Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of Dec. 17, 2012

  • blog dec 17

Cultural workplace differences in Korea. Being adaptable in an uncertain world. Opportunities for architects and designers. Public housing transformed. 

Workplace culture in Korea. Leigh Stringer of HOK discusses the differences in culture and workplace in Korea as the firm helps to design gas company Samchully’s  new headquarters.

Observations with the culture:

  • The streets are spotless in Seoul, yet this is a city of 10 million people. I can tell you that New York City, which is roughly 8 million people, is significantly less pristine.
  • People on the streets are very well-dressed and well-spoken. They have a great fashion sense and few are overweight.
  • Women are a minority when it comes to senior positions in many organizations. Yet Korea is about to elect its first female president.
  • Though the sense of hierarchy is strong, collaboration and agreement of the whole is essential for decision making

Observations in the Korean workplace:

  • The chairman makes all the decisions. There is a clear leader, though he takes advice from many people.
  • Impromptu space is not necessary – it was value engineered out on day one! Collaboration occurs more formally and in conference rooms.
  • Work at home is not officially supported. Mobile work is supported and the technology is excellent. Yet because people are often working in groups, the office is the most convenient place to be. Also, being in front of the boss is important. If you’re away from the office, you’re probably on a trip with your boss.

Via HOK Life blog

Success in an uncertain world. Philip Dilley, chairman of the Arup Group, blogs about uncertainty and how the best way to deal with it -- and risk -- is to ensure that you remain adaptable and resilient.

“People can try to prepare for any number of risks if they are smart enough to think of them (although Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ‘Black Swans’ suggest they are not). Yet the best strategy for long-term survival and growth remains having the resilience to adapt.

That is why those concepts feature so highly in our approach to both our business and our work.” – Philip Dilley

Via Arup blog

Video on the design profession. Cannon Design Gary Miller, Co-chair and chief executive officer of Cannon Design, talks about the opportunities for architects and designers as globalization continues to grow, especially in China and India, and now South America and Africa.

There are huge opportunities in the commercial sector, education and healthcare. Architects need to reinvent themselves, thinking how they can be innovative and what they can bring to the client. Architects need to create opportunities and take them to the market, and be part of the push economy and create their own future.

Via Cannon Design blog

The rebirth of public housing. Scott Doyo, Principal at PlaceMakers, blogs about the redevelopment of South Front in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The site was once public subsidized housing, but has become a private rental property that embraced several interesting elements, such as keeping the historic structure. The site is green, LEED Silver and has brought new life to a downtrodden area.

Via PlaceMakers


Favorite Architecture and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of Dec. 3, 2012

120312 Luckett and Farley on the importance of office design. Lake|Flato reflects history in custom lighting. Geoff Manaugh on pop-up forestry. Kaid Benfield on making cities more walkable.

Importance of office design. William J. (Billy) Hallisky blogs about the art of designing a modern office and why design still matters.

The well-designed adaptive re-use of a corporate interior can play a pivotal role in a business’ success. The right design, for example, might require a large capital investment, but is easily offset when spectacular reductions are made in revenue wasted on space that no longer fits a company’s business model (or more often than not, re-designing a poorly designed space).

Via Luckett and Farley blog

Custom lights are remnants of history.  Phil Zimmerman, intern at Lake Flato, blogs about the installation of custom light fixtures at the nearly completed Pearl Parkway Buildings of the Pearl Brewery Redevelopment in San Antonio, Texas.

The light fixtures were designed to use existing materials and remnants from the historical brewery. The “Beakerlier” was created for a lobby space within one of the Parkway buildings called the Lab.  The fixture is composed of materials originally used for beer quality and recipe testing in the Brewery’s lab.  The chandelier’s design uses found objects and also references an obscure yet important historical function within the Brewery’s beer making process.

Via The Dogrun

Pop-up forests. Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG discusses an article in the New York Times on Christmas tree research labs, scrutinizing the program’s extreme steps that include “the largest and most sophisticated of operations," where scientists "harvest almost a million trees a year from an 8,500-acre plantation and remove them by helicopter" for analysis elsewhere.

While the goal of the tree labs is to develop new and improved tree species for both indoor and outdoor display during the holiday season and to create a tree that can last weeks without shedding its needles, Manaugh says the vision of this kind of pop-up forest brings to mind a different kind of pop-up forest, one of "insurgent shrublands," disturbed landscapes, and other "fast-emerging but short-lived ecosystems in an era of nonlinear climate change."


Related: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/garden/building-a-better-christmas-tree.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Making cities more walkable. Kaid Benfield discusses the 10 keys to creating walkability in a city from Jeff Speck’s new book Walkable City.

Speck’s ten steps of walkability:

  1. Put cars in their place. ("Traffic studies are bullshit.")
  2. Mix the uses. ("Cities were created to bring things together.”)
  3. Get the parking right.  ("Ample parking encourages driving that would not otherwise occur without it.")
  4. Let transit work.  (“While walkability benefits from good transit, good transit relies absolutely on walkability.")
  5. Protect the pedestrian. ("The safest roads are those that feel the least safe.")
  6. Welcome bikes. ("In Amsterdam, a city of 783,000, about 400,000 people are out riding their bikes on any given day."
  1. Shape the spaces. ("Get the design right and people will walk in almost any climate.")
  1. Plant trees. ("It’s best not to pick favorites in the walkability discussion— every individual point counts— but the humble American street tree might win my vote.")
  1. Make friendly and unique [building] faces. ("Pedestrians need to feel safe and comfortable, but they also need to be entertained.")

10. Pick your winners. ("Where can spending the least money make the most difference?")

Via The Atlantic Cities

Favorite Design and Urbanism Posts for Week of Nov. 26, 2012

120212 Trust and Knowledge Management. Sustainable Campus Model. Design for Healthier Cities. Uncertainty in Design.

Trust is Essential in Knowledge Management. Andrew Trickett, Global Rail Knowledge & Information Manager at ARUP, writes about the value of creating a work environment of trust to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and cooperation among employees. He stresses that employers should remove barriers from competition and that by taking the time to review both a projects’ accomplishments as well as its short falls, that a company can increase its overall performance and client satisfaction.

