From CRITICISM we move to the ILLUSTRATION of my principles and practice of architecture. Below are 17 TYPES of architecture that are work in process either as client work, R&D, entrepreneurial projects or speculative.
I have decided to do this Illustration section by selecting one primary example of my work - with references to others - from each category of architectural-types that have the most relevance to this Thesis. While this will not be comprehensive of either my architectural philosophy or work in detail, it will focus on those aspects of it, as a body, that most illustrate the process (and examples of building) philosophy-into-form so as to create authentic, fact-based human environments on scales ranging from a single room to planet-wide scope.
It is important that that I do not mean the above statement to be taken metaphorically. And, that the scope of these examples be taken as an integrated concept. No matter what scale of recursion that I am working on at any moment, with any project, I do not think or design in isolation and disregard of the total scope I have described in this document. Each work is but a part, a phase in what is, to me, a single project [link]. With each navCenter, for example, I see the environment within the Armature of a global network of Centers themselves a part of a Planetary project; and, I see each Center as a way to create the means so that humanity can collaboratively design a planet that works for everyone. These goals are not idle abstractions to me or hopeful ideals; they are a work in progress. They are part and parcel of what I consider to be Worthy Problems [link]. The role that architecture plays in all this has been under rated. The close coupling of process, environment and tools has been ignored. For all the “stylistic” advances and integration of structure, form and function in architecture, over the last century, the process embedded in every building type has hardly changed. The concept of FUNCTION has remained static. With rare exception, there is no new architecture just new ways of doing the old architecture. The larger issues of integration: work and living environments to building, buildings to neighoberhoods, neighoberhoods to cities, cities to bio-economic-cultural regions, regions to planet, have been ignored [link]. What is considered to be architecture is largely building centric and the shell of the building at that. The process of creating architecture is fragmented into many different “professions” - architects, interior designers, builders, contractors, engineers, developers not to mention the whole group that comes after construction to sell it, maintain it and finance it - all often at war with one another - at best, a careful, cya focused, cooperation. The consequence of this fragmentation is a fragmented planet and a cost to build that exiles the fast majority from intimate experience with true architecture let alone a decent place to work [link] and live [link]. Another generation of this will create a condition that will take decades to repair. We are, perhaps, the last working generation who has, in practical terms, a full menu of choices as to how we proceed.

click on drawings/pictures to go directly to
example projects


Planet Works

The sum of human building, today, is altering the Earth - we are “designing” a world by default. We are, also, beginning to design space habitates and are planning the return to the moon and a serious expidition to Mars. Yet, we shrink from the concept of creating responsible mega-structures let alone works that have planetary scale and impact.

Planet Works, Mega Structures and Infrastructures, address the requirements and challenges of architecture at continental and global scale. This concept includes transportation lanes as these effect “nodes” at their terminal points and the migrations of species (plant and animal) other than ourselves. I suspect they even effect weather - or soon will.


Mega Structures


Technically, Xanadu is not on the scale of what typically is thought of as a mega-structure (which would be an oder of magnitude larger). It could be built on a larger scale depending on how it is realized; and, it is the best described of my works of this sort, as well as, the most likely to be be built in the near term (5 to 10 years). So, I will use Xanadu as my center piece while also exploring the full range of these self contained integrated environment types, as I have conceived them, from Domiciles (smaller yet) to various mega city concepts [link] (such as Wilderness Meg-City) including designs for space.

There is no question that structures like this are in humanities’s near future. The question is if they will be human environments or not. The fact is we are building mega-structures now - they are called cites and they they are poorly designed.

Properly designed mega-structures can allow us to have our cake and eat it to. Potentially, they can greatly reduce the foot print of our cities upon the Earth. They can, at the same time, provide more space and greenery per person than any urban form factor that we are using today. They can give us the utility and excitement of densification and personal settings nearly rural-likein ambiance. They can not only be energy efficient they can be net energy generators. They can radically re-frame transportation requirements.

This is the potential - the question is what will be the reality when it comes?

