De lisboa para o mundo.

[photo credit: john yurchyk, santa catarina market / barcelona]

Spring break is a few weeks in the past, but its effect on me is still fresh in my mind. Really, I can't think of any other experience in my life that has so obviously effected me as that trip. I suppose the words of H. C. Andersen are common, "To travel is to live", but never had I understood them as I do now.

I always thought traveling was about seeing things I've never seen before (and it is), tasting strange cuisines (and it is), partaking in the local traditions (and it is), and broadening your book of experiences (and it is). But more than any of the previously mentioned, traveling is about meeting and sharing with meet along the way. Our second night in Lisbon I was sharing a giant beanbag chair on the floor of the our hostel with a girl from Seattle as we talked to other travelers and locals from Montreal, Melbourne, the UK, and Portugal. How funny, all of us sharing our lives with one another in that moment, in an unlikely place such as Lisbon, from places scattered across the globe. How incredible it is that a country boy from Ohio has an opportunity to have his life shaped by so many different cultures? How powerful a thing to improve the world, if every person from Earth could just hang out on over-sized beanbag chairs and relate to one another for a night. Never before had I felt such an overwhelming sense of content, peace, and stillness. Seriously, I wanted to cry with joy.

That's the true power of travel. To find out that the world isn't such a big and scary place; that the things that divide us maybe aren't the canyons that we think they are; that this life is an unbelievable gift that we have to take FULL advantage of. If not, we're wasting everything.

[haha. a night out in bcn with random hostel'rs.  represented: holland, spain, italy, turkey, and the us.]
[photo credit: brandon zawicki, pavilion of portugal by alvaro siza / lisbon]

[photo credit: brandon zawicki, city of arts and sciences by calatrava / valencia]

To say that trying to convey what I felt that night is difficult would be an understatement. All I can say is I now think travel may be the most important thing in the world to do, and to do often. South America, Summer 2011 perhaps? The travel bug has officially bitten me.

The future looks...

Just saw this on the Archinect salary poll.

62 / Male from Phoenix, Arizona

$64,000 salary

Type of work: Fulltime
Type of workplace: Corporate
B. Architecture
B.S. Botany
I year grad school
Registered Architect, Az, Ca. and
Registered Landscape Architect, Az, Ca.
38 years experience
40 hrs vacation
Health and dental insurance
No retirement program
Took 20% paycut in 09
40-60 hr weeks+

"I have been used, abused, stabbed in the back by co-workers and overworked all my life. My retirement savings is disappearing. I am a very talented designer and project manager. What a depressing profession. The rewards are very small."

Posted: Apr, '10


Pointy things.

In between jet setting across Europe, I've been devoting (some) time to my studio's proposed project for Florence, a new Mediatheque located within the walls of the Fortezza da Basso.

From the syllabus, under the guidance of Alberto Francini. //

"The new mediatheque will have to become an asset to the city at large.  Both in terms of image and functionality, it will have to become a major forum for the public life of the city.  The design will have to respond to the surrounding context in whatever way deemed appropriate by the student, who will have to support his/her own ideas through a strong design rationale.  The design of the open space has to be integrated with the design of the mediatheque and will have to appeal and respond to contemporary culture and sensibility.

Program //

Lobby / 100 sqmt.
Cafeteria + restaurant / 200 sqmt.
Bookshop / 200 sqmt.
Exhibition space (multi-use) / 200 sqmt.
Restrooms / 100 sqmt

Mediatheque / 250 sqmt.
Emerotheque (video/music) / 150 sqmt.
Library + reading halls / 400 sqmt.
Lecture hall / 400 seats
2 conference rooms / 300 sqmt.
Archives / 200 sqmt.
Storage / 100 sqmt.
Administration + services / 100 sqmt.
Management + production offices / 150 sqmt.
Restrooms / 100 sqmt.

I presented my project at its (then) current state about 3 1/2 weeks ago to a jury consisting of my studio professors and two architects from MDU architetti.  Mid-term reviews before this had always been either a) the last thing I want to do after a week of sleepless final production, or b) a chance to look back and reflect at my massive heap of half-mindless work in hopes of pushing my project forward.  This semester took an alternative route, partially because of my struggles this semester, partly because of the typically light work-load here in Italy.  Reason 1:  I haven't been doing much work.  Backbacking across Europe is way more interesting than studio right now.  Reason 2:  I threw this presentation together without much thought and had a wonderful night of sleep beforehand.  Architectural taboo.  Kick me out of the club.

That said, the project below is still in its baby stages, arriving only now at a concept model and general direction to where I want to take it (and in the last 3 1/2 weeks still hasn't pushed much further).  If you feel inclined, visit my Flickr set for more detailed explanations and to view the presentation at a higher resolution.

In the end though, the project has been well received. The only disappointment I have with that is many times reviewers at juries are more apt to criticize and put down students than become creatively involved in the intention of the project and leave one (me) without any input. So, input is encouraged.

midterm presentation

midterm presentation

midterm presentation

midterm presentation

midterm presentation

midterm presentation


Waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too much has been happening for me to be diligent in my blog posts.  My apologies.  I'll try to catch up soon.  To come: mid-term reviews, second trip to Venice, spring break in Portugal and Spain, and much more.

Tomorrow I leave for Paris.  I'm a serious weekend warrior and I mean business.