High dynamic range imaging

Hyper Realism HDR is a range of techniques geared toward representing more contrast in pictures. Non-HDR cameras take pictures at a single exposure level with a limited contrast range. This results in the loss of detail in bright or dark areas of a picture, depending on whether the camera had a low or high exposure setting. HDR compensates for this loss of detail by taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and intelligently stitching them together so that we eventually arrive at a picture that is representative in both dark and bright areas.



Glass House

The concept of a Glass House has always fascinated architects. Transparency, Minimalist enclosure, visual integration of Interior with Exterior and mans place in Nature, all at play.

Hovering in a green landscape, the transparent glass Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is often celebrated as his most perfect expression of the International Style. The house is rectangular with eight steel columns set in two parallel rows. Suspended between columns are two steel-framed slabs (the ceiling and the roof) and a simple, glass-enclosed living space and porch.All the exterior walls are glass, and the interior is entirely open except for a wood paneled area containing two bathrooms, a kitchen and service facilities. The floors and exterior decks are Italian travertine limestone. The steel is sanded smooth and painted a gleaming white.

The Farnsworth House took six years to design and build. During this period, Philip Johnson built his famous Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. However, Johnson's home is symmetrical, ground-hugging structure with a very different atmosphere.

When people come into my house, I say "Just shut up and look around."

--Philip Johnson

1949: International Style glass house in New Canaan, Connecticut, USA. Designed by Philip Johnson, a Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.

The glass house designed by Philip Johnson has been called one of the world's most beautiful and yet least functional homes. Johnson did not envision it as a place to live so much as a stage... and a statement. The house is often cited as a model example of the International Style.


A Architectural Record House of 2011 was another Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut in the tradition of Johnson' s living in Nature Box.

Formula 1 = Pursuit of Excellence

Formula One auto racing is "The Greatest Show on Earth". The 2011 Season started today in Melbourne Australia won by last years World Champion Sebastian Vettle / Red Bull. Formula One exemplifies the Pursuit of Excellence in Design, Engineering and Driver/ Team performance.

The Ultimate in "Form Follows Function"

Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship,[2] is the highest class of single seaterauto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules with which all participants' cars must comply.[3] The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (translated to English as "Big Prizes"[4]), held on purpose-built circuits and public roads. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors, with racing drivers, constructor teams, track officials, organizers, and circuits required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the highest class of racing licence issued by the FIA.[5]

Formula One cars are considered to be the fastest circuit-racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce. Formula One cars race at high speeds – up to 360 km/h (220 mph) – with engines the performance of which is limited to a maximum of 18,000 revolutions per minute (rpms). The cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of 5 g in corners. The performance of the cars is very dependent on electronics – although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008 – and on aerodynamicssuspension and tyres. The formula has had much evolution and change through the history of the sport. Europe, where all the Formula One racing teams are based, is the sport's traditional basis and where about half of each year's races occur. However, the sport's scope has expanded significantly during recent years and an increasing number of Grands Prix are held on other continents.



[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKT2r2NYO9c&w=640&h=390]

Materialism > STONE

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)
Materialism |məˈti(ə)rēəˌlizəm|noun1
Philosophy : the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.
Sculpture is the expressive manipulation of materials. Architecture is the purposeful assemblage of materials and the play of light on those surfaces.
Humans experience the environment through their senses. Our sense of sight, touch and a spiritual sensibility to nature being foremost to our reaction to architecture and interiors.
As an example Phoenician Stone strives to resurrect ancient and forgotten slivers of our  collective human heritage in order to infuse any given environment with arcane beauty  and cultural distinctiveness.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzE62VFzFD8&w=480&h=390]

CaseStudy Houses

As an architect I have always been fascinated by the collective body of work achieved in the CSH Program, exploring new materials and techniques of residential construction.

The Case Study Houses were experiments in American residential architecture sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, which commissioned major architects of the day, including Richard NeutraRaphael SorianoCraig EllwoodCharles and Ray EamesPierre Koenig and Eero Saarinen, to design and build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the United States residential housing boom caused by the end of World War II and the return of millions of soldiers.

The program ran intermittently from 1945 until 1966. The first six houses were built by 1948 and attracted more than 350,000 visitors. While not all 36 designs were built, most of those that were constructed were built in Los Angeles; a few are in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one was built in Phoenix, Arizona. A number of them appeared in the magazine in iconic black and white photographs by architectural photographer Julius Shulman.

Visual Acoustics- The Modernism of Julius Shulman,

a documentary of the formost "Visionary" of Mid-Century Modern architecture.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUQErQtVI04&w=640&h=390]

The DREAM is Real

On the eve of the Academy Awards allow me to pay tribute to the ART of Cinema, to creating altered states of reality. Inception was one of this years movies I appreciated for its creative journey from reality into the world of the imagination.  


