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Lesson Plan #9: Ideas on Architectural Education

Schools of architecture have not found ways of teaching the art of building that is effective. We want, collectively, to make architectural teaching better, and through that, to make architecture better.

by Christopher Alexander

June 11, 2020

Sensitive architectural education with intellectual weight reflects adaptive architecture that evolved along with humanity itself.
(Nikos A. Salingaros)
Wild about Saffron: Revisiting Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates"

New York City: a February Tuesday in Central Park. 55 degrees and sunny… (originally posted February 21, 2005)

by Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA

June 2, 2020

Detail: The Gates
(Kristen Richards)

Quiet and Disquiet Together: A Quarantine-Induced Assessment of Downtown Manhattan

We savor the city, lingering on the rich detail, walking down streets that we neglected in busier times. It does feel like the proverbial music has stopped. How could it not? Hopefully we'll emerge from our collective timeout recommitted to creating a more equitable and resilient city.

by Dan Kaplan, FAIA, LEED AP

May 28, 2020

Lower Manhattan – from afar
(Kristen Richards)
Remembering Michael Sorkin, Critic and Activist

The wickedly funny Sorkin, known to many as Comrade, was a social justice warrior. He maintained perpetual outrage in the course of writing 20 books and hundreds of articles, honing his invectives for gentrification, Disneyfication, waste, and conspicuous consumption. We have lost a polemicist who urged us toward the best of our architectural principles.

by Katie Faulkner, FAIA

May 21, 2020

Michael Sorkin
(Kristen Richards)

INSIGHT: Design for Wellness: What Now?

Designers must be at the forefront of ensuring that the spaces of the future embrace the lessons of 2020 without sacrificing beauty, comfort, and our shared need to come together safely and to foster human wellbeing.

by Jeffrey Paine, FAIA & Turan Duda, FAIA

May 14, 2020

Cox Communications' Cox CTech Pavilion, Atlanta, Georgia: Terraces and gardens bring nature to work.
(Robert Benson Photography)
The New Norm: A Report by Peter Piven, FAIA

The results of a survey of firm principals across the U.S. about the differences they envision in technology/working remotely, in markets and marketing, in work life and culture, and in society in our post-pandemic future.

May 6, 2020

Peter Piven's own work space, suitably sequestered.
(Peter Piven)

Book Review: "Villas and Gardens of the Renaissance" by Lucia Impelluso with photography by Dario Fusaro

What better escapist yet relevant book could an architect desire? The splendors of Italian Renaissance architecture illuminate our Dark Age and transform eye candy into brain food.

by Norman Weinstein

April 30, 2020

"Villas and Gardens of the Renaissance" by Lucia Impelluso with photography by Dario Fusaro (Rizzoli)
(Dario Fusaro)
Piranesi Drawings: Why his architectural art matters more than ever

The exhibition catalogue for a new British Museum exhibition provokes questions about neglected levels of classical heritage.

by Norman Weinstein

March 12, 2020

A colonnaded atrium with domes, c. 1740-43
(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

Left Coast Reflections #6: Charrette

The word "charrette" has evolved and taken on a new meaning - one that belies its origins. In 19th-century Paris, charrettes were not at all collaborative. Some Beaux-Arts terms are still used in architectural parlance, and many have retained their original meanings - "atelier" is often used as a pretentious substitute for office.

by Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA

February 20, 2020

Left Coast Reflections
(Courtney Broaddus)
INSIGHT: 2020 Trends in Landscape Architecture

Three trends we anticipate growing this year: addressing air quality as part of climate change; cultural and ecological inequities; and converting antiquated roadways into green infrastructure systems.

by Jim MacRae, PLA, LEED AP, and Jason Ficht, AICP CUD, APA, ASLA, CNU-A

February 13, 2020

Bagby Street, Houston, Texas: On average, rain gardens remove 93% of the oil and grease on average from the roadway drainage system.
(Jim MacRae)

INSIGHT: Incorporating Form, Function & Culture: Designing for Commercial Office Success

Commercial interior design looks beyond form and function. Architects and designers are creating spaces that promote company culture and go well beyond the physical design of a space.

by Jaimelynn Shah, Assoc. AIA, CID, LEED AP, Gensler, and Andre Filip, CEO, ELA Advertising

January 23, 2020

ELA Advertising Orange County front lobby and reception area designed by Gensler
(Creative Office Interiors)
Building Abundance #6: An Interview with Dr. Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University

"We have the solutions to climate change and they can be implemented right now." So says Stenger. Read on to learn more about his hopeful prognosis for the climate crisis.

by Edward McGraw, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

January 16, 2020

Google defines abundance as “plentifulness of the good things in life.”
(Ashley McGraw Architects)

Lesson Plan #8: Petition of the British Architecture School Inmates

Students are taught how to tinker with computers and how to plug into a corporate design culture that aids and abets precisely what drives the petitioners to seek reform.

by David Brussat

January 9, 2020

Sensitive architectural education with intellectual weight reflects adaptive architecture that evolved along with humanity itself.
(Nikos A. Salingaros)
Cultural Fit

What is cultural fit when design firms merge or acquire, and how do you achieve it?

by Peter Piven, FAIA

December 19, 2019


Venice Gift Guide for the Venetophile in your life!

Many Venetian artisans and small businesses suffered extensive damages in the unprecedented acqua alta flooding in November, so when you invest in their creativity, you are helping them to repair, restart, and recover.

by JoAnn Locktov

December 18, 2019

1. Alessia Fuga handcrafted glass beads
(Alessia Fuga)
New York Unpacked: Reflections on Jean Holabird's "Paper City"

The artist's 3D watercolors of New York City buildings go on view today in a display window of Ralph Walker's former Western Union Building (1930).

by Janet Adams Strong

December 17, 2019

West Broadway & Duane Street, 10”x2” squared, 2013 (clouds skittering across nearly completed 1 WTC).
(Jean Holabird)

Scarpa and Botta Interventions Severely Damaged in Venice Floods

Fondazione Querini Stampalia initiates fundraising for restoration of its architectural and cultural treasures.

by JoAnn Locktov

December 12, 2019

Fondazione Querini Stampalia - water, water everywhere
(Fondazione Querini Stampalia)
Lesson Plan #7: An Implicit Rather than Explicit Model for Teaching Architecture

I would institute an annual prize, with substantial cash awards, for architecture students who would be given the task of designing a building that surpasses an iconic monstrosity in ugliness.

by Dr. Theodore Dalrymple

December 12, 2019

Sensitive architectural education with intellectual weight reflects adaptive architecture that evolved along with humanity itself.
(Nikos A. Salingaros)

Top Architecture and Design Books of 2019

10 books offering historic sweeps, global visions, and heroic quests.

by Norman Weinstein

December 5, 2019

"Original Bauhaus Workbook" edited by Friederike Hollander and Nina Wiedemeyer
INSIGHT: Designing Landscapes to Adapt to Hurricane Season

By focusing on cultivating native ecosystems, landscape architects can help to build landscapes that are both more resilient and more authentic to place.

by Conners Ladner, PLA

November 21, 2019

Improvements to the savannah landscape resulted in a diverse and resilient mosaic that is an authentic representation of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center's regional ecological context. 
(Design Workshop)

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