Featured in The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal Japans Creative Ephemeral Homes

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article summarizing my observations about the economics that stimulate Japan’s eccentric residential architecture. In addition to featuring my work, the correspondent – Lucy Alexander – also interviewed our clients.

The Onjuku Surf Shack certainly isn’t as unconventional as S-House, a curious see-thru split level home designed by Yuusuke Karasawa. However, both projects are used to illustrate the fact that Japanese clients have greater freedom to build their homes around their own personal tastes and aspirations. Our client expresses this quite well when she says, “I always wanted to design our own house to suit our lifestyle—a place where we could relax and enjoy life.”

On the Spline

On the Spline Spline I recently published an academic paper answering the question: where do curves come from?

I started this research well over a decade ago when I was working everyday with 3D design software at Grimshaw architects in London. The research began when I gave an internal presentation to overcome the architects’ reticence about using 3D software to design their curved buildings (something the practice was already famous for). My quest to demystify curvilinear geometry by explaining its origins and mechanics was fascinating, but also challenging, as I don’t have a technical background in mathematics or computational geometry. I hope that this article will help designers and anyone interested in understanding the origins of our contemporary design language. Continue reading

A+U Magazine: Data-Driven Cities

A+U Magazine Data-Driven Cities IssueI edited the November 2014 issue of a+u (Architecture & Urbanism) magazine. The issue’s theme – Data-Driven Cities – is broad, designed to encompass a range of technological drivers reforming urbanity. It’s also a provocative title which elicited many contributors to implore that human agency, not big data, should sit firmly in the driver’s seat when harnessing computation to analyze, develop and improve cities. Continue reading

Rethinking the Workspace

Rethinking the WorkspaceSeeking to reach out to those in charge of making office design decisions – senior management of multinationals – I recently contributed an article to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) Journal spelling out recent evolution in the workplace… Continue reading

Concreteness (from Clog: Brutalism)

Concreteness Clog Brutalism
I recently contributed an article to Clog magazine’s Brutalism issue, about Japan’s long love affair with concrete. The debate surrounding Brutalism hinged upon whether the 20th-century movement was an architectural ethic or merely an aesthetic. Japan’s obsession with concrete (or what I call ‘concreteness’) might be loosely termed ‘brutalist’, but the country has shown how the material, despite architects’ ethical intentions, lends itself all too well to the aesthetics of consumerism.

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