Whooosh! Jiggle, jiggle jiggle…

10 Feb

I’ve been getting a lot of crap on my blog lately.

As in, I’m getting email that isn’t exactly fan mail. πŸ˜‰

I’ve reflected on this in the posts, and an architect friend of mine in Tokyo told me last night that it looked to him like my ISBU blog was “headed down the cwappa”.

He went on to say that when architects and designers started their slow spiral down to the bottom, they started drawing and building shippingΒ  container houses. πŸ˜‰

This coming from a guy who has more than a few ISBU homes in his OWN portfolio.

ButΒ  I beg to differ…

THIS is what happens when architects and designers see their careers coming to an end…

Can you believe this? Talk about “a cwappa”…

I’ll stick to ISBUs.Β  πŸ™‚


13 Responses to “Whooosh! Jiggle, jiggle jiggle…”

  1. Allan Clark February 10, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    I think the operative phrase in the architect’s post pointed to an architect’s career, more or less stating that it was more important than anything else about the situation. I have met & worked with many like-minded architects who put up spectacular, leaky monuments to their own vision of what the world should be. I guess they are the Michael DeBakey’s of the architecture world. But to carry the metaphor a little further, I’d like more Doc Martin’s (BBC series), who can be of vastly more utility to the world, sort of like Ikea is to furniture. Ugly is only skin deep. It’s how you kit it out that counts.

  2. Jeremiah February 10, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Uhm. You lost me here, buddy. If this is the kind of building that is designed when architects and designers are spiraling downward….well slap my ass and send me straight to the bottom, cause that’s where I want to be.
    The above building pictured (house? apartments?) is GORGEOUS. It’s sleek, simple, modern and sits organically on the site. Isn’t that an example of successful architecture?
    I’d love to see more photos/renderings especially of the interior spaces.

    • Renaissance Ronin February 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

      It’s a TOILET. It’s referred to as “The TOILET House”.

      You really want that in your portfolio?

      I can here it now:

      “You build crap.”

      “Nope, I design the crap that the crap goes into.”

      What’s next? Pallet Outhouses? πŸ™‚

      “Michael Pallethead” over at “Tiny Houses” will probably chime in any minute now about how cool a “pallet pooper” would be… πŸ˜‰

      Don’t get me started… πŸ™‚

  3. Jeremiah February 10, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    and, no, I don’t think it looks like a toilet….well, not really. :-\

    • Renaissance Ronin February 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      It’s a Toilet.

      Look again! I bet it even has one of them “blue cube” thingies in the bottom of that well in the center… LOL!

  4. Lisa February 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm #


  5. Len February 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    And I thought it was a salad bowl… I was going to ask if it slices and dices too… but now I’m left asking dices what? Anyway, Someone paid the guy, so he’ll prolly do another, maybe a bidet this time?

  6. Bill February 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    I am with you what a piece of crap.

    1, No one needs a house that big – no-one

    For those that think they do there are enough over-sized pieces of crap out there already.

    To build another one in 2011 is just irresponsible.

    2, Despite it’s “organic” shapes there is no solar design / passive design built into that house at all – none.

    Where are the cross breezes, wingwalls, overhangs ? anything that is passive design 101 ?

    Its like a nightmare out of the 1980’s Miami Vice and will have an energy footprint to match.

    3, The complex shape is hard to build = expensive and time consuming and not a good use of resources.

    The owner would have been better off building something responsible and then taking all the “extra” time/money/materials they would have spent and donated it to a charity building project.

    But what pisses me of the most is there is some Architect clown ( with a masters degree in Architecture no less ) saying how great it is !

    OMG that is exactly what is wrong with architecture and design today

    1, Not only do they build a piece of shit like this

    2, A Architect that “thinks” he is responsible and doing the thing ( according to his blog ) but thinks this is brilliant

    Laughing my arse off as they say…

    • Renaissance Ronin February 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

      Okay, I’m on record as thinking this is “crap architecture”. But there IS a place for it. Obviously the client wanted “a toilet”.

