Wednesday, March 12

Blogeda... what the... ken?

In an effort to drum up a little conversation, Where is hosting a Blogedanken. This blogedanken (a riff on the German word "gedanken" that translates, roughly, to "thought experiment") starts simply enough: create a wishlist of urban projects for the city you live in. After a few steps though, you'll likely have something completely unexpected and hopefully quite thought provoking!

If that's not enough, Where is upping the ante with a book give-a-way. See below for more details on the offering. The contest ends on Saturday, March 22, so hop on over to Where and check it out!

By Fernando Romero
The Author is also the founder of the Laboratory of Architecture (LAR) in Mexico city "with the ambition of addressing contemporary society through a process of architectural translation and urban study." If you have any interest in border urbanism and the works of Teddy Cruz, this looks like a must-read.

With only one entry so far, your chances of winning if you participate are quite good!

Friday, February 29

Page 123

What's this? BLYGAD has been tagged by Brendan @ Where! Here's the game:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

For my entry, Neuromancer by William Gibson:

"If you have trouble walking, just look at your feet. The perspective's a bitch, if you're not used to it."

They were standing in a broad street that seemed to be the floor of a deep slot or canyon, its either end concealed by subtle angles in the shops and buildings that formed its walls.
And becuase the rest of this passage is so great...
The light, here, was filtered through fresh green masses of vegetation tumbling from overhanging tiers and balconies that rose above them. The sun...

There was a brilliant slash of white somewhere above them, too bright, and the recorded blue of a Cannes sky. He knew that sunlight was pumped in with a Lado-Acheson system whose two-millimeter armature ran the length of the spindle, that they generated a rotating library of sky effects around it, that if the sky were turned off, he'd stare up past the armature of light to the curves of lakes, rooftops of casinos, other streets... But it made no sense to his body.
And now I tag (I'm going local on this one):

Paul @ Eyeteeth
Taylor @ Mediation
Ed @ The Deets
Aaron @ S4xton
James @ Up Your Architecture



Taylor's 123rd page
is from Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration by Deepa Fernandes:
Their underlying question is: who DHS could possibly be protecting from an eldery Baptist minister?

Dantica’s family sees no contradiction in the dual purpose of his visit. He was fleeing Haiti out of a fear of death, but he was also visiting his family, thus fulfilling the stated reason on his visa. Instead he met his death while in U.S. immigration custody. There is mounting evidence that the incarceration that led to Dantica’s death had less to do with DHS viewing him as a threat to society than with his being Haitian. Since Haitians began fleeing politcal violence and repression fifty years ago, there has always been a second tier of justice to deal with those who made it to the United States.
Ed's 123rd page is from Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota by Doug Hoverson:
For new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the return of beer was not so much a return to cultural tradition as a way to increase tax revenue and to eliminate the drain on the public purse from the cost of the ineffectual enforcement of Prohibition. While total repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment was in the uncertain future, the first steps to return legal beer were taken quickly. The Cullen Bill, passed almost immediately after Roosevelt’s inauguration, modified the Volstead Act to define beer of 3.2 percent alcohol by weight as nonintoxicating and allowed its sale in any state that did not have conflicting prohibition laws.

Friday, February 8

Friday Photography | The Architecture of Desire

What better way to pay homage to our favorite manufactured holiday then by taking a virtual tour of the Midwest's premiere fantasy hotel chain, FantaSuites. With names like Jungle Safari, Grecian Bath, & Le Cave; each room tantalizes with the prospect of the unknown. From their website:

From the ancient land of Caesar's Court to the futuristic Space Odyssey, let our FantaSuite Suites transport you to the world of your dreams. Each is a unique experience, an adventure, a romantic retreat designed to completely immerse you in the getaway of your choice...
So what might this world of your dreams look like, exactly?

Unlike another kind of fantasy tourism, FantaSuites is faced with realizing it's escapism with real life brick and mortar. Or as is often the case: plush carpet, creative plastering, and faux plant life. Sadly, about the closest you'll find to a FantaSuites experience online are the wonderful 360° panoramas of each room on their website, all collected here for easy viewing.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 23

Visualizing Change: Upcoming Workshops Blend Design & Civic Engagement

February is always a big month for BLYGAD. With two annual design charrettes that focus on important aspects of our Twin Cities built environment (homelessness and sustainability), it's also a great time for Twin Cities designers to really get involved with the community.

