Archives: 2014

Sublime Darkness

What artists know that most architects haven’t yet fully embraced is the practice of drawing the dark shapes. It’s not natural when drafting on a computer to visualize exactly how the dark is going to move across the room especially when our entire focus tends to be on washing the space in the light.

I have recently revisited this lesson while gesture painting from a live model. All architects should practice figure drawing regularly if for no other reason; it will remind them to draw shadows as a solid shape.   When all you have is 3 minutes to capture a form as with the drawing above, the dark and light shapes are just about all you get. What you learn is that there is no light until you have the dark defined and therefore no form. This is also true of architectural space.

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Women Architects

Women in Architecture: Leaning In Without Falling Over

I often get asked if architecture is a good career choice by young women. Depending on the day of course, I usually answer yes. However, the statistics strongly disagree with me.

In the U.S., more than 45% of students in architecture school are women yet they only make up 23% of the work force. And when it comes to large firms only 17% have a partner that is female.

So where do all the girls go?

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White Crosses Adorn Hillside Memorial Iraq

The Crosses of Lafayette: Toward a Permanent Memorial

This summer I was honored, along with 6 other local architects and landscape architects to moderate a community design workshop to envision the future of the Lafayette Crosses.

This came after a moment of authentic stomach turning sadness.

On a cool day in late spring, I drove by the crosses and realized I wasn’t looking anymore. I drove around the block and stopped in front of the dry and overgrown hill and cried. I must’ve at that moment realized the crosses would inevitably have to change. I besieged the internet looking for ways to reach the founder of the crosses foundation and express my concern and willingness to help.

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