Monday, December 31, 2012

PMQ Possibility

What happens when architecture meets______?

This kind of cross pollination is perfect for discovery and that is what excites me the most.

I've started discussing with Kit and our friend Cindy about the possibility of opening a workshop/gallery, one devoted to further exploring the possibilities that exist between architecture and any other field.

By using Hong Kong's future PMQ (Police Married Quarters) and the artists/community there, we can differ ourselves from similar design offices. The traditional process of "Act"(to do) and "React"(to respond to) can be modified to "Think", "Make", and "Share"*, continuing in loops of Think-Make-Share-Think-Make-Share-Think-Make-Share-...
*(Can also be expressed as Design, Fabricate, and Exhibit)

With Cindy's specialization in exhibition (Think, Share) and Kit and I's in architecture (Think, Make), we hope this new process can generate new ideas.

Following the tangents, finding the new, and fulfilling a deeper desire. Moving ourselves and moving others.

Bye 2012. Here's to the New!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Restart the career.

A lot moved, but little changed. After a rock bottom unemployment period, followed by a two month exile, I'm back in Hong Kong working for the city's archetypal, Business 1.0, architecture firm. A firm, like most here, whose success came not through creating superior products, but through superior connections and a market flooded with mainland money.

There are still things to learn. This firm has created a vast array of employee benefits, and mostly seem like grassroots, bottom-up, programs. Wine night, basketball, team events, and weekly lectures help chase the bitter taste of un-inspired work.

I plan to make the most out of it. Eat all the carrots while ignoring the sticks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I had a dream. In the dream I created the opposite of a hamburger, the hambunger. Two patties of meat with one bun between. When I woke up, I knew I must make them. It is about damn time I reach the dreams I've been following.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012


While spending my free time learning Processing, I decided I wanted to use this new tool to create a piece of irony; a chart on unemployment to help me become employed.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Frank Gehry on an Island

World famous architect Frank Gehry is shipwrecked alone on an island without hope of rescue. He needs to build a dwelling for himself. Does he start throwing crumpled pieces of paper for inspiration as he did at his day job? He probably will not. Instead, he starts building with protection and safety as the priority, like the rest of us would. The functions he expects his building to perform have shuffled. What could cause a designer, known for placing form first, to behave in such a different way? Is Frank on an Island a better designer than Frank in Bilbao, the Spanish city of his world famous art museum?

Mr. Gehry has not changed. He has only reevaluated his situation, something we all do when making decisions. The difference between Frank on an island and Frank in Bilbao is the resources that can be invested. Guggenheim Bilbao costed 1.27 billion USD, construction lasted for 4 years, and hundreds of people were involved in the design and construction. Frank on an island has about one day, found materials, and only himself. When he decides what the building should functionally return to him, he must consider the resources he can invest.

There is a direct relationship in Architecture between the investment and the return.

The resources we can invest include money, time, materials, knowledge, and calories. As all architects know, the amount varies from project to project. The "Frank on an Island" hypothetical uses resources as the variable to present the effects that it causes when it changes.

The return that architecture provides comes in the form of functions, resell value, and sentimental value. Because our values are perceived, they differ from one person to another. Frank on the island is anticipating the returned value from investing in shelter and safety.

When we make good decision we are trying to maximize our returned value. Frank believes investing in shelter and safety will return greater value than if he invested in inspirational forms. In Bilbao, when resources are high, he believes aesthetics are the best way to increase the value of the building. The value of safety and shading can only provide value to a point before it becomes excessive.

Naturally, resources can be divided and invested in different functions. One can have a bathroom and invest in the appearance of it. Functions working together like this can result in a more economical use of resources.

It is important to remember the relationship between investment and return because neither can truly be evaluated without knowledge of the other. One cannot judge the value of shelter, safety, or form without knowledge of the resources required. This is an idea often lost in architectural criticism.

If Frank Gehry designs good architecture, then it will produce the most amount of return for the resources invested. This is true on an island and in Bilbao.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Unemployed Architect, Self-employed Thinker.

I wish I could make enough money experimenting with, and thinking deeply about, architecture. It seems there is a vast area unexplored by the minds of architects. It is an area you can only think about when you are not currently practicing architecture and have nothing to lose by shifting styles, goals, etc. This area asks what is architecture, why are we doing it, and how do we do it well?

While I still claw at firms, who claw at projects that never come, writing about these topics have kept me busy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have left my position with Vasconi and am now looking for new work in Hong Kong. To occupy myself, I have entered several competitions. I just finished work on the second of 5. The first one being the zombie safe house competition. I decided to enter it because it sounded easy and fun. However, while doing it, I realized how liberating it was to be executing my own designs. In the last two years, I have worked on 9 projects. I had control over none of them.

