on behalf of Olaf Design Ninja

interviews with random thoughts and assemblies of experiences

  • Part 4.3: The End of the Physical and the Beginning of the Virtual and the end of the Virtual.

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Nov 25, '16 2:42 PM EST

     “The most important thing I learned on Traflamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die.  He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral.  All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.  The Traflamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance.  They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them.  It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.”

     - Billy Pilgrim writing a letter in  Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut [bold my emphasis]


    February 22, 2034 – 11:30pm

    We had finally arrived at the level of the space elevator cable where the Liberland: 15th Annual Parametric Convention was being held.  The level looked like John M. Johansen new species of architecture - froth of bubbles with a space frame connecting web.  Clear pods over platforms extending off the space elevator core into outer space.  Space and earth visible from all locations, and all materials were engineered at the molecular level to adapt to the environment.  Google it.

    The convention was at the “The Monad”, a hotel loosely designed based on Gottfried Leibniz’s monadology.  Simple round white pods with constant changing perceptions through window walls into the world – memories to reflect on.  Were they your memories or someone elses?   My cloudgänger had actually checked me in. Remember those days of Siri and Alexa.  Alexa could order pizza for you from Domino’s with your credit card number and all you had to say was “Alexa order me pizza!” (more of less).  Now your assistant was a version of you.  A case relevant applicable thread of your existence.  The entity in charge of your schedule and pragmatic tasks such as paying bills was nothing more than algorithms and data reflecting a specific thread of your life.

    As an architectural consultant, Olaf was not who you hired to design your spaces and produce drawings, it was Olaf’s architectural thread.  An artificial intelligence dedicated to architecture based on assembled experiences and documented interviews with random thoughts (the sub title of this very blog).  Collected data and cadence of computer commands.  Trained perceptions on how to address and interpret architectural problems.  Trained solutions with the appearances of creativity.   Occasionally the flesh and bones Olaf would get on a call with the flesh and bones client, but neither client nor architect were ever quite certain if they were communicating with the flesh bones version of who they thought they knew they should know.  Does it really matter?

    Have you ever produced architectural drawings for someone without meeting them? No different than ordering a pizza.  Do you know who made your pizza?  Did you get to know them first in flesh and bone before ordering a pizza?  Does it really matter?  Why should architecture be any different? 

    How many threads does your life currently have?   You may have multiple threads of relationships with the same persons  over various medias – email, txt, phone, television, radio, in person….  You may follow someone on twitter.  This counts as a relationship these days even if the entity you are following is not aware of you.


    Last Interlude (I swear): Free Will and Creativity in Design

    Sam Harris is a cognitive neuroscientist, trained philosopher and author of such books The End of Faith and the topic of discussion here – Free Will

    In short, free will is an illusion, and the illusion of free will is determined by chemistry in your brain.  For you to even have a thought the neurons in your brain must first fire and you cannot determine how they will fire.  The logic is simple – you don’t create your own thoughts, the thoughts are created first by your biological brain – you hear them, see them, you reflect on them and believe or think you are them – your thoughts. 

    When did you decide you were going to be an architect? Why become an architect if you wanted to build?  You could just as well have been a builder or an engineer.  Why did you decide to apply and attend a university to study architecture?  You could have just as well been a boxer who then traveled the world to learn about architecture just like Tadao Ando.  When and why did you determine to be a modernist or classical design architect?

    You did not determine your genetic make-up nor when and where you were born, but without Free Will you could not hold yourself or anyone else accountable for their actions.  As Sam Harris points out Free Will is essential to religions that involve sin and retribution and is at the very core of United States legal and criminal justice system as determined by the US Supreme Court.  If the brain tumor made you do it, then it’s not your fault.  If your brain made you do it, whose fault is it?

