Writing

Blog

The Sustainable Building Artistically Considered

Jet Fuel

Where is Sustainability’s Flying Buttress?

Socially Progressive, Architecturally Conservative

A San Francisco Paradox

It is easy to understand why San Francisco is socially progressive. The city has been unencumbered by social mores since the Barbary Coast days of the 1849 California Gold Rush. It has always been a magnet for free spirited individuals seeking opportunity and fortune in a place with a pleasant climate. Oddly so, as any architect who has practiced here will tell you, it is a rough place in which to be creative.

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Ubiquitous Stuff

Why is Most of it so Ugly?

I miss Andy Rooney. He was a true curmudgeon. He would appear for a short satirical piece during 60 Minutes and begin by asking, “Did you ever wonder . . .” and then he would end with, “Now why is that?”

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Buckminster Fuller (Not Al Gore) Invented the Internet

He walked onto the stage and for an uncomfortably long time said nothing as if he were about to have a senior moment or worse. Finally he uttered something about how he wished those of us in the audience could see what he did – a crowd of bright young faces filled with hope and curiosity. Buckminster Fuller was all about the future.

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Rhino to Reality

690 Folsom Street – Designing to Eight Significant Figures

Parametric modeling has allowed architects to create precise and complex geometric forms, however, harnessing of this virtual tool to produce built work has been rare to date. Translation of the cybernetic model into actual gravity resisting substance requires a combination of nuanced approaches to construction as well as reliance on traditional methods of project delivery. It begins with single digit concerns and then becomes rather complex.

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Commodity Firmness Delight Revisited

Architects have relied on the Vitruvian Virtues of “commodity, firmness, delight” as the formula for good design for centuries. But, there are some who believe that is time to retire this age-old adage and argue that commodity and firmness are really in the same pedestrian category, sort of prerequisites for every building, and what we architects need to focus on is delight or seeking out a deeper meaning for our creations.

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Books

Sustainable Skyscrapers

California College of the Arts, San Francisco, 2010

Articles

Chronicle Building: The West’s First Skyscraper

arcCA, Journal of the AIA California Council
02.1
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Designing for Earthquakes: a Manual for Architects

FEMA 454

Square Wheels or Round?, Professional Relationships in Transition

arcCA, Journal of the AIA California Council
08.3
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Towards a Breathtaking Bay Bridge

San Francisco Chronicle
Op Ed, September 9
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“Change is the Only Constant”

SPUR Urbanist Magazine
September Issue
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Talks

Architectural Explorations in Books – Old Buildings, New Designs

New York Public Library
In conversation with with William Menking, FAIA, Editor of The Architect’s Newspaper

Charles Bloszies, Old Buildings, New Designs

New York Center for Architecture
AIA New York Oculus Book Talk

Keynote Address: “The Past Moving Forward”

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Controversy and Conservation Conference

Old Buildings, New Designs

AIA San Mateo
Forum (guest speaker)

Old Buildings, New Designs

Vancouver Public Library
University of British Columbia School of Architecture

Old Buildings, New Designs: Discussion with the Author

Raleigh AIA Center for Architecture and Design
Lecture

Old Buildings, New Designs: The Secretary’s Standards Revisited

SF Architectural Heritage
Engaging Preservation Changemakers Lecture Series (panel discussion)