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Ispirazione

In amber morning light I boarded a vaporetto and floated down Venice’s Grand Canal. Bit of a switch from Dallas.

 

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Urban Symposium No. 1

The first Urban Symposium event, as a part of StoreFrontLab Season 2, kicked off with a full room of people, each with a party hat on and margarita in hand. > Read More

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TraceSF launches City Makers salon

This month TraceSF introduces City Makers, a new salon series at StoreFrontLabHosted by Amanda Loper of David Baker Architects and Emily Gosack of Jensen Architects, City Makers grew out of a desire to hear more from the women at the forefront of City Making. John Parman, a founding editor of TraceSF, spoke with Amanda and Emily about the series, which opens on October 28 with  Laura Crescimano, a principal of SITELAB urban studio.

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Carlo Scarpa, Berkeley, California, 1969”, photo courtesy of the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Carlo Scarpa In Person

“Carlo Scarpa, Berkeley, California, 1969,” photo courtesy of the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

 

When one turns the page of an architecture magazine and the work of Carlo Scarpa appears unexpectedly, a quiet inner thrill is felt. Since his passing in 1978, we seem increasingly moved by Scarpa’s caress of material, his strange but faultless sense of placement and proportion, the contemplative nature of his details. These appreciations are heightened by the knowledge that his output was relatively limited. > Read More

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Planned Growth or Unplanned Strife?

 

Will San Francisco follow through on its carefully laid plans to accommodate a growing population, or will it continue to fight the same battles time and time again?

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Urban Activation Device & TXP

Spanish art & architecture collective Todo Por La Praxis is seeking collaborators and participants for their experimental research on activating the urban void. > Read More

Child running home in the destroyed city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina in the hot summer of 1995. Photo by Thom Hoffman.

When Cities Fall: Urban Histories and Political Memory

Destroyed city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. Photo by Thom Hoffman.

Our experience of the present is shaped by our understanding of the past. By ignoring the urban narratives of  monuments, structures, city parks, memorials…what messages are we missing for the present?  > Read More

Joseph Kosuth reviewing plans for the art installations at the Dog House. Photo by pm cook.

Mr. Waka’s Dog House

Joseph Kosuth reviewing plans for the art installations at the Dog House. Photo by pm cook.

 

“Get out at the Sakuragaoka post office. Turn around and you’ll see a Lawson’s. Walk to it and then turn left. Walk up that street and you’ll see the Dog House on the right.” Typical Tokyo directions from the art impresario and entrepreneur Joni Waka. > Read More

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Lost in Translation

At Roundhouse One Gallery: Lost in Translation: How prototyping is reshaping architecture, an exhibit (12 June – 9 August) and panel (27 June). > Read More

Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” at the terminus of the Louvre-Lens’ grand gallery. (Photo by Richard Ingersoll.)

SANAA’s Anti-Louvre

Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” at the terminus of the Louvre-Lens’ grand gallery. (Photo by Richard Ingersoll.)

Just before Christmas a superb new museum—a subsidiary of the Louvre in Paris—opened in the ex-coal mining city of Lens in northern France. To promote this breakthrough in museology, the curators chose the familiar icon of revolution, Eugène Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People,” one of some 200 artworks on loan from the parent institution, the world’s most popular museum. Richard Ingersoll paid a visit. > Read More

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ACADIA 2012: Synthetic Digital Ecologies

 

The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) convened late last fall at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco for its annual four-day conference, organized this year by CCA’s Jason Kelly Johnson.[1] It headlined an impressive list of international speakers, including Manuel DeLanda, Saul Griffith of otherlab, Greg Lynn, and Achim Menges. > Read More

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Kengo Kuma – on Scale and Pattern

Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma splits his time between professional practice and academia. He began his practice in the early 90‘s with a small office in Tokyo; his practice is now over 150 employees with offices in Tokyo and Paris, and projects in Europe, the US, and China. Kuma balances the demands of his global practice with his academic pursuits, heading the Kuma Lab at Tokyo University where he tests his theoretical speculations before applying them in real-world scenarios. > Read More

Under The Surface, Past The Image, and Towards a Conversation: An Interview With TRACESF’s Editors

This past fall, the four founding editors of TraceSF (Yosh Asato, Yuki Bowman, John Parman, and I) sat down with Sarah Peck of Landscape Urbanism to discuss our vision for the role of TraceSF as a locally-focused, independent space for dialogue exploring Bay Area design, culture, and urbanism. Check out the interview here. > Read More

The New Urban Opera House

The future of opera may soon arrive at the 16th Street Station in Oakland. Photo by Christopher Hall.

Opera is a child of the city. It was born in 1600 in Florence, the cradle of civic humanism, in the homes of a wealthy group of intellectuals who were investigating Greek drama. With its agglomeration of poetry, drama, music, costume, sets and stagecraft, opera became a popular entertainment that spread to other urban centers with a supply of musicians and artisans large enough to create and articulate the spectacle. > Read More

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Urban Prototyping Festival Rethinks SoMa’s Streets

 

For the past few decades, Market Street has been an illogical disconnect in San Francisco, where the confluence of its not-quite-intersecting streets and abrupt diagonal grid shifts have evolved radically different but adjacent streetscapes. > Read More

“Woodward’s Gardens,” photo from California State Library.

On Making Documentaries

Woodward’s Gardens, photo from California State Library.

 

I like projects that teach me things I never expected to learn.

 

When the economy melted in 2008, I realized that I could take a rest from my practice’s residential focus. The downturn called for something different. I had time to look at what was happening around me. I had done movie projects before, so I found myself with an impulse to make documentaries on architectural subjects. > Read More

House 1 in 1961.

STREET VIEW: A TALE OF TWO HOUSES

House 1 in 1961.

As an architect, it is impossible to predict what the future holds for one’s projects and sometimes it is better not to try. > Read More

Photo by Cesar Rubio Photography.

Manifest Destiny!

Photo by Cesar Rubio Photography.

 

The view walking along Bush Street towards downtown San Francisco recalls the exaggerated perspective of a Wayne Thiebaud painting. The sharp crest of the hill forces the gaze forward and down, revealing the urban fabric below where Manifest Destiny! — a19th-century, smaller than life-size cabin—adheres like a barnacle to the blank façade of 453 Bush Street, three and one half stories up. > Read More

Mill Valley House by Koji Tsutsui with the author, Paul Jamtgaard, and Laura-Katharina Gross Serman in the foreground. Photo by Iwan Baan.

24 Hours with Iwan Baan

Mill Valley House by Koji Tsutsui with the author, Paul Jamtgaard, and Laura-Katharina Gross Serman in the foreground. Photo by Iwan Baan.

My introduction to Iwan Baan came from a friend, the architect Koji Tsutsui. Based in San Francisco, he’s not yet on the A-list of Pritzker Prize winners and other luminaries with which Baan is usually associated. So sought after that he turns down 90 percent of the inquiries he receives, Baan tracked Tsutsui down after seeing a competition-winning AIDS health clinic he designed in Africa, one of several he’d photographed. What else have you got, he asked? > Read More

120+ attendees met at Intersection for the Arts on 8/14/2012 to brainstorm ideas for prototype interventions on 5th Street between Howard and Market.

Global Design through Local Hacking

120+ attendees met at Intersection for the Arts on 8/14/2012 to brainstorm ideas for prototype interventions on 5th Street between Howard and Market.

Andrew Faulkner reports on a recent brainstorming session that anticipates the upcoming Urban Protoyping: San Francisco festival. > Read More