RadioMilwaukee’s Diggin’ with the Architect

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Just digging around on the internet

Who would you vote for president: A Mac? or A PC?

apple

This question was asked by an article in New York Times if the Mac was Obama and the PC was Clinton. The article was actually comparing the two candidates’ websites and whether it fit the cool design of Mac or the cold design of the PC (obviously I am a MAC fan).

This is especially true for the two remaining Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Reporters covering the candidates have already resorted to traditional analysis of style — fashion choices, manner of speaking, even the way they laugh. Yet, according to design experts, the candidates have left a clear blueprint of their personal style — perhaps even a window into their souls — through the Web sites they have created to raise money, recruit volunteers and generally meet-and-greet online.

So they asked design experts and they basically said that Obama was a Mac and Hilary was PC.

That is, Mr. Obama’s site is more harmonious, with plenty of white space and a soft blue palette. Its task bar is reminiscent of the one used at Apple’s iTunes site. It signals in myriad ways that it was designed with a younger, more tech-savvy audience in mind — using branding techniques similar to the ones that have made the iPod so popular….

In contrast to barackobama.com, Mrs. Clinton’s site uses a more traditional color scheme of dark blue, has sharper lines dividing content and employs cookie-cutter icons next to its buttons for volunteering, and the like.

“Hillary’s is way more hectic, it’s got all these, what look like parody ads,” said Ms. Twemlow, who is not a citizen and cannot vote in the election.

Being a designer, I can really appreciate this article and this analysis, but it will not determine how I vote. What do you think? Who is a Mac? Who is a PC? Is McCain a PC? Is Romney a Mac?

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Filed under: apple, design, politics, , , , , , ,

Give the Gift of “Garbage”

naturemill

This has been the year of  being green, and the holidays are no different.  How about giving that special someone and indoor composter.  Instead of letting those leftover spoil, you can create compost.  A company called NatureMill out of California(where else) created such an appliance.

The units are small enough to fit in regular kitchen cabinets, can process up to 120 lbs (55 kg) of organic waste per month, and use just 10 watts of energy. Composting takes place inside a sealed inner chamber. Air is drawn into the chamber by a small fan, and a mixbar and heater keep the process moving along at the correct temperature. A red light indicates when the cure tray needs to be emptied—about once every two weeks—and the end-product is rich compost fertilizer.

The units sell for USD 299–399. An outdoor version (USD 399) takes care of pet droppings, too: “for up to 2 large dogs, or 4 cats, rabbits, hamsters, snakes or other small animals.” NatureMills ships worldwide, but international shipping is costly. The company is building a global network of dealers. Time to contact them if you import or sell eco/household/kitchen products.   (via Springwise)

Filed under: cooking, design, environment, food, gadgets, gifts, holidays, technology, video, , , , , , ,

I End My Beef with Brad Pitt…for now

Brad Pitt

For over a few years, I have had a beef with Brad Pitt. Why? Besides that he thinks he sexier than me (please). Some of you know I am an architect and I paid my dues to become one. However, Mr. Pitt decided he liked architecture and so hooked up with Frank Gehry and worked on some cool projects. No schooling, no all-nighters, no professors making you feel like crawling in a fetal position after tearing your presentation to shreds and Brad Pitt works on amazing projects with no formal training because he is a famous actor. So you see why I am a little miffed.

Well it seems that Mr. Pitt wants to make amends with me. He is now taking the lead on rebuilding the 9th ward in New Orleans. The most affected by Hurricane Katrina. While most of the country thinks that most of New Orleans is recovering, this section has been all but forgotten.

Brad Pitt is heading up this organization called Make It Right Nola. It is organization that will help build sustainable homes for families of the 9th Ward.

Inspired by the courage and hope of the residents he met, Pitt resolved to do whatever he could to help them rebuild. Just as importantly, he wanted to help recreate and nurture the unique culture and spirit of the Lower 9th Ward, which symbolizes the soul of New Orleans. He understood instinctively that a New Orleans rebuilt without the Lower 9th Ward would never be whole.

He began by working with Global Green to sponsor an architecture competition aimed at generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably. Pitt worked with local community leaders as well as experts from around the world to develop viable ideas for the Lower 9th Ward. That successful project inspired Pitt’s new focus: Make It Right.

The Mission of Make It Right is clear: It is to be a catalyst for redevelopment of the Lower 9th Ward, by building a neighborhood comprised of safe and healthy homes that are inspired by Cradle to Cradle thinking, with an emphasis on a high quality of design, while preserving the spirit of the community’s culture. The goal is to accomplish this quickly, so that the first residents can begin returning to their homes as soon as possible.

There are some amazing designs that are all sustainable. There are various architects from all over the world that are working on this project including two of my favorites: Adjaye Architects out of London and Morphosis out of California plus five New Orleans based architects. Check out these designs from some of the architects.

adjaye
Design from Adjaye Architects

Morphosis
Design from Morphosis

Mr. Pitt is asking for donations to help build these homes. You can even sponsor a home. This is a great program, and for that, I end my beef with Brad Pitt….for now.

Filed under: architecture, community, culture, design, enviroment, family, holidays, media, video, , , , , , , , , , ,