worlds of possibility

worlds of possibility
world of possibility

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Death by Terracotta

Of course the professional photography looks amazing (left) but I am not sure this building is meant to be seen by day (right).  I am not exactly saying that I do not like it....there are things I appreciate about it and things that I do not.

The overall textures that the terracotta creates are intriguing, but I was more intrigued when I thought that they were all the same unit flipped and flopped to create all of these different elements.  They are, in reality, cast from different molds. It is much smaller than I thought it would be, but the main gallery is highlighted from the outside with the heavy cantilever being held up by a long but significant column.

The south end of downtown is becoming quite the cultural center.  The Bechtler backs up to the Knight Theater, catty cornered is the African American Cultural Center, soon across the street will be the new Mint Museum and a few blocks away resides the one and only NASCAR Hall of Fame.  These have brought some amazing architectural talent to Charlotte as well as highlighting some local talent, Mario Botta, Harvey Gantt, Clark Patterson Lee, and The office of I M Pei.

*art entry to follow

Friday, July 23, 2010

Love and Architecture

I am absolutely in love.  The head over heals kind. 

I get daily updates from the, which has also quickly become one of my favorite sites along with

This is today's feature from Guz Architects - a new favorite!

The Tangga House

Description from Guz Architects:
The house is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional courtyard house, laid out around a central green courtyard with a double height stair and entry area forming the focal point of the project. The L-shaped plan creates open spaces which encourage natural ventilation and offer resident’s views over the courtyard to the verandah, roof gardens and beyond. Lushly planted roof gardens surround the house and add to the effect that nature is evident in every part of the house. The large roof above the courtyard creates an indoor and outdoor space leading to the gardens and swimming pool which wraps around two sides of the house. The tangga house hopefully gives the owners the opportunity to live in harmony and comfort with nature, in singapores hot tropical climate

I love how the pool and garden are integrated into every facet of the house - roof - terrace - back yard.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Soul Shine

The beauty of your soul shines

On the darkest days

When you get back up

To dream a dream

When you have the courage to say

“help me I have fallen”

When you step out of the cage

And feel brand new in your clothes

The beauty of your soul says

No one can hold you down

But yourself

Be yourself

And open your eyes to light

Act upon life with the vision

That can only be created by you

*still under creation

Friday, July 16, 2010

An adventure...

I do not know how or when the infatuation started, but I have been prudently searching for the perfect steamer trunk. Authentic, well-preserved, and well traveled are the traits I am looking for. I began my search where any millennial goes for everything, the internet. I found many things on craigs list all costing about $300, which is more than I wanted to spend so the Louis that I love is way beyond budget!
I had heard about Cline’s Country Antiques through fellow architecture students as a great place to go treasure hunting. There is a great article about the hidden gem in Creative Loafing . Don Cline (the owner) is a retired 67 year old man who has turned his personal plot of land or “yard” into a treasure trove jungle gym for adults. There is no limit to the possibilities of objects. The winding pathways lead in and out of groups of objects and into lean-tos and trailers where furniture and nicer objects are kept. It is the perfect Saturday adventure destination.

I found many many trunks, but mostly all either water logged or falling apart. Then a rainbow appeared and in the midst of broken down pianos I found it. My trunk.

I excitedly bought the trunk from Mr. Cline for $10, brought it home, cleaned it, and media texted pictures to my parents and friends. For some reason I never thought about asking my grandmother if had kept or owned any trunks, but I excitedly called her to tell her the tale of my obsession. She revealed that both of the trucks my great grandmother and great grandfather had used to bring all of their belongings to the U.S. from Italy are hidden in the attic. She insisted that I check them out and told me multiple interesting facts and stories based around the trunks. Without even seeing a picture, these two trunks immediately mean more to me than any other I could ever find. Why? The story. I am sure that every trunk has a story, but I know in depth stories of these two particular items and cannot wait to see what’s inside.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Burning Man! - This should have heppened before I wrote my thesis!

What Is Burning Man?

Once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. Then they return home to embody the principles they learned year-round. Learn more about this incredible experience through our First Timers' Guide, our mission and the Ten Principles.

What Isn't Burning Man?

Burning Man isn't a curated "festival" as most people know them. Rather, it's an entirely participant-driven event, and therein lies the novelty. Learn more.

