Recently HKSers got a visit from comedian David Wilk. Take a look for some laughs…
Archive for December, 2010
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LOS ANGELES — A week after Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, formally laid out a timeline and proposal to build a $1 billion football stadium and events center in downtown Los Angeles, AEG revealed architectural renderings of the proposed venue from three design firms…
I’m at work, I just stepping out of a monster meeting, and about to walk into another and I’m thinking where can I hide to do work. This bit of commentary from Jason Fried of 37 signals seemed to hit the nail on the head for my particular mood right now. Granted some of what he’s saying may be a bit unorthodox/impracticable for us architect types, but then again maybe not. Think about it and post your thoughts in the comments below, and if you feel like more of this kind of thinking, I recommend their book Rework.
Now I’m off to find someplace to get some work done.
A couple of the DC-HKSers volunteered this fall with Architecture in the Schools (AIS), a program offered by the Washington Architecture Foundation. AIS pairs volunteer architects and public school teachers to create an 8 week semester course based on core curriculum enhanced with the architectural design process.
Throughout this semester the students were introduced to sustainable architecture globally, locally and individually. The students learned about the basics of architecture through structure and how it is adapted around the world based on available materials and climate. A trip to the National Building Museum’s Lego exhibit reinforced architectural lessons learned in the classroom though a familiar medium of creativity. The students explored local architecture on their neighborhood scavenger hunt, performing a site analysis of their school environment. They learned about building systems through parallel relationships to the human body and created collages of conceptual ideas of their final projects inspired by our discussion and precedence found in architectural magazines. (more…)
Lately I’ve become fascinated with the idea of hybrid thinking. I learned of the hybrid thinking concept when striking up a conversation with Dev Patnaik on an airplane. His company, Jump Associates, embraces hybrid thinking. Jump Associates is a consulting firm out of San Francisco and New York that helps organizations tackle “highly ambiguous” problems. I’ve been catching up on Jump’s blog and a recent post said that highly ambiguous problems are different from highly complex problems. Dev explained it like this in his post “The Antidote to Ambiguity”:
A complicated problem is like playing a game of chess, an ambiguous problem is like having your in-laws over to dinner for the first time. In the latter situation, it’s not the number of variables that kills you. It’s what you don’t know that you don’t know.
But how to do you handle what you don’t know that you don’t know? Well, Dev goes on to say:
Fortunately, there is an answer, and that answer is hybrid thinking. It turns out that the antidote to ambiguity is hybridity. Take healthcare for example. Is fixing the American healthcare system a medical problem, a political problem, an economic problem, a social problem, a religious problem, or a technological problem? The answer is “yes.” It’s all of the above.
However, the solution isn’t just gathering together different disciplines. I’ve attended several conferences on healthcare that tried to get a doctor, an economist and a priest to walk into a room. That’s the start of a great joke, but not an answer to the problem. Getting these folks together just results in having them talk past each other.
Hybrid thinking is more than just having multidisciplinary teams. It’s about having multidisciplinary people — folks who are one-part humanist, one-part technologist and one-part capitalist. When multiple disciplines inhabit the same brain, something magical starts to happen. The disciplines themselves start to mutate. They hybridize. We start practicing business like a designer — think Mark Parker at Nike. We shape technology like a culturalist — think Steve Jobs at Apple. And we start thinking about the most complex problems that plague our societies like an entrepreneur.
The most intriguing sentence of the excerpt above is “when multiple disciples inhabit the same brain, something magical starts to happen”. As I consider hybrid thinking I can’t help but think of architecture as the ultimate application of it. (more…)