Design on the Haus
Happy Thanksgiving! From all of us at Hausman, here’s a little levity as we prepare to pull up to the table: From the ridiculous to the slightly-less-than-sublime, enjoy this portfolio of creations that combine two of our favorite things—architecture and food.
Some years back, Herzog & deMeuron’s VitraHaus was rendered in gingerbread for the furniture manufacturer’s holiday card. High quality Swiss construction is evident in the icing and cleanly cut elevations.
Castle Drogo was built in 1930 to a design by Edwin Lutyens. Bompas & Parr, a London-based studio dedicated to flavor-based experience design, architectural installations, and contemporary food, scanned and digitized the stately building, then cast it in Jello.
Designer Kia Utzon-Frank has created a cluster of conical cakes that could pass for stone sculptures. The treats are wrapped in fondant that’s been printed with a marble pattern.
Artist William Lamson was commissioned by Storm King Art Center to make Solarium. Each of the 162 panels is made of melted sugar that is sealed between two panes of glass. The space functions as both an experimental greenhouse, sheltering three species of miniature citrus trees, and a meditative environment.
The holiday weekend is a binge-fest for football fans, with a multitude of games scheduled. The framing for these snack-stadia often incorporates cardboard magazine file boxes (for the banked grandstands) and sheet pans underpinning the field, while aluminum foil is the moisture barrier of choice. Guacamole is a near universal pick for the turf, although in a burst of verisimilitude, some ‘designers’ opt to use green salad for this element.
Started by a group of New York architects and engineers in 1992, Canstruction is a nation-wide food drive with a twist. Designers are invited to create sculpture/structures made out of full cans of food; after a public exhibition, the food is donated to community organizations for distribution. On average, each work of art comprises more than 2,000 cans.
Should you want to tackle such curious projects yourself, we’ve unearthed a few books that might come in handy:
The Designer’s Cookbook · 12 Colors, 12 Menus
Divided into twelve color-based chapters, the recipes range from saffron lemon ravioli to melon soup to blueberry tartlets, all arranged in four-course meals of two starters, one main course, one dessert, and three drinks.
With apologies to Rem, this manual for custom-built ice cream sandwiches—with names like Mies Vanilla Rohe, Norman Bananas Foster, and Frank Berry—is written by the team behind the successful fleet of food trucks that roam the streets of New York, LA, and Dallas.
Modern Art Desserts
Bakers who are bored by bundts may welcome by the step-by-step instructions on creating desserts inspired by works by Warhol, Kahlo, Mondrian, Lichtenstein, and more.
Marti Guixe is a food designer based in Barcelona. The author of several books, he views food as an edible designed product, an object that negates any reference to cooking, tradition and gastronomy.
To say that this past week has been a time of change is quite the understatement. While not as roiled as the current political arena, the PR industry is evolving, too. Following up on last week’s post, here’s more insight from the latest Global Communications Report, compiled by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations.
Most of the PR executives surveyed for the report anticipate change in the structure of their agencies and departments to better address changes in the communications landscape over the next five years, primarily driven by the adoption of new technologies and increased demand for content delivery across more channels. There is universal agreement that over the next five years, executives will be expected to deliver more strategy, more creativity and more measurement.
Relationships also are shifting. Corporate communications clients acknowledge that they value agencies more for their strategy and creative prowess than for their “arms and legs.” Meanwhile, agencies disclose that about 30% of the time they report into marketing or brand management, versus 34% into corporate communications.
By 2020, agency leaders expect to see their revenue streams shift away from earned media, but it will still be the dominant revenue driver at 36%. Meanwhile, all of the other media categories will grow—owned to 24.6%, shared to 24.2% and paid to 12.9%. In total, PR executives predict 63% of all media outlets will offer paid placement opportunities in five years. Ironically, only 8% rank media-buying skills as an important staff skill for the future.
“The pace of change in public relations has never been faster than it is today, but at the same time, it will likely never be this slow again,” added Paul Holmes, editor of The Holmes Report, which partnered on the research. “Both agencies and their clients recognize that change is occurring, but it is not clear that they appreciate the extent, when it comes to finding non-traditional talent or developing non-traditional services, particularly outside of earned media channels.”
