a matter of perspective

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Reawakening: David Rau @ TEDxRVA

David Rau of 3north recently gave an inspiring talk at TEDxRVA.  He discusses his reawakening after visiting Venice, Italy and realizing that the future Venice will look like the Venice of the past.  From this he discusses how we can have a better future for our world if the architecture of the future is more like the architecture of the past.

He discusses 4 cultural shifts, Food and Architecture, Happiness, Genetics, and Life & Architecture

Here are some snippets:

  • “people are in documented fact, happiest in traditional towns”
  • “we are our most authentic selves in the places built like the old parts of town, otherwise our lives are in danger”
  • “something made by hand can be the most efficient form of construction, craft is actually Green”
  • “the more we incorporate things that are handmade into buildings the more green they are”
  • “can an steel frame all glass house sitting in wetlands be considered green?”
  • “maybe the future won’t look futuristic but will look more like the past than you can imagine.”

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Hope for Architecture

I have been following the progress being made on a project called the Hope for Architecture.  This is the work of Clay Chapman, a master builder and designer.  Chapman has 20 years experience in designing and building structural masonry and timber frame structures as single family residences and horse stables.  The Brick in Architecture Award winning Pierce-Lee Residence in Cedartown, Georgia, is in particular, exemplary.

While he has a wonderful catalog of work to his credit, what is truly remarkable is his project he has titled the “hope for architecture”.  Chapman’s experiment is to prove a structure of the quality that could last a century can be built for the cost of a standard tract home, and that it can be sustainable, affordable and energy-efficient.

Chapman recently gave a lecture at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, which gives a great overview of the project.

I have found this to be inspirational, and I look forward to see the outcome of all this work.

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Architecture, it seems, is a matter of perspective.

For an architect perspective has special meaning. It is the view in which the viewer sees one’s built form, but it is also the way in which the architect sees buildings and the world. Often these two perspectives are radically different. It is as if the special “architect glasses” offer a view unseen to the naked eye. Where we studied, who we worked for and how we live our lives shapes this perspective.


My goal in starting a blog, is define my perspective. To write it down and share it with others. And maybe if I have some readers, we can have a dialog as well.

I am not a theorist, so I don’t think this will be heavy, or lengthy, but something I hope some can enjoy.