Search This Blog

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going GREEN with rice concrete

Among the standard use for concrete fabrication, designers have a new edge for an industrial aesthetic. This is a new way to add greater novelty to concrete-countertops. Ash used from rice husks as a cement substitute is a new step to going GREEN with two very old building materials.

Michael Reilly reported "Rice husks form small cases around edible kernels of rice and are rich in silicon dioxide, an essential ingredient in concrete. Scientists have recognized the potential value of rice husks as a building material for decades, but past attempts to burn it produced an ash too contaminated with carbon to be useful as a cement substitute." To learn more click on the link below.
Rice concrete can cut greenhouse emissions -

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Great Exhibition: Definition from

The roots of modern architecture and design evolved from the start of the Technical Revolution in the Industrial Era of mass production for building material of glass and steel. The Crystal Palace
was the first glass and steel structure that was exposed to public masses as a new building type (other than a Green house). The open design, as illustrated below, exposes new ways of thinking and ways dealing with open interior space. Those who embraced this new media would take part in a new art that deliberately broke ties from traditional styles of the past.

Crystal Palace, building designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and erected in Hyde Park, London, for the Great Exhibition in 1851… One of the most significant examples of 19th-century, proto-modern architecture, it was widely imitated in Europe and America.
The Great Exhibition: Definition from

Crystal Palace Commentary
"Built out of prefabricated and wrought-iron elements and based on a four-foot module, this 1,848-foot-long ferro-vitreous construction was erected to the designs of Joseph Paxton and Charles Fox, of Fox, Henderson & Co. Its interior volume was organized into galleries which were alternately 24 feet and 48 feet wide. The roof of these galleries stepped up by 20 feet every 72 feet and culminated in a central nave 72 feet wide. The 'ridge and furrow' roof glazing system specially devised for the occasion required 49-inch glass sheets capable of spanning between furrows 8 feet apart, with three ridges occurring every 24 feet."
— Kenneth Frampton and Yukio Futagawa. Modern Architecture 1851-1945 p11.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Aurora Awards

The Aurora Awards, showcase a 12-state southeastern region plus the Caribbean who have demonstrated building and design excellence.

Last year’s winners were selected from among 80 categories by a panel of industry experts and were honored at the 29th Annual AURORA Awards Gala/Spectacular on Saturday evening, August 2, 2008, at the Southeast Building Conference in Orlando, Florida. View the winners of the 2008 Aurora Award. (2009 Aurora Award will be announced on August 1st)

Now in its 30th year, the AURORA Awards program is affiliated with the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) and the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC), one of two regional trade shows recognized by and affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Friday, June 19, 2009

MIAD - Alumni Success Stories on

MIAD - Alumni Success Stories on

The MIAD web site now features alumni "Success Stories" in each major. To find them, click Programs / Majors on the Main Menu, and peruse the descriptions of "The Results." Or you can go to each "Success Story" directly...

MIAD - Alumnus wins international design awards

MIAD - Alumnus wins international design awards

Daniel J. LipscombFor Daniel J. Lipscomb '98, Senior Designer at Fiskars Garden and Tool in Salk City, WI, inspiration has come full circle. He and Fiskars recently received four GOOD DESIGN Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum for Architecture and Design, the oldest and most prestigious worldwide awards program recognizing innovation and superior design embodiment.

Daniel credits MIAD faculty for continuing to drive and inspire the quality of his Industrial Design work, especially the late Stephen F. Lacey, to whom he dedicates the awards.

Fiskars Garden Multi-Snip, one of four award-winning designs by Daniel J. Lipscomb '98

But Daniel is also inspiring current MIAD students through collaborative Industrial Design projects with Fiskars. The relationship, he says, helps "students solve for real-world solutions with practicing product development teams, and delivers fresh new ideas to Fiskars that tap into the innovative young mindset of our future customers."

Provost David Martin remembers Daniel as a student who "was interested in addressing the contradiction between his interest in nature and natural, organic form, and the lack of integrity in so much contemporary product design."

Fiskars Rear Pivot Bypass Pruner (Small), designed by Daniel J. Lipscomb '98

Daniel agrees that his long-time love of gardening makes it "a pleasure to solve garden product issues. A good tool is designed by the use and handling of objects, not by idle thought or the use of a computer mouse. One of the GOOD DESIGN Award winning tools started as a thought I had while harvesting vegetables in our home garden."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A New Kind of Starchitect

The Star Actor Brad Pitt is making it right in New Orleans by commissioning 13 architects to design 150 homes in the Lower Ninth Ward. Each home and duplex unit is estimated to cost $200,000 for the project, started in 2007 by Mr. Pitt. Among the 13 architects is rising Japanese, architecture star Shigeru Ban known for his use of organic details. One of the focuses is to use sustainable materials for the new green home design to fit the surrounding vernacular. Additional star power includes the starchitect firm Morphosis. Since the start of the project six homes where completed in 2008 and two more have been completed to date while 13 homes are under construction now.

Shigeru Ban’s design concept below:

Morphosis’ design concept below:

To see more of the artist's renderings for the project, go to the Make It Right website.

Completed House by Billies Architecture

See Architectureal Record post 12-10-07

Learn more about one of my favorite homes designed by Thom Mayne Morphosis: Crawford House

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Art of Architecture

If you missed the Corbusier exhibition and want a window into the life of the architect read Le Corbusier Le Grand.

London’s Barbican exhibition on the pioneering architect Le Corbusier is coming to an end, May 24th. Exhibition: The Art of Architecture: 19 Feb - 24 May 2009 showcases:

The exhibit displays a "...wealth of original models, interior settings, drawings, furniture, photographs, films, tapestries, paintings, sculpture and books by designed and written by the architect himself" and tickets are £8 for Adults or £6 for online bookings. This is a great opportunity to see one of the major influence in modern architecture. Don’t miss it!