Did a starchitect just “phone in” their design for a commission in LA?

Architecture, as a profession, bears quite a few similarities to the consulting profession. Chief among those commonalities is the “feast or famine” cycle — there always seems to be either too much work to handle, or nothing but the sound of crickets. The same paradigm applies to that exalted class of designers known as “starchitects.” … Continue reading Did a starchitect just “phone in” their design for a commission in LA?

Bringing Virtual Reality (VR) to the Clients

Property Brothers is a Canadian TV show that shows on American cable TV network HGTV. The premise: two brothers, one a real estate agent, the other a contractor, help a family purchase an existing home that with some renovation will meet that family’s vision for a “dream home.” The biggest challenge in every episode is helping the family to visualize the possibilities of a home that requires significant work.

There exists a unique paradox in the design, development and construction industry. For most of us professionals working in the built environment, spatial contextual awareness (the ability to perceive one’s place in the world, and perhaps more importantly—the ability to to imagine future spaces based on drawings and other abstract representations) is a fairly common trait.
Continue reading “Bringing Virtual Reality (VR) to the Clients”

Buildings so ugly, only an architect could love them

In the New York Times Magazine recently, Alexandra Lange asked several of the world’s most famous architects to defend the architectural designs of some of the most hated buildings to blight the skyline of world class cities.

Completed in 1973, the Tour Montparnasse stands at a defiant 758 ft above the city of Paris. The design was so jarring, and so out of place with the surrounding architecture, that the city enacted a height ban as a result. Continue reading “Buildings so ugly, only an architect could love them”

Imagine Architecture: Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm by Lukas Feiress (Great Gift Idea)

One of my criticisms of the architecture programs at many of the few accredited schools across the country, is a lack of emphasis on constructability — “the ease and efficiency with which structures can be built” [Wikipedia]. That doesn’t mean that there is no value in exploring the purely fanciful and unrealistic, as they are what push us onward.

There are many great examples of architectural designs that either could not possibly be built, or wouldn’t likely be built. Gestalten recently published such a collection, curated by Lukas Feiress, in a book titled Imagine Architecture: Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm. Continue reading “Imagine Architecture: Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm by Lukas Feiress (Great Gift Idea)”

Understanding the Risks of Sustainable Design – Liability Protection in California

The San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects recently presented a lunchtime continuing education session by Bruce M. Bergman and Eric Miersma. The theme of the presentation was how design professionals can manage their risk and liability when seeking new work. I was fortunate to attend the event and below are some of … Continue reading Understanding the Risks of Sustainable Design – Liability Protection in California