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Engaging the Community by Giving EVERYONE A Voice

People too often feel unworthy and powerless in the process of neighborhood change. Why? Because planners leave the community outreach until the end, after the plans have already been agreed upon. Traditional community workshops leave the community on their heels; it’s a reactionary process that often leads to disagreement and NIMBY (Not In My Back […]

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Art and Healing

I recently spent a week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to be with my brother who was having a surgery. I was restless and had plenty of time at hand to walk the many corridors connecting the hospitals’ wings. Luckily, the Mayo Clinic has an amazing collection of artwork, thoughtfully curated and displayed […]

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Enabling Communities to Build Their Own Plazas

  All over the country more and more cities are catching on to the idea that public space can be created quickly and cheaply; expensive master plans are becoming a thing of the past. Typically a community partner—a business improvement district or non-profit community organization—can apply through the municipality to transform an excessive roadway into […]

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BANG, WHIR, VROOM! The Arrogance and Vulnerability of Italian Futurism

To be affiliated with the cultural wave that was Futurism in Italy in the early 20th Century was to signify an unabashed optimism and join a call to arms to reshape, rethink, and rebrand everything that was contemporary life – photography, theater, music, art, politics, architecture, even toys. Championed by its tireless leader, Marinetti, from […]

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On Love: Socrates Sculpture Park

Because of the well-documented, highly complex relationship between the world and humankind’s sensation and perception of it, I am of the opinion that even relatively simple messages are often exceptionally hard to convey. As such, any tool used for the communicative purposes of conveying such a feeling or message, should, if deployed successfully, subtly suggest […]

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A love letter to urban scents

Dear urban olfactory overexposers, You’re not quite like the unpopulated wet forest, smelling of mud, decay and heavy timber; nor like my tiny oceanside hometown filling the air with brine and sundried seaweed. Rather you have a grand variety of lowpoints and highs; a combination of heady delicacies and nauseating wafts… The mysterious night bakery […]

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Is the architect an artist?

By Alyssa Campbell Is the architect an artist or is he simply the creator of functional buildings? John Ruskin, a famous architectural writer, once remarked, “No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter, he can only be a builder.” (1) From […]

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Planning Love: V-Day Cards

Some west coast love has infiltrated the internet in the form of the ‘Planning Love’ site that has Valentine’s Day cards for planners, architects, etc… Check it out, they are quite clever! I am hoping to see one that is a classier version of this:

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60 Mies van der Rohe Haus

This was my first visit to Berlin, and I was thinking about Bauhaus and Mies. Inevitably, the next morning I decided to visit Mies’s Lemke House at the outskirts of Berlin.  I arrived there after a U-Bahn ride and a bus connection and was surprised how unassuming and humble that house looked from the street.  But when you enter the […]

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“The Bean” by Anish Kapoor

Bean or Cloud Gate in Chicago’s Millennium Park is a piece of sculpture that is fast becoming an iconic symbol for that City.  It is designed by Indian born, British sculptor Anish Kapoor.  Its official name is Cloud Gate but everyone calls it “The Bean”.  People seems to like this sculpture, it is shaped like […]

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