Looking to the future, it is clear that PR as a profession is changing. All survey respondents agree that in five years their jobs will become more complex, challenging, and strategic. Only 27% of agency leaders believe by the year 2020 the term “public relations” will clearly and adequately describe the work they do.
To best serve our clients in the architecture and engineering fields, we keep on top of the evolving state of the PR industry. The 2016 Global Communications Report, a comprehensive survey of senior public relations executives by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, predicts the worldwide PR agency business will grow from its current estimated size of $14 billion to $19.3 billion over the next five years. To accommodate this growth, agency leaders anticipate their headcount will increase over the same period by about 26%.
Industry leaders, both in agencies and in-house, believe future growth will be driven by content creation and social media, as well as more traditional activities such as brand reputation, followed by measurement and evaluation. Earned media still ranks relatively high for both corporate and agency leaders. Paid media ranked last of 18 possible growth drivers.
“Overall, we are sensing a continued optimism about the direction the industry is headed, which is good news for people entering the field,” said Fred Cook, Director of the USC Center for Public Relations. “But questions remain about the industry’s ability to attract the right talent, adapt to new technologies, and increase the level of investment required to capitalize on these opportunities.”
Both agency and corporate executives strongly agree that the ability to attract and retain the right talent is their greatest challenge, and the majority of both groups believe the PR industry is not good at sourcing talent from outside its ranks, citing salary levels as the major obstacle.
Traditional expertise still tops the list of skills communications departments and PR firms view as key to success over the next five years. Written communications is the skill ranked most important by client and agency respondents. When asked what personal traits they felt were critical for the future, industry leaders ranked traditional values of teamwork and hard work near the top—but they also believe their teams are already strong in these areas. They say more horsepower is needed in curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking.
When asked about diversity, only 45% of agency heads and 44% of corporate executives believe their ranks are as diverse as their clients’ customers or stakeholders. Both groups cite lack of access to diverse talent at senior and entry levels as the primary challenge.
“It’s clear that finding the right talent is by far the most critical factor in the PR industry’s future growth,” said Cook. “The more complicated question is what skills should this talent possess. Industry leaders still value traditional communications skills but are searching for more strategy, creativity and diversity.”
In a follow-up post, we’ll take a more detailed look at what’s in store for public relations pros.
There’s a design formula to the traditional haunted house. Among the hallmarks of horror:
A Historic Pedigree. Gothic, of course, is the go-to architectural style for scares, but a spare, blank-windowed farmhouse can also induce apprehension. And the notorious Amityville Horror home was a mild-mannered Dutch colonial.
Fearsome Features. Turrets, towers, and wrap-around porches are all specter-worthy settings. Leaded- or stained-glass windows—cobwebs are optional, but a nice touch—frame blood moons quite well.
The No-Maintenance Look. While crumbling staircases, broken or boarded-up windows, and peeling roof shingles may be a handyman’s nightmare, such decrepit details heighten the impression that a house has been abandoned to the spirits.
The contemporary buildings featured in this post display none of these classic traits, but have some disturbing qualities nonetheless. Their foreboding facades—some evoking mechanical torture chambers, others with a ghostly or skeletal character—might deter even die-hard trick-or-treaters.
Of their transformation of a former prison/school/funeral home, artist-architects Christophe Berdaguer and Marie Péjus state, “To us, architecture is a space for imaginative possibilities, for telling stories to ourselves and others. It is above all a collective dream, that of a community of people and ghosts.”
House 77 was designed by dIONISO Lab. Stainless steel shutters covering the front of the building are perforated with cryptic symbols. These siglas poveiras are part of a proto-writing system that has been used by the inhabitants of Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal for many generations. Typically inscribed in wood or stone, they are used to signify family histories, identify property, and are also used as magical-religious marks.
Meticulous Photoshopping is behind [ahem] the work of French photographer Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy. He says, “This series of photographs offers a vision of an unknown world that would only be a picture, without intimate space, with looks as the only refuge.”