    If you are going through the typical academic studio training of an architect you might be experiencing an amazing tabula rasa (clean slate) unhindered by restrictions to be creative.  Sometimes studio culture is too “free” for certain types of individuals who would rather be taught how to design or be taught the steps necessary to do so.  At some point though you had to make decisions.  Should a plan be symmetrical or asymmetrical?  Should you try being avante-garde or rigorous in execution of proportions? 

    Interestingly enough a proponent of Liberland whose country slogan is Live and let live  is also an author of an extremely detailed system about designing/doing/being architecture that at best once photographed, photoshopped, and posted on the internet for eye candy purposes appears – simply curvy!  Maybe you should go visit the building in person?

    In a short an essay on Brexit in Log 38 Schumacher states: “Real competition requires real freedoms.”   This is a generic enough sentence anyone could have wrote it, but we’re discussing architecture here and there are many allusions to be made by attributing that statement to Schumacher.

    Do you consider your design studio competitive?  Is your office competitive? Is the architecture world competitive?  How free are these environments?

    Does competition engender creativity? Do less regulations, rules and laws allow for creativity in architecture?

    And is Free Will required for being creative?

    It must be required, if you had no Free Will how could you create? You tell me.  What do all your threads of your life indicate?


    February 23, 2034 – 12:05am

    The bottle of MacAllan 18 had been delivered to the pod.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted shown on the screen window walls so I left them blank.  Pitch black.

    After being left alone with my own thoughts for a few hours with a bottle of fine single malt whiskey I asked the inevitable question, why can I not make a choice?  Which memories did I want to view?  Which thread of my life did I want to re-hash.  Should I be someone else?

    Olaf has had many incarnations outside the author’s flesh and bone in the spiritual world known as the virtual world, the internet, and occasionally social media.   Olaf in archinect forum threads could exist as at troll or a tool for thought, testing thoughts and theories against real humans, or were they?  Olaf could be an old man being interviewed in a nursing home: true stories retold with names changes.   Some flesh and bones humans confirmed Olaf read like a real old school architect, that he might actually be real somewhere.  Did you ever meet Olaf?  I can’t get out of his head unfortunately.  

    Olaf was invented in a bar with Jamas and Wolf.  We were drinking Vuuve beer whose logo was two U’s that looked like tits.  Wolf re-hashed a story about the invention of a name for a famous architectural and branding firm that was based on a partner’s trip to Italy - he saw a partial name on a moped and the rest was history.  We wondered why  did not exist and from then on random ideas became images became themes and became almost real – posted on the internet.

    But if the internet is real, isn’t Olaf’s threads of existence just as real?  Is not paper architecture as real as physical architecture? Eventually.  I have been to Quondam’s museum many times.

    I had designed the pods I was staying in.  I was very familiar with the escape hatch, I had detailed it, my CAD files became standards and a once apparently creative thought became a reality in physical form everywhere.  My immortality was an escape hatch.

    Olaf, or me, I wasn’t sure anymore, opened the hatch, and climbed out on top of the pod.    Inside the clear bubble in space I could see earth and the other round white Monad hotel room pods.  No wind, just silence.  I was about 200 feet above a busy platform at the base. 

    As a young intern architect the notion of testing Free Will had crossed my mind many times.  Underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated.  After you leave the "free" environment of studio and enter the heavily regulated real world – depressing.  The excitement of studio culture for the most part was not what it was even if you attempted to recreate it professionally.  The ultimate choice to test free will is existence.  I found both options elaborated and experiential within the mind of Albert Camus.  For homocide it was The Rebel and for suicide The Myth of Sisyphus.  Better than actually testing the theory.

    Over the years Olaf had kept up communications with a saved thread of an old friend for years.  He knew the friend had been dead in flesh and bone for years, but the thread was an assembly of experiences and forum threads and facebook posts of random interviews and discussions.  The cloudgänger app had kept not only the memory of the friend alive for years but allowed Olaf to have conversation and phone calls as if the friend was still around.  So jumping off the ledge did not seem all that selfish if his family kept in communication with their favorite versions of his life’s thread.  In his mind he had failed as an architect, he was no Schumacher and the only stamp on the world of architecture he had made was the detail for the very escape hatch he had just opened to begin the end.  Olaf had opted for the no report option of the flesh and bone death and therefore no one would ever know: in theory.


