Friday, December 19, 2008

New Book call for proposals!

ATTENTION. I am working on a book with Neil Spiller for Thames and Hudson dealing with visionary architecture via traditional media. We are looking for submissions/recommendations... and we are open to unpublished architects. Please contact me if you have any thoughts. This is intended to be an international survey... and become an object of art as much as the works collected inside.

please use:

Thank you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

sketchy-bits... shaken not stirred

intake and combustion studies

ideas of circulation of peeps and light... there are quite a few of these that VERY loosely examine conditions of overlap and disfiguration from the "typical" double-loaded corridor systems....

detail sneak

Still trying to get the Bartlett panels converted to post here... in the meantime.. a li'l sneak peak at one of the Hybridrawing© Panels.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


exploration of segregating the construction line layer [to be read as: the layer of lines not intended for viewing] as an actual artifact of the drawing process...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oceanside condo re:skin

Collaboration with Cameron Crockett... funding fell thru.. as usual... but a good project nonetheless.

Clients desired a new skin/identity to a dilapidated 70's condo at Oceanside with direct exposure to beach air. Project included removal of damaged/rusted/rotted surfaces and railings. Design scheme attempted to remove metal railings in favor of folded planes that became rail ledges, openings to vistas, and new identity simultaneously.

Composite lumber on anodized frames composed the simple arrangement of facade plays.

first image is the trilogy- all three skin components sans building context to understand overall relationship of solid to void.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

one more round [reverse order]

see below

these images are from the "Knock, knock" or Threshold investigation...It’s a basic question, the one of the relationship to man and machine.. flesh and metal… intelligence and artificial intelligence…

This piece symbolically explores the threshold between worlds.. between souls. It proposes its own question, that of the “who’s there”? [and perhaps just as important, “who’s answering”?].

more to come.. [perhaps]

see below

more from the basement...

top two images are the Newhousea sense of privacy protection is heightened within a context of unknown passersby, of unsolicited free-radicals that roam the immediate adjacency.   A single-cell in a multiple-cell environment.

It accepts its role as a social informant, a receptacle for the present condition of privacy control, a membrane for reflection of observation. 

The “anti-welcome mat”, though a somewhat  misleading description, suggests a condition that the dwellers do not offer their home as a constant open-condition, but rather one that is open only upon identification and invitation. 

Perhaps it’s more about the mat with the familiar inscription written in code, so that the unaware, the unenlightened, never recognize the message, while those that are invited have the symbolic translation to realize the opening of the home to outsiders.

The construct deals with “dwelling” as a function for the individual in excess. Singular occupancy does not mean in this case “small”, efficient, or compact. 

The compact-ness of intimacy comes from the  compression of typical horizontality of the average domestic condition- where wider is better…

Here, the zone of outdoor space in the “private” rear outdoor zone is equally important as the square footage inside the dwelling…

the bottom image is an unpublished working hand model of the Mobile Gatherspace

the Elusive[s]....

obscura hybriresum

still working on converting exhibit panels to blog format.. in the meantime... some obscure and meaningless [i.e. less seen] works

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bartlett Exhibition

Quite a few asking for images... I'll post over next several days,.. individuals of the 29 panels

Monday, October 27, 2008


so, as we explore the time condition, does, or is, a drawing "done" in REALTIME? if completed in the airspace, over no place, on the threshold of timezones... where and when is the drawing... and what is the condition of real-time during the recording.. vs. the observation... vs. the occupation?

we have talked of the simultane before.. the proverbial condition of the overlap... but this is perhaps the inverse reprisal... perhaps the space between the overlap and the origin... 

is a drawing of a condition ever realtime?  Is it ever not?  the THERE and HERE... then THEN and NOW.. even the FRONT and BACK... is there a direction, a focus.. or is there, as we have contended before, a blurring that defines focus?

