Thursday, April 20, 2017

Monica Ponce de Leon at the Art Institute

The Art Institute of Chicago, with co-sponsorship by Chicago Women in Architecture, recently hosted Monica Ponce de Leon for a lecture to discuss her work and her approach toward architecture, particularly with respect to digital fabrication. Ponce de Leon took us through a sample of her body of work with particular focus on materiality and experimentation. This is an ongoing theme in her work that extends across the built spectrum from art installation to sculpture to building and back again.  What particularly captured my imagination was the idea of digital fabrication as a natural evolution and extension of hand craft, and the notion that architectural design can be an act of discovery through the exploration of materials.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Learning from Experience: Pack a Sandwich

Two weeks ago I visited a window company plant to observe some air and water penetration tests of the assembly we're using on a new project. As with many factories, this one was in the middle of nowhere. I had to take a 7am flight from an airport that is about 20 miles from my house (instead of the one that's only 10 miles from my house), to an airport that was two and a half hours' drive from the plant. I couldn't eat the lunch the company offered (religious reasons), the company had the wrong sill installed in the test assembly, the assembly failed two of the three tests, our long drive back to the airport prevented us from eating anywhere but in the airport, the airport bar where we had dinner only had two things on the menu that I could eat, and as I discovered by biting into it, one of them I actually couldn't eat. If there hadn't been beer, I don't know what I would have done. All told, I was on the clock for almost 17 hours with just an iceberg salad.

Next week, I get to go back for the retest, with the correct sill, and some modifications to the assembly to help it pass. This time, instead of a 7am flight from the airport 20 miles from my house, we're taking a private plane at 7am from an airport 40 miles from my house.

I'm packing a sandwich this time. And probably a flask.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What the...: An Ongoing Series

New favorite typo (regarding carpet thicknesses):

"Do all of these dimensions include pudding?"