Photo: Yao Li
As part of the China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture, the Number Four House by AZL Architects sits in an isolated valley. Much as a traditional Chinese scroll reveals select segments of its content, the horizontal breaks in the building’s contoured concrete facade control the views of the surrounding terrain.
Rare Architects wrapped a laser-cut scrim made of powder-coated aluminum around the Town Hall Hotel in London, an adaptive reuse project. It acts as a phantasm of sorts, blurring the boundaries between architectural eras and places, an apparition in the streetscape.
At our mid-sized architecture office, I wear many hats: My official title is marketing coordinator, but I’m also administrative whiz, technology trouble-shooter, and webmaster. Our partners recently decided to commit to working with a public relations firm, but I’m not quite sure what they’re looking to accomplish. Can you advise me on where, oh where to begin? How do I figure out what that means, and then find the company that’s right for us?
Millinery-Maddened Millennial in Minneapolis
Well, Millinery, it’s good to know that someone else has not skipped off to the beach for the summer! Otherwise, the Doctor would get very lonely in the office—talking to the plants is good for a little while, but inanimate objects are not always the best office-mates. So, I’m glad you are reaching out, and you have come to the right place!
There’s nothing that I like more than a good strategy, which is the first item on your PR agenda. Most important, from the outset, you need to establish some goals. Just think about it: you can’t run a race without knowing where the finish line is! So, when your partners say they want to hire a firm, what exactly are they trying to accomplish? Many people think that public relations is press, and that’s a big part of it. If that’s your goal, then you have to determine what kind of press you want: local or national; business press, trade, or design press; project-related articles or trend stories.
Now, the Doctor tries to make it easy for you, of course, but she also wants to give you a lot of options! And, don’t forget, it’s probably some combination of all these things. Some people are “either/or” types, but I like to think of myself as a “both/and” person when it comes to outreach. On that note, going beyond press, you should also think about other ways of building your influence. Let me be clear: we love press—yes, we think it’s the bees’ knees—but you can also get a lot of buzz through speaking engagements, professional organizations, and being active on social media.
See, Millinery, I bet there’s a lot more than you bargained for! But the Doctor wants to point you in the right direction. I suggest that you try to get as many specifics as you can from the partners, and that will help you figure out what kind of firm you need to bring on board. When you have your goals, you can look for the right partner.
On that note, it’s low tide, and I’m off to the shore to stick my toes in the sand….
Continuing his look at the creation of an architectural monograph and managing a multi-media publicity campaign, Brien McDaniel, Communications Director, Senior Associate of FXFOWLE, reveals the details of publicizing Reveal Filter Evolve Effect (ORO Editions, 2015), the latest publication from FXFOWLE.
A select number of copies of Reveal Filter Evolve Effect (representing about 300-350 of our contacts in New York City) were packaged in custom tote bags and hand-delivered by messenger. All of these bags included a personal note from a member of the FXFOWLE leadership. The remaining 1,200 monographs were mailed via a specially designed box, with or without personal notes. Only once we knew that everyone on our list had received a copy of the book, did we publicly announce that the monograph was published.
Why did we reverse the typical sequence of events for the book launch? We wanted to get the biggest bang for our buck—meaning no one really knew we were publishing a book and we wanted harness that element of surprise. This was achieved via an e-blast to our entire database and a press release (yes, this form of communication is not yet dead). To raise the monograph’s visibility across all of our social media channels and to give it an identity at all of our events, we created a logo inspired by the book’s design.
Every piece of communication about the launch—whether a press release, an e-blast, or social media post—included a link to an announcement of the monograph on the FXFOWLE website. This not only increased traffic to our site over the course of a year, but it also gave us the opportunity to tailor our online message, highlighting the firm’s culture and services. The announcement was featured on all seven of the website’s landing pages and on the News page. Reveal Filter Evolve Effect also lives in its entirety in ISSUU format on the Profile and Publications pages. However, we did wait to upload the book until after the launch was completed—a period of almost nine months.
As part of the launch promotion, we developed a series of panel discussions (open to the public, as well as invited guests) to connect with our audience in fresh ways. These talks also posed strategic opportunities for business development, press relations, and to initiate new partnerships or strengthen existing relationships. Such was the case with the AIA|DC Chapter, the National Academy Museum & School, and Open House New York. We teamed with these organizations to host events and programs, which helped us reach new, diverse groups.