First up is the 3RD ANNUAL GREENLIGHT DESIGN WORKSHOP on February 1st and 2nd. Sponsored by the University of Minnesota's College of Design, Covanta Energy Recovery Center, and Hennepin County, the workshop will take a look the waste-to-energy facility located directly next to the new Twins Ballpark site. Once built, the ballpark will bring thousands of people to the area, so there are many opportunities to design a more sustainable and hopefully inviting public interface. Additionally, necessary roof replacement and site work will allow us to provide options for new sustainable interventions.

All are welcome to participate in this intense day of design: college faculty, community members and of course students and professionals with backgrounds in graphics, design, and sustainability are encouraged to participate. The workshop will be held at Rapson Hall on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Things get kicked off on Friday night from 5:30 to 7pm. The doors will open at 8am on Saturday for a full day of design, followed by presentations.

TO REGISTER | Please RSVP by January 29th to grnlight[at] with your contact information, experience level, and any dietary preferences (vegan, vegetarian, or allergies). See this CDES MEMO post for more information.

Two weeks later is the 21ST ANNUAL SEARCH FOR SHELTER, sponsored as always, by AIA Minnesota's Housing Advocacy Committee. The Boston Marathon of design charrettes, Search for Shelter kicks off the night of Friday, February 15th, lasts throughout the day Saturday, and doesn't usually wrap up until 2 or 3 on Sunday. But I can say from experience that the time you put into it is well spent. Students, professionals and community members work together to benefit local non-profit organizations that focus on affordable housing and homelessness, and by the end of the weekend, produce a semesters worth of design in less then 3 days.

Search for Shelter also takes place at Rapson Hall at the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. The weekend will kick off with an Opening Program on Friday night from 5:30 - 8 p.m., with Kate Swenson from the Enterprise Foundation will present information on the Rose Architectural Fellowship. Saturday is a working day for the teams, including site visits, brainstorming, and design. The weekend concludes with a final presentation at noon on Sunday when designs are shared with clients. Ample substinance (and caffeine) is provided throughout the weekend.

TO REGISTER | For more information and to register for the charrette, visit the Housing Advocacy Committee's website.

If either of these have piqued your interest, please don't hesitate to sign up. And if you have any questions, I'd be happy to hunt down answers for you. 'Design like you give a damn' isn't just a catchy phrase around here, and these two charrettes are great opportunities to show the rest of the nation that Twin Cities designers walk the talk better then anyone.

Thursday, January 17

The Museum of Nature & Possible Zoological Futures

[Museum I, 2004]

Ilkka Halso is a Finnish artist whose work examines the tensions between our natural and built environments and ultimately, how we act to save and/or destroy both. GOOD Magazine featured his Museum of Nature series in this month's issue and wrote this:

If there's a small upside to global warming, it's surely this: After centuries of neglect and skepticism, we've finally come to appreciate just how real—and personal—our connection to the environment is. The Finnish artist Ilkka Halso imagines a time, perhaps in the less-than-distant future, when that relationship will be even more precious. Nature, or what's left of it, has become nothing more than an attraction.
I'm drawn to his work not only because the subject matter is immediate and the execution superb, but because his fantastic near-future landscapes often involve beautifully realized architectural invasions.

[Theatre I, 2003]

[Kitka River, 2004]

[Cube - inside]

The photograph above, though thematically similar to the three images featured before it, is different in that the human intervention (scaffolding) was actually built. Similar to artist Florentijn Hofman (previously on BLYGAD), I find myself equally drawn to the construction of the work of art as I am to the the work itself.

[stills from Cube, 2004 - a 15 min video]

On a very related note, I just listened to a podcast on the topic of zoos and more specifically what zoos might look like in the near future. WNYC's Radio Lab co-host Robert Krulwich interviews former zoo director David Hancocks about his dream for the zoo of the future. Incidentally, it looks allot more like a Haslo's Museum of Nature then our conception of the modern zoo; it's much more of a natural landscape preserved plus windows into it (real or virtual) for humans, then a faux landscape recreated for humans plus animals.