    The End.


    Olaf Design Ninja: 2010-2016

    View full entry

  • Random Thought #4.2: Back to a Future!

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Nov 5, '16 6:43 PM EST

    [hoverboards are real]Preface [warning]: the movie Back to the Future Part II was low grade crap like  this blog post.  It was this strange interlude to take you from the original movie to the place we all wanted to go- the Wild West! (aka Liberland or maybe HBO’s Westworld) anyway:still... View full entry

  • Random Thought #4.1: Chemicals, no options (apparently), and Half-way up the Space Elevator Cable over Liberland: 15th Annual Parametric Convention

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Mar 15, '16 1:33 AM EST

    “My rights are denied byThose least qualifiedTrading profit for prideBut it's okayEverything's backwardsIn americana my way”- The Offspring In the summer of 1999 I lived in Denver with my Grandma just off Federal Boulevard.  Every morning during the week I would drive down I-25 to somewhere... View full entry

  • Interview : March 22, 2014

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    May 9, '15 1:17 AM EST

    Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA“Olaf, what is up my man! Crazy month bro! Got this super high-end showroom project, , and the future of farm sourced food production facility job in NYC!” – ChrisOlaf thumbs through his little yellow German Reclam book, looks like Nietzsche….“Seriously... View full entry

  • Interview (sort of): February 22, 2014, 8:00 am

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Feb 25, '15 12:56 PM EST

    Monmouth County, NJIt had been a while since I had visited that old insane bastard Olaf at the home. I was hoping he was still alive and he’d remember me.As I walked down the hall towards Olaf’s room I could hear the voice of a man giving a speech about six vectors as one unit of quantum and... View full entry

    Buckminster Fuller at the School of Architecture – University of Detroit - 1970

  • Interview: November 29, 2013, 12:23 pm

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Nov 29, '14 5:51 PM EST

    Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA“Hey Olaf what’s up?” – Chris“Acoustical ceiling tiles.” – Olaf“No, I mean what are you up to?” – Chris“Five foot nine.” – Olaf“Never mind.  How was your Thanksgiving?  You thankful for anything?” – Chris“No!” – Olaf“Alright... View full entry

  • Random Thought #3: James Oglethopre, Savannah Georgia, and Mars

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Nov 9, '14 6:22 PM EST

    What a segue!  James Oglethorpe landing on the hood of my car in the middle of the night on the side of a highway in New Jersey.  I must be drunk or high or hallucinating.  Why would I even know it was James Oglethorpe?You ever try to read something in your dreams, just to find out it was not... View full entry

  • Interview: September 2, 2013, 12:00 pm

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Sep 6, '14 1:23 AM EST

    Monmouth County, New Jersey“Olaf, how’s your Labor Day going?” – Chris“Four Bratwursts, No curry!” – Olaf“Bummer.  I figured I would come labor with you today.  You know, like draw something or model something architectural.  Sound fun?” – Chris“Fun.  I do not like fun. ... View full entry

    zoom in and zoom out like reality, its only data

  • The Taco Escape: Shortly after Interview

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Aug 3, '14 6:23 PM EST

    Monmouth County, New Jersey"Where do we get a taco around here?" - Chris"Taco Bell." - Olaf"They let you leave here for a taco?" - Chris"Get clearance from my daughter and yes I am capable of purchasing a taco." - OlafI made a call to Beth his daughter, she was surprised the old fart was still... View full entry