The Bay Area is rich in natural and human made Armature. This is a personal project - an extended landscape that make use of this Armature and, in modest ways, enhances it.
There are Armatures (to use Greene’s definition) of various scales. The Red Tread Project is an example of an Armature on a national Infrastructure scale and, as such, an example of how to turn an accident of growth into an economic and ecological opportunity.
A cityscape to me is a complex of distinct purpose and sensibility set within a larger existing urban context. Speranova was my answer to the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. The project was not developed beyond the bare concept level yet it clearly illustrates a different approach to the urban setting and to the social-economic and political implications of Ground Zero. On the program level, if any one project could illustrate by different approach to the conventional architecture-as-real estate practiced today this would be it.
Mixed Use Developments
I am a complete advocate of mixed use. Even in a landscape largely devoted to condominium residences shopping and office space has to be provided. Even in the 50s when I designed this project, I was concerned with issues of transportation. The idea of this project was to return green space to the urban and suburban landscape.



There is a purpose for the remote conclave where relative physical and social isolation is in itself an intrinsic value. The Crystal Cave Project is one such example and intended to house the design team that will steward the Master Planning Process.

This particular project is interesting because of how it makes use of the ability of the earth to shelter. It can be a prototype for building on other planets like Mars, for example.

The Boulder “Affordable Housing” project, as I developed it with this design, was not built. The concept remains, however, one of my best in terms of making an Armature and infrastructure for sustainable and economical community development.

We are working on two campus environments at this time one, urban and one suburban in their setting. Both of these have very broad programs and constitute full communities in themselves.

The SDC Campus is interesting given its setting and position in a community in transition.

I have worked on the concept of portable, shippable buildings as a solution for dealing with the complexity of real estate land development cycles for over 45 years. These concepts also have intrinsic values of their own such as small footprints, “soft” footings and, usually, a life style intimacy more like a boat than a traditional building. These are dynamic structures and technical systems rather than the stasis so common to our societies structures. Buildings of this sort can take on many tasks and role, thus forms. I will use EcoSphere as my illustration because it is one of my earliest developments along this line.
The RDS concept is the work version of the the idea of deployable housing. There are three major applications: disaster deployments which is the purpose of the original concept [link]; DesignShop deployments for businesses and government which has been the principle use since 1995 [link]; and, the ability to create quality, full up architectural environments that can be installed quickly and moved when required. This completely changes the lease-real estate equation and relationship between the shell of a building and the actual environment that people experience.
Work Environments
It is in this realm that the majority of my effort has been focused since 1979. Even so, I am just beginning to scratch the surface of the potential of the workplace.

I still find the single residence to be the noblest and complex task of the architect. And, it is a realm where the serious architect has nearly totally withdrawn - defeated by the onslaught of development. If I had been asked to choose, or guess where I would have spent the bulk of my time in architecture, I would have said designing homes. Yet, I have not even been offered a house commission in over 30 years.

Not necessarily in the specific but in the generality and for what it represents (as a pattern language), the Cooper House still stands as my seminal statement of what the American home can be. I would build it today without hesitation.

Afforable Housing
I use here, as an example, not of low cost affordable housing; instead, I offer the postUsonian Project as an alternative to what the “average” American home has become (which is a means for keeping a population as “wage-slaves” while turning the American landscape into an asphalt covered commodity).
Preserves and Parks

The Visitor center at Hat Creek for SETI embodies a lifetime of my agendas from a theory of education, a concept of human-nature ecology to the role of architecture in human transformation.

The Hat Creek Visitor Center is like a NavCenter but spread all over a landscape creating a series of user interactive learning hubs that change with use. Each visitor defines their own experience by the choices they make. The Human context and aspiration is the subject as visitors engage with the science of and the search for life.

This project has an interesting set of challenges: How for it to remain a place of serious science while at the same time allowing a level of intimacy that is necessary for the science to be experienced and appreciated. In addition, how to protect the technology used from the“ pollution” of the technology brought to the site by visitors. Radio telescope arrays are sensitive to RV signals. This is a case where the technology is as “at risk” as is the ecology. A nice metaphor among many that the project affords.

