Brick Point Stress Reduction

A brick is the most fundamental building block in construction. Its design hasn’t changed in many years.  Does it mean that it is perfect?  Hardly.  Bricks have sharp angles which allow them to fit snug against one another, but this also creates a high stress point in the mortar between each connection.  When stress occurs in the form of settling, cracks easily move through the weakest point, resulting in cracks through the mortar joints.  I developed a theoretically simple fix that would reinforce the connection and reduce point stress. Continue reading




Material goods have a limited life cycle before they become waste.  Reuse extends the lifespan of that product (Bloch).  This means that through reuse, materials can last longer and reduce pollution and waste.  In developed countries that went through an industrial revolution, it is harder for people to reuse materials because they grew up in a society that embraces planned obsolescence.  Reusability has been globally prominent throughout history, and has become more integrated into today’s governments, industries, and communities through advances in technology and globalization.

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A Watch for an Architect

Watches used to be essential to architects before the 20th century.  They served a function, and were regarded as a tool.  The watches of the past were clear to read, simple, and ornate.  After the technological revolution, our phones replaced the function of the watch.  Cell phones became the new tool for professionals.  They replaced timekeeping and made watches obsolete.  In order to survive in a slouching market, brands like Movado rolled out signature pieces that focused on style, not function.  Since people didn’t need watches to tell time anymore, they could use these watches as fashion pieces.  Numbers were removed to create simple slick faces.  Accent diamonds became the focal point on the watch, not the arrows.  Soon the cell phone will be replaced by the smart phone – another leap in the technological revolution.

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Reviewing my Internship at A.F.A. (Alley Friends Architects)

Taras Bohonok

Fall 2007 Internship

Alley Friends Architects

Employees come with different traits.  Some may be geared towards creativity, allowing for a broader design team and more creative designs, while others may focus on productivity.  The ones that focus on productivity may end up doing less interesting designs, but they can push quantity over quality, thus reducing their price and maintaining business.  But what both work environments must maintain is a desirable working environment.  Some common traits may include positive attitudes.  With an go-to attitude, work seems to go easier, and people seem friendlier.  The job must have general skills of how to do the work and how to do it well to achieve the tasks at hand.  A good human resources department is always great for controlling anger at the workplace.  Some qualities that I would really hope to see in a working space is a good sense of humor and a quiet working space.  Nothing is more reassuring when the employees can communicate well and calm and maintain a good attitude towards their work.

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Treaties Review 4: Viollet-le-Duc

Viollet-le-Duc applied old lessons of gothic architecture to new ideas of the industrial revolution, like lightweight steel, to develop a Gothic Revival.  He strongly believed that materials played a big role and that knowledge of these materials and their production processes was especially important.  Ornamentation should follow need.  In an example of an Ancient Roman shovel, the decoration came about directly from the need of having the tongs be suspended and not touch the ground.  Design follows functionality.  Respect should be given to the program and the constructive process.  Rationality should be a key factor and any design ornamentation, if well designed, should serve a functional principal.

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