#31: 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.

#30: 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.

#29: 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.

#28: MYTH OF THE PREFAB HOUSE

February 4, 2016

I am convinced that prefab homes are a myth. The success stories have been shown to be mostly fictional and braggadocio. More relevant than ever, we need well-designed, good value housing. But relevance doesn’t mean reality. According to all those glossy marketing campaigns, prefab houses were supposed to not only change the housing market, but change the world.

#27: A MIGHTY CITY FREEZES OVER, PART 2 OF 4

January 23, 2016

Not long after Manhattan’s ochre and sepia autumn, gentle blowing breezes become fiercely gusting winds. Winter’s gale wants so perversely to whip the flesh off our bones. It seems as if the city might blow away. Merciless, it was my first New York December. Circa 1986, hell-freezing-over.

Snow appears shortly, a freeze paralyzing a monumental city. Sharp icy spirits bite my body. My skin, a brittle armor, feels weak and fragile—like the first thin layer of ice over a vast lake. As wind chills my stone dry face, snow starts to gather along my eyelids. The gust of a snowstorm. This frigid onslaught.

#26: DIN TAI FUNG: I’LL TAKE TWO

January 15, 2016

For Michelin-rated restaurant, Din Tai Fung, Poon Design Inc. designed two locations, fit for what the The New York Times has called, “one of the Top Ten Restaurants in the World.” Our architecture showcases the essence of Chinese craft with thoroughly modern and seductively detailed spaces.

Though the Taiwanese clients possessed an appreciation for Asian design, this husband-wife team did not seek the predictably themed Chinese restaurant. Meaning, no golden dragons, no cartoonish calligraphy and no red silk curtains.

The cuisine at Din Tai Fung inspired Poon Design. Over 50,000 dumplings are painstakingly made each day per location. By hand.

© Poon Design Inc.