Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Studio 3 Rocks!

....and so they sail thru 5th Year! Well Done Students of Taylor's University (Studio 3, Jan 2008)!

(Pic credit: Gordon Chu, with thanks:)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

(http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=76674, accessed 6 Sept 2012)

What’s Needed to Be a Global Citizen in the 21st Century

            In this article in Perspectives, Massachusetts educator/author John D’Auria suggests four proficiencies that students will need to be “nimble learners responding to challenges and opportunities that none of us can foresee”:

            • Seeking out diverse perspectives – “Too often, we gravitate toward like-minded people,” says D’Auria, “a behavior that insulates us from expanding our perspective… Preparing for a global society requires that we become curious about how others think.” It also helps to learn another language.

            • Valuing emotional insights – “Recent research into emotional intelligence helps us to appreciate that emotions often contain important data,” says D’Auria, “information that our cognitive processes are slower to grasp… Emotional connectivity also links us to other human beings, even when we cannot speak their language.”

            • Embracing creativity – “The global economy thrives on inventive thinking,” he says. “We need to value creative skills and develop them in our students. This should not be the domain of a ‘talented’ few” – nor should it be buried in test preparation.

            • Developing a growth mindset – Students will need to be continuous learners, which requires perseverance and resilience in the face of unknowable challenges and setbacks, says D’Auria. He believes educators need to explicitly teach Carol Dweck’s key insights – that intelligence and talent develop through working hard using effective strategies. “We need to provide time and support for our students to value experimentation and strengthen their capacity to learn from mistakes,” he concludes. “Though errors, failure, and setbacks are not what we seek, we need not fear them, and we should learn to recycle them into new learning.”
“Preparing Our Students for Global Citizenship” by John D’Auria in Perspectives, Fall 2011 (p. 14-15); D’Auria can be reached at jdauria@teachers21.org

(From Student and Staff Learning, Accessed 6 Sept 2012, with thanks to Michael Sullivan)

Monday, 20 August 2012


Inspired by the lifecycle of a dandelion, including its wind-aided seed dispersal, Dandelionopolis [pods + towers] is an urban strategy that is dedicated to recycling the country's food waste by encouraging the public to separate their food waste. 30 decentralized anaerobic digesters in the form of 160-metres-towers are envisioned to land upon all the towns in Singapore. The project also postulates (the use of) Singapore's empty, overcast night sky as a new realm for waste transportation, in lieu of a starscape. The fact that food waste can be converted to electricity and bio-fertilizer through anaerobic digestion makes it a very promising source of clean energy, especially when contrasted with the exceptional predicament of Singapore's dependency on 100% energy imports. In that vein, this project seeks to emphasize the benefits of waste as a resource. This project offers (the) possibility of upgrading the existing recycling infrastructure both in social and aesthetic dimensions.

The ultimate aim of all life cycles of material on earth is the closed loop. Cradle to cradle instead of cradle to grave. Imagine, if we manage to recycle all food waste (2010) in Singapore, it is enough to power 70% of their HDB flats (in which 80% of Singaporeans live.) But today the food waste recycling exists in isolation, from which they must be rescued through the holistic, conscious and cooperative effort of all parties. Regional strategy, local strategy and individual strategy must recognize a new perspective and learn to grasp the new systems of domesticating waste. Using trucks to carry them to the big centralized plant is not the most viable option because we are burning fuels for the waste transportation. Hence, food waste recycling infrastructure must be designed to grow along with the dynamic settlement patterns of fast-developing urban areas in the future.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Tensegrity by Kenneth Snelson

(http://gibbsfarm.org.nz/snelson.php accessed 18 Aug 2012)

2 hours from Auckland is this dramatic tensegrity landscape-sculpture by Kenneth Snelson (2005), among other equally dramatic human interventions (insertions?) in rolling meadows against the largest harbour in the southern hemisphere.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Summary Notes

Unitec Year One: Here are my notes from the crit summation this afternoon.

  1. Specificity of building programme (use) helps prevent nondescript architecture. 'Multipurpose' is often seen as non-commitment, "Everything is nothing", Federico.

    Definition of NONDESCRIPT

    : belonging or appearing to belong to no particular class or kind : not easily described
    : lacking distinctive or interesting qualities : dulldrab
  2. Multi-layered programmes enrich outcomes.
  3. The ability to infuse architecture with characteristics that induce varied readings (responses, perceptions) from the public (user) is an indication of design skill.
  4. Understand the quantitative requirements of the brief, use the limit of floor space as a design enhancer. (10 sq m is no bigger than a single bedroom!)
  5. Less is more (Rohe, MV); Less is a bore (Venturi, R); ...or Less is simply poor (Ng, A S)
  6. Articulation of space, and a sense of enclosure are identifiers of architecture. (Less that, you may get just a landmark, however meritorious in its own right.) The Seat Public Pavilion just about achieves that identity, but for the SHAC competition brief it would need to be more.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Lecture: Architecture on the Run

Lecture delivered at Unitec University of Technology, Auckland, 1 Aug 2012.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Arming for a Future

Lecture for 1st Year Architecture, Unitec College of Technology, Auckland.
1 May, 2012