Is any of this real? How can it not be.. or not so? What I love about these types of investigations is the evasiveness of both the drawing subject, as well as it's implied intentions... and Form:uLA has always pursued the non-truths of architectural drawing... as both a means and an end [though end suggests a definitive condition of "marking" time... and that perhaps is left to those better versed in this subject..... after all.. these are only drawings...]

Saturday, October 25, 2008


This whole overlap of geographical/time/architectural phenomenon has intrigued me and worked its way into a diagrammatic level in my sketchbook...

what is the result of the convergence? when are we when we are trapped between zones... passing "time" as we pass time?

do we "hand  it off" to another.. ready to take our place/time as they occupy the Cronusoidal void we leave as we cross some constructed temporal threshold? Where does the time go?... My how time flies... Do you HAVE the time? .. Time out!

Or do we become observers of the passage... conscientious objectors in an unwitting play to which we never realized we bought tickets ... and are we "ok" with the scripting?

So, the drawings have started to focus [or at least explore] the interstitial space and time BETWEEn time[s]... between zones... between places [LAX:LHR] .. to investigate the condition of no-man's land, in both airspace as well as clockspace...

perhaps looking at a time funnel.. a device to speed up/slow down/pause/reset this artificial demarcation of horometry...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

more sketchbook delusions

from pocket sketchbook 02... architecture as a wind tunnel [or in this case circulation vent]... for some odd reason, there are a series of sketchbook entries that ponder the conditions of "circulation"... not as a path... but as an event... not connecting point A to point B.. but rather exploring AB as connective tissue...

for example, the idea of the circulation tissue becoming the main feature, while the nodes of destination [sounds like a Warcraft weapon] become simply openings or cracks or fragmentations of the system.. so that the primary spaces are left fairly open, while this tunnel artifact snakes its way through the space...

now, to figure out how to get a client to pay for this research ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Sketchbook entry done at Heathrow airport waiting for the long haul flight in my wonderful new sketchbook... dealing with issues of confluence and imprinting

perhaps a result of the overlap of culture, architecture, time, and geography

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bartlett lecture

Just in from a tremendous week at the Bartlett- Exhibition, lecture, and 2 day workshop. This is a QT of the lecture [let's hope it works] with no words obviously... will post some of the student work [once we get PD's and names], as well as sketches done in London once I get back to real life. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

more achive-y goodness

A VERY old and preliminary study for a Domestic Pod ] eventually leading to the semi-series of P.O.D. [Personal Occupancy Devices]. Not much documentation, other than suggestions of a fold-out inner sanctum that encompasses the inhabitant like a tricked-out mechanical womb.... altering its walls as a user-defined system

from the archives...

cleaning out some old files.. and came across several gems documenting growth in the studio [at least i hope so].

Piggyback : collapsable space

competition submission poster
Form:uLA... Ray Varela [Carrier Johnson]... Ben Patik

On August 8, 2027 @ 3:27 PM, Orange County, CA. will achieve a complete saturation of density….maximum gridlock... absolute vehicular stagnation. Every available inch of freeway, on ramp, off ramp, surface street, intersection, driveway, drive through, portico, parking lot, sidewalk, park and plaza will be filled with vehicular stagnation and immobility. People will be forced to abandon their cars where they stand and a new social order will be born on the new, dead-tech surface. There will be no release valve, no escape route, there will simply be no where to go…

These were developed as part of our entry in the Changing Face Of Orange County national competition. We attempted to use the competition as a vehicle for the exploration of new architectural vocabularies responding to specific urban strategy issues; to use it as a discourse on what role architecture can play in future regional development; and to propose that architecture and technology may bring about social change.

“Quality of life” became the project impetus, as it is affected by power and water shortages, longer commutes, greater disconnection between work and home life, alienation, and greater demands on personal attention that result from population increase. “Should we?”, in tandem with “how will we?”.

This project incites debate concerning the role technology will play in the growth of this region. It's not a solution for today employing existing or old techniques, but a look to the future and what may be available [and forced upon us] tomorrow. Radical cultural changes, fragmentation and redefinition of family structures, blurring of private and public domains, and the infusion of technology into our daily lives all demand a rethinking of existing conditions.

