9.19.2008

/// random findings part III: the pig


More NYC, this time a pig on a wall. For some reason that day we saw several pig images.

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/// today is park(ing) day





PARK(ing) Day is a one-day, global event centered in San Francisco where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks.

There is no better way of explaining what today represents. It is a day where the world takes on a great initiative to show regular city dwellers why we need parks, green areas, open space. It is a way of retaking what mother earth gave us once even if its only for one day.




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9.17.2008

/// random findings part II: the dinosaur


A New York City Brontosaurus painting on a building

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9.15.2008

/// random findings part I: the downtown shadow


In Downtown Miami, shadow of a man putting coins to a parking meter,


it can be confused at night with a super natural shadow being.

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9.12.2008

/// sustainable minimalism


Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Is Minimalism the pathway to reach the goal of being truly sustainable?

Minimalism is a form of art where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features, sustainability wants to achieve the ability of having the basic needs indefinitely. Was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe correct when he said that "less is more". Imagine doing the ultimate smart building where the only materials used are the essentials, an open floor plan, made out of recycled materials or materials that produce less CO2, with systems that purify air and reuse water. One can always dream or make it your reality.

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9.10.2008

/// no sidewalks


Is it a suburban trend to not have sidewalks? It is so unfair for all of us that run or walk, If you find one of this precious pathways it may not be in the best condition, poor lighting and no protection for the pedestrian from the street, it is not pleasant and it feels dangerous at times.

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9.08.2008

/// 2d or 3d


Suntrust Building Miami Beach, Fl
“The piece will redefine South Beach’s premier promenade through an artistic study of physical architecture and structural reflection. 11 11 Lincoln Road-Tower Piece will create an entirely different cityscape on the Western entrance of Lincoln Road, celebrating new architectural perspectives and old. It will provide a sense of transparency for this building, opening it up for examination and exploration, I see this project as both a new contribution to and reflection of Lincoln Road.” - Renate Buser



Swiss artist/photographer Renate Buser is the one responsible for the monumental two dimensional banner piece to resemble a three dimensional inward effect on the Side of the Suntrust building in Miami Beach. For the longest time I thought that this was a publicity stunt from the developers for the new condo that will be erected there.












Picture via alesh

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9.05.2008

/// green roofs

City Hall Green Roof, Chicago, IL

Since the 1960's green roofs have been used in Europe vastly, for the USA it is a much newer technology. Green roofs are vegetated and soil surfaces over the roof waterproofing membrane of a flat slab. This type of roofs emulate natural processes, they serve a storm water retainers, the water held in the soil can percolate and be collected to do the irrigation or treated to be used in the building, it is an insulator dropping the heat/cool coefficients for a building, serves as a natural sound proofer and reduces the cities urban island effect.
These eco-roofs are also aesthetically pleasant for the building users and other taller buildings near by. If in a city several buildings have them they can work as a big park system, that relates to the grid having elevated plaza/gardens that are somewhat semi-private.










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9.03.2008

/// a way to go: the alley


An Alley is a narrow lane right of way that in medieval times was used as a footpath for the delivery of coal, in modern days the alley still is used as a service type road. In movements like New Urbanism the alleys integrate pedestrian with the automobile. The alley should not be negated it should engage pavement with buildings, garages and granny flats (a small apartment in the second level) with dooryards, this way as a benefit the alley is used and familiarized between the users of that block and the long mistaken notion of danger emancipated can be gone.

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9.02.2008

/// the utopian neighborhood


The Big Dig House by Single Speed Design
Six Moon Hill in Lexington, Massachusetts is a residential community that is all modernistic, by (TAC) a group of young architects with the direction of Bauhaus Walter Gropius made this 29 lot community in 1945. The houses are characteristic of being rectangular shaped, with wood sidings, flat and cantilevered roofs, large glass panes and innovative materials with a form follows function ordeal. The lots are set up on a 20-acre site cul-de-sac with shared pool and field. Every house in this community follows postwar modernism guidelines maintaining the same aesthetic conception. The idea of a community that promotes peacefulness in a full-out war time makes me think that these group was trying to become hermits of some sort.
Pictures via Single Speed Design

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9.01.2008

/// in need of more green buildings


Many of the buildings that we live, work and entertain in are not sustainable, they do not have what it takes to be called green, they where not conceptualized that way. For future builidings is a designers task to find ways of diminishing the use and consumption of energy, make smarter buildings with better materials and systems. But don't leave this only to the designers it is a task that transcends political and social boundaries, it is looking at the greater picture.


For a single dweller living in a smart house or driving a hybrid car will not solve the environmental problems, is more than building eco-friendly dwellings, communities, towns or cities. The end users and the public authorities accordingly have to be educated to understand the systems, where living green doesn't mean that the quality of life has to decrease.


Cities like Chicago have taken the initiative enforcing the use of efficient, smart, green design into all the public funded work being produced. Individual developers try to go away of using green technologies due to the added up-front building cost that it has, but this a misconception if you think of the overall cost of the structure per se, the construction materials and labor required it is a small amount compared to the costs of maintaining that building throughout its lifetime.

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