September 2010 Archives

By: Paula Rabinowitz

A few years ago, on my way to see Pedro Almodóvar's film, Talk to Her, which was playing at the local indie-flick multiplex alongside Frida, I stopped at the public library to return a book. Parked in its lot was a minivan plastered with reproductions of Frida Kaylo's paintings and a banner proclaiming "Vivan Las Artistas Latinas!" I ran across the street to a drug store, bought a disposable camera, and began shooting away, all four sides of the vehicle. Only when I looked at the developing prints did I realize that reaming the license plate was this work's title: Frida Karlo. This traveling "homenaje a Frida" is part of an evolving landscape of playful feminist post-modern kitsch. The "Karlo" works through design to fashion identity; or perhaps it is the other way around: it uses identity as a mechanism of design.

Read this article in its entirety on page 20.

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Photomontage of Frida Karlo images taken with the authors disposable camera representing the evolving landscape of playful feminist post-modern kitsch.

Paula Rabinowitz is a Professor and Department Chair in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.

By: Ozayr Saloojee

The first and essential mandate of a school of architecture is the conscious, deliberate and involved participation in the education of the designers of the future. In addition to the pedagogies and curricula that explore issues of history, theory, culture, sustainability, 'design,' and a host of other topics, it is logical that our schools consistently pose questions regarding the evolving nature of architecture and of the architect.

Read this article in its entirety on page 27.

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Selimiye Mosque, Mimav Saginaw, Istanbul

Ozayr Saloojee is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture in the University of Minnesota's College of Design.

Reweaving Minneapolis

By: Mayor R. T. Rybak, speech

For the first time in my life, the popular culture of America values urban living and no other city in America is as ready to step up to that challenge more than Minneapolis. Americans are moving back to cities and Americans are moving to Minneaplis. From 1990 to 2000 our city grew by 14,000 people and is expected to grow by as much as 50,000 in the next 15 years.

Read this article in its entirety on page 30.

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This article is an excerpt from Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak's address at the newly renovated Russian Art Museum to a crowd of architects, landscape architects, developers, planners, and the general public. It was presented as a part of the Great City Forum on Tuesday, February 28, 2006.

Feeling Minnesota

By: Philip Glenn Koski, AIA

The Mall of America has recently been put on the market for 1.2 million dollars. That, anyway, is the price quoted in the recent upgrade of the board game, Monopoly: Here and Now Limited Edition. IN the 2006 re-engineering of the game by the toy titan, Hasbro, the familiar Atlantic City street names have been replaced by iconic landmarks representing 22 American cities. According to the latest re-appraisal, Mall of America (MOA) is valued just above Saarinen's magnificent Saint Louis Arch at an even million bucks.

Amide the hurly-burly of the game's sweeping real-estate shake up, Hasbro has...

Read this article in its entirety on page 34.

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Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport.

Philip Koski is a principal at iota, an architectural firm in Minneapolis.

Rethinking Cash Money

By: Ryan O'Malley

Cabbage, Benjamins, Skrilla, Cheese...
For the same reason the Eskimos had myriad names for sow, we Americans have countless terms for our currency. Images of money are all around us. It's difficult to think of a more ubiquitous artifact that's both commonly and uniquely charged with meaning.

Whatever its appearance, Cheddar always collects the energy of what we imbue it with - power, security, fear, etc. Still, its graphic content undeniably conveys an image of the issuing nation.

Read this article in its entirety on page 38.

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Ryan O'Malley is a thesis student in the Mster Architecture Program at the Universtiy of Minnesota's College of Design.

Cala & Katrina

By: Della Hansmann

As students in Minnesota, our daily schedules were apparently unaltered by Hurricane Katrina, so we looked for ways in which we could offer support to those in the Gulf Coast region. The first opportunity for students to contribute directly came during spring break, 2006, when about 20 students from Cameron Sinclair's Architecture for Humanity course travelled to Biloxi, Mississippi, to lend a hand for the week.

Read this article in its entirety on page 40.

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Students constructing access ramp for Al and Ruby D'Orville.

Della Hansmann is a second year graduate student in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Minnesota.

Re-Animating Main Street

By: Heidi Lukewich

This thesis sought to test the ability of architecture to reanimate a place, specifically the American phenomenon known as Main Street.

Main Street has characteristically served as the commercial corridor of typical American towns. Main Street is a phenomenon because it is not just a place, but also an event; it is the physical manifestation of a town's essence. Its significance, however, has naturally changed over the years. As the big box and malls provide services that mimic Main Street's services, its role in our everyday lives has decreased.

Read this article in its entirety on page 44.

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Figure A: Depicts the two sides of Main Street in Medford, Wisconsin, split physically and developmentally in half by Broadway Avenue. Figure B: Part of the inspiration for the design of the project came from the physical nature of the site, the green depicts gaps in the urban fabric that allowed for connections in the design.

Heidi Lukewich is a 2006 graduate of the College of ARchitecture and Landscape Architecture. This is an excerpt from her thesis, Re-Animating Main Street.

Therapeutic Design

By: Steven Mitrione, MD

Gardens have played a role in healthcare for centuries. With the advent of modern medicine in the beginning of the twentieth century, this historical role has been lost. However, there has been renewed interest in utilizing garden environments as therapeutic entities to enhance the process of healing that occurs in healthcare environments.

