Anthony J. Lumsden, a prolific Southern California architect who helped develop new ways of wrapping buildings in smooth glass skins, died Sept. 22 in Los Angeles. eric chavkin shared a personal memory “I remember Tony Lumsden. He taught 5th year studio at SCI-Arc , the time between Cesar Pelli and Alberto Bertolli...Lumsden's after work crits started from later afternoon and lasted to evening , always over-sketching on flimsy. A roll a night. One student after another.”
Sherin Wing, takes A Macro Look at Unemployment and the Economy. In the piece she examines what the architecture profession can do in the face of high unemploymentand the current macro economic conditions. Most importantly, she believes “First, they must stop simply immersing themselves in a narrow vision of the profession as merely one of buildings, spaces, and aesthetics. They must understand the larger context of both their national and the global economy and how the architecture industry is shaped by those forces. And they must be involved politically. In the famous words of Frederick Douglass, “Agitate, agitate.” A collective voice of both the unemployed and employed in architecture would prove powerful indeed.” Gregory Walker, argued in his response that “We need a WPA style program because our infrastructure, which makes Rick Perry’s report card look good, is aging to the degree that we will see many countries surpass us (qualitatively) in the near future, making them increasingly more attractive as destinations of sustained, private capital investment...Finally, construction is one of the very few things that can’t be fully outsourced and actually spends the money (vs. savings or paying down current debts, which is what most tax credits have been shown to do recently).”
The new round of Archinect Sessions was announced this week. The series of discussions with architects, academics and other interesting individuals from the tangents of architecture, is moderated by Archinect's Orhan Ayyuce, in collaboration with Cal Poly Pomona. The first event of this year will feature Ray Kappe. The event will kick off Saturday, October 22nd, at the Neutra VDL House, in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.
Anthony J. Lumsden, a prolific Southern California architect who helped develop new ways of wrapping buildings in smooth glass skins, accelerating a shift that reshaped skylines around the world, died Sept. 22 in Los Angeles. eric chavkin shared a personal memory “I remember Tony Lumsden. He taught 5th year studio at SCI-Arc , the time between Cesar Pelli and Alberto Bertolli...Lumsden's after work crits started from later afternoon and lasted to evening , always over-sketching on flimsy. A roll a night. One student after another.”
At a recent appearance at the Hammer Museum John Baldessari was quoted “I live here because L.A. is ugly... If I lived in a great beautiful city, why would I do art? I always have to be slightly angry to do art and L.A. provides that” Baldessari's comment led g2m2 to wonder “What makes LA.. ugly? Do you think that it is the architecture that makes up a large part of the ugliness? Or is it what the people do to the city context that makes it ugly?...And are we inspired to re-create and add to the ugly or do we make it "pretty-in-pink"? I say +ADD+! “
Stefano Boeri recently suggested that a literally “green architecture” is a necessary response to the sprawl of the modern city. That although there is an alternative model of “green architecture” whereby a building can meet new environmental guidelines without the planting of a single shrub, the “living architecture” movement goes beyond the current legislation: it is about how cities should feel. snook_dude questioned though “what the high velocity winds would do to the trees on a tower like that. ..I can only imagine trees being ripped off the 20th Floor and falling to the ground below onto unsuspecting people below.”
In response to an article on Why Architecture's Identity Problem Should Matter to the Rest of Us, Brian Henry opined “I still fail to see how not having the title of capital 'A'Architect is preventing anyone with good ideas and designs from tackling the nation's housing crisis, improving schools, or creating inspiring environments.”
While the New York Observer thinks that Michael Kimmelman, might be the Architecture Critic New York Has Been Waiting For, davvid feels that he "would be much more excited about Kimmelman's approach if it didn't immediately follow Ouroussoff. The switch from pro-starchitect to anti-starchitect bugs me. It reminds me other incriminating reversals by thie news media. Who remembers Tucker Carlson's short lived PBS program or Bill Kristol's NY Times column?...what direction will the winds blow tomorrow?"
LITS4FormZ at the University of Houston posted some pages from his thesis proposal rough draft. The thesis is entitled "Out Of The Shadows: Housing The Fuel For China's Development".
deli at University of Tokyo shared pictures of the testing process for Minimal Surface Pavilion a project developed at the digital fabrication lab/obuchi lab.
Matthew Messner at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago talked about his studio led by UrbanLab's Sarah Dunn. Early in the process of his project he “cataloged over 50 of the most (in)famous interior from history and imagined how they could be misunderstood and twisted to perform in unintended, yet interesting ways." This process resulted in two giant boards at least one of which was entitled Interior City.
Kurt Neiswender, currently enrolled at Lawrence Technological University wants to talk about sustainable urbanism. Specifically, “How can the cityscapes that have been decimated by depopulation and their need to reinvent themselves can be repopulated with more strategic and systemic change to infrastructure, housing and demographics.”
