Tag Archives: design

Update: MVRDV Project Will Be Built

Well that didn’t take long. One day after I posted the articles about The Cloud, this release comes out saying the project will be built as-is. This blog entry from Architizer seems to be on the ‘inflammatory, offensive’ side of the argument.


Good for the developer, I say. Its a shame we don’t see truly innovative projects in America lately. When you look down on the buildings like in the image below, tell me, [a] would you ever put 2 and 2 together from that image and [b] you can’t say that’s not a very cool concept.


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Designers are Control Freaks

I’ve already quoted this before on here, but worth quoting again:

‘You’re all here in architecture school because some part of you is a control freak.’ – Prof. Justin Hilton

It is so true. Whether it be architects, interior designers, landscape architects, graphic designers, etc, designers have powerful opportunities to control many senses of the users that occupy are utilize the designer’s project. A great example of this is retail, where many studies have been done to prove that through store planning and graphic design, retail sales can be escalated. I came across this great article today about how Whole Foods does this so well:


We should take note, however, that this responsibility should not be taken lightly. In the Whole Foods case, design is used to proactively influence a person’s actions. In the case of architects and interior designers, we have the ability to create spaces that subconsciously can improve the quality of life for users in an important living or working space. Remember, people, our legal job description is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants. It sure is fun, though, being able to say that you’ve positively impacted someone’s environment, whether they realize it or not.

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KSU Arch in the News

© Victoria Capranica

I took a trip up to good old Kent State in May for some student reviews. As I pulled in to the lots near the Architecture buildings, I noticed this amoebic form surrounding the main sidewalk. I left my car and walked right to it, through it, and back through it the other way. It is an inherently intriguing form. Turns out, a group of KSU Archies built this as part of a competition. It also made ArchDaily, a huge architecture and design website. Check it out:


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The Masterbuilder

If there ever could be a single essay that described my philosophy as a design professional, this is it. I don’t ever have to even write it myself. This guy wrote it for me. It is thoughtful and perfectly true. The role of masterbuilder that Mr. H. Robert Dinsmore, Jr. writes in this article is exactly who I want to become, the role I am lucky enough to be learning right now. I have a long way to go, but everything you need to know about Bob’s career goal is right here.

Read this.


Please comment as well. I’ll probably make a series of posts about this article, I’m just so pumped about it right now I need some time to think about how to break this down.

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Interactive Dining

Copyright Moxie Design

Pretty cool article by ArchDaily about MOJO Icusine, the first totally interactive restaurant in Taiwan. I’m all for users interacting with their space. Ordering food to a real person would eventually be missed, though, right?

Article Link: http://www.archdaily.com/121567/mojo-icusine-interactive-restaurant-moxie-design/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=0&utm_content=383045

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The Great Design Recession

My very first post on this blog was published on July 29th of this year. It can be found here. It speaks about a few things, but it expresses my concern for talented students of mine not being able to find work…along with alot of other people. Five months later, things don’t seem to look a whole lot different in the general market. Our industry is getting hit with an unemployment rate of double or more the national average. Plenty of firm leaders aren’t seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Or if they are, they know things will be very, very different when it all settles.

The AEC industry was one of the first to get hit in 2007, and looks to be one of the last to recover. The primary reason for this is simple: money. Until the banks start lending normally and the private sector starts taking risks, things will not recover fully. Federal money to fund school, infrastructure, and government projects are simply a band-aid right now that only a few parts of the industry are able to benefit from and are not a sustainable option at many levels.


This rant stems from an article from Architectural Record that was published on Monday – it can be found here. Even the founder of my old firm is quoted, and then beat up a little in the comments section at the end.

I say all of this to stress the importance of one segment of that article:

“Yet an alternate reading of the tea leaves suggests that what may really be happening is that architecture is not keeling over but molting. Increasingly, it is becoming a multidisciplinary profession that will benefit generalists over experts, however painful that transition might be, according to employed and unemployed designers alike.”

I’ve never liked the idea of an ‘expert’ in architecture anyhow. Many firms will pigeon-hole staff into be very efficient at one type of task on a project – it makes sense financially for the firm, and its job security for that person – until that role disappears. Architects are supposed to be the ‘master builder’, aren’t they? That’s what the word stems from. Yet, our modern day landscape of the profession doesn’t have many of those. Knowing how to design, how to build, and how to be a business person all factor in. Get broader – find new mediums, take opportunities that present all different kinds of challenges, and widen your skill set.

Though things appear dim, don’t be fooled. There are jobs to be had, work to be done, and money to be made right now. Don’t let the flashy project images of chic design firms get you short sighted. That design firm path that schools teach you is not the only way to happiness in the design industry. In fact, its quite the opposite at the moment for many. Just as you are being taught to be creative in the studios, you also need to be creative in how you approach work. Take your other skill sets, business smarts, and passions and find ways to express yourself, stay busy, and make money all at the same time. It may take you to places you never imagined once you had your heart set on that big firm job – but it may be all for the better.

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Follow the Brick Road

Those crazy Dutch invented a fantastic machine that can lay brick road through gravity at an intense speed without using alot of manual labor. Very, very slick. The video of how they use it is above, and below is a quote from the post I found this from on Infoniac.com

It takes a lot of effort to create brick roads, despite the fact that these look nice and are quite durable.
With the help of a new automatic paver laying machine the labor-intensive work has become more efficient, effective and there’s no need to hire a lot of workers.
The Dutch machine is dubbed Tiger-Stone. It builds brick roads by rolling out a nice and sustainable hardscape. The Tiger-Stone is able to create a brick road almost anywhere and much quicker compared to previous methods.
The whole process may seem to be rather complex, nut in reality the secret is hidden in the gravity-based system.
The Tiger-Stone features an angled plain where workers put the paving stones or bricks. When the electric crawler moves slowly forward along a sand base layer, the stones are arranged automatically being helped only by gravity.
The machine is able to lay out about 400 meters of road per day. It can make roads as wide as 6 meters.
It is worth mentioning that bricks roads may soon gain a lot of popularity due to the fact that stones are easy to acquire and reuse, cement pavers boast a longer lifecycle and both the repairing and replacing processes of such roads are easy. Besides, throughout the year these roads do not create cracks, being resistant to water and freezing.

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