If as a group people are sharing, and talking about knowledge through their experiences, then this can be the starting point for people to ask unorthodox questions, experiment with new ideas and ways of working in a safe setting before they expose a creative idea to the organisation.” – Andrew Trickett

Via Arup Thoughts Blog

A Model for Sustainability on Campus. Many older colleges and universities face outdated and inefficient infrastructure resulting in unsustainable water and energy consumption. Hoping to create a more sustainable campus and lower energy bills, Lynn College in Boca Raton, Florida implemented an innovative Sustainability Management Tool that brought administrators, faculty, students as well as municipal officials and third party consultants together to implement sustainable objectives from the school’s master plan.

Central to the Sustainability Management Tool are:

  1. A strong organizational structure
  2. The elimination of “boundaries”
  3. Partnerships
  4. Discussion

By reaching out and engaging in discussions with the community, Lynn College was able to reduce their energy consumption and costs dramatically.

Via Design Intelligence

Making Cities Healthy Through Design. Kristian Villadsen from Gehl Architects in Copenhagen, Denmark recently spoke at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam about connecting vibrant public spaces through safe biking and walking areas in cities to increase the health of urban dwellers.

In his presentation, he discussed Copenhagen’s many bike lanes, public spaces and in particular the city’s Harbor Bath which is only a mere 700 meters from city hall.  In addition, he elaborates on an effective and innovative pilot project in New York City’s Times Square which studied the impacts of increasing public space in dense urban areas.

Via Gehl Architects’ Blog

Uncertainty in Design. In this thought-provoking article by Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies graduate student Renee Kaufman, she examines both the philosophical and scientific question of uncertainty in the study and implementation of ecology in landscape design. Hoping to lessen uncertainty and the anxiety it causes, she proposes adaptive management as a means to acquire better and more effective data about a project’s performance after construction.

Via Landscape Urbanism Blog

Favorite Architecture and Urbanism Posts for Week of Nov. 19

Architectural influencers. Teamwork at the concept stage of healthcare design. The growth of Amish communities. Interview with Dan D'Oca of Interboro Partners.

Giving thanks to architectural influencers. Build blogs about how most people think a truly great architect comes up with design ideas all on their own, entirely independent of anyone else’s work. This, however, is not the case.

Build gives thanks to its all the individuals and firms who are inspiring and influential to the profession of architecture. These are people and groups whose hard work has stirred thinking, motivated design and encouraged building.

Build’s top 10 favorite influencers:

  1. E. Cobb Architects
  2. Gordon Walker
  3. Claesson Koivisto Rune
  4. Claus en Kaan
  5. Studio 804
  6. Mathias Klotz
  7. Hufft Projects
  8. AVRO|KO
  9. Dietrich | Untertrifaller
  10. Jonathan Segal

Via Build Blog

Start team effort early in healthcare design. George Vangelatos, design principal at HMC Architects, writes about the value of shifting the investment of time and resources at the concept stage of the design project as the healthcare industry is constantly under scrutiny for its lack of efficiency and effective use of resources.

“The design process of a medical facility involves the review of thousands of factors. Though many of these are consistent from project to project, what may not be consistent is the timing of their consideration and the team members involved in the evaluation process. Early team integration and expanded decision making involving a range of disciplines can lead to lower life cycle costs and significant design and construction cost savings.” – George Vangelatos

Via HMC Architects Blog

Amish communities growing. A recent census reports that a new Amish community is founded every 3 1/2 weeks in the United States. Known for their idyllic and sustainable lifestyle that rejects modern technology, the Amish are found in 30 states across the United States, and in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Researchers at Ohio State University predict that at current rates, the Amish could exceed 1 million people and 1,000 settlements by 2050. As the Amish communities grow and expand it becomes more difficult to continue farming lifestyles because of limited land availability near existing communities. The Amish have transitioned into new jobs such as woodworking and construction, or left their homes in search of affordable farmland which has led to the creation of new communities.

Via Congress for the New Urbanism Blog

Playing well with others. Sasaki Design's collaborative design approach is strengthened by its ongoing exploration and exchange of ideas. To expand its knowledge base, the firm is hosting an ongoing lecture series featuring guest speakers, most recently Dan D’Oca, cofounder and principal of Interboro Partners.

A specialist in the politics of the contemporary built environment in America, D’Oca shared some insight into his practice and collaborative approach to design.

Architecture for architecture's sake is a phantom: when architecture gets out of the studio and into the world, it inevitably influences—and is influenced by—non-architectural things. To believe otherwise is to doom architecture to irrelevance. Ours is an architecture that plays well with others. We try to understand how architecture influences "non-architectural" problems to identify opportunities in which architectural interventions can influence outcomes for the better. – Dan D’Oca

Via Sasaki Design Blog

Favorite Architecture and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of Nov. 12


Pop-up for Veteran’s Day. Peace and Quiet, a temporary pavilion built in New York City’s Times Square by Matter Architecture Practice, was created as a “dialogue station” where veterans and civilians can openly engage each other in conversation in commemoration of Veteran’s Day.

Matter’s principals, Sandra Wheeler and Alfred Zollinger, proposed the pavilion as part of the Times Square Alliance’s Public Art Program’s call for proposals. The project was selected from 400 entries and funded through Kickstarter. The pavilion was set up on Veteran’s Day to Nov. 16.

Via Architect’s Newspaper Blog

Modernists at play. Paul Makovsky talks to children of mid-century architects and designers on what it was like growing up in a world surrounded by design.

“My mom was an artist and a children’s book illustrator, and my dad, who was an artist, designer, and theoretician, got a job teaching visual design in the architecture department at MIT. They designed a playroom in the house for me that had all these different kinds of “manipulatives,” as they would be called today. For example, there was a clock with cork balls on it, and you could remove the balls and count them, so subliminally it taught you about time and counting, but it was also a beautiful object.” – Daughter Julie Kepes of designers György and Juliet Kepes

Via Metropolis Magazine POV

Diversity quilt.  Stephanie Spann, a structural engineer at HOK, blogs about Diversity Week in St. Louis, with a special focus on the diversity quilt being made in the office.

The quilt represents the “joining of small pieces of fabric as a whole allowing us to see how each individual square is integral to the completed quilt”.  The project started in July, when the drive for squares began and another group donated old fabric samples.

