The design of the classroom from 1750 to today

The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids by Alexandra Lange  The design of the classroom is a technology, and you can interpret that in a lot of different ways. Architects can make that look more, and less, typical. But the point is the instruction, the interaction in the classroom, not that it looks […]

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Ascending Museo Soumaya

I spent a few days in Mexico City last week. One of our stops included The Museo Soumaya building in the upscale Miguel Hidalgo district. Designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, the curvy-shaped building contains five floors of European art, including the sculptures of Auguste Rodin. The above picture shows my older brother ascending the […]

The Stahl House Movie

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to see my brother Ryan Baum graduate from SCI-Arc, an architecture school in downtown Los Angeles. Each student was responsible for presenting their thesis in front of faculty and special guests. For his final project, my brother put some renderings together over the Stahl House to recreate the iconic […]

The shipping high 

It took nearly two hundred years to build the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Those who built it never saw it finished. Now we can 3-D print a building in 17 days, like “baking a cake and applying whip cream on it.” The Notre Dame is still around while most buildings will be destroyed and […]

“It’s as though people expect you to blow one note..”

“It’s as though people expect you to blow one note all the time, and I guess a lot of people can only blow one note. But there are people who can blow two or three notes, and I guess I’m one of them.” — Frank Gehry

Garden Lobby

It recognized the imperatives for user-friendly populism in its great glazed, covered garden foyer, “the living room of the city,” a lobby space opening to all major parts of the building as well as to the outdoors and the street. Read Frank Gehry And The Walt Disney Concert Hall

China’s ‘Chabuduo’ Mindset

Done is better than perfect, in some cases, as in updating a web design or app. But in China, ‘almost’ is a pervasive and dangerous mindset. Known as ‘Chabuduo’ or ‘good/close enough,’ can have disastrous effects when it comes to building everyday things, especially infrastructure. James Palmer is a foreigner living in China and writes […]

A collection of chair designs by famous modern architects

“Almost everyone I spoke to says that a chair is a way of demonstrating an architect’s credentials as a designer to a wider audience.” — Agata Toromanoff, art historian The chair represents the essence of work. It is where we put our asses down to get stuff done. Perhaps that is why famous architects have each been […]

In Praise of Zaha Hadid

“There are three hundred and fifty-nine other degrees. Why limit yourself to one?” — Zaha Hadid, RIP Zaha Hadid never conformed. She never played it safe. She was born to challenge the status quo and she trained her eye to acquire different tastes. You become what you think about all day. In Hadid’s case, her […]

Lovely laboratories – FT.com

The irony was that the most astounding discoveries were usually made in the tattiest buildings. Whether it was Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, where Crick and Watson discovered the structure of DNA, or Los Alamos, where the first nuclear weapons were developed, the breakthroughs seemed to disprove the notion that there was any link between the purity […]