Inspired by this excitement, I entered another. The second was to design an innovative parking garage in Hong Kong. This was just as exciting as the first with a little more sense of realism injected into it. The judges are currently voting for both of these competitions now.
Zombie Competition on

On deck are three more competitions, two skyscrapers and a hotel on the moon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Parking Experiments

Using grasshopper's genetic algorithm (galapagos) to try and find
what form must the road take to produce the most parking spaces.
Not going too well so far. These are the four most fit variants from four
separate gene pools. Still nowhere close to what a human can do. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Architecture Refugee

Two weeks ago, I was forced out of Hong Kong. Not in the police escort type of way, but in the "shit, if I answer these questions truthfully I am breaking laws and maybe breaking more if I lie." type of way.

I didn't kill anyone, or steal some delicious dim sum from the street corner. I just may (or may not) have been working without a working visa. Now the plan is to resubmit an application for the visa from the U.S., the legal way.

So, I have a lot more free time for unnecessary things (like blogging). I decided I should upload "The Sweetness" to youtube. This was the skateboarding video where I had a 3min part back in 2004. For those that don't know, this is all I did in high school, thus schoolwork took a back seat and I had to take another year of college as my punishment.

Here it is in all its splendor.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finding the groove.

Approaching the 6th month anniversary of my arrival in Hong Kong. It feels like I have finally set up a life here. I'm learning Cantonese and French, running and playing tennis, cooking and eating new things. Setting up the life I want. Maybe now that I have this pointed in the right direction I can start going somewhere with force.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back from Holidays

I was lucky enough to travel home for the holidays. It was such a great time. Not just seeing my friends and family, but having fun with them as if we had never been apart.
Now I am back in Hong Kong. I arrived after a grueling 18h10 flight (following two other flights) from San Francisco. One of the other passengers had appendicitis and we were forced to make an unscheduled stop in Anchorage, adding 3.5hours to the flight.

I feel a little more calm here. Something feels different... maybe its just the jet lag.

Christmas Photos:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Grind

I escaped Hong Kong for a weekend. Off to the tiny village of Shanghai.
When I arrived, I found a city in love with the new, the large, and the great. Displayed through their love of the automobile and their love of enormous (hideous) buildings.
They may have a top GDP, but they have a long way to go before they are a top country.

Heres a brief video I shot while I was there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 42 in Hong Kong

Horrible. The only way I would describe work here. The office I work in, with all the other consultants on this project, is in such a horrible neighborhood an hour train ride from my place. People at the office, make it even worse. There are few places, that are not in war zones, that could be worse.
So the weekends become my refuge. They make me feel like I could actually like Hong Kong.
This Sunday I went to Lamma Island. It is a 50 min ferry ride from Central Hong Kong. Its a small island that takes about 2 hours to walk, but has some nice and clean beaches with a laid back local culture. A nice break from the noisy, busy, smelly and packed city.

Lo So Shing Beach was the one I was looking for. I found it just in time for sunset. To make it even better, I was the only one on the beach.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dear Internet...

Let us just pretend that we have kept in touch the last couple months. Things have changed a lot and now I live in Hong Kong working on a project for a French architecture firm SAL (Schinko Associes Luxembourg), formerly Vasconi Architects.

You can read a little bit about this shitty project (literally, it's a sludge treatment facility) here.

There are no cool pictures there, but just trust me that it is a cool project.

In the meantime, I have been eating rice, drinking beer, and exploring this massively dense city.

Hopefully soon, I can make it to some other places in Asia and have a look around. When I do, I will certainly upload some photos, as I have been doing already, to possibly entice someone into visiting me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Limitless Plotter.

I meant to post this when it was completed. Nick compiled most of the clips we have had of the machine running in order to best demonstrate its varying uses.

Monday, July 12, 2010

And now we wait...

Eight years of work, wrapped into a package weighing less than a pound. All with the purpose of getting a job as an architect. Hopefully, one of these firms I am sending my work to will take the bait!
The only problem is that I never was lucky when it came to fishing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

2010 Portfolio 1.0

The goal was to complete my portfolio by the 4th of July. I was 5 minutes late.
I am not going to ship this one, everything printed incredibly too dark. Getting closer to being finished with it though!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What I'm listening to...

While spending most of my time in coffee shops working on my portfolio, I thought I would share what I'm listening to. This awesome website called allows people to upload their own music and remixes for others to listen to. My favorite part is their music player. It allows people to comment at certain points in a song and makes it fun to read what people are thinking about the songs.
Massive Attack Remix (FREE DOWNLOAD) by Bassnectar

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Now what!?

Now that I graduated and returned from a trip to the Bahamas with the family, I have to ask myself what to do next. All I can come up with is moving back to Lawrence while I search for a job. I hope employers will just take my word when I say they won't regret hiring me.
By the way, this photo is not fake, but actually is me crowd-surfing at commencement.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Finished College

I can finally check college off of the "list of things to do". Printed out my final studio project and kicked up my feet. 

Here are several interior shots of the train station, retail, and cafe.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

go go gadget CNC AIRBRUSH!

Trying out one of the more exciting of all the possible z-axis mounts.
Soon we will attach this to the rest of the machine and have some
real fun.