YAF at AIA Convention

It is always a joy to see old friends at the wonderful annual event of AIA Convention. Design Connects. As Jeff Potter FAIA elaborated, the theme for 2012 stood for how the art and science of design connects us to one another.

The convention was a big success for Young Architects Forum (YAF), and emerging professionals in general. YAF and NAC co-hosted the EP lounge at prime real estate in the convention center. Our design was fit for the location decked out with interactive boards, exhibits, multi-media presentations, and comfy couches. We held several presentations at the lounge, such as Repositioning Initiative and Future of Architecture by Lee W. Waldrep and David Zach, YAF Summit20 Outcomes by Jennifer Workman AIA and Brad Benjamin AIA, and 2012 YAF/COD Ideas Competition by Virginia Marquardt AIA. A tweetup was held at the lounge moderated by Joe Benesh AIA that garnered a huge audience of social media junkies. Most importantly, the candidates that were running for the national AIA elections made an appearance at our lounge and addressed questions and concerns of the emerging professionals. Congratulations to all of them for the legacy they have formed in the AIA and beyond, and we hope they will continue to support emerging professionals moving forward.

Board Candidates addressing emerging professionals

YAF organized two sessions – Young Architects Awards Winners presentation, and Leadership Forum panel discussion both moderated by Matt Dumich AIA. In addition, Brad Benjamin AIA moderated the YAF/COD 2011 Ideas Competition panel presentation. Young architects also co-presented with Fellows during the College of Fellows 2+2 presentation. The 2012 Young Architects Award winners were honored during the Honors and Awards ceremony.

Our publications effort didn’t lag behind. We released the 2012 Young Architects Award book created by our editorial team led by me, and 2011 Ideas Competition book created by Brad Benjamin AIA. They were made available at the AIA bookstore and sold out by the last day! The May issue of ARCHITECT magazine was released at convention featuring an article about YAF Summit20. To get some real estate in the official national magazine of AIA was a big feat that we will need to continually strive for.

We got some media coverage as well. Jennifer Workman AIA was interviewed and broadcast live on convention TVs talking about Summit20. I had the opportunity to be part of the I AM AIA video campaign. I was also fortunate to be interviewed for the Repositioning Initiative.

And of course we socialized! It began with Golf with Donald Trump in which Adam Palmer AIA, Jennifer Workman AIA and Brad Benjamin AIA represented YAF. There was a meet-up of Young Architects Regional Directors on the first evening organized by Jason Dale Pierce AIA. The YAF Advisory Committee held the annual YAF Legacy Lunch with the past AdCom members the following day. Some of us made it to the fab Chapter Host Party at the Newseum at night. The emerging professionals reception was the second evening co-hosted with NAC. The attendance was fantastic as usual! We attended the AIAS Nightcap reception afterwards. We did manage to take care of some business items the day after in the AdCom business meeting. This evening was taken by the COF Convocation Dinner, which Adam Palmer AIA was lucky to attend.

So at the end of it all, I got to participate in yet another fantastic convention, attend a few great sessions, catch up with old friends, and form new connections. The weather in DC was perfect and AIA|DC did a fabulous job of organizing the event. But my favorite part was the Michigan Alumni Reception of course where I got to see some old friends from school. What a successful and memorable week!

Architectural Deadlines

This has been one of those crazy days… run run run! Last day before a presentation deadline. Oh the camaraderie! It is during these periods of test that true team players shine through. And it is this adrenaline surge that drives me and makes me want to remain in architecture. One person adding shadows to elevations, another revising the SketchUp model, one adding entourage to the renderings, another creating final slides, and yet another printing the handouts. On top of it all, the boss is asking us to make changes. Absolute madness! Ah, what a wonderful ordeal!

I’ll be honest, I think about leaving this profession at least once a week. And then a crazy day comes along when I have no time to have lunch and I am running around trying to be efficient to the minute. And it pulls be back in! It is like nicotine. Architecture is an addiction, you just can’t leave it! Once you are an architect, you are an architect for life whether or not you practice.

There isn’t one reason I want to drop everything and just do paintings for the rest of my life. It is the most relaxing experience to paint all day. Those rare days are nice to have. But architecture is filled with so many challenging experiences, that there is a constant urge to prove oneself. The only thing on my mind is, “I can do it”! However much beating I receive, I will accept all the criticism like a man and forgive you for your impolite ranting(s). I absolutely love to draw. As long as I get to do that, I am happy.

