Point of View - Point of View July 2012

 

What’s It Take to Preserve a Brutalist Building?

Attempts to rehabilitate these concrete buildings will likely be caught between conflicting aims of energy-related building codes and conservation standards.

Single-glazed curtain wall, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall (John Andrews, completed 1969). All photos courtesy Bruner/Cott Today we face the challenge of a divided voice among preservationists: There are those who have a long-held reverence of original materials and those who recognize this way of thinking as unrealistic for many modern buildings. The preservation ethic that has guided American…

Tulane, Perkins+Will Join Forces to Research “Healthcare Villages”

While a fairly new typology in the US, these "villages" will likely become more prevalent in the future.

As a professional in my late 20s I reached a point when architecture school was no longer a recent memory, so I began to seek ways to build closer ties with my alma mater, Tulane University.  While I look forward to financially supporting my university one day, I haven’t been out of school long enough to be able to contribute in…

Beautiful End of the World

“Safe Harbor” Joseph G. Brin © 2012 You may have already had an end of the world experience – and just didn’t know it. I’m not talking about a disaster by any means. Instead, this is about a soaring, heightened sense in nature, attaining a state of grace that is rare, brief and unpredictable. What accounts for this phenomenon? Does…

Two Week Charette: 1 of 2

On a steamy Monday morning in July, over a dozen high school and college students took their seats in a Washington DC gallery just half a block from the Anacostia River. They’re here to participate in a two week-urban design charette. Following a brief presentation the students launched into questions about the proposed transformation of an existing freeway bridge into…

Q&A: Susan Chin on Urban Farms

Susan Chin, executive director of the Design Trust for Public Space, on the non-profit's study "Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York."

In New York City, where more than 8 million of us live in very close proximity to hundreds of our immediate neighbors, many of us are also near some form of urban agriculture. Today there are ten times more urban farms in Gotham than in San Francisco and Seattle. And urban farming is growing in every one of our five…

Places that Work: U.S. Botanic Gardens

The United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC is a place that works because the greenhouses there stimulate all our senses. Transmitting experiences of a place through several senses is a central tenet of biophilic design. And at the Botanic Garden these pleasant experiences are due to much more than presence of plants. In fact, some of our best hospital…

Q&A: The Man Behind Kickstarter’s TakTik Success Story

Scott Wilson, the designer of the rugged iPhone case, talks about product design and manufacturing in a world of crowd-financing and social networking.

Courtesy Michelle Litvin When the call to crowd finance a product called TakTik on Kickstarter closed recently, 4,597 backers pledged $680,568  to produce the rugged protective case for iPhones. The brains and entrepreneurial spirit behind this successful venture, Scott Wilson, is the founder and principal designer of the Chicago-based design consultancy MINIMAL. In his fearless embrace of disruptive thinking in new product…

“Made In” Is Over. Time for “Designed By”

  Some time ago our politicians jumped on a frantic “Made in France” bandwagon that kicked up some dust around the question of French-made and French-bought. Their solution was simple, even simplistic: “By keeping production local, there will be less unemployment.” So simple, in fact, that you wonder why no one brought it up earlier. Buying French satisfies a kind…

Why I Studied Sustainable Real Estate Development

Tulane University's MSRED is a one-year professional graduate degree program that cultivates practical skills in business, economics, community planning, and environmental design.

In the winter of 2010, I moved back home to my small hometown on the coast of Washington State, having just spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chuprene, a tiny village in Bulgaria. While there I had been mostly insulated from the realities of the recession in the U.S., so I was shocked to return to a…

More Than the Money Shot: Architectural Drawing Revisited

A new exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture combats the visual tropes of contemporary architectural representation.

Image courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture Storefront for Art and Architecture’s current exhibition Aesthetics/Anesthetics, a challenge to the conventions of architectural representation, is the sort of idiosyncractic show the organization has become known for, gleefully picking apart architecture’s accepted canons and unwritten rules. This time, the targets are “certain representational devices that have become architectural clichés operating almost as…

Stand-out Students: 7 Graduate Projects That Point the Way Future

These students are traversing disciplinary boundaries, and stepping out of the cocooned world of the design school to take on some heavy challenges.

We picked seven absolutely stellar graduating projects from design schools around the world for the round-up in our July/August issue, but we found many more that were equally worthy of our attention. Graduate students in industrial design, architecture, and communication design are traversing disciplinary boundaries, and stepping out of the cocooned world of the design school to take on some…

Four Landscape Projects That Celebrate Their Local Character

Landscapes offer enormous potential for unique environments that attract attention early and grow more beloved over time.

What makes a place memorable? How does it connect to its community? Why do people visit—and what makes them come back? We instinctively seek authenticity of locale. Landscape provides a logical instrument for creating authentic regional expressions of place.  While buildings are often standardized—whether for economy of scale, construction typology, or program—landscapes are adaptable. They offer enormous potential for unique…

The Other Social Network

Sustainability is, by now, a well-embedded and highly visible part of public discourse. Buildings that breathe and cities that live are less science fiction than just plain science, and people are becoming more and more conscious of the impact their actions have on increasingly stressed ecosystems. But even with shifting mindsets and a host of technologies making it ever easier…

Tulane’s MSRED Program Pairs Architecture Students With Local Clients

Graduates from the program will enter the job market armed with a real project to reference in interviews, and a practitioner to use as a job reference.

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” –Chinese Proverb After Hurricane Katrina and the spectacular failure of the levees, nothing is purely academic in New Orleans. This is certainly true of Tulane University, in particular the School of Architecture, and the role it has played in NOLA’s recovery and rejuvenation. Building on the school’s…

“Straphanger” Reminds Us Walkable Cities Are Possible—and Necessary

Taras Grescoe’s latest book, Straphanger, is both paean to public transportation and an evisceration of car culture around the world.

I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when I cracked open Taras Grescoe’s latest book Straphanger, which is both paean to public transportation and an evisceration of car culture. Living happily car-free in New York, I feared I might be the choir to the Montrealer’s preaching. But while the book—part history, part travelogue, and part manifesto—might not seem terribly radical…

Connecting Design with Mixology

Photo courtesy of Potter Style The wonderful world of cocktails has become even more fanciful thanks to Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook, published by Potter Style. Blogger/stylist/designer extraordinaire, Kelley Lilien, has combined her repertoire of talent and taste to create the ultimate visual guide to the art of cocktails in the form of a swatch book. Recipes are organized into four…

Cleaning Up Our Lakes, Reinvesting in our Waterfronts

We have a rare opportunity in redeveloping the shores of our precious lakes to realize our best ideas and policies in building 21st Century communities.

In 1969 Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, a tributary of Lake Erie that meanders through Akron and Cleveland, combusted into flames after years of pollution and waste accumulated along its shorelines. While this was not the first time the river caught on fire, it ignited the nation’s attention and inspired significant environmental action, including the creation of our Clean Water Act, the…

Why We Need Urban Microcenters In Our Cities

Microcenters would contain the necessary infrastructure for transportation, water, sewage, and power—all in the heart of the city.

In 2010, according to the Living Planet Report, 3,500 million people lived in urban areas and estimates project a doubling of that number, to 6,300 million people by 2050. In Mexico, an alarming growth is taking place in our major cities: Guadalajara City is comingling with municipalities such as El Salto, Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá, and Zapopan. Monterrey City is…

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