      Obviously the architect gave it to him. That’s his JOB, after all. We design what the client wants, even though we may try to “educate him” all along the process (from Pre-Design to freakin’ Permitting if we have to) πŸ˜‰ to “maybe” get things going in another direction, sometimes.

      And in that light, the architect did a pretty good job. There are those that would think this project is great for what it is. That’s okay. We’re all entitled to our opinions, right? πŸ™‚

      For that, we give him (the architect who designed it) a nod. Begrudgingly.

      (I still think it’s “crap”… Ronin muttered – barely aloud.)

      But, we do it knowing full well that we don’t really appreciate it much because it violates most of the “laws we’re trying to live by”…

      And just because you drive an energy efficient, affordable car like a Honda doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate a gas guzzling Luxury Car… right?

      Just don’t park it in my yard, huh? πŸ˜‰

  7. Jeremiah February 14, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    Guys like Bill make me laugh, especially with statements like “no one needs a house that big, no one”….because obviously he’s the expert on how people should be allowed to live and what they should live in.

    Yeah, this house resembles a toilet bowl. So what.

    When Frank Lloyd Wright first presented his original design for the Guggenheim they said it looked like a parking garage and hated it. So he redesigned it to look like a parking garage and they loved it. People’s tastes vary as many different ways as there are people in this world. As an architect it is our job, our calling, to make sure that we design the best product we can according to the OWNER’S wishes and program, not our own.

    Guys like Bill think we should impose our will on clients, allow them only to live in an energy efficient, completely solar, off grid shit box instead of living in something that will improve their life and make them happy.

    Also, Bill, I’m guessing you don’t know beans about the design of this building as I don’t see any links to it nor any explanation of it’s architectural character other than “it looks like a toilet bowl”.

    So, to address the sustainability issue. This house COULD be sustainable.

    Those windows could be operable to catch the breezes of the specific micro climate of that region and could be covered with solar film to reduce heat gain and take advantage of solar power. The “toilet” on top could be used to capture and filter rain water for use in the house. Not to mention the concrete mass could be used for passive heating as thermal mass via heat sink.

    Now on to cost. I challenge you, Bill, to look at the architecture of South America.

    It’s ALL poured concrete…and I mean all of it. And steel, and wood and glass. I guess you’ll put your same dumb stamp of “it’s too expensive to build” on them as well, eh? Not taking into account the fact that other methods of construction, for them, are cost prohibitive because of the resources available to them. I can’t identify the cars, so I’m not sure if this house is in the states. Maybe it’s overseas in an area where skilled labor and concrete are cheaper than alternative materials. Who knows.

    “A complex shape is hard to build”…how do I even address that. It’s thinking like yours that would have kept us building cathedrals and palaces out of stone instead of glass and steel or SIPs or any other modern technology that came out of experimentation and exploration.

    Guys like you… think you can just mouth of whenever and crap on other peoples work and opinions without taking even the smallest bit of time to think about what it is you’re saying.

    [Editor’s Note: I reformatted this comment and deleted the “strong language”. Don’t have anything against it, it’s just that RR is trying to be a “Family Show”.]

  8. Bill February 14, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I think your missing my point Alex.

    Yes I understand the point about clients brief that’s not what I am saying.

    Its 2011 – Not to have solar panels or wind power or rainwater harvesting on a luxury build – none of these things are acceptable anymore.

    …but worse is to have an “Architect” that doesn’t have a “client brief” to work to citing this as ” a example of successful architecture” ( comments above ) but on his own blog talks in terms of sustainable and responsible design.

    As with most ” professionals” – Lawyers, Accountants, Doctors, most Architects are out of touch with what is happening in the real world and are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

    I am not talking about the elements of personal choice but the need for all of us to see we only have a few years left before its too late.

    The US is NOT the issue its the masses of India, Asia and Africa all wanting one thing – to follow in the footsteps of the developed economies, they want the life we have – the world is watching and copying everything we do.

