Top 4 Architecture and Design Blog Posts for Week of Sept. 30, 2013

Local swapping. Collaboration at Sasaki. Perkins + Will dismisses the fridge + microwave. BUILD's guide for celebrities aspiring to be architects. 131007

Swapping local. In Sarasota and other communities across the country, swappers leave their wallets at home and gather to share homemade goods that require an investment of special skills, time and energy to produce.

The food swap movement combines old-fashioned resourcefulness with a community-oriented philosophy and modern-day sensibilities to elevate the practice of "shopping local'' to an entirely new level: Swapping local.

Via CEOs for Cities


Collaboration in action. Sasaki Associates shares a fun video on what it looks like for their team to collaborate on a project.

Sasaki’s work on in Alachua County in north central Florida is a prime example of how the team collaborates: The team invited the entire firm to contribute, generating layers of innovative planning and design solutions for client Envision Alachua with all disciplines —planning, urban design, landscape, architecture, ecology, economics, and politics.

Via Sasaki Blog


Farewell microwave and fridge. David Damon, who leads Perkins+Will’s Residential Life practice, discusses Bridgewater State University’s newest residence hall, George A. Weygand Hall, which incorporates many sustainable strategies, one of which may come as a surprise to new students: the classic micro fridge and the personal microwave are no longer found in students’ rooms. 

Over the past two years, Perkins+Will has been working with the University to create a dynamic environment where students can have a new kind of interaction on campus that pushes the boundaries of sustainability. Shared refrigerators and microwaves are located in public areas on each floor of the building. It’s one thing to design an energy-saving, green-loving, tempered-by-the-earth building – it’s another thing to operate it to its fullest potential.

Via Ideas + Perspectives


Glamorous architects. As Kayne West joins Brad Pitt in the ranks of celebrity architects, BUILD shares their “Famous Person’s 5-Step Guide to Becoming an Architect.

  1. Your new wardrobe budget is $175.
  2. Your personability is too personal.
  3. Dumb-down your life experiences.
  4. You’re still too young.
  5. Less bling, more books.

Via BUILD Blog


Social Media and Publishing

The basics on book covers. Suw Charman-Anderson of Forbes gives the skinny on book covers and social media. What traditional book authors have included web site and social media network links such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn on their book covers? Not as many as you would think.

Via Forbes



Top 4 Architecture and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of September 12, 2013

Iinnovative business school design with BNIM. BUILD on going paperless in Seattle. HDR brand speak. Rapid prototyping with P+W and highschoolers. Jet Blue, Adweek's social media leader. 130916

Innovative design at business school. BNIM discusses the two-year design and construction of the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and how it is set apart from other business schools because of the unique program spaces found more often in design schools.

The BNIM team was inspired by the fact that this would be the top innovation school in the world, focusing on creating new business enterprise, new products and ideas — versus emulating a case method of study that has been used in business schools in the past.

Via BNIM Blog


Going paper-free. BUILD writes about how much paper is wasted in the architecture world with sketchbooks and rolls of drawings, but how the firm experienced its first glimmer of the tide turning with the Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development in submitting permits.

“We just completed our first permit with your online permit system and we’re incredibly impressed! The online submittal process is everything the system should be: it’s easy to use, and it’s an excellent example for other cities to follow.” – BUILD

Via BUILD Blog


Brands speak for themselves. James “Jim” Henry, design principal at HDR Architects, discusses the importance of brand imaging and messaging, and how it defines your firm and is a deciding factor when people/companies consider investing in you.

Henry uses Apple as an example of good branding, and how “this company doesn’t just walk the talk of its vision, it sprints—ensuring that everything it does and says is authentic and in line with its core beliefs. Everyone in the company—from senior leadership to individuals selling product—understands its direction and beliefs, and have claimed them as their own.” – James “Jim” Henry

Via Blink Perspectives


Rapid prototype generation. Scott Dansereau of Perkins + Will shares how students participating in the Dig-8 program at Chicago’s Nettlehorst School, which gives grade-school students a crash course in entrepreneurship and product design, got a hands-on demonstration of the firm’s digital fabrication process, using programs such as Revit, AutoCAD 3D and SketchUp.

