this portion of the province due to its bordering location with neighboring states and rich diversity of culture/ resources/ and environment. The climate of Yunnan consists primarily of mild temperatures that are regulated in part by the many south facing mountain ranges allowing plenty of natural sun exposure.

Waiting Room Design: Setting the tone for a hospital/clinic visit – Part 2

By Debra Eilering
Continuing our discussion of clinic design, the reception and check-in areas are usually the first place patients have face-to-face interaction with staff. It is critical to make these areas welcoming and as comfortable as possible. The design provides an opportunity to project a positive impression. Key design features to consider: Wayfinding Reception and check-in areas should be easy to find, for everyone. Dropped soffits, custom-designed reception desks, contrasting finishes, and changes in the color, texture or pattern of floor, wall or ceiling finishes help direct patients. Clear signage integrated with overall facility signage helps patients avoid confusion and reduces stress. There are few things more stressful than visiting a hospital. Comfort Designing HVAC systems that maintain indoor environmental comfort in the reception area is especially challenging. Mechanical engineers must consider the qualities of interior spaces, the orientation of a clinic’s entry and the characteristics of the building envelope to size, configure, and locate heating, cooling, and ventilation. Privacy Receptionists often exchange confidential information. Strategies for preserving patient privacy include positioning waiting room seating away from the reception desks, ensuring staff computers face away from the waiting areas, physically separating the reception from the waiting room, using sound-masking systems, and locating staff telephones in a sound-proof office. Personal touch Technology has not eliminated the need for a receptionist or greeter, although many companies feel that it does. Clinic staff is typically still needed to answer questions, provide directions, or assist patients with electronic data entry. Since some patients prefer the human touch and some are not comfortable with technology, clinics should have at least one staff member stationed in the reception area. Of course that is just a recommendation. Future-casting In the future, the integration of communication technology will continue to influence the design of clinics. In fact, as electronic notepads become more affordable, clinics may be handing them to patients to input their data rather than the usual clipboard and pen now used. Or patients may register by swiping a card that carries their digital health history and insurance information. We need to be on target with tailoring design features to accommodate these new technologies. As designers, it is our responsibility to be the innovators and help keep the client competitive. References:


By Audrey Treece I am obsessed with trying to find a job. I am not sure if it was the sudden realization that school is almost (finally!) over for me or the fact that as soon as I find a job, I can move home and live with my husband again. I am not sure what is the driving factor; however, I am completely obsessed. Job-hunting is extremely discouraging. I have applied to over thirty different requests and have not received any more back than a generic email stating, “We do not believe that you meet the qualifications for this position.” Ok, so now what? I have three degrees, tons of experience and a superb resume….but what exactly are they looking for? Am I too qualified? Do I not have the correct degree for the job? What is it? As the end of the semester approaches for most universities, more and more studies are being pronounced with the top ten degrees or the top ten worthless degrees. What do you know…architecture is commonly listed as a worthless degree. It makes me wonder how much the general public is uneducated about the value of an architecture degree. I do not think they realize just how valuable one is. We are trained in such a variety of different disciplines that quite frankly, I think we could do ANY job. Unless you have physically and mentally completed the degree, you will never know or understand what we go through. As the job hunt continues… here is a list I found of “107 Reasons Why Architects Matter.” 107 Reasons Why Architects Matter (or the 107 Things I Like About You) Reason 1: Architects are optimists. So what? Otherwise we couldn’t survive, anticipate and prepare for an unknown future and imagine what is not there. Imagine a world of pessimist designers, planning for the worst. That’s the world without architects. Reason 2: Architects balance multiple intelligences. So what? It’s a job requirement and for some a liability. Architects use all of their faculties when they design and document – including spatial intelligence. Reason 3: Architects are wired to care. So what? Architects naturally empathize. We have the empathy gene. In abundance. More than our fair share, allowing us to put ourselves in other’s shoes. Others may be in it for the money – we’re burning the midnight oil because we care. Reason 4: Architects are strategists. So what? We ask tough, penetrating questions, seldom taking assignments or answers at face value. We reframe questions that are lobbed at us. And go about our work less as object designers than chess players or basketball coaches parlaying the playbook. Reason 5: Architects think in terms of systems, not just things. So what? Because we understand that the world is not made up of individual, disconnected things. And that everything is causal, interrelated and connected. We design the spaces between things as well as the things themselves – and help others to see what they were formerly unable to see and was certain wasn’t there before we gifted them with a new pair of eyes. We’ve all done this for someone in our lives. Reason 6: Architects think laterally and simultaneously – not linearly. So what? The very thinking skills that we need to nurture in others as we move ahead into the 21st century. Reason 7: We do more with less. So what? So there will be more for others – including our children – when they need it. Earth will thank you for it. Reason 8: Architects design outdoor spaces. So what? Think Central Park. Designed by a landscape architect (architects of all stripes.) Architects gave the world outdoor rooms, helping people to feel comfortable in their surroundings, to feel as though they belong, and on a good day, to dwell poetically. Reason 9: Architects are well-educated. So what? Who is most qualified to lead integrated project teams? (Those who deem this elitist need not respond.) The person trained to think of other’s needs before their own, the person who is licensed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the project’s inhabitants. The person dedicated to continuous learning. Reason 10: Architects are T-shaped – both deep and wide. So what? More than mere experts at what the do and know, architects – due to their training and education – are able to see through other’s eyes, empathize and understand what is important to others at the table. We have deep skills and wide wingspan breadth. Reason 11: Architects are “keepers of the geometry.” So what? Form-givers, architects give shape to our world. Who else provides our buildings, cities and lives with a sense of continuity and coherence? Reason 12: Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul. So what? Life speeds by fast. We need to slow down. Architects design places that help us to slow down, look around and take in the view. And then, before we realize it, we’re no longer in the place but of it. Architects have the ability to design places that touch the soul. Reason 13: Architects transform chaos into order. So what? While nature, animals and biomimicry are definitely trending, one look at architecture without architects and you wish you had called an architect. Reason 14: Architects give the world meaning. So what? So what? Architects may be involved in only a small number of projects, but just think of places where you have been happiest, felt most at home, felt a sense of purpose and accomplishment, at ease with yourself and your surroundings – and more than likely an architect was involved. Reason 15: Architects uplift the downtrodden. So what? Architects raise not only roof beams but eyes up toward the sky, and awareness to a higher plane altogether. We provide worthwhile, heightened experiences, naturally. (Ever walk across the structural glass floor to the outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Mississippi on Jean Nouvel’s Guthrie Theater? Then you know what I mean.) Reason 16: Architects think differently. So what? Yes, Apple thinks differently – but what of what Peter Bolin FAIA and his cohorts did for Apple? For Apple! In NYC. It’s no easy task wowing Steve Jobs. Architects do so on a regular basis. Reason 17: Architects are masters of branding. So what? Not corporate branding, but identity, genus loci and place-making. Branded environment architects give places identity – to orient, so that you know where you are in the world and, in the best of places, why you are there and why you’ll return. Reason 18: Architects traffic in beauty. So what? Beauty is perhaps a dirty word these days – but we cannot live without it. While nature does her fair share, architects – in their riffs off of nature – certainly supplement in wondrous ways. Reason 19: Architects provide the wow effect. So what? Because life is not just bread and water. That sense of awe when standing before something man-made, masterful and inexplicably beautiful or grand. That’s the gift architects give to the world. Reason 20: Architects create the places that inspire – and where we live out and realize – our dreams and destiny. So what? You are here, on this planet, for one reason and one reason alone. And more than likely an architect was involved in helping you to recognize this. Just think about it. Reason 21: Architects are technologists, artists and craftsmen. So what? Architects learn with their hands, create with their imagination and put the human touch into technology. This assures that what we help to create will be useful, bring about joy and remain for some time. Reason 22: Architects serve the underprivileged. So what? Architects have a reputation for pandering to the wealthy. Creating low income housing is a higher calling for many architects where good works are the ultimate goal. Fee-wise we may take it on the chin, but the work we produce means a great deal to the people who live there. Reason 23: Architects are custodians of the built environment. So what? If not architects, whom else? Reason 24: Architects keep moving the ball forward. So what? Neither sentimentalists nor futurists, architects as optimists recognize that humans are still evolving. And so too their work. So so what? With each commission architects attempt to push the envelope just that much farther, to do their part to advance things. That is how the world progresses – and architects share in this movement. Reason 25: Architects bring poetry out of doors into the world. So what? Art and poetry reside almost exclusively indoors. Museums and libraries may contain these – but architects work hard to bring their qualities to the design of the outdoors, through their sensitive integration of their buildings into the landscape. Reason 26: Architects are master shapers of light. So what? Kahn in particular was transfixed by light: The sun never knew how great it was until it struck the side of a building. Nor did anyone else for that matter. Reason 27: Architects are for the most part fascinating people. So what? My uncle, when I was 5, told me his best friends were architects: they’re the most interesting people I know, he’d say. Architects try to live their lives by this credo. Reason 28: Architects are intrinsically motivated. So what? It’s better in the long run for all involved. As “I Types,” architects are not in it for the token gift card. We do it because we love it, because it is the right thing to do, because – we trust – it makes a difference in people’s lives. Reason 29: Architects operate from both sides of the brain. So what? Neither exclusively right nor left – architects are the original whole brain thinkers. In doing so, we help to keep things whole. Reason 30: Architects are practical dreamers. So What? Floating ideas like prisons in the sky. This is how we’ll solve large-scaled, complex and intractable problems facing millions: through the persistent application of our imagination, looking at things sideways until they appear to others right side up. Reason 31: Architects get design. So what? An understanding of good architectural design is vital for creating livable buildings and public spaces and architects understand how to design buildings. We make a difference to the positive outcome of the design of our world. Reason 32: Architects give others something inspiring to aspire to. So what? We have all heard someone say that they would have liked to be an architect. Going about the world as an architect is one of the last callings commensurate with our ability to imagine and to create. So so what? Architects have one of the few careers that guarantee that, while practicing, you will remain a lifelong student. Reason 33: Architects involve all of the senses. So what? While we’re lampooned for wearing all black – we know the value of color, the meaning of light, the importance of involving all of the senses in our work. Reason 34: Architects consistently provide people with what is important to them. So what? Some people know what they want while others look to the architect to tell them. Architects adapt to the client – and make it their goal to meet their needs. Sounds simple enough – but this in itself is all-too-rare in the business world, let alone the arts. Reason 35: Architects take ideas and pay it forward – by giving it a twist. So what? In doing so, we create something new. What we produce fits – because it gives the impression that we’ve seen it before – but at the same time it is fresh, unprecedented – keeping life interesting. Architecture, not variety, is the spice of life. Reason 36: Architects turn what is used, old, broken and decrepit and reinvent it into something living and healthy environment for people to use, in cities as well as in the suburbs. So what? Don’t take my word. Take Ellen Dunham-Jones’ word. Click on any of these links or read a sample chapter – and argument for doing so – of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs here. Reason 37: Architects are sexy So what? The world has become increasingly bland, globally with little that distinguishes itself. The architect, in the midst of this sameness, has retained her appeal. Why else would we be chosen as the number one career for lead roles in movies? Far from superficial, architects manage to keep things both relevant and interesting. Reason38:, Architects are problem identifiers. So what? Not only problem solvers, architects recognize that identifying the right problem to solve is often 80% of the solution. Often, the problem they have been assigned is not the one that truly requires addressing. Architects work efficiently and effectively to make sure that everyone is focused on the most pressing, pertinent problem. Reason 39: Architects’ small acts have huge impacts. So what? You only have to think of the Bilbao effect. Don’t