Just finished reading Eugene Rogan’s book The Fall of the Ottomans, which presents a wholistic and detailed account of the middle eastern front during the Great war. It does contain controversial content and there are various chapters and sections that I cannot fully agree with, but regardless, I do heavily recommend reading It.Continue reading
The series of plan images shown above illustrate the city of Detroit through the 20th century.
Many unprecedented and unsolvable problems regarding urbanism was born with the main stream adaptation of the automobile through out the 20th century.
Satellite image of the Grand Bazaar (completed in 1730) in Istanbul. An urban device which connects many different geometries of exterior and interior corridors through a unifying enclosed theme of commerce. Almost like a key stone.Continue reading
Compared to past generations in history, the world is experiencing an unprecedented amount of materialism. Most other virtues of life have been over shadowed by this phenomenon, which was developed by the baby boomer generation, and later picked up by the millennials. These materialist trends were accelerated via social media and the success gurus within it.
When I was in my early 20s, I thought differently of most things compared to my 30s. I was substantially more hopeful and confident about the future and positive about the intentions of those within my community. In a sense I was a classical optimist. I thought that if something looks beautiful to me, the feeling must be a universal one and that others most definitely should be seeing the beauty that I see as well. However, I was far from being accurate on these predictions.
Raul Conestro oil painting
I’m convinced that the single biggest weakness of the human animal is his “ego”.
History and our daily lives are full of examples where ego’s stood and continue to stand in the way of progress and achievement. Continue reading
Low budget projects are mostly a waste of time. No matter what intellectual effort you put chances are pretty high that the product is going to look bad up close in detail, specially for projects in the East. In these types of buildings your enthusiasm will not be acknowledged and shared by the cheap workmanship and cheap construction materials used on the building. Everyone is going to be there on site to get the job done quickly with as little effort as possible and then get out. The massing and site diagram of the project could be flawless, but detailing of the structure will be a mess no matter how often you visit the construction site. Modules will be executed optionally, causing a disastrous chain reaction of aesthetic catastrophes, railings and other building components such as window sills will not be in harmony regarding color palates and material properties. All construction materials will be selected by the subcontractor based on price, not on compositional compatibility. Architecture does not have immunity from the bitter toughness of capitalism, just like any other profession except for music and the visual arts such as painting and sculpting. A good musician can sit down with sticks and stones or a broken guitar and produce acceptable art work, but in the highly collaborative profession of architecture its different; budget really does make a huge difference. Continue reading
Pablo Picasso 1905, family of Saltimbanques
I understand and fully accept the unspoken fact that everyone thinks that they are the “chosen one”. I think it is a natural and instinctual behavior to be selfish deep inside. It’s an indispensable and immutable component of our survival instincts. But this does not mean that we must constantly display it to everyone with all of its nudity. Human beings are also social animals with cultures and customs which do not appreciate fully exposed individual selfish intents. This is derived from the fact that a tribe’s survival and well being has always been more important than any individual’s self interests within that tribe. Hence we have called people who don’t understand and comply with these collective values ‘selfish’ and those who understand them ‘generous’. Continue reading
Zoom in Detail of an oil Painting depicting Benjamin Franklin done by Benjamin West in 1816
My Note: Benjamin Franklin, A man of accomplishment who has made many discoveries and inventions along with an astonishing political career. He achieved all of this without a formal university education, today we see an image of him on the front of a 100 dollar bill, perhaps the single biggest connotation for material success which we are reminded on a daily basis
Since I was young I always had a mindful way of living which forced me to question “why?” repeatedly on certain issues in life until i got something close to an acceptable answer in relationship with nature. I have never had doubts on the fact that human beings are related to animals. And I honestly think that we should not be ashamed of being sophisticated animals, it’s just ok. We sleep, eat, defecate and fornicate like them, so any man with reason and an above average IQ would be tempted by the idea that we must have some sort of a kinship with them. A premise, which Darwin and many other men of thought sought to scrutinize. Continue reading