Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thirsty Thursday Linkages

While pondering the following articles tonight, my happy go lucky beverage of choice will be...

Drifter Pale Ale by the Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, OR. Hmmm, ever wonder what beer choice says about you?
Vancouver says YES! to more density. Money quote provided by a councilperson:

“I am an advocate of density,” Anton told The Vancouver Sun. “I think it makes a city more interesting, I think it makes it more livable, and most important, I think it’s better for the environment.

“However at the same time, if you’re going to ask people to live in high density, you must, as a city, provide the right amenities.”

If only we can follow Vancouver's footsteps, which happens to have a high willing homeless population, btw. City officials just need to learn that the "stuff" they want that the Vancouvers and Portlands of the world have, are all merely byproducts of policy changes. Altering the urban "genotype" reveals itself through changes in the urban "phenotype." Urban Design n00bs have a naive understanding of causality and emergence.


A photographer does some photoshopping to create LA w/o traffic. In Dallas, often you don't need photoshop wizardry to find big roads with no cars. We just built too damn many.
LA Without Traffic by Tom Baker

Understanding the human mind to battle climate change. If you recall, the Obama campaign changed American politics forever by tailoring the campaign based on consultation w/ behavioralists. Powerful new field of study.

"Human social behavior is at least as complicated as the climate system," added Leiserowitz, who has done public opinion research internationally and focused on the United States. "And, in fact, I'd argue it's more complicated -- because a carbon dioxide molecule doesn't change its behavior when you ask it a question.
And lastly, the museum that sunk the Battleship Starchitect? London Times Online in All Hail the New Puritanism:

Not that it's a pretty building. In fact, just the opposite. Oh, good gawd is it not! Resembling a warehouse more than an art museum. Or, perhaps we're once again looking at a piece of art. Because what else is an art museum but a warehouse for stuff of debatable merit?

Is it a statement on our diminished social value on art and culture? Is it ironically displaying our necessitation towards extreme frugality? Either way, I'll always take the stance that architects should leave their artistic expression to artists. Just make buildings that are durable, sturdy, look nice, and are lovable. As Steve Mouzon says, "if it isn't lovable than it won't last and isn't sustainable." (paraphrased for rhetorical purposes)

In a brilliant paragraph, the writer summarizes (feel free to read only the bold and it makes just as much sense):
The times they are a-changin’ in British architecture. You can sniff it in the air. Maybe it’s the recession, not just because building projects are stalling — more because values are changing. Two years ago you could propose a revolving skyscraper bedecked in golden columns and purple unicorns and be taken halfway seriously. Now...architectural excess is sniffed at with a disdain approaching distaste. The icon having a good lie down in the post-Noughties age. There is no more public or private money in the kitty for revolving skyscrapers, and Dubai is sooo 2005.
Once again, the words matter far more than the pictures. Err, the pictures don't live up to the words? Sounds like both Duany and Rem, no?

Architects like to be "of their time." Well, in a global recession, now it's time to prove it. So put down your notions of a swoopy roof, an amorphous shape, and your platinum cladding.