Weekly update

21st-27th March 2011
Monday
Dinner with Andy Cao, Loeb Fellow.

Tuesday
Seminar with Loeb Fellows.

Wednesday
Meeting with Space Syntax group at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Delivery of Lincoln Lecture at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Thursday
Mid Term reviews with Felipe Correa’s studio at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Dinner with Loeb Fellows and special guest Toni Griffin.

Friday
Meetings with students at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Tour of the MIT Media Lab with Loeb fellows and architect of record Andrea Leers.

Weekly update

14th-20th March 2011
Monday
Discussion with Martin Butterworth, Managing Director of Space Syntax Australia, re Space Syntax Business Plan.

Tuesday
Meeting with Paul Cote, Lecturer in GIS at the Harvard Graduate School of Design re Space Syntax and GIS technologies.

Discussion with Anna Rose, Director of Space Syntax Limited re her forthcoming visit to the USA.

Wednesday
Discussion with Ben van Bruggen of Savills re opportunities for partnership between Space Syntax and Savills, especially in China.

Discussion with Chris Stutz of Stutz Consulting re Space Syntax Business Plan.

Lunch with Dana Bixby, architect and former Bartlett student of Bill Hillier’s.

Thursday
Visit to Mt Auburn Cemetery, including the grave of Buckminster Fuller.

Weekly update

7th-13th March 2011
Monday
Discussions with Utile Architecture & Planning regarding the redesign of Boston’s City Hall Plaza.

Tuesday
Meeting with Alan Penn and Steven Schooling re Space Syntax Business Plan.

Mid Term Reviews with Prof Rahul Mehrotra’s Mumbai Studio students.

Dinner with Loeb Fellows and Loeb Alumnus Damon Rich.

Wednesday
Meeting with Ed Parham re Space Syntax Business Plan.

Thursday
Meeting with Utile Architecture & Planning re Boston, City Hall Plaza..

Dinner with Loeb Fellows and special guest Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Friday
Presentation on Rotterdam’s Solid Waste Collection system to Dr Joyce Rosenthal’s class on Environmental Planning.

Saturday
Visit to Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Sunday
Visit to Newport, Rhode Island.

Weekly update

28th February-6th March 2011
Monday
Teaching on the “Design Policy Law” class at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Loeb Fellows dinner with Senior Loeb Fellow, Dr Arjun Appadurai.

Tuesday
Meeting with Ed Parham re Space Syntax Business Plan.

Wednesday
Meeting of the Space Syntax group at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Lecture: “Matter, Material, Materiality” by Dr Arjun Appadurai.

Thursday
Meeting with Chris Stutz re Space Syntax Business Plan.

Performing as the Minister of Planning for the country of “Urbania” on the “Urbanization & International Development” class at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Meeting with Kairos Shen, Chief Planner at the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Friday
Teaching on the “Environmental Planning & Sustainable Development” class at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Open

In urban design & military operations – effective networks are more important than multiple connections

Following last week’s post on the subject, National Defense Magazine provides another example that highlights the risks of multiple connections and the benefits of an effective network:

U.S. Troops Loaded With Technology, But Can’t Harness the Power of the Network

A couple of quotes from the piece:

Key to this strategy is to sync up disparate programs that are important to the network, but so far have not been integrated. The Army’s acquisition bureaucracy is organized to manage stand-alone widgets and weapons, not an interconnected mesh of systems.

“The network is now the Army’s highest modernization priority,” Chiarelli (Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff) says. Having every soldier plugged into the tactical network and giving them means to access and distribute information would give the Army a “tremendous advantage that we never had before,” he adds.

Behind the sober facade – it’s a fun house!

Cambridge, MA is a city of formal, historic architecture. Harvard Yard and Brattle Street (pictured) are its poster children.

Yet, away from these greats, there are many buildings that are simply fun.

One block back from Mass Ave, Franklin Street is the setting for a cluster of quirky, joyous homes. From a distance, their politely pitched rooftops blend into the residential skyline:

But, up close, they reveal themselves to be more than ordinary:

Tim Stonor – Minister of Planning for Urbania?

Yesterday I took part in a role play in Dr Mike Hooper’s class on “Urbanization & International Development” at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The class was divided into three groups and given 20 minutes to prepare proposals for upgrading an informal settlement on land in the centre of an imaginary city, “Urbanopolis”, the capital of “Urbania”.

Each team then had 5-6 minutes to present slum upgrading proposals to the (apparently) notoriously short tempered Minister of Planning for Urbania – played by me! Continue reading

Carbon emissions & spatial connections

I spoke today to Dr Joyce Rosenthal’s “Environmental Planning & Sustainable Development” class at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

My presentation “Carbon emissions & spatial connections” can be viewed on Slideboom.

Matter, Material, Materiality

Matter, Material, Materiality: Thoughts on the Social Life of Design
Arjun Appadurai

Piper Auditorium, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
2nd march 2011

A rich and widely placed lecture.

Limitation
Architecture as the means of limiting possibilities of fashion. Planning as the means of limiting the possibilities of architecture.

Intangible infrastructure
The effortful production of everyday peace and its other outcomes: conviviality, warmth.

Ordinary inputs
The involvement of everyday people in the process of planning and design is a reality, not least since it is the ordinary that occupies the built product of the process. Still an imperative to improve the processes by which architecture and planning are delivered.

Connectivity is only the beginning – networking is the goal

For digital users
2010 was the year to get connected; 2011 will be the year to become networked.
It is one thing to buy an iPhone, join Facebook and Twitter, get a blog, friend and follow. It is another to keep it all going.

Already, people are being encouraged to unplug. But why unplug when it is possible to network? How? The solution is to link Twitter and Facebook to a blog; to connect the blog to LinkedIn, taking advantage of the interconnections so that things are only done once.

In other words, connectivity is only the beginning – networking is the goal. And not just for tech geeks but for all users of urban places…

For urbanists
The 20th century was about cities getting connected; the 21st will be about cities becoming networked. Continue reading