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Tag: architecture as problem solving


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Career Case Study #13: John Cyril Hawes

Career Case Study #13: John Cyril Hawes
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It’s not often we find architect and priest on the same CV but that’s the case with John Cyril Hawes. There’s a website, Monsignor John Hawes, from which I’ve summarized much of the following biographical information. Hawes was born in 1876 in Richmond in London but Canterbury Cathedral in the town of Canterbury where he […]

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How Will The Metaverse Be Designed?

How Will The Metaverse Be Designed?
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Sometime around late 2018 I felt I had to do something about how poorly this blog was indexed. Even I had trouble finding things and had, on occasion, resorted to a google search of my own blog. That feeling had been particularly strong this year, especially since the thumbnail EasyIndex software I’d been using was […]

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It’s Just Design

It’s Just Design
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A colleague tells a story of how she once asked a student why they made a certain design decision and the student replied “I don’t know. It’s just design.” It’s difficult to comprehend this as I’ve always thought of design as something requiring no small amount of knowledge and skill together with an understanding of […]

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What’s Already There

What’s Already There
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Venice has been an inspiration to artists and architects for centuries. Even today, the Venice Architecture Bienalle sustains the city’s symbolic importance for architects and architecture despite the city having almost no 20th century buildings. its most used one is the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station, designed by Angiolo Mazzoni. That’s it on the left, […]

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Compliance

Compliance
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Beaches, ponds and zero-entry swimming pools are all bodies of water without inconvenient level differences at their edges. Zero-entry swimming pools are sometimes called “beach-entry” pools. When we arrive at a crowded beach, we begin to look for a spot long before we reach the water, especially if the beach is accessed by stairs or […]

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Spiral Binding

Spiral Binding
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The problem was to provide between 144 and 150 apartments in a building of 25 stories max. To encourage repetition in typical floor layouts, I asked for equal numbers of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and two-bedroom duplex (i.e. two-level) apartments. The first thing to do was derive a typical floor plan that would allow that. Numbers divisible […]

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Carbon Offset

Carbon Offset
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It’s end of semester and students around the world are having to justify their design choices. Some will rely on case studies to substitute for experience while others will depend upon the facticity of ambient site criteria. Still others will attempt to justify their design choices using statistics gleaned from surveys. All these methods have […]

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The Odd Angle

The Odd Angle
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Walls and furniture fall naturally into orthogonal arrangements when space is in short supply and this is perhaps why curvilinearity is consistently regarded as a sign of affluence, and then mistaken for beauty. This post is a reminder that breaking an orthogonal geometry every now and then is a good thing if all it takes […]

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Indexed Memory

Indexed Memory
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In the mid-1920s, architects in America, Europe and the Soviet Union sought and gained new knowledge via specialist journals. Allowing time for the collection of information, editing, printing and distribution, it was at least three months before anyone would know about any new ideas or buildings. It wasn’t such a bad system as these journals […]

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Clarity & Consistency in Architecture

Clarity & Consistency in Architecture
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On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, I re-read Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. First published in 1966, and since translated into 16 languages, this remarkable book has become an essential document of architectural literature. A “gentle manifesto for a nonstraightforward architecture” [.] But what exactly is an essential document of architectural literature? Is it something […]

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1928: The Meeting

1928: The Meeting
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“Hello. I’m Moisei Ginzburg and I’d like to thank you for allowing my team and I to give this preliminary presentation on the analysis of apartment types that we’ve been conducting over the past three months. We can’t claim to have finished but are presenting it to you today in order to discuss its methods and methodology.” When Moisei Ginzburg and […]

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1928: The Types Study

1928: The Types Study
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The Competition had no winners, no prizes. Instead, Moisei Ginzburg put together a team to take what was learned from the submissions and bring it together in a preliminary study of apartment types. He requested approval to work under the aegis of STROYKOM (Building Economics Committee of the U.S.S.R.). Ginzburg wasn’t stupid. STROYKOM’s official support and cover were essential if future testing, implementation […]

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1927: The Competition

1927: The Competition
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1927 was the year of the Weissenhoff Exhibition mainly remembered by history and architecture students for showcasing products by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Mercedes Benz. Depending on who you believe, LC’s Maison Citrohan was a compact, low-cost house for three people, a cook and a driver, or an artist, two guests, someone who sleeps next […]