Dean of the School of Architecture and Design at Lebanese American University, approached me with the idea of compiling what we hoped would become a standard text for scholars, teachers and students interested in the great diversity of architectural production in the contemporary world. We enlisted twenty collaborators, found a publisher (thank you, Ashgate!) and slowly assembled a book that carefully examines the broad range of approaches to the built environment that characterize this age of pluralism and globalization. The first copy of A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture just arrived, and I can't wait to start sharing it with colleagues and students. You can find a copy at Ashgate's website, or ask your local bookstore to order a copy.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Been meaning to upload these photographs of tin box taken by Dana Hoff, a gifted South Florida-based photographer who frequently works for the American Institute of Architects. Several of these images were published in the Architect Magazine article, "Home Inspection," last September. They are far, far better than our instamatic shots, I have been told.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Besides the opportunity to compare strikingly different techniques for designing ecologically sustainable buildings, the tour will also offer insights into how public policy can make communities more livable, enjoyable and sustainable. Among the people speaking on the tour are Jennifer Korth, the Grants & Sustainable Initiatives Administrator for the City of South Miami, and Jenny May, the Chair of the Coral Gables Green Task Force.
You can register through this link.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Gartenzwerg assure our first successful crop of collard greens and the Philadelphia Eagles' first Super Bowl victory? Who but a fool would challenge the fecund power of Priapus, Greek god of fertility and patron of gardens, and his minuscule descendants?
Much thanks to Adam, favorite brother of tin box, for the awesome birthday present!
Much thanks to Adam, favorite brother of tin box, for the awesome birthday present!
Monday, October 7, 2013
a terrific article by Ben Ikenson on net zero construction. The article is illustrated with one of the amazing photos of our house by Dana Hoff, commissioned by the editors. Great thanks to Bill Richards, the Director of External Publishing for the American Institute of Architects, for commissioning the article.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Art Fallout 2013, an annual cultural event in Fort Lauderdale. We’ll present our ongoing thinking about the sustainable management of water resources in a talk, “Precipitating a Solution,” at Glavovic Studio. (If you’re not familiar with Margi Glavovic Nothard’s work, do yourself a favor and check out the remarkable housing, urban landscapes and cultural facilities she’s built.) We’ll be on a panel with John Sandell, a multifaceted architect who teaches at Florida Atlantic University. We’re going to talk about our experiences with tin box, and extrapolate outward to consider how cities and regions can approach water and waste more sustainably.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
tuchus. It is a key piece of the three-dimensional composition of the living and dining room. We chose this sofa based on its scale and proportions. It defines the sitting area without forming too heavy a barrier (it helps to have the mass of the couch lifted off the floor on light metal legs, which pick up on some of the other silver finishes in the room).
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
A much less sanguine, but even more important article, is Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell's piece on the devastation facing Miami as a result of climate change. This is an important article, and the real shame of the matter is that it took a national magazine - not a local news organization - to make public what scientists and activists have been arguing for years. No amount of individual action is enough to stave off an existential threat to our lives and our region. We need collective action at the state and federal levels, and we need it now.
Our economy and our political institutions are driven by people who cannot see beyond the next quarterly report or the next election, and their disingenuous (in)actions on environmental issues will leave our city in ruins. Those who deny climate change and its effects will be seen by history with the same harsh judgment as those who did nothing in the face of other epochal threats to human life. But I will never feel any joy in being right, only despair that I did not do enough.
James Jiler, the brilliant gardener and social activist who turned our back yard into a food forest and butterfly nursery, recently published an excellent essay on the value of gardening programs in prisons. Using examples taken from his own work in New York and Florida, as well as research and programs in the US and abroad, James makes a compelling case for reforming prisons to better support the rehabilitation of prisoners. We have a chance to help our neighbors and to relieve ourselves of the crushing financial burden of prison costs. Talk to James about how you can get involved.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
We harvested our first batch of pole beans yesterday. These insanely long (and surprisingly sweet when sautéed) guys grew from beans we planted in April. Beans like to be sown directly into the ground, and pole beans need an armature to climb on. These vines produce elegant violet flowers which then turn into two quickly-growing beans.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
We just harvested our second batch of sweet potatoes. This huge pile came from a single potato we planted back in the fall. The vines spread quickly in the garden (the nutritious leaves make for a tasty sauté) and as they set down roots, some of them turned into tubers. And those tubers include some giants: the conch-shaped one in the photo is about the size of a conch shell (over nine inches long). Sweet potatoes are about as easy a crop as you'll ever encounter: they required no maintenance or irrigation, and spread throughout the shallow and loose soil. However, they are not without their problems...
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Can I Legally Grow Food in My Front Yard?"The response: it depends on zoning, deeds and neighborhood associations. In South Miami, we're fortunate that the city allows us to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs instead of lawns. As we head into mid-summer, it's a good moment to take stock of what's been growing out in the front yard...
Monday, June 10, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
the link to the lecture I gave at the Accademia San Luca in Rome in October 2012, where I got to sit with Howard Burns and Francesco Moschini (!) in a palazzo partly remodeled by Francesco Borromini. Another bucket list item crossed off.
online. Thanks to Peter Lang and Sarah Deyong for the kind invitation.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
responds to Friday's post on attribution by noting the great fame and critical success enjoyed by Zaha Hadid, including her 2004 Pritzker Prize. And certainly, Hadid is not alone - we could easily fill post after post with work by critically-acclaimed and financially successful women architects. Yet such a list belies two fundamental problems: women remain systematically under-credited for the work they do in shaping the built environment, regardless of how many success stories we can name, and the very nature of Hadid's fame embodies the marginalization of architecture as a meaningful way of shaping the public realm. In numerous ways, Hadid's success is the problem.
Friday, May 31, 2013
For whatever reason, people frequently credit the project to David, and discount Holly's role in the collaboration. Unfortunately, this situation is very common in architecture.
Monday, May 27, 2013
And since we see the world through the lens of the built environment, our Memorial Day tribute is, of course, architectural. Of Maya Lin's sublime Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1980-82), the best description may be from John Ruskin's Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849), where he wrote of architecture that, "We may live without her, and worship without her, but we cannot remember without her."
Saturday, May 25, 2013
So what's new in the garden?
Saturday, May 11, 2013
hosted the FIU GoGreen team (Carrie, Ali, Connie - seen here hugging our cistern - and Jerry) whose work at FIU involves moving the university toward more sustainable operations. It's a Herculean task - the university often mirrors Miami's troubling lack of concern for environmental issues - but the Office of University Sustainability is directed by smart and energetic people who are gradually making a big difference. Take a look at their initiatives and events on FIU's campuses, and get involved.