If the activities of our complicated lives could be distilled to simple digestible concepts, then a simple precept would be that actions take place. Implicit in this statement is that there exists a vital relationship between place and action. We assume a strong perceptual association where action and location are tightly bound. Although action and place are intimately linked, they do not develop simultaneously. Action creates place. This competition proposal is an effort to uncover the core actions of an idealized conceptual construct of work-live-play and the physical manifestations that would take place as a result.

A new kind of place, Collapsible Space, is needed to accommodate changes in social structures, to accommodate anticipated population growth, and to transform existing building stock to new uses and needs. Collapsible Space explores an idea of place that ceases its user configuration when not inhabited and its spatial arrangement reconfigures for multiple domain users. In conjunction with Collapsible Space, a Piggy Back approach to new development is proposed. Piggy Back development suggests adaptive growth based on the establishment of a parasitic pod instead of restructuring existing planning principles. The characteristics of the parasitic pod is such that it allows for its attachment to a core and feed off existing environment issues.

Project designed in collaboration with Ray Varela and Carrier Johnson Architects, Irvine Ca.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

new sketch : implied space

looking at the implications of implications...

what happens when space is suggested vs. constructed...

or what happens when it constructs its own suggestions...

more from the recent sketchbook series... will write about these as time permits...

basically an exercise in overlapping and collided space... more of the idea of suggested impacts.. and what happens, or what types of space[s] are formed within suggested collisions...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

more sketch

the follow up study to the one below


entries form my sketchbook as we prep for the Bartlett and churn up ideas during the monograph research... just samples of ideas that make it into my trusty pad... will post a series of these over the next few...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Student work

Many [ok, 3] people have asked for a concise link to my students' work. Here are links to several studios, all co-taught with Cameron Crockett, at Woodbury San diego. I'll avoid the lengthy descriptions- each website has more than enough.

It;s always a pleasure to co-teach with talented, passionate peeps, as well as to be honored with talented, motivated students.

I'm still working on a link to my studio with former Form:uLA partner Kevin O'Donell [Fall 07].


Icon series originally developed for the From Page to Pixel lecture @ SFMOMA in 2001, these icons were recently published in the book, Color Management for Logos [Rotovision].

From the text... " this series of Lo-cons [logos + icons] was developed to provoke a visual cue- an anchor as a counterpoint..."

more discoveries from the "lost files" vault as we dig deep for the book...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Still kickin... sorta

Been busy reviewing a book... working hard on my own... and prepping for the Bartlett....

Managed to get some new sketching in- will post in the next day or so

Monday, July 21, 2008

Notes from my Columbus Theory paper

images sponsored by a Graham Foundation Grant, 2001

These are more questions than answers, taken from my notebook...
Notes on the generation of ideologies and sympathetic form:
-Pre-Columbus, the world / universe [defined as the physical 3D space we inhabit] was thought to be defined/limited to a flat PLANE.

In passing the edge, one would “fall off” the plane into some unknown void. It is both that particular conceptual VOID, as well as the designation and construction of the PLANE that intrigues me.

-Several of the early Digital Paper series begin to investigate the notion of the CONSTRUCTED PLANE [EDGE] and the hypothetical VOID. “Firesky” in particular  begins to deal with the notion of a constructed plane as a BOUNDARY for a known environment – the “world” now has a place where the assembly technique shows itself. In this particular drawing, the idea of the edge condition is revealed as the focus is about to “DOCK”. Here, the “world” is defined as a constructed planar element, complete with an inner and outer “skin” and support members, - the medium of the ARCHITECT (wall, floor plane).

In the case of “Landslide” [9/4/03 – initial on Motion], the plane manifests itself in two versions. One – the initial horizon is composed of a series of constructed pyramidal shapes – akin to an inverted space frame. But then, a second system of “reveal” is demonstrated, as the drawing itself is used to pull back a portion of the very digital “sheet” [is there such a thing?] on which it is drawn. Here, the constructed plane/horizon is a flat, graphically-impregnated membrane, the medium of the ARTIST [page, paper] or, a second layer of media of the Architect [drawing, communication].

