On the Radar, the every-couple-of-weeks synopsis of what we’re looking at on the web, is an official category in the side bar now.  Cheers to that.

Get your eye-balls on “Designing Design” the new book by Kenya Hara, the mastermind behind Muji. As Surface Magazine puts it “Hara is widely hailed as the most outspoken member of his generation to promote [the] ‘unnoticeable design’ philosophy and perfect the Japanese art of understatement”.  And as many of us architects can attest, Hara confirms that “keeping things simple is actually quite complex”.  Don’t we know it Kenya.
-thanks to Dot for the skinny on the Surface Magazine article

Several years ago the BBC released a series called “Dreamspaces” that did a beautiful job of covering world architecture in 12 separate documentaries.  John Beohm, the hard working blogger behind IDENTS, has done an amazing job collecting and organizing most of the Dreamspace documentaries.  The site also allows downloads to the iPhone.  The blog makes it easy to get a mid-day dose of awe-inspiring design.

The sharp shooters over at Randy Brown Architects are taking strip mall architecture head on.  Their Monarch Place 1 project in Omaha is the type of architecture that brings design to the strip mall and, dare we say, makes them desirable destinations.  We’ve got to swallow our pride and admit that we didn’t think it was going to be Nebraska to lead the charge on strip malls, but there it is – touché.
-thanks to John for the tip

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed New York’s Peter Gluck on the nature of architect as designer and builder.  “Membership in the American Institute of Architects’ design-build community has nearly tripled over the past five years” and the architects that learn to get their hands dirty may find a good solution to the hard times ahead… find out more in the article “House Designers Don Hard Hats”
-thanks to Paul for sending this on over

In addition to being modernists we’re also authentisists (authenticators, authensters… help us out here).  Anywho, you know what we mean – we like stuff that’s true to its nature.  For those in and around Seattle, the architectural historian Larry Kreisman has generated a great online tour guide of Seattle’s 7 historic districts.  The article was published by the hard working folks at Preservation Magazine – go check it out and eat your architectural spinach – it’s good for you.
-thanks to Caroline for the link

The Fluidforms website enables you to select a topographical area from Google Earth – the topographical data is then fed to a laser cutter that generates a physical 3D model out of wood.  Architectural interns of the world – if you’re smart this means fewer all-nighters for you.

The Pano application for the iPhone could quite possibly be the coolest app we’ve seen yet, maybe even better than Shazam.  Load up Pano for $2.99 and the iPhone becomes a mini wide angle lens + photoshop photomerge.  The application lets you take up to 4 photos side by side, then the application bends, blends, feathers and overlays to create one seamless panoramic image – all automatically.  For the architect /designer constantly trying to capture the jobsite in one coherent photo – this app is indispensable.
– thanks to swissmiss for getting this on the radar

The Seattle AIA awards are up – go take the tour here and get your tickets here.  Or if you choose not to attend you can check in with BUILD for the scoop – we’ll have the winners announced the evening of the award ceremony – cause that’s how we do it, all quick-like.

Chenchow Little architects was a refreshing find and their gorgeous photos make a tour of their website quite pleasant.

A client of ours loaned us the formula one race-car of mouse technology and we recently took the 3D Connexion Space Navigator for a test drive.  The Space Navigator works in all three dimensions allowing you to zoom in and out of the screen.  Note: you still need a mouse for the functions of the modeling programs, as the name indicates, the Space Navigator only controls the navigation within the model.

Our favorite site of the moment is StyleCrave.  Kick back with a drink and scroll though page after sexy page of uber-cool stuff.  From architecture to jeans to motorcycles, everything on this site is well designed and well composed.  Pure visual pleasure.

Daniel Hahn is one of those designers that makes us feel like we’re building with Lincoln logs.  The slick images of speed yachts and electric vehicles are drop-dead gorgeous and he’s finding a graphic language that you should take note of.

now get out there and start DOING…