Monday, February 11, 2008


I'm running a little late! I just checked my email and it appears as though I am a day behind. Here it is...

This essay addresses the changes that need to occur in the architectural profession regarding the acceptance and practice of technology. I have seen and experienced this issue first hand in the two firms I have worked for, thus far in my career, and I am not the first. Branko Kolarevic and Kas Oosterhuis saw it as well; they based their work on the compilation of articles from over a hundred other architects that had something to state on this very subject matter. Kolarevic examines this issue from a broader context and compares architecture and its resistance of technology to other design professions acceptance of it due to their client’s demand and the construction of the final product. While Oosterhuis studies the changes that have occurred in modern design and how they require a change in the way of thinking, process of creation and architectural production. The examination of both Oosterhuis’ and Klarevic’s ideas ties the success of the architectural profession to its acceptance and adaptation of ever-changing modern technologies. The proposal of this essay is that a change can happen and needs to happen to better mentor our professionals and serve our clients.

Monday, January 21, 2008

You guys complete me ;)

Last night, after I got home and finally slept for a bit, I awoke with that fullness feeling inside of me. The same feeling that got me out of bed every morning in that dreaded MidTown. I immediately got a buzz of energy and decided to unpack so I could look at everything I brought home. I dug my pinup drawings from my presentation out of my bags. I stared at them for a while and thought... this is all I got??? I was extremely disappointed with the artifacts I had to share, as they did not encompass by trip in its entirety. It suddenly became blatantly evident that what created that wonderful sense of fullness was not the objects that flew home with me on the plane, but the experiences and people that I met while on my Bostonian journey.
I miss everyone already.

As I sit at my desk today, trying to change the world one power point presentation at a time, I am completely uninspired. All I want to do is break out the trace and get rolling on my design from studio. Matter of fact while I sit here, I am sketching out ideas in my head and trying to store them in my magic memory bank for later when I get home. It is going to drive me mad!

Last Friday I completely changed my research topic and now I am slightly freaking out. I am switching from "places where we feel we belong" to, "Can architecture’s acceptance of technology better in the future? And if so, how will it help our profession and the clients that we serve?" I am particularly relating to BIM. It is not like me to change things at the last minute, but I'm hoping that I can travel down a path, less traveled by someone before, with this new topic. What do you guys think???

I plan on researching the evolution of technology in architecture, starting from the pencil and t-square and hopefully ending with some of the latest and greatest technology out there. I am just hoping that it doesn't all change by the time I get this paper written. After I get a feel for the architectural profession I plan on comparing it to some others out there in the world, particularly the ones that people are always complaining about. "Why is architecture not held to the same respect as ____ " so and so. After that is said and done, I'll be diving into BIM and all of the claims it has for bettering our profession, life and the world. Sounds dramatic, I know, but most of its die-hard followers really feel this way.

Time to hit the library again and try to dig up some new resources. If any of you know of some off the top of your head please let me know, I have a feeling this may be difficult to research since it is still fairly new to our profession.

Best of Luck to everyone over the next 5 weeks. May our minds be buried as deep in thoughts as our noses will be in books.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Duncan - Landscape/group identity

Wow, you can't find a house like that for $130,000 today!

I really enjoyed the depth of research that was done for this article as well as the matter in which it was presented. It was definitely a much easier read than the Bickford article for me.

It was great to read about how they took their study beyond the point of race. They didn’t stop their research at “The majority of residents are white”; rather they developed further into class, religion and age.

After some reflection of the community that I live in, I found Duncan’s four landscapes: the village center, tradesmen’s landscape, alpha landscape and beta landscape some what reminiscent. Although, I don’t think there are quite as many societies established today as there was back in 1971, or maybe I just don’t know about them.

The biggest thing that I pondered after reading this article was what happens to the alpha landscape/older community when they pass on? Do more high-class families take their place creating a repetitive cycle or in some communities, even in Westchester County Village, is there change? It would be interesting to study this community today, twenty-seven years later, and see how and/or if this community has evolved.

In my community the dwellers of the “alpha landscape” may have resisted change back in the 70’s but it didn’t stick nearly as well for them. What would have been considered the upper-class alpha areas back then have become prime real estate for young middle-class families today. New homes in my community cost a fortune, which is why retired alpha homes and landscapes are now being renovated and transformed into betas…the alphas of Westchester would probably be rolling in their graves.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Susan Bickford Article Response

Well that was intense! Although I think that Bickford raised some good issues, I can't say that I agree with her overall view on communities and why she thinks people become part of them, and I'll be honest, its always easier for me to argue about what I don't agree with, so here it goes.

I have lived in several different communities thus far in my life. Suburban, rural, and city life never seemed to be an option I was choosing at the time because of class or race, rather lifestyle. It was simply the mood I was in at those points in my life and nothing more. This is one particularly bothersome topic that is continually mentioned throughout the entire article. Bickford uses race and class as the primary means for segregation amongst communities, even dating back to ancient Greek cities. I would argue that in the era of ancient Greek cities religion was the major contributor to segregation amongst communities and in some parts of the world it still is today. There are plenty of other people out there that are middle-class and not white and I am actually offended that she suggests otherwise. My point is that there are many factors that contribute to segregation of communities and to have only race and class as evidence to her theory is studying it blindly. People are just not that simple.

Bickford blames developers for the modern popularity of middle-class gated communities and CID's or PUD's. As far as their reason for creation she states that "it is not the case that consumers demanded these private, controlled environments and then the market reacted to those demands", yet today they are in extremely high demand. Once these communities were created people were attracted to them and they still are today. It is the basic economic principle of supply and demand. If developers weren't selling them like hot cakes they wouldn't be building them.

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think that people only want to live in CID's because of class and race. For me personally, my suburban town home is not something that I purchased to be with "like people", if such a term even means anything. Rather, it was an accomplishment that came from years of hard work, busting my tail, setting personal goals and achieving them. I would hope that if I have anything in common with my community neighbors it is just that and not that we are of the same race or class. Actually now that I think of it, I have a rather culturally and racially diverse community, but according to Bickford that might be because its missing the gates.

As for the middle-class gated community dwellers, whether most would like to admit it or not, I think that the issue of safety has nothing to do with living there. The gates are all for show. They are like a giant motorized trophy that waves up and down screaming "look at me, I made it". For me living in a gated community is not a personal preference or goal. I have always been more attracted to natural scenic settings like water and mountains, meanwhile I have friends that can't wait to get that loft downtown. Bottom line, for every person they have an ideal notion or goal of, for them, what means that they've "made it". Some persevere and work extremely hard to get there while others are either handed it, waiting for that lucky lotto ticket or finding excuses to blame others for not having it. Regardless, in our human nature, deep down most people yearn for it in one way or another.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

On the road again...

Hello Dr. Childress & Classmates!

As the New Year begins so does the journey. . . After being out of school for five years it is a bit overwhelming, yet extremely exciting at the same time.

I look forward to getting to know all of you over the next two years!