For a look into this future zoo today, you can find all manner of 'animal cams' online (Animal Cameras Blog is a great resource). For example, check out the award winning MusselCam based out of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Tuesday, January 15

Mapping Shanghai with Sim City 2000

[click the image to see at full size]

Well, it's not really Sim City 2000 - but the map's axonometric vantage point and beautiful pixel art graphics are certainly reminiscent of the game I spent far too much time playing as a kid.

Our good friends at Worrell, Inc linked to this interactive map of Shanghai via their new office there. Here's what Pete had to say:

Someone told me there are 4,000 buildings over 25 stories tall here with 1,000 more scheduled to be built in the next few years. To put that in perspective, New York has 2,000.
4,000 buildings over 25 stories tall... here's what that actually looks like: [See Update below.]

[image by pmorgan]

The map takes on a whole new life once you realize that buildings are really quite accurately modeled. For example, here's a stunning shot of the landmark Oriental Pearl Tower in the Pudong district of Shanghai:

[image by Franck]

And it's pixel art representation in the map:

Pretty cool!

Finally, it was a real treat to find examples of the traditional Shikumen style of building I've previously covered at BLYGAD. You can really get a sense for how out of scale they are with the rest of the city when seen in context like this. Like a cartological Where's Waldo, can you find Shanghai's Shikumen?

Monday, January 14

Video from inside Kowloon Walled City

A quick post today following up on my previous effort to make sense of Kowloon Walled City. The first video surfaced on YouTube about 6 months ago. It was apparently filmed in 1990, what would have been 2 years before the city's demolition. This is truly amazing footage, I don't think anything else like it exists. You'll find a quick guide below the video.

0.00 - 0.50 | Kowloon Walled City at a block or two away
0.50 - 6.04 | Street life on the shell of the city
6.04 - 7:49 | Cutting a straight path beneath the city
7.49 - 9.04 | Re-emergence and more from the street

The next clip comes, surprisingly enough, from the Jean-Claude Van Damme fighter flick Bloodsport (1988). It's a 2 minute 20 second clip, of which the last 1 minute 40 seconds are are shot on location within the Walled City. It's kind of an airbrushed version of the clip above.

If anybody has any other resources on Kowloon Walled City that I haven't previously covered on BLYGAD before, do share!

Friday Photography | Kowloon Walled City

Kowloon City is featured in Ron Fricke's Baraka (1992), see stills here. Thanks Fred!

Saturday, January 12

Archo-Urbo-Blogo-Mania | January '08

I'm consistently amazed by what my archo & urbo blogging colleagues are coming up with and 2007 only confirmed this amazement. Over the New Year I gave BLYGAD's "Like-Minded Links" blogroll a much needed update and I just wanted feature some of the recent additions that I've really been enjoying lately. Happy reading! | Airoots is, to me, one of the stand out blogs of 2007. Keywords here are "adventituous roots, urban forests and villages, natural cities, lost tribes, new nomads, and everything inbetween." Infinitely fascinating, Airoots brings a unique perspective and critical eye to some of the fundamental urban issues of our time, but never without a playful sense of unreality. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | A recent post entitled "Tokyo-Mumbai Remix" accurately captures the two author's own urban roots with some fantastically mashed up scenes of urban life from both cities coexisting side-by-side as if one - challenging some deeply seated assumptions about class and urbanism.

Building Minnesota | Building Minnesota is a radio series, podcast and blog by Twin Cities reporter and radio journalist Todd Melby. Todd's work offers a behind-the-scenes and often in-depth look into the Twin Cities built environs. Highly recommended if you're a TC local or simply interested in the architectural process. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | Some of Todd's recent posts reflect an age old debate in our fair city: To skyway or not to skyway. For the record, Todd is an advocate of the skyway system. I tend to fall on the other side of the fence and agree with Jay Walljasper, who recently visited the city and offered this critique: "When you glass in the city, you eliminate the 'bad' days but also all the 'good' days. That is too much of a price to pay. You miss the fresh air, the street life. You may have 20 bad days a year when you want to stay indoors, but 200 good ones you miss. I say you make the city as good as possible for the good days, and that will carry it through on the bad days." BONUS | Todd's podcast covered a great AFHMN project back in 2006.