  • Interview: August 13 , 2013, 10:02am

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Jul 3, '14 11:52 PM EST

    Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA“My man Olaf, what is happening?  What’s with the curvilinear resilient flooring and Johnsonite extravaganza  going on out there in the new lobby?” – Chris*“Pure Bullshit! Plastic accommodating all the imaginary needs of human delusional... View full entry

  • Random Thought #2: JunkSpace and a Rave

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Jun 15, '14 1:13 AM EST

    After the meeting with Olaf I got lost in south Jersey, stumbled upon a warehouse in the 90's with a bunch of kids hanging out to acid sounds and bright lights.  It looked like that One Night in Hackney, went in and had 15 cans of Stella, at 5am the next day I began to think about the whole... View full entry

  • Interview: June 30, 2013, 10:45am - Part 3 of 3

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Jun 7, '14 11:41 PM EST

    ....(continued)“Construction Paper Architecture, I called it construction paper architecture.” – Olaf“Sounds like Cardboard Architecture an essay about  House 1 and 2 by Peter Eisenman.” – Chris“Don’t ever mention that name in my presence!” – Olaf“I remembered that without... View full entry

  • Interview: June 30, 2013, 10:30am - Part 2 of 3

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    May 26, '14 10:29 PM EST

    ….returning to Olaf’s room.“Then what?" - Chris“Jürgen re-married a gold digging scandal half his age.  The Saltbox was too simple and too small. She wanted a big space to entertain guests.  She wanted her own room, and by this time Jürgen was already half sick of her jabbering, so I... View full entry

  • Interview: June 30, 2013, 10:00am - Part 1 of 3

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    May 4, '14 8:26 PM EST

    Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA“The pestilence is back Mr. Olaf!” – Chris“Warum denn?” – Olaf“Wait…was that German? I thought you were Swedish…Nevermind, after I left last week I drank a lot of rum and drove around a bit and I think I solved the pattern to Frank Lloyd Wright’s... View full entry

  • Random Thought #1 - Post Olaf Interview

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Apr 20, '14 2:12 PM EST

    Leaving Olaf that rainy night I realized I had consumed far too much Hunter S. Thompson in the past week and far too much rum in the past hour.  Out of the one hundred or so listens to Digits and Lines I think over twenty were mine.  It was 3am and I had still not found the Garden State Parkway... View full entry

  • Interview: June 21, 2013, 10:30pm

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Mar 29, '14 1:01 AM EST

    Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA“Good evening Olaf, it’s a fine evening this Friday night.” – Chris“What God have I offended to endure such pestilence!” – Olaf“So sensitive… Here have some marzipan chocolate, 16 squares of fine German chocolate.” – Chris“Fine.  I read your... View full entry

  • Interview: June 16, 2013, 9:30am

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Mar 17, '14 5:38 PM EST

    Interview: June 16, 2013, 9:30amMonmouth County, New Jersey, USA“Hey Olaf its Chris again. I stopped by last week, you kicked me out. Hope you don’t mind figured I’d follow-up on a few things…the nurse said you’d be in this room staring out the window.” – Chris“It’s not a... View full entry

  • Interview: June 9, 2013, 2:30pm

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Mar 9, '14 12:27 AM EST

    Interview: June 9, 2013, 2:30pmMonmouth County, New Jersey, USA “Olaf, your guest is here.” – Nurse“Ach, a guest.  Why?” – Olaf“Olaf, it’s Chris Teeter, I believe Beth your daughter notified you that I was coming to visit.  I went to school with your son Thomas at Kansas -”... View full entry

  • ×Search in:

About this Blog

The following blogs are Interviews performed in the years of 13/14 with a man full of random thoughts and legendary type of architectural experiences. Olaf is his real first name. I knew his son Tom from my studies at University of Kansas and randomly ran into Tom in 2012 in NYC. We reminisced about all the great stories Tom had told me about his immigrant architect father. Given my boredom with the profession I requested an interview with this now insane man. Archifiction.

Authored by:

  • Olaf Design Ninja_

Recent Entries