Inception is a 2010 science fiction film, which was written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprioKen WatanabeJoseph Gordon-LevittMarion CotillardEllen PageTom HardyCillian MurphyDileep RaoTom Berenger, and Michael Caine. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a specialized spy or corporate espionage thief. His work consists of secretly extracting valuable commercial information from the unconscious mind of his targets while they are asleep and dreaming. Unable to visit his children, Cobb is offered a chance to regain his old life in exchange for an almost impossible task: "inception", the planting of an idea into a target's subconscious.


Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando (安藤 忠雄 Andō Tadao?, born September 13, 1941, in Osaka, Japan) is a Japanesearchitectwhose approach to architecture was once categorizedTemplate:By Francesco Dal Co as critical regionalism. Ando has led a storied life, working as a truck driver and boxer prior to settling on the profession of architecture, despite never having taken formal training in the field. He works primarily in exposed cast-in-place concrete and is renowned[by whom?] for an exemplary craftsmanship which invokes a Japanese sense of materiality, junction and spatial narrative through the pared aesthetics of international modernism.[citation needed]

In 1969, he established the firm Tadao Ando Architects & Associates. In 1995, Ando won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the highest distinction in the field of architecture.[1] He donated the $100,000 prize money to the orphans of the 1995 Kobe earthquake.[2]


I admire Ando's work for its purity and spiritual quality. It is minimal in its forms and details but has a geometric solidity that reminds me of Louis Kahn's architecture.

Need for Speed

My wife, and partner of studio A2 are giving a presentation at ASID's Storytellers event on Tuesday evening on the theme of Inspiration, Creativity and Passion and how we adapted to our changing profession (Architecture) and the world in which we live.

One of our passions is automotive design and racing. "Form ever follows function" Louis Sullivan.

Photo above was taken by Jessie Alexander at Monza, Italy. ( click his link to see some historic 16mm film Jessie shot at racing events in the 50's. We met Jessie at the Historic races, Laguna Seca in CA and bought a fine autographed B&W photo of Dan Gurney.


This video clip was produced by Shell oil company. Got to love the Prancing Pony.


Photo below is a screen shot I took while viewing a video of Jesse's and it was at a interesting moment dissolving between two images.

Chairmen of the Board

Shawn and I had dinner this evening and listened to Sirus Radio, station 74 Seriously Sinatra, hosted by his daughter Nancy.

Francis Albert Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was a true crooner of his era. Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers".I always enjoy his recordings. "I've got you under my Skin", a classic tune. Embeb was disabled but link is worth the play. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yqGujr2-Jw.

Remember Mel Gibson in "What Women want".


Also check out Sinatra's " I get a kick out of you"


Live the LushLIFE

A true classic of Jazz recordings is the lush baritone voice of Johnny Hartman is LushLIFE  accompanied by John Coltrane on tenor sax and McCoy Tyner piano, Jimmy Garrison bass, Elvin Jones drums. clickWATCH ON YOUTUBE





July 27, 1965 in Antibes

John Coltrane - Tenor Sax McCoy Tyner - Piano Jimmy Garrison - Bass Elvin Jones - Drums


Gerhard Richter - "art of the impossible"

Gerhard Richter (born February 9, 1932)     is a German visual artist. Richter has simultaneously produced abstract and photorealistic painted works, as well as photographs and glass pieces, thus undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style. My early studies were in Fine Art ( BFA degree)  and I explored my wide ranging interests in painting, engraving, sculpture, photography and video. I often mixed and superimposed media, in a Richter manner. I now look for opportunities to integrate fine art sensibilities into my architecture.



john pawson - "less is more" Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

John Pawson (born 6 May 1949) is a British designer associated with the minimalist aesthetic. He was introduced to this minimal sensibility while living in Tokyo, returning to London in 1981 to establish his own firm.

I have always been fascinated by the refinement and reductionist approach of minimalism, as a counter balance to our complex and cluttered world.

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features. Pawson is a contemporary purist in this search for the essential.

Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald JuddJohn McLaughlinAgnes MartinDan FlavinRobert MorrisAnne Truitt, and Frank Stella. It is rooted in the reductive aspects of Modernism, and is often interpreted as a reaction against Abstract expressionism and a bridge to Postmodern art practices.

The terms have expanded to encompass a movement in music which features repetition and iteration, as in the compositions of La Monte YoungTerry RileySteve ReichPhilip Glass, and John Adams. Minimalist compositions are sometimes known as systems music. (See also Postminimalism)

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto "Less is more" to describe his aesthetic tactic of arranging the numerous necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity. Industrial designer Dieter Rams' motto, "Less but better" adapted from van der Rohe.


