Monday, May 31, 2010

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

BBQ? Parades? Beach trip? Fireworks?

Yes, those are fun images of the day, but my uncle, Richard, comes to my mind on Memorial Day.

As a young boy, Richard Laxson was the apple of his parent’s eyes. And to everyone that met him. His brother and sister looked up to him. He had that natural leadership set of character traits that others wish they had. It was like he had wings of an eagle.

I remember meeting him when I was very young. We were at a family gathering at my grandparent’s lake cabin. Even though I was so young that the details of that time are blurry, I do remember the magic and electricity in the room when Richard was in the present. It was like he had wings of an eagle.

Richard played the guitar. He sang. His command presence brought people together to join in the fun that he created. It was like he had wings of an eagle.

My uncle was very athletic. Fast, I have been told that he could run like he had wings of an eagle.

In the 1960’s, Richard was brought into the Vietnam War. Because of his gift of being able to run fast, his commanding officer often choose him to be the runner when there was a need to “draw fire” from the enemy. He did that well because it was like he had wings of an eagle.

Richard was a strong Christian. He would play his guitar and share his faith while bringing members of his unit to Christ. It was like his wings of an eagle were being transformed by angels.

But one day on patrol with his unit, Richard heard the unmistakable click of a land mind that he had stepped upon. Richard stood still on it until his buddies were able to clear away from him. His wings are now certainly among the angels.

The hole in the hearts of his parents and siblings never filled. His brother married my dad’s sister and named their only son after Richard. So, a legacy still lives with his name sake. Still, I think that that the loss of him affected the way they lived the rest of their lives.

What a sacrifice for our freedom.

Please don’t take your freedom for granted.

I have two boys myself. They are the most important part of my life. I was young enough to be able to distant myself from the heart tearing loss of Richard. Perish the thought of the same with my boys. That is a sacrifice that would be absolutely unbearable.

If you are a parent, you know exactly what I mean. If you are a parent who lost a son, daughter, or any loved one, please accept my deepest and respectful regrets.

This loss happens every day by other parents whose boy or girl does not return from combat. They deserve more praise, support, and gratitude beyond anything we would ever be able to offer.

Please leave me a note about your feelings of Memorial Day below.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My mentor, I.M. Pei

I.M. Pei is one of the most important architects that shaped my career. He was my boss and my mentor for 6 years before I started my own firm, Lane Architecture + Design, P.C.

I am excited to have the opportunity to share this documentary with you. At the time of this posting, I have not yet viewed it yet either. But, since finding it available, I wanted to waste no time getting out and available to you.

Just click on this hyperlink to have access to the documentary about I.M. Pei and his design of the Suzhou Museum

Hope you enjoy seeing the passion that he has in architecture and for people. He is a true gentleman.

Let me know what you think about his approach to architecture after checking out this clip.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks

I first watched this presentation because I thought I would learn new insights about social media networking and better ways to share my passion of architecture with readers such as you. But, instead, the person in this video, Mr. Nicholas Christakis, has shared his scientific findings about how people interact with one another.

He brings up some very interesting points that can easily bridge over to the architectural design philosophy that you have been hearing me touch on that is "Experiential Architecture."

In his talk, you will hear him speak about social networks are "living things." Similarly, I would suggest that social networks are living spaces as well. In that, we are directly affected by how we interact with one another by the past and present experiences that we have and how we choose to perceive those experiences. The arena that one experiences these life emotions is "Experiential Architecture."

He makes it clear that it is important to better understand human emotions. That is, in my view, because it is our emotions that affect our behaviours and our perceptions of space.

It is interesting that he points out that even though the occupants of space (my paraphrase) may change, the social network (and the space within the network's experiences) continues to exist as a continuous being.

Some of the experiences that social networks have is due to collective emotions as opposed to individual existence. In other words, even though you may enter into a space with one type of emotion, the space and the social network using that space may affect the way you feel that may be contrary to the way you came into the space.

Finally, the actual structure/architecture of the ties between the social networks, he said, determines the relationships of the members within that space.

This may be a little "heady," but whether you are aware of it or not, architecture - as is social networks - affect how we live and behave.

This is something that will deserve more discussion. Let me know of your opinions about how architecture has shaped your life below in the comment area.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Who was George W. Snow?

There are a lot of unsung heroes in the construction industry. George W. Snow is one of them.

Click here Who Was George W. Snow? to listen to a brief and interesting story about this man who shaped your life.

Larry Lane, of Lane Architecture + Design, shares a story about this interesting man, George W. Snow, who was an adventurous and enterprising man. Mr. Snow owned a lot of real estate. He was a realtor, surveyor, general contractor, financier, and the inventor of a construction method that we see almost every day.

Feel free to subscribe the the radio show so you can download more interesting podcasts through itunes at Who Was George W. Snow?

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ayn Rand Mike Wallace Interview 1959 part 3

Ann Rand is the author of the famous novel about architecture, "The Fountainhead." Shen was also the writer of the novel that illustrates very current issues of socialism in a book called "Atlas Shrugged." Both of these books are Must Reads!

Here is a very interesting video of a liberal newsman, Mike Wallace, challenging her in a interview back in 1959. Check it out, it is very interesting.

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