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  • typology: a sustainable model

    Environment, Environmental Design


    Huat Lim 12th September 2008 Singapore NUS.


    We start by asking the question: What is typology, and why has this anything to do with Sustainability? Why Type?

    I commence by saying that architecture is largely about people. I learnt this from Norman Foster, the one thing I remember him saying to me when I was working on the Stansted Airport project, amongst many others.

    We look back to an early village scene, and we reflect on our countryside and the villages. We see here the blueprint for a new evolved typology. One which takes us back to an awareness of of environment one that begs the question of how much we really need to put into our ecological and typological models before we stop and ask, is this what we want, is this enough or have we gone too far with development.

    Building typology has always been of interest and as a study for architecture, because it begs the question of whether works of architecture need for classification and grouping to serve its their purpose or if types are necessary in order to validate their functions. So we ask, what is type? Are private houses a building type and do typifying shapes and built forms add any value to buildings? Indeed none whatsoever. By conforming it to any one type of building does not make the work any different or better in any way, let alone give it any more meaning or validation to its functions.

    What of t...

  • sustainable design vs typology

    Community, Environmental Design


    the skate park facility responds to our need to keep the young thinking about their environment, constantly and responsibly, always engaged emotionally to buildings we give them to count as their own.

    made entirely of concrete, a sustainable resource and material, we place emphasis on utlising the simplest material, and once completed, requiring the least amount of energy to maintain and upkeep the finishes. young persons do not necessarily care for expensive materials, irresponsible use of energy and waste of resources, an awareness we want to propagate and demonstrate through humble architecture.



  • 2532854659_70a9e66e18_177_

    The school I work for suffers from what is considered a common illness that affects small organizations: Informality. After six years of working as it’s CEO, in 2007 I finally understood that in oder to achieve our goal of becoming the most innovative design school in latin america by 2010, we needed more than my crazy ideas, first had to create a culture that revolved around it, so everyone could contribute and commit to the same goals. So we created our first Team Based Strategic Plan for 2010. It was both painful and beautiful. Seven projects where born out of that effort. Finally we all had the same idea of who we wanted to be and how we should go about it.

    Recently I had a strategy review meeting. We realized that we have come so far. We have achieved most of what we committed ourselves to do, it has been painful, it hasn’t been disciplined, we still lack SMART indicators, so we can clearly know if they are successful, we still need to create a culture of accountability, and meet deadlines; but we have created so much value in such a little time. Usually we rant about our inability to be disciplined and structured, we realize that as time goes by we are better organized, but we still fail to deliver on time.

    After this meeting I was reflecting and soon I realized that what we have is a treasure. It is difficult to work with a team of designers and creative individuals, but it is definitely more difficult to innovate with a team of overly structured traditional corp...

  • Decaf @ 100% Design London

    Arts & Culture, Industrial Design


    After 6 months of hard work we finally can present our first products. Everything survived the flight from Mexico in a good state, except the bolts for the Table, they were gone and we couldn't assemble it.<br> <br> The show was great, we got a lot of attention from the press and the people loved what we were showing. Especially the Bath and the Lamp where the crowd favorites. <br><br> Eduardo did some hand drawings on the wall and everybody loved to see him do it. (See our Decaf 100% photo section ) <br><br> All together we couldn't have dreamed of a better start and presentation of Decaf and what a Multi-disiplinairy Design team can do.<br> Check it out at: <br> and <br>

  • 10min observation at 5th AVE 13th ST

    Environment, Industrial Design


    One has observed the problems from the street and people for 10minutes. The first thing that came to my sight was the cigarettes that were just tossed on to the street. The number of cigarettes in front of the school entrance is numerous. Though there is place to discard cigarettes, but actually no one uses it. The second, it is easy to see bike theft in NYC. I was able to find one that is hanging to the poll. Since the bike is easy to disassemble, and anyone, who needs money steals a bike and sell the parts to the used bike stores. Ignorance of NYC is extremely radical from other states. At the cross-walk, though the red signal is on, people just walk through. One can sight homeless people everywhere on the street. The weather is getting cold and one could see the people sleeping on the street without anything underneath them. It is really bad for their health problem. Lastly the stairs came to me as the problem. There is only stairs in front of the school’s entrance. And it is hard for the leg disabled people to climb up the stair. There is a lamp at the side of the school, but the hill is little radical to go up.