The student’s level of engagement and understanding of 3D modeling concepts was impressive as these ten and eleven-year-olds grasped ideas that are typically introduced in high school and college.  It is clear that through exposure to programs like Dig-8, students will enter high education with a breadth of knowledge and experience that will force educators to develop even more advanced curricula.

Via Ideas + Perspectives


Innovative Social Media

Adweek looks at JetBlue’s early rise to a leader in social media, starting with the “Valentine’s Day Crisis” in 2007 that was remedied through a YouTube video, and how the airline carrier continues to leverage the medium as a serious brand-building tool.

Via Adweek




Top Four Architecture and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of Aug. 12, 2013

HOK celebrates kiosks. A healing space by P+W. BUILD shows how it draws on a site. MGA offers some guidance. Seattle police, tweets and munchies.  130819


Celebrating Kiosk Museum. HOK participated in the grand opening of the Kiosk Museum in downtown San Francisco on July 24, which has been in the works for nearly a year.

The HOK team designed the case and led the installation of the street museum. The final product is a walk up museum located on the street that is accessible to anyone.

Via HOK Life


A healing space. Perkins + Will has launched a video about Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital that showcases a facility that promotes healing and addresses the needs of the widest possible audience.

The design of the building is highly innovative, and is an inspirational place to do rehabilitation and encourage movement. All of the architects used a wheelchair at the old facility to understand the use of wheelchairs and accessibility.

Via Ideas + Perspectives


Drawing on the site. BUILD discusses streamlining its design and building process by marking the construction site with the light fixture locations, a helpful exercise for architects as they see firsthand how the final build will come together at full scale.

Here are the top 5 things BUILD has learned along the way:

  1. Know your clearances
  2. Alignment is key
  3. Use it as a final check
  4. It’s about the experience
  5. Bring the right tools

Via BUILD Blog


Guiding principles for success. Industrial Brand talks to Michael Green, TED speaker and advocate for wooden tall buildings, about marketing for Michael Green Architecture (MGA) and architecture firms in general.

Green says one of the main contributors to MGA’s success is its authentic and relatable motives. MGA has a benevolent reason why it does what it does that goes far beyond growth or profits. The beliefs and values of MGA’s brand are really what attracts people, stakeholders, and potential clients. When people perceive these traits, agree with them, and see they’d enjoy working with MGA, a long term relationship is already in the works.

Via Industrial Brand Blog


Innovative Social Media Campaign

Seattle police live-tweet Doritos. Seattle Police Department used social media for two-way communication for Hempfest, the largest celebration of the pot culture. To educate citizens about the new laws, officers from the police department handed out bags of Doritos at the festival.

The bags of chips included a message with "dos and don'ts" of the new law and a link to the department's educational blog post, and humorous #OperationOrangeFingers tweets before the event and live-tweeting until the giveaway.

Via Forbes


Top Four Architecture and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of May 20, 2013

Perkins+Will welcomes a new architect to the "real world". Integrated design by LMN. Cannon's community support. BUILD on incremental design. Social media fun with J-E-L-L-O. 130528


Welcome to the real world. Danny Mui, a recent graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology who works as an architect out of Perkins + Will’s Chicago office, presents four tips to help graduates transition out of school and to a professional firm.

Mui talks about design approach, team culture, deadline management and vacation. “Working at a firm requires a high level of professionalism at all times, and everyone more consistently contributes to the project at hand. The fact that we are all part of a business means that, again, the constraints have been better clarified than they were in school. There is a sense that everyone is on the same side and happy to help each other out, which helps in creating even higher quality work. “ – Danny Mui

Via Perkins + Will Blog


Integrated design. Albert Lam, a project coordinator at LPA, examines how architecture melds building and landscape design together with the Bosco Verticale or "Vertical Forest” in Milan, which is a pair of high rise residential towers that doubles as a vertical forest.