Read this article in its entirety on page 48.

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Plan of Clare Apartments Therapeutic Garden. Drawing created by author.

Steve Mitrione is a 2006 graduate of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. This is an excerpt from his capstone project.

Architectural Soundbytes: The Shifting Dialogue of Design

By: James Wheeler

Just as a building is comprised of a myriad of structures and systems working in harmony, the language we use to express ourselves requires the same amount of scrutiny and detailing that our designed documents possess. Through a commitment to this crafting of our professional identity we may begin to improve the trajectory
of our architecture and the nature of our relationship to both the built environment and the public we serve.

Read this article in its entirety on page 52.

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James Wheeler is a thesis candidate in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Minnesota's College of Design.

Penultimate Beauty, Mies, Mockbee, and Maslow

By: Sonja Sudheimer

"Good" Architecture
In Henri Lefebvre's 1974 "The Production of Space" he employs a dialectical approach to evaluating architecture. He asks questions and answers them thoughtfully, addressing nuances as well as broad themes; and through this method, his theory acquires depth and a level of precision. It is through this process of inquiry and answer that Lefebvre lands on two key messages:

The production of space...

Read this article in its entirety on page 59.

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Barcelona Pavilion, Mies. Image courtesy of Meredith Hayes.

Sonja Sudheimer is a thesis candidate in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Minnesota's College of Design.

Too Perfect: Seven New Denmarks

By: Bruce Mau Design

Remember the late 1940's? That was when a group of young Danish architects and designers decided to throw off the shackles of tradition-bound design. They formed a distinctly Danish movement, inspired by natural materials, organic forms, handcrafting, and Danish humanism. Worldwide, Danish Modern became a sign of being innovative and experimental. Today it means nothing - an invisible image.

Read this article in its entirety on page 64.

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Too Perfect was a collaboration of the Danish Architecture Centre and the Power Plant, as part of SUPERDANISH: Newfangled Danish Culture. Curated by Bruce Mau Design, in collaboration with Plot. With the participation of Kontrapunkt, Nord, SRL Arkitema and Plot. Commissioned by the Danish Architecture Centre.

Designing Educational Identity: Architecture and Otherness

By: Thomas Mical

Carleton University's PhD in Architecture is an advanced and internationally competitive program that addresses the history, theory, and practice of architecture through insightful and exacting scholarship. At the Carleton University School of Architecture, doctoral projects will draw on the interrelated genetic, performative, and reflective aspects of architecture, design and material process. The program offers four fields of inquiry: Genetic Representation...

Read this article in its entirety on page 68.

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Thomas Mical, B Des, M Arch, MN, PhD is an asistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. The editors of THERE interviewed him about the proposed introduction of a doctoral program in Architecture and Otherness at Carleton University.

Design Hackers

By: Aaron Westre

1968. A group of researchers led by Nicholas Negroponte at MIT starts assembling the components for what they called the Architecture Machine. The project's ambitious goal is to create a device that can design. Five years of work later, the machine occupies an entire room with computers, tape reels, digital drawing tablets, interactive screens, plotters and other electronic devices. Thousands of hours have been invested in writing code for the machine, including a custom operating system. It has the ability to infer three dimensional forms from sketches, propose efficient floor plans, and recognize the shapes of physical objects. Hidden in these seemingly mundane tasks is an incredible realization: that a computer--despite its rigid, deterministic nature--could exhibit seemingly spontaneous, yet appropriate, behavior when confronted with an open-ended task such as design. Negroponte envisioned a time when all designers would have a machine like this, which they could train to design according to their particular style and method.

Read this article in its entirety on page 72.

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Aaron Westre is a second year graduate student in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Minnesota's College of Design.

Nourishing Design

By: David McWilliams

In modern society there appears to be a fundamental clash between providing for the needs of a thriving human population and sustaining the delicate balances required by the rich diversity and abundance of life on the Earth. Society embeds in us the idea that these desires are fundamentally in opposition, that the two cannot coexist in mutual prosperity. The result is a society in which we try to minimize the damage we cause to our planet. Sustainable design has been adopted as the solution. Recently this ideology has begun to make a serious impact on the consciousness of the world, bringing awareness of the results our actions have. Unfortunately, this has also provided greater opportunity to ignore the fact that the conflict still exists. The end result is that humans are merely destroying the Earth at a slower pace.

Read this article in its entirety on page 76.

David McWilliams is a second year graduate student in the Master of Architecture Program at the University of Minnesota.

The One Percent Solution

By: John Cary

Everybody benefits from good design, but all too often nonprofit organizations and communities-in- need cannot afford professional design services, or do not realize they have access to such services on a pro bono basis. Most architecture firms have no formal way to manage requests for pro bono work or receive recognition comparable to that bestowed on fee-based projects. Most significantly, architects face significant liability issues, whether or not they are paid. Yet none of these issues are insurmountable, as shown by the successful establishment of a pro bono tradition in the legal profession.

Read this article in its entirety on page 78.

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Scraphouse was a temporary demonstration dwelling constructed out of scrap material in conjunction with the World Environmental Day 2006.

John Cary is the Executive Director of Public Architecture, a non-profit organization that, per its motto, "puts the resources of architecture in the service of the public interest." He has his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota.

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