54 Dogs and a Fire Hydrant

December 9, 2009 at 1:14 am | Posted in Art | Leave a comment
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“54 Dogs and a Fire Hydrant”, a collaborative art piece created by employees in the Gensler San Francisco office, fetched $650.00 in an art auction benefiting Rocket Dog Rescue.  The event was sponsored by Haworth, and the money raised will be used to help the San Francisco organization dedicated to saving homeless and abandoned dogs from overcrowded animal shelters.  For more information on Rocket Dog Rescue click here.


Merus – a “designer” winery in Napa Valley

December 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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 Designed by Amsterdam-based Uxus Design

Dining by Design

November 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Community Service, Cool Stuff | Leave a comment
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DIFFA (the Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) held it’s annual Dining by Design event the past two nights at the San Francisco Design Center. 

The event is always a fantastic showcase of creativity, but this year we wanted to bring the focus back on the true reason we participate in this event- to raise much-needed funds for the prevention & treatment of HIV/AIDS.  In this light, we chose not to showcase a tabletop the first night.  Instead, we invited participants to walk through the space, amidst hundreds of hanging ribbons with messages of hope on them.  The ribbons were cut away, symbolic of removing the obstacles before us, then given to those individuals who act as ambassadors, taking the positive message out into the  community. 

Special thanks to our cosponsor Haworth and all the other contributors -Mission Bell, Architecture +Light, Principal Builders, Color Kinetics, Yamagiwa, 3form, Birch, Lorikatz Group, Luna, and all the volunteers!  The event was a great success!  We couldn’t have done it without all your help.

Habitat for Humanity

November 12, 2009 at 1:16 am | Posted in Community Service | Leave a comment
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A small group of us were introduced to Habitat for Humanity East Bay through their yearly Build-A-Thon back in April.  It seems like an ideal means of giving back to the community while using (and improving) the skill sets that we’ve been trained in.  They’re currently working on the Edes Avenue neighborhood in Oakland.  During the Build-A-Thon we helped frame one of the 24 homes they were adding.  Since then, we’ve been going back once a month to help continue the work we started.  It’s always a fun time.  I’m consistently amazed at the smiles on everyone’s faces even though it’s hard work and the patience despite some of our incompetencies in the construction field.  It’s one thing to draw it, and another to actually build it!


They’re always looking for more volunteers (all over the country), so if you’re interested check out your local chapter and see how you can get involved.

Pop-up restaurant with a view!

November 3, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



via Kanye West Blog

Bottle Bank Arcade Machine

October 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Sustainable Practices | Leave a comment
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What a fun way to get people excited about recycling! 


The Hand of the Architect

October 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Architecture, Cool Stuff | Leave a comment
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moleskinDesigners have had a long love affair with moleskin sketchbooks.  So, it should come as no surprise that moleskin is now releasing a collection of sketches from 110 famous architects like Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, Piero Lissoni, Renzo Piano, and more.  The book is a tribute to Piero Portaluppi who designed the Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan.  The sketches were initially auctioned off to help pay for maintenance on the building.  Now, they’ve compiled them into a limited edition moleskin. 


Could be a perfect Christmas present for the architect in your life!

Greening The Blueprint

October 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Green Architecture, Sustainable Practices, Urban planning | Leave a comment
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Excerpt from San Francisco Magazine’s article titled “Greening the Blueprint”, featuring seven eco-innovative projects.  Credit to Joanne Furio, Photographs by Tim Griffith.  Here’s #2!

2: Suburban utopia


With their water-quaffing lawns, gas-guzzling cars, and gadget-laden McMansions, the suburbs might seem too far gone to be worth the bother for climate-change pioneers. Yet considering that almost a third of Americans live in these low-density areas, you can’t exactly write them off—and one company hasn’t. Codding Enterprises, of Roh­nert Park, is the developer behind Sonoma Mountain Village, North America’s first One Planet Commun­ity. The company plans to convert a 200-acre former Hewlett-Packard campus into a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented community of 1,900 homes. Based in London, One Planet, a subsidiary osolar energyf the nonprofit BioRegional, promotes a system that’s even greener than LEED: BioRegional claims that each of its Sonoma homes will be powered entirely by solar energy.


Photograph courtesy of Codding Enterprises

Every project One Planet develops must adhere to 10 eco-friendly precepts, including zero carbon, zero waste, and the use of sustainable materials. But key to the Sonoma Mountain plan is the “five-minute living” layout, which enables residents to walk to stores, offices, restaurants, and schools. Each zero-emission home will be framed in steel (instead of wood) from eight recycled cars, and during construction, the biggest greenhouse-gas savings will come from a 50 percent reduction in the use of concrete. (The production of concrete is what generates the emissions.) In 2008, Sonoma Mountain was awarded California’s most prestigious environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, for its model comprehensive land-use planning. Ironically, Codding Enterprises helped establish the very suburban model that it’s now aiming to reverse. For years, the company made its mark by building shopping centers in Santa Rosa. But when Brad Baker, the stepson of 92-year-old founder Hugh Codding, took the helm as CEO five years ago, he decided to shift the company’s focus more toward sustainable development. Around the same time, Baker started a biodiesel company called Community Fuels, in Encinitas. “We liked the idea of applying green to real estate,” he says. If all goes as planned—some rezoning and environmental approvals are pending—Codding will break ground on the first Sonoma Mountain homes in the middle of next year. The Bay Area may even become ground zero in the United States for One Planet: Renowned architectural firm Gensler is already working on another of the nonprofit’s communities in Stockton.

Opportunity Green

October 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Design Trends, Gensler Projects | Leave a comment
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Gervais Tompkin, Design Strategy Studio Director at Gensler , uses ping-pong balls and reused cups to preview his Opportunity Green 2009 presentation on the next generation of work- happening Nov 7+8 at UCLA.

Sustainable Suites Winner

October 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Architecture, Competitions, Green Architecture, Hospitality, Sustainable Practices | 1 Comment
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ShowFile.aspxThe USGBC announced the winner of the Sustainable Suites competition yesterday.  WATG & IDEO teamed up to create “Haptik”.  You can see why the won, they did a great job of integrating good design with sustainability, and educating the guest in a way that doesn’t seem intrusive, but instead feels like it’s enhancing their stay.   The plan dedicates over 1/3 of the room to an outdoor balcony & garden that doesn’t require conditioning and helps give a bit of green space back to the community. Many of the other more typical green features are also included: low-flow fixtures, PV panels on the hotel’s roof, a master switch to turn off all the power in the room when the guest is away, recycled materials, etc. 

ShowFile.aspxHopefully, the USGBC will release other entries as well.  It’s inspiring to see all the different solutions that teams came up with.

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