Brandt Aion Kitchen

Antoine Lebrun’s futuristic design is an eco-multifunctional kitchen incorporating electromechanical technology. Special plants developed by the aerospace industry with filtering and cleaning properties provide constantly renewable, clean water and soap. The unit also contains a cooking surface and sink. It even comes with an inbuilt dishwasher where dirty dishes can be put into the sink and professionally cleaned.

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I-Sopod

This revolutionary bath tub design is the handy work of i-sopod. Like a car straight out of a sci-fi film, this bath tub is constructed using doubled skinned GRP mouldings. Whilst open, the tub lights up like a Christmas tree using its in-built LEDs to create the perfect ambiance. The tub also comes with its very own mp3 player and has the latest filtration system.

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Affinity Chair

They say seeing is believing, but not when it comes to this next design. Ben Alun-Jones’ affinity chair attempts the impossible by re-creating the effect of invisibility by exploring light and space. Using one-way mirror film, plastic acrylic, LEDs and ultrasonic sensors the chair cloaks itself and blends into its environment. The futuristic feature also has the ability to interact with humans, by flashing LED’s the nearer you get to the seat.

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Arc Shower System

Designed by David Koo, this magnificent hi-tech shower is a capable of switching between normal mode and an energy saving mode by recycling hot water on site. This next generation water system is far more energy efficient then current day showers. The device comes equipped with a touch screen panel along with temperature and pressure control buttons.

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Toyo Isola S Kitchen Island

Created by Toyo Kitchens, this kitchen furniture can fit into any space. The innovative Ying Yang design is accompanied with three electric cooker rings, a sink and loads of space for all your kitchenware in the elaborate corrugated drawers. Like Ying and Yang this design fuses into perfect harmony, futuristic design and practicality.

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Ecotypic Bed

Designed by Arthur Xin this bed brings around the next generation of eco living/sleeping. Equipped with LEDs to help the plants grow, as well as speakers to play music that lull you to sleep, this bed also comes with its very own power-generating system. All activities such as weight lifting, in and around the bed are converted into energy, making it 100% eco-friendly. The main highlight of the bed is the integrated plants which are supported by a built in planter.

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Cloud

Award winning designers David Koo and Zheng Yawei have come up with this revolutionary concept design. Using magnetic force the base will levitate a soft upper cushion. This physics-defying couch could be the perfect place to drift off into dreamland after a long day at work.

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Kure Family Dining Table

Created by Turkish designer Faith Can Sarioz whose inspiration may have come from the animated show, the Jetsons, this dining table features the innovative concept of a sphere which can be cloesed to save space. Open, this pod-like dining table blossoms like a flower and seats six. It houses a light at the centre with a glowing blue light at the base.

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Concoon Bed

Wasserbetten has taken design to new heights with this amazing bed using innovative technology and incorporating a Yacht design. This bed would actually feel more at home in space than the bedroom. It contains built-in surround sound, therapeutic lighting, water bed sound and a water mattress to simulate the weightlessness of space.

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Z. Island

Designed for Scholtes by renowned Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid this futuristic prototype design features a touchscreen control panel, heating membranes, sound activators, aromatic scent dispensers, LED lights along with a multimedia entertainment system that comes with a flat screen TV and an Apple mac mini which would complement any modern day home.

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LEGO Architecture: The Best Kind of Architecture

Lego Architecture is a sub-brand and product range of the Lego construction toy, which aims to “celebrate the past, present and future of architecture through the Lego Brick”. The brand includes a series of Lego sets designed by ‘Architectural Artist’ Adam Reed Tucker, and each contain the pieces and instructions to build a model of a famous architectural building in micro-scale.

Lego is a medium that offers instant gratification. No matter how large a project is, it is a one-step process; there’s no gluey mess, sanding, or

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Let your Phone Control your Home

Samsung Wi-Fi-enabled washer and dryer: the latest in smart home technology

The electronics giant has equipped a 5.2 cu. ft. capacity WF457 front-loading washer with a Smart Control system, allowing users to stay connected to the washer without having to manually control it at the machine. Consumers can, via a smart phone application, monitor cycle selections, remaining time and finishing alerts, as well as remotely start or pause the washer from anywhere in the house.

August Smart-Lock: Turn Your

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Dwell (iPhone and Android – Free)

By keeping it simple with one-word sidebar categories like Ideas, Homes and Products, the Dwell app mirrors the elegance and subtlety of the very modern design it advocates.

