Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of Feb. 25

Cannon tells us where science is headed. Perkins+Will on the telecommuting debate. Design schools and future cities in The Dirt. Luckett + Farley and achieving the best medical outcomes. Oreo's social media campaign extends the cookie vs. creme debate.  Untitled-1

Where is science headed? Mark Whiteley, global science and technology practice leader at Cannon Design, published the article “Top Ten Trends For Design Led Science in 2013,” in the Huffington Post, which examines the direction science and research are headed.

The article lists the following 10 trends as the key drivers for science in 2013:

  1. New Business
  2. New Cultures
  3. New Learning
  4. New Senses
  5. New Personalization
  6. New Shortages
  7. New Magnetism
  8. New Geographies
  9. New Partnerships
  10. New Spaces

Top Ten Trends For Design Led Science in 2013 via Huffington Post

Via Cannon Design Blog


The telecommute debate. Rachel Casanova of Perkins+Will writes about Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision requiring all employees to work in the office each day, exploring how it has sparked varied responses.

Many organizations believe that when people are in close physical proximity, employees establish relationships that lead to faster decision making and better results. That said, the most successful workplace designs incorporate a variety of settings and technologies that enable connection and collaboration, both locally and globally. Casanova shares some ideas that may be helpful in developing a successful workplace. This includes looking at culture, workforce management, work-life blending and collaboration.

Via Ideas+Buildings


Design school and cities. Jared Green of The Dirt looks at the role of the design academy in dealing with today’s challenges — urbanization, climate change, biodiversity loss, population growth – which was discussed in a keynote speech at the Innovative Metropolis conference.

Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Dean Mohsen Mostafavi said that design schools “construct knowledge, conduct research, and disseminate information,” but also “advance alternative possibilities, new ideas.” In a review of how urban design and planning have evolved, Mostafavi outlined the new directions the GSD program is proposing for cities, with its drive towards new theories of landscape urbanism and ecological urbanism.

Via The Dirt


Achieving best medical outcomes. Thomas Hammer, an Associate and Senior Project Manager at Luckett + Farley, writes about Evidenced-Based Design (EBD) for healthcare, the deliberate attempt to base building decisions on the best available evidence, with the goal of achieving the best possible outcomes for patients, family and staff.

“There’s growing evidence suggesting the physical design of a healthcare environment can unintentionally contribute to negative outcomes.  However, on the other hand, a carefully choreographed EBD facility can help the patient, family and staff come together to enhance the experience, increase safety and deliver a higher quality of care.” Thomas Hammer

Via Luckett + Farley Blog


Innovative Social Media Campaign

Cookie vs. Creme. Fans of Oreo cookies often love to separate Oreo cookies, eating just the top or the creme. The company, which has been monitoring this debate on Facebook and Twitter, has turned to four inventors to create high-tech, robotic-like machines that divide the two sets of Oreo consumers. As an expansion of its "Cookie vs. Creme" campaign — which launched on Instagram earlier this month, encouraging people to share pictures — Oreo is posting videos to YouTube over the next two weeks that show an innovative way to eat the snack. With this latest effort, Oreo aims to boost its YouTube subscriber base — which totals about 9,000 — as well as engagement.

Via Mashable



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


Top 12 Blogs from Landscape, Architecture and Planning Firms

headerWe read a lot of blogs from design and planning firms. When we surveyed the A/E industry in 2011, only 16% of our respondents were blogging. This number has certainly gone up, but more importantly, so has the quality. The blogs that consistently post interesting content bring readers back for more. These contribute new ideas and perspectives to the public, and on a broader level, they add to the laypersons’ understanding of the related professions’ role in our communities and society as a whole. Many firms still don’t see the value of blogging and I hope we’ll see more converts to this form of communication in 2013. Blogs are more than an outlet for project descriptions and photos. They help your public audiences get a better sense of what your firm is about and the quality of ideas that you’ll bring to the table. When the practice of blogging is interwoven into the firm’s routine of work, the blog quickly becomes a collection of relevant content on topics that vary as much as the personalities within the firm itself. This content is also immensely valuable to search engines which favor newly published content – making it easier for outsiders who are looking for information on the topics covered in your blog to find your post. These encounters can the beginning of new relationships and opportunities.

We want to encourage firms to use blogs effectively. Since this April, we’ve published a roundup of our favorite posts for the preceding week. Over the course of this ritual we’ve compiled a long list of firms that are blogging well. Consistently, these blogs:

  1. Have relevant content that’s innovative and fresh and goes beyond a project. Many firms will blog about new projects or wins and describe the project like a project sheet. Good blogs go beyond the project, looking at it from a deeper or philosophical perspective and provide original or thought provoking commentary.
  2. Go beyond what the traditional media have always done, which is report the news.
  3. Share ideas that aren’t represented by the firm, but by the people who work there.
  4. Generate reactions. People who read these blogs are talking about its content, and share it with their connections on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

The following are the top 12 design and planning firm blogs for 2012 (listed alphabetically).


Array Healthcare blog

Healthcare design




Architecture firm with a focus on sustainable architecture.



Build LLC



The Dogrun – Lake Flato

(A place to share ideas)





Three categories: Work, Cities and Lifestyle


HDR Architecture



HOK Life


Opinions expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of HOK.


LPA Blog



Olin http://www.theolinstudio.com/


Perkowitz + Ruth


(We love their short, but interesting, posts)


Perkins + Will


(Revamped and redesigned)


SWA Group