Master Plans and Planning Processes
The “Kansas City Strip” was the original idea for a local, regional and global collaborative, non-governmental, non-code based planning process to replace a system that was clearly failing 30 years ago and still is now. We have the tools to see our globe as a whole system but not the processes necessary to do something about it; nor, do we have the organization that can act without, time waste, corruption and coercion.
Artifacts of Expression
Although every act of building IS an expression of manifested philosophy and every building does have expression; and, remembering that I regard EXPRESSION to be one of the three attributes of architecture [link]; it is important to recognize that some works have a functional requirement to be particularly expressive in their make-up. This can be termed “art” architecture although one has to be careful not to go too far with this. So, even with expression as part of every project, it is important to look at it as a type.
There are many types not represented by the samples illustrated above among them shopping centers, government buildings, entertainment and production faciliities. In part, this is because I have designed few of these but more so because I believe they should be integrated into a mixed use fabric. I am a total advocate of mixed use in almost all instances and even the types I do describe here have to be viewed in this context. They should not be taken in isolation.
The greatest difficulty of advocating my theory and practice of architecture is that there are not enough examples of built work to fully explicate what I am proposing nor to demonstrate that the work has intrinsic and enduring social value. The fact that so few of the designs illustrated above are realized is ready evidence of this as is the reality that my projects fall victim to the segmentation of land and structures so common in our real estate obsessed society.
This is a liability I expect to repair over the coming decades. To do this will not be an easy matter. The scope of my concept of practice requires that I engage in an extraordinary number of different kinds of architectural practices in order to cover the entire range of work types that makes up my model. This, in turn, means that to build even a small number of examples of each kind of work means a total output of several hundred projects, at minimum. My output of built projects will have to be four times the number of my total output of the last 48 years (designs and realized works) in about half the time. There is no single valid practice model that can reasonably account for this magnitude of scope or range. The ValueWeb organizational architecture, of course, is my answer to this dilemma. And, the ongoing success of organizations such as MG Taylor, AI and SFIA Architects - Master Builders will form the foundation for my efforts. Given this, I expect to accomplish the following number of works in these various categories in my remaining professional time. These are the minimum, from today’s viewpoint, number of works necessary to accomplish my goals and objectify/document the range of my specific architectural concepts. For simplicity, I divide these (below) into PUBLIC (commonwealth) and PRIVATE (individual wealth) categories. I do not believe, however, that these distinctions should be taken too seriously. It is interesting to note that the projects used above in the ILLUSTRATION of my work, if completed, would make a large contribution to the task of demonstrating the reality of my approach to architecture. Although the record would still be sketchy in terms of detail, it would be, reasonably comprehensive.
If there was one project in the public realm that would come closest to “saying it all” it would, of course, be Xanadu [link]. Xanadu will facilitate the full expression of my work in design process and the creation of GroupGenius. As a structure, it is of a “middle” size that will demonstrate the feasibility of Mega-City designs (larger than Xanadu), at the same time, the feasibility of more modest applications (smaller than Xanadu) such as Domicile co-housing projects. As a total complex, Xanadu can demonstrate many of the Armature, Cityscape and Mixed Use principles that I which to see built. In an extended landscape of support housing even many of these works can be realized. It is comforting to think that so much can be done with one project although it has to be realized that this one project is no trivial matter.
Unless Xandu were to be manifested at the very largest end of its range, there are, however, a number of issues that will not fall within its scope. Real Mega-City scale projects and National, International scale Infrastructure projects.
Without question, the single most important private work is the recreation of the single family dwelling making an affordable, sustainable work of art within the reach of the average income family. I have created several approaches to this most complex architectural challenge.
Until now, I have taken such work as has come my way and turned many a sows ear into a silk purse. Now, however, the time has come to approach selecting this work strategically. This is only so much time and a very large agenda to complete. Presumably, I will have an entire ValueWeb to do this, and, presumably, I will have the years necessary to do it. One never knows about these things and one goal of this Thesis is to at least get the basic idea of this approach to architecture outlined so its basic premises can be examined. It is fortunate that my working style is collaborative. Not only does this augment my capabilities, it is the best was to build a school of work, which is in my view, the only way to accomplish sustainable change. Otherwise authentic architecture will stay in the margins while cliches, stylistic trends and distorted real estate continues to rule.
There is one arena where I have accomplished a high level of documentation, although not necessarily recognized as such, and that is in the realm of the workplace. Here, the beneficial effect that architecture can have on the quality, quantity and sustainability of knowledge work is substantiated beyond question. Also, here the thesis that the close integration of process design, with technical systems and the architectural environment yields unique results cannot be questioned. We have 25 years of experience and data to back this up. Does this integration of process, tooling and environment extend to all realms of human activity? Yes, I believe so. This is what I intend to show. And, it is this discovery, along with my D/B/U ValueWeb practice model, that makes up the core of my contribution, to date, to the art of architecture. The individual works, as art, are transitory; the IDEA of this way of making habitat will go on forever.
Continue Overview and Introduction
Part 2 - LESSONS
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