Via HOK Life

Places that make one happy. Hazel Borys, principal and managing director of PlaceMakers, reflects on the Urban Happiness series that examines how happiness and health are generated or depleted by the way neighborhoods, towns, cities, and rural landscapes are developed.

Borys talks about how places that generate the highest levels of mental and social well-being are the outcomes of creative placemaking, such as local farming, artisanal food production, field-to-fork dining, and local art making.

Urban Happiness Series

Via PlaceMakers




Favorite Architecture and Urbanism Posts for Week of Nov. 5, 2012

Preserving and maintaining Wright. An app for ecological urbanism. Soaking it up in Philly. Balancing design and value.

Frank Lloyd Wright conservancy. Build was invited by Larry Woodin, president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Tracy House in Normandy Park near Seattle. Build also talked to Woodin about how he got interested in architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright, and how he leads the charge on saving Wright houses from demolition.

Woodin discusses preservation and maintenance. “Maintenance is the priority. We must first ensure stability of the structure and provide the necessary upgrades. If the house is properly cared for, it’ll last a long time. Preservation and refinishing come after basic maintenance, and this includes adding elements that were in the original drawings but not built at the time (likely for reasons of cost). It’s important to draw that line and not do anything that we merely think Wright would have wanted but didn’t document.” – Larry Woodin

Via Build LLC Blog

App for sustainable urban design. Ryan Cunningham blogs about a new app called Ecological Urbanism created by Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, which is the start of a deep dive into innovation research with real prospects for finding urban sustainability treasure.

“The app is well mixed with information; with staple projects like the High Line and Masdar, and exotic new discoveries like “Effectual Decentralization,” a project in Argentina that plans urban subdivision by watersheds. The information has a Wikipedia like feel, but the target of innovative hits a well curated mark; nothing less then what you’d expect from Harvard.” – Ryan Cunningham

Via Metropolis POV

Competition to soak up water. The design competition, Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up!, sponsored by the Philadelphia Water Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative seeks to inspire teams of landscape architects, architects, and engineers to offer up sustainable, low-cost ”green stormwater infrastructure.”

The competition is part of a broader initiative in Philadelphia to use green infrastructure to revitalize communities. Bold, new ideas that come out of the programs will also be critical to “the implementation of Green City, Clean Waters, the city’s innovative, sustainable 25-year plan,” according to competition organizers.

Via The Dirt

More than a little paint. Nick Konen, marketing manager at HDR, blogs on his experience and lessons learned from flipping houses, and how those lessons can be applied to HDR clients.

“Our philosophy was to fix each house to a standard that we would feel comfortable living in. But design decisions become a bit more complex when you know how it affects potential profit. We spent time looking for the best value. At the check-out line, we would think twice before spending “a little extra” on kitchen tile. You can’t underestimate the importance of design. But at the same time, you can’t lose focus on the goal…to make money. It’s a delicate balance that requires both left and right brains.” – Nick Konen

Via Blink Perspectives on Design

Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of Oct. 29

CAW offers Palo Alto architecture history. Gensler on re-imagining department stores. Placemakers on urban happiness. Twelve year-old preservationist. Disaster and Community Capacity.

Tribute to an artist and craftsman. Monty Anderson, principal at Cody Anderson Wasney, blogs about Pedro de Lemos, a self taught architect, craftsman and artist.

Anderson compares de Lemos with architect Birge Clark, and discusses his first de Lemos’ project, which was his home in Palo Alto and all the significant architectural contributions de Lemos made in the Palo Alto community.

Via Cody Anderson Wasney Blog

Resurgence of the department store. Kathleen Jordan, a principal in Gensler’s New York office, blogs about the future of the department store as there has been talk for years how department stores are dying.

“Department stores currently sit on a precipice: sales are languishing, malls are struggling, and their future existence is in question. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Exciting new strategies are emerging that capitalize on changing shopping habits and advances in technology. Department stores are uniquely positioned to lead this paradigm shift in the retail experience that consumers are already demanding.” – Kathleen Jordan

Via Gensler on Cities

Urban happiness. Hazel Borys, principal at Placemakers, writes on how we measure happiness, exploring if national happiness, well-being, and social capital are related to the way we plan our neighborhoods, towns and cities.

Borys explores how city of Vancouver is asking itself what more it can do to provide for physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs.  Borys says, “The city has added spirit to the other pillars of a healthy community: complete community (land use, density); healthy mobility (transit); healthy buildings (zero carbon); thriving landscapes (open space); green infrastructure (water, sewers, storm); healthy food systems (organic agriculture, nutrition); healthy community (facilities, programs); and healthy abundance (sustainable economic development).”

Via Placeshakers and Newsmakers

Young preservationist. Laura Wainmain, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, talks to Daniel Linley on how young preservationists are saving places around the country.

Twelve-year-old Daniel of Elkhart, Indiana, set out to compare the energy efficiency of windows in his home ranging from 1920 to 2002. Daniel and this father tested each window three times after a period of 30 minutes, and performed all their tests at night so that the sun would not corrupt their data. Daniel discovered the living room windows from 1920 emerged the winners after holding in nearly 70% of the heat, while a single-paned window held in nothing.

Via National Trust for Historic Preservation Blog

Disasters and community capacity. Project for Public Spaces and Peter Smith, CEO of the Adelaide City Council in Australia, have been working together to create new models of governance and organizational culture that are more supportive of placemaking.

Here’s an excerpt from the paper that shows how this model of governance needs be nurtured to attain true resilience in time of crisis:

It can be argued that community resilience is not just about returning to the previous state of “community capacity,” but about building community competencies so that community capacity continues to increase over time and supersedes the previous state. In this context, community capacity can be thought of in terms of community attributes, such as the ability to self-manage and self-determine, the level of entrepreneurship, concern about issues/activism, volunteering and the general level of positivity/optimism about the future.

Via Project for Public Space’s Placemaking Blog

Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of Oct. 22

HDR considers design in business. A practitioner's POV on research. Perkins+Will farms a rooftop. Pinteresting preservation ideas. 

Design as a business. Chad Narburgh blogs on how at any truly innovative company you will find that design is at its core and is used to drive business.

