Ninjas on the ‘Net

[United States of Facebook - via archiCULTURE]

Happy March! With any luck, Spring is rapidly approaching, and things will start turning green again (Boston has been a lovely shade of overcast grey for months – as has most of the North East, I imagine).

Interesting news (for me, at least) to kick off the month: I’ve been asked to return to the firm that had to lay me off last year. Just over a year after cutting me loose (I’m estimating 54 weeks), they’ve contacted me about returning to help on some current projects. Now I say this is interesting not because I’m about to be employed full-time again, but because this is (I think) a telling example of how things are moving in architecture. Some work is picking up for this firm – in early design phases – but they’re still cautious about their immediate future, as everyone is unsure how far the projects will progress. I, for instance, am being brought back for a period of 3 months – after which I may be out again.

After meeting with my old co-workers and seeing what I’d be working on, I was struck by the fact that only one project (for now) was in the US – not because this is surprising in our current economy, but because for some reason it suddenly occurred to me that we may have hit a kind of critical density here. I know expansion is as American as apple pie and xenophobia, but it seems as if we’ve reached a point where the only way to populate a new community is to syphon population away from another area – essentially moving people simply for the sake of ‘progress’ and profit. There was so much talk last year about the end of the so-called “architecture of excess” (as if Thom Mayne should never work again because Wall Street and the Banks screwed us all), but I wonder if that isn’t missing the point. We’ll always need a certain number of new buildings, obviously – but what if the economic collapse means the death of New Urbanism and expansion for expansions sake? There’s a positive here, which is that this would create increased interest in our current urban/suburban areas – but how does the profession of architecture adapt to a change from the abundant growth from post WWII to the turn of the century to a more refined, perhaps more surgical, approach to dealing with what is already built / existing?

Maybe we all simply work for the UAE and China and don’t bother losing sleep over it.

Moving along, it’s time for this week’s link round-up. If you come across something on the interwebs that you think should appear on AMNP – as a post, as part of Ninjas on the ‘Net, or as a quick sidebar link – drop me an email at architecture@myninjaplease.com – or hit me up on Twitter (twitter.com/ArchitectureMNP).

Have a good week.

– the timeless work of I.M. Pei [the Guardian]

– “I’m a Western Architect” – interview with I.M. Pei [Financial Times]

– Ole Scheeren leaving OMA? [Archinect]

learning from “Learning From…” [Archinect]

– feds looking for suggestions for greener communities [Denver Post]

container city approved for Haiti relief [Inhabitat]

– architecture billings index drops in January [Building Online]

– the Architectures of Atelier Bow-Wow: Behaviorology [Dexigner]

– photog takes (beautiful) subjective look at homes [LA Times]

– how’s the environment doing? Ask the buildings [CNN]

educational agriculture [BLDGBLOG]

- Vitus Bering Innovation Park | C. F. Møller Architects [+MOOD]

interview with studiometrico [Archi-Ninja]

Posted: March 1st, 2010
at 12:00pm by orangemenace


Categories: Ninjas on the 'net

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