Archive for May, 2004

blogging break

May 30, 2004 Leave a comment

sorry that i haven’t updated in a while (for anybody that actually visited and wanted to read), but i’ve been so involved w/ the UTSolarD design studio that i haven’t even had time to breathe, let alone update this site. i probably won’t update again until mid to late-June, so i apologize to all offended. on the other hand, you can check UTSolarD as we’re starting to update our news section. we’ll also have a completely revamped website by mid-July, which will be freakin awesome, i’ll tell ya what (yanks – that basically means ‘let me tell ya’ – go watch king of the hill). you can also watch me (and the rest of the UTSolarD Team) on our temporary webcam. it will be fully integrated into the new version of the website – this page was just to make sure that it worked.

before i sign off, i just want to say that our design for the solar decathlon is incredible. our team is working so fantastically well together – we are designing and producing at such prodigious rates, and we mesh so well together, that i don’t see how we can not place tops when this competition rolls around in a year. we rock!

and so i bid you adieu until late June.

Categories: blog, UT SolarD

exhaustion and food

May 21, 2004 Leave a comment

phew. i feel exhausted, having just moved all my studio stuff to a new studio on the 4th floor for the UTSolarD studio. it’s not that big a deal, really, just mindless trudging. but it made me tired, and i’ve been sneezing like a madman since i entered this new studio.

i think i’m gonna just do some reading for a bit, then go him and eat dinner, then probably work at metro for a while. cindy and nathan left for dallas today. i’m hungry.

happy belated birthday parkoff.

Categories: architecture, school, UT SolarD

could you be any dumber?

May 17, 2004 Leave a comment
Categories: haha, WTF?

what’s wrong with me?

May 15, 2004 Leave a comment

so i’m very – though – not entirely bummed, as i’m getting an incomplete in studio for the semester. i didn’t produce enough or get my project to a satisfactory state by final review. so that totally sucks and makes me feel like shite; but on the other hand i get to continue working on the design for a new review midsummer. once i finally got into the design i had a blast, and know it has a ways to go, so i’ll get to develop it. but the whole situation begs the question of why i didn’t develop it earlier? this is the same pattern as always – i never really get serious work done until the end under the pressure of final deadline / failure. i must be the laziest bastard ever that failure is what gets me motivated. am i working towards the wrong goal that i need to be kicked so hard in the ass to get moving? i am totally enthralled w/ the concept of sustainable design – it’s essentially the application of environmentalism to architecture, which consumes nearly 45% of the nation’s energy. but i can’t really get into the design component unless pushed. so i tell myself that i’m not into design, but into making the building healthy and energy efficient. but this work pattern carries over into other classes – i did the same thing w/ my environmental controls class, which was a basic overview in sustainable design. i loved the class, but only put serious work into it at the end. that work payed off, but my relationship w/ my prof suffered, and i hold him in high esteem. plus, design is important – it’s why i love apple so much, b/c they understand that design is important, though not the only important thing. what’s important is the marriage between all aspects of the project: so for architecture its design (the aesthetic component of design), systems, flow – basically the creation of a building that makes sense when you move through it, is pretty and intriguing so you want to move through it, and is healthy so you don’t get sick when you move through it. i get so excited thinking and talking about these things, but actually doing them takes me forever. i just can’t ever get moving when i have to work – except for solar decathlon, which doesn’t take any effort on my part, and solar decathlon is that actual application of all these concepts i’m speaking of. so maybe once i actually work on a project, these issues will disappear. but i’m still concerned, b/c when designing buildings for studio, it is essentially an actual project, it just won’t ever get built. i have the capability to explore all of these issues that will be addressed in solar decathlon in every project i touch, i just don’t do the work. i even applied these issues to this semester’s project, but i just never really developed it. the idea is great that drives the project, but it continued to remain an idea until the very end when i was finally faced with not having anything to show at final review, so i finally produced. and when i produce, i produce good stuff, it’s just that as i’ve said a billion times on this page, if i actually worked this positively all semester i’d have a really great project. i’m beginning to seriously consider the possibility of my having ADD b/c i can’t keep my eye on my work 90% of the time. but is that just a way out of dealing what may be a deeper issue that i’m suppressing? grrrrrrr…

jewish humor outside of NY

May 12, 2004 Leave a comment

i love it! just watching seinfeld, they’re sitting in the diner as always when in walks some random friend, they exchange casual what’s ups, and the guy says ‘i’m a jew!’. he had just converted 2 days prior. george noticed he had a gym bag – you at the gym? ‘nah, just sat around in the sauna – more like a jewish workout!’ game, set match, straight to commercial. do non-jews get that joke immediately w/o explanation (which came after commercial break)? i don’t know, i’ve seen first hand how ‘off’ jewish humor can be – so many people down here don’t like seinfeld. that’s just odd.

Categories: Austin, haha, movies, religion

major site change coming soon…

May 12, 2004 Leave a comment

major site change coming soon…

Categories: blog

awesome mix

May 10, 2004 Leave a comment

oh yeah, the whole reason i posted today was to display 2 mixes that i’m making. one is the celebration mix for when classes end, and the other is just a good grooving mix.

y e a h ! ! ! (celebration mix)
Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway (Again)………. Wilco
Watching the Wheels………… John Lennon
Quiet………….. The Beta Band
Horse Pills………….. The Dandy Warhols
July, July! …………….The Decemberists
Know Your Onion! …………….The Shins
Stay Don’t Go…………….. Spoon
Hello Kitten ………………..Hefner
Phantasies Stephen ……………..Malkmus

of course, that mix is still in development – 8 songs does not a mix make. well, yeah it does, but i want it to be longer.

