Posts

my friends are so talented

Since we are on the topic of awards, the Northern California Chapter of IIDA just announced the winners of their tenth annual Honor Awards. A couple of my friends were big winners and their projects are amazing.

Studio O+A

Primo Orpilla and I went to college together in Silicon Valley when it was still young. We graduated from San Jose State University in 1988. Primo went on to open O+A with his wife, Verda Alexander. Together they’ve changed the look and feel of the Silicon Valley of our youth….the offices of that day tended to a lot of very sad beige. O+A won two prizes last week at the IIDA award ceremony.  They won the ‘Work Medium Honor Award’ for their project for Open Table in San Francisco.  And just to prove that the world is tiny, the structural engineer on this project was my buddy Bobby Vaziri of Vaziri Structural Engineering.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

O+A also won the ‘Work Small Merit Award’ for Giant Pixel in San Francisco’s Mint Plaza.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

EDG Interior Architecture + Design

My friends Cindy Kupka and Catharine Tarver collaborated with the rest of their team on Elena and Pony Line at the Four Seasons in Buenos Aires to win the ‘Anywhere But Here Honor Award’.  When I worked at EDG a few years ago I had the luck and pleasure to work with both Cindy and Catharine….both talented designers and so much fun to work with!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

what do biorhythms have to do with silicon valley?

biorhythms

photo courtesy procato.com/biorhythm and my biorhythms

Two of my biorhythms are down today.  It’s one of those ‘I just feel crappy and I want to go back to bed’ days so I went online and checked.  Yup, physical and intellectual are down, but at least emotional is up.  So I can laugh.  Around May 17 it’s even worse, so you’ll want to give me a wide berth.  But come the end of May it’s party time in my world!  When I was in high school, my math teacher, Mr. Headley, installed a computer that filled a classroom.  He created a program that told us all what our biorhythms were doing.  My math teacher was also Steve Jobs’ math teacher.  I lived in a world of super nerds amongst apricot and cherry orchards that would eventually all be razed to create Silicon Valley.  And raze they did, then they built it all up.  And unfortunately, not in a very nice way.  The last orchard was levelled about a decade ago, and in its place yet more concrete.  Probably another parking lot.  Silicon Valley was designed around cars, not people.

can this

can this

and this

and this

become this? photos courtesy fastcodesign.com

become this?
photos courtesy fastcodesign.com

I’m not the only one who left Silicon Valley as soon as I was able.  Silicon Valley was another name for the area around Santa Clara, where all of the tech companies were building their headquarters.  But it has sprawled east, west, north and south from there, and one concrete town bleeds into another.  The young tech crowd, while still a nerdy bunch, have a different ideal for environment than the techy nerds I grew up with.  And they don’t seem to want to live in this concrete jungle.  They all want to live in San Francisco.  And let me just say that San Franciscans aren’t all that happy about it.  It’s kind of like the way the Arizonians and the Texans feel about their border crossers. But saying ‘go back where you came from’ isn’t working when all that money is changing hands. Now San Jose, a town that wasn’t even part of Silicon Valley originally, has a 30 year plan that hopes to change all that.  Fast Company has done a really interesting story on the urban future of San Jose.  Can a city built around a deliberate suburban framework reshape itself to be a more compelling urban environment? San Franciscans can only hope it can, and it will.

Here’s hoping all your biorhythms are up!  Keep in touch,
Leslie