So all the complainers of this world, just draw. Anytime this profession drives you nuts, people are cursing, there is no respect for women, and the world seems to come to a close… just draw.

Ten Books on Architecture (De architectura)

Ten books on Architecture (De architectura) are still relevant today even though they are couple of millennium old. It is widely held that the books were written at the time of Augustus (height of Roman power). This is a very sustainable building design handbook, remember all heating and cooling was achieved by passive techniques. The book had a huge impact on the Renaissance period (invention of printing press helped spread the book throughout Europe) and served as a direction for lot of Renaissance architects like Brunelleschi.

Book One – The education of the Architect
Vitruvius makes the case that Architects have to be trained in multiple field through practice and theory and if they do not train in those aspects for a long period of time, then they will never be worth much.
– History to understand culture and tradition and design accordingly
– Philosophy to be high minded and honest.
– Music to understand rhythms and harmonies
– Theatre to understand acoustics
– Medicine to understand climate, air, site and water effects on human comfort.

Vitruvius talks about Order, Arrangement, Eurythmy (Beauty), Symmetry, Propriety and Economy in Architecture. Placement of the rooms should be based on wind direction and daylight.

Selection of the site for a city, public building and homes is discussed as is discussed the layout of the city to break cold winds.

Book Two – Building Materials
Vitruvius talks about different construction materials on how to make them, where to procure raw materials and how to use them.
– Brick
– Sand
– Lime
– Pozzolana
– Stone
– Timber
– Highland and Lowland Fir

Book Three – Symmetry, Proportions and Columns
Vitruvius talks about the human body, its proportions and the different temples. Roman empire was heavily influenced by the Greek civilization and it shows in the writings. Vitruvius talks about the different parts of the column and there proportions.
– Base
– Capitals
– Entablature
– Entasis (Curvature)
– Podium

Book Four – Three Orders and their application in Temples
Vitruvius talks about the three different orders their origins and their proportions, ornamentation and their use in temples. He talks about the different temples and their design with the use of the different orders.
– Ionic
– Corinthian
– Doric

Book Five – Design of the Public Buildings
Vitruvius talks about the design of different Public buildings, including how the Greeks used to design their buildings.
– Forums
– Basilica
– Treasury
– Prison
– Senate House
– Theatre
– Baths
– Palaestra (school)
– Harbors
– Shipyards

Book Six – House Design
Vitruvius talks about designing the house to meet the cultural, climate and site differences. He goes on to discuss the different rooms, their sizes and proportions.

Book Seven – Plastering/Stucco
Vitruvius talks about the materials required for plastering the techniques and application of stucco on floor and walls. He talks about the different plastering and decorating techniques for different applications including damp locations and vaults.

In the last part of the chapter Vitruvius talks about the using marble and different materials to get colors in plastering.

Book Eight – Water
Vitruvius talks about water, how to locate it. Verify if the water is good, store it using cisterns and transport it using Aqueducts.

Book Nine – Astronomy
Vitruvius talks about the sun, the path of the sun through the different zodiac signs and planets. Vitruvius moves away from Architecture and more towards being the scientist.

Book Ten – War machines
Vitruvius is writing for Augustus and talks about the different war machines including hoisting machines and other utilitarian machines like the water wheels, water mills and water screws.

To learn more about Vitruvius visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvius
Further thoughts on Ten Books on Architecture (though not from an Engineering perspective) can be read at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Architectura
The book can be downloaded for free from the following location in many different formats http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20239

Five Classical Architectural Books

The following five books are the classical Architectural books that in my opinion had a significant impact on the practise and direction of Architecture. They are a must read for anyone who is involved in Architectural field.

  1. The Ten Books on Architecture by Vitruvius
  2. Space Time and Architecture by Siegfried Giedion
  3. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture by Robert Venturi
  4. Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi
  5. The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

Scale in Architecture

What has caught your attention lately? With information overload from journals, books, blogs and social media, it can get challenging to filter objects of our interest. It gets easier when something catches your eye, jumps out at you. Personal preferences and subjectivity of design cause the variation in what one might find to be ‘successful’ architecture. The question of purpose of architecture and how the buildings serve the people and communities eventually drive the success as we delve deeper into the varied approaches to design and construction. But there is something to be said of that one moment when something jumps at you as an outstanding project, a force that begs your attention following that love at first sight.