let statistics that architects design or impact less than 5% of buildings built. The buildings that count, that create a sense of place and pride of place, the places we take visitors to see and inhabit when in town, that best represent us – public places large and small – these are the buildings we remember and return to. And these are designed by architects. Reason 40: Architects got your back. So what? Architects assure that someone is watching out for you. We make sure you are safe by watching what’s behind you when you’re busy looking ahead. Who else besides the architect watches out for the health welfare and safety of society? Reason 41: Architects wow. So what? While we may only design 5% of all structures –how amazing, absorbing, uplifting they are. You have architects – and their cast of thousands – to thank for that. Reason 42: Architects draw by hand, mouse and by wand. So what? Creatively ambidextrous, flexible and agile, we are not stuck on any one means of communication or delivery. Architects make the best use of availabletechnology to get their point across – but we are not above using a stick in sand, rock on pavement or a burnt piece of charcoal in order to connect and help you understand. Reason 43: Architects design like they give a damn. So what?We care. We make a difference. This matters. Reason 44: Architects give something back. So what? Architects don’t go into architecture to take or even to make money but to give something back. We’re continuously giving, whether going the extra mile, burning one more end of the candle, or by putting their talent and resources in the service of those who need it most. Such as the The 1%, a program of Public Architecture, connects nonprofits with architecture and design firms willing to give of their time pro bono. Reason 45: Architects are change agents. So what? Not merely open to change, we assist in moving change along. No matter how traditional or conventional the assignment, architects make great strides to incorporate the latest advanced technologies. For example allowing for earthquake resistance in tall buildings or in the case of Wright’s Tokyo Hotel. So so what? But at the same time expressing and infusing local or regional character so that the buildings appear to belong to the place where they reside. We may be comfortable with changebut recognize that we first have to make it palatable and acceptable for others. Reason 46: Architects – by just being architects – give hope. So what?This is something we do for others. So many aspire to do something interesting with their lives, belong to a profession that offers endless opportunities to challenge yourself. Being an architect is one of the last callings that matters. Reason 47: Architects work in all media and dimensions. So what? We model in clay and digital clay. Reason 48: Architects serve as role models. So what? Citizen architects, such as Sam Mockbee of Rural Studio , urban activists, getting involved at the grass roots level, some going as far as government. Reason 49: Architects make connections. So what? As systems thinkers, by connecting elements in a project with its surroundings, architects create a social fabric: the semblance of a cohesive, consistent and meaningful world. Architects create worlds that hold a mirror up to life. Reason 50: Architects rise to a good challenge. So what?We challenge ourselves – and each other, our organizations, the profession and industry – to keep moving the ball forward. Improve,, improve, improve. Reason 51: Architects draw crowds. So what? Imagine the world without Frank Lloyd Wright, Antonio Gaudi, Frank Gehry, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Louis I. Kahn, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano and Herzog and de Meuron. Doesn’t matter to “most people?” Think again. Then why are these (in order) the 10 most visited architects in the non-architects! Reason 52: Architects are driven from within. So what? No carrot? No stick? No problem. Architects are self-starting, self-motivating and self-activating. That’s why architects like to think of what we do as an inside game. Reason 53: Architects are linchpins. So what?And being so, are an indispensable part of the design and construction process. We are at the crux of real estate, development, concrete and plumbing. On projects where there may be well over 100 independent entities – from interior design to energy analysis – all pass through the architect. Architects are the common link between project constituents. Reason 54: Architects see the big picture. So what? So many it seems have a difficult time seeing the forest from the trees. Not architects. As I explained here, Malcolm Gladwell in Blink called this ability to see information in its wider context: coup d’oeil or court senseor “giss,” the power of the glance, the ability to immediately make sense of situations. So so what? Architects may not be born with this all-too-rare and exceedingly important ability, but by the end of their formal training they’ve got it. In droves. Reason 55: Architects are meaning-makers. So what? While many make it their job to provide meaningful work for their employees, or to help people find meaning in their own lives, no one but the architect is dedicated to making the world – the built environment – meaningful and coherent. Reason 56: Architects make the world a better place for all. So what? Making the built environment useful, safe, comfortable, efficient, and as beautiful as possible is the architect’s quest. No one else makes this their ultimate goal. The world is a better place for our having been there. Reason 57: Architects are rare. So what? At a time when it seems like there are too many architects for the work available – an imbalance of supply and demand – architects make up just a tiny percentage of professionals, let alone the workforce. Architects are a rare but powerful breed. Reason 58: Architects represent and serve all clients – paying and non-paying. So what? Architects matter because they are the only entity who serves not only the paying but non-paying client (society-at-large.) So so what? Who else is going to represent the needs and wants of the neighbors,community, stakeholders – while balancing the client’s wishes? Architects respect the needs and aspirations of both the individual and the community. Reason 59: Architects are a luxury. So what? Admit it. Human beings the world over have built homes with nothing more than their own two hands. Up until recently, the world existed for millennia withoutarchitects and can very well do so again. But why do so? Architects – for all we do – are a luxury that most cannot live without. Reason 60: Architects understand the patterns of everyday life. So what? Architects get urban design. Architects know that the design of cities and buildings affects the quality of our lives – whether this is acknowledged or appreciated is another matter. The bottom line is this: When it comes to creating urban form, places where people live, work and play, architects matter. Reason 61:Architects are influencers. So what? Not everybody has their own ideas for how to live, work, shop and play. Some architects, such as Christopher Alexander, not only influence their own tribe but worldsbeyond their own (i.e. urban planning to software engineers. The adoption of Alexander’s pattern language by the software community is one such instance.) Reason 62: Architects keep things whole. So what?Since Deconstructivism died, architects – irrespective of style – one way or another have focused on whole building and holistic design. Our hemisphere needs architects to keep things whole, to distinguish east and west while acknowledging the best of both, much as the Olympics have. So so what? To keep globalization from creating an indistinguishable world. To provide order but also character and pride of place. Reason 63: Architects look to the beyond. So what? Beyond the immediate problem. Beyond the immediate issue at hand. Beyond their immediate surroundings – to look at the impacts of what they’re creating on the world beyond. The universe needs architects…to explore how to inhabit other placesbeyond our planet. Reason 64: Architects touch so many walks of life. So what? The world needs architects – the earth, our continent and country needs architects to address national issues. Our region needs architects – to represent what distinguishes one locale from another, to make sure that our work belongs to specific place and time, so that we might place ourselves in it. Our state needs architects, our cities needs architects, and especially our suburbs. Reason 65: Architects save lives. So what? And not just hospital design architects. “Architecture can save lives”— Newsweek. Just look at what we are accomplishing in Haiti. Producing housing structures for displaced and disadvantaged populations, rethinking humanitarian assistance and pursuing innovative solutions to contemporary housing crises. Focusing on disaster relief and inexpensive and affordable design solutions. Reason 66: Architects work at making stronger communities. So what? Our community needs architects. Our neighborhoods and even our familiesneed architects. Reason 67: Architects are as diverse a group as those they design for. So what? Some will try to tell you that architects have a diversity problem. Forget the stereotype – it doesn’t exist. Architects themselves are a diverse bunch making them particularly effective at designing for diversity. We champion the values of diversity in a beautiful way — values essential to creating livable cities and housing. Reason 68: Architects give good design. Daily. So what? Architects, some may feel, are a luxury. So be it. But architects, as purveyors and perpetuators of good design, are truly needed. Good design is not a luxury, but a necessity. Reason 69: Architects have respect for the past, perform in the present and aspire to have their work help create the future. So what? Architects work attempts to represent the time in which they build – which for us, today, represents turmoil. As Frank Stella said: Architecture can’t fully represent the chaos and turmoil that are part of the human personality, but you need to put some of that turmoil into the architecture, or it isn’t real. For many architects it is not enough that their work represents a specific time and place – they strive to have it belong to both their time and all time. So so what? It matters because our work will not look dated and have a sense of permanence and inevitability, not leave the user with a sense o f otherwiseness. As another Frank has said (Gehry): Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness. Reason 70: Architects are gifted. So what? Not a wrapped keepsake voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation but a notable capacity, talent, or endowment. Whether born with talent or acquired along the way, architects are made, not born. So so what? We owe their many gifts to their professors, educators and trainers along the way. Everything they need to know they learned in school. Reason 71: Architect’s work is a gift. So what? No matter how much they are paid – or whether they are paid at all – what architects leave behind outlasts them. More time is always put into a project’s design and making than our fee could cover. Reason 72: Architects give it away. So what?Architects worldwide regularly provide pro-bono services to communities that have survived war, government oppression and natural disasters. It’s also an antidote to apathy. Reason 73: Architects create nations and destinations. So what? Architects gave the world the Roman Coliseum, Sagrada Familia, Fallingwater, Pantheon and Guggenheim Museum to name but five. Creating timeless destinations serve as evidence of some of man’s highest achievements and something for every artist and architect to strive for. Reason 74: Architects get sustainability. So what? We not only get it – we act on it. We knew long before the recent revelation that location of a green project mattered as much – if not more – as the project siting, orientation and inclusion of systems and products. Reason 75: Architects make connections II. So what? Another sort of connections – we’re literally connectors – but also associative thinkers. The world needs more of us – to feel less isolated. Our product – buildings – may be one-offs, but not the way we design or plan them. We’re always linking and making connections between things. We can’t help it – it’s the way our minds work. Reason 76: Architects make cities real. So what? Architects have given the world the best architecture cities in the world. Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and they had vanished. Barcelona, Spain, Beijing, China, Istanbul, Turkey, Chicago, USA, Athens, Greece – Parthenon vanished. Millennium Park and FLW home and studio. No more. Sydney without the Sydney Opera House? The work disappears – but so does its host. So so what? Architects create works that are inseparable from their environments –and the way we think about them. Reason 77: Architects listen. And listen. So what? People are helped when architecture is democratic. Take the underprivileged. Three past and present California architects come to mind: Michael Pyatok, David Baker, Charles Moore – all as well-regarded for their exuberance as for their participatory design approaches. Reason 78: Architects need to know it all. So what? Architects work with what they know, creating a harmonious balance our of disparate parts. As Vitruvius wrote over 2000 years ago: An architect should be a good writer, a skillful draftsman, versed in geometry and optics, expert at figures, acquainted with history, informed on the principles of natural and moral philosophy, somewhat of a musician, not ignorant of the law and of physics, nor of the motions, laws, and relations to each other, of the heavenly bodies. So so what? A career in architecture, as one parent of an architect put is, is a never-ending learning experience with a myriad of “career spokes” springing from the hub of the core disciplines. The architect takes it upon herself to continually learn and grow, remaining throughout their career a student not just of architecture but of life. Reason 79: Architects are lifelong learners. So what? And not just because they’re required to gather tally, and document their continuing education credits. We’re curious types – in the best sense of the word. We want to know it all – everything – and are thirsty for knowledge. Which is a good thing – because we need to know it all. Reason 80: Architects are all alike. So what? There has been some grumbling that there are now too many architects – software, enterprise, business– and not enough design architects. Or that design architects aren’t getting their fair share of the airwaves. So be it. So so what? The bottom line is this: all architects is alike. We share similar values, obsessions, fixations and interests. We can learn a great deal from each other. So stop complaining – and join the tribe. Reason 81: Architects are action-oriented. So what? Remember Mies’s “Build – don’t talk.” That’s not just a Chicago credo.Architects design to build – with building in mind. So so what? We use words, images and action to get our ideas across and accepted. But in the end, most want to get their designs out in the world, for others to use, live in and among and yes, even critique and judge. Reason 82: Architects are master puzzle makers. So what?Architects are needed because they can put it all together. We fix what is broken and repair what’s been devastated. When given a 500 page program containing 1000’s of input and data – it doesn’t even occur to us that the end result will be anything less and a complete, cohesive and coherent work of whole building design. Bring it on! Reason 83: Architects are pleasers. So what? Architects are comfortable with ambiguity. We keep everyone’s needs, wants, aspirations and wishes – their ideas and ideals – in mind throughout the design process. With many balloons in the air you’d think it would be hard to make everybody happy. Reason 84: Architects are in it for the long haul. So what? Architects matter because they know what they produce will be around for a while – and therefore carry the additional weight of responsibility for their choices and actions. So so what? For, as Lord Byron said: A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress. Architecture changes a lot less frequently than trends. This means that architects cannot be at the whims of fashion – what we do, what our designs look like, have to make sense and last for many generations. Reason 85: Architects are never satisfied with good enough. So what? Why settle? Life is too short. If you can give everybody what they need and want – and at the same time, through trickery or talent, perseverance or insight – find a way to deliver more, why not try to do so? No architect strives to do good enoughdesign – but rather, good design that is enough. Reason 86: Architects use what they got. So what? Architects try to make the most with what they have and are given – even if it is not expected or asked for. Had they not – the built world would be confined to making shelters. Like Helmut Jahn, we strive for an architecture from which nothing can be taken away. Reason 87: Architects, ever patient, persevere. So what? Architecture takes a long time to plan, finance and build. It requires not only the long view but the vision for the long haul. So so what? The architect has the perspective to provide this. Who else on the design or construction team can same the same? Reason 88: Architects work in flows. So what? Architects not only improve the build world and environment but also design in order to improve processes. Architects understand it’s not about the building – it’s about the business and the people and what they do when there. Upstream, downstream and throughout the project – architects follow the flow of movement and energy to and from their projects. Reason 89:Architects put it all into perspective. So what? Architects know the price of their art – the hard work that goes into it, the sacrifices they make, often impacting their family life and sleep. They’re willing to put in the extra effort, to go the extra distance, to pace ourselves over a long career. We truly are the change we want to see. Reason 90: Architects pay the price. So what? Architects work hard, very hard, at achieving their goals. FLW said: I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. Reason 91: Architects are of two minds. So what? Architects are able to think in both business and design terms, to use their design sense to further the business ambitions of their clients. Call it design thinking. Architects are leaders when it comes to design thinking – the ability to apply design sense to help others with their business needs. Reason 92: Architects envision what is not there. So what? But it doesn’t stop with sight or foresight. Architects are trained to be creative thinkers. We see things others don’t or can’t and are able to describe and explain them in ways that help others to understand and act. Reason 93: Architects make others look better. So what? Architects matter because they are there to help their clients succeed.Architects and our professional services firms don’t succeed unless the client does. Architects love to help others achieve their goals and reach their dreams and find imaginative ways to help them get there. Reason 94: Architects learn by doing. So what? Architecture is too broad and deep of a subject to ever really know it all. Continuous learning – there’s always something more to learn – keeps us perpetually on our toes. Reason 95: Architects thrive on less. So what? Our’s really a case where less is truly more. Architects recognize that in tough times such as the current one we’re facing better architecture can be the result. That tough times may in fact lead to better architecture. So so what? This is important because the opposite could occur – where fewer resources result in lesser buildings, less pride of place, and all of us being the lesser for it. Reason 96:Architects are here to serve. So what? Despite the reputation of some, architects exist to serve others. Except for the occasional architect-designed museum, it is what happens inside their buildings and spaces that matters – not the building itself. Architecture is basically a container of something. I hope they will enjoy not so much the teacup, but the tea. Yoshio Taniguchi. Reason 97: Architects operate both in the world – and outside it. So what? Architects practice an art that is in the world and also of the world. But at the same time – stands apart – is its own animal. As Thom Mayne has said: Architecture is involved with the world, but at the same time it has a certain autonomy. This autonomy cannot be explained in terms of traditional logic because the most interesting parts of the work are non-verbal. They operate within the terms of the work, like any art. Reason 98: Architects are markitects. So what? Architects help people and organizations make their mark on the planet – and do so with the widest appeal and the smallest carbon footprint. For better or worse, the first subject Prince Charles really went for as Prince was architecture. It made an impact. He was very intent to use his years as Prince of Wales to make his mark and architects helped him to do so. So so what? Wouldn’t you rather have an architect help make built statements than any other entity? They will at least be responsible, keeping all of the factors in mind. So make your mark! Reason 99:Architects play well with others. So what?Architects may come across as Howard Roark types – lone wolves in sheep’s clothing. But we are all born collaborators. Architects are trained and educated to work productively in teams, and despite the current interest in autonomy know that they get the best results when involving all stakeholders and working well with others. So so what? This matters because we live in a time of crowdsourcing, of co-creation, of participatory design. Architects are there to work with others to come up with the best solutions for all involved. Reason 100: Architects connect the past with the present and future. So what? Architecture serves to connect us in time – with works from the past, with past civilizations. Helping to locate and place us in time, to provide us with a sense of continuity, help us get our bearings and makes us truly inhabitants of this planet, not just hangers-on. Reason 101: Architects work with a palette of possibility. Architects are concerned not with the necessary but with the contingent – not with how things are but with how they might be. So what? Reason 102: The work architects perform touches so many parts of life – and of learning. It has so many facets, it can keep a person interested for a lifetime. As Richard Rogers said: I believe very strongly, and have fought since many years ago – at least over 30 years ago – to get architecture not just within schools, but architecture talked about under history, geography, science, technology, art. So what? Attorneys leave law due to burn-out as well as a lack of meaning in their work. Architects may leave the field for financial reasons, but few if any have done so for lack of what was found there. Reason 103: Architects strive to heal the world. So what? Architects still believe that their works and deeds can help to heal the places where they are privileged to work. Despite what Thom Mayne has said: I’m often called an old-fashioned modernist. But the modernists had the absurd idea that architecture could heal the world. That’s impossible. And today nobody expects architects to have these grand visions any more. Nobody expects this – except us architects, ourselves. Reason 104: Architects hake the hard decisions. So what?When a sales rep calls and asks for a decision-maker they hand the phone to an architect. Why? Architects matter because we have to make the hard decisions – thousands of them in every project. As Arne Jacobsen said: If architecture had nothing to do with art, it would be astonishingly easy to build houses, but the architect’s task – his most difficult task – is always that of selecting. Architects are first and last decision-makers. We make the decisions that count. Reason 105: Architects design for the heart as well as the head. So what? Architects create projects and places that affect us emotionally as well as intellectually. We address the whole person. Reason 106: Architects are passionate about design. So what? Architects do what they do because they are passionate about architecture and design. Despite the rigors of school and the relative lack of money to be obtained in the field, architects that have been in the field already for some time do what they do because they love to do it: plain and simple. So so what? This assures that we will go the extra mile, which is often necessary, to achieve a successful outcome. Reason 107: Architects matter because they sign and seal documents. So what? Exactly! By: Randy Deutsch AIA, LEED-AP

