• blog dec 17

Cultural workplace differences in Korea. Being adaptable in an uncertain world. Opportunities for architects and designers. Public housing transformed. 

Workplace culture in Korea. Leigh Stringer of HOK discusses the differences in culture and workplace in Korea as the firm helps to design gas company Samchully’s  new headquarters.

Observations with the culture:

  • The streets are spotless in Seoul, yet this is a city of 10 million people. I can tell you that New York City, which is roughly 8 million people, is significantly less pristine.
  • People on the streets are very well-dressed and well-spoken. They have a great fashion sense and few are overweight.
  • Women are a minority when it comes to senior positions in many organizations. Yet Korea is about to elect its first female president.
  • Though the sense of hierarchy is strong, collaboration and agreement of the whole is essential for decision making

Observations in the Korean workplace:

  • The chairman makes all the decisions. There is a clear leader, though he takes advice from many people.
  • Impromptu space is not necessary – it was value engineered out on day one! Collaboration occurs more formally and in conference rooms.
  • Work at home is not officially supported. Mobile work is supported and the technology is excellent. Yet because people are often working in groups, the office is the most convenient place to be. Also, being in front of the boss is important. If you’re away from the office, you’re probably on a trip with your boss.

Via HOK Life blog

Success in an uncertain world. Philip Dilley, chairman of the Arup Group, blogs about uncertainty and how the best way to deal with it — and risk — is to ensure that you remain adaptable and resilient.

“People can try to prepare for any number of risks if they are smart enough to think of them (although Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ‘Black Swans’ suggest they are not). Yet the best strategy for long-term survival and growth remains having the resilience to adapt.

That is why those concepts feature so highly in our approach to both our business and our work.” – Philip Dilley

Via Arup blog

Video on the design profession. Cannon Design Gary Miller, Co-chair and chief executive officer of Cannon Design, talks about the opportunities for architects and designers as globalization continues to grow, especially in China and India, and now South America and Africa.

There are huge opportunities in the commercial sector, education and healthcare. Architects need to reinvent themselves, thinking how they can be innovative and what they can bring to the client. Architects need to create opportunities and take them to the market, and be part of the push economy and create their own future.

Via Cannon Design blog

The rebirth of public housing. Scott Doyo, Principal at PlaceMakers, blogs about the redevelopment of South Front in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The site was once public subsidized housing, but has become a private rental property that embraced several interesting elements, such as keeping the historic structure. The site is green, LEED Silver and has brought new life to a downtrodden area.

Via PlaceMakers

 

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Luckett and Farley on the importance of office design. Lake|Flato reflects history in custom lighting. Geoff Manaugh on pop-up forestry. Kaid Benfield on making cities more walkable.

Importance of office design. William J. (Billy) Hallisky blogs about the art of designing a modern office and why design still matters.

The well-designed adaptive re-use of a corporate interior can play a pivotal role in a business’ success. The right design, for example, might require a large capital investment, but is easily offset when spectacular reductions are made in revenue wasted on space that no longer fits a company’s business model (or more often than not, re-designing a poorly designed space).

Via Luckett and Farley blog

Custom lights are remnants of history.  Phil Zimmerman, intern at Lake Flato, blogs about the installation of custom light fixtures at the nearly completed Pearl Parkway Buildings of the Pearl Brewery Redevelopment in San Antonio, Texas.

The light fixtures were designed to use existing materials and remnants from the historical brewery. The “Beakerlier” was created for a lobby space within one of the Parkway buildings called the Lab.  The fixture is composed of materials originally used for beer quality and recipe testing in the Brewery’s lab.  The chandelier’s design uses found objects and also references an obscure yet important historical function within the Brewery’s beer making process.

Via The Dogrun

Pop-up forests. Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG discusses an article in the New York Times on Christmas tree research labs, scrutinizing the program’s extreme steps that include “the largest and most sophisticated of operations,” where scientists “harvest almost a million trees a year from an 8,500-acre plantation and remove them by helicopter” for analysis elsewhere.

While the goal of the tree labs is to develop new and improved tree species for both indoor and outdoor display during the holiday season and to create a tree that can last weeks without shedding its needles, Manaugh says the vision of this kind of pop-up forest brings to mind a different kind of pop-up forest, one of “insurgent shrublands,” disturbed landscapes, and other “fast-emerging but short-lived ecosystems in an era of nonlinear climate change.”

