MASSACRE AT HARVARD

April 15, 2016

I looked up at the packed house, my heart racing.

Students, faculty and interested parties filled the uninspiring concrete theater. Fifty onlookers growing to a hundred. Almost sadistically, the review of our mid-term work at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design is a guaranteed public spectacle. A few stars would be made that day; others might go down in flames.

IS TV FOR REAL?

April 1, 2016

I don’t usually make time to watch those TV reality shows on design. The unrealistic scenarios and oddball decorators/designers drive me nuts. Also, it all complicates my work life.

I find suspicious that some of these shows carry a disclaimer, something like, “Consult your professional architect, engineer, general contractor, and building official.” This sounds a lot like, “Don’t try this at home, kids.”

But here is the irony. These DIY channels inspire the audience to try this literally at home.

HERMOSA BEACH FIASCO: ARCHITECTURE OF POLITICS

March 25, 2016

My first public commission—I learned how difficult life as an architect would be. A decade-long saga of city politics, professional contradictions, and the theft of my intellectual property taught me to fight.

My design partner, the late Greg Lombardi was 30. I was 28. Calling ourselves Lombardi/Poon Architects, our shingle was barely even hung when we entered an international design competition organized by The American Institute of Architects (“AIA”). The city of Hermosa Beach sought an architect with a vision for the redesign of their waterfront and pier.

AGONY, ANGUISH AND DEALINGS WITH THE CITY

March 12, 2016

In architecture, city agencies exist to protect the public. These agencies ensure that my design complies with the requirements of life safety—from a restaurant exit door being wide enough, to a library that doesn’t fall down. These agencies also check that my design conforms with the zoning guidelines of a community—from the height of a house, to the number of parking spaces for a new football stadium.

As reassuring as the city approval process sounds, it is not. Contradictions, political agendas, personal interpretations, ever-changing rules, and self-serving officials—such challenges are hoisted on the approval process.

JAZZ-LIKE: THE CURIOUS THING ABOUT STYLE, PART 2 OF 2

March 3, 2016

What can architecture learn from jazz? Specifically, what can architects designing buildings learn from musicians creating jazz?

I recently posted my design approach as two parts: Product and Process. in that post, I discussed the ‘Product’ being works of juxtaposition. In today’s post, I explore my ‘Process’ being jazz-like.

MY EARS ARE RINGING

February 19, 2016

Okay, I won’t name names, but the guilty comprise many restaurants in Los Angeles and other cities. At these establishments, yes, I enjoy the food, the service and the architecture. But why can’t I hear my friends who sit across from me? Why is the noise level actually painful—my ears ringing from the haranguing clamor, and my throat sore from yelling mere table conversation?

I came across the post, How to Choose A Restaurant When You Have Hearing Loss, from leading hearing health advocate Shari Eberts, on her blog Living With Hearing Loss.

© Poon Design Inc.