Friday, May 31, 2013


The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season begins at midnight, so we'll spend some of the coming weekend checking our hurricane kit. We need to make sure the batteries and canned food are up to date, and that we've got plenty of bottled water.

Why have there been no great women [architects]?

We really are grateful for all the positive responses tin box has received so far. Online, in print, on television and on tours - the feedback has been great. But at the risk of sounding ungrateful, we do have to take issue with one aspect of the coverage: attribution.

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


Memorial Day gives us a chance to pause and reflect, with gratitude, on the millions of ordinary people who have done extraordinary things when called upon to serve and defend their fellow citizens. There is an ethos of service and sacrifice that defines us in our best moments, and it is an ideal to which we ought to strive more and more.

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

Florida Friendly Landscape

This week, our brilliant sustainability consultant, Lorna Bravo, dropped off our Florida Friendly Landscape sign. We received our certification back in September (along with our Florida Water Star Gold certification), but got the sign this week and figured it'd be a good time to take stock of the landscape. The Florida Friendly Landscape program is organized by the University of Florida to provide criteria for designing and maintaining landscapes that sustain native plant and animal species and don't tax our already overburdened water supply systems. 

So what's new in the garden? 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

moving FIU forward

Yesterday, we 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.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


One of the joys of academia is getting to watch our students graduate. One of the horrors of academia is having to sit through commencement speeches. So as a public service, we'd like to use the graduation season to offer some words of advice... to commencement speakers. Above all, there are two words you should avoid at all costs: