Christopher James Constantine – B Eng (Civil) GradIEAustchris@designresolve.com

Item Of The Month
July 2010

[Vernacular Architecture]

Vernacular architecture does not go through fashion cycles. It is nearly immutable, indeed, unimprovable, since it serves its purpose to perfection.

-   Bernard Rudofsky

Consider and respond…

July 2010

[Vernacular Architecture]

Vernacular architecture does not go through fashion cycles. It is nearly immutable, indeed, unimprovable, since it serves its purpose to perfection.

-   Bernard Rudofsky

June 2010

emotions cannot be passed on or conveyed. art/design is purely the catalyst for new emotion.

June 2010

emotions cannot be

May 2010

IOTM for May 2010 is a small but exciting update. Two simple photos below from Chile are the most exciting thing to come across my desk this much this month. Showing the local building techniques, with sticks for increasing flexural strength of concrete and gabion walls for urban building applications.

DSC02838

The above was exciting enough, using local materials to create hybrid materials with different structural properties. But more important and more inspiring is the below.

Gabion walls for urban application! I’m more than a little upset I didn’t think of this before… I’m going to be suggesting this for a project in the near future so stay tuned for updates. Inspiration like this doesn’t come along every day and I’m all about using technologies and materials in new and interesting ways. So if you see anything a little unusual or have photos like this from other parts of the globe, I’d love you to send them in! Simple is almost always best…

<Edit, I found this example out there on the web>

2008-02-08_094022-TreeHugger-gabion-night-shot

Titus Bernhard Architekten

IOTM for May 2010 is a small but exciting update. Two simple photos below from Chile are the most exciting thing to come across my desk this much this month. Showing the local building techniques, with sticks for increasing flexural strength of concrete and gabion walls for urban building applications.

DSC02838

The above was exciting enough, using local materials to create hybrid materials with different structural properties. But more important and more inspiring is the below.

Gabion walls for urban application! I’m more than a little upset I didn’t think of this before… I’m going to be suggesting this for a project in the near future so stay tuned for updates. Inspiration like this doesn’t come along every day and I’m all about using technologies and materials in new and interesting ways. So if you see anything a little unusual or have photos like this from other parts of the globe, I’d love you to send them in! Simple is almost always best…

May 2010

IOTM for May 2010 is a small but exciting update. Two simple photos below from Chile are the most exciting thing to come across my desk this much this month. Showing the local building techniques, with sticks for increasing flexural strength of concrete and gabion walls for urban building applications.

DSC02838

The above was exciting enough, using local materials to create hybrid materials with different structural properties. But more important and more inspiring is the below.

Gabion walls for urban application! I’m more than a little upset I didn’t think of this before… I’m going to be suggesting this for a project in the near future so stay tuned for updates. Inspiration like this doesn’t come along every day and I’m all about using technologies and materials in new and interesting ways. So if you see anything a little unusual or have photos like this from other parts of the globe, I’d love you to send them in! Simple is almost always best…

<Edit, I found this example out there on the web>

IOTM for May 2010 is a small but exciting update. Two simple photos below from Chile are the most exciting thing to come across my desk this much this month. Showing the local building techniques, with sticks for increasing flexural strength of concrete and gabion walls for urban building applications.

DSC02838

The above was exciting enough, using local materials to create hybrid materials with different structural properties. But more important and more inspiring is the below.

Gabion walls for urban application! I’m more than a little upset I didn’t think of this before… I’m going to be suggesting this for a project in the near future so stay tuned for updates. Inspiration like this doesn’t come along every day and I’m all about using technologies and materials in new and interesting ways. So if you see anything a little unusual or have photos like this from other parts of the globe, I’d love you to send them in!

DSC02839

Inspiration

May 2010

DSC02838

DSC02839

DSC02839

DSC02838

DSC02838

DSC02837

DSC02837

May 2010

Architectural Darwinism – The Evolution and Importance of Traditional Structure

As promised we’ll be discussing this concept in May’s design blog entry. I apologize for the late update to the site this month but I can guarantee it’s a topic worth waiting for.

This topic was a something I first came across when reading a paper by Uche Ikejiofor on Nigerian housing (If past traditions were building blocks, 1999). Architectural Darwinism describes the process whereby the most effective design characteristics of buildings within a certain area are retained an combined over time to create the most appropriate design solution in context.