Via BLDGBLOG

Related: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/garden/building-a-better-christmas-tree.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Making cities more walkable. Kaid Benfield discusses the 10 keys to creating walkability in a city from Jeff Speck’s new book Walkable City.

Speck’s ten steps of walkability:

  1. Put cars in their place. (“Traffic studies are bullshit.”)
  2. Mix the uses. (“Cities were created to bring things together.”)
  3. Get the parking right.  (“Ample parking encourages driving that would not otherwise occur without it.”)
  4. Let transit work.  (“While walkability benefits from good transit, good transit relies absolutely on walkability.”)
  5. Protect the pedestrian. (“The safest roads are those that feel the least safe.”)
  6. Welcome bikes. (“In Amsterdam, a city of 783,000, about 400,000 people are out riding their bikes on any given day.”
  1. Shape the spaces. (“Get the design right and people will walk in almost any climate.”)
  1. Plant trees. (“It’s best not to pick favorites in the walkability discussion— every individual point counts— but the humble American street tree might win my vote.”)
  1. Make friendly and unique [building] faces. (“Pedestrians need to feel safe and comfortable, but they also need to be entertained.”)

10. Pick your winners. (“Where can spending the least money make the most difference?”)

Via The Atlantic Cities

120212

Trust and Knowledge Management. Sustainable Campus Model. Design for Healthier Cities. Uncertainty in Design.

Trust is Essential in Knowledge Management. Andrew Trickett, Global Rail Knowledge & Information Manager at ARUP, writes about the value of creating a work environment of trust to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and cooperation among employees. He stresses that employers should remove barriers from competition and that by taking the time to review both a projects’ accomplishments as well as its short falls, that a company can increase its overall performance and client satisfaction.

If as a group people are sharing, and talking about knowledge through their experiences, then this can be the starting point for people to ask unorthodox questions, experiment with new ideas and ways of working in a safe setting before they expose a creative idea to the organisation.” – Andrew Trickett

Via Arup Thoughts Blog

A Model for Sustainability on Campus. Many older colleges and universities face outdated and inefficient infrastructure resulting in unsustainable water and energy consumption. Hoping to create a more sustainable campus and lower energy bills, Lynn College in Boca Raton, Florida implemented an innovative Sustainability Management Tool that brought administrators, faculty, students as well as municipal officials and third party consultants together to implement sustainable objectives from the school’s master plan.

Central to the Sustainability Management Tool are:

  1. A strong organizational structure
  2. The elimination of “boundaries”
  3. Partnerships
  4. Discussion

By reaching out and engaging in discussions with the community, Lynn College was able to reduce their energy consumption and costs dramatically.

Via Design Intelligence

Making Cities Healthy Through Design. Kristian Villadsen from Gehl Architects in Copenhagen, Denmark recently spoke at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam about connecting vibrant public spaces through safe biking and walking areas in cities to increase the health of urban dwellers.

In his presentation, he discussed Copenhagen’s many bike lanes, public spaces and in particular the city’s Harbor Bath which is only a mere 700 meters from city hall.  In addition, he elaborates on an effective and innovative pilot project in New York City’s Times Square which studied the impacts of increasing public space in dense urban areas.

Via Gehl Architects’ Blog

Uncertainty in Design. In this thought-provoking article by Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies graduate student Renee Kaufman, she examines both the philosophical and scientific question of uncertainty in the study and implementation of ecology in landscape design. Hoping to lessen uncertainty and the anxiety it causes, she proposes adaptive management as a means to acquire better and more effective data about a project’s performance after construction.

Via Landscape Urbanism Blog

Architectural influencers. Teamwork at the concept stage of healthcare design. The growth of Amish communities. Interview with Dan D’Oca of Interboro Partners.

Giving thanks to architectural influencers. Build blogs about how most people think a truly great architect comes up with design ideas all on their own, entirely independent of anyone else’s work. This, however, is not the case.

Build gives thanks to its all the individuals and firms who are inspiring and influential to the profession of architecture. These are people and groups whose hard work has stirred thinking, motivated design and encouraged building.

