The prairie is a deceptively tough environment, lacking shelter from the wind and sun. But as tough as surviving exposure to those elements is, it pales in comparison to the prairie’s most dominant force, fire. Fire defines the prairie, pruning the tallgrasses back to their roots while weeding out non-native inhabitants both natural and man made. Fire must drive both the aesthetics and performance of the materials of the project...(more)
Today, as Carson suggests, the effects that the human species have had on this planet are daunting. Though many try to deny it, evidence of human-caused climate change has become certain1, but we continue undeterred, living in a way that certainly cannot be sustained for more than a few hundred years. Suburbs, chain stores, and parking lots, connected by a complex system of ever-widening highways, surround every modern city, seemingly choking out the forests, prairies, and many other ecosystems that once sustained life in these places...(more)
Material driven workshops are the key to design innovation. What we know through experience about building materials dictate how we utilize them. When someone mentions steel, we think of large steel wide flanges, soon to be hidden and never seen again. Wood reminds us of something stained and coated, to demonstrate the natural beauty of the grain. However, when we limit ourselves to these preconceived ideas we miss out on opportunities to make our architecture innovative. Not necessarily in the sense of conceptual innovation, but in terms of a broader understanding of the physical nature of materials. What is innovation and why is it important?...(more)
Architects rarely have direct input on the construction and detailing of a project.
In a recent article from the popular online blog site Life of an Architect, certified architect Bob Borson defines what it is to be a practicing architect. It is his opinion that the role of the architect varies depending on the size of the firm, and he states that their responsibilities range from “the drawing a building…to writing spec sheets.” This definition however, seems to be missing the importance of the architect during the construction phase of the project. In regards to arguably the most important phase of a project...(more)
Architects Involvement in the Construction Process:
Is Design-Build the Future? // Luke Custer