“Design as a business” places managers on the opposite side of designers, partially due to the fact that managers are typecast as profit-driven pragmatists while designers are stereotypically seen as time-hungry idealists. I noticed that the stereotypes tend to come out when a project reaches critical mass, by either going over budget or not meeting the client’s design expectations. – Chad Narburgh

Via Blink – Perspectives on Design Blog

Research in today’s world. Deepika Padam an architect in San Francisco, blogs on what she learned about the role of research in today’s world of excessive information at the AIA Research Summit this past summer.

Padam said the experience was unique because research is not spoken in the same vocabulary or at the same level at her practice as was done at the summit. She learned that academicians and practitioners see research with very different perspectives: academic and applied research.

Via Metropolis Magazine POV Blog

Urban agriculture. Gisela Garrett blogs on how the Perkins + Will New York office set up gardening and maintenance for a rooftop farm in Queens, which included tidying up the chickens’ coop and yard.

The environmental impact of rooftop farming in urban areas is extremely positive, with contributions ranging from stormwater management to decreasing the demand on buildings’ HVAC systems. A recent study says that New York City has vast potential for urban agriculture as it “can play a critical role as productive green urban infrastructure.”

Via Perkins + Will Blog

Pinterest for preservation. For those preservationists who aren’t familiar with Pinterest, Sarah Heffern of the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides 10 tips on how to use Pinterest for historic places and beyond.

Some of the tips for preservationists include cross-promoting other service on your Pinterest page, using the search function and expanding your online store.

Via National Trust for Historic Preservation Blog

Note: Follow AEC Idea Exchange on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/aecideax/


Gangnam Style and Neighborhood Identity

Most people have seen the mega-hit video “Gangnam Style” by South Korean rapper Psy. The K-pop video, which was released on July 15, 2012 on YouTube, climbed to 100 million views in 51 days, beating Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Rebecca Black's "Friday," and prompted an overwhelming number of response videos. The lyrics are catchy, the dance moves quirky, making it addictive to watch over and over.  The video mocks the Gangnam district of Seoul, an affluent and hip neighborhood where young people go to party. In the song, Psy describes the kind of guy he is and the kind of girl he wants, illustrating the pretentious culture of people who hang out in Gangnam. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0?rel=0&w=560&h=315] The music video is a sensation gone viral. Currently, the music video has been viewed over 530 million times on YouTube and is the site's second most watched video. It has broken the Guinness World Record for the most likes on YouTube and has 2 million likes on Facebook. Katy Perry and Britney Spears are tweeting about it.

Politicians and business leaders such as British Prime Minister David Cameron and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt have learned the dance moves. New parodies of the video are popping up daily – from wedding parties to Philippine prison inmates. U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has praised the video as a "force for world peace" and South Korea’s top economic official Bahk Jae Wan pointed to the video as an example of creativity and international competition that the nation needs. Millions around the world are obsessed with his moves, style and music.

Seoul’s Gangnam neighborhood has also been in the spotlight. The video was filmed throughout the Gangnam area in the tour buses, spas, shopping areas and even atop one of the World Trade Center Seoul buildings. As a result of “Gangnam Style’s” success, the neighborhood itself is now known world-wide alongside Beverly Hills, and Roppongi as ultra-affluent and trendy hotbeds. Gangnam has been featured major news outlets in the US and around the world and South Korea tourism organizations are hopeful that the video drives more visitors and consumers to the shops, services and businesses in the district.

A strong identity for a neighborhood or region is something that city officials, planners and designers strive to create. These reputations attract new residents, consumers and eventually grow local economies. What would be your neighborhood's equivalent of “Gangnam Style”?

Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of October 15

Placemakers describe the new incrementalism. BLDG Blog illuminates a memorial to a buried village. Perkins+Will looks down. Streetsblog looks at public space proposals for Midtown East.


The new incrementalism. Howard Blackson blogs about how the latest design trend is  designing a place to be realized in very gradual stages. Not in terms of planning for phases built out in a predetermined sequence, but about individual lots changing and evolving over time.

Blackson discusses this slow urbanism as having three typologies:

  1. Blow-up architecture: a movable, removable or deflatable architecture that is the most temporary of any building type.
  2. A Movable Feast: The pre-fab shipping container, or modular construction type, is built to last but is able to be picked up and moved from place to place as needed.
  3. Tear down that bearing wall, Mr. Gorbachev: ‘Grow’ or ‘Go’ homes in which the idea of building a structure to be torn down and replaced by a comparable one isn’t an economic reality anymore unless land cost is not an issue.

Via Placeshakers and Newsmakers

Memorial to a buried village. Geoff Manaugh blogs about a new project by Bo Li and Ge Men, students of architecture at ETH Zürich, which proposes a kind of buried chandelier to memorialize lost villages in Switzerland—architecture destroyed by landslides, replaced by light.

The project reminds Manaugh of the odd memorial known as the Cretto di Burri, by artist Alberto Burri, in which an Italian village called Gibellina, destroyed by an earthquake in 1968, was replaced—or, rather, memorialized—by a field of poured concrete.

Via BLDG Blog

Don’t forget to look down. Pat Bosch of Perkins + Will blogs about how much you get to know about a city by looking down instead of up.

“For quite some years I have found myself looking down and discovering that sidewalks, streets, and pavers of cities may tell more about a city than its buildings. As an architect I have always looked up and across cities. I have tried to understand them as diagrams or rather intellectual masterpieces of urban planning, but sometimes the secrets of their essence and ethos lie silently in the tiles, bricks, and pavers of their sidewalks, plazas, streets, and courts.” –Pat Bosch

Via Perkins + Will Blog

No ‘Flying Doughnut’ at Grand Central. Foster + Partners, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and WXY architecture + urban design unveiled proposals to remake public space in the Midtown East neighborhood of New York City, as the Bloomberg administration sets out to rezone the area for taller towers.

The three firms focused on the area immediately around Grand Central Terminal, because although it lies at the heart of the district, the public realm outside the station’s grand interior often leaves much to be desired. SOM’s proposal includes building a circular walkway above Grand Central, floating up and down between new skyscrapers on either side of the train terminal. In a panel discussion with the architects, New York magazine architecture critic Justin Davidson dismissed the concept as a “flying doughnut.”

