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Entries in Collaboration (9)


The Architecture of Happiness Becomes Living Architecture

The Balancing Barn, by MVRDVI love, love love this. Writer Alain de Botton decided after completing his book The Architecture of Happiness, that he hadn't done enough to promote the development of quality spaces for humans to spend their time in, so he founded Living Architecture, an organization devoted to "the promotion and enjoyment of world-class architecture." 

Toward that end, Living Architecture has commissioned a selection of wonderful modern architects to design houses around Britian that are available for rent by the general public. The purpose of this enterprise is "to allow people to experience what it is like to live, eat and sleap in a space designed by an outstanding architectural practice."

Funny, that's what we at Hometta want to do, too.

I just learned about Living Architecture this morning via Hermann Miller's excellent Lifework blog, and can't wait to hear more. 


Are Cities the Key to U.S. Success in the 21st Century?

And are American airports and train stations a national embarrassment? Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institution says yes in this Time Magazine video.

There is so much great discussion and research going on right now on the future of cities. It's encouraging to see so much energy behind the matter, and so many people taking an interest in improving our collective quality of life.

Here are a few other links I'm working my way through this week on life in cities. I know there are hundreds more like these out there; if you have favorites, leave them in the comments section!

The Boston Globe on parking.

The Infrastructurist on the rise of the walkable city.

The Venice Architecture Biennale hosts Workshopping the American City.

Then there's Next American City, whose tweets I often find as a great source of reading material, including some of the links above. 



Trend Alert: Multiples

Page Southerland Page's contribution to the 2009 Barkitecture silent auctionI love it when creative folk are called to create their own spin on a common object, often in the service of charity. Whether it be dog houses (benefitting Pup Squad Houston), Wegner Wishbone chairs (breast cancer research), or dollhouses (just for fun), it's a form of design candy I haven't gotten enough of yet. 

A retablo by Scott Woodward that will be part of the Lawndale auction tonight. The competition in Houston's Barkitecture silent auction is stiff, and I've got a beagle without an outdoor resting spot, so I'll be hitting their "yappy hour" tonight to scope out the options in advance of tomorrow's silent auction. Then it's off to my all-time favorite multiples-for-charity event, the Day of the Dead retablo auction at Houston's Lawndale Art Center.  If you can't make it out, or to scope out the offerings in advance of the crowds, visit the Lawndale retablo Flickr pool. Have a happy weekend!


Webcast Bait: Subway Culture and Advertising in China

Image via the James Baker Institute for Public PolicyThe advent of the webcast has changed the way my days look recently. Although they can be a distraction from more pressing tasks, the availability of so much information from so many diverse sources is a wonderful abundance for people who are curious about the world. This Monday, October 18, I'll once again hear the siren call of the livestream as Rice University presents a daylong symposium, "Subway Culture and Advertising Culture in China."

This event, which will present the results of a dozen years' research on advertising images found in China's subways, will be hosted by Rice University's James Baker Institute for Public Policy. Since it's right on my front doorstep, I may escape from behind the desk for a few hours to attend. But if I don't make it, I'm glad to know the webcast will be keeping me company.

Subway Culture and Advertising Culture is a project of the Baker Institute's Transitional China Project.


Marfonia: A Fairy Tale

A knit-bombed trailer at El Cosmico. All photos by Jenny Staff Johnson.Marfa is special; everyone who is paying attention knows this by now. To me, one of the most special things about it is the way it instantly belongs to anyone and everyone who goes there and finds inspiration. (For more on the inspired knit-bombing of the trailer above, go here.)The video below is the product of the inspiration taken from one architecture student's Marfa experience, a design-build challenge to build temporary shelters on a patch of desert known as El Cosmico as part of the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love:

And yes, I was there, so I suppose I could have done a bit more reporting on the whole design-build thing, but I was too distracted by things like this: 

Luckily I was traveling with my favorite professional photographer, so there is some photographic evidence of our trip. See it at my good friend Farrah Branniff's Flickr stream & blog.