Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mid-Term Reviews; 3/14/2008

.............................................................Michael Rotondi; he is looking at you...

The studio mid term reviews finally began Friday and we thank Chris Genik for stopping by.
Overall, the projects were developed far enough to claim their individual placement and reflected the results of ongoing work about programming, planning and design.
I was particularly interested in seeing the urban aspect of the projects and concentrated my commentary on that area. Let's say, the projects will develop urban integration part in coming weeks, and bring the level of engagement to address 'everyday padestrianism,' (btw,the word is not on the list) if you will.
I believe the projects must reflect this element rather explicitly and importantly as the actual 'building' articulations. This part also includes, economic and physical scales as well.
Michael's overall commentary at the end was very much about developing your own awareness, when it comes to proportionally recognizing relationships in order to understand the world around us. You must develop a set of 'rules of thumb' using your own hands. Through this method, you will understand how big things have to be, and where the light comes in. Remember, it is all about life and consciousness.

I won't get into commenting on each individual project here and that has been done already in the presentations.

Below is a slideshow of the presentations.

Thank you all and especially to Michael for that commentary at the end of the Friday's review session, it was definitely a golden nugget and I wish I'd taped it.

Slideshow , more to be added on after Monday...

Economics and the rule of law; Order in the jungle

Ana Sofia Castillo, our classmate, shares this very relevant article with us. It was in the Economist magazine and written by Dani Rodrik of Harvard University. Thank you to Ana Sofia...
“AM I the only economist guilty of using the term [rule of law] without having a good fix on what it really means?” asks Dani Rodrik of Harvard University. “Well, maybe the first one to confess to it.”
Full article + Dani Rodrik's weblog

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sci Arc in Arkitera

I know you guys don't speak Turkish...yet. But among my many other obligations and commitments, I maneged to write this short article for Arkitera which is read by ave. 50,000 people daily.
Article mentioned the studio with a picture and talked about two Sci Arcs, one I went to, and the other, I am with right now.
Full article

Zaha Hadid toys with nomadic architecture

"Mobile buildings and museums could adorn the cities of the future, renowned architect Zaha Hadid said during the launch of her latest project in Hong Kong -- a nomadic, UFO-shaped art pavilion.

The curved, fluid creation by Hadid was assembled in Hong Kong on the first leg of a two-year global promotional tour for contemporary art inspired by luxury goods brand Chanel.

"I really believe in the idea of the future," said Iraqi-born Hadid, known for her futuristic designs.

"The idea of temporary or mobile pieces could be a way of regenerating the city in an interesting way through architecture," she told reporters in Hong Kong."

Reuters | Video

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Living in Shelters, The Future of the Cavern

.................................. ..........the Endless House , Frederick Kiesler -1950-1960

For the first time in an exhibition, the Kiesler-foundation confronts the two models Grotto for Meditation and Endless House. Both concepts are characterized by the artists research for a form, which attempts to satisfy both practical and spiritual human demands, in order to provide men a livable and adequate environment.

Working on a construction (which was close to Philip Johnsons Roofless Church in New Harmony, Indiana) for the successors of Robert Owen (1771-1858), an early socialist and founder of the cooperative system, Kiesler found in 1962 an opportunity to verify his co-realistic theories in the built practise. The design of the Grotto for Meditation refers to the history of the social-reformatory movement of the location, but first of all, it should represent a room of meditation, a universal form beyond all religious denominations.

Similar to the Endless House, Kiesler gets inspired by morphologic formal vocabulary and chooses the motif of a spiral, for the artist a symbol for change and assimilation. The centre of the complex is built in form of a snail. This form combines the centrifugal power, the expansion to the infinity, with the centripetal power, which approaches the individual towards contemplation.

the Kiesler-foundation Frederick Kiesler

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Of course.., there is always something to turn to, for help, when you run out words to describe your deep project! Don't use these for your thesis projects, because I will personally bust you!
Bullshit Generator

China's new architecture, v. du jour!

From Beijing's sparkling Olympic park to a fake English town just outside Shanghai, China's new architecture is full of surprises. Let Jonathan Glancey show you around.

I guess there is going to be one long 'architecture-everywhere-in-China-slide-show' until the Olympics are over...
Stick with Glancey, this one is particularly giddy!
the Guardian audio slideshow

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


My esteemed fellow senior editor at Archinect, Bryan Boyer, publishes the research part of his thesis project in Harvard GSD. I congratulate him here and when I recieve my copy, I will bring it to class to look at it and we can read it together.
link to Bryan's blog

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cities on the edge of chaos (or not)

Mumbai, India

Two thirds of the world's population will be living in the cities in the near future. Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum and architecture critic of the Observer asks some questions on the very issue of 21 st century phenomena.

"The world is changing faster now than ever before. The dispossessed, and the ambitious are flooding into cities swollen out of all recognition. Poor cities are struggling to cope. Rich cities are reconfiguring themselves at breakneck speed. China has created an industrial power house from what were fishing villages in the 1970s. Lagos and Dhaka attract a thousand new arrivals every day. In Britain, central London's population has started to grow again after 50 years of decline.

We have more big cities now than at any time in our history. In 1900, only 16 had a population of one million; now it's more than 400. Not only are there more of them, they are larger than ever. In 1851, London had two million people. It was the largest city in the world by a long way, twice the size of Paris, its nearest rival.
That version of London would seem like a village now. By the official definition, London has getting on for eight million people, but in practical terms, it's a city of 18 million, straggling most of the way from Ipswich to Bournemouth in an unforgiving tide of business parks and designer outlets, gated housing and logistics depots. There might be fields between them, but they are linked in a single transport system and a single economy. Those villages in Suffolk that are close enough to a railway station to deliver you to Liverpool Street in under 90 minutes are effectively as much a part of London as Croydon or Ealing and they have the house prices to prove it. The other big conurbations - from Birmingham to Manchester and Glasgow, names for cities that spread far beyond the bounds of political city limits - can be understood in the same way.

Having invented the modern city, Britain promptly reeled back in horror at what it had done. To William Morris and John Ruskin, or the Salvation Army exploring the cholera-ridden back alleys of London's East End, the city was a hideous tumour sucking the life out of the countryside and creating in its place a vast, polluted landscape of squalor, disease and crime. In their eyes, the city was a place to be feared, controlled and, if possible, eliminated."

Cairo, Egypt

Full article

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Archiculture: the documentary

Archiculture is a feature length documentary that examines contemporary issues surrounding the realm of architecture through the perspective of university students during their final thesis semester.
"Tapping their feet and chewing pencils, five students nervously await the outcome of five tumultuous years of intense labor. In moments, they will hear from their committee of professors as to the final decision of their senior thesis projects. The documentary Archiculture follows these five students and their struggles over the course of their final semester at a university to complete their thesis projects, which are the manifestations of years of hard work, stress and, ultimately, success..."
Archiculture, via