Experiential Hallway - Thesis project

By Andrew Wyne
I have yet to talk about my thesis project. So I just wanted to talk a little bit about my main idea driving my thesis. Architecture is primarily visually based, which makes sense considering we experience most of our surroundings with our eyes. However, there are still all the other senses that I feel can be utilized to their fullest potential. The image that goes along with this post is a diagram of an experiential hallway that will be a main function of my building. The hallway is not finished but is far enough along I think you can get an idea of what I’m trying to do. At first once you reach the level of the experiential hallway there is an educational movie that everyone who is going through the hall would watch and learn about the hallway and its purpose. They would also be warned of the decreasing light and other things that I’m about to explain. Giving them the option to then back out if need be. This hallway is long enough that it will take about twenty minutes to walk through the space. It has varying degrees of light. This is to help with the dependence of sight. A lot of people who have been able to see their whole life would be distracted by what they see and by taking away sight it will help them to rely more on their other senses. This is done in a gradual effect. The next idea is the varying width of hallway; this is used to separate one person from another in the hopes that one would become solely reliant in developing their other senses to maneuver the space. Also in compressing the space people are more likely to become uncomfortable and will need to use their other senses if they want to get out of the hallway in a timely manner. The hallway also has water features. These are used as guiding devices as well as used to enhance the experience. Look to the sketches to see how and where the water will be used within the space. That is it for the description as of now. I will probably post again later when the project is finished so you all can see how it has grown and been accomplished.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 Architectural League Prize Winners Announced

