Orhan Ayyüce featured recent efforts towards preservation, by new owner Michael Chapman who commissioned Barry Milofsky of M2A Architects to design the restoration, to The Lukens House, in Soriano's Glen Lukens House: Back to Life and Happy. Therein he asserted "It is important to add here that Soriano was the architect whom photographer Julius Shulman and his wife selected to design their home. As to why, Mr. Shulman did tell me in an unpublished interview that the decision to hire Mr. Soriano was made because ‘he loved life!’ after drinking few bottles of wine Mr. Soriano brought with him to the empty lot Shulmans bought below Mulholland Drive."
Mas Context highlighted the work of David Yoon, a writer, designer, photographer, and self-confessed urban planning geek living in Los Angeles, who started documenting existing streets of Los Angeles and narrowing them to see the effects that his manipulations had on the city. Eric Chavkin claimed "PHOTOSHOP URBANISM This is all about image-making and doesn't make sense to turn major LA boulevards into narrow side-streets...The cute and narrow effect."
fullofit retorted "obviously it is just photoshop. But it also clearly shows a street which has a lot more value to many people. Call it cute if you want to be snarky, but there is an absence of pedestrian scaled streets in America", meanwhile Paul Petrunia thought "This photographic exercise reminds of Matt Logue's Empy LA. ..These images simply distort photographs of streets, in one step, to provide a completely alternative perspective on the urban space. I don't consider ‘cute’ to be anything but a subjective bi-product of this specific exercise."
This last week the SF Gate reported that Olympic diving ticket-holders had been informed of the possibility of obstructed views in Zaha-designed Aquatics Centre. Steven Ward clarified "if you read the designers' statement, it makes a lot more sense. they were contracted to provide appropriate (non-compromised) seating for a certain number of spectators at diving events, they provided even more than required..the ticketing agency screwed this up but, as usual, the architect over-performs and gets slapped down for it." Apurimac couldn’t care either way and noted "trying to write something intelligent about why I hate this building but I give up: the downward slope of the ceiling makes no sense in a stadium. Temporary stands or not, the sagging roof just looks ridiculous, even if it is a pretty shape form the exterior of the building."
Robert Venturi, who along with his wife Denise Scott Brown formed one of Philadelphia’s best known architectural firms, has retired and the firm known as Venturi Scott Brown and Associates Inc. has been renamed VSBA. Daniel K. McCoubrey, president and principal, now heads up VSBA. McCoubrey and Nancy Rogo Trainer, a principal at the firm, said in a statement they intend to build on the architectural and planning principles instituted by Venturi and Scott Brown.
The BBC News magazine profiled some of the architectural/infrastructural white elephants and fiscal "black holes" of Spain. alphorismal lamented "Its sad that one of the few countries where the populace at large seems to demand good architecture is too broke too afford it".
On his way to Delhi to begin his thirteen-week train expedition across India, amlocke stopped in Shanghai. Evan Chakroff commented "Amazing - I had no idea you could see the WFC & Pearl Tower from the airport... normally the view is an endless sea of grey haze..." Upon arrival in Delhi amlocke experienced his first Indian taxi ride, which he noted "can only be described in equivalence to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. The 50-year-old London cab was driven by a man not much older than me. Although his name was bounced back and forth between us with fervor, I could still not pronounce it nor remember it one day's after. The ride began as a rebellion against the lane divider. It was a constant blending of boundaries, noncommittal, except to pass an opponent or swerve through a police barricade."
Pratik Zaveri posted images of a project built in Bidada, India, a School for Mentally Challenged Girls.
joannlui reacted to some news recently heard on the radio regarding how Generation Y is often fired after a year because of their extensive use of social media at work. She argued "I am not trying to find an excuse for us to do non-work related things during work hours. But I often find a little bit of distraction a good way to help me focus on what I actually have to do. The way drafting software is designed is very boring...But of course MODERATION is always key. When your drawing set is due, you really do have to dive into AutoCAD / Revit and finish all those details."
