Architecture is…

My friend shared a arch daily list of definitions about architecture. Most of them are academic pablum, but a good amount seemed was worth cutting, pasting and resharing:

Pithy sayings
12. “Architecture is an artificial fact.” – Mario Botta in Perspecta
30. “Architecture is the petrification of a cultural moment.” – Jean Nouvel in Newsweek
57. “Architecture is bashful about reality.” – Wouter Vanstiphout in Archis
75. “Architecture is a history of style written by the victors.” – Herbert Muschamp in New York Times
87. “Architecture is the pathology of the contemporary era.” – Forensic Architecture

As Compromise
32. “Architecture is a muddle of irreconcilable things.” – Juhani Pallasmaa in The Architectural Review
36. “Architecture is most often a victory over the process of creating architecture.” – Sam Jacob in Log
42. “Architecture is capable of absorbing anything, and hence tends to dissolve into everything.” – Ole Bouman in Volume
67. “Architecture is expected to carry too much weight in many cases.” – Patricia Patkau in Globe and Mail
117. “Architecture is the sum of inevitable negotiations.” – Felipe Mesa in Domus

A profession to make things better
21. “Architecture is about improving conditions: environmental, social and sometimes also political.” – Arjen Oosterman in Volume
68. “Architecture is not a goal. Architecture is for life and pleasure and work and for people. The picture frame, not the picture.” – William Wurster
83. “Architecture is both an art and a practical pursuit, and the profession has always been divided between those who emphasize the art, that is pure design, and those who give priority to the practical.” – Paul Goldberger in New York Times
102. “Architecture is not about the creation of newness but rather about the fulfillment of needs and expectations.” – André Tavares in Forbes
109. “Architecture is not an inspirational business, it’s a rational procedure to do sensible and hopefully beautiful things; that’s all.” Harry Seidler in the Sydney Morning Herald

I think this as close a summation of what I try to do.
112. “Architecture is about giving form to the places where people live. It is not more complicated than that but also not simpler than that. – Alejandro Aravena in his 2016 Pritzker Prize acceptance speech

Maravillas Gymnasium by Alejandro de la Sota (photo by my buddy Chen Cheng)

typography (round 2)

Having just a few minutes of downtime was relatively rich in terms of photo gathering….I was trying to force remembrance and typography together, but I’ll just go with typography. These I think came out stronger in black and white, which is a move I often test, but rarely actually publish. Maybe one day I should actually set out to make a BW series.tempat wisata jogja



otp237 – civic duty

60 years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled against Montgomery County and their segregated bus system.

Coincidentally I had been taking photos of Dara reading Rosa (authored by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Bryan Collier) for the OTP 237 assignment. Its an excellent book, well written and beautifully illustrated. A story very relevant for this time, both as a reminder of how far we’ve come and an encouragement for the continued peaceful struggle for equality and justice.

“She thought about her mother and her grandmother and knew they would want her to be strong. She had not sought this moment, but she was ready for it.
When the policeman bent down to ask “Auntie, are you going to move?” all the strength of all the people through all those many years joined in her. Rosa Parks said no.”





a new president

A couple weeks ago my wife had bought a t-shirt from old navy. When a friend posted a photo her son wearing the same shirt, I commented that we had the same shirt and she responded asking for a picture.

This evening, as partisan Democrats, we were naturally distraught with how the election was going, so to distract myself I pulled out the shirt to snap some pics. As usual, my daughter also wanted to take some pictures too so we all took a turn modeling the shirt.

Given my partisan leanings and the surprise result, I just couldn’t fall asleep…so I decided to get up and and do some work instead of just tossing and turning.

I had set up a nice simple three shot triptych in indesign…but when I exported it out to JPG, everything got jumbled up and came out like below. I guess the night/early morning had one last surprise for me!

Its been a dark election season and I’m trying to transition to a hopeful mood. I wish our nation and President Elect Trump a good four years, may he govern wisely.


at the park

At Town Square, a shopping center, there is a small park. It late morning and was still quite warm, but still bearable.Online Generator Little alchemist Gems




I almost timed this one right but her foot is cut off…even so I’m quite happy with the exposure. Lucky for me, cause she was running loops and this turned out to be the last loop of the day. When chasing a toddler around, you never know when they decide to move onto something else.


circles (otp115)

I’ll do it in reverse chronological order.

While helping the baby take care of business, I realized this has just enough circles to meet the assignment.161002-i5c-9611-1

I reshot the slippers to see if the iphone might get me something sharper.

While sitting outside with the SLR, I realized that my slippers had a bunch a circles.

I had some trouble trying to find circles while at Zion National Park. Even after realizing she had circles on her jackets, I just couldn’t get the a good shot.

circular (again) (otp178)

I think when Jeffery came up with the assignment Circular last year, I think he thought out loud it would be interesting to do some photos that were round in the framing, though I think he ended up going back to the more straight forward (processing wise) approach of just letting it be interpreted freely. While working on OTP 115, I think it got all mixed up in my head. In any case I ended up shooting up at the big tree at Zion National Park and got a couple nice circular images.


This was from the same shot, but a different crop.

And one from the trunk. Unfortunately, it was with the front facing camera, so it pixelated pretty heavily.