In countries where energy costs are high, buildings rely less on high-tech conditioning and more on simple features such as brise soleil to create natural shade. The Modernist gems of Sao Paulo show how climate response can be both inspirational and livable. Image: Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion, Mark English Architects
Hand drawing is not just a holdover from architecture’s pre-digital past. Even today, hand-drawn sketches are an indispensable tool for communication, problem-solving, and rapid exploration of new ideas. Greg Corbett, Architect at Mark English Architects, shares hand drawing techniques for creating 3D illustrations during project development.
“I’m disappointed that housing is so often treated strictly as a commodity… Designs should be impactful, not relying on cheap materials or bloated buildings. Developers aren’t the same as speculators. Developers are in it for the long-term…
“Context matters, too. My vision for San Francisco is to have great public transportation with higher density around the transit hubs, and get more cars off the road.”
(Photo: 400 Grove St., San Francisco by DDG, design by Fougeron Architecture)
Architects David Baker and Amit Price Patel discuss ways to make city housing and city living more effective, livable, and inclusive. For example, Lakeside Senior Apartments integrates low-income, formerly homeless, and special-needs seniors in a new 92-unit building in Oakland, California. (Photo: Bruce Damonte)
“The whole question about whether developers are greedy is irrelevant. The people leveling this charge aren’t honest. In Los Gatos and Lafayette, professionals making $250K a year are complaining about “greedy developers”. But they themselves are not producing anything tangible, like more housing. They are not contributing to the general welfare…”
– Sonja Trauss, BARF Founder
“Getting evicted is not the worst thing to happen – if you can easily find an equivalent place.”
– Laura Clark, Exective Director, GrowSF
“Home is the nest we create for ourselves as a base for living. It provides us with safety and security – making a conscious and sub-conscious statement to ourselves and our community about our personal values… One is owned by one’s possessions when the acquisition, display, storage, and maintenance of possessions falls out of alignment with one’s self-image and life purpose.” (Photo: David Ludwig)
The Incas of the Andes had a special relationship with rock, which was key to their empire. Even today their masonry inspires awe, and perhaps fear. The Incas thought that rocks were people, with their own volition and personality. Inca stoneworks live on today, as monuments and often as foundations for later buildings.
David Winslow of San Francisco’s City Planning Department talks about “living alleys” and walkable neighborhoods. “Home to me is a neighborhood where I can get basic needs met… Having a place to go outside of my own house… a corner cafe where they know me by name. It’s having public spaces that are functional and comfortable.” (Photo: green alley, Montreal, courtesy David Winslow)
“Stone is one of the most uniquely expressive materials on the planet. As an artist, I strive to think through the material – classical training as a stone-carver gives a unique perspective, similar to doing my scales the way a pianist would. I consider myself a modernist now – but still grounded in a deep affection for, and knowledge of, the classics.” (Photo: Richard Rhodes)