For example, our exhibition at the National Academy gave us a chance to share with our audience a unique firm initiative over several months. Throughout the run of the exhibit, FXFOWLE partners conducted personal tours of the show for colleagues, clients, and potential clients, allowing them to enhance existing relationships as well as cultivate new contacts by presenting a personalized, inside perspective on the firm’s work and mission. An invitation-only dinner was staged at the gallery, making for a truly extraordinary evening.
We also collaborated with leading publications, such as Architect, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Preservation, and The Architect’s Newspaper, in innovative ways. While this didn’t generate any major coverage (nor was that expected), the experience served to deepen the editors’ knowledge of FXFOWLE and the culture of the firm.
The results of our campaign were a revelation, and truly gratifying. We had overwhelmingly positive responses from all corners—even though it didn’t translate into work (which we knew it wouldn’t). We developed new partnerships; expanded our press coverage to include art, book publishing, and general publications; and received not one, but two reviews of Reveal Filter Evolve Effect. We also saw significant spikes in website traffic each time we posted news about the monograph; overall, our social media traffic increased more than 20% for 2015. Something we didn’t think about at the beginning of our planning was that preparing for the book launch was the perfect opportunity to update FXFOWLE’s contact database; after doing that, our bounce-back rate dropped from 20% to 2% within three months. And finally, the monograph drove internal conversations about our brand, from project reviews and presentations to discussions about our website and marketing messages.
While creating a monograph and orchestrating a year-long multi-media campaign is certain to raise the visibility of your brand, there are plenty of ways ways to achieve that goal. Here are a few ideas—adaptable for any scale or budget—about how your firm can connect with targeted audiences:
If you have space in your office for an exhibit (it doesn’t have to be a large area), consider curating an art show highlighting your in-house talent; many architects sketch, paint, or are passionate photographers. You could also feature study models and drawings to pull back the proverbial curtain on your firm’s working process. Plan an opening reception and invite key contacts to build one-to-one relationships in a setting outside of meetings and industry-related events.
Team up with your AIA chapter, AEC colleagues, or even a local publication to self-produce a topical event or panel discussion. Don’t forget that your clients and consultants can be partners, too.
Seize the opportunity presented by a holiday, or a project-oriented or company milestone, to create a one-of-a-kind announcement. Because we’re all saturated with emails, e-blasts, and other electronic input, you might consider using a hard-copy format in order to stand out. There are many online self-publishing companies (such as Lulu and Blurb) that offer inventive products and designs to promote your brand at any price point.
If none of these strike a chord with you, be creative. And despite their ubiquity, e-blasts are still a great vehicle to connect quickly with your audiences…just make sure all of the information on your website is current and correct before you hit that Send button!
Throughout the month of June, we’re going to take a look at books. With any luck, you’ll find some time this season to devote to reading—and possibly writing—some well-crafted words. We’ve compiled a short list of (mostly) new titles to get the literary ball rolling.
Once summer is over, there are two noteworthy events to replenish your reading list. The NY Art Book Fair comes to PS 1 September 16-18. Organized by Printed Matter, the fair features artist-produced books that range from affordable to investment-quality. The 2016 Designers & Books Fair will be held on November 11-13; check designersandbooks.com for details.
Dance the Bauhaus
While the Bauhaus is known worldwide as an avant-garde workshop for architecture, art, and design, some might be surprised to learn that the school also nurtured the study of dance as a means of investigating questions of form and space. Bearing names like Form Dance, Glass Dance, Metal Dance, Stick Dance, and Space Dance, the experimental choreography was performed during Bauhaus festivals, often accompanied by a band playing a mix of jazz and traditional German folk tunes—haus music, one might say.
The Architecture of Happiness
Alain de Botton
On Paul Goldberger’s list of must-reads for architects, this generously-illustrated book journeys through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the powerful connection between identity and location. One of the root causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of the designed environment—and yet a concern for architecture is often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. De Botton takes the thought that where we are heavily influences who we can be as his starting point, and argues that it is architecture’s task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.