Civic Nature | The Where Blog recently turned me on to this blog by Peter Sigrist, a Master’s student in the University of Cambridge Department of Geography. Peter is most interested where the areas of "interrelationships between environmental conservation, urban & regional planning, and international development" converge. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | Peter's latest post unearths a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, IRIN, on the effects of post-election violence in Kenya has had on regional slum dwellers.

Critical Spatial Practice | Nicholas Senn writes this blog with a wonderfully critical eye towards our built environment as a reflection (successfully or not) of how we see ourselves - individually and as larger networks of ever shifting communities. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | Nicholas' most recent offering highlights the Lesbian National Parks and Services, of which he writes: "In full uniform as Lesbian Rangers, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan patrol parklands, challenging the general public's ideas of tourism, recreation, and the "natural" environment. Equipped with informative brochures and well-researched knowledge, they are a visible homosexual presence in spaces where concepts of history and biology exclude all but a very few."

The Mobile City Blog | The Mobile City Blog is the companion blog/ homepage to the upcoming Mobile City Conference in Rotterdam. The conference will aim at answering the following question: what happens to urban culture when physical and digital spaces merge? RECENT HIGHLIGHT | In a recent post linking Jane Jacobs, the mobile phone, and urban street life, the author highlights two articles that "can be easily associated with the work of Jane Jacobs, in which the experience of the sidewalk is central to the formation of local communities. As she stated: “word does not move around where public characters and sidewalk life are lacking.” The conclusion of both pieces is very different: One is rather positive and optimist, the other somehwat grumpy, in the ‘how technology killed the authentic experience’-category."

Also new to the blogroll...

And finally, some BLYGAD highlights from 2007 to wrap up one year and bring us into the next.

+ BLYGAD topped out 20,000 hits just in time for 2008. What a nice way to ring in the New Year!
+ East Coast Architectural Review (eCar) recently named BLYGAD in their Top Ten Urbanism Blogs. Thanks Bradley.
+ International Listings, um... listed their Top 100 Architecture Blogs and BLYGAD made number 28. When they aren't listing things like blogs they are "the premier listing service for luxury homes worldwide". Go figure.
+ Live Modern Blogs is now syndicating BLYGAD. Thanks Marshall.
+ BLYGAD has always been ad-free, but thanks to, we finally have the button to prove it.
+ Finally, don't forget to check out my latest experiment in online "writing": BLYGAD 2.0, it's built environs & culture streaming at it's finest!

Here's to a great "Archo-Urbo-Blogo" 2008!

Sunday, December 16

Holiday Like You Give A Damn

[The 2004 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace as photographed by MNkiteman.]

No matter what you're celebrating this time of year, many of us choose to express our holiday spirit by giving gifts to the people we love. Expanding on last year's short list of alternative gift ideas, here are my picks for the "Holidaze 2008". They might just bring you a little sanity and humanity during the coming hustle and bustle.

Changing the Present on Facebook | For my friend Kristin's birthday this year I sent her a virtual gift through the social networking website Facebook. Just a small image that she can display on her profile page, it's essentially a virtual expression of our real-world friendship. It cost me $1. Well now Changing the Present, whom I featured in last years Holiday Like You Give A damn, has partnered with Facebook so that your $1 gift purchase can go to a non-profit of your choice. If you're linked into Facebook, just run a search for "Changing the Present". Happy gifting!

NEED magazine | Now 4 issues strong, the quarterly NEED magazine has really come into its own since I featured it last year. The magazine proclaims "We are not out to save the world, but to tell the stories of those who are". Stephanie and Kelly Kinnunen, the creators of the magazine (and Twin Cities residents), have been doing an amazing job of it. You can watch Stephanie talk about their work here. A quick and exciting aside: issue 4, now hot off the presses, features a story on the AFHMN/ MNSLFF project in Sri Lanka and photographs by AFHMN's own Richard Koechlein.

Q-BA-MAZE | The Q-BA-MAZE is another very cool gift idea with a Minnesota connection. Andrew Comfort, the inventor of Q-BA-MAZE, studied architecture at my alma-mater, The University of Minnesota. In the same vein as Froebal Blocks and Legos, the Q-BA-MAZE is a beautifully simple set of objects designed to let the user's imagination express itself through the act of building. A gift for children of all ages, I can tell you from experience that you will likely loose hours playing with it. Andrew also writes a blog called Play and Design that features some great posts on the Q-BA-MAZE design and development process.