By Sean Keoting

The Architectural League just announced the winners of No Precedent, the thirty-first annual Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers (formerly known as the Young Architects Forum). The League Prize is one of North America’s most prestigious awards for young architects. The program exemplifies the League’s longstanding commitment to identifying and nurturing the development of talented young architects and designers.
This year’s winners are: Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Rio, Emmanuel Ramirez, and Diego Ricalde,
MMX Studio, Mexico City; Jimenez Lai, Bureau Spectacular, Chicago; Sean Lally, WEATHERS / Sean Lally, Chicago; Seung Teak Lee and Mi Jung Lim, STPMJ, Brooklyn; Michael Szivos, SOFTlab, New York; and Koji Tsutsui, Koji Tsutsui & Associates, San Francisco and Tokyo.
This year's jury consisted of Toshiko Mori, Gregg Pasquarelli, Lisa Phillips, Annabelle Selldorf, and Robert Somol.  Committee members were Emily Abruzzo, Dominic Leong, and Michael Loverich.  The program is directed by League Program Director Anne Rieselbach.
For the third year, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design will co-sponsor and host the League Prize exhibition and lectures. The exhibition will be open daily 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and late Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m. The exhibition will also be open on the evenings of the lectures. The exhibition is on view at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue. Admission is free.
Thanks for reading,
Sean Koetting.
Furuto , Alison . "2012 Architectural League Prize Winners Announced" 24 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 Apr 2012. <>

Thesis Review

By Laura Thomas

As the semester comes to an end, grads have their second thesis review. We were allowed one 4'x8' panel and expected to have a site plan, floor plans, elevations, sections, and other. Presentations are across the board from very simple to very graphic. Mine are very simple, straight forward, to the point, and also very bland. Most students have theme boards that play off of their thesis. Since my thesis is a hospice, I'm struggling on this. I want the building to celebrate life, to be a place of solace, an quiet, peaceful ending to a full and memorable life. How am I supposed to graphically represent that? The only background I can think of putting is a serene sunset. Sigh, I will need to resolve this before the final defense.

What's next? On Wednesday I will present and respond to critiques and comments of my committee. Then it's push push push. From here on out, it's all about thesis. I'm excited to finally be able to concentrate on it but dreading that I'm going to get so sick of working on nothing but thesis for the next few months that I will get burnt out on it. I've attached my boards of where I currently am on the project and am looking forward that the next boards will be my last.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Importance of a good, personalized work station

By Jason Skidmore

My last blog entry talked about the importance of spring cleaning your PC. This time around I want to talk about the importance of having a good place to get work done. While everyone’s work space is going to look strikingly different, there are some basic pointers that will help you in being productive and comfortable for long periods of time. First and foremost is the thing that you are in contact with the most, your chair. Your chair should be one that is easily adjustable and helps maintain posture and comfort for long periods of time. I don't suggest some of the cheaper chairs you can find at places like Wal-Mart and Staples. I suggest putting some money into the chair and getting one that will keep you comfortable and relaxed while you work. Next is another very important aspect of your work station, your desk. Your desk should accomplish many things. There are many different combinations of desks that you can buy or build yourself. The sky is the limit, but the basic desk top should give you enough room to have at least two monitors, a keyboard, and a mouse with extra room to spare. Some desks feature a keyboard tray that you can use for the keyboard and mouse, among other things. The desk can also incorporate cable management and place for a desktop computer. As architecture students we require big computers, external hard drives and room to sketch, so take everything you may be doing at your desk into consideration. Shelving above or below is good for storing books, pictures, plants, and anything else you want to be close by. Music is important while working and can make 2 hours seem like 1 hour of work, so invest in some decent head phones or some decent speakers and crank up some tunes and enjoy. I suggest situating your desk close to window to take advantage of direct views of nature as well as a nice breeze from time to time. Some people suggest ambient lighting behind your monitors to help ease eye strain. I have tried this before and think it is definitely a nice thing to have. You can buy LED rope lights on Amazon for less than $10 and attach them to the wall or the back of your monitor with double sided tape. Keep your work space clear of clutter to help you be productive and keep track of important papers and to help minimize distractions. Don't just throw papers on the floor next your desk, actually file them away. In my research I have found that personalizing your workspace can actually benefit you in being able to comfortably work there for long periods of time. If you have a desk at work, do what you can to make it your own, so that it gives you a sense of ownership in the space. Keep good posture and make sure to move around while working to avoid body strain. Another good thing to do is have a timer that goes off every 90 minutes and get up and walk around for about 5 minutes. Taking your attention off of work and on other things can help you be more focused on tasks for longer periods of time. They call this voluntary attention vs. involuntary attention. Breaks are important and try to actually get up from your desk during a break instead of cruising Facebook or Twitter. Walking outside can do wonders for your mood and attention during a long work day or work week.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Structure Project

By Zachary Collins

For our ARC 532 class, we had to find a Non-western building, structural element, or detail that we have not ever been exposed to and develop a model. I had chosen the country of Thailand, in specific, Northern Thailand, and their use of a galae (kalae).

A Galae (pronounced gaar-lair) originated in Northern Thailand in the former kingdom of Lanna. This is where the galae is used extensively on peaked rooftops of mainly houses and used sporadically in other community buildings. Originally, the shape was formed from the extensions of the 2 roof beams that extended beyond the peak and crossed each other to form a V-shape. Through time they became a decorate carving separate from the timbers and were sometimes made of gold or other metals. But mainly, they are carved out of Teakwood, which is abundantly grown in Northern Thailand.

The purpose of this form is still largely unknown or not proven. But there are 2 theories that help explain maybe what this extended structure could have been used for.

1. Theorists believe that is was meant to discourage large birds from landing on the roofs of the houses. Reason for believing this is because these Galaes are also known as “Glancing Pigeons” or “Glancing Crows.”

2. Theorists believe that it is a representation of buffalo horns. Horns represented the ancient custom of symbolizing a Family’s Wealth by putting buffalo horns above their doorways as decoration and to let people know of their status.
So along with an extension of structure, this form as been found in the homes of Thailand as an expression of personal art and décor.

Overall, I found this interesting to learn about, because I had seen these in the architecture of buildings before, but never knew exactly what they were. Below are 2pictures of actual galaes and the third picture is my model representation.

ArchDaily's Facebook page 500,000 Fan Giveaway!

