From William Turville:
As an architect, a sculptor, a car buff, and a product of Buckminster Fuller’s Inventory of World Resources/World Game seminars in the late 1960s and early ’70s, I heartily applaud Norman Foster’s heroic efforts to get a Dymaxion on the road (“One for the Road,” by Martin C. Pedersen, March 2011, p. 74). This is truly a lost classic of industrial design and, despite its early mishaps, highly worthy of reintroduction in the 21st century, where it probably belonged all along! I am sure Bucky would be pleased and would talk nonstop for 12 hours about the new car. “You can’t learn less.”
Idealism in a Cynical Age
From Nick D’Innocenzo:
Bravo to all involved with MASS Design Group (“Straight Out of School,” by Ken Shulman, January 2011, p. 62)! Idealism coupled with knowledge can power the world to better things. Certainly, the humanitarian beliefs at the core of their objectives speak well of this generation. What better way to defeat the subversive cynicism that seems to pervade many parts of daily life, even in those areas of the world that are justified in feeling so. This is what leadership and vision are all about.
Social Investing for the Long Term
From Betsy Imershein:
The Steel Yard is a terrific model for neighborhood renewal and industrial revitalization (“Rising from the Ashes,” by Kristi Cameron, January 2011, p. 70). Too bad the writer is looking with the wrong lens when assessing the investment model. Must we persist in thinking that an investment that recoups in ten years is, as the writer implies, a bad investment? Community development and renewal is a long-term effort, as Clay Rockefeller and his partners have learned. We need to reframe our expectations of social investments. With successes like the Steel Yard and other enlightened investors, more such projects could flourish.
The Future of the American Family
From Kathy Sullivan:
My takeaway from seeing Vertical Urban Factory, an interesting but frustrating exhibition at the Skyscraper Museum, was that industry (as well as factories, vertical or otherwise) has cared less about architectural form and more about how that form created the best space for the industrial process (“Made in the U.S.A.?” by Karrie Jacobs, March 2011, p. 50). The show did not clearly acknowledge that the designers were following the inventive lead of the industrialists. Vertical factories developed when industrial activity needed to be in an urban environment. Is that the case today? I support the curator’s suggestion that there be an industrial invitational only if it looks at the places where industry really wants to be today. Perhaps we should consider places where there is inexpensive land and labor with easy access to transportation, such as Berlin, Pennsylvania (population: 2,192), a rural town not far from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The article “Aging by Design” (February 2011) incorrectly stated that Superfocus eyeglasses allow wearers to adjust their prescription via a sliding mechanism on the bridge. In fact, the focus can be adjusted, not the prescription.
In “Higher Dining” (February 2011), EDG was mistakenly credited as the architects of a cafeteria renovation at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland. EDG did the interiors of the project. The architecture was by Burt Hill, a Stantec company.