Archinect - University of Cincinnati (Christopher) 2022-11-26T10:54:18-05:00 Solar Decathlon interview archtopus 2006-12-11T15:59:20-05:00 >2021-10-16T09:46:08-04:00 <p>Well, this isn't really my studio project, just the major thing I'm doing on the side. As the student project manager for the Cincinnati team, I had the opportunity to talk about our progress on the local NPR affiliate last week.<br><br> Kinda wished they'd edited some of my verbal flubs, but whatever. : )<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> A Quarter of Progress archtopus 2006-12-05T16:39:34-05:00 >2021-10-16T09:46:08-04:00 <p>Now that the quarter has come to a close and I have but one final to think about (Statistics for Planners, woot . . .) I have a bit of time to ruminate on what I've actually been doing all quarter: growing tomatoes. Yes, having researched this urban agriculture on rooftops stuff for a good year now, I've concluded that my real life goal is to become a farmer.<br><br> What follows (careful if you're queasy) is a series of photos documenting the growth of my little babies, from the first time they poked their little heads out of the dirt (about September 28) to today. <br><br> Their names, such as they've been given by both me and some studio mates, are Hadid, Herbert, Privy, Haiku, Isaac and Nebuchadnezzar (Nebu for short).<br><br> Sept. 28, They're just barely peeking out:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Sept. 29, Here are the little sprouts:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Oct. 8, They've learned how to sit up on their own:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Oct. 10, I've given them each their own little pot:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Oct. 18, Getting bigger:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Nov. 22, They're on their way to stardom now:<br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Nov. 22, Her...</p> Bow Ties and Birkenstocks archtopus 2006-10-31T21:48:35-05:00 >2021-10-16T09:46:08-04:00 <p>Yesterday I had the pleasant experience of being (I'm quite certain) the youngest participant in the National Summit on Greening Historic Properties hosted in Pittsburgh by the Green Building Alliance and the Pittsburgh Historic Landmarks Foundation. The event was appropriately wedged between the AIAS Northeast Quad Conference on "Building a Sustainable Future" and this week's National Preservation Conference.<br><br> Having been personally involved with (some may say waffling between) both green design and preservation pretty much throughout my education, I've never really seen much of a disconnect between the two. Adaptive re-use, smart growth, brownfield restoration; they all exist in that pointy oval in the middle of the Venn diagram and are all to me some of the most dynamic issues in architecture and urban design.<br><br> But participating in this summit, it became painfully clear that to the people firmly embedded via career in one area or the other, there's not much mutual understanding...</p> Architecture Parlante 02 - The New Green archtopus 2006-10-23T14:20:06-04:00 >2021-10-16T09:46:08-04:00 <p>Fresh off the success of our first episode ("The Grammar of Ornament and Crime and Punishment") which shot us up to the third most popular design podcast on iTunes, we now have a second episode, entitled "The New Green."<br><br> The discussion focuses on the idea that sustainability has now become mainstream and asks what impact that has on efforts to create a more sustainable future.<br><br> The panelists are:<br><br> Jennie Russell, a landscape architect<br> Barry Stedman, an architect with an MBA and PhD in Finance<br> Michael Zaretsky, a LEED certified architect and studio professor<br><br> If you've already subscribed to the podcast, you should have recieved it. If not, just search for "parlante" in the iTunes music store. (It's free, of course.) The plain, dirty RSS feed is <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br> Enjoy.<br></p> Architecture Parlante archtopus 2006-10-05T14:12:15-04:00 >2021-10-16T09:46:08-04:00 <p>No, I'm not referring to the style of Boulee and Ledoux, but to the podcast that we've just started at the School of Architecture and Interior Design here. Each episode will be a discussion featuring SAID professors <br> (and occasionally other relevant experts) on an important architectural issue.<br><br> In the first episode: "The Grammar of Ornament and Crime and Punishment", with Elizabeth Riorden, Patrick Snadon and Terry Boling. And you get to hear me stumbling over the issue a bit too. I'm the host.<br><br> We've submitted it to iTunes, but I guess they take their time accepting new podcasts to the directory, so in the mean time, you can manually subscribe to it with our RSS feed: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> (To do this in iTunes, go to the "Advanced" menu and click on "Subscribe to Podcast . . .", then paste that link in the field.)<br><br> I'll warn you, the audio quality isn't superb. Using an area mic that picks up every sound and pumping that through a video camera to get it into iMovi...