Android

iPhone

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Space Planning Tool (iPhone only – $1.99)

We’ve all been there, you buy a couch and think it will fit, only to realize it is too large. With this app, that will never happen again! You can input room dimensions and create floor plans, make shopping lists, input fabrics/colors/finishes, and more.

iPhone

No android App yet

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Houzz (iPhone and Android – Free)

With over 200,000 high quality interior design images, Houzz is a one-stop shop for inspiration. With this app you have full access to their photo libraries and can save images to virtual idea books.

With Houzz, viewers browse photos of interiors by room type, style and geographic location. As a bonus, Houzz allows users to search for local professionals, such as architects, interior designers and contractors.

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Dream Home (iPhone – $0.99 and Android – $1.99)

This app contains beautiful high quality photos of fantastic interior designs to keep you inspired. There is no internet required, and they add more photos on a weekly basis. Slideshow navigation is very easy.

Android

iPhone

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HGTV to GO (iPhone only – Free)

Stay up-to-date with your favorite HGTV shows with this app that contains full episodes, short videos and photo galleries of inspiring and also do-able ideas.

iPhone

No android App yet

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Photo Measures (iPhone only – $4.99)

Take a photo of an object or room and write the measurements directly over it, thereby keeping all your measurements in one mobile place and removing the need for elaborate sketches.

iPhone

For Android use similar app D-Photo Measures (Free)

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The Home Depot (iPhone and Android – Free).

Finding supplies can be a hassle. With this app, you can research and purchase your tools, can search the store inventory to see what is in stock, can scan barcodes while in the store and you’ll have access to hundreds of Home Depot DIY videos/how-to’s

Android

iPhone

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Benjamin Moore Color Capture (iPhone and Android – Free)

Feeling inspired by the scene in front of you? Snap a photo with this app and it will automatically create a palette from a selection of Benjamin Moore paints. You can then save the search and add notes.

Android

iPhone

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Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap (iPhone and Android – Free)

Snap a photograph and instantly get matching Sherwin-Williams paint recommendations. You can store and share what you find.

Android

iPhone

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SketchBook (iPhone and Android – Free to $4.99)

Sketch your projects, ideas and inspirations with this pro-level digital sketchbook. Digitally capture your ideas as napkin sketches or produce artwork on-the-go.

Android

iPhone

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Online Permit Services for Los Angeles Residents

Whether you are a homeowner interested in knowing about your property or want to build or add to your property, this links from the LADBS are a great source of information.

Parcel Profile Report
A system that displays the zoning and other information of parcels within the city of Los Angeles.
Link

NavigateLA
A web-based mapping application that delivers maps and reports based on data supplied by various City departments.

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Cool High Tech Gadgets To Incorporate Into Your Home

A transparent TV. a wall that changes shapes and colors, a faucet that adjust the amount of water that we need…

As technology advances, so do gadgets. These innovations appear from a necessity of solving the problems that old products have and besides new and improved functions, they also come with a beautiful design.

Continue Reading →

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Why Get a Building Permit?

Many people get into building without even thinking of the legal ramifications that may ensue. They might hire and pay upfront fees for the services of an Architect, Interior designer, Landscape Architect, Structural Engineer before even going to the Department of Building and Safety first to verify the feasibility of their proposal.

An uninformed owner may cause significant structural issues if the work does not meet building code requirements. Some jobs may cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Sometimes you will

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Navigating the Building Permit Maze

Need a Building Permit? Want to legalize a non-permitted structure? Received an Order to Comply?
We constantly get phone calls with requests for information on a variety of topics such as:

  • Orders to comply
  • Where to obtain online information and forms
  • Illegal conversions
  • Code violations
  • Unpermitted guesthouses
  • Variances and Conditional Use Permits
  • Time saving Tips for getting a permit
  • And More…

As a free service to our clients and subscribers, we

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Architecture in the Movies

Architecture infuses our lives with emotions, ideas, splendor, and stress all the time. It’s only fitting it does the same in great movies. Here are famous classic films where the buildings are more than a backdrop. Am I forgetting any? Let me know…

Blade Runner, 1982
The classic “architecture in the movies” movie. It has it all: hyper-vertical cities, buildings-as-advertisements, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Anyone who took an architectural class in college watched this movie.

The Third Man, 1949

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Received an Order to Comply?

An Order to Comply is a citation issued by the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) for building code violations or substandard conditions. The Order to Comply may be given to any home or business owner that the LADBS code enforcement division determines is in violation of a building or safety standard found in the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

An Order to Comply may be issued for a number of reasons. A building inspector may literally “drive-by” your property and spot a condition believed to be a violation, or a neighbor

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Reporting an illegal structure?

