Archive

architecture

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 Many older colleges and universities face outdated and inefficient infrastructure resulting in unsustainable water and energy consumption.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

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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

 

 

 

Mo Willems’ depiction of Trixie going “boneless”

I have two kids, ages almost 6 and 3, and while they love reading books, I enjoy reading their books as much if not more than they do.  I love the nostalgia and silliness of Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl and the clever stories and terms that Mo Willems churns. The way my kids respond to books has shown me the power within their pages. One book can spark a new interest that lasts days, months – even years. One book can lead to the insistence that we read tens more on the same topic.

So naturally, I try to select books on topics that are also interesting to me (after all, I’m equally invested in reading these). This prompted an unofficial research project on children’s books about the built environment. With the exception of the immense stock of books about construction, trucks, trains and planes, there are relatively few stories about the professions and interests of the designers and planners or about the shape and functions of cities, buildings, communities, neighborhoods and parks themselves. Read More