Sunday, January 29, 2012

Better Buildings: Better Business Conference

I'm headed to Schaumburg tomorrow for a conference focusing on energy efficiency improvements for home in the Midwest. is the conference home page.

I'll be doing breakout sessions like:

Deep energy retrofits

With the collapse of the financial markets and the U.S. debt bubble, it seems likely that new construction activity will continue to contract. At the same time, peak oil prices and climate change will drive interest in dramatically reducing energy consumption in existing buildings. In response, more attention is going to deep energy retrofits of homes and other building types-the topic of this full-day workshop. We'll look at the nature of the challenge, where energy goes in homes, and the underlying building science. Air barriers and insulation detailing will be illustrated, primarily through numerous case study examples. We will also examine mechanical systems for low-load retrofits.

I'll also be sharpening my chops on other technical issues over the course of the next 3 days. is a link to the rest of the conference schedule. Hopefully I'll get to post something from the conference.

Monday, January 16, 2012

finding today in yesterday

William Butler Yeats
1st Verse of:

The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The underline is mine and, in these last two lines one can find my greatest fears and my current perception.

I read that Yeats was, in part, inspired by PB Shelley's Prometheus Unbound which ends with this:

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

constructing a substrate


a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, event, etc.: the reason for declaring war.
a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action.
the mental powers concerned with forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences.
sound judgment; good sense.
normal or sound powers of mind; sanity.


 [rash-uh-nl, rash-nl] 
agreeable to reason; reasonable; sensible: a rational plan for economic development.
having or exercising reason, sound judgment, or good sense :a calm and rational negotiator.
being in or characterized by full possession of one's reason; sane; lucid: The patient appeared perfectly rational.
endowed with the faculty of reason: rational beings.
of, pertaining to, or constituting reasoning powers: the rational faculty.


noun, plural truths [troothz, trooths]  Show IPA.
the true  or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
the state or character of being true.
actuality or actual existence.


 [ev-i-duhns]  noun, verb, -denced, -denc·ing.
that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
Law . data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.


acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition: knowledge of many things.
familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning: A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, orreport: a knowledge of human nature.
the fact or state of knowing;  the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.
awareness, as of a fact or circumstance: He had knowledge of her good fortune.


the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference.
a particular method of reasoning or argumentation: We were unable to follow his logic.
the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.
reason or sound judgment, as in utterances or actions:  There wasn't much logic in her move.
convincing forcefulness; inexorable truth or  persuasiveness: the irresistible logic of the facts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

bundle of collage

The show at the Guild is down and here is what became of my 2'6" x 13' collage. It is a bundle about 7-1/2" x 6" x 3-1/2".

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Teddy Cruz & Density

Geoff Manaugh, Blogger
In the context of a post 9-11 political equator that divides the world and the city between enclaves of mega wealth and sectors of poverty, urbanities of labour and surveillance, the formal and informal, our institutions of architecture have lost their socio-political relevance. Instead, the architecture avant-garde has become fully complicit with an international, neo-liberal project of privatisation and homogenisation, by camouflaging gentrification with a massive hyper aesthetic and formalist project.
New experimental practices of intervention in the collective territory will emerge only from zones of conflict. The radicalisation of the local in order to generate new readings of the global is transforming the neighborhood – not the city – into the urban laboratory of the 21st century.
The micro heterotopias emerging within small communities across the world, provoked by social emergency, are producing non-conforming spatial and economic contingencies that will incrementally pixelate the large with the small. These economic and political informalities generate a different idea of density and land use, a counter form of urban and economic development that thrives on social organisation, collaboration and exchange.
Contemporary art and architecture’s task is not only to reveal ignored socio-political territorial histories and inequalities within this polarised world, but also to generate new forms of sociability and activism.

Elsewhere, Cruz writes about the redefinition of density as 'the amount of social exchanges per acre.'  If social exchanges includes the monetary then this is an interesting perspective suggestive of mixed-use and mixed economic development.
Architecture, which in so many ways has become the tool of the dominant/hegemonic paradigm - the status quo - the architectural practice of which can be seen as having collapsed with the real estate bubble will have to re-invent itself as a practice that does not depend on 'excess' for experimentation but can be a "new paradigm [which] must necessarily emerge from scarcity, not abundance, thereby reclaiming the margins as the site for architectural experimentation in our times." (from Urban Future Manifestos)

Architecture, Design, Art: Strategies for Survival

This video is chock full of great ideas and proof that artists are people too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Journal Collage