h1

Wonder Wednesday

May 8, 2019

Those aren’t snow covered mountains… they’re dunes!  Constantly shifting, morphing, changing, sand on the plains around the Pamir Mountains in China.  Truly stunning.

Photo by Hu Qing

h1

Philosophy Tuesday

May 7, 2019

It is always worth remembering that,

just as cruelty and mistrust can spread,

so too can love and kindness.

 

(adapted from John Green)

h1

Architecture Monday

May 6, 2019

Step yourself across the bridge, marveling at the captivating roof before heading down the entrance stair that bisects this island cabin.  Enter, nestle in, and enjoy.

Nestled itself into the surrounding landscape, the cabin follows the topography of the ground below, the floor raising and lowering as it spirals around a central hearth that sports built in furniture.  Warm wood frames it all, with a wood scrim wrapping on all sides (even above!) that filters light like the leaves on a tree.  At night, the cabin glows as a lantern.

Day or night, a cozy little retreat.  Nicely done.

The appropriately named House on an Island by Atelier Oslo

h1

Wonder Wednesday

May 1, 2019

A short film reel from 1957 of Walt Disney speaking about the invention of the MultiPlane camera, used in their feature animated productions:

h1

Philosophy Tuesday

April 30, 2019

“Management’s traditional assumption is that employees are recalcitrant and irresponsible. As a result, they design both equipment technologies and organizational technologies to ensure compliance, minimize employees’ scope of discretion, and reduce their reliance on employees’ skills. And management should then not be surprised when employees respond by apathy and antagonism — a result which in turn comforts management in their initial assumption that employees are recalcitrant and irresponsible.”

Paul Simon Adler (emphasis mine)

 

(This is such a great reminder.  When we approach people as jerks (or etc), we very much tend to get jerks back.  We are leaving them no other avenues for expression.  And then when we, surprise surprise, get jerk back we get that little rush because, by gosh we were right, and thus we totally get to justify our initial jerk interaction.

It is well worthy to be mindful of this downward spiral, not only in the field of business* but everywhere else in our lives as well: friends, family members, our children, people on our sports teams, hobby acquaintances, supermarket clerks, people at the DMV… and even beyond to those of differing groups, views, upbringings, social status, origins, life experiences… The list goes forever on.  No matter whom, it remains that when we relate to another or a group of others as a particular way, that’s what tends to come back to us.

Our listening is incredibly powerful.  When we listen to people as small, we get just that.  When we choose to listen to someone from and as an empowering place, the possibilities for great things opens wide.)

 

* The quote itself comes from a research paper looking into the NUMI plant, which was a closed GM plant that was re-opened as a so-called venture with Toyota, although really it more or less was a case of having Toyota run the joint.  Prior to shutdown, the plant had been a poor performer, with lots of employee trouble.  Upon re-opening, nearly all the employees were re-hires.   Under Toyota’s management style (which involved a very different “management vs worker” dynamic), the plant’s productivity, quality, and profit rose tremendously, employee turnover and sick days dropped, and worker satisfaction reached towards the nineties.

h1

Architecture Monday

April 29, 2019

Now this is a thing of sinuous beauty.  Four intersecting cylinders, shaped and carved by ellipses to form a striking curvaceous form, rendered all the more amazing by the fact that it’s all brick.  Jutting directly out of the water (a bridge is needed to access it it) it’s like an ancient landmass rising directly from the fjord.

The brickwork itself is amazing, custom glazed in hues that vary from the water towards sky, its regularity interrupted not only by the curving forms but also punctuated by special oversized (and circular!) bricks.  The windows and brick merge together to continue the forms, and the whole thing dances in its interactions with water and sky, light and shadow.

Inside, all those curving forms make for some lovely spaces that also boast views out of the great windows towards the city and landscape beyond.  And check out those details, like the circular elevator and wrap-around stair or the conference table with a chandelier that takes reflected sunlight and spreads it throughout the room.  Great stuff.

What a delightfully sculptural and sweet building.  Nicely designed to fill its role, a great mix of indoor and outdoor spaces and a fitting ambassador welcoming you to the city.

The Fjordenhus by Studio Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann.

Bonus video!

 

 

h1

Wonder Wednesday

April 24, 2019

Enjoy some jaw-droppingly amazing photos of the equally amazing Falcon Heavy launch from a couple weeks back. Really, some incredible shots here:

Plenty more at SpaceX’s Flickr Stream!