While visiting FIGat7th in Downtown Los Angeles over the weekend, I noticed that a giant shoe sculpture made entirely of canned food was on display. [Read more…] about Canstruction: Promoting Design and Fighting Hunger
I love LEGOs. I suspect that I am not the only one, especially among current and future urban planners. I have fond memories of playing with the minifigures and blocks when I was young, and I still get excited at the sight of a LEGO store to this day. I would even say that my love for LEGOs and the fun I had building with those colorful blocks contributed to my decision to become a planner. LEGO, which comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt” [Read more…] about LEGOs and Urban Planning
SCI- ARC and CalTech’s prefab, net-zero, solar-powered house for the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon is now open to the public at the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles. [Read more…] about SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar House Opens to Public
I would like to suggest that affordable housing communities not only provide much needed housing to those in need, it can offer award winning design and provide much needed jobs in our country.
I am privileged to serve as a member of the board of directors and co-chair of the real estate committee of Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM). In its twenty-five year history, CCSM has developed or renovated over 2,000 units. [Read more…] about Community Corporation of Santa Monica: Building Affordable Housing with Award Winning Design
Our own Star Sargenti at the Dwell on Design show at the L. A. Convention Center. No time for a video? No worries, this is quick and light . . .
Turn the freeways into solar collectors and at the same time mitigate noise, pollution, blight, and open space encroachment. This is a fascinating idea from architect Måns Tham of Sweden. He also proposes that the solar canopy capture auto exhaust for feeding algae ponds to create bio fuel. While it seems at first glance to be ‘pie in the sky,’ upon further reflection it may not be so far fetched. It could help resolve the controversy regarding solar arrays in the desert and possible effects on fauna such as the desert tortoise. Freeways typically involve vast sun exposed stretches of real estate that would seem ideally suited for solar panels. Read more on the architect’s blog.
Edited by John Cary and Public Architecture
Book Design by Pentagram
Published by Metropolis Books
?I received a courtesy copy of this book and yes it was a beautiful feeling to see my name in the ‘acknowledgments’ for the book. What’s more beautiful is to contribute a 1% of your workday to help someone so that you feel good for the other 99% of the time.
Based on this simple concept of contributing just 1% of your service for a good cause, Public Architecture started ‘the1%’ program in 2005. Today it’s even shaped itself into a book. This book goes a long way with its inspiring and successful stories of people that believe in doing public good.
There are many academic lists regarding the principles of urban planning, a sampling of which is included below. However, I’ve put together my own list about what creates a pleasant place in the built environment. Its based on nothing more than my personal observations.
1) Narrow streets make nicer neighborhoods and shopping districts.
2) Setbacks suck. (Compare all the places we are attracted to for vacations.)
3) Great cities happen at the street level, not the skyline.
4) Preserve the old buildings not just for architectural significance, but for diversity of architecture.
5) Small lot development is smarter development. (i.e. large master planned developments lack soul) [Read more…] about 10 Principles of Planning Pleasant Places
I am in Tokyo traveling/visiting this week. I must say, it’s an amazing progressive city and culture. So many amazing buildings here. Wow. It’s a huge city, but has a small city feel in the smaller neighborhoods within the city. Public transportation is easy to use, bikes are all over the place, public spaces/parks are great, public art and multiple museums dot the city. It’s like New York City, a bit of Chicago and Vegas lights. Will be posting more pictures when I return. Today’s picture is of the Prada store. This building was built several years ago but has an amazing look and feel from both the outside and inside. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meauron.