  • Design Criteria



    Users and ease of use: I think it is important to know who want to use my potential product. It can be a starting point for me to decide what kind of potential product I want to do. It is also important to me to have product that is easy to use. Therefore, knowing the backgrounds such as their nationality, economic status, educational level, or age group, is important.

    Form: I always believed form of a product should be interesting enough to attract people’s attention. Functions should be contained in the form but still it should have unique personality.

    Ergonomics: User’s comfort is also important to me that the potential product should have ergonomically friendly form.

    Function: Function is a heart of whole product because it is solution for its problem.

    Materials: I believe material decision is a key point for whole product. Appropriate use of materials will result my potential product to be successful.

    Ethics: I find ethics of design is extremely important because it is directly relating to users’ emotion and their life style, and I respect them.

  • Street Observation



    Place: 5th Avenue between 12th and 13th street.

    Time of observation: between late morning and early afternoon.

    Physical space: I think it depends on the time of a day how people react to the physical space around them. During my observation time, there were not many people on the street and people who were there gathered in front of windows and door of the building or sat on the stairs. A trashcan was placed at the corner of the street edge and near crossroads. Also, there were several water puddles near edge of street and crossroads.

    Social space/ interactions: Most of students on the street were smoking and chatting with each other in front of the building or on the stairs. As people were scattered around the building, I found it interesting to see how building could divide groups of people into different parts of the building. As there was a group of friends (5-7 people) in front of windows, other groups of people did not come near them, even though there was space for more people around that area, and stood near different parts of building, such as door or stair. Most of pedestrians passed the building without looking at the building or people in front of it, but some did look up the building for a while with curiosity.

    Issues/ Problems: I think the atmosphere of the school building alienates pedestrians in some ways. Those windows and groups of smoking students may give uncomfortable feelings to some of people who are just passing by. Also, a trashcan is placed awkw...

  • 2 west 13 street

    Communication, Communication Design

    1. What did you observe in the physical space? Stairs, front doors, machines to get in and out of the building, a big trash in front of the entrance.
    2. What did you observe in the social space/interactions? Students were coming in and out in several times and stopped to smoke in break time. Everybody was in their own world.
    3. Did you observe any issues/problems in physical and social space? The 2 west 13 street entrance doesn’t have rails for people in wheelchair, and also doesn’t have a trash to maintain clean the space especially for people that smoke.
    4. How can design address those issues/problems? Making a rail for people in wheelchair and other disabilities, and put some trashes in the entrance to make the place more neat and clean.
    5. Storyboard your observations: illustrate the context with plan, axonometric, and/or other technique. Illustrate the details of what happens.

  • Form: I consider form as the creator of myth, the promise of intention. What I design must be formally unique; it should be visually fast, and conceptually digestible.

    Function: What I design will function easily. It will explain itself, and consider alternative situations. It will be durable for the toughest user, travel light, and work hard.

    Ethics: What I design will not change social order. It will not offend the non-user, it will respect limitations in public and private space.

    Ergonomics: It will feel good to touch, to interact with. It will relate to body size, to purpose and scenario.

    Color & Material: Material will be an integral design criterion. What the product is made of will determine its sensuality, manufacturability, cost, and desirability.

    Size & Portability: What I design will assume a space saving mentality it will be purposeful in use and out of use. It won’t require a carrying case, or have a mess of wires, it will be self contained, sculptural, purposeful.

  • Observations



    The Physical Space It was a beautiful and breezy day around 1pm. There is very limited seating space on the north side of W 13th Street. As a result, the bench right outside of a small deli was fully occupied, and a couple of chairs were brought outside to accommodate the workers who were taking a lunch break. On the south side, there is plenty of seating space all along the wide window. However, there were only a couple of students perching there, smoking. This is probably because classes were in session during this time.

    Social Space/Interactions The sidewalks were overwhelmed with people – pedestrians, worker and students on breaks, homeless people, etc. The stairs outside of the Parsons’ main entrance, right in front of the deli, and northwest corner of W 13th Street and 5th Ave seemed to be the three focal points of social interaction. Students were having short conversations at the entrance of Parsons. The workers who were on a break were having lunch together. Most of them were not talking at all. They seemed to be enjoying their quite lunches in the presence of one another. Due to the lack of seating space, many have innovatively used the tiny ledges that protrude from columns to rest their tired feet. While many are spending time outside, in the warm sunlight, perfectly balanced with the breezy air, a couple of students were sitting on the round couches on the other side of the pane of glass. They turned that space into private studies, eating area, and ev...

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