</p> Design through Narrative archtopus 2006-10-03T16:36:11-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:07-04:00 <p>In the process of developing my thesis proposal earlier this year (last school year) I decided that it would be useful to think about my project through the eyes of someone who would be impacted by it. To do this, I wrote a brief fictional narrative with a somewhat dystopian tone. I'm not sure what value it has, but here ya go:<br><br> It was the nadir of winter and a subtle fog wandered lugubriously among the rooftops, punctured every few minutes by a sudden gust from below. The landscape that stretched out before her was a muted grayish-green in the dim moonlight and the trees stood around her as stately silhouettes against the faintly illuminated darkness beyond. It was a cold night, much like many others before and after, but on this night, she had resolved to venture up here in the silence to ponder the future that had been constructed around and above her.<br><br> She, just like her mother had decades before, grew up in the house down below. It was put together with bricks and wood and...</p> Found Objects archtopus 2006-09-29T00:07:05-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Having now returned from working at the Smithsonian, I've been able to concentrate more on my thesis (which seems, schedule wise, to be second in importance to making sure our Solar Decathlon studio is moving along smoothly.)<br><br> As I mentioned previously, my thesis is entitled "Babylon Reconsidered: community development through rooftop urban agriculture". The goal, as I've stated in the abstract, is "a project that attempts to beautify and revitalize the impoverished urban neighborhood through the creation of a new urban realm, adapting rooftops into a network of public agricultural parks."<br><br> My specific site (or sites, I suppose) is yet somewhat nebulous, but, barring significant disagreement from my thesis committee, I think I've decided on a general area.<br><br> That area is historically known as The Northern Liberties, a section of the fabled Over-the-Rhine neighborhood centered on Findlay Market, the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio. The Northern Liberties name come...</p> Photosynthing History archtopus 2006-09-14T16:09:06-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I have one more day left here in the Smithsonian's Architectural History and Historic Preservation Division. This rather unconventional six-month internship has been an incredible experience and it's surprisingly given me a much more nuanced perspective on architecture from all periods. (Trying to justify the preservation of a few brutalist structures at the National Zoo can do that. . .)<br><br> Yesterday we received a call from a woman at the National Park Service who was trying to ascertain when exactly a small drop-off road was removed in the lawn south of the National Museum of Natural History (that's the domed Beaux-Arts one by McKim and Burnham). Apparently the park service doesn't keep detailed records of such mundane things even though the Mall is their responsibility.<br><br> Consequently, our best source for dating its removal were the many historic photographs of the building. We could see when they started changing the Mall from Andrew Jackson Downing's design to the 1902 Senate ...</p> The Trilemma of Livable Cities archtopus 2006-09-11T15:10:09-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>My thesis topic ("Babylon Reconsidered: community development through rooftop urban agriculture") floats somewhere in the ether among urban design, planning and economics. How can roof gardens be used in an existing histoic ghetto neighborhood to both improve environmental health and act as an economic stimulus to mitigate the effects of gentrification? More importantly, is this even possible?<br><br> The three principles around which most of my academic and professional work has centered are green design, historic preservation and economic accessibility. It's my sense (and I don't think I'm alone here) that in order to make a city livable, one has to be environmentally responsible, respect its historic character and provide a mix of amenities that don't push out the most disadvantaged among us. (Of course, if it's an entirely new city, the historic part doesn't apply, but then you have a slew of other issues.)<br><br> I'm grappling with the question of whether it's ultimately possible to ach...</p> An Introduction archtopus 2006-09-08T13:44:38-04:00 >2021-10-16T09:46:08-04:00 <p>I gather I'm on the late end of the curve in making a first post, but blame that on still having a 9-5 job and a faulty motherboard at home.<br><br> So I'll just start with a brief explanation of who I am and where I'm coming from, which will, naturally, color the kinds of posts you can expect from me.<br><br> I should start by saying I haven't really started my thesis year of grad school yet. Cincinnati is one of those lovely quarter schools who start fall quarter in late September, start winter quarter in the throes of New Year's hangovers and don't get out in the summer until the swimming pool is already full.<br><br> At the moment, I'm finishing up a six month graduate co-op in Washington, DC in the Smithsonian Institution's Architectural History and Historic Preservation Division. As I like to say, we save old things from the ravages of progress.<br><br> For the last few years, I've been more-or-less heavily involved with AIAS, having served most recently as the chair of our national conference (Forum) ...</p>