Monthly Archives: November 2010

Weekly update

22-28th November 2010 Monday Meeting with Space Syntax colleagues regarding company strategy in preparation for visit to London next week. Call with Steve Coast regarding open source software development. Meeting with Jim Stockard, Curator of the Loeb Fellowship. Tuesday Call with Bridget Horner, Director of Space Syntax South Africa. Meeting with Harvard GSD design student. […]

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Much much more with much much less

Inspired by a comment by Rahul Mehrotra, “Much much more with much much less” is the theme of next semester’s Loeb Fellowship Public Seminar series. The four seminars in the series will take place at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The working titles for the seminars are: Technology Resources, Money & Economy Food, […]

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Getting to know-your-place

Stub… If the future is local, we need to get to know local. Academy of Urbanism: http://www.knowyourplace.info

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So what is the role of the architect?

Stub… Enabler? Synthesiser? Configurer?

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Why it isn’t all about common sense…

There is a view that historic cities have all the answers and we just need to look at them. Or, in any case, it’s just common sense. If professionals had a bit more common sense they would make a better set of decisions. There are at least three reasons why this can’t be entirely the […]

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Connectedness & continuity

There is a view that the creation of continuously connected places leads to sameness. Looking at real places suggests otherwise – witness the distinctly different quarters of Paris, New York’s strikingly heterogeneous local centres, or London’s urban villages. So what is it that makes this possible? One seemingly counterintuitive factor, it turns out, is a […]

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Technology – it’s the new concrete!

Stub… Pouring concrete used to be the “macho” expression of urban planning power. Today it is technology. “Macho” has translated into “cool”. Risk – we jump too quickly through the filter of common sense ie the “What’s all this for?” filter.

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Landscape Urbanism & New Urbanism: it shouldn’t be so divisive

Summary Despite the efforts of each party to highlight its differences, there is a significant overlap between Landscape Urbanism and New Urbanism, both positive and negative. Positive: a concern about urban harmony. Negative: a tendency to fragment (call it sprawl). Urbanists of both colours would do better to recognise this common ground and realise that […]

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Istanbul/Shoreditch crits

Istanbul Richard Peiser John Portman Alex David TS TS site analysis Site is at the intersection of a major radial and a major orbital route. V strong road connections. Potentially local drive/walk connections. Key will be to exploit both. But local connections cost. Nature of road to the north. Being treated as a negative. Nature […]

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Go looking for the thing you can’t see

Architecture is obsessed with what things look like. Hence the focus on form and style; on the materials that buildings are made from; on the processes by which these materials are brought together. In school, in practice and in the media. But this isn’t everything and it isn’t enough. Architecture is much more important. It […]

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Good ideas come from crowds & liquid networks

An article on the BBC Business website neatly summarises Steven Johnson’s research findings on the origins of innovations: “Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down; but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies, frequent coffee houses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on […]

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Spatial Justice in Urban India

Notes from a talk by Leo Saldanha and Bharghavi Rao on “Contested Terrains: Environmental and Spatial Justice in Urban India” at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, organised by HUPO, the Harvard Urban Planning Organisation. Themes A right to life includes a right to livelihood. This challenged by: – privatisation – gating – surveillance – […]

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