Monday, February 28, 2011

Methods of Design Growth: Axes as Connectors

A perfect example of using the axis as a tool in large scale design is seen in the five 'new' fora of Rome. One enters the first forum on the central axis located in the lower right hand corner of the diagram, the fora built by subsequent emperor's relate to the larger whole, by having the central axis of the newly built forum perpendicular to the proceeding forum.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Climate has little to do with [how much people walk]. Toronto residents, New Orleanians and Manhattanites, with extremes of weather, walk more than Atlantans. The variable is the quality of the urbanism. Not the weather. People in Stockholm walk more than people in the suburbs of Seville. People in Stockholm's center walk more that they do in Stockholm's 1950's new towns. The variable is always the quality of the urbanism--not the weather.

- Andres Duany

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food for Thought: Artificial Photosynthesis

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Artificial photosynthesis is a research field attempting to replicate the natural process of photosynthesis: converting sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into carbohydrates and oxygen. However, with artificial photosynthesis this process is slightly different instead converting sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel.

The term is used lightly, as splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by using solar energy is also referred to as artificial photosynthesis; as appears in this video. Although still in the research phase this new technology would be able to generate fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Campo de Fiori

Campo de Fiori, Roma, Italia
Located in the heart of Rome, the Campo de Fiori has an infamous history. Nearby in ancient Roman times was Pompey's Theatre, which was the site where Julius Caesar was murdered. During the Roman Inquisition philosopher  Giordano Bruno and theologian Marco Antonio de Dominis were burnt alive in the Campo de Fiori. In fact the statue at the center defiantly standing in the direction of the Vatican is a monument to Bruno. Today however, the Campo is more likely to be filled with intoxicated students than agents of the Vatican.

The Birth of Sprawl

The cities will be part of the country; I shall live 30 miles from my office in one direction, under a pine tree; my secretary will live 30 miles away from it too, in the other direction, under another pine tree. We shall both have our own car.

We shall use up tires, wear out road surfaces and gears, consume oil and gasoline. All of which will necessitate a great deal of work....enough for all.

 - Le Corbusier, The Radiant City (1967)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Architectural Gems: Shait Gambuj Mosque

Located in the verdant Bagerhat District lies one of Bangladesh's true architectural gems. The Shait Gambuj Mosque was constructed during the reign of the Turkic general Ulugh Khan Jahan in the 15th century. The mosque is referred to as the 'sixty dome mosque' but it actually contains eighty-one domes; there are seventy seven domes arranged in seven rows of eleven, with additional domes at each corner of the mosque.

Exterior view of the Shait Gambuj Mosque

Interior view of the Shait Gambuj Mosque

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

El Morro

Fort San Felipe del Morro

Located on the entrance to San Juan Bay, Fort San Felipe del Morro was built to protect the approaches to the bay as well as nearby Old San Juan. this drawing is a sectional analysis that explores the multiple levels of the fort. The earliest fortifications of the fort were located slightly above the water's edge.