hippidy hip hip
Break………………. Jurassic 5
The Move ……………….The Beastie Boys
Smells Like Funk………………. Black Eyed Peas
Dracula’s Wedding……………… Outkast
Award Tour ……………….A Tribe Called Quest
Intergalactic ………………The Beastie Boys
Let’s Get Retarded …………….Black Eyed Peas

Categories: music

ok, my daylighting class is over – so one down. sp…

May 10, 2004 Leave a comment

ok, my daylighting class is over – so one down. spent most of the night plugging values into a multi-page excel document in order to simulate daylighting conditions achieved through a lightwell in the parking deck of the new Austin City Hall. our class (there are only 4 of us) got a behind the scenes tour of the building saturday morning; it’s still in construction and shouldn’t open till november. it’s cool looking from the outside b/c of all the copper siding, which will eventually develop a nice patina, and there are lots of planters all over the place in the front, so a bunch of green should eventually cascade over the sides. the lightwell i speak of has a waterfall cascading down a limestone wall that runs up one side of the lightwell – which is 9m x 3m x 3m, pretty large. this probably means nothing to you, but the lightwell is nice – it provides natural lighting 40′ down below the surface where you park your car, and creates a very visible exit route from the deck.

we got all of our lighting measurements and then got a tour or the rest of the building, which SUCKS. granted, it has a very nice public atrium, and there are some really great spaces and moments, but as a whole, i’m surprised at what a deal people are making of this thing. they’re trying to get this building a silver LEED rating – for those that don’t know what that is, it’s the industry rating for making sustainable buildings, silver is third highest (then gold and platinum). the thing doesn’t even have operable windows! the architect who toured us claimed that all the design teams sat down and decided that operable windows weren’t worth it in the austin climate b/c it’s so humid. it’s only really humid in the summer! what about spring and fall and the random warm days during our mild winter? plus, the building is right on the water – it was almost 80degrees when we were there, and there was an incredible breeze that flowed right through the building b/c it didn’t have glass yet! what a load of bullshite! PLUS, there were these random columns in the middle of offices, which by the way, were laid out like a common office building, so the suckers w/o perimeter offices didn’t get any daylight. oh, my bad, the architect so thoughtfully put those vertical windows in next to the doors – she seriously claimed that was a method for them to get daylighting inside the building.

my disbelief at the simple things missed is not a symptom of my naivety or lack of experience. one of the students, getting his second masters, had been a practicing architect for 20 years all over the world for big firms, and said the same things. this building is the epitome of the LEED certification – higher efficiency using energy intensive products, since the LEED certification itself is an industry set standard. the only incentive they have is to sell their products. granted, it’s a good starting point and is better than nothing, but this building had some glaring mistakes. especially as austin is positioning itself as one of the foremost ‘green’ cities (a new solar electricity plan was just rolled out w/ major incentives – we should be the most solar city in the country in a matter of years – UTSolarD is going to benefit from some of the incentives) the new city hall should be a landmark building that showcases serious sustainable building technology. efficient systems are not the way to being good, as william mcdonough so brilliantly stated in his lecture here last week, as well as in his revolutionary utopian manifesto cradle to cradle. being efficient, he says, is not the path to being good, it’s only being less bad. one of his standard lines is that an efficient nazi isn’t good – neither is an efficient building. it needs to effective. mcdonough just finished the renovation of the ford river rough manufacturing plant – THE manufacturing plant, which now sports over 2mil acres of green roof [the world’s largest]. apparently ford’s stormwater management system for that site cost $48mil. to install the green roof cost $13mil. the green roof acts as a stormwater management system by retaining runoff water (instead of letting it all drain off the roof and down the gutter, the soil absorbs it, feeding plants, and then eventually evaporating, helping to cool the building). that right there was a cost saving of $35mil, which was apparently the equivalent of a 900,000 car order of ford focus’. that’s how he frames the whole method of building green – frame it for the client, which in this case was focused on the bottom line.

anyway, back to CAD – need to finish drawing my house by this afternoon so i can start on the model tonight or tomorrow, i only have 2 days left.

Categories: Uncategorized

appendicitus? no – worms!

May 8, 2004 Leave a comment

oh yeah, in the spirit of my inability to cook chicken to an edible state, i send you here. note: my situation resulted in horrible stomach pains – i thought i had appendicitis – but nothing like what this guy had.

Categories: food, haha, health

procrastination and brilliance

May 8, 2004 Leave a comment

i can’t believe i’m writing at this moment – the final crunch has begun, and my procrastination throughout the semester has finally kicked me in the ass. all is ok, though, i shall prevail. i seem to only function well under pressure, though god knows what i could churn out if i worked this intensely all semester long. same story every few months, yada yada.

the real reason i’m writing now is to profess my amazement at the beauty of a little invention. not really invention, but moreso intervention. it’s those little bumps or raised lines found on the j and the f keys on keyboards, though sometimes they may be found (or felt, rather) on the k and the d keys (that really fucks me up when they do that). aren’t they amazing? you think i’m crazy, and you think it’s no big deal, but try to notice it next time you’re typing. you don’t need to look at the keyboard to find your place, you feel your way. big deal, you say, that’s what the things are supposed to do. exactly! when you don’t even acknowledge that an intervention or invention is doing a job so superbly is when you know what an amazing job the designers did. you still may think i’m nuts, but it’s true. keep an eye out for little things that do their jobs so well you don’t even think about them. you may not be floored by the keyboard nubs, but there are millions of things out there that do similarly fantastic jobs.

on a side note, perhaps that’s where got their name (assuming of course that the k and d instead of j and f were their keyboard nubs)? the supreme finger of each hand, the leaders, the central locations from which all creativity, beauty and intelligence erupts from their brilliant minds and flows delicately, forcefully, chaotically, to become 3d masterpieces.

Categories: creative, media