Street furniture

Simple change in materials creates a place to pause or socialise in this urban retail setting. The inset lighting and benches work well to provide direction and linkage to the bisecting public space. Share this reboot

Building as sign

I have visited the Main Street in Canmore, Alberta many times and have always been impressed with this simple shopfront. Besides the colour splash from the planting this is a simple wood slat and metal frame construction. By using neutral materials to form the letters, emphasis is on the “negative space” to suggest the word

Board #workplace  

The Andes House, a design studio from Chile, designed this simple workspace as part of an exercise exploring the strengthening of hard board and dual applications for furniture and interior architecture. I applaud this simple and cost effective solution to defining internal spaces and the way that The Andes House have “designed” through materiality rather

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Another brick in the wall…

SAM (semi-automated mason) is bringing challenge to our cherished bricklayers by demonstrating significant productivity increases. 300-500 bricks a day (human) vs 800-1200 bricks a day (robot) Fortunately for those remaining skilled masons, which tragically is a dying trade in my view, SAM can only lay straight walls. I can testify that some bricklayers can’t even

Sustainable cities from wood

It is widely accepted that using wood in building construction can be effective at reducing carbon emissions from the process. Imagine the sustainable benefits of densified cities that use the sustainable material that could have a double impact on the emissions generated from our population centres. The Great Fire of London in 1666 should add

Shit brickwork

A Malaysian university, the Universiti Teknologi MARA, is experimenting with sewage sludge as a cement additive to make concrete. Potentially this could support the increasing demand for concrete and also solve the issues around disposal of  rising sewage volumes. However, as might be expected, the concrete had reduced performance with a higher concentration of sewage

A cooling ceramic cladding #sustainability

Material science provides us with a great opportunity to harness technicalogical innovation with simplicty to provide financially “accessible” design solutions to suit the architecture and environmental vernacular. By simply understanding the inherent properties of ceramics, a team have developed “Bloque Termodisipador BT,” traditional block with an irregular core that promotes cross ventilation and thus cools

PVC the new asbestos ?

“According to a new whitepaper report by Perkins+Will, “What’s New (and What’s Not) With PVC,” in spite of recent advances in plastic chemistry PVC is still responsible for a range of environmental and human health hazards created in multiple stages of its manufacturing process.”

I have often maintained, with my disdain on PVC windows and cladding, that PVC would one day be a health risk the same way asbestos is now understood.

While the risks with PVC are very different, I challenge why, as an industry, we cannot simply revert to natural, renewable and sustainably sourced materials…?


Perkins+Will Suggests Alternative Materials to Replace Health-Threatening PVC


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