As for the future, your task is not to foresee it but to enable it.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy. — Haruki Murakami (via)
There are three categories of things: Fragile things that break, like the financial system; robust things that don’t break easily but don’t improve, like the Brooklyn Bridge; and my new category, antifragile things that gain strength from stressors and get stronger from failure, like evolution. The fundamental problem in foreign policy is that people shoot for stability rather than antifragility. -Nassim Nicholas Taleb
A series of twitters from Dan lead me to the article and quote above. Only wondering about whether applying antifragile ideas to human built systems is a good idea given that Evolution the example stated above is the epitome of death, violence and extinction. Am eagerly awaiting his new book Antifragile to hear how things might fail well.
If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. Henry Ford
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Robert Anson Heinlein (via)
I’m at 13 out of 21 of the above list with 3 don’t knows……..
K: We need more washing powder (shaking empty box in my general direction).
Me: Colour or Black and White?
Always design a thing by considering it in its next largest context…a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan. Eliel Saarinen
Drawing itself is a part of learning: learning to use oneâ€™s eyes to see more intensely -Henry Moore (via)
Thirty years after the premiere of Star Wars, the strange chimpanzee crossed another threshold. For the first time in fifty-five hundred years of building cities, more of humanity now lives in them than in rural settlements. In the coming years there will be countless master plans for new mega-cities in Africa, Asia, and South America. We can only hope that these plans will be drawn by disciples of Jane Jacobs, students of Robert Morris, admirers of Robert Smithson, and fans of Star Wars. (link)
I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by. -Douglas Adams
If everything’s under control, you’re going too slow. -Mario Andretti
You’ll never be an Architect, but aim for a career in journalism!
-Toivo Salervo to Alvar Aalto, who, in the summer of 1916, just before beginning his studies in architecture, was a trainee in Salervo’s architects’ office. #
The taste of the apple….lies in the contact of the fruit with the palate, not in the fruit itself; in a similar way…poetry lies in the meeting of poem and reader, not in the lines of symbols printed on the pages of a book. What is essential is the aesthetic act, the thrill, the almost physical emotion that comes with each reading. (Jorge Luis Borges)
This blog is two years old today, and the quote above could be read as applying to blogging also. The meeting of the writer and reader makes the thing itself, and of course in blogging of the reply and rewriting as an added dimension! It’s been great fun so far.
Critics will no doubt say I am accusing the Bush administration of being Hitler. I’m not. There is no comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007. What I am reporting is a simple empirical fact: the interrogation methods approved and defended by this president are not new. Many have been used in the past. The very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn’t-somehow-torture – “enhanced interrogation techniques” – is a term originally coined by the Nazis. The techniques are indistinguishable. The methods were clearly understood in 1948 as war-crimes. The punishment for them was death.
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing
That the usefulness of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing
That the usefulness of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house;
And it is on these spaces where there is nothing
That the usefulness of the house depends.
Therefore just as we take advantage of what is,
We should recognize the usefulness of what is not.
-Tao Te Ching
An old one but a good one to remind myself it’s not always about the object itself, this may well apply to all design.
I’m unsure what to make of this essay about working at O.M.A. On the one hand I’m thrilled by the thought of working there in a kind of supercharged electrical field of design, where ideas are ruthlessly produced, used ,discarded, reworked. On the other it sounds like a slightly authoritarian production office which makes last minute decisions based on the leaders whim usually just before an important meeting, in other words …….just like many other design offices.
When one is involved in this process, one can sometimes despair over the inefficiency and the absence of conventional professionality. But in the end, one is obliged to concede that the non-linearity of the design process, the lack of routine or an established canon of methods or solutions are the basis for the quality of the office’s work. It is precisely the apparent chaos that constitutes the distinctly unusual quality of the officeâ€™s professionality. It is characteristic that Rem assesses a project sceptically precisely when it has developed continuously without conflicts, crises and interruptions.