the way we live

disillusioned advertising


a friend of mine told me to head over to banana republic’s website and check out their new advertising featuring architects…laughter promptly ensued. as you can see from above this isn’t exactly what one finds inside your typical architectural office. in fact, i’m not really sure where banana republic got this idea at all, seeing as the stereotype of architects is anything but. actually geoff manaugh over at bldgblog had a great link over to gawker on this topic. in turn, gawker has a simply hilarious “interview” with a working architect about this advertising and how interesting it is, some highlights:

  • frankie: well, firstly, these people look really well-rested and almost obscenely casual. if this were a real meeting, the model on the table would have some stray marks on it. more likely, it would be shattered in a million pieces on the floor.
  • frankie: if i were a high schooler with architectural aspirations seeing this, it would probably be too seductive to resist. five years in a design program, however, at a sufficiently respectable design school will bleed most of the color out of this person’s palette and leave them crushed and vulnerable enough to fully engage the profession.

actually, while you’re at bldgblog be sure to check out some other great posts as of late, including europe’s geological attics and north america vs. the a-241/bis device.


25 February 2007 Posted by | architecture, society | 1 Comment



this first in a series of five design competitions has been announced by re:vision, a community for planners, designers, and thinkers. this competition, aptly called re:volt, aims to engage people to rethink and redesign the way we use energy in the urban environment. are there ways to make cities zero-energy? or better yet, instead of having negative or even no impact on the environment, could they have a positive impact? the website lists five hypothetical question to think about, but your competition entry certainly lisn’t imited to these:

  • how can industry stop polluting the air and water?
  • how can visitors generate energy for a building?
  • how can buildings capture the sun and the wind?
  • how can offices be more energy efficient?
  • how can homes lower their energy bills to zero?

the deadline for entry is 15 march 2007 but entries don’t have to be postmarked until 01 april 2007. judges will be using 3.1 items of criteria:

  • sustainability and reality of intent – 33%
  • affordability and constructability – 33%
  • innovation and originality – 33%
  • judges’ discretion – 1%

i think this is a fascinating series of competitions that should produce some dramatically successful ideas for rebuilding/redesigning the way in which we use, and even think about, energy. oh, and did i mention there will be seven prizes of $2,000?  winners should be announced in late april or early may. four future competitions to follow will include:

  • re:route – rethinking urban transportation
  • re:store – greening the urban economy
  • re:connect – rethinking urban planning
  • re:vision – sustainable architectural urban solutions

25 February 2007 Posted by | green, society, urban planning | Leave a comment