Twenty Over Eighty: Conversations on a Lifetime in Architecture and Design
Aileen Kwun and Bryn Smith
Princeton Architectural Press
A variant on the 40 Under 40-genre of talent-prognosticating, this book is a collection of intimate and often irreverent interviews with twenty architecture and design luminaries over the age of eighty. Revealing conversations with architects Denise Scott Brown, Stanley Tigerman, Ricardo Scofidio, Beverly Willis, and the late Michael Graves; urbanist Jane Thompson; product designers Ingo Maurer, Richard Sapper, and Jens Risom; graphic designers Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, and Deborah Sussman; critic Ralph Caplan, and others shed light on how and why these pioneers continue to shape their disciplines well into their ninth decade.
Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things
Consider this a portfolio of the possible. Three hundred thought-provoking architectural works of diminutive size—including demountable, portable, transportable, and inflatable structures, as well as pavilions, installations, sheds, pods, and capsules—use new materials and methods to demonstrate that small-scale constructs can prove inspiring in their own right.
A Burglar’s Guide to the City
From the author of BLDGBLOG, this book offers an atypical perspective: How any building transforms when seen through the eyes of someone hoping to break into it. Chronicling nearly 2,000 years of heists and break-ins, the book draws on the expertise of reformed bank robbers, FBI agents, private security consultants, the LAPD Air Support Division, and architects past and present to analyze the strengths and vulnerabilities of a range of building types.
Picturing America’s National Parks
Jamie M. Allen
Aperture; co-published with the George Eastman Museum
To celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, this book assembles some of the finest landscape photography in the history of the medium. Featuring the work of masters such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, William Henry Jackson, Edward Weston, and Minor White, as well as contemporary artists such as Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore, and Joel Sternfeld, this volume explores the role of photography in promoting national heritage, land conservation, and wildlife preservation.
And one to pre-order…
Never Built New York
Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell
Due in October, this follow-up to Never Built Los Angeles features nearly 200 proposals for bridges, skyscrapers, master plans, parks, transit schemes, amusements, airports, plans to fill in rivers and extend the island of Manhattan, culled from the past 200 years. Included are Frank Lloyd Wright’s last project, the Key Plan for Ellis Island; Buckminster Fuller’s design for Brooklyn’s Dodger Stadium, complete with giant geodesic dome; developer William Zeckendorf’s Rooftop Airport, perched on steel columns 200 feet above street level, spanning 24th to 71st streets and Ninth Avenue to the Hudson River; and Stephen Holl’s Bridge of Houses, which offered housing options from SROs to modest studios to luxury apartments along a segment of what is now the High Line.
The showers of April have continued—all too vigorously, for some tastes—into May. While this soggy state of affairs can dampen the human spirit, it’s great weather for green architecture. Here’s a mix of built and conceptual projects that we find particularly uplifting on rainy spring days.
The Moesgaard Museum by Henning Larsen Architects features a green roof that insulates the interior while shielding objects on display from direct sunlight.
A cell-like construction system is at the heart of the Re-Generator Skyscraper, a proposal by Gabriel Munoz Moreno to revive the wetlands of Hangzhou, China.
W Architecture and Landscape Architecture created a 32-foot by 55-foot green wall at the Prudential headquarters in Newark, New Jersey.
A green grid of circular skylights at the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany forms the “roof” of the underground expansion of the galleries, designed by Schneider + Schumacher.
Environmental scientists at Espace Bienvenue enjoy the view of a rooftop garden designed by Jean-Philippe Pargade.
Baubotanik utilizes living plants as the load-bearing systems in small constructions such as pavilions, towers, and walls. For architects accustomed to wielding complete control over a project, the serendipity of working with natural forces could be a bit challenging.
Developed by Arup, a proposal for the eco-city of Wanzhuang, China explores a situating a cluster of villages around a shared town center as a solution for the country’s urban-rural gap.
To mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of Expo 67 and Buckminster Fuller’s Biosphere, Studio Dror envisions a companion dome, netted with vegetation, on Montreal’s St. Helen’s Island.