Via Streetsblog

Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for the Week of Oct. 8

Landscape Urbanism explains what's in a name. Cannon Design on rebranding public transit. Johnston Architects weighs the worth of a highly designed (and priced) water bottle. The bellwether of a city's cycling infrastructure: women cyclists.

What’s in a name? Sarah Peck, founder of the site Landscape Urbanism, blogs about how the term “landscape urbanism” does matter as the journal ‘Scape 2012 features Landscape Urbanism and reviews the blog beyond its name.

“While the dialogue about terminology is important, we also should pause that dialogue for a minute and consider that the larger effort to ‘engage landscape ideas, and landscape thinking, … in broad discourse,’ is what our larger disciplines of landscape, urbanism, planning and architecture need.” – Sarah Peck

Via Landscape Urbanism

Rebranding buses and public transit. Chris Whitcomb of Cannon Design blogs about rebranding public transportation after reading an article on the commute of the future in the Wall Street Journal.

“I grew up in a small town where there only real forms of public transportation were riding your bike, walking or catching the school bus. It’s only in the past five years that I’ve really come to see the benefits of utilizing trains, taxis and the occasional bus. In a world that needs to urbanize and focus on sustainability, efficient public transportation is a must.” – Chris Whitcomb

Via Cannon Design Blog

Related: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358804578016191463503384.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_careerjournal

World’s best water bottle. Riley MacPhee blogs on his conflicted emotions on a $40 water bottle that is attractive and unique yet has gone too far with its 16 different components and assembled using 65 different steps.

“This very well might be the world’s best water bottle, from a user standpoint, but is that something we should care about? Is it worth $40? … When it comes down to it, it’s a pretty benign product. But the whole goal of the designer is to raise the stakes, to redefine what it means to be, and to own a water bottle. Is that a good thing?” –  Riley MacPhee

Via Johnston Architects Blogs

Bike stores for women. SpokesWomen, an organization that aims to create a national web of knowledge and resources for women in the bike industry, believes that female-specific stores and gear can also help women bikers feel more safe and comfortable when they start riding.

According to a 2009 study, just 24 percent of bicycle trips in America are made by women. But as it stands, cycling is overwhelmingly male-dominated. A Scientific American article cites that “women are considered an ‘indicator species’ for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child­rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding.”

Via The Atlantic Cities

Written by: Genevieve Walker

Related: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=getting-more-bicyclists-on-the-road

Childrens books for future designers and planners

I have two kids, ages almost 6 and 3, and while they love reading books, I enjoy reading their books as much if not more than they do.  I love the nostalgia and silliness of Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl and the clever stories and terms that Mo Willems churns. The way my kids respond to books has shown me the power within their pages. One book can spark a new interest that lasts days, months – even years. One book can lead to the insistence that we read tens more on the same topic.

So naturally, I try to select books on topics that are also interesting to me (after all, I’m equally invested in reading these). This prompted an unofficial research project on children’s books about the built environment. With the exception of the immense stock of books about construction, trucks, trains and planes, there are relatively few stories about the professions and interests of the designers and planners or about the shape and functions of cities, buildings, communities, neighborhoods and parks themselves.

However disappointed I was by the brevity of my list, books like Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty and The Little House by Virginia Burton have been inducted into our nightly favorites. (You can find my assuredly incomplete list of children’s books on landscape, architecture, planning and otherwise urban-related topics at the end of this post.)

What is curious about this short list is that designers and planners love to publish books – but often these books are more effective as marketing tools for their services than as revenue generators from their royalties. Michael Crosbie, FAIA, who is currently the associate dean, architecture department chair, and associate professor at the University of Hartford and also edits Faith & Form magazine, has written more than 20 books on architecture. Five of these are specifically for children. Michael wrote a series of children’s book published by Wiley in 1993: Architecture Counts, Architecture Colors, Architecture Shapes, and Architecture Animals; in 2000 he wrote Arches to Zigzags which was published by Abrams. “The Wiley books have sold more than 120,000 copies, and continue to sell well nearly 20 years after publication, so they have by far been the most popular books I've ever written,” Michael says.

Watching my kids get excited by their books reminds me that I “discovered” the design and planning professions well after I established my career. Perhaps if I had read The Curious Garden by Peter Brown when I was five years old, I may have studied landscape architecture instead. From loosely polling my landscape, architecture, planner, urban designer friends, I’ve noticed that most of them chose their profession because they had a parent, uncle, aunt or family friend that was in a related profession. If this is how young people are still being recruited into studying design and planning, it’s no wonder why these fields suffer from a lack of diversity.

This is a missed opportunity! A children’s book that can be found in a public library can transcend races, genders, economic classes and cultures. What’s the literary legacy you’d prefer, a silly picture book about a personal learning experience that inspired a little girl to pursue your vocation or the coffee table monograph that you’ll give to your clients?

Children’s Books Relating to Design or Planning of the Built Environment

(Did I leave one of your favorites off? Please comment with title and author and I’ll add it.)

Blog Post Favorites for Week of Oct. 1

Vancouver bears fruit. HDR reviews Ecology of Commerce. Doyon on resilient communities. Gensler on London's airport infrastructure.

Picking your own apple. Vancouver is looking to add more fruit- and nut-bearing trees to its urban tree inventory. As part of a plan to plant more than 150,000 trees by 2020, the city is considering making food-producing trees a major part of that effort.

Vancouver has announced this plan as cities maintain their tree populations – periodic trimming and culling as needed and not spending the sort of time watching over trees that they'd need to in order to help a fruit crop grow. The city already has an inventory of about 600 street trees that produce fruits and nuts. Another 425 are located in city parks and community gardens.

By Nate Berg

Via Atlantic Cities

Simply replacing is simply not sustainable. Mark Meaders of HDR blogs about the book Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken, which explores how business and commerce need to change how they function and operate in order to truly act in a sustainable manner and being concerned with how actions affect future generations.

The book discusses paper companies and their logging activities and the fact that paper companies own more land than any other entity.

“This book has caused me to think differently… One of the things that Mother Nature likes is diversity. She likes a forest that has many different types of trees. Some trees are quick growers, some take a long time, some have leaves year-round, and others have leaves that fall off in the fall.

Now, the problem with the paper companies is that they stop part of this cycle from naturally occurring. They plant specific trees in specific areas—they are not in favor of the diversity of trees. They cut the trees down before they die. The trees don’t help feed the soil. Beetles and other creatures do not come to that area and live in the trees and do their job. Part of Mother Nature’s cycle has stopped. How has this affected other things in that forest?”