Today, Code Enforcement for the single family residence is only present when a neighbor or tenant complaint is made. LADBS cannot possibly know about code enforcement issues unless they are reported by residents. The most common violation from a neighbor or tenant complaint is an unpermitted garage conversion, guest houses or recreational rooms. Neighbors complain because there is less parking on the street, noise disturbances, jealousy or personal distain.

The City of Los Angeles will give 30 days from the date of the Order to fix

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What Homeowners should Know About Garage Conversions and Guest Houses Built Without Permits

In Southern California, it’s hard to go three blocks without seeing cars parked in front of garages converted into living quarters or offices.  Many homeowners did not do the work themselves or even know that the unpermitted construction existed until they were cited by their respective Departments of Building & Safety or Public Works.  For whatever reason due diligence wasn’t being observed during the escrow process. You are now left carrying the burden of non-compliance derived from years, possibly decades of

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NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT ARCHITECTS?

Q: How are buildings shown in the architectural bible?
A: Plans, sections and revelations.

An architect is said to be a man who knows a very little about a great deal and keeps knowing less and less about more and more until he knows practically nothing about everything, whereas, on the other hand, an engineer is a man who knows a great deal about very little and who goes along knowing more and more about less and less until finally he knows practically everything about nothing. A contractor starts out knowing practically

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Floating House from Movie ‘Up’ recreated in Real Life

The folks over at National Geographic have built a house inspired by the Pixar movie Up! that can really fly. Using 300 helium-filled weather balloons, a team of scientists, engineers, two balloon pilots and dozens of volunteers, have managed to get the small house 10,000 feet into the air.

The 4.8m x 4.8m x 5.5m house built from light-weight materials flew across California’s High Desert for about an hour with two people inside, just like the Disney Pixar film.

The project is part of a wider Nat Geo series called “How

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New elementary school promotes learning through color.

When a private foundation stepped forward to provide the funding for this public elementary school campus in 2007, their intention was to create a model for future schools that was both environmentally friendly and an inspiring learning environment for students. They were looking to break away from traditional design patterns so prevalent in the United States, patterns which too often revolved around isolated monochromatic interior rooms with little connection to their outdoor environment.

The result is a building where half the

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Closet Design is an Art

You may be thinking, ‘How hard could it be to design a closet?  Surely anyone can do it!’

It’s not as easy as it looks.  Today ‘do-it-yourselfers’ purchase parts, hardware and accessories to outfit their dream closet, but they overlook the many issues that must be considered when creating a successful closet design, such as:

Height, width and depth of available space
Ceiling/Wall light fixtures
Air-Conditioning Ducts
Electrical Boxes or Outlets
Windows and Doors
Baseboard Molding

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Did you know… Googie architecture

Googie architecture is a form of modern architecture, a subdivision of futurist architecture influenced by car culture and the Space and Atomic Ages. Originating in Southern California during the late 1940s and continuing approximately into the mid-1960s, Googie-themed architecture was popular among motels, coffee houses and gas stations. The term “Googie” comes from a now defunct coffee shop and cafe built in West Hollywood.

Features of Googie include upswept roofs, curvaceous, geometric shapes, and bold use of glass,

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Can Architects predict the future?

Abu Dhabi has recently announced plans to turn itself into a sort of Arabian Left Bank, with cultural venues designed by Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Jean Nouvel. Beijing, meanwhile, has completed the giant steel bird’s nest, the titanium-egg National Theater, and the unusual state television headquarters, which locals have dubbed “the twisted donut.” A tiny sheikhdom on the Gulf and the world’s largest Communist state have unexpectedly become the latest hotbeds of avant-garde architecture.

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Kitchen Trends for 2012

Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to add function and appeal, while increasing the overall value of your home. You may choose to build new kitchen cabinets and countertops or reface the old ones. Plan carefully for a kitchen design that will not only look great, but will also maximize space and efficiency.

My wife and I have just completed the remodeling of our kitchen. Like most people, we got inspiration from several sources and kept on top of the latest and greatest. Most people like clean lines and neutral colors in their

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Top Current Home Decor Trends

Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue… this adage holds equally true for the top home decorating trends.

What’s old is new again
Whether they’re genuine period pieces being repurposed or home furnishings reproduced from popular items from the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s, vintage is hot. Examples include chair frames redone in new upholstery, and traditional lighting fixtures in newer brass or pewter finishes.

A spectrum of colors

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Architecture History in 8 Paragraphs

Shelter has been a basic need of mankind since the world began. The first man-made structures used for shelter were constructed with whatever natural materials were available in the local vicinity. For example, Neolithic people in Mesopotamia and Central Asia used bricks made of sun-dried mud to build their villages, while Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in the Ukraine in Europe built circular houses from mammoth bones.