BW GUSTAFSON at UIC SOA, in Chicago offers up some image made “using 12 Aldo Rossi sketches from A Scientific Autobiography as, more or less, an instrument for drawing and 3D modeling with different programs”.
Lian at GSD live blogged a recent lecture by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi titled Evolutionary Infrastructure. I thought this quote from the Q+A was quite revealing: Student question about whether they design parametrically or whether they "just feel a curve" and go with it. Marion answers by telling a story about when she was a young student of James Stirling: [In a nervous young voice]: "So I asked him 'So how do you do this? And how do you convince people to do this?' And he answered [now in a funny old man's voice] "Well, I only talk about technical things. I never talk about design because everyone has their own opinion about design"
Work Updates/Firm Updates/Blogs
Gregory Walker, over at his blog about the architecture of constructing a practice,
claims that the first three and the most important steps in starting your own firm are "developing a set of firm values/core beliefs, developing a basic marketing strategy, developing a basic operating budget to work to".
Park Associati, designed the new headquarters of Salewa. According to the firm the project represents a point of convergence between different elements of everyday life: from physical, social and communicative dimensions to work styles and leisure.
Greg Upwall, recently worked on a ...Hillside Residential Addition. Nalina, relecting on Zuccotti Park + Storefront for Art and Architecture,’s call for ideas Strategies for Public Occupation: Call for Ideas, suggests that what the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) does not really need any design assistance in terms of site but rather infrastructure. Or in here words, “The protesters don't need strategies, they need spaces like the Lab, and like the Park.”
Over on the #occupyarchinect thread, curtkram believes they might be getting results “I just went through and opened a bunch of links. None of them opened in frames. Does that mean the #occupy movement is starting to see results? Next thing you know there will be a "Like (but in an ironic way)" button on every thread!”
This one if for those energy modeling nerds. Amy Leedham is looking for feedback from anyone using Green Building Studio with Revit. barry lehrman states that “A few courses at UMN are now using IES (used to use Ecotech and Energy10). Can't tell you more right now (since I don't teach there anymore), but will have more info about how it's going tomorrow.” Plus, MixmasterFestus cautions that as a general rue of thumb "I don't think I'd really trust software until I knew what assumptions it was making - at least, not for something as highly variable as energy modeling.”
won and done williams is replacing some concrete flags at his coop and has some questions about exposed aggregate concrete and whether it needs to be sealed. rusty! thinks "No to sealer. The only way concrete will get damaged is if there's vehicular traffic allowed, and there are no expansion joints (control joints to be technically correct) of any kind.” For his part derek kaplan suggested looking into xypex.
LayingOutTheDots* wants to talk about contemporary alternatives to minimalism ie: “Architecture where there is a clear celebration of detail and function”. So Phillip Crosby,
offers people that might be "categorized as phenomenologists, like williams + tsien, peter zumthor, o'donnell + tuomey, steven holl, and juhani pullasmaa...or critical regionalists like alvaro siza, luis barragan, sverre fehn" LayingOutTheDots* clarifies that what he is asking "is if there are any architects who focus on designing buildings with particular focus on expressing details and transforming everyday objects into works of art and beauty." intotheloop adds that LayingOutTheDots* should check out "work of Andresen O'Gorman. Some of the early work of Donovan Hill, like the HH House. John Wardle's Vineyard Residence, the work of Kerstin Thompson. Kerry Hill is pretty minimal, but he can pull off a mean balustrade now and again."
Finally, Micah McKelvey, has a dilemma. He needs to produce some renderings of models built in Rhino. He isn’t married to the idea of renderings that look pseudo-realistic, and his computer couldn't handle it anyway so he needs suggestions. For reference he includes some recent renderings by Lot-Ek. dia confirms "You can do that in Rhino - I use Rhino for all of my renders, with some photoshopping. You just play around with materials and lighting. I spend 90% of my time in photoshopping layering and adjusting." However, trace™ believes that "those renderings look pretty horrible (even looking back 15 years I think they look pretty bad!). That's not what you were asking, but I thought I had to pass that along ;-)" While LITS4FormZ agrees "Trace is right, rendering usually implies some sort of virtual camera taking a picture of your model. These really appear to be shopped screenshots at best. There is no actual "rendering" involved because there's no digital processing of the image itself."
Enrique Ramirez, writes about how he watches Slacker to Read Austin in the Original. In the piece he explains that just as historian Reyner Banham learned to drive in order to read Los Angeles for his book Los Angeles: The Architecture of the Four Ecologies, in a similar way knowing Slacker is necessary to developing an understanding of contemporary Austin. As Enrique Ramirez writes, "Slacker is thus more than a portrait of urban life; again, it's a tour of the city at a moment of transition and reflection as it comes to grips with its new role as a cultural capital for hipster-artistes."