Via Blink – Perspectives on Design Blog

Keys to a stronger community. Scott Doyon blogs about the seven keys to supporting the social resilience of our communities.

Doyon says to build strength of your community, especially in these times of limited resources, that the following areas provide the greatest returns: good governance; walkable, connected, mixed-use character; parks and gardens; partnerships; programming; neighborhood-responsive schools; and tree culture.

Via Placemakers and Placeshakers

Planning London’s transport future. Ian Mulcahey, Co-Managing Director of Gensler London, blogs on how many cities are finding challenges with original 1940’s airports which have grown far beyond original expectations of the city planners in the immediate post war period.

Throughout history, access to transportation has been the key to consistent economic expansion. London is yet again at this crossroads. How can it maintain its global trading position without a significant expansion and improvement in its airport hub capacity? The problem for London’s planners is not unique, there isn’t an obvious place to put such a significant and, for many people, disruptive piece of infrastructure

Via GenslerOnCities

Innovative Social Media

The Beauty Inside. Intel and Toshiba teamed up again to create an online video advertising campaign that follows the success of the “Insider Experience, ” which was a groundbreaking and runaway success: It generated over 6 million views in three weeks. Intel and Toshiba were able to create something that audiences hadn't seen or experienced before – it had heavy audience interaction and blurred the lines between branded content and Hollywood filmmaking.

"The Beauty Inside" also puts the audience experience first by creating a premise that automatically throws audiences into the center of the action. One of Intel and Toshiba's goals with "The Beauty Inside" is to reach a younger, hipper audience -- a consumer base that goes on Facebook every day, watches viral videos, and thrives in social media. The campaign captured audience attention by reaching out to them across these social mediums and by making them the star of the campaign.

Via iMedia Connection

Blog Post Favorites for Week of September 24

Smoking and public space. Lessons from a pilot park(let) project . Business from beetle blight. Consequences of turning on a light.

Cigarettes and public space. If the world was divided into smokers and non-smokers, the public spaces of the world would be their battleground. But it's less of a war than a contentious relationship as it mostly has to do with smell.

In a paper published recently in Urban Studies, Qian Hui Tan observes that smokers are "purveyors of sensory pollution" – creating a scent that, like all odors, can invade and take over. When that space is public, the impact can be immense, segregating and stratifying public spaces.

Written by Nate Berg

Via Atlantic Cities

Great civic space. Howard Blackson blogs about the lessons learned when San Diego Urbanist participates in the annual PARK(ing) Day by creating a temporary civic space on a local Main Street.

“Place matters. I say this because our Parklet was visited by an interested Parking Enforcement Officer who sat with us and discussed the conundrum of city design — something ideally in pursuit of our highest public aspirations — playing out in response to fear of the midnight drunk.” – Howard Blackson

Via PlaceShakers and Newsmakers

Salvaging dead trees. The University of Utah has teamed up with Euclid Timber to salvage trees from forests across the American West that have been devastated by a voracious mountain pine beetle.

The insects have cut a rapacious swath through the Utah corridor of Idaho, Utah and Arizona.  A large majority of trees in Colorado are also dead, negatively impacting the state’s tourism industry. The university and Euclid Timber are salvaging dead trees left in the wake of the beetles, whose reproductive cycle evidently has been doubled by warming trends across North America in recent years.

Written by J. Michael Welton

Via Architects and Artisans

Potency of scale. Peter Syrett of Perkins + Will blogs about the documentary ‘Powers of Ten’ by Ray and Charles Eames which examines how perceptions of our surroundings change at different scales.

Syrett uses the film to illustrate how a simple act like turning on a light has a multitude of environmental impacts at an exponential range of scales.

Via Perkins + Will Blog

PARK(ing) Day 2012 Brings Public Space, People Together

PARK(ing) Day was celebrated around the nation Friday, with people going beyond creating temporary parks by bringing communities together in new ways. Launched in 2005, PARK(ing) Day (http://parkingday.org/) was started in San Francisco when an art studio dedicated to environmental projects set up a park in a metered space. Since then, the event has spread, with temporary parks popping up in 162 cities and 35 countries over the past seven years. The third Saturday in September is designated as the day for creating temporary community-oriented public space or green space.

This year, in the U.S., there were 586 parklets. The top five states with the highest parks were California (195 parks), Pennsylvania (37 parks), Maryland (34 parks), Kentucky (31 parks) and New York (29 parks).

Throughout the world, advocates for parks and public space created fun and innovative parklets. In Cincinnati, Ohio, artists replaced cars with stages and galleries. People engaged in a series of shows illustrating the benefits of serendipitous art in public places. Dancers from the Cincinnati Ballet dancers practiced at the barre. Pones, Inc., an innovative artists collaborative,  basked at a beach dance party with sand, swimsuits and music, Circus Mojo featured tricks in their center ring – and passersby tried to hula or toss a ring.

In Amsterdam, there were miniature parks to make a green corridor between two city parks, demonstrating the potential for improvement of the urban infrastructure. The Parks and Recreation in Dallas, Texas, rolled out a sod soccer field onto a Main Street parking spot.

"Lighter than Air” – an installation of colorful tall-tube balloons, inflatable balls, and a “flying bicycle” was put up in San Francisco on Valencia and 17th. Hosted by INTERSTICE Architects and PUBLIC, the organizations said riding a bicycle is the closest many people will feel to flying so wanted a whimsical bicycle-themed space where everyone could sit, eat, and play.

SWA Group put up parklets where they had offices in the U.S. In Houston, people played cards. In San Francisco, there was a bocce ball court and a grassland installation.

What did you do for PARK (ing) Day? Comment with your link to photos and we’ll post them on Facebook or our Pinterest page.

Check out our PARK(ing) Day photos on Pinterest.

More photos of PARK (ing) Day

SF Curbed

DC Streets Blog


Favorite Blog Posts for Week of Sept. 17

Advocating for a new sustainability. Julia Hughes, an associate principal for HMC Architects, blogs about her work with sustainable justice began in 2006 with a presentation about green juvenile facilities. Out of this evolved the AIA Academy of Architects for Justice (AAJ) Sustainable Justice Committee.

