Tag Archives: architecture

Architects Get Creative in a Grim Economy

I’ve stumbled on a couple stories recently–architects doing really creative things since there’s no architecture work out there. Something like 30% of architectural positions have simply disappeared in the last year–a devastating number. Most of the rest of us still standing are hanging on somehow, but I’m impressed/jealous/a little depressed by those designers who’ve taken completely new paths.

Some (former) architects who now sell ice-cream with architectural themes have a business cleverly called Coolhaus–a reference of course to Rem Koolhaas, one of my personal favorite super-star architects. I actually had him on a crit back at the GSD in the early ’90s when he was still unknown to most except a cultish following in design schools. Unfortunately this tasty looking ice cream is on the west coast, but in case you’re in Southern Cal sometime, you can track their whereabouts on twitter.

I’ve not heard of similar efforts here in Birmingham to combat the current crisis in architectural employment with some fun, original–and money-making ideas inspired by architecture but in a totally different business.

What if tomorrow a third of all lawyers were fired? Or teachers? Yet again I am reminded of the fact that architects are expendable in the US today, but oh how unattractive our world would be without us…now, would anyone stop on 2nd Avenue North in Birmingham for architectural advice if we were giving it at 5 cents like in Seattle?

Image courtesy of Coolhaus website!

Welcome to constructbirmingham!

Hello fellow bloggers, interested citizens of Alabama, and the world. I’m an architect and developer based in Birmingham, Alabama–my hometown. This blog is something I’ve mulled over for a while. It will center around the built environment of Birmingham–the good, the bad, the ugly–and will suggest, and hopefully stimulate, some ideas for constructing a better city. Here in Birmingham we have access to lots of resources about architecture, sustainability, walk-ability, and a few really good coffee shops–but no real local forum for discussing how our urban environment is made, perceived, dreamed about, sullied, improved, compromised—-constructed.

I plan to launch a series of topics that I hope will be interesting not just to those living in Birmingham, but to anyone challenged to make their own local environment more livable, more beautiful, more sustainable, more coherent, and more special.

First real post to come shortly. For now, I’m leaving you with a little picture of some impromptu skating street life outside my office downtown.