Archinect - You Are Not Your User 2014-12-22T10:40:40-05:00 http://archinect.com/blog/article/110209621/rabbit-architecture Rabbit Architecture Matt Kleinmann 2014-09-30T23:04:44-04:00 >2014-10-01T08:41:33-04:00 <p><em>This post comes as the result of a lively banter on twitter, one that involved members of the KC design community. It's far from perfect - watching your hometown team potentially choke away&nbsp;its first playoff game of your lifetime will shorten your attention-span too - but below is my long-form response: </em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/k2/k2y3qpmp2m12ycbn.jpg"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I enjoyed following the 20+ notifications I got in the conversation between @freshbreadkc @KCMidtowner @MattNuge @Yeslikedavis and @lscott1967. I wanted to add to the conversation, but since this is a passion and occupation of mine, it would've taken more than 140 characters. Here's my thoughts:</p><p>Speaking as just one architect (non-licensed, mind you), I think my profession is uniquely positioned to envision, design, and then build within the urban fabric systems and structures that support the community. We're not the only ones that do it, as Sean (@freshbreadkc and baker-in-residence as well as social art provocateur) can attest to, nor are we always the best at it (Sean would proba...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/106009667/we-have-good-taste-but-there-s-a-gap "We Have Good Taste, But There's a Gap" Matt Kleinmann 2014-08-07T11:25:00-04:00 >2014-08-11T17:13:33-04:00 <p><em>After three consecutive posts on the 'need' for a greater awareness of community engagement, or design for the public good, I thought I'd transition instead to one of the secret weapons in the toolbox of community engagement: storytelling. </em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/42/421z1dtczqof0p2a.jpg"></p><p>When I was in architecture school, my final design presentation was given to an audience that included developers, policy makers, architectural professors, my peers, and our <a href="http://samfoxschool.wustl.edu/node/6341" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">'starchitect'&nbsp;instructor</a> who had flown in for the week.</p><p>What I remembered most about&nbsp;my personal&nbsp;presentation was that the architecture itself was not what I decided to present on, but&nbsp;instead I proposed&nbsp;a strategy for architecture to be merely a resultant in support&nbsp;of an&nbsp;urban design strategy that sought to enhance a small Kansas town's economic resiliency through the redevelopment of a brownfield site into a resort for experiential tourism <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/southwest-chief-train" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">between LA and Chicago</a>.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://flinthills2011studio.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/matt-conceptual-train-diagram1.jpg"></p><p><img alt="" src="http://flinthills2011studio.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/matt-entrance-render-lores.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://flinthills2011studio.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/matt-night-render-lores.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://flinthills2011studio.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/matt-room-cut-lores.jpg"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>To me, it was about the people, the opportunity to provide jobs, and the connection to the landscape. Immediately...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/105341394/to-hell-with-good-intentions To Hell with Good Intentions Matt Kleinmann 2014-07-29T19:27:00-04:00 >2014-08-04T20:30:54-04:00 <p><em>If you have any sense of responsibility at all, stay with your riots here at home. Work for the coming elections: You will know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how to communicate with those to whom you speak. And you will know when you fail. If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don't even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as "good," a "sacrifice" and "help." -- </em>Monsignor Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on April 20, 1968.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/oz/oz1jweby41bbtsdb.jpg"></p><p>The above quote from Ivan Illich is part of a <a href="http://www.swaraj.org/illich_hell.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">larger critique</a> of those who would 'do good' in&nbsp;communities that are not their own. The image above was recently poste...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/104167365/values-based-design Values-Based Design Matt Kleinmann 2014-07-14T13:13:00-04:00 >2014-07-21T20:39:40-04:00 <ul><li><strong><em>You don&rsquo;t know what you don&rsquo;t know</em></strong></li><li><strong><em>You don&rsquo;t know until you measure</em></strong></li><li><strong><em>You don&rsquo;t measure what you don&rsquo;t value</em></strong></li><li><strong><em>You don&rsquo;t value what you don&rsquo;t measure</em></strong></li></ul><p>The above is&nbsp;an adage that&nbsp;relates to&nbsp;business management. It indicates an awareness of the values we place on anything of consequence in our lives. I could argue that when I don't weigh myself on a scale or count calories on my smartphone after each meal, I 'don't know' how healthy I actually am. I don't know it because I'm not measuring it, and if I'm not measuring it then I must not value it (I might add that in this particular example, that is entirely the case come every Thanksgiving/Christmas, when I really would prefer <em>not </em>to know).</p><p>What about architecture? Do we know how well our buildings are perceived by the community? Do we know if they have a positive impact on the people they serve and the people that interact with them on a daily basis? The only way we could even begin to&nbsp;know is if we measured. But how does one measure the impact...</p> http://archinect.com/blog/article/103808459/wisdom-from-the-field Wisdom From the Field Matt Kleinmann 2014-07-10T15:45:00-04:00 >2014-07-17T15:40:55-04:00 <p><em>This is the first post of, what I hope, will be a series of posts exploring the nature of architecture as it relates to social justice in current design practice. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and&nbsp;if this is of interest to you, you can respond to me here or on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/mattk2" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">twitter&nbsp;</a>-- Matt</em></p><p>Where I sit currently, I can almost make out the scene of what many consider one of the worst man-made disasters in human history; the breaching of the levee in the Lower 9th Ward. Much has been said about that event, but the fact remains: the industry I belong to contributed to the obstacles faced by the residents of the Lower 9th Ward, and not just&nbsp;when the levee&nbsp;broke, but&nbsp;before as well, and&nbsp;in many other communities around the world; Pruitt-Igoe, Cabrini Green, Torre David, redlining practices... the list of transgressions&nbsp;is long.</p><p>In <a href="http://www.publicinterestdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Wisdom-from-the-Field.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Wisdom From the Field</a>, the authors of the report, funded by the AIA Latrobe Prize, begin their executive summary with the following quote from Civil Rights leader...</p>