Mar 12, 2014

Old-School PSA

(To view full size, right-click on image and choose "open in new tab/window." Warning, Language may offend some people, view at own risk.)

Mar 4, 2014

school T-shirt designs

Some new commissions:
(This pencil sketch was not used, unfortunately; I think it might have been more interesting than the wide angle shot they chose.)

Mar 1, 2014

Podcast Review: JHK yaks with New Urbanist Andres Duany

Interview w architect Andres Duany sharing some insights from decades in the field. Points raised include:

- The whole LEED-certified green building movement has been the greatest "success" of the environmental movement, but at the same time it's a very limiting vision that assumes a well-moneyed client. Actually it sounds like what the cynics among us would imagine it is without even investigating -- there's good money in it, so many of the architects are just "along for the ride" with it (cynically!) whether they think it's very beneficial or not. And/or some of them may be taken in by the hype of it all.
Duany suggests that in addition to the "gold", "silver" LEED levels, there be a "dirt" level, a spec for building green when you're not rolling in dough. The LEED racket though generates lots of good-paying jobs, since it takes an MIT degree to manage a LEED-certified building properly, it sounds like. And of course for everyone setting it up.

-Duany and the New Urbanists "succeeded" in inserting their ideas into the belly of the beast (into the building codes), but in the process became the beast to some extent. He still favors what they were/are trying to do (walkable communities for one), but he sees how, over the 30-something years since he started, the bureaucratic regs have gotten much more stifling. Young architects today could not do what he and his peers did then, he says; his generation could talk mano a mano to officials and persuade them to make allowances. Now, it takes teams of lawyers and millions of dollars to make sensible local decisions possible.

-He mentions that all the great cities, such as Paris, were developed with "form-based code" but did not elaborate... I must look it up someday... ha

-This was funny -- Duany worked on the early experimental walkable community "Seaside" in Florida, and others; He and colleagues were able to use resort communities as "test labs" for new ideas, because clients wanted something better than ordinary, everyday neighborhoods. They were open to more "utopian" ideas. Something amusing about that, the mindset that daily life is naturally a dismal slog, but a resort town can be permitted to dream a little. And yet I would think that viewing things that way, will actually undermine the attempt, because now you have this sort of enforced idyll -- it *must* be joyous here! No unhappiness allowed!

Overall, I liked his open-minded perspective towards "the little people" and trying to avoid stomping all over everyone who can't afford to be high-minded, but at the same time, he seemed to be trying to have his cake and eat it too; in the belly of the beast as he said, and favoring some of its ideals, but skeptical of implementation, and looking for some way to accommodate both worlds. Which I admire, but my sense is that the bureaucratic world will generally just steamroll over "the little people", and take all the pie while patting itself on the back for its high-minded commitment to ideals.