More stories about PERSPECTIVE

  • safe and sound

    During the last 50 years, the development of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) in the United States has had international significance. It began with Jane Jacobs and Oscar Newman laying down the principles of defensible space, which have since been universally accepted, and...

  • a tale of two houses

    Philip Johnson's Glass House is often cited as his best building. While it was completed before Mies van der Rohe's house for Dr. Edith Farnsworth, it is generally considered derivative of that project, even though the all-glass house was hardly invented by Mies.

  • urban acupuncture

    After decades of absence from the main spheres of architectural discourse, the phenomenon of the metropolis as a site for research and experimentation is beginning to recapture the imagination of architects. This renewed attention our profession is giving to the socio-cultural, political, and...

  • a rare find

    I first met Fay Jones in the spring of 1983, in Piazza Santa Maria, in the Trastevere section of Rome, Italy. As I sat sipping espresso with my friend, the architect Spero Daltas, Fay sauntered across the piazza contemplating a place to sketch. He was in Rome for a mid-career fellowship at the...

  • the venustas factor

    My understanding of the process in which buildings are made is continually refined. And I see mounting evidence of the value of compelling design in a home.

  • esherick's insights

    Early in my architectural life, while working at the San Francisco firm Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis Architecture, I was assigned to a series of house projects with Joseph Esherick, FAIA. I was acquainted with Joe from architecture school at the University of California, Berkeley, and had spoken...

  • a manifesto

    The majority of Americans live in poorly designed homes that are haphazardly sited, thoughtlessly constructed, and, in some cases, hazardous to their health.

  • public citizens

    Every year, architecture firms and practitioners receive requests for pro bono or reduced-fee work. Typically, these inquiries come from communities, churches, nonprofit organizations, and the like—sources who genuinely cannot afford to pay market rates. Unfortunately, very few firms have...

  • natural laws

    Most architects think traditional design and detailing techniques are a boring cop-out. Similarly, many academics find blunt prose simplistic. Plain language is indeed comparable to accepted building techniques—direct and to the point, with acknowledged meanings and proven results. Just like florid...

  • model behavior

    By definition, a model home is a dwelling created for purposes that go beyond the standard rationale of providing shelter or profit. In some instances a model home may be fueled by a social, aesthetic, or philosophical agenda, as when Prince Albert erected a prototypical worker's cottage in...