ryanc

Christmas Cards

Design firms can wish everyone a happy holiday with an e-card, and make their environmental footprint a little bit smaller.

Design firms can wish everyone a happy holiday with an e-card, and make their environmental footprint a little bit smaller.

Smart Things

A hot button topic in architecture and design is intelligence; making cities, cars, products – even our wrists – smarter. What if your air conditioner was smarter? What if your smart phone could tell you when someone was in your apartment? What if your iPad told you that it was raining at home, but no worries, your windows are closed?…

RFI: Miami’s David W. Dyer Federal Courthouse

Between now and October 1, the US General Services Administration (GSA) is asking the development community for ideas on how to preserve and reuse a beautiful historic courthouse in Miami. The recently vacated Spanish-Mediterranean Revival courthouse, built in 1933, is slated for possible new development or uses. Being called an “excess property”, the GSA is “looking forward to receiving solid…

Yearnings for an Esplanade

The opening reception for Reimagining the Waterfront, the East River Esplanade design competition organized by CIVITAS, was held at the Museum of the City of New York early last week. Indicative of the civic yearnings of the Upper East Side–They want a High Line of their own! –the competition’s  results hinted at some of the unique qualities of the Upper…

Help Save NYC Historic Places

What if, with a push of a button, you could save one of your favorite historic places? The Partners in Preservation need your help. They need you to press a button and help decide who should get $3 million. Some of the places on the list are really well known in New York and beyond; the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the…

NYC Bike Share is now citibike

I love bike share. I think it’s a fantastic idea and a great way to make NYC more sustainable, healthy, and livable for residents and visitors alike. This past Monday, NYC announced that Citibank is the main sponsor for the system. And while I think it’s cute to call “The City’s” bike share “citibike”, I have some reservations. First, I…

An Alternate Sustainability Reading List

We all fondly remember our college days and our favorite professor’s ‘additional reading’ list that always followed the 15 page syllabus. Those pages were chalk full of titles that, not being the classics, didn’t make the cut to be required reading. And while some of us still have those lists sitting painfully free of any check marks, others of you…

Archizines!

The print media, often discussed these days as a dying breed, is alive and well in New York City. Small print-run, specialty publications are able to explore all aspects of architecture in new ways. What are some of the ideas I’ve seen discussed in these small architecture publications? Visual Arts Social sciences Squatters Architectural Theory Geographies Bio-Technical Landscapes The Pedosphere…

Lessons on Zoning from Miami

I’ve heard zoning called a lot of things: an invisible hand that shapes the city, a legal framework for protecting property investments, and the primary tool for protecting communities and culture. In the end, it’s really a set of rules that tells us what we can or cannot do when it comes to changing the physical forms of our cities….

Seismic Design

McGill University professors Dr. Effie Bouras and Ghyslaine McClure are on the hunt. They’re searching for designers and researchers who take innovative approaches to seismic design. The exhibit they’re planning recognizes that the frequent earthquake-related catastrophes often lead to engineered solutions, while leaving out aesthetics. Instead, Bouras and McClure will focus on proposals that do not “sacrifice a design aesthetic…

The Architecture of the Middle East

Architects, designers, students, professionals, and enthusiasts; all were present for the opening reception at the Center for Architecture exhibitions on the Middle East. The three shows: City of Mirages, Live Feed, and Change begin to weave together a discussion with perspectives on structure, culture, and politics. Mezquita Nacional by Robert Venturi With three floors of exhibit space, there is no…

Elephants on Safari

At first it seems silly, a stop animation video of plastic form elephants parading through an African refuge. See? It’s a little silly. But if you learn a bit about the Eames Elephant and its creators, Charles and Ray Eames, you begin to see that same warm glow that a child feels with this toy. Designed by the Eameses in…

Black Locust: the Sustainable Hardwood of our Future?

Considered by some to be a nuisance tree, Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), which grows across most of the US, may be an important resource in the near future; it could be the sustainable replacement to rainforest hardwoods. Black Locust Tree, Source: Wikipedia Whether you are a landscape architect designing a park bench or an engineer designing a pedestrian bridge, the…