Rudimentary construction progressively evolved into architecture on a trial and error basis. As human cultures learned

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8 Elements of a Perfect Outdoor Dining Room

Summer is fast approaching (faster in some parts of the country) and now is the time to start planning for entertaining outside on those late summer evenings. An outdoor dining area is a perfect setting for a dinner party. Here are 8 things to think about when creating your perfect outdoor dining space.

1. Light your table for ambience. A light source above or near your table allows for an enjoyable gathering past sundown.

2. Protect the table from the elements. Most of us live in a part of the country in which we have some

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Ten design trends for 2011

Today’s value set is more cerebral, focusing on simplicity, resourcefulness, health, community, and practicality.  Here are some design themes we expect to see more of in the years ahead.

No Faux
Glitz is gone. Honest architecture is the order of the day as homeowners look to simplify their lives. This mantra of zen is playing out in interior spaces with natural finishes, clean lines, and few frivolous embellishments. On the outside the philosophy is being parlayed into elevations with uncomplicated massing.

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Design Trend 2: The Open Floor Plan

The walls between the kitchen, dining, and family room are coming down – literally – to create a more versatile space that reflects the way people live today. With expansive, flat-screen TVs and wireless technology, families are gathering in one central area for cooking, entertaining, gaming, relaxing, and the occasional work assignment.

As a result, the kitchen is being treated with fine finishing details – decorative moldings and enhancements, specialty lighting, and quality flooring and surfacing materials. Beautiful

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Design Trend 1: Heart of the Home – The Multifunctional Kitchen

Today’s kitchen is more than just a place to prepare a meal. It is the heart of the home, the center of family activity. Whether it’s gathering around the island to share a meal, helping kids with homework, paying bills, finding recipes on-line, or entertaining friends and extended family—the most important trend in kitchen design is to create a space that is multifunctional and welcoming.

Integrated Seating: One of the most requested features in the kitchen is an eating area. Incorporate stylish seating into

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Design Trend 3: The Furniture Look

Customizing cabinetry with furniture detailing gives functional pieces a distinctive presence in the room. Whether it’s the kitchen, home office, bath retreat or media room, using cabinetry components and decorative enhancements allows you to customize the size, function and appearance of your unique “furniture piece”. Elegant moldings, corbels and valances; turned legs, toe kick treatments, and beautiful hardware options are finishing details which can be used to give cabinetry the look of fine furniture. Express your personal style

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Design Trend 4: Beautiful Glass

Glass is one of the most exciting elements you can add to a kitchen – it’s also one of the most popular design trends today. Adding glass doors – whether it’s part of a cabinetry run or a free standing furniture piece – allows you to showcase your personality. Silver serving pieces, collectibles, fine china and rustic pottery all have the chance to shine in lighted cabinets with a variety of glass options.

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Design Trend 5: Combining Finishes

Instead of having a roomful of cabinets all in one finish, one of today’s hottest trends is to combine colors, finish options and even wood types to create interest, define a focal point, or complement the architecture of a room. Of course, some combinations work better than others: make sure you see the actual samples together to determine how they will look in your space.

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Residential Space Planning

Architect or interior designer: who should you call?

I often get calls from clients who tell me that they want to change the layout of their homes to better reflect the way they live today, but they aren’t sure whether they should call an interior designer or an architect. I also get calls from home buyers who need help in understanding the potential of a given home before committing to the purchase. The answer, I tell them, may be a Residential Space Planner.

Space Planning is extensively used in office design to achieve the

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Home Remodeling Projects – Hot New Kitchen Trends – Part 2

Update your kitchen with some of the hottest interior decorating trends.

Consolidated Activity
As houses get smaller, kitchens are carrying more responsibility. Today’s kitchen is still the hub of the home, and also a spot that’s big on multitasking.

But packing all the functionality into one area takes some coordination. Space-saving solutions often include banquette seating, hideaway laundry appliances (inside pantries or behind veneer panels), and small, built-in workspaces that allow parental

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Hot New Kitchen Trends – Part 1

Update your kitchen with some of the hottest interior decorating trends.

Kitchens are a tricky room to update or decorate because it can be outrageously expensive getting new counter tops, flooring, appliances and accessories. But not all kitchen decorating projects need to be all-inclusive. Approach a kitchen decorating project with a reasonable budget and a good foundation of knowledge in kitchen trends. Knowing what is cutting edge trendy versus last year’s trendy can stretch a kitchen decorating budget much further and keep the

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Kitchen Cabinets

New cabinets can enhance your kitchen’s appearance, add value to your home and improve how your kitchen functions. Selecting your cabinets may seem intimidating at first, given the large number of styles, types, materials and accessories to choose from. This buying guide will help you understand the many factors to consider so you can feel confident you’re selecting the kitchen cabinets that best meet your individual style and storage needs.