Concepts like ‘evolution’ and ‘natural selection’ are equally applicable to built structures as to organic organisms. The most efficient, functional and practical solutions  naturally outlast their competitors. As a result of this process we see prevailing architectural trends  between similar geographical locations, prescribed uses and social contexts. The best architecture, as a result, most often takes its inspiration from past traditions in housing.

So before I leave you to think about this, I have one more suggestion for you as designers. This can be applied in everything you do! You can do a lot worse than looking to the great designs of the past before designing anything new, after all, they were great for a reason.

darwin

Charles Darwin – nature to design…

May 2010

Architectural Darwinism – The Evolution and Importance of Traditional Structure

As promised we’ll be discussing this concept in May’s design blog entry. I apologize for the late update to the site this month but I can guarantee it’s a topic worth waiting for.

This topic was a something I first came across when reading a paper by Uche Ikejiofor on Nigerian housing (If past traditions were building blocks, 1999). Architectural Darwinism describes the process whereby the most effective design characteristics of buildings within a certain area are retained an combined over time to create the most appropriate design solution in context.

Concepts like ‘evolution’ and ‘natural selection’ are equally applicable to built structures as to organic organisms. The most efficient, functional and practical solutions  naturally outlast their competitors. As a result of this process we see prevailing architectural trends  between similar geographical locations, prescribed uses and social contexts. The best architecture, as a result, most often takes its inspiration from past traditions in housing.

So before I leave you to think about this, I have one more suggestion for you as designers. This can be applied in everything you do! You can do a lot worse than looking to the great designs of the past before designing anything new, after all, they were great for a reason.

April 2010

The first lecture I was given, upon beginning high school, was by Dr Ross Millikan, headmaster of Carey Baptist Grammar School in Melbourne. The topic of this speech was “The Burden of Privilege”. Anyone who knows Dr Millikan may disagree but I remember him as a quiet man with an unquestionable authority about him, the kind of man whose words demand you’re listening.  These words are not shared often because they a considered, even valuable. This was certainly the case when I first heard him speak.

The burden of privilege pertains to the social responsibilities of those with resources at their disposal. These resources may not necessarily be monetary but may be intellectual or sociological. It is the responsibility of any individual to attempt to improve the standing of their fellow man.

“With opportunity comes great responsibility.” Some 12 years on I still remember this quote and it resonates with me almost every day. As a professional who has had the opportunity to undertake further study, to earn a good wage and to make choices based on want instead of need, I have great responsibility. The small contributions I currently make and even those grand plans I have for future charitable endeavours will be inconsequential without others following suit.  All those fortunate to learn, to have choices and live in countries outside of the third world have a responsibility to those less privileged.

So once you can accept these responsibilities, what are you to do? Well the next hurdle comes to practicality. As I discussed above, one individual’s efforts may seem insignificant but the key concept here is making a practical contribution. Practical in the sense that it can be applied effectively in context whether that is on a small or large scale. The main problem associated with being practical centres on the moral considerations derived from our privileged existence.

We expect certain living, health and educational standards. These standards may not be practical goals in some third and even second world situations. Basic housing in first world countries contains running water, sewerage and sizeable living spaced. Morally we feel obliged to provide similar standards of living in a foreign aid context. This is neither realistic nor practical. In some instances four walls and a floor is much better than nothing. We must push these moral considerations aside and view the big picture… We must be practical.

(Next Month: Architectural Darwinism – The Evolution and Importance of Traditional Structure)

April 2010

The first lecture I was given, upon beginning high school, was by Dr Ross Millikan, headmaster of Carey Grammar School in Melbourne. The topic of this speech was “The Burden of Privilege”. Anyone who knows Dr Millikan may disagree but I remember him as a quiet man with an unquestionable authority about him, the kind of man whose words demand your listening.  There words are not share often because they a considered, even valuable. This was certainly the case when I first heard him speak.

The burden of privilege pertains to the social responsibilities of those with resources at their disposal. These resources may not necessarily be monetary but intellectual or social. It is the responsibility of any individual to attempt to improve the standing their fellow man.

“With opportunity comes great responsibility.” Some 12 years on I still remember this quote and it resonates with me almost every day. As a professional who has had the opportunity to undertake further study, to earn a good wage and to make choices based on want instead of need, I have great responsibility. The small contributions I currently make and even those grand plans I have for future charitable endeavors will be inconsequential without others following suit.  All those fortunate to learn, to have choices and live in countries outside of the third world have a responsibility to those less privileged.