Lam finds the amount of pre-planning and integration that must have occurred before any shovel hitting the ground fascinating. “Consider the very concept of the building—planting a forest upward through a skyscraper. This inherently requires the architecture and landscape disciplines to unite in a single gesture. Planting must be selected with care on its physical effects on the building, while the architecture must be able to support the infrastructure required by the greenery.” – Albert Lam

Via LPA Blog


Supporting community. Cannon Design’s annual Environmental Awareness Week marked a significant milestone in the event’s 11-year history, raising more than $22,000 that was donated to 12 local and national organizations.

Some of the organizations that will receive donations include the Urban Green Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Rebuilding Together San Francisco and Integrated Design Lab.

Via Cannon Design Blog

Incremental evolution of design. BUILD looks at two residential projects, examining how the work for each project was implemented incrementally and carefully instead of reinvented from scratch.

BUILD studied the work of Pacific Northwest modernist Ralph Anderson for guidance, observing that the concept of vertical and horizontal relief were so well-developed in his projects that they’ve become “textbook lessons in geometry.”

Via BUILD Blog


Innovative Social Media Campaign

Are we having fun? Jell-O launched a social media marketing campaign last week with the #FML hashtag, proclaiming that Jell-O wants to turn the profane acronym into the opposite with its “Fun My Life” campaign. Twitter users who tweet the #FML hashtag before June 14 will be entered in a drawing for “Fun My Life” prize packs.

Via Chicago Business Journal






Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of March 25, 2013

Evolving Library. Removing urbanity. Guide to rendering. Site and structure in Norway. Human rights social media blitz. 130401

Evolving library. David Dewane of Gensler, discusses Librii, a digitally enhanced, community-based, revenue-generating library network created for the developing world. Librii has launched a Kickstarter campaign to receive funding for the pilot library.

Dewane explores the five ways Librii is innovative.

  1. Flip the business model
  2. Shift from consumption to production
  3. Broaden the collection
  4. Rethink the network

Go boldly where no one has gone before

Via Gensleron Cities


Removing urbanity. Kenneth Caldwell of Caldwell Communications writes about his feelings of sentimentality when he sees the loss of urbanity in buildings and architecture in San Francisco.

“Every day I walk around the city. I look for the sign that a person who cared about urbanity or beauty, whether it is an architect, designer, artist, artisan, chef, or bartender, is still at work holding up the value of the human individual’s contribution. Each time a faceless corporation removes the mark of a person, we lose something beyond the artifact itself.” – Kenneth Caldwell

Via Design Faith Blog


Guide to rendering. Build LLC discusses the importance of renderings, and how they have found them to be beneficial throughout multiple phases of their design and build process.

“Not only do we benefit from renderings, but our clients do too. At meetings, after looking over a set of two-dimensional drawings, a few crisp renderings can add a level of clarity and understanding. While we never shoot for photorealism with our rendered work, (more on that later,) a rendering that starts to talk about materiality and experience is something we can get behind.”

Via Build Blog


Site and structure in Norway. David Hirzel, principal emeritus at Sasaki Associates, writes on how he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study architecture in Norway in 1963, with a particular interest in wood construction and Norway's rich history with this type of building.

Hirzel talks about what struck him when he first saw the stave churches and farm buildings was their dramatic setting in the many valleys throughout Norway and how the individual church buildings and the groupings of farm buildings related to the unique environmental characteristics and functional requirements for the location and each building.

Via Sasaki Stream


Innovative Social Media Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign's ubiquitous logo went viral last week in anticipation of two landmark marriage equality cases argued before the United States Supreme Court. Facebook reported a 120% increase in profile picture swaps to support gay marriage, as compared with an average day.

According to a post from Facebook data scientist Eytan Bakshy, 2.7 million more users swapped their photos Tuesday, March 26, than on the previous Tuesday, due to the viral marriage equality Facebook campaign started by the Human Rights Campaign.

Via Mashable


Human Rights Campaign