Monthly Archives: September 2010

Harvard Urban Planning Organisation

Today I gave a short presentation to urban planning students at the Graduate School of Design titled: “Urban sustainability: the social, economic & environmental influence of spatial layout”. Here’s the introduction… “In this presentation I will focus on one particular aspect of sustainability: the patterns of human activity – movement, co-presence and interaction – that […]

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Daniel Schrag: Climate Science & Climate Change

Notes from a lecture given as part of: IGA-310 Energy Policy: Technologies, Systems & Markets 22nd September 2010 Prof Daniel Schrag Atmospheric C02 hasn’t been above 300 parts per million in last 600,000 years, with large fluctuations, until recently. Likely to rise to over 600. Currently c390.  Just because there are natural cycles doesn’t mean […]

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“If we can get to flexible wood, I am totally going to cut my own leg off.”

Ashley Vance’s article in last week’s New York Times paints an enticing picture of a future in which 3d printing can conjure objects before us at the press of a button. A 3d Hewlett Packard in every home will spray up a new pair of Nike shoes in a few seconds. Science nonsense? Some might […]

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Be careful what you ask for

Do you have an irrational fear that you are being watched by a duck? Or perhaps a goose or even a swan? If so, then don’t read on. You are suffering from anatidaephobia. It’s a real medical condition with its own webspace – but you won’t want to go there…

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Where are we going? Not a new question

Tomorrow’s Loeb Fellowship presentation will begin with this painting by Paul Gauguin: “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” painted on Tahiti in 1897. The title provides a helpful triplet to structure a fundamental career review, which is essentially what tomorrow’s presentation is about.

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Put the client into the brief

Perhaps the greatest difference between architecture school and design practice is the reality in practice of the client, the client’s other advisors, the opponents to the project, the commentators in the press – in other words the human factor.

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Expect conflict

We are told to avoid conflict. Mostly good advice but conflict is ever near and not always avoidable.

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Architecture: beyond art & science

Is architecture and art or a science? As Bill Hillier has argued, this is the wrong question. In fact it’s a silly question. Architecture is both art and science. He argues that architecture is total art and total science. In fact it’s more, because architecture engages with the everyday and the everyday is social, environmental and […]

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The several pleasures of building a bed

Spending the afternoon building a bed is an opportunity not only for construction but also for reflection. Or even rebuilding a bed – because what was there at the end was mostly already there to begin with. However, as with a recipe, the same ingredients can create a variety of outcomes. Flour, water and a […]

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