    When we build this we say to the world we want you to exercise restraint, we want you to use only what you need but we are Amercian and we are excluded from this of course.

    • Renaissance Ronin February 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      Bill, I got your point, I think.

      I don’t have enough details about the build to be able to determine what components were used or how they are employed. There could be extensive use of thermal mass, Efficient window “harvesting” systems, you name it. I just don’t know.

      When I ran this post I admit I thought we’d all just laugh about it looking like a toilet bowl. I didn’t think it’d push so many buttons. I’ve gotten literally a hundred emails from people commenting about this Japanese structure… some for, some against. LOTS of anger. I was, frankly, surprised at the emotion it brought out.

      (Note: Many folks don’t comments on the posts for fear of being flamed or attacked, It’s just the way it is with any controversial subject matter, I suppose.)

      I know Jeremiah well enough to KNOW that he carefully examines every aspect of a structure before he lets it leave his design lab. “Due Diligence” should be his middle name.

      And while I agree with you that “Leading by Example” is important, frankly, it’s not my primary concern.

      My concern is that EACH family gets what they want and that they can understand it enough to make it a productive part of their lifestyle, another arrow in their quiver as they seek to slay the dragons that we all know are coming. I used to have the “World View” that I think you’re implying in your comment.

      Now, (and I’m actually ashamed to admit it…) I think we’ve just run out of time to think that broadly. I have to focus on “family projects” and not “the general public”.

      There will always be those who want you to do as they say and not as they do. I’m hoping that RR will be around, to laugh at ’em…

      And, I pray that we’ll all have our families safely sheltered in affordable, sustainable homes (that we built with our own hands) as we do it.

      Can I get an AMEN? πŸ™‚

      I see your strong views and while I agree with you that “the trades” sometimes (it seems like constantly, doesn’t it?) live in another world, there are those who are actively trying to bring reality and common sense back into their craft. Jeremiah IS one of those guys… so let’s go a little easier with the WWIII stuff, okay? πŸ˜‰

  9. Jeremiah February 15, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Bill is probably on the board of the World Health Organization – you know, one of those climate Nazi’s going around claiming that the end of the world is at hand. Funny, I thought that kind of talk was reserved for guys standing on milk crates in Time Square holding cardboard signs.
    That aside, the responsible stewardship of our natural and finite resources is simply good business, so we agree on that point. But your assertion that “Not to have solar panels or wind power or rainwater harvesting on a luxury build – none of these things are acceptable anymore” is, quite frankly, silly. Look at the COST of these systems in the free market. It is not economically viable to invest in these systems as an off-grid option unless you have the disposable income to do so, which most of us do not. I would love to litter my roof with solar panels, have solar hot water, gray water, composting toilets, the whole 9. But we’re talking about an investment of 10’s of thousands of dollars just for solar power! A system for my home to meet my daily needs is around $40k installed. I bought my house for $140k, so this would be an additional 30% investment that I will NEVER fully recoup even if property values suddenly go through the roof again.
    So, your blanket statement is just irresponsible and not taking into account any mitigating factors on the situation at hand.
    Again, I agree we need to be more sustainable as a nation, and the first step to that is being energy independent, but we’re not going to get there until the free market can dictate prices at a more reasonable level and that takes investment and research which also won’t happen till our government stops screwing around and screwing up.
    The electric car was invented DECADES ago and yet it’s only NOW becoming a real player in the auto market. Why is that? Because it has never been cost effective until now – and that took more than 30 years! Solar technology is no different. First invented back in the 60s I believe and only in the last 5 has it seen real progress in the market because of advances in technology…I could go on and on.
    I appreciate your passion, Bill. But you need to tone down the angst and work a little harder at being proactive in this movement. If you’ve got links to a blog, or research or products or whatever, please, send them to me and I’ll be happy to look at it and even do some write-ups on my blog. But don’t sit here and throw stones at me because I think the design of this building is successful despite any obvious sustainable technology. Successful architecture is not limited of off-grid design. Open your eyes and expand your mind a little. There’s lots out there to appreciate.

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