One of the assignments for sophomore architecture students was developed over three related projects. The first part was to draw a Roman letter, most often an initial from the student's first or last name. This letter would be drawn on a 10" x 10" sheet of heavy paper. The objective was perfection. Research online would reveal the geometric construction of the chosen letter based on a historical standard. There was little expectation of creativity at this point, but the stude
In Support of Procrastination In professional baseball, when a batter would come to the plate and obliterate the back chalk line of the batter’s box with his cleats, the odds were good that the the hitter was a student of Charley Lau. He advised his hitters to stand back as far as possible in the box to give themselves a fraction of a second more to evaluate a pitch. That’s procrastination. They would still have to make the decision but they had a slight advantage over those
I planted a cherry tree in my yard that was to serve two purposes: to produce cherries and shade the first floor window from the summer sun. For years, the tree never produced a single blossom, but the energy it saved in fruit, it put into growth. It was as tall as the second floor roof before it a cherry appeared. Now, it has a small, but much appreciated annual harvest. The problem is, I can't reach most of the height of the tree. The Big Box solution would be to buy a corr
Humans seem to have a predilection for pattern. I suspect it's contributed to the survival of the species. Recognizing patterns allows us to understand a comprehensive whole rather than a supposing a smattering of parts. I bought a kaleidoscope years ago. This particular model is comprised of a cylinder and a drum, the viewing tube is standard kaleidoscope with a pair of mirrors to create the image. The drum at the end contains a liquid, a transparent plastic portion that ad
Oliver Sacks had, over the years, produced a series of fascinating books that catalogue the workings of the human mind. In particular, what happens when the mind suffers from injuries and disorders that manifest themselves in ways that lead to insights on the workings of the brain. His book, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat", contains a chapter entitled, "The Twins", an account of two brothers who had been diagnosed as either "autistic, psychotic or severely retarded.
Thirty spokes share one hub. Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose in hand, and you will have the use of the cart. Knead clay in order to make a vessel. Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose in hand, and you will have the use of the vessel. Cut out a door and windows in order to make a room. Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose in hand, and you will have the use of the room. Thus, what we gain is Something, yet it is by virtue of Nothing that this can be put to use.
A few years back, I visited the Wyeth Museum in Chadds Ford, PA. The Wyeths are a tremendously talented family with a museum devoted to 3 generations of painters: N.C., Andrew and Jamie, with a portion of the museum devoted to each. N.C. Wyeth, father of Andrew and grandfather of Jamie, is best known for his illustrations that appeared in such adventure books as Treasure Island and Kidnapped, among others. He also pursued fine art, but felt frustrated and condemned himself as
Yes, it's a cat video; that's not why I'm sharing it. Read below before watching. Telling a story is a way to share meaning. How the story is relayed is the choice of the author, but it is crafted with an audience in mind and constructed so that all the pieces are integral to the whole. Together they make the story complete; anything more is extraneous, anything less is incomplete. This snippet contain all the pieces that make a short story engaging for a human viewer: intro
I've noticed a subtle shift in some of the board games that have made their way into our house. But what seems subtle while we're playing, actually upends the paradigm of the way we think about games and subsequently ties into the discussion of "architectural" vs. "engineering" thinking. In engineering there is a "correct" answer and a metric to prove it. A solution can be the least expensive, the shallowest, the strongest, etc. All of these can be verified through calculatio
My computer was completely black. The only exception was a small, lavender button. It was a "disk eject" on the face of a PC that I had in my office. It was about an inch and a half long and a sixteenth of an inch wide. The edge of the button was eased and had a dip in the center about the same radius as my forefinger. One day the disk drive stopped working. Several more jabs with my finger didn’t change the result. I was unable to find the small hole normally provided
Years ago I visited the Adirondacks and met Caleb Davis. He conducted a class on making a wooden canoe paddle. I hadn't signed up for the class, but at breakfast the next day I had a chance to sit across from him and he explained why he did what he did in creating his paddles. His description struck me as a template for good design: A single piece of wood is shaped as a response to needs, both physical and environmental. The result is a tool that lets someone move a canoe t