Ryan Panos at University of British Columbia had the chance to take a intensive two week course on architectural photography this summer and shared some of his work. He reflects "Do we photograph the buildings to show off the architects ideas or show the messy vitality of real life?"
New York City College of Technology is looking for mentors for the Fall 2012 semester ! You can submit statement of interest and qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org
In their post Digestion of a Cultural Tasting Menu, A.D.Morley & J.A.Wong posted images of sketches done while traveling from the Baltics to the Balkans. They both found sketching to be a great way "to slow ourselves down. It was a way to sit at one spot, enjoy a drink or two, and focus on one specific piece of the built environment in front of us."
JonathanLivingston is looking for advice on a project wherein there is a Garage door to conditioned interior. He further explained "As far as I see no garage doors (glazed) provide u-value information. As a result especially with such a large area I cannot meet the energy code requirements, (prescriptive) I believe I have to use a component performance option to show overall compliance with the energy code." intotheloop wondered "Have you called any suppliers and asked? Since every self-respecting designer in Seattle is running around trying to be Tom Kundig and putting garage doors onto interior spaces, I'd think the suppliers or a good glazing sub would have an answer for you” and Henry Miller suggested "Check out Clopay. They make thermally insulated garage doors, and I'm sure a call to them would get the R-values".
The news that Robert Venturi is now retired led Quondam to post an image of the Monumental Fountain on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (1964) proposed by Brown, Venturi and Rauch. He wrote "Here we have an enormous egg, cracked open by a very long diagonal(!) axis with a giant jet-stream gushing inside. Yesterday was Venturi and Scott Brown’s 45th wedding anniversary".
iamnzane restarted an thread from last year about the DAAP renovation, posting an image of the work underway. iamnzane then provided an update "yep, they started about 6 months ago, maybe? And this is what it looks like... AKA really attractive. Some of it's been started and some of it hasn't but I don't think any of it's done yet". mdler exclaimed "they're re-building the whole damn thing!"
Finally, shuellmi started a thread to discuss programming and architecture. shuellmi asked "In the ‘Architecture in 10 years’ thread there is a lot of talk about programming becoming important for architects to know. Forgive me for a possibly stupid question, but can someone explain why this is so?" curtkram opined “Architecture is about the building. That's what we do, we design buildings. Anything outside of that like process or pretty hand drawings is a side effect or a means to the end...We use computers as a tool to design and communicate so that our building can get approved and built...Computers are a tool we use...saying you can't use the tools your profession requires because some kid can do it just doesn't make you sound competent".
aphorismal added "In my personal opinion, if you aren't using programming/scripting in any profession that makes THINGS (not just architecture), you are shooting yourself in the foot...Whether its a facade pattern, optimally aligning the screws in a detail assembly, or whatever, a quick script can cut your work time by HOURS. Scripting is useful in the same way Revit is useful: it automates a lot of the bullshit monkey work"
To wrap up dia contended "I think the key thing here is to realise that whatever happens with technology - programming/scripts/parametricism/fluid-computing/large scale 3D printing - it will become ubiquitous and accessible...But there is a difference between a lamp and a building in terms of these new manufacturing processes - liability. As long as architects have the mechanism to take liability and offset risk of failure through licensing and insurance, there will always be a portion of the built world - hospitals, prisons, schools - that will remain relatively protected."
Consider, the recently announced conference Decolonizing Cascadia? Rethinking Critical Geographies 7th Annual Regional Mini-Conference, to be held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada on November 16th and 17th, 2012. Check back inlate August for the call for papers, accommodation information, conference schedule, and more. The organizers are seeking to respond to discussions at previous meetings, with the plenary theme, decolonization which they hope will facilitate critical engagement with (neo)colonial practices in knowledge production, pedagogies, academic institutions, and regionalisms. They further believe that "Decolonization involves a reimagining of relationships among land, people, and the state."