Lawrence Cheek explored the trend of open office design, amongst recent commercial/institutional architecture in Seattle. George Showman found fault "This is a weird article because one of the examples is an absolute palace (the Gates Foundation) and the others seem a little miserable...I have worked in an open office for years, but it was small enough that there were many moments of productive silence, and poor enough that I didn't expect more."
Orhan Ayyüce cites Reyner Banham, the systems man, in his latest NEXT SERIES: FASTER PUSSYCAT CITY feature. Quoting from Bricologues A La Lanterne, wherein Banham wrote "People who can believe that mass bricolage is a sovereign remedy...should think again, carefully", Orhan provides some critical insight into a current personal interest "cities designed in few charrette hours" tellingly asking "Suburbia is dead, long live the city. Right?...This is the consumer culture's life-stylism as urbanism."
Lawrence Cheek explored the trend of open office design, amongst recent commercial/institutional architecture in Seattle. George Showman found fault "This is a weird article because one of the examples is an absolute palace (the Gates Foundation) and the others seem a little miserable...I have worked in an open office for years, but it was small enough that there were many moments of productive silence, and poor enough that I didn't expect more." toasteroven agreed in spirit explaining "yeah - open office space only works with small numbers of people (and even then you need private "phone-call space") - once you get over 10 or 20 or so it starts to feel oppressive. Architects tend to be the worst offenders - the way desks are arranged in larger "open" offices feels more like a sweatshop/factory."
Our very own Paul Petrunia, had the great honor to serve on the International Expert Committee for this year's pavilion competition which last week announced Ball-Nogues Studio from Los Angeles as the winner of the 2012 edition of the “Pavillon Spéciale” competition. Hunter Ruthrauff criticized the model for lacking "tectonic vision" and George Showman countered "Must a temporary pavilion these days be purely about tectonic experimentation? Is the only human sentiment this architecture supports one of curiosity about how the architecture is constructed?" benisball (presumably one half of Ball-Nogues Studio) responded "Sculpture or Architecture? Pavilion was the term used in the brief. Pavilions, as we see them are temporary and open ended with respect to function...Printed / techtonics? We did the proposals in two weeks with a small stipend - we aren't going to produce an elaborate model that simulates material dynamics at the scale of model."
KCET produced radio show "The Laws That Shaped L.A." explored the role of modern zoning laws in shaping the sprawling City of Angels. citizen noted "Historical perspective is crucial, and usually absent from the typical 'gosh, why did those darned planners do what they did?' kinds of stories. And the inclusion of a particularly juicy image (ed. note: see photo of Suburban Zoning Defense League picketers) only simplifies for current consumption what was a complex set of social, political, economic, cultural and technological forces interacting over time."
Bloomberg and Der Spiegel reported that threats by left-wing activists in Berlin prompted New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to cancel a planned stop in the city’s Kreuzberg district for its mobile laboratory, the BMW Guggenheim Lab. Gruenwald called bullshit, "In fact there were no 'threats' or 'threats of violence' announced by left-wing activists. Neither against the lab nor against people. Stefan Redlich, spokesperson of the responsible LKA police department Berlin denied, that there had been calls for violence."
hsolie and fellow students went on a tour of the new Broad Museum by Zaha Hadid, currently in construction on the MSU campus in East Lansing, MI. Commenter arq fer wasn’t impressed "yawn. more gratuitous pinching, tilting, and exaggeration, to what end? already looks dated and trite, and it is not finished."
Chris DeHenzel a 2011-2012 John K. Branner Fellow and UCLA Berkely blogger has a post up The Market Capital which analyzes the network of mercados in Mexico City as a form of public infrastructure.
Meanwhile Lian at Harvard’s GSD live blogged Rosalind Williams' keynote lecture for last weekend's Landscape Infrastructure: Systems & Strategies for Contemporary Urbanization conference. Barry Lehrman wondered "Fascinating line up - but will anybody say anything deeper then the current hagiography of infrastructure. Though I'm wondering if now that the GSD has scribbled all over the topic, is infrastructure now officially closed as a topic for scholarship?"
Work Updates/Firm Updates/Blogs
Paul Petrunia provided some insight into the number of users navigating Archinect via joystick (11).
Pil hyun Hwang recently worked on Yangsan Sky Park Charnel House, Korea and Joseph Tracy recently worked on his Senior Thesis in progress.
Thread Central discussed The Zollverein School of Management & Design by SANAA. Will Galloway posted "@ toasteroven, it looks pretty clear to me as far as function goes. it's an amazing building. i'm not sure about the toilet in the stairs as a personal thing but in general european standards are high or higher than usa on most every level. sejima just pushes, but no laws are being broken (obviously). might help to understand if you know the rooms with the gridlines are exterior spaces."Donna Sink felt "The SANAA plan is lovely, the images of the project even more so. I absolutely love things that are super-organized, even rigid. But toaster your rant re: function at code is adorable. I feel the same way frequently" and holz.box argued "it's actually a stunning project."
EKE put together a lengthy and thoughtful Response to Donna, re: Traditional Architecture. The thread was sparked by a recent discussion between them over the controversy surrounding Gehry’s Eisenhower memorial design. In the initial post EKE explained his advocacy of the relevance of contemporary classicism is underpinned by a few fundamentals. DMS-USA thought it was a "Great discussion!" and as far as he is concerned "we're all historisists at this point. Even in some of the most original (modernist) work I see today, it's easy to pick apart the details and cite precedents in much earlier work." dia offered up the view that "When I think about classical architecture, I think about a normative process - archetypes, glacial progress (doric, ionic etc), rote learning (the scribe copying texts, and making little amendments and mistakes along the way) but largely being faithful to the ethics inherent the forms."
Finally, roanoak has penned a defense of the Norman Foster designed Apple Campus II project. He hopes the post will help those who "fail to grasp the driving concepts behind" the project.
In an essay for Rhizome sculptor John Powers penned an essay Image of Democracy: Why I Want to Build Nine Freedom Towers in Tiananmen Square. Powers therein concluded "The 38-acre site can be easily transformed from political lightning field to a symbol of freedom surpassing the dreams of American developers. While SOM’s Freedom Tower is actually the bastard child of committee compromise, unrestrained commercial interests, and a Fortress America commitment to security against all possible enemies...If the Chinese are to develop into a vibrant commercial society like the U.S. they need to start avoiding the possibility of direct democratic processes of accountability now. The first step can be the creation of 24 million square feet of office space and destination shopping."
abcd may have missed something in their reading of the Rhizome piece I think commenting "I hope people realize how asinine and jingoistic it is to take a number that's symbolic exclusively to Americans and apply it as a message of 'freedom' in a country we've been at odds with for decades... all to celebrate a massacre that China refuses to even acknowledge. And it's a mystery why the rest of the world views us as a bunch of poorly-educated imperialists."