I hope everyone’s summer is treating them well. If anyone has found work in the field of architecture, congratulations! Hopefully we’ll get some more accounts of those experiences on the blog soon.
I’m very impressed with the range of stuff being posted here, some really fantastic writing and ideas. I’ll do my best to add to it, over a range of pretty much unrelated topics.
First, I spent the first few weeks of summer trying to find an internship here in Ithaca, NY. Didn’t get any work, but did find a bunch of interesting local firms. After being introduced to some of the top international firms over this year, it was cool to see architects working on a much smaller scale. Links:
Second, I really enjoyed the 50 Manifestos from Icon Magazine. I especially liked Geoff Manaugh’s writing (he is BLDGBLOG)
Everything is relevant to architecture – from plate tectonics to urban warfare to astronomy and the melting point of steel. There is architecture lining the streets of New York and Paris, sure – but there is architecture in the novels of Franz Kafka and WG Sebald and in The Odyssey. There is architecture on stage at the Old Vic each night, and in the paintings of de Chirico, and in the secret prisons of military superpowers. There is architecture in our dreams, poems, TV shows, ads and videogames – as well as in the toy sets of children. The suburbs are architecture; bonded warehouses are architecture; slums are architecture; NASA’s lunar base plans are architecture – as are the space stations in orbit about us.
Stop limiting the conversation.
This is intriguing to me because inspiration for our creativity can come from anywhere. I believe channeling the underlying organization and beauty from seemingly unrelated fields can lead to incredible work, and work that has the potential to change our world.
On that note, the third piece I want to share is the Architecture 2030 Challenge. I recently stumbled upon this initiative (led by Santa Fe architect Edward Mazria) to make all new buildings carbon-neutral by 2030, meaning they would require no greenhouse gas-emitting power to operate. A first step towards this is the 2010 Imperative which asks design schools to adopt a curriculum which teaches students to eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels. It also asks schools to work towards becoming carbon-neutral by 2010. The exciting piece of all this is the way Mazria wants us to accomplish these goals. He proposes a “14x Stimulus” plan, whereby state and local governments use stimulus money to provide incentives to people to make their homes and buildings easier on the environment. It’s pretty complicated (the whole system is laid out on the website) but basically the money would go towards providing lower interest rates on mortgages for people building or renovating their homes. If Mazria’s math is correct, this will create 14 times the amount of spending due to stimulus money, as well as create 14 times the number of jobs that would have been created by a single stimulus dollar (convenient that both work out to an even 14, right?). Mazria recently presented his plan in Washington, to what seems to be quite a lot of support. Hopefully this will work and be a step in the right direction.
And now I’ve run out of steam. Thoughts?