So once you can accept these responsibilities, what are you to do? Well the next hurdle comes to practicality. As I discussed above, one individual’s efforts may seem insignificant but the key concept here is making a practical contribution. Practical in the sense that it can be applied effectively in context whether that be on a small or large scale. Moral considerations in providing aid.

Architectural Darwinism

April 2010

April 2010

The first lecture I was given, upon beginning high school, was by Dr Ross Millikan, headmaster of Carey Baptist Grammar School in Melbourne. The topic of this speech was “The Burden of Privilege”. Anyone who knows Dr Millikan may disagree but I remember him as a quiet man with an unquestionable authority about him, the kind of man whose words demand you’re listening.  These words are not shared often because they a considered, even valuable. This was certainly the case when I first heard him speak.

The burden of privilege pertains to the social responsibilities of those with resources at their disposal. These resources may not necessarily be monetary but may be intellectual or sociological. It is the responsibility of any individual to attempt to improve the standing of their fellow man.

“With opportunity comes great responsibility.” Some 12 years on I still remember this quote and it resonates with me almost every day. As a professional who has had the opportunity to undertake further study, to earn a good wage and to make choices based on want instead of need, I have great responsibility. The small contributions I currently make and even those grand plans I have for future charitable endeavours will be inconsequential without others following suit.  All those fortunate to learn, to have choices and live in countries outside of the third world have a responsibility to those less privileged.

So once you can accept these responsibilities, what are you to do? Well the next hurdle comes to practicality. As I discussed above, one individual’s efforts may seem insignificant but the key concept here is making a practical contribution. Practical in the sense that it can be applied effectively in context whether that is on a small or large scale. The main problem associated with being practical centres on the moral considerations derived from our privileged existence.

We expect certain living, health and educational standards. These standards may not be practical goals in some third and even second world situations. Basic housing in first world countries contains running water, sewerage and sizeable living spaced. Morally we feel obliged to provide similar standards of living in a foreign aid context. This is neither realistic nor practical. In some instances four walls and a floor is much better than nothing. We must push these moral considerations aside and view the big picture… We must be practical.

(Next Month: Architectural Darwinism – The Evolution and Importance of Traditional Structure)

April 2010

So I know this is going to create a few waves but before I tell you what the IOTM for April is I want to preface it with a definition. ‘Art is anything that draws an emotional response, whether positive or negative, from an audience’. (Basically what I’m getting at here is that if you strongly disagree with what I’m saying with regard to the featured design, you’re actually agreeing and I WIN).

2007-volvo-C30_JUMP

The Volvo C30 is a new take on the traditional 3-door hatch. Why do I like it so much? In short, it’s the first true aesthetic innovation in car exterior design for some time.  Love it or hate it (and I definitely love it) you have to admit that it creates discussion. The rear window alignement is completely different to anything I’ve seen before and takes the traditional hatch from boring to bootylicious. I have found that this rear end polarizes opinions even amongst my circle of friends and isn’t this what good design should do?

Good design should be daring enough to ruffle a few feathers. As discussed in my March Design Blog, one of the biggest problems with the Engineering profession today is that it doesn’t take risks or try new things. Volvo have broken the mould with this one and love it or hate it, you have to congratulate them.

April 2010

So I know this is going to create a few waves but before I tell you what the IOTM for April is I want to preface it with a definition. ‘Art is anything that draws an emotional response, whether positive or negative, from an audience’. (Basically what I’m getting at here is that if you strongly disagree with what I’m saying with regard to the featured design, you’re actually agreeing and I WIN).

2007-volvo-C30_JUMP

The Volvo C30 is a new take on the traditional 3-door hatch. Why do I like it so much? In short, it’s the first true aesthetic innovation in car exterior design for some time.  Love it or hate it (and I definitely love it) you have to admit that it creates discussion. The rear window alignement is completely different to anything I’ve seen before and takes the traditional hatch from boring to bootylicious. I have found that this rear end polarizes opinions even amongst my circle of friends and isn’t this what good design should do?

Good design should be daring enough to ruffle a few feathers. As discussed in my March Design Blog, one of the biggest problems with the Engineering profession today is that it doesn’t take risks or try new things. Volvo have broken the mould with this one and love it or hate it, you have to congratulate them.

2007-volvo-C30_JUMP

2007-volvo-C30_JUMP

2007 Volvo C30 – booty


The Report
This project is aimed at surveying the state of the art modern construction methods used in pre-cast concrete systems to suit today’s low cost housing needs worldwide. The following review will provide a basis for design formulation.
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