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5.1.2

From the Vaults: Arizona Historical Society Museum

by Sarah Bell

As THA turns 31 years-old this year, we want to honor our roots through a monthly post featuring past projects. Our first “From the Vaults” project is the Arizona Historical Society Museum, a winning entry in a national design competition that put THA Architecture (then Garfield Hacker Architects) on the map in the fall of 1985.

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glitz (Large)

The Perils of “Glitz” in Information Design

by Nic Smith

Last week Edward Tufte, a professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University, visited Portland to give one of his storied courses – Presenting Data and Information. I had the opportunity to take this six-hour course, absorbing all I could from this legend of information design.

The take home message, as old as time itself: Content is key.

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A Smattering of Sketches | For Fun

by Audrey Alverson

Yes, we do still draw by hand.

For all the hand sketches and diagrams we generate during the design process, most are rarely seen outside the office — have a peek!

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meijer-cavell image 3

The Portland Building Debate Circuit Continues

by Becca Cavell

It’s time to follow up on my earlier piece about the Portland Building. Peter Meijer and I publically debated the fate of the building for the first time over a year ago, at the Docomomo Symposium in Florida. Since then we’ve reprised our face-off three times in front of live audiences – in Portland and Hood River – and we had the pleasure of sparring gently on the radio courtesy of KBOO’s ArtFocus show as part of a longer program that addressed a couple of other local landmarks too (listen here). We’ve made a point to engage the audience in the discussion whenever we can, and along this journey I’ve learned a lot of things about the building and people’s attitudes towards it.

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SONY DSC

Bringing Presence to Meetings

by Jonah Cohen

As architects, we spend a good portion of our professional lives leading committee meetings – meetings that typically convene by immediately diving in to the subject at hand. Over a 3-year span of time some 15 years ago, I worked with the First Unitarian Church of Portland – with clients who gave me a great gift by modeling a different and compelling way of beginning meetings.

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PCC Cascade student tour

PSU Building Technology Class visits PCC Cascade

by Amie Bates

One of the best aspects of practicing architecture is that our education never ends. And on top of that, our classroom comes in many forms — from city sidewalks to the job site beside carpenters to the computer screen at our desks. So when Margarette Leite’s PSU Building Technology class approached us for a class tour of the PCC Cascade Student Center and Academic Building, we jumped at the opportunity. Not only are we excited about how the project is unfolding, but to be able to share it as a learning tool for architecture students is an extra perk.

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ronchamp (Medium)

Security Obscurity

by Kelsey McWilliams

Upon reading that the Chapel of Ronchamp had recently been vandalized, I was surprised; but even more so I was offended. Personally offended. It’s not that I have an especially close connection to Le Corbusier’s Chapel; In fact I’ve never even seen it in person. I just remember learning about it in school and seeing the photos of the original drawings. They were swoopy, organic, charcoal drawings that captured the weight of the structure but at the same time were based on the fulcrum of the human arm in a simple gesture.

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kengo kuma starbucks

No Brand is the New Brand

by Sarah Bell

Wired recently ran this article on Starbucks’ new design strategy for some of their stores. In a nutshell, Starbucks is creating stores that are designed to reflect the local culture around the store’s physical location, rather than just reflecting Starbucks. The desired result being that Starbucks should feel like your local corner coffee shop, not the generic corporate chain people perceived it as following its mega-expansion across the world. It’s a fascinating move, one that has already produced spectacular design results.*

But what does this move say about the nature of brand today?

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UW Bothell Science Building – Revealed!

by Audrey Alverson

Check out this great time-lapse video of the scaffolding coming down from our University of Washington Bothell Science & Academic Building. The project is expected to be complete in the spring, and open for classes Fall of 2014.

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THA + PSU Research Collaboration Update

by Miguel Hidalgo

As a continuation of our ongoing research relationship with Portland State University, we’ve just begun another student / design team investigative session. The purpose of this collaboration is to give PSU architectural and engineering students the opportunity to engage in research on real projects that supports specific sustainability goals. On the other side, our design teams hope to gain timely and specific knowledge to enhance project design.

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