By Sean Koetting

Insiration and Process in Architecture

In celebration of ArchDaily's Facebook page reaching 500,000 fans, making it the largest architecture community in Facebook!, they are partnering up with Moleskine to host a unique giveaway.
"Moleskine, the legendary manufacturer of tools for creativity, introduces “Inspiration and Process in Architecture”, a collection of cloth-bound monographs, curated and edited by Francesca Serrazanetti and Matteo Schubert, exploring the design process of architects. The first four books of the series feature interviews, writings, drawings and notes from four international architects: Zaha Hadid, Giancarlo De Carlo, BOLLES+WILSON, and Alberto Kalach.
All you have to do is become a registered user (for free!), and answer this question in the comments: Which architect would you like to see featured in this Moleskine collection? Among all the comments by registered users we will giveaway four books (one of each). You have until next Monday 16 to comment! "

Good Luck and thanks for reading,
Sean Koetting.

Jordana , Sebastian . "Facebook 500,000 Fans Giveaway: Moleskine – Inspiration and Process in Architecture" 09 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 09 Apr 2012.

Community Service Project

By Sean Hartman

Below is a community service project that Chase Clark and myself have been working on since about Thanksgiving. The project started out by being approached by Shannon Jones and Professor Norm Lach. The project was for the Marion Regional Humane Society that burnt down about a year and a half ago. The extent of our project was to provide some conceptual and schematic design work so they would have something to show for multiple fundraising events. Below are the picture and a link to the Saluki Times where an image and an article was written about the project.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

By Micah Jacobson

I had a chance to visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens this last weekend. It was a great trip and a lot of fun. I admired the magnificent array of flowers trees, and shrubs. One of my favorite places in the garden is the Japanese garden. This is a great example of the traditional Japanese garden. It is a beautiful place.
My other favorite thing was not a garden at all, it was the dome that surrounds the tropical garden. It is a geodesic dome, with a picture of Bucky in the entry way. I pointed to it and showed my in-laws. As they took pictures of the trees, flowers and carnivorous plants I stared and clipped pictures of the dome. The details of its construction were amazing. I would encourage anyone in the area to check it out

Nice weather vs. Work

By Matt Owens

As we begin to realize how fast the end of the semester approaching us, the tension and stress are mounting. With the final review of the semester for our thesis coming up in a week in a half students have begun to squeeze some production out of every hour of the day. There is always plenty to distract us from our studies, and is very easy to give in to the temptations of anything that isn’t work. Each semester is different in the distractions of which may pull a student from their work. For any football fan every weekend during the fall semester is packed with college football on Saturday and pro football on Sunday. To be in school that has a football team each Saturday there is a home game there is plenty of tailgating and festivities that would be hard to miss. March madness hits during the middle of the spring semester and is one to the biggest sporting events during the year. Now even if you are not a sports fan there are always a lot going on surrounding the football and basketball games that draw even the uninterested person. So what big distraction fallows the culmination of the college basketball season in March? One might think that there will not be any bid distractions sporting wise after this. Spring break has come and gone as well, so students should be free of distractions and be able to focus on their studies and for us get some work done on our thesis!

So why do I have the feeling that it is so hard to get anything done lately? Even though we had an incredibly mild winter it is always nice to get back to warm weather and get back outside, but its only early April, it shouldn’t be this nice out? Over the past month record highs have been recorded all over the country. The weather here in Southern Illinois has been amazing! Most plants have even already bloomed and the trees and grass are lush and green. People have been mowing their lawns for a month already. So what has been distracting me from my work? It has definitely been the great weather. As I write right now it is a beautiful 62 degrees outside with a perfectly clear blue sky and surprisingly enough very little humidity. It feels amazing outside right now and I am stuck in studio. I feel like I should be out there enjoying this beautiful day! There is also so much to great outdoor activities to enjoy down here in Southern Illinois, wineries, hiking, or just enjoying the beautiful scenery. I can attribute to lack of productivity I made last weekend to the beautiful weather. I couldn’t pull myself from the back porch at my house. It’s not like I was even doing anything either, I was just sitting there by myself, but it was so nice!

So I didn’t get much accomplished last weekend. I can’t do that this weekend, work needs to get done! I am almost hoping that it won’t be so nice so I don’t have the temptation.

New Administration Building

By Laura Thomas

Back in December I got a phone call from my friend and owner of Prairie Fire Sprinkler asking me if I wanted a job attending meetings and taking weekly progress photos of the job site for the new Administration Building. Bottom line is PFS is located in Decatur, IL and having to drive 3 - 3.5 hours each way for a 1 hour meeting was going to blow an entire day and gas itself would be $60 or more. Needless to say, I was a bargain for time and money to their company We met for lunch, discussed the project, agreed on a price and I've been going to meetings since February.

Thanks to the very mild winter, demolition went exceedingly well and ahead of schedule. Contractors were supposed to be mobilized on site March 1st to begin construction. Construction being what it is and deadlines pushed back for many reasons, construction was not able to start until 3-29-2012. This made the gained month obsolete but they are still on schedule for its completion.
They are currently excavating and removing over 140 truckloads of dirt every day from the job site to begin setting the piers. Now that construction has begun I will be on site at least once a week to take progress pictures. White and Borgognoni are the architects, McCarthy is the construction manager and River City is the general manager on this project. Both are great companies with tons of experience and I'm really privileged to be a part of this project even in a very limited manner.
I've attached a few pictures taken on 4-4-2012 when excavation was just getting underway. The construction will begin with the North wing and move to the West Wing. If you are interested in the project or process you can watch it all live from a video camera posted up on a nearby building (big brother is always watching, lol). Here is the link for it.

So what if global climate change is a cyclical event...

By Erik Illies

It probably is. In fact, rational thinking would bring one to conclude (or just me) to think that shifts in temperature/ precipitation/ atmospheric make-up/ etc. ebb and flow over large periods of time. It is in keeping with a broader theory of super symmetry and overall cosmic balance that I happen to agree with, or at least want to believe in. It feels right that some force is out there to ultimately keep everything in check. Settling all debts, and continually "leveling the playing field". Also, considering that our planet is a closed system, it would make sense that some underlying state of stability must be in place otherwise the planet really could be on its way toward fizzling out and dying (no way).