I found this descrption on the burning man website  It is something that has always intrigued me that it should be on my bucket list.  Crazy art hippies in the middle of the Nevada desert making art in all forms and instances of the word and then to be burned without a trace? Awesome.  That also means no showers for a week.  I think I could hack it.  I imagine it as a crazy microcosm of inspiration (in my head the images look much like those of woodstock but a little more directed at the objective.)

aerial view of the burning man camp

Furthermore, this gathering has principles and ideals; Radical Inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy.  If that doesn't sound like it parallels with my 2009 MA thesis I don't know what does?  The title of my thesis was  Saturating Space: Unveiling the Plexus of Public Space Through the Lens of Subculture.  I attempted to study place making through modes of subculture and I specifically looked at Flash-Raves and random technological driven events.

One of my favorite photo collages that I produced during thesis studies.

This year's topic is the study of the urban as an organic growth of socialization.  If I weren't doing wedding stuff I would have Luke talked into this already!  We have already discussed it so this wouldn't take much bribing...

2010 Art Theme: Metropolis?
Great cities are organic, spontaneous, heterogeneous, and untidy hubs of social interaction. At Burning Man 2010, we will inspect the daily course of city life and the future prospect of civilization. Prior to the event, we'll host an ongoing conversation about urban design and its impact on culture and community in the Metropol Blog Series.

I am dying here!  When I read the theme I about jumped out of my seat for joy!  Then defeat when I realized that I can't go. 
Burning man has officially made it onto my Bucket List.
Samples of what you would see there:

crazy balancing trucks

junk = treasure

well of course they would be first in line as inspirational!

The Architecture and Stone world unite

Cutler Anderson Architects have remained one of my all time favorite architects since 2007. They are a small Pacific Northwest firm of 15 that I fell in love with their use of material and custom design of steel and timber connections. When asked about my favorite architects this is my top firm. There is something about the truth in material and the contemporary feel combined with rough-around-the-edges textures that make me wish I was a sponge on the desk of James Cutler and Bruce Anderson soaking up their knowledge and creativity.

I have recently discovered their latest book release, Searching for True: Cutler Anderson Architects, which, I am lusting over and price watching on A new book always drives me to the website to see if there are new projects that I have not seen.

Sitting at my marble stand it occurred to me that I might look at the architecture in a different light. I visit their website often, but this time I decided to look specifically for their use of stone. I now possess a great appreciation of stone as a building material. The only rational reason I can come up with as to why I had never noticed the stone in their projects before is possibly because as an architecture student one mainly focuses on the attributes of steel, wood and concrete.

I am astounded to see all of the stone that I had previously overlooked on my search for the next cool steel bracket. Names of specific stones even pop out at me as I look at some of the images in hopes that they would never ever use a cultured stone, and, with a little help from Beth, I recognized a few. Upon asking Beth if she thought it was stone or concrete veneer (praying that she would say real stone because anything else would wreck the entire architects’ entire image in my head) she agreed that it was natural stone. I now have even more of an appreciation for Cutler Anderson Architects as they seem to align with all of my ever-changing architectural passions.




“An existing space may outlive its original purpose and the raison d'etre which determines its forms, functions, and structures; it may thus in a sense become vacant, and susceptible of being diverted, reappropriated and put to a use quite different from its initial one.” Henry Lefebvre

I stumbled across this article via twitter on inhabitat : design will save the world. It shows guerrilla architecture that uses space shaped by mega buildings in dense urban settings. The concept, presented by architect Stephane Malka is titled “Pocket of Active Resistance.” She is motivated to create a new social scenario answering the problem of housing by leaching individual modular units to unused urban space. Using the Arch de la Defense is particularly ironic as she uses the “Great Arch of Fraternity” to unite the marginalized.

I could go one for pages about the production of space, places and guerilla ideas exposing societal norms within the built environment, but I will spare you. This image and article pushed me farther in thought to design and how we deal with space and more specifically negative space. The structure of the Arch de la Defense produces a vast covered but empty memorial space. But how is this space really used? How is it valued by the community or homeowner? These questions can and should be asked of designers and architects as to the functionalism and beauty of negative space.

Mother nature is very specific in her created spaces and the ever changing negative space.

I believe a good designer has a very specific purpose behind every nook and cranny. The void cut in this stone becomes the space in which humans inhabit.