As I’m coming to the end of my M.Arch, I’m ready to start doing design work. I’ve created a new website at http://www.tim-barnes.com which describes my design credentials. Because of this, I’ve moved my business / consulting website to http://www.timbarnes.info â€” same information, new URL.
In my last studio I worked with an architect Glen Small: he has worked mostly in California and Oregon, with some significant projects in Nicaragua. Glen is an uncompromising character, with clear opinions and no fear of expressing them. I found him to be an excellent teacher, because he not only has a passion for architecture, but is very clear about what’s working and what is not.
He’s publishing a blog (for which I’m acting as webmaster, for my sins), that tells the story of his life. It’s worth reading.
One of his most interesting speculative projects was the “biomorphic biosphere”â€”an organic megastructure that he developed some years ago. These ideas are beginning to re-emerge as architects and planners consider more vertically-oriented approaches to city design.
The blog is at www.smallatlarge.com (great URL, no?).
Spring is done, summer is beginning. We’re actually starting to get some sun. I think it’s been the coldest spring I can remember in California.
My last major design studio is now complete: here’s a picture of my project. It’s an experiential art center: art studios, residential and office space, and a theater that seats 1,000 people.
The next step is my thesis: an opera house for the 21st century. In this project I’ll be trying to understand how best to create a new audience for opera, in an environment where fewer and fewer young people are attending. The output will not only be a building design, but also a theory as to how architecture can contribute to the long-term success of opera.
I wrote a play some years ago, exploring the relationships and perspectives of three very different people, caught in wartime Afghanistan. At an early stage, my friend Michael Sanie expressed interest in writing an opera based on the play, and after several years of delays and struggles, here it is.
The opera is in three acts, each providing a platform for one of the characters. There is also a fourth character: an Afghan boy. It seems to me that we rarely hear the perspective of the people over whose lands we fight.
You can get your copy here.
It’s been a busy few months in the publishing business: I’ve co-written a technical book with the founder of Runtime Design Automation, Andrea Casotto. This book explains the key issues associated with managing complex sequences of programs, required for software and semiconductor development (among other disciplines).
Modern computational environments require hundreds or thousands of machines, many software licenses, and the ability to schedule jobs in the correct order across all the available resources. The goal is to complete the required tasks, and only the required tasks, in the most cost-effective manner possible.
This book illustrates and compares three approaches: scripting, makefiles, and Runtime Design Automation’s FlowTracer product.
You can buy the book here.
It’s published at lulu.com, which offers print-on-demand services.
You can also get an electronic copy here.
If you haven’t read it yet, Ollie’s New Beginning is the story of a young boy and his dragon. It explores the challenges of separation and independence in a story that makes great bedtime reading for a young child.
I wrote it with Jeremy’s help: he and I roughed out the story together, and he took a deep interest in the development of the story as it came together.
Now if you Â buy a copy, Â I can share the royalties with Jeremy!
I have entered into a new collaboration for strategy and executive consulting. The business is called Interlink Partners, and our focus is on high level, rapid interventions to help companies manage growth and change.
One of the challenges faced by changing businesses is the need for an upgraded executive team, capable of quickly coming up to speed and delivering a real impact early. Hiring executives is a slow process at the best of times, and there is no guarantee that they will all arrive at the same time, or that they will work well together.
Our approach is to assemble a team of experienced executives, with CEO, strategy, operations, finance, marketing and international business skills. The impact of this is that the new team can get things done from the first day.
Having spent a long time in marketing and strategy, I’ve been often frustrated by the emphasis on “spin”â€”making things look better than they are. It’s a temporary way to make people feel better, but it doesn’t work as a sustainable strategy for marketing and sales.
This site on Squidoo is dedicated to thinking about this issueâ€”it also links to other business-related resources:
Squidoo is interesting: it’s like a huge forest of bulletin boards, in which anyone can create a topic and host a discussion.
We’re just back from a month or so of travel to the UK and South Africa.Â
We had a great time staying with various members of our family in SAâ€”Ralph’s apartment in Cape Town, Caroline and Peter’s holiday home in Onrus River, and Rob and Angela at Watermead. Here are a couple of photo galleries showing our trip to Cape Town and to the farm.
Here’s another gallery: this one is of our visit to Robben Island, the prison / leper colony where Nelson Mandela and many others were imprisoned. The tour is well worth the trouble: the trip through the prison was narrated by a man who was imprisoned there. His commentary was quite understated and matter-of-fact, but compelling and vivid.
The boys had a great time on the farm getting to know their cousins Claire and Emma, picking raspberries, swimming, sailing and playing a variety of board and card games.
Rob’s dairy is amazingâ€”a rotary affair that goes around once every six minutes, and milks over 700 Jersey cows in a couple of hours. I don’t envy him the schedule: up at 0430 every morning, rain or shine!
Digital morphology is the study of form using computer tools. We did a project last semester to explore the creation of new forms that might have architectural uses, with Autodesk’s 3dsMax software as the basic tool.
My exploration started with the way sails move in a wind field as boats tack into the wind. The movement of the sails was the starting point, and then we looked at ways of perturbing the surface, based on the characteristics of parts of the surface. I think this is still an early exploration, but I learned enough that with a suitable project I think I could use these tools to create something interesting and relevant.