Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of January 14, 2012

Who rules the earth? Peripheral vision. A new type of architectural school. Why design matters. Endowment for rural communities.  132101

Who rules the earth. Steve Prince, managing principal of HMC Architects, explores the idea of who rules the earth, stemming from interest of Paul Steinberg’s book, “Who Rules the Earth? How Social Rules Shape Our Planet and Our Lives,” to be published by Oxford University Press in 2014. The book is part of The Social Rules Project, an environmental sustainability advocacy.

Prince, who connected with the project because of its environmental sustainability initiative, awarded a $5,000 grant to support the Social Rules Project, which seeks to create new and innovative ways to bridge academia and real world challenges, and to empower students to make a positive impact on the planet.

Via HMC Architects blog


On the periphery. Linnaea Tillett, an environmental psychologist, lighting designer and principal of Tillett Lighting, writes about how lighting can affect the way people feel in a room where they’ll be performing different kinds of tasks.

Tillett says this affect comes from the periphery of your vision—the “fringe of your focus”—and it determines how you feel in a particular space. People absorb much of the affect without being acutely aware that they are doing it through what we variously call the co-conscious, unconscious, or just the “noise around us”.

Via Metropolis Magazine POV


A new type of architecture school. Robert Kwolek blogs on how he would like to create his own private school of architecture, offering a complete alternative to existing programs in which the worlds of architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and carpentry would be melded.

Kwolek says that despite having graduated from an architecture program, he still doesn’t feel significantly more capable of constructing his own building. He says that most contemporary architecture programs “are very insular, with little regard for preparing students for the real world.”

Via Sustainable Cities Collective


Why Design Matters. Tom Ito, a principal in Gensler’s Los Angeles office, blogs about how staying at the hotel Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, India, made him reflect on the power of design.

“Everything about my journey into the hotel (and approaching nirvana) was designed. It was “guest experience” planned and supported by the landscape, the architecture and the interiors for the purpose of giving me a lasting memory of this hotel and—bigger picture—the brand. It worked.” – Tom Ito

Via GenslerOn Lifestyle blog


Endowment for rural communities. The new Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD), a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Project for Public Spaces, and other organizations, is looking for proposals from rural communities who need design help. Winners will receive a $7,000 grant and technical assistance valued at $35,000.

CIRD helps rural communities with fewer than 50,000 people. Through facilitated design workshops, CIRD aims to “enhance the quality of life and economic vitality” of these places.

Via The Dirt