your summer and the future of the world.

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:


 (personal favorite)









 (playground designers)

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?


5 Responses to “your summer and the future of the world.”

  1. 2009/06/05 at 12:27 pm

    I clicked on the first firm and was like Hey, that seems really familiar…hahaha. I can see why you like them, Liam.

    Agreed that GM’s manifesto embodies a lot of what our class in particular is about. Just browsing on the blog, you can begin to see that, but also by listening to the random conversations that pop up in studio – our outside interests find ways of weaseling their way into projects. Architecture as we know it is not limited to buildings, and it’s important to acknowledge that.

    So green = green? Win win?

  2. 2 Danny Burdzy
    2009/06/05 at 3:47 pm

    Darn you for beating me to what I was going to say, Talia! haha

    On a side note, however, the Architecture 2030 plan with the 14x initiative might be something worth looking into. It actually allows you to either email local legislature, or print out a letter and send it to them on your own.

    I’m not completely sure about how the whole initiative works, so I sent the information out to a few people to look at. Maybe you could all do the same? I had the email sent to my legislature, and then it allowed me to send a message to other people about my initiative. However, I would recommend just getting the information, giving it out, and then having a dialogue about it here, and maybe we can form our own opinions to see if we should try to pursue it.

    Aside from the impact we could possibly have on our local governments, it would definitely be worth looking into for the city of Pittsburgh, because from my understanding, President Obama will be in Pittsburgh this coming September to try to bring money into the city.

    The program almost sounds too good to be true, but it is worth the discussion, and hopefully worth the effort if we find that it may actually work!

  3. 2009/06/05 at 10:30 pm

    Oh, and Liam, I forgot to commend you on your title. Brilliant.

  4. 4 Liza
    2009/06/06 at 10:50 am

    did you look at Trowbridge and Wolf when you were first starting your final project for WATER?

  5. 5 Liam
    2009/06/08 at 5:54 pm

    I did not.

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