RethinkTALK-Visual Illiteracy and its impact on our environment and how to change it

It all begins with silence. Muted mouths. Passive pedestrians. Shrugging bystanders. An act of visual illiteracy is committed and nothing is said:  A graffiti tag. A carelessly dropped bottle. A dog’s waste left unbagged. A sidewalk cracked into a tripping hazard. A broken streetlamp. A construction project that makes a sidewalk impassable for […]

Finding La Buena Vida in Madrid

Finding La Buena Vida in Madrid Square Spotting in Chueca

Like most amazing photographic opportunities, I stumbled upon the scene by chance. I got lost, perhaps on purpose, as I wandered the slim streets of Madrid at dusk in early January two years ago. After leaving my University of the Arts students on […]

Failed Flags

I had the pleasure of viewing  Roman Mars’ TED Talk recently on flag design or as it is known in the trade, Vexillography. Mars hosts the design oriented podcast 99% Invisible .  If you love design and haven’t subscribed, binge listen after you read this. The TED Talk was an entertaining look at the state of flag design for various states and municipalities. […]

Visiting the Northern Lights?

Currently on view in the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an exhibition on Scandinavian Design .  Culling from the main collection while adding a few from our own, the exhibit runs linearly through time beginning with Aalto and ending with Minecraft.  We created a downloadable Family Guide supplement for children about the exhibit […]

A Room without a View

I slipped on it and that’s how it was brought to my attention.  It was a clear acrylic sheet about 4′ square set on the sidewalk.  I missed it not because I was nose deep in my phone, but for the deep snow that was covering it.  I thought, “who would leave a sheet […]

Shutters that make one shudder

Surrealist architecture is a rare find, despite all of the parametric modeling capabilities available these days. Yet, on hot summer days one can witness a form that Breton and Dali would appreciate.

But I’ll never forget the time I witnessed the slow, doubling-over of a vinyl shutter.  It took over an hour for the southwest […]

One small step for banality, one giant leap for pragmatism

Increasingly, urban centers have become attractive for the upper-middle class, suburbanites and empty nesters. Developers seizing upon this trend, purchase empty lots, former commercial spaces and run-down homes to build anew. Often, McMansions are designed attempting to fit the luxuries afforded in Suburbia within the narrow lots of the city. Many developers assume that new […]

A Shocking Affront

My neighborhood, Bella Vista in central Philadelphia, has gone through a remarkable transformation in the past decade.  The older Italian community is giving away to new urbanites seeking a dense, vibrant and child-friendly neighborhood.  Many of the neighborhood commercial enterprises and storefronts operated by the older generation have closed up shop.  Their crafts and wares moved […]

I’m the one who prefers to knock

I’d rather knock than use this doorbell.  There is something about this cheaply manufactured, everyday doorbell’s composition and placement that rubs me the wrong way.  Pressing down on its yellowed, polycarbonate body which sits awkwardly upon masonry enhances the sensation of its potential brittleness. Often, these pragmatic doorbells’ casings are cracked and out-of-plumb.  Here, […]