robertogreco + homes   464

Maintenance and Care
"A working guide to the repair of rust, dust, cracks, and corrupted code in our cities, our homes, and our social relations."
shannonmattern  maintenance  repair  care  caring  2018  rust  dust  homes  cities  labor  work  art  performance  shanzhai  jugaad  gambiarra  fixing  mending  gender 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Has This Neighborhood in Seoul Figured Out the Secret to Slow Living? - The New York Times
"The decline of vernacular architecture in the face of global urbanization is, of course, hardly new, though traditional Korean hanok are a particularly stark contrast to modern city living. Sit inside one and you immediately notice how sound and light travel differently as they’re absorbed into pine wood beams and diffused through pale mulberry-paper windows. When newly built, hanok are redolent with the bright scent of a coniferous forest; as they age, the fragrance softens toward pu-erh tea and damp bark. Their center of gravity is lower than other homes, creating a cocoon-like sensation; their radiant heating system — the ondol — means that residents sit, work and sleep on the floor.

But while any Korean can describe how a hanok feels, defining what a hanok is has proved elusive. “Hanok” simply translates to “Korean house,” though the term wasn’t used until the late 19th century, which brought the opening of the peninsula’s ports to international trade and, in turn, Western architecture. Before this, the hanok was merely a house. Today’s hanok, with its soot-black scalloped clay tiles laid atop wooden beams, resembles its 15th-century forebears. In 2015, the government legally defined hanok as a “wooden architectural structure built on the basis of the traditional Korean-style framework consisting of columns and purlins and a roof reflecting the Korean traditional architectural style,” leaving acres of room for interpretation."



"Indeed, this nostalgia for a simpler form of living is fueled by the dissatisfaction that many locals have expressed in the face of their country’s breakneck economic growth. Here, digital culture is richer and vaster than anywhere else: South Korea, home to the technology giants Samsung and LG, may have the world’s fastest internet and the highest rate of smartphone use, but amid the country’s accelerated 30-year transition from military state — which it was until the ’80s — to tech superpower, there’s a growing sentiment that somewhere along the road, much of the country’s own culture was lost. The hanok, then, has come to represent a safe vessel for introspection and a reassertion of Korean identity: a romantic return to the national architecture and, therefore, to a mythic, prelapsarian age. Rebuilding these houses is not only a chance to revisit a past that once was, free of influences from globalized monoculture, but also to create a future in Seoul that might have been."



"Tändler designed Lee Eunyoung’s hanok, one of the few one-story buildings in the village. The home is disarmingly simple: a minimally furnished, U-shaped space, encircling a madang. For the four-person family, moving into a hanok wasn’t just an aesthetic choice but an opportunity to atavistically reorient their lives. “We each have five outfits for Monday through Friday, plus one wedding outfit, one funeral outfit and one exercise outfit,” Lee Eunyoung says. The 37-year-old mother doesn’t buy toys for her two young boys, instead giving them paper and crayons or sending them out into the madang to play. This is another way the hanok has made Seoulites reconsider the way they live: By forcing them to decide how much stuff they really need, it inverts the dynamic between the house and the people within it, making the residents accommodate the dwelling, not the other way around. In doing so, they’ve discovered a different, slower way of living. Eventually, Lee Eunyoung’s children will grow up and find their own homes. Maybe they’ll go somewhere modern: a skyscraper, a glass-and-steel penthouse. But Lee says she’ll stay here, in the hanok, for the rest of her life"
slo  seoul  korea  architecture  homes  wood  2018  design  cv  housing  economics  preservation  culture 
september 2018 by robertogreco
A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance - YouTube
"(Visit: http://www.uctv.tv) Follow a team of UCLA anthropologists as they venture into the stuffed-to-capacity homes of dual income, middle-class American families in order to truly understand the food, toys, and clutter that fill them. Series: "A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance" [11/2013] [Humanities] [Show ID: 25712]"

[via: https://twitter.com/xraytext/status/999109157612646406 ]

[See also: Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors
http://www.ioa.ucla.edu/press/life-at-home

and "Americans can spend a majority of their time in a few spaces in their home and still want large homes"
https://legallysociable.com/2018/06/03/americans-can-spend-a-majority-of-their-time-in-a-few-spaces-in-their-home-and-still-want-large-homes/

via: https://twitter.com/amandakhurley/status/1003283050782810113 ]
us  consumerism  consumption  hoarding  possessions  excess  2013  children  toys  accumulation  shopping  families  homes  housing  abundance  ethnography 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Opinion | Why the Wealth Gap Hits Families the Hardest - The New York Times
"Why did older households fare better? First, older Americans’ incomes were largely stable. Their primary source of income, Social Security, is indexed to inflation. With stable income, fewer older people dipped into savings to pay their bills, and they had more money to invest. Second, most of them bought their homes before the housing bubble, and third, they graduated from college before the era of high student loan debt. Thanks to these three factors, the median net worth of poor and middle-class older people rose by 70 percent from 1989 to 2013.

There are a few policy changes that may help. Increasing the purchasing power of Pell Grants and then indexing it to rising tuition costs would be a start. The government could also expand tax credits that benefit families, and compensate families who were victims of predatory lending practices.

But the magnitude of the problem is so great that these measures are not enough. The United States needs a fundamental rethinking of public policy priorities to improve the lives of the next generation of children."
2018  wealth  inequality  us  economics  families  elderly  income  education  highered  highereducation  housing  homes 
may 2018 by robertogreco
In Los Angeles, mansions get bigger as homeless get closer
"The capital of America's second Gilded Age is Los Angeles, where homes worth tens of millions of dollars look out over a city in which the middle class struggles to afford shelter and the number of homeless increases."
us  california  inequality  cities  losangeles  rickhampson  2018  economics  disparity  homes  housing  middleclass  homeless  homelessness 
may 2018 by robertogreco
marian april glebes en Instagram: “Work in progress. Thinking about materials that, through their relationship to the maintenance and minor catastrophes of daily life, inform…”
"Work in progress. Thinking about materials that, through their relationship to the maintenance and minor catastrophes of daily life, inform on how and why a place is made, a home is made, and for whom/how/what makes a place or home.
This was a dirty towel. It's use was important, vital. It's material history is embedded in it. How do our routines teach us about what we value, and what we waste? Can a rag, or dust, or a tissue be portraiture?"
materials  maintenance  everyday  place  homes  history  time  waste  routines  dust  rags  textiles  marianglebes  2018 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Considerations On Cost Disease | Slate Star Codex
[via: https://meaningness.com/metablog/post-apocalyptic-health-care ]

"IV.

I mentioned politics briefly above, but they probably deserve more space here. Libertarian-minded people keep talking about how there’s too much red tape and the economy is being throttled. And less libertarian-minded people keep interpreting it as not caring about the poor, or not understanding that government has an important role in a civilized society, or as a “dog whistle” for racism, or whatever. I don’t know why more people don’t just come out and say “LOOK, REALLY OUR MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS COST TEN TIMES AS MUCH AS THEY USED TO FOR NO REASON, PLUS THEY SEEM TO BE GOING DOWN IN QUALITY, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY, AND WE’RE MOSTLY JUST DESPERATELY FLAILING AROUND LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS HERE.” State that clearly, and a lot of political debates take on a different light.

For example: some people promote free universal college education, remembering a time when it was easy for middle class people to afford college if they wanted it. Other people oppose the policy, remembering a time when people didn’t depend on government handouts. Both are true! My uncle paid for his tuition at a really good college just by working a pretty easy summer job – not so hard when college cost a tenth of what it did now. The modern conflict between opponents and proponents of free college education is over how to distribute our losses. In the old days, we could combine low taxes with widely available education. Now we can’t, and we have to argue about which value to sacrifice.

Or: some people get upset about teachers’ unions, saying they must be sucking the “dynamism” out of education because of increasing costs. Others people fiercely defend them, saying teachers are underpaid and overworked. Once again, in the context of cost disease, both are obviously true. The taxpayers are just trying to protect their right to get education as cheaply as they used to. The teachers are trying to protect their right to make as much money as they used to. The conflict between the taxpayers and the teachers’ unions is about how to distribute losses; somebody is going to have to be worse off than they were a generation ago, so who should it be?

And the same is true to greater or lesser degrees in the various debates over health care, public housing, et cetera.

Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. Suddenly people have to choose between drinking and washing dishes. Activists argue that taking a shower is a basic human right, and grumpy talk show hosts point out that in their day, parents taught their children not to waste water. A coalition promotes laws ensuring government-subsidized free water for poor families; a Fox News investigative report shows that some people receiving water on the government dime are taking long luxurious showers. Everyone gets really angry and there’s lots of talk about basic compassion and personal responsibility and whatever but all of this is secondary to why does water costs ten times what it used to?

I think this is the basic intuition behind so many people, even those who genuinely want to help the poor, are afraid of “tax and spend” policies. In the context of cost disease, these look like industries constantly doubling, tripling, or dectupling their price, and the government saying “Okay, fine,” and increasing taxes however much it costs to pay for whatever they’re demanding now.

If we give everyone free college education, that solves a big social problem. It also locks in a price which is ten times too high for no reason. This isn’t fair to the government, which has to pay ten times more than it should. It’s not fair to the poor people, who have to face the stigma of accepting handouts for something they could easily have afforded themselves if it was at its proper price. And it’s not fair to future generations if colleges take this opportunity to increase the cost by twenty times, and then our children have to subsidize that.

I’m not sure how many people currently opposed to paying for free health care, or free college, or whatever, would be happy to pay for health care that cost less, that was less wasteful and more efficient, and whose price we expected to go down rather than up with every passing year. I expect it would be a lot.

And if it isn’t, who cares? The people who want to help the poor have enough political capital to spend eg $500 billion on Medicaid; if that were to go ten times further, then everyone could get the health care they need without any more political action needed. If some government program found a way to give poor people good health insurance for a few hundred dollars a year, college tuition for about a thousand, and housing for only two-thirds what it costs now, that would be the greatest anti-poverty advance in history. That program is called “having things be as efficient as they were a few decades ago”.

V.

In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that his grandchildrens’ generation would have a 15 hour work week. At the time, it made sense. GDP was rising so quickly that anyone who could draw a line on a graph could tell that our generation would be four or five times richer than his. And the average middle-class person in his generation felt like they were doing pretty well and had most of what they needed. Why wouldn’t they decide to take some time off and settle for a lifestyle merely twice as luxurious as Keynes’ own?

Keynes was sort of right. GDP per capita is 4-5x greater today than in his time. Yet we still work forty hour weeks, and some large-but-inconsistently-reported percent of Americans (76? 55? 47?) still live paycheck to paycheck.

And yes, part of this is because inequality is increasing and most of the gains are going to the rich. But this alone wouldn’t be a disaster; we’d get to Keynes’ utopia a little slower than we might otherwise, but eventually we’d get there. Most gains going to the rich means at least some gains are going to the poor. And at least there’s a lot of mainstream awareness of the problem.

I’m more worried about the part where the cost of basic human needs goes up faster than wages do. Even if you’re making twice as much money, if your health care and education and so on cost ten times as much, you’re going to start falling behind. Right now the standard of living isn’t just stagnant, it’s at risk of declining, and a lot of that is student loans and health insurance costs and so on.

What’s happening? I don’t know and I find it really scary."
scottalexander  economics  education  history  politics  policy  prices  inflation  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  bureaucracy  costdisease  healthcare  spending  us  government  medicine  lifeexpectancy  salaries  teachers  teaching  schools  regulation  tylercowen  poverty  inequality  litigation  litigiousness  labor  housing  rent  homes  subways  transportation  health 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Gautam Bhan: A bold plan to house 100 million people | TED Talk | TED.com
"Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata -- all the major cities across India have one great thing in common: they welcome people arriving in search of work. But what lies at the other end of such openness and acceptance? Sadly, a shortage of housing for an estimated 100 million people, many of whom end up living in informal settlements. Gautam Bhan, a human settlement expert and researcher, is boldly reimagining a solution to this problem. He shares a new vision of urban India where everyone has a safe, sturdy home. (In Hindi with English subtitles)"

[via: "lovely @GautamBhan80's short, succinct explanation of our cities' relationship with informal housing deserves whatsapp virality"
https://twitter.com/supriyan/status/940453565276987394 ]
urbanization  urban  urbanism  housing  slums  settlements  india  gautambhan  2017  eviction  land  property  homes  place  cities  urbanplanning  planning  thailand  informal  inequality  growth  squatting  class 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Caring: A Labor of Stolen Time | LIES Journal
"Their years of laboring in the boom era are measured now in Medicare and other insurance policies that pay for their last years in the nursing home. Some who are still mentally aware try to escape, others make their best out of their circumstances, participating in the home’s activities. All know that the moment dementia or Alzheimer’s sinks in further, the fate that lies before them is not much different from anyone else’s. Their whiteness may have saved them from some of America’s miseries, but it has not saved them from this place, and it will not save them from the grave. They have witnessed too, with their own eyes, ears, and bodies, how America runs on stolen time.

We cross paths in the nursing home, an environment built for the outcasts. Mass-produced meals, mass-produced standards, mass-produced workers dying on America’s scrap heap. In this mess, we all lose some aspects of who we are. Perhaps by uniting on stolen time, we can regain what we involuntarily lost."
care  caring  2017  labor  nursing  homes 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Boom-mates: How Empty Nesters Could Help Ease a Housing Shortage - Trulia's Blog
"It’s a tale of two generations. In America’s most expensive housing markets millennials struggle to find affordable housing. Meanwhile, nine in 10 retirement-age baby boomers and older Americans want to stay in their homes even as costs rise.

Prices are high, inventory is low, and new housing growth is stagnating. But what if these two generations got together to solve their mutual housing-related problems?

We looked at the 100 largest housing markets to find people living in homes with at least two bedrooms more than the number of occupants ­– to account for a guest room or office – owned by the oldest Americans. We found tens of thousands of homes have nearly 3.6 million unoccupied rooms that could be rented out.

For retired or soon-to-retire boomers, extra rooms are an opportunity to supplement income and offset cost-of-living increases – as much as an additional $14,000 a year. For many older Americans, renting a room provides an economic boost that may help them stay in a home longer."
housing  housingcrisis  cities  us  homes  2017  emptynesters  babyboomers  boomers 
july 2017 by robertogreco
The Painter of Jalouzi - YouTube
"The film tells the story of one citizen from Jalouzi, one of the largest slums in Haiti, who is determined to bring color to the impoverished area by helping paint the entire town, literally.

Believing that color has the power to transform his community, he’s helping to paint everywhere – on houses, on buses, and the entire hillside. Armed with brushes of bright blues, pastel pinks, and sunshine yellows, he’s helping to mobilize citizens of all ages, determined to turn the grey town into a rainbow full of color to lead the way to a brighter Haiti."
haiti  jalouzi  color  2015  painting  homes 
february 2017 by robertogreco
BLUE architecture studio sandwiches home for six in hutong
"despite the challenging L-shaped site and compact location, beijing-based firm B.L.U.E architecture studio has managed to sandwich a functional, comfortable home for a family of six in-between an existing hutong wall and two-storey building. located in a hutong neighborhood in the historical center of beijing, the project addresses the small 43 sqm layout with a response that maximizes storage, space-saving methods, light and height to create an illusion of a more spacious living area."
homes  housing  small  architecture  design  2016  b.l.u.earchitecturestudio  beijing 
november 2016 by robertogreco
California Today: The Rise of a Design Capital - The New York Times
"Overseas, California as a brand is now a crucial selling point for product makers when it comes to technology, automobiles and architecture.

“If you’re able to say, ‘Hey, this is truly Californian,’ there is a real appeal to it,” said Kevin Klowden, the executive director of the Milken Institute’s California Center.

That cachet, of course, has been supercharged by Silicon Valley. Design scholars point to Apple’s devices. Even as its manufacturing moved overseas, the company added a line to its products: “Designed by Apple in California.”

But what does California design say to consumers?

Simon Sadler, a professor of design at U.C. Davis who is principally interested in architecture, talked about the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Coast Highway, the open style of modern homes, as well as an intangible sense of “magic and possibility.”

“We don’t do monuments, we do nodes,” he said. “And this is how we end up with the most famous California design of modern times, which is the iPhone. You know, it’s barely there. It’s always just an interface.”

Kevin Starr, the California historian, said global enthusiasm for the Golden State was in some ways recasting landscapes well beyond the state’s borders. On the roads, cars by nearly every automaker that sell in the United States are now designed in California.

And take a look at architecture around the world, Dr. Starr added: “Places like New Zealand, Australia, Argentina — they are all beginning to increasingly look like California. It’s the internationalization of design out of California.”

Many design experts still point to New York, with its recognizable monuments, as America’s design capital. There has long been a feeling in architectural circles that New York looked down on California. But that may be changing.

“What is surely exasperating for our colleagues on the East Coast is whether or not we’re ditsy, we’re onto something,” Professor Sadler said. “And the ascent of California as a center of design has been unstoppable.”"



[and at the end]

"In the 1960s, when a new bridge bisected the largely Mexican-American neighborhood of Barrio Logan in San Diego, residents were outraged.

They responded by painting colorful murals on the bridge’s concrete columns that depicted Chicano heritage and heroes. Over time, Chicano Park, as it was named, became home to dozens of the soaring artworks along with sculptures and landscaping.

Now, a campaign is underway to designate the park as a national historic landmark.

Representative Juan Vargas, a Democrat in San Diego, introduced a bill last year that would require the secretary of the interior to assess the park’s suitability for the designation.

On Wednesday, the measure was unanimously approved by a congressional committee.

Nominees for the National Historic Landmarks program are chosen for their historical as well as aesthetic value. In California, 145 structures bear the designation, among them bridges, forts and churches.

In a statement, Mr. Vargas said Chicano Park deserved to be included, calling it “a cultural mecca that highlights the activist and artistic contributions of our local community.”"
california  design  2016  architecture  technology  apple  simonsadler  kevinstarr  iphone  cars  homes  barriologan  chicanopark  sandiego  modernism  nodes 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Maira Kalman’s Bohemian Bliss Above a Bakery - WSJ
"The illustrator and writer recalls her artist husband, Tibor, and their first Greenwich Village apartment"



"Artist Maira Kalman, 65, is the author and illustrator of 24 books, including “My Favorite Things” (Harper Design) and “Ah-Ha to Zig” (Rizzoli), both based on a December exhibit she is curating for New York’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She spoke with Marc Myers.

The apartment I shared with my late husband, Tibor, between 1976 and 1982, wasn’t pretty but we were happy. We both came of age in that fifth-floor tenement walk-up at 29 Cornelia St. in New York’s Greenwich Village. I was just beginning to illustrate and Tibor was starting M & Co., his graphic-design firm. We didn’t need much.

The railroad apartment had three rooms, one after the next. What we lacked in space and fancy furnishings was more than made up for by fun and love. Back then the neighborhood was still home to three generations of Italian families and poor artists. Our rent was $125 a month, and everything was possible in our lives and careers.

Tibor and I met in 1968 while attending New York University. Throughout the early 1970s we would break up and get back together, so we lived in a series of places before settling down. When you entered our Cornelia Street apartment, you were standing in our living room. Then you passed into the kitchen—the center room with a rough concrete trough of a bathtub that had a wooden cover when it wasn’t in use. The third room was a small bedroom that faced the back of A. Zito & Sons bakery. In the morning, the smell of bread baking filled the room.

Tibor and I were both strangely content. Even climbing five flights with groceries or with the laundry was part of the experience. We just thought, here we are, we’re together and in love, and isn’t that great.

Our decorating style was no style at all. Our furnishings were hand-me-downs or things we had found on the street. One piece was a beautiful armchair that we had reupholstered. I still have it. I don’t know why someone chucked it out, but that’s New York.

In the kitchen, we had a ’50s dining table. My studio wasn’t set up yet, so I drew at the kitchen table. I’d draw everywhere, from the park to cafes.

One day, when Tibor was at work, I decided I hated our horrible brown wall-to-wall carpeting. I ripped it up halfway before I became exhausted. When Tibor came home I told him the carpet had to go. He ripped out the other half without a word of complaint. Then I painted the wood floor in the living room butter yellow—the walls were already white—and I instantly felt lighter. That’s what’s interesting about changing layers of your living space. How you feel changes, too.

Eventually Tibor and I wanted more space, so we built a loft bed in the bedroom. It had lots of heavy, raw wood and looked rather dreadful. It was a hippie time, so you have to forgive us. At one point we also upgraded the kitchen by ripping out the tub and putting in a shower.

We were always putting up and taking down art from the walls. One night we hung an onion ring on a nail high up on the kitchen wall. I don’t remember why. I was from Israel and Tibor was from Hungary, so we were always fascinated by vernacular. Fast food was part of the American scene—diners, coffee shops and hamburger stands. All of that Americana was joyful and optimistic and funny to us. That was the beginning of our onion-ring collection. The onion rings we installed never deteriorated, which was amazing. We had dozens of them, and some we framed and gave to friends.

When I think back to our apartment now, I think of it as empty—just shapes of rooms and light. What I do remember vividly is that the space was filled with friendship and love and a never-ending curiosity about everything.

Tibor and I married in 1981, and the following year we moved to a one-bedroom apartment on 12th Street when I became pregnant with our daughter, Lulu. We soon bought the place. A few years later, Tibor and I had a son named Alex, at which point we also bought the apartment next door. Tibor died in 1999, and I still live here.

I’m about to have my apartment repainted white, as always, but I fear it’s going to be a daunting task. There are too many whites to choose from."
mairakalman  tiborkalman  love  life  living  homes  2014  experience  cv  small  fun  making  white  onionrings  vernacular  nyc 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Off the Grid on a Homemade Island - YouTube
"Floating off the coast of Vancouver Island, a 45-minute boat ride to the nearest town, is a sustainable island fortress complete with a dance floor, art gallery and garden. For artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams, this is home: a labor of love 24 years in the making."

[via: http://www.designboom.com/design/freedom-cove-vancouver-island-floating-sustainable-island-08-12-2016/ ]
homes  britishcolumbia  water  art  artists  catherineking  wayneadams  vancouverisland  subsistenceliving  floating 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Anybody want to live rent-free in a house in a Japanese beach town for two years? | RocketNews24
[images throughout]

"Non-Japanese applicants also being accepted for unique housing program from interior goods brand Mujirushi.

It’s hard to find a much classier town in Japan than Kamakura. Located on the coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, the city is most famous for its Great Buddha statue, seen in countless travel and cultural guidebooks, but that’s only the most well-known of the many historically significant sites in temple– and shrine-studded Kamakura. The close proximity of the mountains and the sea make the town a great place for nature lovers, yet it’s still less than a half-hour by train from cosmopolitan Yokohama, and even Tokyo is under 45 minutes away.

But perhaps the greatest thing about Kamakura is that, if you’re lucky enough to be chosen by interior goods company Mujirushi Ryohin (also known as Muji), you could live there for free.

Mujirushi already sells a wide variety of houseware and appliances, and in recent years it’s dabbled in housing, with its Mado no Ie, or “Window House,” residences that make the use of natural light a major design theme. The company will soon be building a new Window House (similar to the one shown in the video below) in Kamakura, and is looking for someone to live in it.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yir1xX8djb4 ]

You’ll notice we didn’t say “someone to buy” or “someone to rent” it. That’s because the selected applicant will be living in the home for free for two years. You’ll still have to pay for your own utilities and groceries, but you won’t need to give Mujirushi a single yen for use of the house itself.

While the exact floorplan is yet to be finalized, many of the other details are already set. The wood-frame detached home will be two stories tall and have at least 80 square meters (861 square feet) of total floor space. It will be located roughly 15 minutes on foot from Kamakura Station, and include a garden and parking space. Oh, and of course it comes fully furnished with understatedly stylish Mujirushi-brand furniture and appliances.

In exchange for living rent-free, the home’s occupants will be asked to participate in photo shoots, presentations, and feedback programs regarding the project. Mujirushi offers its assurances, however, that the residents’ privacy will be respected, and that no hidden cameras or other monitoring devices of that ilk will be placed in the home.

Mujirushi is also being extremely inclusive regarding who can apply for the home. Families or singles are welcome to throw their hats in the ring, as are groups of friends wanting to live together and pet owners. The company has also stated that non-Japanese applicants are also welcome, although they will need to be proficient in the Japanese language.

Applications can be made here between now and August 31, with the successful candidates moving into their Kamakura home next March."
muji  homes  japan  2016  furniture  housing  mujirushi  kamakura  kanagawa 
august 2016 by robertogreco
My Favorite Vacation: Summer Camp - The New York Times
"Camp days unfurled through hours of things utterly foreign to me: tennis, and beadwork, and operetta (yes, we sang farces, in French, of course) and swimming, miles of swimming in water so cold we would feel as if our hearts and lungs would explode in those first few weeks of summer. Water so dark we couldn’t see our fingers as they pulled through a stroke.

My childhood had been one of public school days, then hours at the piano practicing for the competitions in which my mother would enroll me, then hours and hours of homework. I didn’t have “play dates” — what a waste of time, and besides, these American girls weren’t properly raised, and their mothers! They wasted time playing tennis, and gardening. I certainly wasn’t allowed to participate in anything that involved balls hurtling at me at high speeds. I might break a finger.

Suddenly, my life was one long, wonderful play date. I developed deep friendships, with people of my choosing, and we not only talked about everything, a first for me, but we did things together. Active, sporting things."



"I am a creature of habit. When I find somewhere I like, I settle. I don’t have a bucket list of places I want to see before I die. But I do have a bucket list of ways I want to live until I die. When I visit any new place, I’m filled with fantasies of how, exactly, I could live in a cottage on the coast of Wales, or a beach shack on the shores of Baja. Easily. What I learned at camp was that I love the absorption into a communal culture, with its structures and values, but that I also enjoy that as a springboard for testing my limits, and that engaging with the magic and beauty of our natural world is deeply meaningful, and comforting, to me. I never want to be far from water, and I need a fireplace.

Eventually, the camp closed down. On its site is a state park. But a few times in my life, I’ve fallen in love with houses in which I could recreate some sense of the freedom, discovery and splendor of those days. Houses that were rough and creaky and could be opened to the outdoors without worry of what damp air might do to them. Houses against which I could bank up kayaks and canoes. Houses where I could garden, because I can give myself permission to get my hands dirty.

Continue reading the main story
One of the first things I do, wherever I spend my summer vacations, is to find the spot for a campfire. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to mix a Manhattan, head into the woods surrounding my house in Rhode Island, set up my campfire, and watch it burn.

I have a dear friend from camp days who lives nearby in summer. She and her spouse came over one evening with their young children. I had all the activities planned: the walk on the mossy path, the search for a salamander that had mysteriously appeared on my doorstep, and a campfire.

I had piled it high, carefully structured, just as I had been taught. I lit a match to it while the children sat on a couple of big rocks I had had dragged up to form a circle, and as the sky darkened, and the flames began flicking high up into the air, my dear old camp friend and I burst spontaneously into the song that always started campfires, a song neither of us had sung out loud in front of anyone in, who knows, probably 40 years. “Entendez-vous dans le feu”:

“Entendez-vous dans le feu, Tous ces bruits mystérieux?” (“Do you hear, in the fire, all those mysterious noises?”)

The children were saucer-eyed. So this is what grown-ups do at night. So this is the magic and mystery and pleasure of a fire to guard against the dark. And I was enthralled, too, watching those dear faces gathered around the fire. So this is love. And this is being a grown-up camper in the world, forever young enough to wonder at the mystery and magic and pleasure of it all."
summercamp  dominique  browning  2016  fire  campfires  camp  homes  exploration  learning  howwelean  independence  freedom 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Frances Stonor Saunders · Where on Earth are you? · LRB 3 March 2016
"The one border we all cross, so often and with such well-rehearsed reflexes that we barely notice it, is the threshold of our own home. We open the front door, we close the front door: it’s the most basic geographical habit, and yet one lifetime is not enough to recount all our comings and goings across this boundary. What threshold rites do you perform before you leave home? Do you appease household deities, or leave a lamp burning in your tabernacle? Do you quickly pat down pockets or bag to check you have the necessary equipment for the journey? Or take a final check in the hall mirror, ‘to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet’?

You don’t have a slave to guard your door, as the ancients did, so you set the alarm (or you set the dog, cave canem). Keys? Yes, they’re in your hand. You have ‘the power of the keys’, the right of possession that connects you to thousands of years of legal history, to the rights of sovereigns and states, to the gates of salvation and damnation. You open the door, step through, and turn to close it – through its diminishing arc, the details of your life inside recede. ‘On one side, me and my place,’ Georges Perec wrote:
The private, the domestic (a space overfilled with my possessions: my bed, my carpet, my table, my typewriter, my books, my odd copies of the Nouvelle Revue française); on the other side, other people, the world, the public, politics. You can’t simply let yourself slide from one into the other, can’t pass from one to the other, neither in one direction nor in the other. You have to have the password, have to cross the threshold, have to show your credentials, have to communicate … with the world outside.

You lock the door. You’ve crossed the border. You’ve ignored Pascal’s warning that all humanity’s misery derives from not being able to sit alone in a quiet room. When the Savoyard aristocrat Xavier De Maistre was sentenced to six weeks’ house arrest for duelling in 1790, he turned his detention into a grand imaginary voyage. ‘My room is situated on the 45th degree of latitude,’ he records in A Journey around my Room. ‘It stretches from east to west; it forms a long rectangle, 36 paces in perimeter if you hug the wall.’ And so he sets off, charting a course from his desk towards a painting hung in a corner, and from there he continues obliquely towards the door, but is waylaid by his armchair, which he sits in for a while, poking the fire, daydreaming. Then he bestirs himself again, presses north towards his bed, the place where ‘for one half of our life’ we forget ‘the sorrows of the other half’. And so on, ‘from the expedition of the Argonauts to the Assembly of Notables, from the lowest depths of hell to the last fixed star beyond the Milky Way, to the confines of the universe, to the gates of chaos’. ‘This,’ he declares, ‘is the vast terrain which I wander across in every direction at leisure.’

Whether around your room in forty days, or around the world in eighty days, or around the Circle Line in eighty minutes, whether still or still moving, the self is an act of cartography, and every life a study of borders. The moment of conception is a barrier surpassed, birth a boundary crossed. Günter Grass’s Oskar, the mettlesome hero of The Tin Drum, narrates, in real time, his troubling passage through the birth canal and his desire, once delivered into the world, to reverse the process. The room is cold. A moth beats against the naked light bulb. But it’s too late to turn back, the midwife has cut the cord.

Despite this uncommon ability to report live on his own birth, even Oskar’s power of self-agency is subject to the one inalienable rule: there is only one way into this life, and one way out of it. Everything that happens in between – all the thresholds we cross and recross, all the ‘decisions and revisions that a minute will reverse’ – is bordered by this unbiddable truth. What we hope for is safe passage between these two fixed boundaries, to be able to make something of the experience of being alive before we are required to stop being alive. There’s no negotiating birth or death. What we have is the journey.

On the evening of 3 October 2013, a boat carrying more than five hundred Eritreans and Somalis foundered just off the tiny island of Lampedusa. In the darkness, locals mistook their desperate cries for the sound of seagulls. The boat sank within minutes, but survivors were in the water for five hours, some of them clinging to the bodies of their dead companions as floats. Many of the 368 people who drowned never made it off the capsizing boat. Among the 108 people trapped inside the bow was an Eritrean woman, thought to be about twenty years old, who had given birth as she drowned. Her waters had broken in the water. Rescue divers found the dead infant, still attached by the umbilical cord, in her leggings. The longest journey is also the shortest journey.

Already, in the womb, our brains are laying down neural pathways that will determine how we perceive the world and our place in it. Cognitive mapping is the way we mobilise a definition of who we are, and borders are the way we protect this definition. All borders – the lines and symbols on a map, the fretwork of walls and fences on the ground, and the often complex enmeshments by which we organise our lives – are explanations of identity. We construct borders, literally and figuratively, to fortify our sense of who we are; and we cross them in search of who we might become. They are philosophies of space, credibility contests, latitudes of neurosis, signatures to the social contract, soothing containments, scars.

They’re also death zones, portals to the underworld, where explanations of identity are foreclosed. The boat that sank half a mile from Lampedusa had entered Italian territorial waters, crossing the imaginary line drawn in the sea – the impossible line, if you think about it. It had gained the common European border, only to encounter its own vanishing point, the point at which its human cargo simply dropped off the map. Ne plus ultra, nothing lies beyond.

I have no theory, no grand narrative to explain why so many people are clambering into their own hearses before they are actually dead. I don’t understand the mechanisms by which globalisation, with all its hype of mobility and the collapse of distance and terrain, has instead delivered a world of barricades and partition, in which entire populations seem to be living – and dying – in a different history from mine. All I know is that a woman who believed in the future drowned while giving birth, and we have no idea who she was. And it’s this, her lack of known identity, which places us, who are fat with it, in direct if hopelessly unequal relationship to her.

Everyone reading this has a verified self, an identity, formed through and confirmed by identification, that is attested to be ‘true’. You can’t function in the world without it: you can’t open a bank account, get a credit card or national insurance number, or a driving licence, or access to your email and social media accounts, or a passport or visa, or points on your reward card. You can’t have your tonsils removed without it. You can’t die without it. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, whether you like it or not, the verified self is the governing calculus of your life, the spectrum on which you, as an individual, are plotted from cradle to grave. As Pierre-Joseph Proudhon explained, you must be ‘noted, registered, enumerated, accounted for, stamped, measured, classified, audited, patented, licensed, authorised, endorsed, reprimanded, prevented, reformed, rectified and corrected, in every operation, every transaction, every movement.’"



"All migrants know that the reply to the question ‘Who on earth are you?’ is another question: ‘Where on earth are you?’ And so they want what we’ve got, a verified self that will transport them to our side of history. Thus, the migrant identity becomes a burden to be unloaded. Migrants often make the journey without identity documents, and I mentioned one reason for this, namely that the attempt to obtain them in their country of origin can be very dangerous. Others lose them at the outset when they’re robbed by police or border guards, or by people traffickers en route. Many destroy them deliberately because they fear, not without reason, that our system of verification will be a mechanism for sending them back. In Algeria, they’re called harraga, Arabic for ‘those who burn’. And they don’t only burn their documents: many burn their fingertips on hobs or with lighters or acid, or mutilate them with razors, to avoid biometric capture and the prospect of expulsion. These are the weapons of the weak.

The boat carrying more than five hundred Eritreans and Somalis sank off Lampedusa in October 2013, barely three months after the pope’s visit. Whether they had lost their identity papers, or destroyed them, when facing death the people on board wanted to be known. As the boat listed and took on water, and with most of the women and children stuck below deck, those who knew they wouldn’t make it called out their names and the names of their villages, so that survivors might carry ashore news of their deaths.​5 There isn’t really any other way: there’s no formal identification procedure for those who drown. In Lampedusa’s cemetery, the many plaques that read ‘unidentified migrant’ merely tell us that people have been dying in the Mediterranean for at least 25 years – more than twenty thousand of them, according to current estimates.

Everyone must be counted, but only if they count. Dead migrants don’t count. The woman who drowned while giving birth was not a biometric subject, she was a biodegradable one. I don’t want to reconstitute her as a sentimental artefact, an object to be smuggled into the already crowded room of my bad conscience. But … [more]
borders  identity  cartography  francesstonorsaunders  georgesperec  lampedusa  güntergrass  refugees  identification  personhood  geopolitics  legibility  mobility  passports  pierre-josephproudhon  globalization  thresholds  homes  milankundera  socialmedia  digitalexhaust  rfid  data  privacy  smartphones  verification  biometrics  biometricdata  migration  immigration  popefrancis  facialidentification  visas  paulfussell  stefanzweig  xenophobia  naomimitchison  nobility  surveillance  intentionality  gilbertharding  whauden  lronhubbard  paulekman 
march 2016 by robertogreco
YourCribs
"Digital mass culture is increasingly self-referential, generating social media that displays an endless series of private spaces. Even while most of these spaces are intended only as backdrops in videos or photographs, this is the first time we are able to see inside so many private homes. This video series, entitled YourCribs, combines the cultures surrounding YouTube videos and the early 2000s reality television program, MTV Cribs, which features tours of celebrity homes. Like MTV Cribs, we broadcast a selection of domestic spaces, but unlike the orchestrated tour-guided format of Cribs, we adapt the conventions of YouTube genres that inadvertently expose private interiors to the public sphere.

Season 1 is aired from February - August 2015 on StorefrontTV at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC, and can be viewed as a YouTube playlist.

Creators: Leigha Dennis & Farzin Lotfi-Jam"

"YourCribs #11: A Toaster Review with Glen Cummings
YourCribs #10: A Grater Review with Jen Berean
YourCribs #9: ASMR Liner Notes with Michael Young
YourCribs #8: ASMR Cards with Chris Woebken
YourCribs #7: ASMR Toast with Rosalyne Shieh
YourCribs #6: Unboxing Sound with Daniel Perlin
YourCribs #5: Unboxing Art with Karen Wong
YourCribs #4: Unboxing Books with Bjarke Ingels
YourCribs #3: How to Make a Paperweight with Natalie Jeremijenko
YourCribs #2: How to Make a Paperweight with Jacob Moore
YourCribs #1: How to Make a Paperweight with Keller Easterling"

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGl5Wl6Ov5CwSEYaPxt1MmQ ]

[via: https://twitter.com/justinpickard/status/685338041112592388 ]
leighadennis  farzinlotfi  yourcribs  homes  storefronttv  storefrontforartandarchitecture  nyc  art  design  architecture  mtvcribs  youtube  glencummings  jenberean  michaelyoung  chriswoebken  rosalyneshieh  danielperlin  karenwong  bjarkeingels  nataliejeremijenko  jacobmoore  kellereasterling 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — Michael Pollan, A Place of My Own This is Pollan’s...
"On the rise of the “self” and “a room of one’s own,” and the invention of the “study” during the Renaissance:
The study, it seems, evolved during the Renaissance from a piece of bedroom furniture: the writing desk, escritoire, or secretary, in which a man traditionally kept his ledgers and family documents, usually under lock and key. Personal privacy as we think of it scarcely existed prior to the Renaissance, which is when the wide-open house was first subdivided into specific rooms dedicated to specific purposes; before that time, the locked writing desk was as close to a private space as the house afforded the individual. But as the cultural and political currents of the Renaissance nourished the new humanist conception of self as a distinct individual, there emerged a new desire (at least on the part of those who could afford it) for a place one might go to cultivate this self—for a room of one’s own. The man acquired his study, and the woman her boudoir.

Probably the first genuinely private space in the West, the Renaissance study was a small locked compartment that adjoined the master bedroom, a place where no other soul set foot and where the man of the house withdrew to consult his books and papers, manage the household accounts, and write in his diary.
"
michaelpollan  homes  houses  provacy  renaissance  bedrooms  personalprovacy  studies 
december 2015 by robertogreco
bell hooks: Buddhism, the Beats and Loving Blackness - The New York Times
"G.Y.: Absolutely. You’ve talked about how theory can function as a place of healing. Can you say more about that?

b.h.: I always start with children. Most children are amazing critical thinkers before we silence them. I think that theory is essentially a way to make sense of the world; as a gifted child growing up in a dysfunctional family where giftedness was not appreciated, what held me above water was the idea of thinking through, “Why are Mom and Dad the way they are?” And those are questions that are at the heart of critical thinking. And that’s why I think critical thinking and theory can be such a source of healing. It moves us forward. And, of course, I don’t know about other thinkers and writers, but I have the good fortune every day of my life to have somebody contacting me, either on the streets or by mail, telling me about how my work has changed their life, how it has enabled them to go forward. And what greater gift to be had as a thinker-theorist, than that?"



"G.Y.: Is there a connection between teaching as a space of healing and your understanding of love?

b.h.: Well, I believe whole-heartedly that the only way out of domination is love, and the only way into really being able to connect with others, and to know how to be, is to be participating in every aspect of your life as a sacrament of love, and that includes teaching. I don’t do a lot of teaching these days. I am semi-retired. Because, like any act of love, it takes a lot of your energy."



"G.Y.: You’ve conceptualized love as the opposite of estrangement. Can you say something about that?

b.h.: When we engage love as action, you can’t act without connecting. I often think of that phrase, only connect. In terms of white supremacy right now for instance, the police stopped me a few weeks ago here in Berea, because I was doing something wrong. I initially felt fear, and I was thinking about the fact that in all of my 60-some years of my life in this country, I have never felt afraid of policemen before, but I feel afraid now. He was just total sweetness. And yet I thought, what a horrible change in our society that that level of estrangement has taken place that was not there before.

I know that the essential experience of black men and women has always been different, but from the time I was a girl to now, I never thought the police were my enemy. Yet, what black woman witnessing the incredible abuse of Sandra Bland can’t shake in her boots if she’s being stopped by the police? When I was watching that video, I was amazed the police didn’t shoot her on the spot! White supremacist white people are crazy.

I used to talk about patriarchy as a mental illness of disordered desire, but white supremacy is equally a serious and profound mental illness, and it leads people to do completely and utterly insane things. I think one of the things that is going on in our society is the normalization of mental illness, and the normalization of white supremacy, and the evocation and the spreading of this is part of that mental illness. So remember that we are a culture in crisis. Our crisis is as much a spiritual crisis as it is a political crisis, and that’s why Martin Luther King, Jr. was so profoundly prescient in describing how the work of love would be necessary to have a transformative impact.

G.Y.: And of course, that doesn’t mean that you don’t find an important place in your work for rage, as in your book “Killing Rage”?

b.h.: Oh, absolutely. The first time that I got to be with Thich Nhat Hanh, I had just been longing to meet him. I was like, I’m going to meet this incredibly holy man. On the day that I was going to him, every step of the way I felt that I was encountering some kind of racism or sexism. When I got to him, the first thing out of my mouth was, “I am so angry!” And he, of course, Mr. Calm himself, Mr. Peace, said, “Well, you know, hold on to your anger, and use it as compost for your garden.” And I thought, “Yes, yes, I can do that!” I tell that story to people all the time. I was telling him about the struggles I was having with my male partner at the time and he said, “It is O.K. to say I want to kill you, but then you need to step back from that, and remember what brought you to this person in the first place.” And I think that if we think of anger as compost, we think of it as energy that can be recycled in the direction of our good. It is an empowering force. If we don’t think about it that way, it becomes a debilitating and destructive force.

G.Y.: Since you mentioned Sandra Bland, and there are so many other cases that we can mention, how can we use the trauma that black people are experiencing, or reconfigure that trauma into compost? How can black people do that? What does that look like therapeutically, or collectively?

b.h.: We have to be willing to be truthful. And to be truthful, we have to say, the problem that black people face, the trauma of white supremacy in our lives, is not limited to police brutality. That’s just one aspect. I often say that the issue for young black males is the street. If you only have the streets, you encounter violence on all sides: black on black violence, the violence of addiction, and the violence of police brutality. So the question is why at this stage of our history, with so many wealthy black people, and so many gifted black people, how do we provide a place other than the streets for black males? And it is so gendered, because the street, in an imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, is male, especially when it is dark. There is so much feeling of being lost that it is beyond the trauma of racism. It is the trauma of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, because poverty has become infinitely more violent than it ever was when I was a girl. You lived next door to very poor black people, but who had very joyful lives. That’s not the poverty of today.

G.Y.: How is the poverty of today different?

b.h.: Let’s face it, one of the things white people gave us when they gave us integration was full access to the tormenting reality of desire, and the expectation of constant consumption. So part of the difference of poverty today is this sort of world of fantasy — fantasizing that you’ll win the lottery, fantasizing that money will come. I always cling to Lorraine Hansberry’s mama saying in “A in Raisin in the Sun,” “Since when did money become life?” I think that with the poverty of my growing up that I lived with and among, we were always made to feel like money is not what life is all about. That’s the total difference for everyone living right now, because most people in our culture believe money is everything. That is the big tie, the connecting tie to black, white, Hispanic, native people, Asian people — the greed and the materialism that we all invest in and share.

G.Y.: When you make that claim, I can see some readers saying that bell is pathologizing black spaces.

b.h.: As I said, we have normalized mental illness in this society. So it’s not the pathologizing of black spaces; it’s saying that the majority of cultural spaces in our society are infused with pathology. That’s why it’s so hard to get out of it, because it has become the culture that is being fed to us every day. None of us can escape it unless we do so by conscious living and conscious loving, and that’s become harder for everybody. I don’t have a problem stating the fact that trauma creates wounds, and most of our wounds are not healed as African-Americans. We’re not really different in that way from all the others who are wounded. Let’s face it — wounded white people frequently can cover up their wounds, because they have greater access to material power.

I find it fascinating that every day you go to the supermarket, and you look at the people, and you look at us, and you look at all of this media that is parading the sorrows and the mental illnesses of the white rich in our society. And it’s like everybody just skips over that. Nobody would raise the question, “why don’t we pathologize the rich?” We actually believe that they suffer mental illness, and that they deserve healing. The issue for us as black people is that very few people feel that we deserve healing. Which is why we have very few systems that promote healing in our lives. The primary system that ever promoted healing in black people is the church, and we see what is going on in most churches today. They’ve become an extension of that material greed.

G.Y.: As you shared being stopped by police, I thought of your book “Black Looks: Race and Representation,” where you describe whiteness as a site of terror. Has that changed for you?

b.h.: I don’t think that has changed for most black people. That particular essay, “Representations of Whiteness in the Black Imagination,” talks about whiteness, the black imagination, and how many of us live in fear of whiteness. And I emphasize the story about the policeman because for many of us that fear of whiteness has intensified. I think that white people, for the most part, never think about black people wanting to be in black only spaces, because we do not feel safe.

In my last book, “Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice,” I really wanted to raise and problematize the question: Where do we feel safe as black people? I definitely return to the home as a place of spiritual possibility, home as a holy place.

I bought my current house from a conservative white male capitalist who lives across the street from me, and I’m so happy in my little home. I tell people, when I open the doors of my house it’s like these arms come out, and they’re just embracing me. I think that is part of our radical resistance to the culture of domination. I know that I’m not who he imagined in this little house. He imagined a nice white family with two kids, and I think on some level it was very hard for … [more]
bellhooks  2015  georgeyancy  buddhism  christianity  spirituality  religion  race  class  patriarchy  racism  classism  mentalillness  money  greed  mentalhealth  society  capitalism  consumerism  materialism  domination  power  gender  feminism  idenity  listening  love  humor  martinlutherkingjr  cornelwest  allies  influence  homes  intellectualism  theory  practice  criticalthinking  pedagogy  writing  children  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  howweteach  oedagogy  solitude  workinginpublic  publicintellectuals  narcissism  healing  malcolmx  blackness  whitesupremacy  abandonment  betrayal  anger  masculinity  markmcleodbethune  resistance  safety  whiteness  terror  wealth  imperialism  inequality  pathology  poverty  truth  truthfulness  sandrabland  thichnhathanh  activism  estrangement  everyday  humanism  humanization  humility  grace  change  changemaking  transformation  canon  empowerment  composting  desire  lotteries  lorrainehansberry  araisininthesun  culture  trauma  sorrow  leadership  psychology  self-determination  slow  small  beatpoets  jackkerouac  garysnyder  beatpoetry  ethics 
december 2015 by robertogreco
urko sanchez designs a secure village for children in djibouti
"located in the horn of africa, djibouti is a country that suffers from persistent droughts and continuous water scarcity. within this context, urko sanchez architects was asked by SOS kinderdorf to complete a children’s village comprising 15 individual houses. the complex responds to the region’s extreme weather conditions as well as local community traditions.

the design team sought to understand housing in similar cultural and climatic environments, before basing their plan on three key principles. firstly, it was essential that the development formed a safe environment for children, with no cars permitted inside. consequently, this allows the scheme’s narrow streets and squares to become constant places of recreation. secondly, it was decided that there should be plenty of open space, with public and private areas clearly defined. finally, the team wanted to integrate natural vegetation, with inhabitants encouraged to take care of their own plants and trees.

all houses follow the same layout, but are arranged in different ways — placed close to each other in order to offer shade. natural ventilation was also taken into consideration, with chimneys positioned to discharge heat where needed. the project was possible thanks to an international team, with local builders helping in the village’s construction."

[See also:
https://vimeo.com/135959412
http://urkosanchez.com/en/project/19/sos-children-s-village.html ]
architecture  homes  cars  djibouti  children  houses  design  safety  urkosanchez 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Refugee camps are the "cities of tomorrow", says aid expert
"Governments should stop thinking about refugee camps as temporary places, says Kilian Kleinschmidt, one of the world's leading authorities on humanitarian aid (+ interview).

"These are the cities of tomorrow," said Kleinschmidt of Europe's rapidly expanding refugee camps. "The average stay today in a camp is 17 years. That's a generation."

"In the Middle East, we were building camps: storage facilities for people. But the refugees were building a city," he told Dezeen.

Kleinschmidt said a lack of willingness to recognise that camps had become a permanent fixture around the world and a failure to provide proper infrastructure was leading to unnecessarily poor conditions and leaving residents vulnerable to "crooks".

"I think we have reached the dead end almost where the humanitarian agencies cannot cope with the crisis," he said. "We're doing humanitarian aid as we did 70 years ago after the second world war. Nothing has changed."

Kleinschmidt, 53, worked for 25 years for the United Nations and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in various camps and operations worldwide. He was most recently stationed in Zaatari in Jordan, the world's second largest refugee camp – before leaving to start his own aid consultancy, Switxboard.

He believes that migrants coming into Europe could help repopulate parts of Spain and Italy that have been abandoned as people gravitate increasingly towards major cities.

"Many places in Europe are totally deserted because the people have moved to other places," he said. "You could put in a new population, set up opportunities to develop and trade and work. You could see them as special development zones which are actually used as a trigger for an otherwise impoverished neglected area."

Refugees could also stimulate the economy in Germany, which has 600,000 job vacancies and requires tens of thousands of new apartments to house workers, he said.

"Germany is very interesting, because it is actually seeing this as the beginning of a big economic boost," he explained. "Building 300,000 affordable apartments a year: the building industry is dreaming of this!"

"It creates tons of jobs, even for those who are coming in now. Germany will come out of this crisis."

Kleinschmidt told Dezeen that aid organisations and governments needed to accept that new technologies like 3D printing could enable refugees and migrants to become more self-sufficient.

"With a Fab Lab people could produce anything they need – a house, a car, a bicycle, generating their own energy, whatever," he said.

His own attempts to set up a Zaatari Fab Lab – a workshop providing access to digital fabrication tools – have been met with opposition.

"That whole concept that you can connect a poor person with something that belongs to the 21st century is very alien to even most aid agencies," he said. "Intelligence services and so on from government think 'my god, these are just refugees, so why should they be able to do 3D-printing? Why should they be working on robotics?' The idea is that if you're poor, it's all only about survival."

"We have to get away from the concept that, because you have that status – migrant, refugee, martian, alien, whatever – you're not allowed to be like everybody else."

Read the edited transcript from our interview with Kilian Kleinschmidt:

Talia Radford: Why did you leave the UN?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: I left the the UN to be as disruptive as possible, as provocative as possible, because within the UN of course there is certain discipline. I mean I was always the rebel.

Talia Radford: What is there to rebel about?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: I think we have reached the dead end almost where the humanitarian agencies cannot cope with the crisis. We're doing humanitarian aid as we did 70 years ago after the second world war. Nothing has changed.

In the Middle East, we were building camps: storage facilities for people. But the refugees were building a city.

These are the cities of tomorrow. The average stay today in a camp is 17 years. That's a generation. Let's look at these places as cities.

Talia Radford: Why aren't refugee camps flourishing into existing cities?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: It's down to the stupidity of the aid organisations, who prefer to waste money and work in a non-sustainable way rather than investing in making them sustainable.

Talia Radford: Why are people coming to Europe?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: Everybody who is coming here right now is an economic migrant. They are not refugees. They were refugees in Jordan, but they are coming to Europe to study, to work, to have a perspective for their families. In the pure definition, it's a migration issue.

Right now everybody is going to Germany because in Germany they have 600,000 job vacancies. So of course there is an attraction, and there is space. Once the space is filled, nobody will go there anymore. They will go somewhere else.

Talia Radford: How do refugees – or economic migrants – know where to go? Via the media?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: No, it's all done through Whatsapp!

Talia Radford: What is the relationship between migration and technology?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: Every Syrian refugee in the Zaatari camp has been watching Google self-driving cars moving around, so [they] don't believe the information only belongs to the rich people anymore.

We did studies in the Zaatari camp on communication. Everybody had a cellphone and 60 per cent had a smartphone. The first thing people were doing when they came across the border was calling back home to Syria and saying "hey we made it". So the big, big thing was to distribute Jordanian sim cards.

Once we had gotten over the riots over water and lots of other things that politicised the camp, the next big issue was internet connectivity.

Talia Radford: What are the infrastructure requirements of a mass influx of refugees?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: The first is the logistics of accommodation: that's the survival bit. Everyone is struggling with this now, in reception centres, camps – every country in the world is dealing with this. Eighty-five to 90 per cent of any people on the move will be melting into the population so the real issue is how you deal with a sudden higher demand for accommodation.

Germany says that they suddenly need 300 to 400,000 affordable housing units more per year. It's about dealing with the structural issues, dealing with the increased population, and absorbing them into existing infrastructure.

Talia Radford: How do you see the refugee situation in Europe now?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: The discussion in Germany is quite interesting, because they currently have 600,000 jobs to fill, but they are all in places where there is no housing. It's all in urban centres where they have forgotten to build apartments.

Half of east Germany is empty. Half of southern Italy is empty. Spain is empty. Many places in Europe are totally deserted.

You could redevelop some of these empty cities into free-trade zones where you would put in a new population and actually set up opportunities to develop and trade and work. You could see them as special development zones, which are actually used as a trigger for an otherwise impoverished, neglected area.

Germany is very interesting, because it is actually seeing this as the beginning of a big economic boost. Building 300,000 apartments a year: the building industry is dreaming of this! It creates tons of jobs, even for those who are coming in now. Germany will come out of this crisis.

In Pakistan, in Jordan, they say "Oh no! These people are all going back in five minutes so we're not building any apartments for them! Put them in tents, put them in short-lived solutions." What they are losing is actually a real opportunity for progress, for change. They are losing an opportunity for additional resources, capacities, know-how.

Talia Radford: What other technologies have you dealt with in relation to refugees and migration?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: Energy is the big one. Things are finally moving because of the energy storage, which we suddenly have with the Tesla batteries for instance. Decentralised production of energy is the way forward. Thirty per cent of the world's population does not have regular access to energy. We could see a mega, mega revolution. With little investment we can set up a solar-power plant that not only provides power to the entire camp, but can also be sold to the surrounding settlements.

And water. In the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Danish groundwater pump supplier Grundfos partnered with a water company and you now have a smart-water terminal in the slum, where with smart cards you can buy clean drinking water.

You buy your water from a safe location for a fraction of what the crooks of the water business in Nairobi would sell the water for. So suddenly it becomes affordable, it becomes safe, and you can manage the quantities yourself.

A lot of change is facilitated by mobile phones. No poor person has a bank account any more in Kenya. Everybody has an M-Pesa account on their mobile phone. All transactions are done with their mobile phone. They don't need banks. They pay their staff now with your mobile phone. You charge their M-Pesa account.

Talia Radford: Are any of these services being set up at refugee camps?

Kilian Kleinschmidt: At Zaatari, the UNHCR never planned to provide electricity for the households. So people took it themselves from the power lines running through the camp. Electricity means safety, it means social life, it means business. Big business! People were charging €30 per connection and more.

With a $3 million investment in pre-paid meters, you could have ensured every household would get a certain subsidised quantity of energy. The UNHCR didn't think it would have $3 million to invest in the equipment, and so it is spending a million dollars a month of taxpayers' money on an unmanaged electricity bill.

Talia Radford: You helped set up a Fab Lab… [more]
immigration  cities  humanitarianaid  urban  urbanism  kiliankleinschmidt  unhcr  zaatari  jordan  refugees  refugeecamps  switxboard  europe  germany  economics  españa  spain  italy  italia  fabricationtaliaradford  interviews  migration  employment  jobs  work  fablabs  safety  infrastructure  kenya  nairobi  kibera  grundfos  energy  decentralization  solarpower  solar  batteries  technology  pakistan  housing  homes  politics  policy  syria 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Power Positions | Dirty Furniture
"When it comes to taking a seat at the table, not all sides are created equal. Architecture and design critic Alexandra Lange considers an underexplored mechanism of control.

From 1959 architect Philip Johnson would lunch at a corner table in the Grill Room, part of the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building he designed. Contemporaries Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Dreyfuss held court at the Oak Room in New York’s Plaza Hotel. How can Johnson’s decision to make his own Oak Room be interpreted as anything other than a power play? Here everyone had to sit, literally, at his table. Clients, colleagues, supplicants, artists: on his own turf, the architect trumped them all. And the table itself laid bare an unspoken hierarchy, depending on where you sat.

All tables do: choose a seat close to or far away from the seat of power and you reveal your sense of place. Take the seat you’ve been allocated and you find out where others place you. If you don’t like your position you can move, or, if an Arthurian knight, fight. It is more subtle, though, to change the rules of engagement by changing the shape of the board."



"The Boardroom Table"



"The Kitchen Table"



"The Schoolroom Table"



"In some offices, homes and schoolrooms, the table is now in decline. Meetings today might be held in break-out areas defined by soft furniture, stadium-style steps, or even foam mountains. With low-slung sofas and side tables, such landscaped interior spaces may come closer to Saarinen’s floor-level Katsura ideal, albeit without the elaborate manners and tatami mats. In today’s suburban kitchens, meanwhile, meals are as likely eaten at the counter or on the sofa as at a table. Family dinners have become nothing but a fetish for food writers. As schools embrace technology, communal writing surfaces become less necessary – the laptop is table, pen and pad in one. In each of these new scenarios some freedoms are gained, but chances for conversation are lost. The table gives and it takes away: it can harden hierarchies but also create the space for speech.

The idea of an architect as a fixed physical presence in a city seems quaint today; one imagines them instead in transit, on the phone, or on site. I hardly want architects to return to public life patronising from the corner table, but wouldn’t there be some benefit to watching their design work at work, to staking a claim for architecture’s importance to cities through their physical presence? The history of the table proves its versatility as a symbol for how people are connected to one another. Its disappearance suggests a retreat into individual architectures for eating, working, learning that can’t bode well for diplomats, housewives, students or business."
alexandralange  tables  power  hierarchy  education  harknesstables  harkness  harknessmethod  2015  architecture  furniture  relationships  teaching  learning  pedagogy  business  boardrooms  modernmen  kitchens  families  homes  offices  officedesign  schooldesign  kingarthur 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Neven Mrgan on Twitter: "Actually Smart home tech: • Induction stove • Ventless 1-tub washer/dryer • Counter-depth fridge • Cordless windowshades • Pull-out cabinets"
"Actually Smart home tech:
• Induction stove
• Ventless 1-tub washer/dryer
• Counter-depth fridge
• Cordless windowshades
• Pull-out cabinets"

"Soft-close drawers"
https://twitter.com/reedreeder/status/621334956460089344

"And timed bathroom fans!"
https://twitter.com/mrgan/status/621335425790033925

"Don't even get me started on toe-kick kitchen floor vacuums"
https://twitter.com/reedreeder/status/621336330300207106

"Refrigerators with the freezer at the bottom."
https://twitter.com/HarshilShah1910/status/621344396139597824
technology  homes  stoves  washers  dryers  refrigerators  windowshades  cabinets  vacuums  fans  nevenmrgan  appliances 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Digital Alchemist
"The family home [https://samslifeinjeddah.wordpress.com/tag/sami-angawi/ ] of architect Sami Angawi [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_Angawi ], Jeddah, Saudi Arabia."



"I just read the links, and omg this is even better.

So I looked at it and knew it was using the open courtyard and the pools and fountains to do a lot of the work of cooling the house, but it’s also got drip irrigation for all of those plants (which adds more moisture to the air and also helps cool it in addition to being an effective and efficient way of watering the plants), it’s got a roof garden and other eco-conscious stuff. It combines modern construction techniques with classic Arabic art and architecture.

And his home is a cultural center.

He holds lectures, concerts and salons in his home, with guests and speakers from around the world. He’s founded multiple institutions to preserve Islamic history and architecture. He’s an activist against the extremist factions he says are trying to hijack Islam.

His home is going to be part of an international institute offering degrees in Islamic history and science, as his legacy, housing a collection of over one hundred thousands of his photos, drawings and writings about Islam and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

This is serious real-life Islamic solarpunk for real.

Tumblr likes the idea of solarpunk, even if there’s not a real body of work about it yet. Well, we’re missing that people are already doing this for real, and have been for a long time.

I am not generally an architecture fan. It’s nice and all, but it doesn’t do a lot for me, especially modern American stuff. But I am totally bowled over by this and must now go look at everything he’s ever designed."
solarpunk  2015  architecture  homes  samiangawi  saudiarabia  jeddah  lcproject  openstudioproject  art  achitecture  design  construction 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Una Vida Moderna | Vista de la terraza del jardín principal, Casa...
"Vista de la terraza del jardín principal, Casa Sotomayor, Paseo de la Reforma 320, Lomas de Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico DF 1964

Arq. Manuel Gonzalez Rul

View of the terrace from the front garden, Casa Sotomayor, Paseo de la Reforma 320, Lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico City 1964"
modenism  architecture  design  mexico  mexicocity  mexicodf  manuelgonzálezrul  1964  homes  df 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Small House H | JA+U
"This guesthouse is located on a site adjacent to an old farmhouse in Gunma prefecture. To architect Kumiko Inui, the surrounding elements were incoherent, so she sought to make the house significant internally. Ms. Inui decided to employ the X-shaped plan she had originally conceived while designing another house in Tokyo (which didn’t get built)."

[embedded video: https://vimeo.com/50732806 ]
small  architecture  japan  homes  housing  tinyhouses  kumikoinui  design  2014  via:chrisberthelsen 
december 2014 by robertogreco
DesignBuildBLUFF & Colorado Building Workshop’s Skow Residence | Impact Design Hub
"“Having received a typical Navajo “home build kit”, the clients, Harold and Helena Skow, had already completed a CMU foundation to accept a traditional rectangular gable-trussed home. Unable to complete the building the Skow’s turned to students from CU-Denver and DesignBuildBLUFF,” begins the story of the sombrero-inspired residence completed last year. Recently featured in Inhabitat and designboom, the home was built using nearly all of the materials provided in the kit. The most notable innovation is how the students  turned the trusses–intended for a traditional gable roof– upside down to achieve the “sombrero” hat. Along with the modern roof structure, the home features straw bale construction and natural earthen plaster to provide a sense of comfort amidst the desert elements.
While walking the site with the clients on their first visit some students took note that Harold wore a large brimmed hat which shielded the harsh sun from his face and neck. When asked about the protective garment Harold commented that everyone should have a sombrero in the desert. Inspired by his comment and resisting the idea of a traditional gable roof house, the team chose to turn the trusses upside down and create a sombrero for Skow’s home.

Click here to read more about the Skow Residence, online at ColoradoBuildingWorkshop.com."

[See also: http://www.coloradobuildingworkshop.com/skowresidence.html
http://inhabitat.com/skow-residence-wears-a-sun-shielding-roof-like-a-hat-in-the-utah-desert/
http://www.designboom.com/architecture/colorado-building-workshop-skow-residence-09-05-2014/ ]
homes  housing  architecture  design  designbuildbluff  2014 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Living Simply in a Dumpster - The Atlantic
"One professor left his home for a 36-square-foot open-air box, and he is happier for it. How much does a person really need?"
tinyhomes  tinyhouses  small  houses  housing  homes  jeffwilson  architecture  dumpsters  2014  jameshamblin 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Galerie Chantal Crousel - Exhibition Dom-Ino - Rirkrit Tiravanija
[via: https://twitter.com/quilian/status/476100905322827780 ]

"Once the sports compétitions (or other shows) over, stadium architectures becomes meaningless. Without spectators, they are nothing but empty shells. The onlookers on the step form a passive controlled mass. Each individuel being completely directed by the spectacle in the center. In an evocation of this center, Rirkrit Tiravanija has chosen to install a replica of the « Dom-Ino » project (1915) by le Corbusier. In this wooden replica, Rirkrit Tiravanija invites the visiter to invest the 2 platforms of the habitat. Thus, the Spectator bec omes the inventer and the actor of his own environment, in the interaction with his fellows visiter. The lower plat-bord is equisetum with a CD and cassette player, a TV monitor, a kitchen corner with table and butagaz-cooker, a low table with poufs. The visiter are invited to use the house as they wish, and to share what they bring or find with the others."
art  architecture  design  rirkrittiravanija  lecorbusier  homes  housing  dom-ino  1915  1998 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The Pantograph Punch — A House of One’s Own: Building The DOGBOX
"The three of us had met at Victoria University’s architecture school in Wellington, where we’d arrived from various parts of the North Island – Tim from Whangarei, Ben from Whanganui and me from rural Taranaki. Over the five years we spent studying together, we discovered that although our degree taught us about the process of building, there wasn’t much actual building involved. None at all, really.

This isn’t true of all architecture schools. There are some with incredible design-build programmes. One of the most well-known is The Rural Studio, where students work on projects in a low socioeconomic community – with that community – trying to battle the myth that good design is something for the wealthy. New Zealand’s best example is Unitec’s programme, simply because they incorporate some actual building into their degree.

That’s not to say that there’s no building at all at Victoria. The First Light House, which was entered into the Solar Decathlon competition in Washington in 2011, was a Victoria University project, involving a group of students from architecture, interior architecture and marketing. In this case, the house was prefabricated in a workshop in six modules and transported to Washington, where it was assembled in seven days.

But for most students that went through our school, you emerge knowing how a building goes together – in theory – but without any experience of the reality of that process. That’s true of the profession, too. An architect’s involvement in the building process is to monitor construction onsite and check that it’s coming together as designed and documented. That involvement gives you an understanding of building, but its’ a very different understanding from the one gained by physically building something – hence the stereotypically acrimonious relationship between builders and architects. Sure, there are architects that build. But they’re the exception."



"The house is not attempting to ‘speak’ of anything – it’s not a symbol or metaphor for something else, and we haven’t post-rationalised a conceptual starting point. The design began with those first objects, and expanded around a multitude of other intertwined concerns. We were concerned with efficiency – spatially, structurally, financially, and environmentally. We wanted to make the most of the sites features and work within its constraints. We wanted to create something comfortable and warm. We considered materials – as much as possible incorporating timbers that didn’t require chemical treatments or paint finishes, and would continue to smell beautiful throughout the life of the house. We thought about colour – and made a unanimous decision to avoid the boring beige and mushroom palette seen all too frequently. And of course, we thought about construction, knowing that we would be physically assembling this design.

We coined the term ‘agri-chic’ to describe the design. To summarise something with mixture of tough and refined elements. The practical and the beautiful.

It was also nice to have a phrase to offer up when asked if it was an ‘eco-bach’ – a term which has slipped into popular usage, and covers such a huge range of possibilities as to be almost meaningless."



"We learnt that tradesmen (I say tradesmen because they are mostly men) are incredibly knowledgeable, and only too happy to pass on that knowledge if you ask. Don, a local concrete placer, floated the concrete slab for us, and taught us a few tricks about working with concrete. It’s just like baking, he said – and then proved it with both neenish tarts and lolly cake. We had a plumber and an electrician who obligingly delivered boxes of supplies and gave us lessons in the basics of their trades. They would return to check on us, answer our questions, and take care of the tricky bits. Arbs, a welder who we found in Whanganui’s industrial zone whipping up playground equipment, helped us with our steel work. He let us take over his workshop and use his gear. He welded for us on the weekends.

Dan at the local mill turned our piles of Trade Me timber into floorboards and cladding. He found some Totara beams ‘lying around out the back’ for us when we jokingly asked if he had anything like that. Tony and the others in Mitre 10′s trade department, who started out thinking we were a strange curiousity, ‘boho-builders’, nonetheless took us seriously – tactfully checking we had things under control by phrasing their advice as questions.

It’s hard to convey how generous all of these people (and many others) were – with their time, their gear, their knowledge, and their patience with us. We might have been novice builders, but we were also demanding perfectionists, watching like hawks when other people were working with us on our project.

We learnt that building is just one thing after another. And all of those things slowly add up."
homes  newzealand  architecture  design  construction  sallyogle  building  accretion  whanganui 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Carles Enrich inserts plywood box inside renovated Barcelona apartment
"Spanish architect Carles Enrich has inserted a plywood box beneath the vaulted ceilings of an early 20th-century apartment in Barcelona to create a new bathroom and kitchen unit."
architectire  design  plywood  carlesenrich  wood  openstudioproject  lcproject  interiors  barcelona  homes  housing 
may 2014 by robertogreco
General Motors Will Build You A Tidy, Little Shipping-Container House
"GM is helping to build Detroit's first homestead made of recycled materials, which will be occupied by a college student studying urban agriculture. Since the homestead will be part of an urban-farm study, the student will serve as caretaker as well as maintain the farmland surrounding the property.

The living space is 320 square feet — 40 feet long, eight feet tall and 10 feet wide. There are two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen.

The project is in collaboration with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, which takes vacant land and repurposes it for better use. I was considering some snark about how maybe they could repurpose a lot of the land around GM's old Fisher Body Plant and maayyybe the building itself into some cool lofts to help eradicate blight in Detroit, but not now...good on GM for this, though!

The materials used in the construction were donated from scrap collected from the Chevy Volt plant in Hamtramck, and other facilities in Michigan and New York. The lucky homesteader gets a bunch of new tech, including Chevrolet Volt battery cases reused as bird houses and planter boxes; sound-deadening vehicle insulation to insulate walls; lockers used as planter boxes and for tool storage; fastener containers for plant/vegetable starter containers; plywood for interior wall cladding and some furniture components; metal parts bins as planter boxes; and wood pallets and other scrap wood for furniture."
gm  generalmotors  shippingcontainers  2014  homes  housing  prefab  detroit 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Two Million Homes for Mexico – MAS CONTEXT
"Text and photographs by Livia Corona Benjamin

In 2000, Mexican presidential candidate Vicente Fox Quesada proposed an unprecedented plan to build two million low-income homes throughout the country during his six-year term. On the eve of his election, Fox proclaimed, “My presidency will be remembered as the era of public housing.” To enact this initiative, the federal government agency INFONAVIT ceded the construction of low-income housing to a small group of private real estate investors. Then, almost overnight, grids of 20 to 80,000 identical homes sprouted up, and they continue to spread in remote agrarian territories throughout the country. To encounter these developments by land, by air, or even via satellite imagery evokes a rare sensation. These are not the neighborhoods of a “Home Sweet Home” dream fulfilled, but are ubiquitous grids of ecological and social intervention on a scale and of consequences that are difficult to grasp. In these places, urbanization is reduced to the mere construction of housing. There are nearly no public amenities—such as schools, parks, and transportation systems. There are few commercial structures—such as banks and grocery stores. Yet demand for these low-income homes continues to increase and developers continue to provide them with extreme efficiency. During Fox’s six-year presidency, 2,350,000 homes were built, at a rate of 2,500 homes per day, and this trend is set to continue. During the past four years, I have been exploring these developments in Two Million Homes for Mexico. Through images, films, and interviews, I look for the space between promises and their fulfillment. In my photographs of multiple developments throughout the country, I consider the rapid redefinition of Mexican “small town” life and the sudden transformation of the Mexican ecological and social landscape. These urban developments mark a profound evolution in our way of inhabiting the world. In my work I seek to give form to their effect upon the experience of the individual. What exactly happens in these two million homes? How do they change over time? How are tens of thousands of lives played out against a confined, singular cultural backdrop?"
mexico  homes  housing  construction  liviacoronabenjamin  architecture  urbanism  photography 
april 2014 by robertogreco
urban think tank introduces the empower shack to the slums of western cape
"international studio urban think tank led by alfredo brillembourg and hubert klumpner are currently exhibiting the ‘empower shack‘ at the galerie eva presenhuber in zurich. the project is developed as an adapting response to urban informality, offering not only improved housing but a strategy that allows the citizens of self-built urban communities to dynamically structure their urban environment as an instant response to their needs. the empower shack was a largely collaborative project between U-TT, south african NGO Ikhayalami (‘my home’), transsolar, brillembourg ochoa foundation, meyer burger, the BLOCK ETH ITA research group, and videocompany. over the course of extensive research and close communication with community leader phumezo tsibanto, a prototype was developed featuring a two story metal-clad modular wood frame structure that is economical for the residents and can be self-built. jumping back in scale, the project also features a master plan that begins to structure informally developed neighborhoods to include courtyards, public space, and improved circulation through a ‘blocking out’ system.  each home is allotted a determined amount of space that allows the structure to expand as the inhabitants need it, still fitting within a more organized framework. transsolar has also made it possible to incorporate solar energy on every rooftop, making each house an energy-producing machine that would provide the necessary electric needs for the immediate residents and community. the ongoing project is intended to alleviate the housing crisis in informal settlements during a time when the government has begun incrementally improving the housing situation."
urbathinktank  capetown  southafrica  homes  housing  slums  alfredobrillembourg  hubertklumpner  empowershack  2014  architecture  design  urban  urbaninformality  informal  transsolar  meyerburger  adaptability 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Freakonomics » Why Are Japanese Homes Disposable? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast
"In most countries, houses get more valuable over time. In Japan, a new buyer will often bulldoze the home. Why? That’s the question we try to answer in our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast, “Why Are Japanese Homes Disposable?” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen via the media player above, or read the transcript.)

Jiro Yoshida, a professor at Penn State University who specializes in real-estate economics, tells us that, per capita, there are nearly four times as many architects in Japan as in the U.S. (here’s data from the International Union of Architects), and more than twice as many construction workers. There is also a huge demand for new homes. When you put all those numbers together, it sounds like a pretty typical housing boom — and yet Japan has a shrinking population and a long-stagnant economy.

It turns out that half of all homes in Japan are demolished within 38 years — compared to 100 years in the U.S. There is virtually no market for pre-owned homes in Japan, and 60 percent of all homes were built after 1980. In Yoshida’s estimation, while land continues to hold value, physical homes become worthless within 30 years. Other studies have shown this to happen in as little as 15 years.

Does this make sense? Not according to Alastair Townsend, a British-American architect living in Japan, who is perplexed — and awestruck — by the housing scenario there:
TOWNSEND: The houses that are built today exceed the quality of just about any other country in the world, at least for timber buildings. So there’s really no reason that they should drop in value and be demolished.

In the podcast, we look into several factors that conspire to produce this strange scenario. They include: economics, culture, World War II, and seismic activity.

Richard Koo, chief economist at the Nomura Research Institute, has argued in a paper called “Obstacles to Affluence: Thoughts on Japanese Housing” that whatever the rationale behind the disposable-home situation, the outcome isn’t desirable:
KOO: And so you tear down the building, you build another one, then you tear down the building, and you keep on building another one, you’re not building wealth on top of wealth…And it’s a very poor investment. Compared to Americans or Europeans, or even other Asian countries where people are building wealth on top of wealth because your house is [a] capital good. And if you do a certain amount of maintenance you can expect to sell the house at a higher price. But in the Japanese case once you expect to sell it you expect to sell at a lower price 10 or 15 years later. And that’s no way to build an affluent society.

All that said, economists continue to debate whether a house is such a great investment in the U.S. One more burst bubble and maybe we’ll all start thinking about the Japanese model."
architecture  japan  economics  design  construction  disposable  disposability  richardkoo  housing  homes  alastairtownsend  jiroyoshido  2014 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Video: Izu Book Cafe / Atelier Bow-Wow | ArchDaily
"Two Izu retirees hired architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima to design them a home equipped with a neighborhood bookshop and cafe. The Japanese practice stepped up to the challenge and constructed an elegant, curved structure whose white walls and wooden ceiling hug the hundred degree undulating street on which its located and embraces the wooded forest it backs to. The home – which features two bedrooms, a kitchen, cafe, bookshop and atelier – is accessed beneath a bridged part of the structure and organized as a sequence. Take a tour through this interesting space with this short video made by JA+U Magazine."

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/57525543 ]
cafes  yoshiharutsukamoto  momoyokaijima  livework  bookshops  homes  japan  architecture  design  atelierbow-wow  2013  bookstores 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Eco Cabin Blog
"ALOHA and WELCOME! This Blog is About Architecture of a Smaller Scale. We explore avenues of Ephemeral Architecture (mobile offices, clinics, pavilions) offering new solutions for small structures and applications for contemporary use. Email me for drawings and comments at: info@ebarc.com MAHALO!"
small  architecture  ephemeral  ephemeralarchitecture  design  pop-ups  homes  housing  ephemerality 
february 2014 by robertogreco
bamboo orphanage at soe ker tie house by TYIN tegnestue
"norwegian office TYIN tegnestue architects has completed ‘soe ker tie house’, an orphanage comprised of six individual sleeping units in noh bo, a small village on the border between thailand and burma, (myanmar). the project caters to refugee children left homeless by many years of conflict in the region, providing its 24 young inhabitants with a comfortable and sustainable living environment. offering both private and communal spaces, the dual nature of the design allows children to socialize through areas of recreation or to spend time alone."
TYINtegnestuearchitects  TYIN  tegnestue  architecture  design  bamboo  homes  housing  thailand  burma  2014 
january 2014 by robertogreco
hans mayr produces casa uno for homeless families in mexico
"mexican architect hans mayr has designed ‘casa uno’, a sustainable and colorful structure for homeless families in the rural areas of mexico. the proposal gained first prize in a competition organized by ‘casita linda’, in which the brief was to produce a concept for those living in extreme poverty in san miguel de allende, four hours north of mexico city. the project is based on two common rural constructions, the vernacular stone house and temporary buildings that utilize low cost materials such as corrugated metal sheets and wood. combining traditional building methods with industrial pieces helps to provide a high level of versatility in its design. the house can easily be adapted to suit the needs of each family, ranging from one to two floors and offering flexible room layouts. the rectangular floor plan, which is commonly found in such buildings in mexico, is also reflected on the interior, acting as a flexible space that can be subdivided for resting or other activities. the entrance features a set of folding doors that can be used as a screen, while also serving as an extension to the main volume during the daytime."
housing  architecture  mexico  handmayr  2014  design  sanmigueldeallende  homes 
january 2014 by robertogreco
When Tokyo Was a Slum – The Informal City Dialogues
"Alongside the futuristic visage of skyscraper Tokyo, a human-scale city lies along rambling roads, where mom-and-pop stores sell soap and sandals, and private homes double as independent shops engaged in local trades like printmaking and woodworking.

This is incremental Tokyo, the foundation upon which the world’s most modern city is built.

Like much of the city, these small hamlets were smoldering ash pits 70 years ago, reduced to rubble by the bombs of Allied forces during World War II. When the war ended, Tokyo’s municipal government, bankrupt and in crisis mode, was in no condition to launch a citywide reconstruction effort. So, without ever stating it explicitly, it nevertheless made one thing clear: The citizens would rebuild the city. Government would provide the infrastructure, but beyond that, the residents would be free to build what they needed on the footprint of the city that once was, neighborhood by neighborhood."



"These mixed-use habitats and low-rise, high-density neighborhoods emerged by default, not design. But though the city didn’t plan them, it considered them legitimate and supported them. Sewage systems, water, electricity and roads were later infused into all parts of Tokyo, leaving no neighborhood behind, regardless of how slummy or messy it looked. Even the traditionally discriminated-against Burakumin areas were eventually provided access to state-of-the-art public services and amenities.

The notion that infrastructure must be adapted to the built environment, rather than the other way around, is a simple yet revolutionary idea. The Tokyo model, combining housing development by local actors and infrastructure from various agencies, explains why that city has some of the best infrastructure in the world today, not to mention a housing stock of great variety and bustling mixed-use neighborhoods.

The House Is a Tool

The relationship between the city’s urban form and its vibrant economy is best illustrated by the idea of homes as tools of production. Many of the houses built in the postwar period in Tokyo were based on the template of the traditional Japanese house, in which a single structure can serve as a shop, workshop, dormitory or family house — and possibly all of those things at once. Official statistics illustrate the scale of the home-based economy. As late as the 1970s, factories employing fewer than 20 employees accounted for 20 percent of the workers and 12.6 percent of the national output in Japan. In Tokyo alone, 99.5 percent of factories had fewer than 300 workers and employed 74 percent of all factory workers, according to economist Takeshi Hayashi. What these numbers tell us is that the Japanese miracle was built not only by large-scale factories, but also relied on a vast web of small producers that often worked from their neighborhoods and their homes."



"For the people who live in Dharavi, this is not only the best possible outcome, it’s their only option. Most residents of Dharavi cannot possibly afford to move to other parts of Mumbai. Their futures will rise or fall with the fate of their neighborhood, which is why the Tokyo model, which values and cultivates neighborhoods like theirs, is probably their best hope for economic and social advancement.

That prosperity, however, depends on the local authorities heeding the lessons of Tokyo. Neighborhoods like Dharavi are already served by various NGOs and foundations. The residents are doing their part. The only missing piece is the support of city authorities, whose attitude toward such settlements sets back the city of Mumbai as a whole.

What’s more, the Tokyo model is simply an elegant one that follows the path of least resistance, allowing order and mess to naturally combine as they would without top-down intervention. It’s hard to imagine a better example of “development” in its most holistic dimension: Houses, neighborhoods, economies and communities all rising in concert with one another. The environment is deeply connected to processes of collective growth, because people, objects and lived spaces are all knit together by the impulse to constantly improve and transform. Through this process, with very little capital, we see how user-generated neighborhoods invest in the idea of growth and mobility, where self-interest and successful urbanism are one and the same."

[Tagging this with Teddy Cruz because it reminds me of his study of Tijuana and his recommendation that we learn from patterns of growth and development there.]
postwar  mixeduse  lowrise  density  mimbai  takeshihayashi  cities  organic  organicism  home-basedeconomy  production  manufacturing  factories  openstudioproject  cafes  homeoffice  homefactory  homeworkshop  homes  infrastructure  redevelopment  development  dharavi  slums  mobility  economics  middleclass  collectivism  technology  neighborhoods  asia  informality  informal  cottageindustries  2013  urban  urbanism  growth  change  government  tokyo  japan  history 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Living With Less. A Lot Less. - NYTimes.com
"Our fondness for stuff affects almost every aspect of our lives. Housing size, for example, has ballooned in the last 60 years. The average size of a new American home in 1950 was 983 square feet; by 2011, the average new home was 2,480 square feet. And those figures don’t provide a full picture. In 1950, an average of 3.37 people lived in each American home; in 2011, that number had shrunk to 2.6 people. This means that we take up more than three times the amount of space per capita than we did 60 years ago.



Intuitively, we know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all, and that relationships, experiences and meaningful work are the staples of a happy life.


I like material things as much as anyone. I studied product design in school. I’m into gadgets, clothing and all kinds of things. But my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support.



My space is small. My life is big."
homes  housing  stuff  possessions  materialism  2013  grahamhill  sustainability  small  slow  relationships  experiences  happiness  consumerism 
march 2013 by robertogreco
The Heterogeneous Home
"We believe that the home is becoming a more homogeneous place. The environment is increasingly filled with “any time”, “anywhere” portable devices such as cellular phones, laptops, and MP3 players that blur the traditional boundary of the home that helps individuals to define themselves in relation to the world. These technological changes are compounded by cultural changes towards a 24-hour, always connected lifestyle and structural changes towards more homogenous “cookie cutter” domestic spaces.

We assembled an interdisciplinary research team, including members with experience in interaction design, computer science, and anthropology, to study the increasing homogeneity of domestic space and to generate a series of design proposals for creating more heterogeneous environments. Our proposals present a range of theoretical arguments, drawn from concepts in environmental psychology, as well as provocative design sketches which led to interactive prototypes. Together, these artifacts…"

[via: http://betaknowledge.tumblr.com/post/40145729050/the-heterogeneous-home-by-ben-hooker-ryan ]
benhooker  allisonwoodruff  ryanaipperspach  2007  homes  domesticenvironment  anthropology  compsci  interactiondesign  ixd  homogeneity  heterogeneity  technology  design  from delicious
january 2013 by robertogreco
Low Design Office
"This house weaves green building and contemporary design into the context of its Austin, Texas neighborhood -- on a budget."
lowdesignoffice  architecture  texas  austin  design  houses  homes  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Mother's Nature - Homes - Dwell
"The Watershed is an off-the-grid writer’s retreat that architect Erin Moore designed for her mother, nature writer Kathleen Dean Moore."

[Slideshow here: http://www.dwell.com/slideshows/mothers-nature.html ]

[See also another Erin Moore project:
"Two Tiny Pavilions Respectfully Perch Atop a Lava Flow on Maui"
https://www.dwell.com/article/two-tiny-pavilions-respectfully-perch-atop-a-lava-flow-on-maui-5758d262 ]
[broken links, try this:
https://www.dwell.com/article/modern-off-the-grid-retreat-in-oregon-fdc1b719 ]
wren  oregon  2008  design  architecture  erinmoore  watershed  writing  nature  srg  edg  glvo  homes  wrencabin  cabins  kathleendeanmoore 
october 2012 by robertogreco
| When you’re in love with a beautiful house.
"We seem divided between an urge to override our senses and numb ourselves to our settings and a contradictory impulse to acknowledge the extent to which our identities are indelibly connected to, and will shift along with, our locations. An ugly room can coagulate any loose suspicions as to the incompleteness of life, while a sun-lit one set with honey-coloured limestone tiles can lend support to whatever is the most hopeful within us.

Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better or worse, different people in different places – and on the conviction that it is architecture’s task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be."

– Alain de Botton in The Architecture of Happiness
alaindebotton  callieneylan  2012  houses  architecture  roots  emotions  meaning  place  location  homes  via:litherland  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Onjuku Surf Shack on Vimeo
"Onjuku is a popular seaside resort and fishing town on Chiba's Pacific coast, about an hour and a half by train from Tokyo. The beach house is sited behind a bluff, 300 meters from Onjuku's famous white sand beach. Built for an international couple—the husband is a lifelong surfer—who live and work in Tokyo, this weekend getaway may become a permanent residence once they reach retirement.
The home's concealed entrance is served by a Japanese genkan, separating the home proper from a built-in shed for stashing surfboards and bicycles. This tunnel-like outer porch connects the gated rear entryway and the wooden deck which incorporates a built-in seat and planter. Timber shutters slide across the entire southern eave, securely locking-down the home to protect it from the seasonal typhoons. …"
architecture  design  japan  onjuku  homes  houses  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
WikiHouse / Open Source Construction Set
"WikiHouse is not a single, finished product, but an open community project, the aim of which is to make it possible for anyone to design for anyone else. There is no fixed design 'team' or 'studio', but a steadily growing community of designers from all disciplines who share in common the belief that developing freely available house design solutions which are affordable, sustainable, and adaptive to differing needs is a worthwhile aim.

Anyone who is interested in, or already working on, problems around this area is invited to become a collaborator on WikiHouse, regardless of what background they approach it from. There is already a growing community of followers, supporters, contributors, and developers who are working to improve on this early experiment…"

[via: http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/wikihouse-open-source-housing-/ via http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/young-architects-in-action-1-architecture-00/ ]

[Version map: http://www.architecture00.net/blog/?p=2436 ]

[video: https://wikihouse.wpengine.com/wikihouse-4-0/
https://vimeo.com/105855301 ]

[See also: https://www.opendesk.cc/ ]
lcproject  projectideas  glvo  wikihouse  yogeshtaylor  jonisteiner  ruphinachoe  beatricegalilee  austencook  stevefisher  tav  jamesarthur  nickierodiaconou  alastairparvin  architecture00  00:/  indyjohar  furniture  construction  housing  homes  crowdsourcing  3d  cnc  diy  design  architecture  opensource  classideas  modularity  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Gimme Shelter: Build a Modern Bungalow in Your Backyard
"Need a little more space?

An extra room for sleepovers? Maybe a home office or an art studio? Edgar Blazona has the 100 square feet for you.

So, snared as we were by the Le Corbusier charm of his casitas, but crimped by the price tag, we asked Blazona to put together something a little different: a cozy, code-safe, zoning-friendly 10' x 10' version for elbow-greasers on a tight budget.

Nothing could prepare us for the shock and awe we felt when he showed us what he’d created. Blazona’s ReadyMade shed is constructed from Plexiglas, steel, and prefinished plywood—and it costs just $1,500. Be warned: The instructions herein are spare, intended for Craftsman-level builders who frame walls in their sleep. Others may consider dialing up a skilled contractor to raise the roof."
make  plywood  srg  edg  glvo  design  cabins  tinyhouses  tinyhomes  howto  architecture  homes  sheds  diy  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
House in Rokko | iGNANT
"Positioned on Mount Rokko, with commanding views overlooking Kobe, Japan, the ‘House in Rokko’ by Tato Architects confirms an exploration of minimizing physical impacts upon the environment while maintaining vistas for residents.

The transparent entry area contains a living, dining area and kitchen along with a visitor’s toilet and bicycle storage for the owner. The environment is fully enjoyed from this space, nearly eliminating the boundary between the indoors and outdoors. The setting is ideal for entertaining guests and interacting with friends. An open-riser stairway with galvanized steel treads leads to the bedrooms and washroom. The gabled ceiling expressed the exterior’s roof form, responding to the neighboring existing homes. Wide openings within the facade generate natural ventilation while a thermal storage system within the concrete slab works alongside a far-infrared radiation film floor heating system."
tatoarchitects  kobe  architecture  rokko  mountrokko  japan  2012  houses  homes  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
How Do You Run Away from Home?
"For some people, psychological home has clearly moved online. I recall an op-ed somewhere several years ago, comparing cellphones to pacifiers. Appropriate, if they represent a connection to psychological ‘home.’ Putting your phone away is like suddenly being teleported away from home to a strange new place.

For others, the three R’s still dominate the idea of home. Online life is not satisfying for these people. I think this segment will shrink, just as the number of people who are attached to paper books is shrinking.

For a speculative third category, we have the sitcom-ish idea of interchangeable people in roles. I am not sure this category is real yet. I see some evidence for it in my own life, but it is not compelling.

But for a fourth category of people, the need for a psychological home itself is reduced. A utilitarian home is enough. The getting away drive has irreversibly altered psychology."
psychogeography  2012  davidgraeber  gettingaway  thirdculture  runningaway  interchangability  offline  internet  web  digital  online  belonging  culture  anarchism  existentialism  libertarianism  francisfukuyama  robertsapolsky  psychology  history  place  homes  home  rootedness  identity  individualism  venkateshrao  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
This Is My Home on Vimeo
"On an unseasonably warm November night in Manhattan on our way to get ice cream, we stumbled upon what appeared to be a vintage shop, brightly lit display window and all. As we began to walk in, a man sitting out front warned us that we were welcome to explore, but nothing inside was for sale. Our interests piqued, we began to browse through the collections the man out front had built throughout his life. This is a story of a man and his home."
mistakenidentities  shops  video  2012  invitations  hospitality  collections  clutter  nyc  homes  openstudioproject  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Hanauchi-ya renovation project by Tadashi Yoshimura Architects | Spoon & Tamago
"Late last year Tadashi Yoshimura Architects ended a year-long renovation project of Hanauchi-ya, a 200-year old wooden home located in Nara prefecture, about an hour out of central Osaka. Despite undergoing what was thought to be several thoughtless prior renovations and decades of water damage, the plan – all along – was to reuse existing materials as much as possible. As expected, this proved to be a technical nightmare with recurring surprises (“oh look, another wall behind the wall we just tore down”) making it virtually impossible for the architects to ever leave the site.

But look at those results! The seamlessness between old and new materials makes it feel like we’ve been transported back to the 1800s. There are some fascinating pictures of the process up on the architect’s blog. Of note, these pictures of taking reclaimed mud and using it to make walls."
osaka  tadashiyoshimura  renovation  preservation  history  wood  design  japan  architecture  homes  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE
"There's no place like home. It's where we live, work and dream. It's our sanctuary and our refuge. We can love them or hate them. It can be just for the night or for the rest of our lives. But whoever we may be, we all have a place we call home.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a series of short films that explore the idea of home; what makes them, how they represent us, why we need them.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui, of Lost & Found Films."
place  refuge  sanctuary  wherewework  wherewelive  workplace  homes  thismustbetheplace  films  documentary  home  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
What's on Your Wall? Mike Maxwell - voiceofsandiego.org: Behind The Scene: The Art And Drama Of Making Art In San Diego
"As soon as I walked into Maxwell's house at the beginning of January to meet him and appear on his Live Free Podcast, I knew I'd have to come back with Sam Hodgson to feature the artistic contents of his home in our What's On Your Wall? series. We've already checked out artist Kim MacConnel's Encinitas home, and art gallery director Ben Strauss-Malcolm's home in Golden Hill.

Most of the art in Maxwell's house he procured by trading his own work. He's collaborated with some of the artists, worked for others, curated shows for still others. "I would pay top dollar, if I had top dollar," he says."

[See also: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/arts/article_e8dbad6a-d98f-11e0-8c5b-001cc4c03286.html AND http://vimeo.com/27468842 AND http://vimeo.com/14481937 ]
mikemaxwell  sandiego  artists  homes  2011  kimmacconnel  shepardfairey  mikegiant  randyjanson  barrymcgee  davekinsey  elcajon  benstrauss-malcolm  yerinmok  ryanjacobsmith  isaacrandozzi  classideas  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
OBIA, THE THIRD: GPOYW
"Flux is great as a concept until you actually have to sit down and get stuff done. I’m one of those strange people who enjoys working. I like being in the haven of my studio—busting out ideas and trying out new experiments and explorations within the laboratory of these four white walls. And yet, I cannot help but notice how everything around me feels more and more temporary. Everything is moving about so much more quickly now. The moment I create something it vanishes in my memory. My own work becoming information to be transferred and over layered—over and over until it is only a glimmer of something I once interacted with, something I once knew. This is not limited to the experience of making or working. I don’t know about you, but I see and feel it everywhere I turn."
homes  temporality  temporary  flux  change  permanence  place  meaning  security  2011  sanfrancisco  belonging  searching  work  toyinojihodutola  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
tiny houses | pdx : rlingard.com
"This project provides an affordable, infill development alternative for entry-level Portland, Oregon home buyers. On a single 50'x100', 4 compact single family houses share the space of a typical, single family residence. The operable fence partitions and interior layout of these homes allows each living space to open either to the communal garden space, the private courtyard or both. Modular construction is used to minimize construction waste, increase quality and performance, and maintains the project's tight budget goals."
ryanlingard  portland  oregon  architecture  homes  housing  tinyhouses  small  design  architects  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Nau : The Thought Kitchen » The Signal Shed
"If you look for it, you might not see it. Rising high above Wallowa Lake…Eastern Oregon sits the award-winning Signal Shed—a 130-square-foot modern mountain outpost. Built with mostly recycled materials, the outbuilding is simple in detail, yet beautiful in design: recaptured wood siding is stained dark to help the shed blend into the natural landscape. Cedar shutters protect the windows and secure the interior in the winter. A large, sliding barn door opens to create an outdoor living space. And the entire structure is built on floating piers to lessen its impact.

It’s the ultimate expression of minimalism…Its simple beauty, low-impact design and effortless utilitarianism…

To get a closer look, we decided, with some stealthy sleuthing, to track down its mastermind—Ryan Lingard. The Portland architect was more than willing to sit down with us and share his insight into his process of sustainable design, off-the-grid building, and how he did it all for under $10k."

[See also: http://www.rlingard.com/ AND http://www.rlingard.com/index.php?/build/signal-shed/ AND http://signal-shed.com/home.html ]
oregon  homes  houses  tinyhouses  glvo  ryanlingard  architecture  design  wood  signalshed  cabins  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
New Ways of Designing the Modern Workspace - NYTimes.com
"Adjustable desks, foldout benches & louvered shades have their place but…furniture is not the problem…But in the same way that bamboo floors, hybrid SUVs and eco-couture haven’t done much to curb carbon emissions, designing (& buying) more stuff for offices, no matter how sleek or sustainable it is, likely won’t help reset the culture of work.

Design itself is the problem because it is being used to solve the wrong ones…has to expand beyond noodling with the cubicle. I’m willing to bet that almost any office worker would happily swap Webcam lighting…for solutions to more pressing work issues like…burnout or fear of losing health coverage…

Two other factors often undervalued (and often ignored) in the workplace? Family and time…

We shouldn’t be rethinking the cubicle or corner office but rather rethinking all aspects of work…"
psychology  work  design  officedesign  allisonarieff  cubicles  classrooms  schooldesign  sustainability  productivity  life  families  parenting  time  workplace  workspace  nathanshedroff  furniture  homes  housing  babysitting  childcare  flexibility  coworking  efficiency  yiconglu  serbanionescu  jimdreilein  justinsmith  theminerandmajorproject  architecture  interiors  interiordesign  environmentaldesign  environment  broodwork  florianidenburg  jingliu  commonground  eames  froebel  kindergarten  andrewberardini  larrysummers  rachelbotsman  creativity  innovation  2011  autonomy  learning  workspaces  classroom  friedrichfroebel  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
he said, she said
"an exhibition and event series held in the home of Pamela Fraser and Randall Szott. They will take turns presenting what amounts to an ongoing conversation about art and culture - Ms. Fraser presenting art and artists, and Mr. Szott sharing the activities of people who work in other contexts. Together they hope to offer up a fun and thoughtful take on current ideas in art and life."

Randall: "he said she said is not an exhibition space. It’s two people sharing things they like with the public. It’s a conversation, not an argument–isn’t that what couples always say when people catch their disagreements?"

Pamela: "he said-she said is an exhibition space in the home of organizers Pamela Fraser and Randall Szott. In the tradition of the apartment-gallery, shows are held in a domestic setting, in this case, relatively unaltered. Exhibitions will fluctuate between he said and she said, and will function as arguments for their respective interests and positions."
randallszott  pamelafraser  art  conversation  events  homes  glvo  life  sharing  culture  chicago  hesaidshesaid  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Getting It Right: What Is Brad Pitt Really Doing for New Orleans? - Cities - GOOD
"When Brad Pitt showed up to help fix New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward, it raised hope—and eyebrows. Is his high-design, low-income green housing project what the neighborhood needs? GOOD investigates."
architecture  green  community  neworleans  williammcdonough  katrina  reconstruction  leed  ninthward  makeitright  design  housing  homes  nola  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Jay Shafer: The Politics of Tiny Houses
"In February, 2011, we spent a couple of hours with Jay Shafer (Tumbleweed Tiny House Company), in his 96 square foot house-on-wheels in Sebastopol, California. Jay is one of the more well-known and successful tiny house designers, and there’s no denying the “curb appeal” of his designs. That appeal is generated by Jay’s careful attention to proportion as well as by his decisions about which elements to include in–and more precisely, what to leave out of—his designs. But as much as he enjoys talking about design, what he really wanted to talk about was the politics of tiny houses. Why building and zoning codes are stacked against tiny houses, how the costs of purchase and upkeep compare to the big houses he calls “debtors’ prisons”, and why, when the Big One shakes the land around San Francisco Bay, he’d rather be in his tiny house than anywhere else."
tinyhouses  houses  housing  politics  jayshafer  homes  via:leighblackall  sanfrancisco  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Dezeen » Outlandia by Malcolm Fraser Architects
"Edinburgh studio Malcol, Fraser Architects have completed a treehouse in Glen Nevis, Scotland,

Outlandia is an off-grid treehouse artist studio and fieldstation in Glen Nevis, Lochaber, Scotland. A flexible meeting space in the forest for creative collaboration and research. Imagined by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson (London Fieldworks) and designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects, Outlandia is inspired by childhood dens, wildlife hides and bothies, by forest outlaws and Japanese poetry platforms."
malcolmfraser  architecture  design  treehouses  homes  research  forests  glvo  scotland  meetingplace  writing  wherewework  studios  small  tinyhomes  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Squatters on the Skyline - Video Library - The New York Times
"Facing a mounting housing shortage, squatters have transformed an abandoned skyscraper in downtown Caracas into a makeshift home for more than 2,500 people."

[Dead link, now here: http://www.nytimes.com/video/2011/02/28/world/americas/100000000672239/venezuela-skyscraper.html ]
squatters  squatting  venezuela  caracas  skyscrapers  favelas  diy  housing  homes  torredavid  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Dash Marshall : An Apartment for Space-Age Lovers
"Our clients come from the future…They wanted a home to charge up between missions; they wanted a place where every boot and book, every single little thing could be hidden away; they wanted something that would make the most out of their 715 square feet…Dash replied with a highly flexible, intensely personal, high-gloss home for two Space-Age Lovers. The project is designed around four strategies →

Simple Spaces: …making the rooms larger…using sliding partitions…recombine the rooms of their home at will, yielding many different ways to live.

A friendly Black Hole: …flexible zone which can be annexed to the living room or bedroom, or optionally kept closed as a large walk-through closet space…

Everything In Its Right Place: …too much stuff & wanted to be able to live in serenity, without being reminded of their earthly possessions on a daily basis…

Optics: The reflections of the Apartment tell the story of the zero-gravity life that our Space-Age Lovers strive to live…"
design  architecture  nyc  homes  simplicity  smallhomes  via:adamgreenfield  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
California Bungalow - Wikipedia
"traces its origins to Indian province of Bengal, word itself derived from Hindi bangla or house in Bengali style. The native thatched roof huts were adapted by British, who built bungalows as houses for administrators and as summer retreats. Refined & popularized in California, many books list the first California house dubbed a bungalow as the one designed by the San Francisco architect A. Page Brown in the early 1890s. However, Brown's close friend, Joseph Worcester, designed a bungalow for himself & erected it atop a hill in Piedmont, across the bay from San Francisco, in 1877-78. The bungalow influenced Bernard Maybeck, Willis Polk & other San Francisco architects & Jack London, who rented Worcester's house from 1902-03 called it a "bungalow w/ a capital 'B'".

The bungalow became popular because it met the needs of changing times in which the lower middle class were moving from apartments to private houses in great numbers. Bungalows were modest, inexpensive & low-profile."
architecture  suburbia  bungalows  history  india  bengal  losangeles  sandiego  california  housing  homes  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
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