Monthly Archives: June 2010

Cupola – This exhibition will be worth a look

Cupola – Exhibition of works bt Cath Brophy

The works involve the creation of large-scale mixed media drawings based on observations of both the natural and built environments. The making and unmaking, collaging and reconstructing sections of the compositon gives the work a three-dimensional quality which references the subject matter.

http://www.doggett.com.au/ExhibitionFrame.aspx?ExhibitionId=983

How to get a $5000 raise

The parking “epidemic” in Hoboken is so bad that no parking garage conceivable by man can contain our demand.  So this week, Hoboken ventures where no city has gone before; we are rolling out the nation’s first city-wide on-street car-sharing program as a public-private partnership between Hoboken and Connect by Hertz.

The program, called Hoboken Corner Cars, seeks to sprinkle car-sharing vehicles on-street throughout the entire city – complete with exclusive, reserved parking spaces – so that these vehicles are much more accessible and convenient than any personally owned car.  Existing car-sharing statistics in Hoboken justify this special treatment; for every one of these vehicles placed in the community, over 17 households will choose to give up their cars, taking cars off the street and culling the glut of “recreational” ownership for residents who commute daily via transit.  An additional 20 or more households say they postpone or stop considering buying a car because car-sharing vehicles are available.  The cherry on the sundae is a potential savings per household of $3,000 to $5,000 over vehicle ownership.

Hoboken hopes to not only convince current residents that owning a car is much more hassle than it’s worth, but to also “sell” the car-sharing alternative concept to the constant flow of suburban-flight newcomers who have no idea that it is possible to live their lives sans auto.

On environmental considerations, the program requires the fleet mix to maintain an average of 35MPG, and since car-sharing utilization is measured as multiple households per car, each car-sharing vehicle enjoys a significantly smaller carbon footprint compared to the traditional American profile of multiple cars per household.  In terms of sustainable urban infrastructure, the City Council President successfully appealed to both his Council colleagues and the public by likening the initial phase of the program – where approximately 750 cars are expected to be removed from Hoboken streets – to building an invisible 750 space parking garage for free.

Hoboken hopes to serve as a model for other cities to take the leap of faith of taking away a small number of parking spaces from residents in order to free up hundreds or thousands more.  For dense, urban environments with intense on-street parking problems, car-sharing is truly a modern demand-based solution that makes parking garages seem so last century!

Have a look at http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-and-hertz-launch-first-city-wide-car-sharing-service-in-america/ for more information

Leaders in Building Information Modelling (B.I.M)

Neylan Architecture were invited by KarelCAD to take part in Evolve 3, a publication dedicated to promoting architectural practices who are recognised as industry leaders in BIM.

click on the link below:

http://www.karelcad.com.au/karelcadevolve_3/index.html

Original Green by Steve Mouzon

Steve Mouzon’s new book, Original Green, should be read by everyone interested in crafting a more sustainable built environment.  It is a book of philosophy as much as architecture or planning, and it eloquently posits and expounds the proposition that environmentally responsible building and placemaking has more to learn from traditional culture and practices than from 21st-century ‘gizmo green’ technology.

Click on the link below

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/they_dont_makeem_like_they_use.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+switchboard_kbenfield+%28Switchboard%3A+Kaid+Benfield%27s+Blog%29

In search of Techno Minimalism

When will the cry of  “Less is more” be heard from technology companies? How I yearn for a Mies Iphone or some Seidleresque software. Although the idea of mimimalism finds proponents among the ranks of architects and designers, the technology industry has moved in an arms race of more is better. Modern technology devices and software may LOOK minimalist but behind the facade they are seething with unwanted and little used features. I mean, does anyone really even know what all those features and apps on a phone even do? Who uses all the preset options of their camera (or can even find them in the layers of menus). Who has really explored the toolbars of MS Word. Very few. We just want things to work.

I recently read that Apple’s market value has overtaken Microsoft’s. I am sure this is due to fatigue among users – Apple tends to conceal all the complexity behind elegant design, whereas Microsoft seems to bombard you with features and changed interfaces at evey upgrade. And don’t even get me started on Autodesk…….

Simplicity trumps features. Bring us some techno austerity.

Where do they all come from?

free counters

Being grumpy is good for you?

In an interview with Australian Science Magazine, Australian psychology expert Professor Joe Forgas, who has been studying emotions has found being grumpy makes us think more clearly.

In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed. The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain “promotes information processing strategies”.

While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking.

Now where does this leave us architects? I suppose we need to be happy for the design phases of a project but grumpy for the contract administration and project management phases. Or more specifically we need to be grumpy for the analyitcal design phases, happy for sketch design, grumpy for development approval, happy for detailed design, grumpy for documentation and construction phases, while trying to be happy when meeting with clients, and grumpy when managing the office, and of course always being grumpy when meeting builders. After this emotional rollercoaster it’s no wonder architects are grumpy!