Posted on December 17, 2008

Here’s some new music for you



I’m always searching for new music. Sometimes i even ask you all for some advice. Well, this time the tables are turning. I’m introducing you to some new music that’s going to rock your socks off.

Jäk has finally released his long-awaited album (seriously, i’ve been waiting, and waiting). This guy is ultra-talented and ultra-creative. The art, thoughtfulness and creativity behind his music inspires me. Age of Anxiety is a beautiful and raw glimpse into life, love and relationships. It’s heart-warming and heart-breaking all at the same time. I see myself in the middle of so many of his songs.

Did i mention that Jäk has put the whole album available for download from his website… for free! www.jaknoise.com

But my personal opinion is that we should all support good music and art so be sure to donate something, even if it’s just a small amount.

I rocked this album all the way to class today and it’s playing right now while i type this post. If you have a blog, facebook, Twitter, or anything else then spread the word about this new album. New music is always a good thing.

(Via biscuet.)

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a tough field.

Posted on December 13, 2008

The design field is a tough one right now. It’s been a few months since I began searching, and have seen very few job postings for junior/intern/beginer architects.

It leaves you in a tough position. I want to be somewhat choosy as to where I apply, so as to not just accept or work where the job is, but to work somewhere that I’m interested in [although, my once standing requirement that the office has to work on the Mac platform, I’ve eased up on some].


Do design fields translate within one another? I’ve been doing some graphics work and web design. Should these fields not be considered when looking at my portfolio work as an architect? Seems like they should.

more questioning.

Posted on August 25, 2008

Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules.” -Lebbeus Woods from An Architect Unshackled by Limits of the Real World

I enjoy that I am continuing to see pieces of journalism and architects that are questioning the current state of architecture. How then else shall we continue to grow? Continue to learn?

It’s just hard to sit back and accept the fact that most architecture today is marketing. It’s really sad too.

Graphics, symbols, brands

Posted on July 10, 2008

Most likely, it’s what we recognize most. We remember words, names, etc. but graphics, symbols, and visual images are usually what we can most often recall. They evoke something in our mind about a specific experience, place or even a person. We usually associate them with branding, though.

Two stories.

We were in the back of a taxi trying to get to the hospital. We didn’t know how to tell the taxi driver “hospital” in Thai, we knew the name of the hospital, but he couldn’t understand us and we had forgotten to bring the address or name written out to show him. So, we grabbed a piece of paper and drew and drew the red cross, an internationally recognized symbol. He immediately said, “Oh, hospital” (in Thai). Amazing.

We were eating in Subway (Yes, we have them here. Only in real big cities) and I had heard there was a Starbucks nearby so I was curious how to say Starbucks in Chinese. I walked up to the counter and asked a couple of the workers how to say it. Of course when I said “Starbucks” in English they didn’t understand, so in Chinese I asked them how to say the name of the popular coffeeshop from America. They still didn’t understand (probably due to my bad Chinese). I told them I would draw it for them. I took my receipt and drew the word Starbucks as it appears on their sign followed by a simple star, an internationally recognized brand. Immediately they said, “噢!星巴克“ Which translates, “Oh! Starbucks”.

How many others stories like this can you think of?

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Architecture: I’m the Designer. My Client’s the Autocrat.

Posted on June 21, 2008

An oh-so-good article that questions the very basis of the profession of architecture and it’s role in our world. What a great debate to be involved in. What great questions that we need to be asking ourselves.

By designing high-profile buildings that bolster the profile of a powerful client, do architects implicitly sanction the client’s actions or collaborate in symbolic mythmaking?

Or in the long run does architecture transcend politics and ideology? If the architect’s own vision is progressive, can architecture be a vehicle for positive change?

And then this quote from a prominent high-profile architect.

“I’ve always been interested in an architecture of resistance — architecture that has some power over the way we live,” added Mr. Mayne

Living in one of these countries and thinking about designing here makes these questions all the more real. Even if you don’t, I think they are important questions to consider. I can’t help but wonder, when looking at these buildings, if these actually are the right questions. The design almost seems to be disconnected from the root of the debate.

I would encourage you to read the article in it’s completeness.

Architecture: I’m the Designer. My Client’s the Autocrat. A recent speech by Daniel Libeskind has reanimated a debate among architects over the ethics of working in countries with repressive leaders or shaky records on human rights.


Posted on June 15, 2008

Where does yours come from? Most often? And via what medium?

It happened to me this evening. I was watching Becoming Jane a somewhat historical look at the life of Jane Austen, and a look at the history behind one of her most famous books originally titled First Impressions, it is now recognized as one of the greats, Pride and Prejudice.

It’s actually a fairly well done movie. At least, I enjoy the hand-held style in which it is shot. There is also the use of ‘transitional close-ups’ that I quite enjoy. But, where I find inspiration in this movie isn’t necessarily specific to this movie. It’s a common experience for me. As common as these movies come around, I suppose. Most any movie whose plot involves writing or writers seems to tug at my creative mind, and inspires me to create. Most of the time I can’t even finish watching them. I must cut them off and pull out my fountain pen and parchment [which is really hard to find in China].

There’s a short list of movie’s I’ve collected that seem to have this effect. Observe: All the President’s Men, Dead Poets Society, The Killing Fields, Finding Neverland, Goodnight & Goodluck, Almost Famous, just to name a few. Any more recommendations? What inspires you?

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Posted on June 5, 2008

I have neglected the latest in design happenings lately. It just sort of happened. Maybe there simply isn’t much going on in the design world right now. Of course, I know that is not true. Only I have failed to take notice.

Lately my thoughts on design have simply been through the lens. Observing mainly. I’ve been watching people and listening to them. Seeing how they interact with their surroundings. Quite effortlessly here in this foreign land. They are part of their surroundings here.

Now i believe this only holds true when I’m traveling in the countryside. For even here, as in my homeland, there is a constant struggle for man when he is existing in his own manmade surroundings. Within the created landscape, there is this definite conflict. This tension for him to be in the surroundings that he created, yet not becoming part of them. He is always living in them at a distance.

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Posted on April 3, 2008

Design is largely an exercise in creating or suggesting contrasts, which are used to define hierarchy, manipulate certain widely understood relationships, and exploit context to enhance or redefine those relationships … all in an effort to convey meaning. Contrast is important because the meaningful essence of any thing is defined by its value, properties, or quality relative to something else. That’s right: nothing has much meaning by itself, which is one reason why design is important. The function of contrast in defining meaning can be explained by comparing fundamental opposites: dark/light, soft/hard, fast/slow. Examples like these are useful because everyone understands the extremes they imply, but while there are extremes, there are no absolutes. The values are merely relative.

Andy Rutledge

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Unplayed Piano

Posted on March 8, 2008


A song by Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi. It’s a couple of years old, I think, but I just came across it the other day on iTunes, and cannot stop playing it. Here’s a link to the video on YouTube:

Unplayed Piano

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Galleries at Turney

Posted on March 3, 2008

A very nice 8 unit housing development by Green Modus in Arizona. Notably the first project in Arizona to achieve the LEED-H rating. See more text and pictures at Inhabitat

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