The committee has developed the Green Guide to Justice, which is designed to serve as a voluntary educational tool for early adopters of sustainable design, construction, and operations practices, and to encourage continuous improvement in the justice sector, continued leadership, and increased rigor associated with creating high performance justice environments.

Via HMC Architects Blog

Green Guide to Justice, via AIA Knowledge Network

Millennials leaving small towns. Brittany Shoot, who resides in the Bay Area, discusses her guilt on leaving her small hometown of Anderson, Indiana, and how most of her friends in the Bay Area come from small towns.

“It’s easy to find people who will sneeringly complain about how trapped they felt as teenagers. It’s harder to talk about our nuanced realizations that in such dire economic times, maybe we just got extraordinarily lucky.” –Brittany Shoot

Via The Atlantic Cities

Swiss Cakes and Shasta.  Doug Windall, president of HDR architecture, blogs about his love for junk food as HDR rolls out a wellness program for employees.

While Windall reminisces about his deep fondness for Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, he encourages people to enjoy the great things in life, but “never to the point that the great becomes ordinary. Too much of anything can take away the thrill (and in the case of junk food, put on the pounds).’’

Via Blink – Perspectives on Design Blog

Flying bicyclists. London Mayor Boris Johnson is seriously considering developing SkyCycle, a concept by landscape architect Sam Martin that proposes a network of elevated cycled paths between London’s main tube stations.

The SkyCycle would transform unused elevated rail lines and also include new infrastructure. Martin, who is director of Exterior Architecture, is already developing feasibility studies for a few open-air tunnels, which would be sided in glass or plastic. If all goes well, the sky-highways could be open by 2015.

Via The Dirt

Innovative Social Media

Favorite drinking fountains. Josselyn Ivanov of SWA blogged about how she loves drinking fountains, and how they are important as they are small urban elements that have an outsized impact, enhancing people’s lives or modifying users’ behavior in surprising ways.

Ivanov held a weekly quiz on SWA’s Facebook page featuring some of her favorite drinking fountains from around the world – people had to guess where the fountain was located.  WNPR found her articles and asked her to be part of their radio show called “For The Love of Fountains.”

WNPR http://www.yourpublicmedia.org/node/21908

SWA Social Impact Blog

Make Your Vote Count: Be2Awards

I first learned about the Be2Awards awards last year while researching our book, so of course we are really excited to have “Social Media in Action” shortlisted for the 2012 Be2 Media Award. I’ll say it up front … the awards are crowdsourced, so please vote for our book! Plus, if you journey to their website and start clicking you’ll discover some fantastic examples of built environment (that’s the B.e.) professionals, companies and organizations who are using new media in innovative ways.

The quality of competition here is no joke.  Mark Johnson’s social media PR campaign (which we recognized as one of our blog post favorites) and his competitor, #droptheban, make for a tough choice in the Best PR/Social Media Campaign category, as does ArchitectMap and Green Vision in the Best Community Category. The categories for the best social media and sustainability blog are ripe with great examples – and blogs to start reading religiously. I was thrilled to see Cesar Abeid’s Construction Industry Podcast, a series that I recently discovered and really enjoy.  The list gets me thinking of other sites, campaigns and communities to nominate next year.

“Social Media in Action” is in the Best Old Media/New Media category and I am honored to be among these prestigious candidates which include the UK’s construction search engine, a UK construction publication that makes all its content free online, the UK’s construction trade association live database of contract awards and The Guardian’s own built environment “hub” for sustainable development.

The Be2Awards are in their third year and aligned with the London strand of the global Social Media Week event series that takes place in a handful of cities worldwide. Be2 is also hosting Be2Talk, a speaker series on the built environment and social media as a part of the London Social Media Week. I sincerely hope these talks will be posted after the event. I’m interested to see Carlton Reid’s ''Cycling, the built environment and social media'' presentation. This is hardly their first event – Be2 has hosted a slew of conferences, Twitter chats and more since the organization was established in 2008 by built-environment professionals Martin Brown  and Paul Wilkinson, Jodie Miners  and Pam Broviak.   I just joined the Be2Camp community to stay better connected to all their happenings and hope you will consider joining too.

Blog Post Favorites for Week of September 10

10,000 unwanted books on the streets - Urban living fuels design of cities - A school’s greenovation - Cutting the mustard

10,000 unwanted books on the streets. The Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus has embarked on in a traffic-stopping installation in Melbourne, Australia, commissioned as part of the Light in Winter Festival to encourage reading.

Similar to the installation in New York City and Switzerland, the streets contained 10,000 books that had been collected by the Salvation Army after being discarded from public libraries. Artists have been allowed to expand upon the project, growing it for a month and making it their largest installation to date.

Via Architizer Blog

Urban living fuels design of cities. Dan Winey of Gensler blogs about his observations from abroad as he is seeing a highly accelerated demand for urban living that has fueled the design and creation of new cities.

Winey says what’s troubling is that too many emerging cities in China and other parts of the world are adhering to an outdated urban planning model that will ultimately prove to be unsustainable. However, super tall buildings like Gensler's Shanghai Tower, which is currently under construction, can help urban planners think in vertical terms instead of horizontal ones.

Via Gensler on Cities

Architect enters the chicken coop fray. Peter Strzebniok,  a pioneer of prefab for people with Nottoscale, is bringing the best of green modern prefabricated modular flat pack construction to the burgeoning chicken coop market.

Strzebniok has created the Moop (modular coop), which is the "architect designed prefabricated modular chicken coop for the design minded urban chicken." The Moop is compact enough to fit in most backyards while being modern enough to make any chicken happy and every owner proud.

By Lloyd Atler, Via Tree Hugger

A school’s greenovation. Lindsey Engels, Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council in Orange County and project coordinator at LPA, guest blogs about partnering with Davis Magnet School to make the school more green.

LPA monitored temperature, light levels, energy usage per circuit and CO2 monitors for air quality to find solutions to make the school energy efficient. With the completed retrofitted classroom, LPA and the school will be able to see a real-time comparison between the “greenovated” classroom and the control classroom.

Via LPA Blog

Innovative Social Media

Society of good taste. Grey Poupon launched an online marketing campaign on Facebook this week in which the mustard company will screen fans who attempt to like the page to see if they have good enough taste to become one of the company’s Facebook fans.