Now for the interesting part where global climate change and cyclical ebb and flow mix together. It should be hard to argue that some form of climate change is currently occurring. A walk outside in the last few months would be testament to this claim seeing as how we in southern Illinois had almost zero winter weather and have been in summer since late March. We've already seen the destructive power of late spring early summer tornadoes as soon as late February and early March. Last year vast parts of the American southwest were locked in devastating drought. I'm exhausting this list because I believe these could be natures response to accelerated atmospheric change. This closed system of ebb and flow will experience ebb and flow naturally (so the critics tell us)... and so I agree. But if we begin tampering with the system shouldn't it modify its response mechanism to retain balance? A glass full of water will gently ripple on it's surface due to ambient vibrations and air change... thus achieving a type of balance based on cause and effect. Now imagine your shaking the table that glass sits on violently... it's going to slosh around and react as erratically as you are screwing with the table. I think that's what's really going on right now. For a hundred plus years of us shaking up the planet with our industrial revolution and population on steroids tactics of species behavior, we've finally gotten the ripples moving more drastically. It would be akin to "amplifying" natures sine wave of climate cycles... sure it's all natural and stuff, but if we can help ourselves by not upping the volume in which nature reacts to our behavior why wouldn't we? Now having said that I realize that I'm completely in the wrong and the only honest way to go about this thing called life is full tilt! So eff it everybody and let's sprint toward the finish line with the volume at eleven!!! What's the worst nature can do in response...

Bringing Craftsmanship Back to Architecture

By Dempson Haney

Since the Arts and Crafts movement in the early 1900’s, some are under the opinion that craftsmanship has been lost in today’s architecture. In a world of digital fabrication and a broad commercial market, Seattle, Washington based firm has brought back that craftsmanship once thought to have been lost. This medium sized firm employs artists, machinists, metal workers, and carpenters to make the total design aspect of their work a reality for their clients. The Olson Kundig Architects has been in business since 1967 but has just recently surfaced to the spotlight of recognition.

Recognized as one of the Nation’s leading architects, Tom Kundig is a principle to the firm Olson Kundig Architects. He specializes in residential, commercial, and institutional. His designs involve the artistic working of raw materials into the built form. He is also known for his kinetic details that get the observer to interact with the building. Kundig has produced works such as Chicken Point Cabin, The Brain Studio, The Delta Shelter, and many more which can be found in “Kundig Houses I & II”. His choice of medium is mild steel, wood, and concrete. These three materials in composition with various finishes create what the firm refers to as extreme regionalism and responds in a modern style, the humanistic attribute to our built space that is commonly forgotten.

The firm and Kundig’s work has become a focus of my thesis studies because of their total design practice in a modern world. Their design philosophy is similar to that which I have held in my studies as well. There is a relationship that coexists with the use or raw material in our built world and how we perceive it in conjunction with the environment. Not only is the use of raw materials cheaper to build with than commercially finished materials, it also can cut down on construction waste, and potentially bring modern architecture to a point that is considered friendly with communities and regions that at one time might have rejected it.

Waiting Room Design

By Debra Eilering

Waiting Room Design:

Setting the tone for a hospital/clinic visit
It really does not matter where we are in the world, visiting the hospital (as a patient) is not a pleasant experience. True, there are exceptions, but no matter the specific location or function, waiting rooms set the tone for the healthcare experience. When we enter a waiting room, we immediately become aware of the surrounding sights, sounds and smells. We also learn to value our time just a bit more than before we walked in. My last few blogs for the year are going to highlight the importance of the necessity to ramp up the design of waiting rooms (just the name implies we will be there for awhile).
Aesthetics, lighting, exterior views, seating, furnishings, regional artwork, indoor climate, positive distractions, and accessibility to building amenities play into a successful waiting room. If properly designed, waiting rooms support an important part of healing and wellness.
The basic design and programming of waiting rooms are evolving. Waiting rooms serve many functions. They are not necessarily exclusive to the front of the building anymore, especially with larger healthcare facilities. Increasingly, healthcare organizations are realizing that minimizing wait time and providing comforting features are integral to successful healthcare delivery. But how can we increase the attractiveness of the waiting room experience through design? Let’s look at a few basic waiting rooms:

Main public waiting rooms

These are usually located near the main entrance. Yet, in many newer or renovated facilities, the main waiting rooms are being reconfigured to serve a greater range of functions. In some instances, they serve as a community gathering spot with such amenities as coffee shops and public education spaces with computers for patient education. These spaces may also be combined with larger public spaces to serve as the lobby for an entire healthcare campus.
Sick/well areas within main public waiting rooms
Prevalent in children’s hospitals and clinics, these spaces help reduce the spread of contagious illnesses and provide physical privacy for those who may be immune-suppressed. Separation areas are important to prevent contamination.

Sub-waiting rooms

These are typically alcoves located near lab and diagnostic areas to provide visual privacy for patients needing to change into a gown. They also are used along the side of a clinic’s main circulation concourse for short-term waiting.

Waiting lounges

Lounges are located near patient recovery or treatment areas. Designed for family or friends who may wait several hours for a loved one recovering from treatment or day surgery, the spaces should be comfortable and private, and provide positive distractions for adults and children alike to help ease the long wait time.
The healthcare industry is facing major changes. Rising costs, new technology, shifting demographics, and new legislation all play into the way healthcare providers deliver care now and in the future.

National healthcare discussion is placing a greater emphasis on containing costs, preventative care, wellness, and managing chronic diseases. By 2014, approximately 40 million more Americans will have access to health insurance with the Affordable Care Act, placing more demand on facilities and building infrastructure.
For healthcare designers, this means thinking strategically about designing healthcare spaces. Patients and caregivers are beginning to think differently about how they use spaces—and about how they want to receive care. Technology is enabling patients to manage care remotely without actually visiting a clinic. And remote care will become more prevalent, impacting the architecture. If healthcare designers can save costs by re-envisioning space planning, they will bring long-term value to the owner—helping improve the healthcare delivery process.

Flexibility, efficiency, and patient experience are the new operative words in healthcare design today.

As designers, we often must address the needs and priorities of multiple clients—the patients, the caregivers, and the healthcare organizations. Our goal is to develop solutions that simultaneously satisfy these three client bases while evaluating how changes in healthcare delivery continue to affect clinic design.
Over the next several blogs, I will deconstruct the standard clinic module to explore strategies for well-planned spaces. From location factors to the entry drive, front door, registration, waiting room, interior circulation, exam rooms, and check-out, I’ll look at design choices that contribute to a successful patient experience. The unifying question I’ll attempt to answer is: How can clinic design make healthcare services more efficient and patient-friendly? Stay tuned.