Defpoints


New Precast Concrete Sucks CO2 Out of the Air
July 31, 2008, 6:59 pm
Filed under: Green

From Clean Break, a Nova Scotia-based company has developed a precast concrete that sucks carbon dioxide from the air!



Be prepared
July 30, 2008, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Economy

Architectural billing is still down, although there was a slight uptick in the architectural billing index for June (but this just means the decline slowed, rather than an increase in work).



Rising construction costs
July 30, 2008, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Economy, North America

What to do about it, from the Observer:

As the economy sours, ever-rising construction costs seem to be an in-vogue subject: Last night, the New York Building Congress released a report on the topic; the

Manhattan Institute put out recommendations for controlling cost escalations earlier this month; and, on Monday, the Bloomberg administration announced a set of initiatives to lower costs of city projects.

The basic problem–costs have been going up at least 10 percent annually for the past few years–doesn’t seem to have any easy solutions, as the reports (both of which involved consultation with the same firm, Urbanomics) recommended a broad array of changes that could lower costs to varying degrees.



“only an idiot would have said no”
July 30, 2008, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Asia, Politics

Jacques Herzog on choosing to build in China:

Only an idiot — and not a person who thinks in moral terms would have turned down this opportunity — would have said no. I know that there are architects who now claim that they would never have even considered building in China. This is both a na├»ve and arrogant position, one that reflects a lack of knowledge of and respect for the incredible cultural achievements this country has continuously provided over the last 5,000 years and still provides today.



7-sq-mile sheet of ice drifts away from Canadian ice shelf
July 30, 2008, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Green, North America
A chunk of ice is shown drifting after it separated from the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf off the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's far north on Sunday July 27, 2008. The sheet is the biggest piece shed by one of Canada's six ice shelves since the Ayles shelf broke loose in 2005 from the coast of Ellesmere, about 500 miles from the North Pole.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sam Soja)

A chunk of ice is shown drifting after it separated from the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf off the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's far north on Sunday July 27, 2008. The sheet is the biggest piece shed by one of Canada's six ice shelves since the Ayles shelf broke loose in 2005 from the coast of Ellesmere, about 500 miles from the North Pole. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sam Soja)



Laurie Anderson worked at McDonalds
July 30, 2008, 12:18 pm
Filed under: art, Work Life

The new issue of Smithsonian magazine has an interview with Laurie Anderson.

You’ve also worked at McDonald’s.
Yeah. I began to think, “How can I escape this trap of just experiencing what I expect?” I decided maybe I would just try to put myself in places where I don’t know what to do, what to say, or how to act. So, I did things like working at McDonald’s and on an Amish farm, which had no technology whatsoever.



making the plan
July 30, 2008, 8:50 am
Filed under: Architecture

Nice feature on plans on Archinect:

Often overlooked and recently playing supporting actor in the age of the section, the plan is ripe for rethinking. More recently, plan drawing has been absorbed into representation systems of mapping, diagramming, and indexing, therefore relegating plan drawings simply to plan-making. Frequently assigned the role of orientation device, the plan is subjected to quantitative scrutiny while the section is permitted qualitative indulgence. The conventional system of architectural plan-making predominately presents itself as evidence of area, structure, and territory. But as with all orthographic drawings, plans can never be experienced as such. Demanding near omnipresence, a plan drawing cannot be easily occupied as it privileges a view our vision cannot replicate. Plans are vehicles for transpositional experiences. To overcome the inaccuracy of plans, architects are often asked to “walk us through the plans.” Therefore, though underequipped for the task, plans are employed to act as spatial machines.