HS.. thinking Architecture?

Posted in a design education, High School AEC Education, projects, stuff by DS26 on 01.27.2011

If you’re a High School student now, and are not sure but have the suspicion that maybe you would like to be an architect, there are many wonderful programs nationwide to help you explore design before you have to concretely make a decision.

I, myself, am involved in one, offered by Duke University via the Duke TIP program.

This particular program is a 2-week boarding session where we concentrate not only in Architecture, but other building industries and also matters of Sustainability.

This year, 2011, will be my 2nd time participating. 2010 was actually the founding class (picture below) and some of our students have left the class with great passion and inspiration to continue in the path to becoming architects. We also had future engineers and builders.

[ follow the link for Duke TIP Arch here ]


Another great program is the one led by my undergraduate school Director Aron Temkin, now professor and Dean of the School of Architecture and Art at Norwich University. Located at the Fallingwater residence designed by famed american architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this program is a 1-week boarding program that

is an interdisciplinary architecture program for students interested in exploring environmental and design related issues in the context of one of America’s most significant works of architecture

[ for more about Fallingwater HS Residency ]


There are other local non-boarding programs around, like the CAF (Chicago Architecture Foundation) Teens program. Offered during the summer in the City of Chicago.

[ more about CAF Teens in Chicago ]

CAF, in addition, offers a program at Taliesin, studio founded by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Or the summer Architecture program offered by IIT (Illinois Institute of Technolgy), also in Chicago, located in the famous campus with buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe & Rem Koolhaas.

[ more on HS iit summer architecture ]


There are specialized High Schools around the country that are also tracked in Architecture, for those of you that were undoubtedly born for the art.

Like DASH (Design Architecture Senior High) in Miami.

I probably would’ve attempted to get in if I would have known it existed…

Many programs, many places, chartered schools, etc… do your homework.

Google “High School Architecture”.   :)


milwaukee (un)expected . .

Posted in opinion, other architects, projects by DS26 on 09.19.2010

As you may or may not know that we visited Milwaukee yesterday.

Sure we visited because there is the renowned Calatrava & Saarinen that meet in the waterfront :

Later on, we took a ride to a very familiar place (in books)… one of FLW’s last projects :

I even  found what would be my home if I were ever to have a home in the city… a renovated mid-century beauty :

But as the day went by, and our camera was tired of snapping, we found our way to an unlikely and architecturally unexpected place in the city…

the Harley-Davidson Museum

What do we know about Harley-Davidson?…

It screams ‘BAD-ASS’, ‘dangerous’… and possibly ‘mid-life crisis’ (to some).

What did we not know ?… (but perhaps should have…)

That ‘BAD-ASS’ architecture would come along with…

We were stunned, even from the moment we saw it over the highway.

Big, Bold, Cool, Dark, Structural… Volumes sit, very well composed, on the site :

Surely, the Architects got to play with the coolest of Structural materials… Gigantic Steel Sections, Cross Bracing…

At this point we like it… but it turned to love when we saw this :

Can you see it? … Custom 14-15 ft tall doors. Beauties… Now we had to go in, and certainly knew we were in for a treat.

Approaching the door we find that it is a copper finish. Nice. Open and you walk into an intermediate space (foyer) and you encounter the doors projected… next in what seemed to be brushed chrome.

Inside… just great. Still Cool, Bold, and Metal. A bit Rock & Roll…

And you know you got a winner when you visit a bathroom, and you find such customization :

If you did not see it, look down. The faucet is ‘active’ via a motorcycle gas pedal (clutch). Can’t get more bad-ass, can it?

Well, we kept walking and encountering… The Cafe :

The Shop :

And one of my personal favorites… an ‘I-Beam’ for a bench on the way out :

We would like to send props to PENTAGRAM ARCHITECTS in New York for a ‘BAD-ASS’ building… the Harley-Davidson staff loves it, they told us about you and your details ( and of things like the crazy sanding of the galvanized steel members, and the smooth opaque black bricks ) and could not stop… and now us.

By the way… those cool copper doors we talked about earlier… only a paint, surely a metal-finish paint. A pretty peny.

I guess Harley-Davidson love their bikes, love their clients… and love their Architects.   :)

FLW Hides (i meant at Hyde)

Posted in opinion, other architects, projects by DS26 on 08.16.2010

yesterday we took a stroll a bit south from the house, looking for one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s (FLW) most famous houses : the Robie House.

in rendering, this happens to be one of BobbyZ’s favorite drawings of all time. i concur that it is pretty good (you would not find that kind of drawing at any starchitects office today).

we found the house hidden, a bit, in the intersection of 58th & Woodland Ave… surrounded by beautiful foliage…

the linear design and famed cantilevers are everything everyone (at least in architecture) expects them to be.

robust. strong. present.

even the details are not left untouched by FLW. brilliant pieces that serve mundane functions fill the house.

the window

the water drainage

the light fixture

wait a minute… WHAT IS THIS ?

… as we walked, and marbled, we stumbled upon sign after sign…


… and garbage cans… GARBAGE CANS ?!


one of the most beautiful shots to be taken, ruined by plastic. like it wasn’t enough we had to deal with people walking around with 80s headphones…


if FLW was alive today, we guarantee he would be apalled by such atrocity.

the man that would detail down ‘wright’ to the benches, lighting, glass, etc…

“no place for crap” we’re sure he would say.

even he would have not guessed that someone would one day ‘MISPLACE’ stuff around his work of art.

as trained architects, walking around.. we were…

saddened. disappointed.  in dismay.