Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category

99% Invisible – Elegy for WTC -Buildings Speak

As a structural engineer, it was great to hear this podcast.  It was also heartbreaking, eerie.  If you have about 6 minutes, this is REALLY worth listening to (especially if you are a structural engineer)!

The link below is to a podcast that I listen to called “99% Invisible” done by an architect in San Francisco.  It is a short 6 minutes and is a recording of Les Robertson (structural engineer of the WTC) talking about his thoughts of his (and his team’s) design of the WTC structure.  Such a tough moment to listen to him take responsibility for the criteria used to design the structural solution for the WTC. 

A Little NPR Love…

I have a confession to make.  I am an NPR junkie.  I pretend I am Michele Norris when she says her name on the radio.  I like to believe that in another life I would have ended up with Ira Glass.  I sometimes pretend Carl Kasell is my father (sorry, dad, you’re pretty cool too).  I do, however, often lust after some of the lesser-known stars of NPR – in particular, Kai Ryssdal.  He’s a babe.

You can only imagine, then my joy when I recently found out that Tom Polucci (of Inside the Designer Studio and Contract Magazine fame) was interviewed …

Truly Maximum Fun

One of my coworkers here in the Planning Group turned me onto what is now my all-time favorite podcast (That’s right, you’ve been replaced This American Life – I mean, I have listened to your ENTIRE archive…).  I am, thus, turning you, dear reader, onto the super-fun also.  And I’ve just listened to exactly the starter-‘sode that will surely get you hooked.  A Great talk by Merlin Mann about Creative Work and the weirdos that attempt to do it, or attempt to start it.  Two very enthusiastic virtual thumbs up.  Way up.

 Listen here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This podcast is, simply put, about things that are awesome.  The host, Jesse Thorn (America’s Radio Sweetheart), asks lots of cool questions of people …

another office productivity blog post

While you’re in design school, they really just lie to you.  Okay, maybe not lie, but they certainly omit somethings.  One thing they really don’t touch on enough is just how much WRITING you’re going to be doing in the “real world.”    Yesterday was one of those days where I just had to crank out some real text, and I’m not talking fun “once upon a time” stuff; this is jargon filled diatribe-type love. 


Although I love the extremely open layout of our office when it’s time for true collaboration, the super-openness doesn’t always work to our advantage when we’re trying to do tough stuff

Onward to Zero (Emissions)!


What does it take to design a net zero emissions office building? Because few of our clients are currently considering carbon neutrality in their projects, an HOK team — with help from some wonderful friends — is designing one through a series of virtual charrettes.

In response to Architecture 2030’s challenge to the global architecture and building community, HOK has committed to designing all buildings to be 100 percent carbon neutral by 2030.

The idea for the charrette is the brainchild of HOK Chairman Bill Valentine, who wants the firm’s people to gain the knowledge and experience required to design zero emissions buildings. This vision is being turned into reality …

Regulation and Spontaneity

Two trains of thought. The city planned by the people, and the city planned for the people.

What do you think? Is one more democratic? Is one more successful and to whom? Is there a difference in the individual good and the collective good and do we view them differently? (think hard about that last one)

Maybe it’s both, I don’t know. But I have my assumptions. Maybe there’s just the ‘public’ and ‘planned’ framework that’s the most important part. Like New York City in the 1811?

One more thought. In the scheme of things, ‘What would nature do?’ Develop a framework or organize a system that builds its own framework? Instead of the ‘overlay’ for the greater good, it could …

Music and a Meal

Today we had a very special lunch treat.  Some representatives from the Cameron Youth Chamber Orchestra graced us with some beautiful music.  That’s right, we got to have a seat (or stay at our desk and frantically work through lunch….you know who you are!) and just enjoy the skills of a very talented group. 

We invited them into our office to help us celebrate the Arts and Education Council, and to help us raise interest in the fundraising effort we’re participating in this week and next.  The Arts and Education Council supports regional arts and helps them thrive and grow. 

If you’re interested in helping out, head on over to the Chamber Orchestra’s site or the Arts

Praveen & Benoît / Shigeto Remix

Alright, I’ve been crazy-busy these last few weeks and no time to post, however that being said I’d have to be dead not to notice this.

I’m voting this Best Remix of Quarter 1 2009.

I’m not going to say anything about bootstraps, chinstraps, jockstraps, or any other kind of strap. Just listen.

& Enjoy.

Rockin’ in the Office


Recently, music has been intersecting in both my personal and professional lives. Professionally, this relates to the discussion of whether it is appropriate to use headphones at work . The office was pretty divided (and yes, the divide was pretty much Gen X & Y vs. the Boomers & Veterans). Arguments against headphones were that individuals miss out on the studio chatter about their projects and can be limited in their professional development if they are constantly plugged into music. Arguments for headphones were that the studio can be a loud environment and headphones are helpful for concentration or sending a signal not to disturb unless it’s important. 

I personally tend to …

Sir Peter Cook on BBC Radio 4

This morning I was listening to the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, which is probably the most respected morning radio news show in the UK. If you haven’t listened to it before I thoroughly recommend the podcast. It features political, economic and social debates from the worlds most powerful and/or inspiring thought leaders.

This morning Zaha Hadid was guest-editing the programme, so as you may guess there was a heavy design emphasis. Hadid gave an interesting interview which you can listen to here. But what I was most interested in was an interview with the CEO of Vitra about how the best design is usually achieved under the pressured conditions of …