This title is a broad and a difficult question but it is one that creatives are forced to face every time they take on a new project. There is always excitement and fear when the canvas is blank and the fewer imposed constraints there are the more challenging it is. My colleague Donna Barry and I, both Design Directors in our respective Gensler offices, were invited to present and moderate a workshop that we entitled ‘Bring It’ at a recent regional firm conference.Continue Reading Bring It! How to bring your best design to every project every time?
I find it fascinating that in response to an article about economic development, a male planner felt entirely comfortable telling me that the only thing of value about me is how developed my breasts and vagina are. In fact, he seemed downright proud about that observation, so much so that he signed his email to me with his company logo, telephone number and web address. What precipitated this completely unprofessional sexist email outrage that I quoted exactly in the headline?Continue Reading The only feminist development I’d like to see is on your chest and between your legs…
Thank you to the team at Architectural Concepts, Inc. (www.4designs.com): Plan submittal and corrections. Precious!
First, an update:
Since my first Op Ed for UrbDeZine, I’ve made the successful transition in careers I aimed to achieve: on December 21st, 2016 I celebrated my graduation as a Peer Support Specialist, a position that requires lived experience and empathy to assist and empower peers in their transition to wellness from mental challenges.Continue Reading San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Open House tour with Orlando
Travel, as I have often said to my colleagues, is an excellent means to explore and understand architecture, especially if that has to do with regional values. Last year, after having missed many earlier opportunities to do so, I finally visited the sites of great architectural works of the Mughal Dynasty in India. For most people, the Taj Mahal is a household word. For me it had always been the fore-runner of an argument that mosques and mausoleums are not the same and hence their formal structures cannot share in the semiology employed by modern day designers of religious buildings in the light of Bob Venturi’s “decorated shed” paradigm.Continue Reading A peek into the timeless past of Mughal architecture in India
Most millennials are actually changing jobs four times on average during their first decade out school according to a study released by LinkedIn. If this is true in architecture then there is a good chance young professionals move on before they see a completed project through. Continue Reading Architecture: Patience, This Is Not the Tech Industry
When I mentioned to some friends that I would be vacationing in Washington, D.C., most of them told me about the Smithsonian museums which offer free admissions. While I did end up visiting a few of these amazing museums, I also went to one that nobody suggested: the National Building Museum. This museum is dedicated to the interpretation of the history and impact of the built environment, and is perfect for architects, planners, landscape architects, and designers. (I knew about the museum because it helped to organize a symposium on Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. that I attended a few years ago). Here are some highlights of the museum:Continue Reading A Museum for Architects and Planners
“What architect isn’t interested in housing? I hate the whole blasted idea of it. I think it’s a worthy undertaking – to provide a decent apartment for a man who earns fifteen dollars a week. But not at the expense of other men. Not if it raises the taxes, raises all the other rents and makes the man who earns forty live in a rat hole. That’s what’s happening in New York. Nobody can afford a modern apartment – except the very rich and the paupers.
Have you seen the converted brownstones in which the average self-supporting couple has to live? Have you seen their closet kitchens and their plumbing? They’re forced to live that – because they’re not incompetent enough. They make forty dollars a week and wouldn’t be allowed into a housing project. But they’re the ones who provide the money for the damn project. They pay the taxes. And the taxes raise their own rent. And they have to move from a converted brownstone into an unconverted one and from that into a railroad flat.
I’d have no desire to penalize a man because he’s worth only fifteen dollars a week. But I’ll be damned if I can see why a man worth forty must be penalized – and penalized in favor of the one who’s less competent”.
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, 1943
On June 8th, 2015, I reached the ten year mark of my career as an architect. This post chronicles some personal key “lessons learned” in reaching this first milestone of my architectural career.Continue Reading Three lessons learned for up and coming architects
John King just keeps getting better and better. In his second Cityscapes volume, published by local treasure Heyday Books, he classifies fifty notable San Francisco buildings and spaces under the sobriquets of Towers, Connection, Clues and Waterfront. This builds on Volume 1’s Icons, Styles and Masters, Landscape, and Change (Cityscapes , San Francisco and Its Buildings, 2011). Another couple of volumes and we will have the complete ‘how to read a city.’Continue Reading Cityscapes 2: Reading the Architecture of San Francisco