So…You Wanna Be an Architect?

A few months ago I came across a blog post on Design Intelligence (one of my favorite blogs) about the University of Hartford setting up a student studio in the office space of a local architectural firm. What started off as an opportunity for a growing graduate school to use some excess space in a firm leftover from the effects of the recession, turned into an opportunity to possibly rethink how architecture education could be enhanced through an immersive experience. This idea was/is very appealing to me, but unfortunately I thought the article was more slanted toward the benefit to the students and it missed almost entirely how the firm could also benefit beyond filling vacant lease space. READ MORE

November 2nd, 2012 | Comments Off | Work It
Through a Window.

Nerd alert: I mentioned before that my academic background prior to officially embedding myself in architecture is in anthropology, which definitely informs the shape of what I’m interested in when it comes to design. I predominantly studied cultural anthropology, with some forks into the biological and evolutionary branches.

A lot of people (like seriously, a LOT) have asked me how architecture makes sense in this context – how in the world could I abandon the precedents set by that education, and head for ­design, of all things? READ MORE

October 9th, 2012 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
Architectural Nirvana

Bell Tower &Cathedral, Welcome Center w/ Tower of Hope in the background, Tower of Hope

If you happen to be visiting Southern California and you are looking to take in some of the local architecture, you may want to consider a place that many have visited for years for more of a traditional nirvanic experience; the site of the Crystal Cathedral. READ MORE

August 6th, 2012 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
How Green Was My Valley?

How Green Was My Valley?, 1941 Movie Poster

No, I’m not talking about the iconic 1941 movie that beat out better known competition, including Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon, to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.  I’m talking about the sustainable legacy that each of us will leave at the end of our careers. 

How green will the valley be at the end of my watch?

READ MORE

July 3rd, 2012 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
Thoughts on a Memory Palace

Therme Vals, Peter Zumthor

In this digital world full of visual noise and fast-paced bombardment of pictorial architecture, comprehension of the architectural experience is largely being directed by the latest style, prevailing taste and trend.  The “phenomenological truth” has become provisional based on the desire to build iconographic “paper” architecture; much of what is built now is too tepid to be remembered. READ MORE

On the perils of Architecture vs. architecture

No guys, seriously. This is what every architect I know looks like. All of us. Especially the ones who’ve just pulled all-nighters before a deadline. Photo from Banana Republic catalogue.

I stumbled into architecture from a checkered (and stupendously nerdy) past in anthropology, art and marketing, and as a total glutton for punishment, I’ve been working on gaining an architecture degree for the last few years as well as marketing-monkeying. It’s been a little strange, largely because as every intern probably figures out during their first summer job, Architecture as discussed in the context of studio and school is wildly different from architecture in practice.

 As a result, it’s hard not to feel as though my architectural education has a split personality, or a disconnect between brain and hands. Design and methodology happen on both sides, but if you were only doing one at a time, as most do, I don’t doubt that it would be difficult to not come out a little skewed. After all, in studio, we’re predominantly arguing about concepts: entry sequence and the intrinsic properties associated with space types, and how space makes you feeeeeeeeeeel. No budgets, few parameters, no clients waiting for meetings…design in a vacuum is awesome, but only works in real life if you’re an architect and also a billionaire playboy. READ MORE

July 2nd, 2012 | Comments Off | Live & Learn