Here in New York City, it’s Architecture and Design Month “Archtober” (ärk’tōbər)! It’s the fifth annual month-long festival of architecture activities, programs and exhibitions taking place during the month of October. Around the globe, there are a bounty of cultural festivals that also celebrate excellent architecture and great design and, this month, we’re highlighting some of the world’s best. Let’s start here at home in NYC with the Architecture & Design Film Festival…
Now, in its seventh year, the Architecture & Design Film Festival returns to New York, October 13 -18, with an invigorating selection of feature-length, short, and documentary films. Expect to be engaged and entertained by lively discussions with architects, designers, filmmakers and industry leaders. We caught up with Kyle Bergman, the founder and director of the Architecture & Design Film Festival.
Q: How did the festival get started?
A: I’m an architect by profession and I’ve always thought about the great connection between architecture and film. To me, they’re two sides of the same coin — architecture and film are ways for us to tell stories. They share similar characteristics, for one, they are both public acts. Both art forms consider light, scale, proportion, and it’s really a balance between art and science. Merging architecture and film was something that came natural to me. I really wanted to develop a film festival that engaged the general public as well as the design community.
Q: What is the film selection process?
A: We accept submissions year-round. We preview around 250 films and try to stick to a schedule of 25-30 films. However, this year we ended up with a selection of 33 films, which speaks volumes about the high caliber of submissions we received. Our selection process is “organic”, and we don’t adhere to criteria; we care more about how the films capture the creative design process.
Q: Were there themes that came together in making selections for this year’s programs?
A: No, we don’t start with themes, it generally evolves. But a Nordic theme became apparent when we were finalizing our program schedule. For instance, we’re showing Jytte Rex’s acclaimed portrait of the late Henning Larsen, and The Infinite Happiness, which features the giant 8 House designed by Bjarke Ingels. Festivalgoers may even detect mini-Irish and family themes.
Q: Can you describe the physical and emotional duress of putting on a festival like this?
A: I may disappoint you with my answer… I’m a firm believer that if you like what you do, you don’t even think about it.
Q: Tell us the best and worst part of your job.
A: The festival is something that I started, so I’m proud of that. But I would say the best part of my job is having the opportunity to increase architecture and design dialogue, and make it more appealing to a wider audience, not just for design professionals. Then, there are the filmmakers…I feel that the festival puts a spotlight on these talented filmmakers and showcases their passion and dedication to their craft.
Don’t miss out on the nation’s largest film festival celebrating architecture and design. Tickets and the program schedule are available here.
Welcome to our inaugural Summer Haus edition! We are still weeks away from the final days of summer, so let’s lather on the sunscreen, take a sip of our cold brew, and delve into Hausman’s very first summer guide.
Dreaming of taking a vacation to the south of France and reliving the Bohemian 1900s surrounded by Belle Époque architecture, or maybe spending the day exploring both the inside and outside of Frank Gehry’s designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. While the Parisians close shop for all of August, most of us do not have the luxury of taking such a leisurely holiday. But don’t fret, let me introduce the ‘staycation.’ You don’t have to deal with long car rides, traumatic airports, tight airplanes, and lost luggage. You can ‘escape’ to exotic locations, travel through time, and explore astounding architecture without leaving the comfort of your couch (or bed). Here’s a short movie guide that will transport you to a different world.
Midnight in Paris (2011) featuring Art Nouveau, “new art” of the beginning of the 20th century
Metropolis (1927) influenced by New York City’s 1920’s Art Deco
Ghostbusters (1984) at 55 Central Park West, New York
Blade Runner (1982) features the Bradbury building inspired by a 1880’s sci-fi novel, featuring a Victorian inspired five story atrium with intricate iron details, including Mexican tiles and Italian marble. The Bradbury is also featured in Double Indemnity, 500 Days of Summer, and The Artist
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) features a Modern residential designed by A. James Speyer, who studied under Mies can der Rohe
Mon Oncle’s (1958) Villa Arpel
Gattaca (1997) Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center
North by Northwest (1959) could not afford Frank Lloyd Wright’s fees, so here’s a little Hollywood trivia, this prairie-style house is actually just a movie set
Let us know of any other movies that you thought should have made it on the list. Leave a comment below!