First Steps
Explore cabinet style and become familiar with the

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House Paint Secrets

House Paint Durability
The more intense a color, the more likely it is to fade. After a few years, vivid blues and deep reds might seem more subdued. Dark colors can also pose more maintenance problems. Dark colors absorb heat and suffer more moisture problems than lighter shades. And because dark paint fades, it can be difficult to match exactly when you do small touch-ups. But, don’t rule out dark colors. They won’t show dust and stains, and can give your house a sense of drama.

House Paint

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Paint Colors For Your House

1. Honor History
If you’re planning to paint an older home, you’ll probably want to use a historically accurate color scheme. You can hire a pro to analyze old paint chips and recreate the original color. Or, you can refer to historic color charts and select shades that might have been used at the time your home was built.

2. Consider Your Neighbors
The house next door can give you paint color ideas, but don’t copy your neighbor exactly. Choose colors that set your house

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US Cities: Architecture & Interesting Facts

Atlanta is a rapidly growing city. Although there isn’t much park space in Atlanta, trees are very important here. When visiting Atlanta, you may want to view the bank of America plaza, which is the 3rd tallest building in the US, and the Atlanta aquarium, which is the largest in the world.

Austin isn’t really known for their buildings or parks, but rather the people who live there. they. are proud to honor small businesses and keeping large Companies from taking over.
Boston was an early

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Did you know…

Architects have their own annual award ceremony like the “Oscars”. The Pritzker Architecture prize is an international recognition, which is awarded each year to a living architect for significant achievement. It was established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979. Often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor,” it is granted annually. The award consists of $100,000 (US) and a bronze medallion. The award is conferred on the laureate at a ceremony held at

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Architecture and Aesthetic

Architecture is considered a visual art like painting and sculpture. Architects design buildings using a creative process by which they manipulate art elements to create a unified and pleasing artistic statement. The difference between a painting and architecture is that a building has a function and must be designed with safety in mind.

When architects start working on a project, they prepare quick sketches that suggest areas of function dictated by the client. Next, architects use a process of design to draw and refine the form of

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Architecture and Space

What distinguishes Architecture from all other forms of art is its working with a three-dimensional vocabulary. Architecture is like a great hollowed-out sculpture which humans enter and apprehend by moving about within it.

In designing a building, the architect submits plans, elevations, and cross-sections; in other words, he represents the architectural volume by breaking it down into the vertical and horizontal planes which enclose and divide it. This has reality only on paper and is justified only by the necessity of measuring the

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Architecture and Setting

Buildings are a product of their surroundings. Setting can greatly affect the design of a building. All building sites present considerable constraints and challenges. For instance the challenge of contending with the historic significance of buildings in an area will affect the overall design.

Architects look at all elements that affect a setting, such as size, scale, and local ordinances, and ask ‘how do we deal with that?’ In understanding all the elements that go into a project for a specific setting architects and their

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Architecture and Style

Architectural styles classify architecture in terms of form, techniques, materials, time period, region, etc. It emerges from the study of the evolution and history of architecture. It is a way of classifying architecture that gives emphasis to characteristic features of design, leading to a terminology such as Gothic “style”. Gothic architecture, for example, would include all aspects of the cultural context that went into the design and construction of these structures.

Architectural styles make up an important part of

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Architecture and Purpose

The purpose of architecture is to shelter and enhance man’s life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.

Its original purpose was to lessen the risk that nature brought upon humanity, protecting us against the cold, the heat, storms and predators alike.

Over time, architecture became a means of facilitation, representation and communication of cultural identity rather than simply protective devices for humans.

More recently, architecture has entered into the realm of speculation where

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Architecture and Identity

Architects value using good design in buildings to create the right identity for its owners. Creating a strong identity helps convey a certain lifestyle and provide a visual point of reference to those arriving at a building and those who inhabit it.

A good design conveys an image that, if done correctly, will support and reinforce the intended owner’s identity. The right Architectural style, materials, and overall design will inspire the right emotions, such as confidence, comfort, and a sense of well being.

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Architecture and Expression

Architecture may express human values, feelings and dynamic states. We derive meaning from a building based upon our perceptions of the sensory, formal and technical properties and from our own experiences. When these elements of design are combined, they give expression to a work of art that can be explained using the language of human emotion.

We learn to identify how the architect used the aesthetic elements to give the design an expression. Expressive Elements are those that give a structure the appearance of having a mood,

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