-Would the more appropriate nomenclature for this ”event” be a description of the world-view [both literally & figuratively] at the time of Pre-Columbus? What would the proper time-period ref be? “Queen ‘x’ the ‘x’”? Perhaps “Pre-Columbusonian”. Was there a political view of that time that had a specific label? Was there a specific group that forced this view on the rest of the un-informed world? Who actually was responsible for the formulation of the original theory that the world/environment was actually flat?

How was this message propagated? How did it become an “accepted” theory? The name of this idea, although not as publicly accessible as a Columbus reference, might instead come from the originator of the FLAT idea.

Mac World leftovers

... the untold story...
or, maybe just imagery left over from my MAc World lecture in Jan. 08... either that were not used.. or that were concocted specifically for that venue [never before seen photos inside!!!].  


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mobile Gatherspace

Mobile-G as we affectionately call it....

The Mobile Gatherspace/Hybridmodel reflects the first attempt at realizing the potentials of 3D space based specifically on the "N"-dimensional constructs of the Digital Paper® Series. Multiple perspectival and overlapping orthographic manifestations within the same drawing provided an impetus from which to mis-extrude an experimental architectural condition[s]. Space was no longer conceived using typical 3D rational, because multiple spatial definitions existed simultaneously within each image. Though the notion of exploring a built form based on a perspectival reading is not new, we feel that the conditions formed within the virtual tablet environment promoted a unique view into multi-oriented space[s]. Since drawings are themselves "flat", there is a unique opportunity to explore the Dimensional Shifting as a response to the search for the "other side", the un-flat. As with any typical orthographic object, not all faces are simultaneously viewable. Though we experimented with the idea of seeing multiple views of distorted versions of the same form within the same drawing, the mechanism of the drawing itself prevents [to our delight] the true documentation of this multi-dimensional, fragmentation of architectural reality.

see also:

alter ego

some have asked, many have wondered... what DO you do in your spare time... ok, well, perhaps not.. but my other creative endeavor is my cover band, Alter Ego. We are pretty much a bar/party band, playing classic and modern rock ad blues.

I have been with them since January. Our most recent gig was at Original Mike's in Santa Ana [great food]... temp was a wonderful low 90s, with about a 95% humidity! We played at the outdoor set up this time.. and that heat was wonderful for keeping muscles limber [think: performing in a sauna]. We topped off at about 4.5 hours for the gig.. wanting to play more for the "encore", but we literally ran out of steam. 

Here is a link to our myspace page- check out the videos from this gig [shot on a digital camera with short video capabilities, thus the reasoning for the low quality of the image/sound]:


Was a blast that day, heat and all. The audience was tremendous, as always, and helped drive the energy. I have always preached a strong tie between architecture and music, and in my case, drumming... the drum set is a 3D spatial exercise, not only in sound, but in geography and spatial composition.. I liken it [for me] to the personal space a dancer creates when s/he is moving and carving and building...


Friday, July 18, 2008

on the boards

Monument / entry sign for the City of Santa Ana
Client is actually Truth Advertising... they approached us for a concept for an entry sign to the city... the response was to refute the typical "stone and wood' sign that permeates Orange County... and apply a fresh viewpoint.. keeping materials minimal and repetitive.. and speaking to the future, not the past...

Pneumatic legs allow for self-leveling [sloped site], to be anchored to circular concrete pads. Extended plane at base will wrap the trunk of an iconic Southern California palm tree [thus adding a vertical marker where we cannot place one that is man-made].

Triangular "road sign" panels will attach to the front, with the respective organization logo silk screened for identification. The simple contrast of OSHA yellow on the cool steel grey will provide sufficient visual anchor for the adjacent roadway [intersection of Main and the 5 freeway].