Common Good (or, The Road to Hell)

By |2018-06-21T05:44:57-04:00June 20th, 2018|Sketchbook|

What good is beauty?

“We are here to revitalize your community.  Make it beautiful againRestore its energy.”  Who could say no to that?  Meeting the community is important for developers and architects.  It’s a gesture of good faith to those our projects will impact.  It is also humbling.  Our best laid plans are often met with […]

Urban Life

By |2018-06-21T04:20:53-04:00June 4th, 2018|Sketchbook|

Cities are animals.

Daily, we are shot through their tunnels and avenues, blood cells of a greater being.  We exchange our mental and bodily energy for…wealth, power, CO₂, heat, garbage, human progress?  The diasystolic beat of urban procession was perceived by the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, who described his design process for New Gourna: […]


By |2019-10-17T17:02:38-04:00April 30th, 2018|Sketchbook|

Grand Canal, Venice (drawing by the author)

As a student, I hoped to develop a “style”.  Something neat and easy to grasp; the sort of trademark that gave Picasso a high margin for his napkin sketches (allegedly).  Experience has quieted […]


By |2018-07-19T15:33:43-04:00April 4th, 2018|Sketchbook|

“Do architects have to think about color?” I was recently asked.  “Or is that just for interior designers?”  The short answer is, “Yeah.”  Here’s a much longer one… 

Most people live in places with awful weather. 

By “awful” I mean temperate, stable climates […]

Dystopia: The Commodification of Solace

By |2018-06-21T05:14:17-04:00March 23rd, 2018|Sketchbook|

This one is for the introverts.

The year is 2050 (give or take); humanity’s gravitation to urban centers reaches its peak.  The sheer density of cities tests our limits as “social animals”, and we starve for solitude.

A typical citizen rises at dawn in their trendy micro-apartment: 200 square feet, artfully configured to sleep three, with collapsible furniture and partitions.  A […]

Ordered Chaos

By |2018-06-21T04:35:15-04:00March 13th, 2018|Sketchbook|

Image Source

Beauty is felt, before it is understood.

While making something beautiful, we discover patterns that resonate.  An artist will sometimes find common threads linking mathematics, natural forces, and our own mythology.  Philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists of every field […]

Nature and Artifact

By |2018-06-21T04:36:18-04:00March 13th, 2018|Sketchbook|

“Biomimicry” is designing after nature; imitating its patterns and systems.  Isn’t this a strange concept?  By “mimicking” nature, we admit our deep-rooted feeling of otherness.  Though technically animals, we now self-consciously regulate our behavior to minimize our impact.  In a planet defined by constant change, we lament how our our industry contributes to global warming – while a volcano is a blameless […]

A Skyline Through History

By |2021-02-15T18:43:14-05:00March 10th, 2018|Sketchbook|

By Samuel Gottscho, 1931 Source

The silhouette of Manhattan is unmistakable.  It is symbolic of this city and its values to people worldwide: aspiration, wealth, struggle, diversity, sophistication, and a distinct feeling of ordered chaos. The Art Deco towers of the 1930s defined a new vision of urbanity.  They broke […]

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