Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
*I'm uncertain who owns the park, but since it is open to the public, it is, in my opinion, Public. OWS is not there. Yet.
-What is suburbia?
-What are the limits of the resources of the planet?
-What is the role of the architect in those things?
-Skepticism of the role architects play in worldly affairs
-Occasional commentary and criticism of modern architecture
If you want me to address a new topic, feel free to mention it. I always have an opinion on things--usually wrong or not fully thought out and almost certainly accompanied by a graphic that may not relate to the subject at hand. Resolution bores me. I'm not even resolved on scrambled eggs.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
From an architectural perspective I'm impressed by the balanced arrangement of the buildings. The owner or owners kept things close together, but not so close that maneuverability or future expansion is compromised.
Monday, November 14, 2011
How about the day when energy becomes too cheap to meter? I'm not holding my breath.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I have little sympathy for creditors right now, be they banks, bondholder, or stock speculators. If a fool lends money to a fool, not only do you have two fools, you have two fools with less wealth than they had before. Real estate has no value except that people use it, rent it, maintain it and someday, tear it down completely and rebuild it.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Update: I should preface any blog post about American housing with the observation that geography is the most important factor in the housing market. Some markets are in deep trouble and will stay there for a while. Other markets never experienced a boom in quantity, merely a boom in prices, which in some places, is still sustained (i.e. NYC, Boston, Silicon Valley).
The website for Seaside proudly proclaims that the town is "More than a way of life, a way of living." I'm not exactly sure what that means. It looks like a nice place to visit. It reminds me in many ways of the Outer Banks, with more interesting looking architecture.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Hong Kong, in my mind, is essentially a well structured corporation with competent leadership and independent division heads who can pursue a variety of projects that maximize profit for the company as a whole.
Maybe I read too much Drucker.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
After spending a few minutes looking at on Google I'm getting more curious about what went into the planning and development process. I wonder if its aesthetic and financial success is a consequence of exclusionary policies. Does this development model have transferable and scalable qualities or is it only appropriate for a narrow segment of the populace?
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Towers of Ilium, in addition to having light readership and repetitive subject posts, doesn't get overtly political. As of this writing a few score people are camped out in the public space across from this building in downtown Boston as part of the worldwide Occupy movement. Like them, I am one of the 99% but I don't have the courage to sleep in a tent or participate in democracy in such an explicit manner. One of the most objective assessments of the Occupy movement was published in Fortune magazine, which is curious given that its readership consists of the 1% and 10% of income and tax brackets. Growing income inequality combined with the financial shenanigans that precipitated the current Depression (I have no qualms about using that word) have not made for a happy populace. I don't know what will come of the Occupy movement, but I'm grateful that such a thing can happen in the U.S. and that we have spaces that can accommodate public gatherings. Some members of the media have used anecdotes of bad behavior to condemn the gatherings. I can only offer my observation that on those frequent days when I walk past the collection of tents in Boston during my morning commute I have never seen anything that suggests abuse of the public trust. I'll venture to make a prediction that this will go on for longer than the critics or supporters expect. The movement has taken on its own life--it will persist through persistence.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
According to the WHO and other sources, the human population of the planet is now more than 7 billion. Huzzah. Bacteria everywhere can rejoice, for more humans means more hosts for single-celled creatures who call us home.
Claims about overpopulation and resource scarcity have not played out in a simplistic Malthusian fashion. Here in the U.S. we haven't run out of either land, food or energy. Cheap land seems to be constrained in specific areas but this is more a consequence of preference and bias. Relative to the efforts expended historically and many other parts of the world, food and energy are incredibly cheap. Energy, and by default, food costs will probably rise in the near-term, but that will hopefully spur new solutions (through a combination of free market and government planning--I don't distinguish between the two as much as other people do).
Architecturally, I would like to think that all 7 billion people would benefit from more intelligent design. That will be a harder task to achieve than I want to admit. And as far as population density goes, this is a picture of Siberia. About two people per square mile. Lots of sublime empty there.