Spring Time

Spring is finally here, and with it, a punch of color.  Get out and enjoy the nice weather!

Architects sometime catch a lot of flat for their use(or lack) of color.  Check out KOZ 
Architects and their design of the Building of Youth Center and Sports in Saint-Cloude, France.  I'm not always crazy about this many colors all at the same time, but for a youth center, I can handle it.

Reversible Apartments...

Just for fun




Location, Location, Location

When I first moved to San Francisco, one of the first things I noticed right off the bat was the general fixation(by most residents) to the area in which they lived.  At first I didn't understand what the big deal was, but as time went on, I began to realize just how much the neighborhoods differed, and even more, I noticed just how similar the residents within these areas were.  San Francisco itself is a relatively small city, roughly 7x7 miles and is divided into many neighborhoods, each with a distinct characteristic.  Although I hope to never become a neighborhood snob, the different personalities associated with the neighborhoods definitely keep things interesting.  And I can say, I've been here for almost a year, and I've never once been bored.  So, for my latest studio project, I drew inspiration from SOMA, an area in San Francisco and the location of my project.  The project itself is adaptive reuse, as we are converting a commercial building to residential live/work lofts.  Later on I'll get more into the technical stuff, but for now, here are some pretties that I'm drawing some of my inspiration from.

SOMA is truly an amazing area, bursting with entertainment, education, art, and night life.  The area has literally been destroyed on multiple occasions because of natural disasters.  Each time, the area has been rebuilt to an arguably better state.  As a result, SOMA has become an eclectic, culturally rich area with representatives from every walk of life.

My original inspiration for the layout of my residences was based on the organizational techniques of traditional Japanese Tatami mats.  This allowed me to have a formally more normal project without creating just cookie cutter residences.  I focused mainly on two of the organizational techniques associated with these mats when I was allocating space.  The first one being that not matter how many components are combined in a Tatami organization, they are always generated by either a square or a rectangle, and they always produce a square or a rectangle when combined.  The other technique I used was  the constraint of the corners.  In Tatami mats, four corners never intersect.  As for the rest of the images, just enjoy!

Billboard in SOMA

Local hot spot

Welcome home.



Let There Be Light

Lighting is by far one of the most important elements to consider as a designer.  Light, both natural and artificial, has the undeniable ability to transform a space into a place.  It creates serenity, drama, and even romance.  Some designers such as self-taught architect Tadao Ando have mastered the control of natural light.  Others, such as James Turrell, prefer the theatricality of artificial light.  Regardless of the type of light, designs can be made or broken by the quality and attention paid to the lighting by the designer.  Take a look at some of these amazing examples of the power(and simplicity) of light and its role in design.

The next few images are some of the amazing work of Tadao Ando.  As I mentioned earlier, he's a self-taught architect with a natural passion for design.  He gained much of his knowledge from hanging out at construction sights and observing, sketching what he saw.  Today, he is a world renowned architect with a distinguishable characteristic.  Talk about dedication!

Sayamaike Historical Museum, Japan

International Library of Children's Literature, Japan

And just for fun, one of James Turrell's amazing sky windows...



Piling Up

With spring break coming to an end and finals fast approaching, the work load is really beginning to pile up.  The pressure is definately on to produce.  I hope I can handle this many components with as much grace and these guys.  Pixelated architecture is definitely a hit or miss art, and these architects are a hit in my book.
Sky Village

Check out this design from Felipe Campolina. These apartments are not only green, but mobile! I'm not exactly sure how that would work, but its a great idea.  I know I've had favorite apartments that I was sad to leave behind.

Felipe Campolina

Herzog & de Meuron always have amazing ideas, and this residential high rise is not exception.  Can you believe that this is the first high rise this firm has built?  My first attempts using look something like this too...

56 Leonard Street

Herzog & de Meuron


Rainy Day Blues

...Aren't all  bad

Photo by Lizzie Miller

So, cozy up with a cup of tea and a good book.  The sun will be out soon, but try to enjoy the rain.


Inaugural Post- Inspiration Unexpected

In the past two months, I've run into a steady stream of bad luck, and at times it was hard to feel inspired.   Sometimes you search for inspiration and sometimes inspiration just happens, and as they say, a light bulb turns on.  Designers are a different breed, and for them, the light of brilliance is never turned off, simply dimmed.  Sometimes inspiration hits you over the head and everything seems to fall into place.  More often than not, inspiration seems allusive, like a game of cat and mouse.  As a designer, I am constantly amazed at the unexpected sources of inspiration that surface in my own work.  I hope this blog encourages others to realize their own potential and acknowledge the beauty and design in their own lives.

Sometimes it takes picking up the shattered pieces of your car window off the ground in the pouring rain to find inspiration.  This is a sculpture that was created from pieces of my car window after it was broken into.
Photography has the ability to express emotion at any scale.  As a designer, I always photography my work.  Images allow you to transform your work from an object to an experience.  

So, bottom line, find something that you love and do it, and positivity will come as natural as success.


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