I fall in love almost every day. I am sure a lot of us do without always realizing it. Our “type” may be different, but we are all lovers of architecture for sticking to the profession through thick and thin. What defines your type? Do you have a type? Does size really matter?

As we pose the question of what catches one’s attention, the scale of projects may range from cities, urban parks, central business districts, high rises, mixed-use complexes, corporate or commercial buildings, and residential neighborhoods to single family homes. I shuffled through the recent history of my tumblr blog in pursuit of what caught my eye in the year 2011. I was surprised to see a pattern in the scale of the projects that intrigued me. They are little jewels, either set within nature or have a strong tie with landscape whence it is difficult to define whether it is architecture or landscape architecture. My words may not do the justice, so to be concise I will get right into my choicest projects and urge you to check them out. You might find yourself as much in love as me!

Roadside Reststop Akkarvikodden Lofoten, Norway By Manthey Kula Architects (via designboom.com)Roadside Reststop Akkarvikodden Lofoten, Norway By Manthey Kula Architects (via designboom.com)Roadside Reststop Akkarvikodden Lofoten, Norway By Manthey Kula Architects (via designboom.com)ar05.jpg

Waldseilgarten Mountain Resort Pfronten, Bavaria in Germany (via gizmag.com)Waldseilgarten Mountain Resort Pfronten, Bavaria in Germany (via gizmag.com)Waldseilgarten Mountain Resort Pfronten, Bavaria in Germany (via gizmag.com)portaledge-3.jpg

 Ornithological Observatory Logroño, Spain By Manuel Fonseca Gallego (via landezine.com)Ornithological Observatory Logroño, Spain By Manuel Fonseca Gallego (via landezine.com)Ornithological Observatory Logroño, Spain By Manuel Fonseca Gallego (via landezine.com)Ornithological Observatory Logroño, Spain By Manuel Fonseca Gallego (via landezine.com)

Banyan Drive Treehouse Los Angeles, CA By Rockefeller Partners Architects (via architecture4us.com)Banyan Drive Treehouse Los Angeles, CA By Rockefeller Partners Architects (via architecture4us.com)Banyan Drive Treehouse Los Angeles, CA By Rockefeller Partners Architects (via architecture4us.com)

 Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel Portland, OR By EVA Architecture (via evapdx.com)Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel Portland, OR By EVA Architecture (via evapdx.com)Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel Portland, OR By EVA Architecture (via evapdx.com)Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel Portland, OR By EVA Architecture (via evapdx.com)

Sunken Pedestrian Bridge Netherlands By RO & AD ArchitectsSunken Pedestrian Bridge Netherlands By RO & AD Architects

Seljord Lookout Points Bjørgeøyan, Seljord, Norway By Rintala Eggertsson Architects (via architizer.com)Seljord Lookout Points Bjørgeøyan, Seljord, Norway By Rintala Eggertsson Architects (via architizer.com)Seljord Lookout Points Bjørgeøyan, Seljord, Norway By Rintala Eggertsson Architects (via architizer.com)Seljord Lookout Points Bjørgeøyan, Seljord, Norway By Rintala Eggertsson Architects (via architizer.com)

Rollercoaster Beijing, China By Interval Architects (via architizer.com)Rollercoaster Beijing, China By Interval Architects (via architizer.com)Rollercoaster Beijing, China By Interval Architects (via architizer.com)

National Museum of the Marine Corps Quantico, Virginia By Fentress Architects (via archdaily.com)National Museum of the Marine Corps Quantico, Virginia By Fentress Architects (via archdaily.com)National Museum of the Marine Corps Quantico, Virginia By Fentress Architects (via archdaily.com)National Museum of the Marine Corps Quantico, Virginia By Fentress Architects (via archdaily.com)

mark dorf: environmental occupations (via designboom.com)mark dorf: environmental occupations (via designboom.com)mark dorf: environmental occupations (via designboom.com)mark dorf: environmental occupations (via designboom.com)