the way we live



the other day worldchanging posted a wonderful article about another new web-search page called ripple.  according to the worldchanging article last year some $16.9 billion of interactive ad revenue was generated last year alone.  ripple, in partnership with google, aims to take a slice of that revenue and direct it towards fighting global poverty.  additionally, they say:

“melbourne-based ripple has recently launched and internet search engine that leverages the market for Internet advertising to make fighting poverty as easy as searching the web.  users earn money for one of the four charitable causes simply by conducting their daily searches from the ripple page (powered by google) or by clicking on a ‘give panel’ located in the ripple homepage. “

i find this sort of philanthropy simply genius by a function of its ease.  anyone and everyone can contribute money just for performing internet searches.    if ripple can harvest just 1% of what myspace does it would generate $5 million for charity annually.  now imagine if everyone set their homepage to ripple.

7 June 2007 Posted by | society | Leave a comment

organic airport


a few days ago my friend over at perpetual-elaboration posted on the organic airport that was the winning design for a joint department of homeland security and the association of collegiate schools of architecture design competition.  the winning entry was put forward by two friends of mine, james diewald and michael frederick, and i must say after hearing about their design i thoroughly enjoyed finally seeing it.  their entry focuses on a how to approach the new security requirements within the broader issues of airport form and function.  i am quite impressed and their work is certainly commendable.  i would encourage everyone to head over to architecture week and read the article about the design written by the designers themselves.


5 June 2007 Posted by | architecture, society | Leave a comment

ghostly gardens


a couple of days ago i ran across a post over at one of my favorite blogs, architecture chicago plus, about the impending death of the stateway gardens in chicago.  i was remind of a month ago when i was down near 35th and state standing on the 35th street green line platform when i saw the last of the stateway gardens all but torn down (my pictures are above and below).  all that was left at the time were the structural core and the concrete floor slabs.  i remember thinking how ghostly the building was at the time, it had a totally different feel than that of a building under construction.  lynn becker of architecture chicago plus had this to say about the historical context of the development:

“the highrise was one of eight public housing towers built on a 33-acre site at 35th and state, just south of mies van der rohe’s iit campus, that opened in 1958 with the greatest of hope, but degenerated down through the decades into an anarchic, crime-ridden, drug and gang riddled residences of last resort that wound up being even worse than the slums they replaced.  when the chicago housing authority created a “plan for transformation” in the mid-1990’s, the keystone of that transformation was annihilation – wiping out all of stateway gardens, and of the robert taylor homes, and cabrini-green, and just starting all over again.”

if you head over to architecture chicago plus and scroll down a bit you can read the full article including some information on the new mixed use, mixed income development plan devised by som.  while i certainly don’t doubt the call to tear down these historical monsters, their paved “gardens” of no-man’s land between, and the decision to reintroduce the scale of the surrounding urban fabric, i question the approach to the housing and the breakdown of affordable rate units, especially given all the units being eliminated.  unfortunately this problem isn’t isolated to the stateway gardens.  nearly all of the cha units have the same problem, including neighboring robert taylor homes and the more northly cabrini-green.


5 June 2007 Posted by | architecture, urban planning | Leave a comment