Build’s top 10 favorite influencers:

  1. E. Cobb Architects
  2. Gordon Walker
  3. Claesson Koivisto Rune
  4. Claus en Kaan
  5. Studio 804
  6. Mathias Klotz
  7. Hufft Projects
  8. AVRO|KO
  9. Dietrich | Untertrifaller
  10. Jonathan Segal

Via Build Blog

Start team effort early in healthcare design. George Vangelatos, design principal at HMC Architects, writes about the value of shifting the investment of time and resources at the concept stage of the design project as the healthcare industry is constantly under scrutiny for its lack of efficiency and effective use of resources.

“The design process of a medical facility involves the review of thousands of factors. Though many of these are consistent from project to project, what may not be consistent is the timing of their consideration and the team members involved in the evaluation process. Early team integration and expanded decision making involving a range of disciplines can lead to lower life cycle costs and significant design and construction cost savings.” – George Vangelatos

Via HMC Architects Blog

Amish communities growing. A recent census reports that a new Amish community is founded every 3 1/2 weeks in the United States. Known for their idyllic and sustainable lifestyle that rejects modern technology, the Amish are found in 30 states across the United States, and in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Researchers at Ohio State University predict that at current rates, the Amish could exceed 1 million people and 1,000 settlements by 2050. As the Amish communities grow and expand it becomes more difficult to continue farming lifestyles because of limited land availability near existing communities. The Amish have transitioned into new jobs such as woodworking and construction, or left their homes in search of affordable farmland which has led to the creation of new communities.

Via Congress for the New Urbanism Blog

Playing well with others. Sasaki Design’s collaborative design approach is strengthened by its ongoing exploration and exchange of ideas. To expand its knowledge base, the firm is hosting an ongoing lecture series featuring guest speakers, most recently Dan D’Oca, cofounder and principal of Interboro Partners.

A specialist in the politics of the contemporary built environment in America, D’Oca shared some insight into his practice and collaborative approach to design.

Architecture for architecture’s sake is a phantom: when architecture gets out of the studio and into the world, it inevitably influences—and is influenced by—non-architectural things. To believe otherwise is to doom architecture to irrelevance. Ours is an architecture that plays well with others. We try to understand how architecture influences “non-architectural” problems to identify opportunities in which architectural interventions can influence outcomes for the better. – Dan D’Oca

Via Sasaki Design Blog

Pop-up for Veteran’s Day. Children of mid-century architects and designers. The making of a diversity quilt. Places that make one happy.

 

Pop-up for Veteran’s Day. Peace and Quiet, a temporary pavilion built in New York City’s Times Square by Matter Architecture Practice, was created as a “dialogue station” where veterans and civilians can openly engage each other in conversation in commemoration of Veteran’s Day.

Matter’s principals, Sandra Wheeler and Alfred Zollinger, proposed the pavilion as part of the Times Square Alliance’s Public Art Program’s call for proposals. The project was selected from 400 entries and funded through Kickstarter. The pavilion was set up on Veteran’s Day to Nov. 16.

Via Architect’s Newspaper Blog

Modernists at play. Paul Makovsky talks to children of mid-century architects and designers on what it was like growing up in a world surrounded by design.

“My mom was an artist and a children’s book illustrator, and my dad, who was an artist, designer, and theoretician, got a job teaching visual design in the architecture department at MIT. They designed a playroom in the house for me that had all these different kinds of “manipulatives,” as they would be called today. For example, there was a clock with cork balls on it, and you could remove the balls and count them, so subliminally it taught you about time and counting, but it was also a beautiful object.” – Daughter Julie Kepes of designers György and Juliet Kepes

Via Metropolis Magazine POV

Diversity quilt.  Stephanie Spann, a structural engineer at HOK, blogs about Diversity Week in St. Louis, with a special focus on the diversity quilt being made in the office.

The quilt represents the “joining of small pieces of fabric as a whole allowing us to see how each individual square is integral to the completed quilt”.  The project started in July, when the drive for squares began and another group donated old fabric samples.

Via HOK Life

Places that make one happy. Hazel Borys, principal and managing director of PlaceMakers, reflects on the Urban Happiness series that examines how happiness and health are generated or depleted by the way neighborhoods, towns, cities, and rural landscapes are developed.

Borys talks about how places that generate the highest levels of mental and social well-being are the outcomes of creative placemaking, such as local farming, artisanal food production, field-to-fork dining, and local art making.

Urban Happiness Series

Via PlaceMakers

 

 

 

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