Point of View - Point of View November 2011

 

Q&A: Jeanne Gang

What happens when a Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic meets up with a MacArthur Fellow architect and the topic of their conversation is books? Shortly before it was announced that Jeanne Gang had been named by the MacArthur Foundation as a recipient of one of its 2011 awards, she and Paul Goldberger had a conversation about the book list that Gang…

Evidence-based Design

Recently a friend and her son visited a modern healthcare facility and, on the way to their relative’s room, came across the well-appointed lobby with sculptural features, art on the walls and warm colors. “Wonder what that’s costing?” said the son. “That’s one area they might save on healthcare costs.” My initial response, when I heard this, was that a…

Frontiers of Design Science: Biophilia

The instinctive preference we have for certain natural geometries, forms, and characteristics within our environments can have amazing effects.

The instinctive preference we have for certain natural geometries, forms, and characteristics within our environments can have amazing effects.

Making It in an “Outpost”

The concept of “making it” in the US is changing. In a post-crash, OWS world, the previous generation’s ideas of success are being reconsidered and reinvented. It used to be that if you wanted to “make it” as an artist, the most obvious thing to do was to get the heck out of Dodge (or wherever), cram yourself— along with everyone…

Project Haiti II

When HOK was asked to partner with the USGBC on Project Haiti, a children’s center in Port au Prince, we decided immediately that the most appropriate approach to the project would require an integrated, multi-disciplinary team. So we assembled architects, landscape architects, lighting architects, sustainable experts as well as structural, mechanical, and plumbing engineers to tackle the many challenges and…

Want to teach? Break a leg!

Tidal pool.  Photo: Joseph G. Brin In grade school, the rare sighting of my teacher in the grocery store, evoked intense excitement as if I had encountered something almost forbidden, an exotic bird strutting and feeding outside its natural classroom habitat. Teaching is a magical conjuring that soars like a bird between sensitivity and bombast, and then swoops down to…

Welcome to Miami!

Christopher Janney’s installation in a walkway at Miami Airport. As Miami prepares to throw a big party for art lovers and design fans to the creative extravaganza that’s Art Basel Miami Beach and DesignMiami, visitors can expect to have memorable aesthetic experiences just by paying close attention to the city’s very public buildings. These projects, as Mies famously advocated, integrate…

Redefining Sustainability at the MUSE School

What is sustainable?  More to the point, what does the word mean when applied to a school? The MUSE school, founded by Suzy Cameron, offers some insight. The new campus in the Malibu hills opened with the help from Ecovations, a design firm that has re-envisioned the possibilities, indeed the very definition of sustainability. This is not an “expensive” or…

Places that Work

Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s winter estates are places that work because they recognize and respect the natural environments in which they are located.  Most of the rooms in the original buildings are entered directly from outside and there are few interior corridors. Daylight comes in through these doors which also invite errant breezes that circulate the air inside; the…

What can a toy do for architecture?

“Horrified” is how Ila Berman described her reaction to seeing her name next the plastic doll’s for a recent event on women in architecture, produced by the communications committee of the American Institute of Architects San Francisco chapter. Berman is director of architecture at the California College of Arts, and principal of Studio Matrixx. The event was titled, “Ladies and…

SPACE INVADERS

Someone is about to erect a towering, shiny mirror right in the middle of the City of Philadelphia…metaphorically speaking, that is. Outdoor art galleries will spring up for a day, on December 10, 2011. Sculpture installations will cast light on the illegal practice of Philadelphians using junk to save public parking spaces for themselves. Imagine that, asking you to reflect…

Preparing for Earthquakes

The cracks in the Washington Monument seen on the day after the 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Photo: Matt Mcclain for The Washington Post Every week, it seems, we’re reading about earthquakes—both in faraway places where we’ve come to expect them, but also here at home. Earlier this month a dozen tremors struck 45 miles due east of Oklahoma City, with a 5.6 magnitude…

Elegantly Urbanized

Gary Hustwit’s theatrically released documentary Urbanized is an extraordinarily ambitious attempt to make sense of a world flowing into cities. This visually arresting film, like Hustwit’s past work, elegantly conveys the omnipresence of design in daily life. If planning and architecture are so fluid in our surroundings that we scarcely think about them, Urbanized cries out for an eyes-wide-open meditation….

Metropolis in the News

Last week on ABC’s Nightline, Bill Weir, the host of the segment “This Could Be Big,” waved our October issue on national television. The segment was on QR codes, and our cover had a big one on it. Weir’s question was, “Will this get bigger, or will it end up on the dust heap of technology?” Our technology issue was…

Interning to Do Good

The phrase “bridging the gap” has been a hallmark of debates about architectural education and practice for as long as anyone can remember, with architecture’s unique “internship” period widely regarded and relied on as that bridge. It’s the catch-all and catch-up period between education and practice, which most educators and practitioners readily acknowledge needs bridging. For the estimated one-third of…

Together Apart : Designing With Tension

We live in a time of unsettling opposing forces. A time when conflicting interests suggest a hopeless point of no return. But here, in the heart of New York City, Dror Benshetrit has been putting out designs that tell us something different: If applied properly, opposing forces can be a source of power and beauty. His office is embedded in…

Re-Upping on Design Technology

“Design firms must change or die,” such has been a constant industry refrain ever since the global economic meltdown of 2008. But it’s hard to know how firms should change, what aspects of practice are particularly susceptible to extinction, or what new, fertile forms of professional practice might look like. Well, hello, no surprise here. As history has taught us,…

Knitting Philadelphia Together

On October 14th 2011, Moore College of Art & Design and Metropolis magazine presented a symposium with Editor-In-Chief Susan S. Szenasy and leading Philadelphia designers on research shaping contemporary practice. Szenasy screened the Metropolis film “Brilliant Simplicity: 15 Designers Research Collaborate Innovate,” then she and the three panelists launched into a lively discussion. Andrew Dahlgren, whose story follows, was one…

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