Subscribe

Enter your email address:

 

Search
What we're seeing
Elsewhere

 

Monday
Jun032013

Designing in the Commons

Build a Better Block in Norfolk, Virginia (image: Virginian-Pilot)

The design charrette as part of implementation

The contemporary incarnation of the design charrette has attempted to take design, architecture, and planning out of the studios and academies and into the vernacular lives of the places in which we work. It has taken great strides to break down the silos between professional specialties and to reconnect the "expert" to the lay person, whose previous role had only been to deal with the expert's professionally built results for about thirty years. These intense, collaborative design sessions have lead to quick testing and decision making for long-ranger visions. At the end of a four-to-six day charrette, you typically have a plan to further refine and advance. It has proven to be a highly effective approach. 

But the charrette is evolving into another dimension and taking on a much bigger role. No longer a one-and-done flash in the pan, the model for a charrette, like great neighborhoods, is becoming a succession of ideas, events, 3-dimensional testing, and discoveries.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May302013

THE NEW AMERICAN CITY 

Places like Silver Spring, MD confront us with unprecedented adjacencies and ground realitiesWith exploding global populations and awakening giants of the developing world, much of the talk around urbanization and new city form revolves around cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. After all, these are places where cities are being built at lightening speed, often out of thin air. But here at home in the United States, a new type of city form is taking shape.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May292013

DESIGNING FOR CHANGE

The modern paradigm of planning emphasizes, even mandates predictability. Ironic, given the increasing complexity of our undertakings as planners and urban designers. Most of us in the field today are working on multi faceted, complex, public-private joint ventures. And planners are increasingly looked towards as non-biased captains to guide these titanics through the stormy seas of community consensus, approval, financing and implementation.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May232013

THE WEB OF RESILIENCE: COMPLEX AND CONNECTED

Resilience depends upon strength in numbers and it thrives on connections. Any resilient system can only be achieved through a highly connected network of equally resilient parts, alllowing it to adapt to, and benefit from change. In fact, in a resilient ecosystem, each resilient part is a contributing member to multiple resilient systems, creating much needed redundancy. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May222013

BEAUTY & RESILIENCE

Resilient objects exhibit longevity against all odds. Today, we humans have firmly established ourselves as the species in-charge of spaceship earth (Buckminster Fuller). As a result, the lifespan of most living beings and inanimate objects is directly affected by human decisions. Whether we like it or not, we exert influence on all systems: natural and man made. Due to this new reality, the importance of beauty, as we humans COLLECTIVELY perceive it has become a major factor guiding the fate of the physical world.

Click to read more ...