Fans of the brand will have to apply for membership to the "Society of Good Taste" on the Grey Poupon Facebook page, where an algorithm will determine whether or not they "cut the mustard". The algorithm searches and judges users' profiles based on their proper use of grammar, art taste, check ins, book and movie selections, and so forth, and gives them a percentile score based on their refinement. However, if the algorithm detects poor taste in music or text-speak, for example, they could be rejected. Those who do not qualify will have their "like" deleted, and be asked to refine their profile before trying again.

Via Ad Age

Blog Post Favorites for Week of September 4

Makeover for highway signage. Icon Magazine has offered up a new take on the ubiquitous green signs that line our interstates. Not only does the proposed refresh include a new color scheme and information layout, but it also makes the smartphone connection and may provide information about the current exit and the surrounding area to your handheld device as you approach. While this refresh is exciting to see, do drivers need another distraction on the road? Will the new hierarchy and information structure be confusing to drivers used to the old standard? Does the removal of recognizable symbols (those Interstate shields and icons) make the signs less graphically legible.

Via Cannon Design Blog

related: http://www.iconeye.com/

Gen Y transforming the workplace.  Leigh Stringer, a hardcore Gen-Xer who works at HOK, blogs about how Generation Y is changing the workplace.

After reading an article on Gen Y and office culture that pointed out generational differences such as how Gen Y rates the importance of having an "engaging workplace" highest and the "quality of meeting rooms" lowest, Stringer was inspired to learn what Gen Yers at the office had to say. She interviews six HOK employees who share their thoughts on what’s important for them in the workplace.

Via HOK Life

related: CNN article, "Generation Y Set to Transform Office Life"

Architectural toy collection. Stashed away in a room in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., is the United States' largest public-trust collection of architectural toys containing household names that will be part of the museum's big toy exhibit in November.

Stephanie Hess, who is curating the November exhibition "PLAY WORK BUILD," is in the process of selecting and sometimes assembling these toys for the public that includes Erector Sets, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs.

Via The Atlantic Cities

Waterfront for Corpus Christi. Schematic Design is nearly complete on a new 34-acre downtown waterfront redevelopment for Corpus Christi, Texas.  The city’s goal is to create a world-class urban park that will further ignite and enhance development in Corpus Christi’s downtown core.

Hargreaves Associates is leading the site master planning and landscape design effort, while Lake Flato is designing a fleet of park buildings and shade structures to be deployed along the waterfront’s new boardwalk promenade.  Buildings planned for the park will include a multilevel beach cafe, park arrival facilities, staff offices, a wine bar, event facilities, an outdoor concert stage, restrooms and changing areas, as well as a series of flexible vendor kiosks for food service, recreation equipment rental and retail.

Via The Dogrun

Innovative Social Media Campaign

Mark Johnson of Markitect.me Consulting shares a presentation about a pioneering social media marketing initiative for Formica Group, a global brand  from the AEC industry. The case study will be featured in "Business to Business Marketing Management: A Global Perspective", a college textbook  by Jim Blythe and Alan Zimmerman,

to be released in early 2013.

The social media marketing initiative explores how social media networks, including Pinterest, Flickr, Paper.li, Twitter chat, Facebook, Google +, as well as live events and designer tools, were integrated to the web site and blog to create a content marketing message about their sustainable products.


Blog Favorites for the Week of August 27

 The five Cs of neighborhood planning. Howard Blackson blogs about the challenges of updating community-scaled plans, especially with the personal sentiment people feel for their homes and the difficulty people have in expressing such emotion within conventional 2D planning documents. Blackson writes about the five Cs of a neighborhood -- complete, compact, connected, complex, convivial – which define the neighborhood.

Via Placeshakers and Newsmakers

Integrated Sustainable Design. Albert Lam of Southern California blogs about his experience during the three-day outdoor festival Outside Lands in San Francisco and notices that among the trash receptacles and recyclables is another bin: compost.

"I've always said that the best sustainable practices don't necessarily require profound leaps of technology or drastic changes of policy, but should incorporate subtle but distinct changes in habit that target a more efficient way of living. Compost collection is a great example of such practice." – Albert Lam

Via LPA Inc. Blog

Venice Biennale 2012. The jury of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale has awarded the United States pavilion a “Special Mention” for it’s innovative installation, Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.

Brooklyn-based practice Freecell collaborated closely with the Sausalito-based design studio M-A-D to design a kinetic system of color-coded banners, weights and pulleys, that showcase each urban intervention.

Via Arch Daily

ASLA 2012 Professional Awards. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has announced the winners of the 2012 Professional Awards, which honor the top public places, residential designs, campuses, parks and urban planning projects from across the U.S. and around the world.

ASLA will present 37 awards to professional landscape architects and their firms, selected from more than 620 entries in the categories of General Design, Residential Design, Analysis and Planning, Communications, and Research. You can view the winning projects in the September issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

(LAM link )

Via The Dirt

(This post isn’t from a blog, but is a very interesting point of view.)

Lean design. Gary Vance and Keith Smith of BSA Life Structures talk about engraining Lean, a certification designed for organizations and individuals who work in healthcare settings to enhance their ability to provide robust reliable care and treatment to each patient, in the design aspect for clients.

Implementing Lean techniques reduces waste and improves quality, efficiency, and safety in the healing environment—all outcomes that can be measured for success. Healthcare organizations are looking for a facility and an operational plan that guides the patient through the healing process and provides accountable care at all levels. Using Lean helps identify how successful a design is at providing that type of care.

Via Health Care Design Magazine

Innovative Social Media

From news aggregator to newsmaker. Reddit’s role as a media influencer and informer has risen steadily and stealthily and the site has increasingly become a place that news, stories and issues are discovered before bubbled up to the mainstream, writes Christina Warren.

On Wednesday, President Obama embarked on a real-time Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, which allows Reddit users to pose queries of all kinds of people. Instead of using any of the other media sources to deliver his message, the President and his campaign advisors chose to target Reddit and Reddit users. Just as Oprah joining Twitter was seen as a turning point for that service, the President participating on Reddit is a breakthrough moment for the service.

Via Mashable

Reddit AMA