XO Laptop: Give One Get one | So you probably know the scoop by now: you buy two of these tiny yet robust laptops; one goes to a child in a developing country and the other gets shipped right to your doorstep. Twin Cities blogger Aaron Landry recently "gave one got one" and wrote about his first impressions of the laptop, it's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in the project. The Give One Get One program has been extended through the end of December, but after that you won't really be able to get your mittens on one of these, so act quickly.

Solar Panel Messenger Bag from Voltaic | I can't attest to the functionality of this bag, but I love the concept: 3 photovoltaic panels make it a mobile power generator designed to charge all of your electronic gadgetry while you're on the go. The bag includes a battery so that energy you've collected over the course of the day is stored and can be used to provided a constant charge, day or night. If you're in the Twin Cities metro region, get over to locally owned and operated Sunny Day Earth Solutions to check out this bag and other eco-conscious gift ideas first hand.

Smart Generosity | There are so many non-profits and great organizations out there deserving of your charity that the shear breadth of options can easily become daunting. So how to best figure out where you should donate your hard-earned cash? I think the most important thing is to choose a non-profit working towards goals that are important to you or the people you are gifting. As with any gift, the more thought you put into it, the more it will mean to both you and the receiver. If you're still looking for a place to start, NEED magazine recently published a list that has some truly unique organizations looking for your help.

Happy Holidays from Architecture for Humanity Minnesota and Blog Like You Give A Damn! See you in the New Year!

Friday, December 14

Friday Photography | Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky's large scale prints are some of the most expensive in the world, but he's new to me. Sometimes measuring up to 10 or 15 feet long, the thumbnails below hardly do his work justice, but I'm sold regardless.

I especially love the two shots below:

+ Listen to a podcast considering the work of Gursky here
+ More information here

Happy Friday!

Solutions Happy Hour on Friday, Dec. 14th

Over the past year we've heard from audience and presenters alike that they'd like a place to get together and continue the conversations started at previous Solutions Twin Cities events. This is a great idea.

We'd like to invite you to attend the first of many casual gatherings with this in mind. Come to meet presenters from past and future events, talk with other like-minded individuals, and enjoy an end-of-the-work-week happy hour. It'll be fun.

We'll be meeting at the 331 Club in NE Minneapolis between 5 and 8pm on Friday, December 14th (that's today). The 331 Club is located at 331 NE 13th Ave., Minneapolis, MN. Please let us know if you have any questions, we hope to see you there.

BLYGAD 2.0: Predicting the present to better design the future.

Over the course of the day I often come across 6 or 7 items that I wish I had time to write about here on BLYGAD, but I've always felt pressured by the format to only post here when I had the time to do something substantiative, which can leave this place a little on the quite side at times.

As a possible remedy for this, I've been experimenting with Tumblr lately, appropriately at And as you can see from the Tumblr archive image above, I've been having allot of fun with it (56 posts in 12 days to be exact).

I call the site BLYGAD 2.0 and the format is all over the place: images, links, videos, short editorials by yours truly, found quotes... even BLYGAD HEARTS MUSIC, where I've been throwing up a new tune just about everyday, giving the site a pretty fresh soundtrack (in my opinion).

Otherwise, much of the content has been around the intersection of probable technology and culture futures, allowing me to explore a growing thought experiment along of the lines of 'predicting the present to better design the future.' It's also proving to be something of an incubator for future posts here on 1.0.

So if you're looking for a daily dose of Blog Like You Give A Damn, head on over to BLYGAD 2.0 or subscribe to the RSS FEED and thanks for reading!

Friday, December 7

Friday Photography | National Geographic's International Photography Contest

Amazing work over at the winner's page. These are some of my favorites:

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 6

Report from the field: Hindu Temple Charrette

AFH MN member and charrette participant Maureen Ness has this report for us:

Members of AFH MN and members of the Hindu Temple of Minnesota convened on the evening of October 12th and morning of October 13th to engage in a design charrette for a Garden of Remembrance for the burial of the icons damaged by vandalism last year. On Friday evening, AFH MN toured the temple and met with the priest to learn more about the Hindu religion and appropriate guidelines for the burial of damaged statues.

