Friday, May 29, 2009


I will not lie. I love SCI FI. I think that architects are essentially futurists, as we design for physical space and structure to be built at some point in the future. Check out Daniel Simon.

Or the prolific Ryan Church, whose designs have inspired quite a few films, yet stretch into forecasting future transportation forms.
More by A Brit named Lee Edwards...

Monday, May 25, 2009


I am struck by how great this is: In-City slaughterhouses in NYC. Now how's that for farm-to-table? One looks dinner right in the eye - before dinner. Obviously common practice in other countries, but why not as much in the US? What are the urban ramifications of this use of space? Could we improve upon it, in order for it to become more common with red blooded Americana? Could 21st Century butcher shops include live pens where diners can literally pick their dinner for the night?

Could it be combined with new vertical urban gardens, furthering the Pig City of MVRDV?

The Social Component

Lately I've been struggling with the receiving end of the process of architecture. Essentially, who are the parties that stand to benefit from the endeavors of practice. What I see in my built environment and on the blogs/internet has left me with a feeling that architecture is a rich man's game. More and more private development, more and more lifestyle branding. Give an architect a week and a couple of under-payed interns and they will be able to dream up new forms rationalized by nothing more than "I think I can, therefore I will." The process is compounded over and over and over.

Which makes this all the more refreshing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This project at the University of Twente in the Netherlands by Arons en Gelauff Architecten is an interesting combination of student housing, social center, and sport venue. It is long established that dutch architects have a wonderful sense of place and density in public - private partnerships , but this is an added bonus. A program normally specified for the inside of a limited use building (climbing gym) becomes a density measure that adds value to a project by placing a use onto a surface that would otherwise be nothing more than enclosure, i.e. exterior cladding. The project reminds me to question uses for roofs, walls, and sidewalks. In New York, for example, there are times when I am delighted to see basketball courts on top of small school buildings, yet I am always suggesting that I want to see more. Case in Point.

You are what you eat

I am looking forward to seeing the new film, FOOD INC, a documentary on the multi-national companies running the factories that produce the food sold in 95% American grocers. The talking points:

Genetic Engineering
Environmental Impact
Food Born Illnesses
Farm Worker Protection
Healthy Eating

Please watch the trailer here, then go see the film opening June 12, 2009.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fluid Urbanism

As a perfect example of a DIY, fluid, resource efficient undertaking, Debra Solomon, an artist based in Amsterdam, draws closer to perfecting the craft of public food vending. She takes food that is close to the end of it's shelf life, remixes it, and injects into an ambitious new, colorful spread. The food is obviously the star of the show in this situation, but the re-purposed vehicle and insta-community it creates would make Peter Cook proud. While helping to revitalize a neighborhood on the outskirts of Rotterdam, it has become part of a large initiative with the help of other architects and designers. Adapt. Reuse. Inject.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

signing in

May 2009

It's raining outside, a perfect day to get this thing going. Although, I have been accumulating ideas for this blog for quite some time, I haven't formulated them into a coherent whole that would be worthy of this form of media expression. So here goes..

More and more, I find myself amazed by the in-between, by things within the built and natural environment that engage our curiosities as we engage the world. Whether structural or ecological, these objects, moments, and interstices thread the frames between departure and arrival.

Beneath the surface of what we engage in the present, exists a deep ecology, a connection to place more specific that surface oriented context; more fluid. I want to try to negotiate this.