Third and Seventh

Exploring the rendered imagination of digital artist Alex Roman, of Madrid, Spain, who created a 12 minute short film that is 100% Computer Generated .

A FULL-CG animated film that models, with Vray and Autodesk 3D Max,  a surreal world of architecture through the lens of its only character, a photographer, where main subjects are Icons of modern architecture such as Mies van der Rohe's German Pavilion in Barcelona and  Louis Kahn's Philips Exeter Library in New Hampshire.


[vimeo http://vimeo.com/7809605]

Axel Vervoordt

A Belgium collector and dealer of History and Human Artifacts, Axel Vervoordt renovates and restores LIFE to Architecture.

Regarded as one of the most original and adventurous collectors and dealers of our time, Axel Vervoordt rightly considers himself an eclectic collector and dealer, who treasures the timeless and disdains the trendy. Vervoordt’s taste spans centuries, continents and economic strata, and his profound knowledge of this history of fine and applied arts has led him to create spaces in which his juxtaposition of objects from vastly different eras and cultures makes a strong and impressive statement on present and future interior taste. These juxtapositions should inspire contemplation and thus mental liberty Vervoordt cites three main strands of influence in his work. The first is that of contemporary and oriental art and arte povera, which to him signifies the importance of a life of meditation, empty space, a love and respect of nature and of human existence. The second is architecture, which represents proportion, balance and harmony, such as one might find in an 18th century library. The third strand is the baroque, either gilded and courtly, or more.

Gravewezel Castle, Antwerp


Ieoh Ming Pei (born 26 April 1917), commonly known as I. M. Pei, is a Chinese-American architect, often called a master of modern architecture. I have always admired his pure geometric forms and rational designs. I have had the opportunity to visit several of his buildings, Green building at MIT, JFK Library, National Gallery in Washington D.C., JP Morgan Tower in Houston and Le Grand Louvre in Paris. Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners is still practicing in NYC.


Tribute to Joe Henderson

Joe Henderson is one of the finest tenor saxophone players in Jazz and I would like to offer a small tribute.

I was driving home this evening diggin Sirus Real Jazz when they played Henderson's Canyon Lady.
Very Fine.




Arts and Technology

In the Arts series I offer SEEPER, an interactive arts and technology collective. Seeper has been exploring natural user interaction, responsive environments, devices and architecture to create multi-sensory experiences.

The LightLine of Gotham by Seeper Plus

Introducing 'Light Lining' to the US. A technique of projection mapping 3D content. Working in collaboration with Vimeo to conclude the Vimeo Festival and Awards, the Frank Gehry IAC HQ provided the perfect canvas for our transformation of sight and sound.

Suggested FULL Screen Viewing.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/15887314] [vimeo http://vimeo.com/12825438\"]

Kind of Blue

Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released August 17, 1959 on Columbia Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City on March 2 and April 22, 1959. The sessions featured Davis's ensemble sextet, which consisted of pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. As a tribute to the inspired trumpet of Mr. Miles Davis, the King of Cool,and the 50th anniversary in 2009 of the release of Kind of Blue I offer a taste of what is considered one of the seminal Jazz recordings of our time.


Baron Foster of Thames Bank

Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, (born 1 June 1935) is a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice. He is Britian's most prolific builder. (view interview with Charlie Rose, Oct2010)

"How much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster?" 

A beautifully photographed documentary produced by : Art Commissioners is a consultancy to the world of the arts. It advises corporate clients, public institutions and collectors, curates exhibitions and creates art publications, films and events internationally. From its European base, the consultancy embraces a global network that includes artists, museum curators, directors of Art Fairs, events and private galleries.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMbJ2bj2-fs&feature=player_embedded]He moves your "spirit" with buildings such as : Beijing Airport, Reichstag restoration, Berlin, HSBC building, Hong Kong.


Richard Serra

Richard Serra (born November 2, 1939) is an American minimalist sculptor and video artistknown for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. Serra was involved in the Process Art Movement. (view Charlie Rose interview)

We also had the opportunity to see Serra's installation,
Eight Torqued Ellipses and Snake in Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Impression is of a sculpture within a sculpture, the interior space of the gallery. 

Below is a Video walk through of Richard Serra's sculpture Band (2006) displayed at MoMA as part of the exhibition Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years.The exhibition was on view June 3-September 10.
Richard Serra's sculpture has a life force that is expressed by its weight and scale. We did not have an opportunity to see the installation in MOMA's gallery but did see several pieces shown in the museum sculpture garden.