On Saturday morning, AFH MN conducted a site analysis and then broke into two design teams to develop conceptual ideas for the Garden. In addition to the burial place, the teams were asked to include a flower garden for flowers to be used in worship and a vegetable garden for food to be ate at Temple meals. The two design concepts will be presented to the Temple Executive Committee at an upcoming meeting this winter.

Thanks Maureen! Here are the two conceptual site plans the team came up with (click to see full version):

We'll keep you updated with new developments as they happen.

Tuesday, December 4

Hey there old friend...

... it's been a while. I apologize for the lack of posts lately but I've been a bit busy as of late. Here's the quick version:

Solutions Twin Cities
(my other labor of love) put together two events over the past two and a half months. The first, at the Walker Art Center, was called "Gift to Forever" and focused on how kids can get active in shaping their world. Part of that was the art-making activity you see below. Read a full report here.

The other event was the second installment of the Solutions flagship Volume serious. If I do say so myself: Wow, what a great time. The space kicked a**, the presenters were amazing, the food was delicious, the music bangin, and the drinks cheap (and for a good cause to boot!). Troy and I are wrapping up post-production this week and next - videos should be out before the new year, if not sooner. Read the full Volume 2 wrap up post here.

zAmya Theater Project reaches climax at Solutions Volume 2, 10/19/07.

In AFH:MN news, the Hindu Temple Charrette went really well. Look for a wrap up post soon. As for whats next: we're looking into a handful of possible projects overseas, have started prep work for a few in our own backyard, & are taking the first steps towards getting our own non-profit and 501c3 status. We are also eagerly anticipating the annual Search for Shelter charrette coming up in February.

On the blogging front... well, I haven't been a total slouch! I started to shake off the cobwebs last month with a little bit of guest blogging over at Brendan's blog, Where. I joined a handful of other guest bloggers much finer then myself to keep things rolling while Brendan focused his pen on NaNoMo (Hey B, if you're reading this: I'm still waiting for my autographed copy). I took over the Weekend Reading segment. My posts?

WEEK ONE: Near future urbanism: how an ubiquitous and multi-layered network might effect our urban environment.
WEEK TWO: Skyways, Snap-Shot-City, I heart Jean Nouvel, Slum Rehab in Mumbai, & 250 Million urban planners.
WEEK THREE: I ate too much turkey.
WEEK FOUR: A little shameless self-promotion: I highlight some of my favorite presenters from past Solutions events.

The whole guest blogging thing was a ton of fun and I highly recommend you check out Where, it's truly top-notch urbanism-blogging from the Windy City.

They say a month without a post means death for any blog... it's been two months and a week. So if you're still reading, thank you. There's still allot of kick left in this BLYGAD and I've got some great stuff lined up, so stay tuned.

Saturday, September 29

3rd Annual Architecture for Humanity Minnesota Design Charrette | A Memorial Garden

The site of a future Memorial Garden.

We are happy to announce that the 3rd Annual Architecture for Humanity Minnesota Design Charrette is quickly approaching. Here are the deetz:

Hindu Temple, 10530 Troy Ln N, Maple Grove, MN 55311

Friday, October 12th (6pm to 9pm) - Introduction
Saturday, October 13th (9am to 6pm) - Design & Present

In July of 2006 two young men broke into the then still incomplete Hindu Temple through windows with baseball bats and destroyed many of the sacred deity statues that were to be honored inside the temple.
This MPR article provides a good backstory of the vandalism that was the catalyst for the Hindu Society’s request for design help from AFHMN.

Architecture for Humanity Minnesota connected with the
Hindu Society of Minnesota through Shivanthi Sathanandan, a member of the Pan-Asian Tsunami Healing (PATH) group who we worked with to design a recently completed community center in Sri Lanka (coincidently, the result of our First Annual Design Charrette back in 2005). She is a very active member of the Temple and thought of us when they started talking about designing a Memorial Garden for the burial of the icons damaged in the vandalism of 2006.

We learned that the traditional way of burying icons is to immerse them in water but that due to State and City code, the temple will not be allowed to bury the icons in this way and has asked us for some creative ideas for their burial and a concept design for a memorial garden next to the temple. The garden will be a place for people to reflect on the events that occurred at the temple and will honor the memory of these important deities.

For more information visit or contact Jeffrey at jeffrey[at]swainhart[dot]com.

We hope to see you there!