Category Archives: Urban Planning

More Poor Richard | Part 5

More Poor Richard, Part 5
by Mark David Major, The Outlaw Urbanist contributor

Courteous Reader,

I attempted to win your favor when I wrote my first Almanac for Architects and Planners, in the name of the public good and professional betterment, by way of earning some profit and a wife. I am gratified by your expression of encouragement for my tireless efforts dedicated to these aims. Alas, my circumstances still find me exceedingly poor and, unluckily, exceedingly wifeless. I am required to earn some profit to address both problems whilst now addressing a third, namely testing the proposition that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” To satisfy my own particular brand of insanity, I have written more proverbs and whimsical sayings for your benefit and, hopefully, my own.

As before on The Outlaw Urbanist, I write this new Almanac in increments of ten, according to the dictates of Moses and the Almighty. However, once published as an Almanac for Architects and Planners, the proverbs and witticisms were gathered into a number equal to the days of the week, after being reliably informed that both seven and ten are sacred numbers. My desired requirement for a wife is sufficient motive to write this new Almanac in the hope it will find your favor and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my continued efforts but also your charity to this sane Friend and poor Servant,

Richard

On Cities, Utopia and Superheroes

41.       The greatest cities are probabilistic happenings that have already occurred and may again given the right conditions.

42.       A city can no more relate to only itself than it can only relate to the outside world. Neither inside nor outside exist in isolation.

43.       We need never fear Utopia as long as we are asking the right questions.

44.      Utopias are absurdly impractical flights of fancy, which are often the source for the best kind of dreams.

45.      Superheroes live in cities. Supervillains live in gated lairs. Do we want a nation of superheroes or supervillains?

46.      Superman would never find a phone booth in a suburban office park.

47.      Even Spiderman needs a car to get around suburban sprawl. No tall buildings to swing from, you see…

48.     Too many cities are built to be sanely mediocre when they should be designed to be “insanely great”*. (*Steve Jobs)

49.     Every city needs jazz hands.

50.     Every city should have that “boom boom pow”.

Issue 6 of More Poor Richard for Architects and Planners cometh soon!

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More Poor Richard | Part 4

More Poor Richard, Part 4
by Mark David Major, The Outlaw Urbanist contributor

Courteous Reader,

I attempted to win your favor when I wrote my first Almanac for Architects and Planners, in the name of the public good and professional betterment, by way of earning some profit and a wife. I am gratified by your expression of encouragement for my tireless efforts dedicated to these aims. Alas, my circumstances still find me exceedingly poor and, unluckily, exceedingly wifeless. I am required to earn some profit to address both problems whilst now addressing a third, namely testing the proposition that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” To satisfy my own particular brand of insanity, I have written more proverbs and whimsical sayings for your benefit and, hopefully, my own.

As before on The Outlaw Urbanist, I write this new Almanac in increments of ten, according to the dictates of Moses and the Almighty. However, once published as an Almanac for Architects and Planners, the proverbs and witticisms were gathered into a number equal to the days of the week, after being reliably informed that both seven and ten are sacred numbers. My desired requirement for a wife is sufficient motive to write this new Almanac in the hope it will find your favor and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my continued efforts but also your charity to this sane Friend and poor Servant,

Richard

On Architecture

31.       Standardization is a blessing for quantity and a curse for quality in architecture.

32.       Poor is the architect whose responsibility ends when the drawing is complete.

33.       Modernism is the Dr. Frankenstein, Post-Modernism is the Monster, and Deconstructivism is the “Abby Normal” (witty but, ultimately, derivative of the real Monster) of 20th century Architecture.

34.       Architecture in the absence of art is construction. Architecture in the absence of science is art.

35.       The three-dimensional context for all buildings is the playful absence and presence of light.

36.       Building may be in the details but architecture is in the questions.

37.       Beauty made lie in the eyes of the beholder but some eyes beholden better than others whilst some are better liars.

38.       Architecture should always be naked.

39.       Refining in architecture is about ‘re-finding’ the essential purity of the thing momentarily lost to the initial excesses of the architect.

40.       Building is never ‘more’ and always a bore. Architecture is to adore.

Issue 5 of More Poor Richard for Architects and Planners cometh soon!

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More Poor Richard | Part 3

More Poor Richard, Part 3
by Mark David Major, The Outlaw Urbanist contributor

Courteous Reader,

I attempted to win your favor when I wrote my first Almanac for Architects and Planners, in the name of the public good and professional betterment, by way of earning some profit and a wife. I am gratified by your expression of encouragement for my tireless efforts dedicated to these aims. Alas, my circumstances still find me exceedingly poor and, unluckily, exceedingly wifeless. I am required to earn some profit to address both problems whilst now addressing a third, namely testing the proposition that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” To satisfy my own particular brand of insanity, I have written more proverbs and whimsical sayings for your benefit and, hopefully, my own.

As before on The Outlaw Urbanist, I write this new Almanac in increments of ten, according to the dictates of Moses and the Almighty. However, once published as an Almanac for Architects and Planners, the proverbs and witticisms were gathered into a number equal to the days of the week, after being reliably informed that both seven and ten are sacred numbers. My desired requirement for a wife is sufficient motive to write this new Almanac in the hope it will find your favor and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my continued efforts but also your charity to this sane Friend and poor Servant,

Richard

On Creating and Creativity

21.       Planners with 20/20 foresight are more valuable than those with 20/20 hindsight.

22.       Organisms are machines for living. When it comes to creating machines, Nature is still infinitely superior to Man.

23.       Man assumes a God-like artifice compared to the machines he creates but, compared to the Nature of the Universe, Man is an ant.

24.       A little humility before Nature goes a long way.

25.      Creativity is a newly (re)discovered path that is often more important than the destination itself.

26.       Creativity and space flow with an energy born from the same source.

27.       For any true artist, a blank page is exciting and frightening in equal measure.

28.       Creativity is the vibrant symbiosis of courage to succeed and fear of failure. Too often, urban planners suffer from an abundance of the latter and deficiency in the former.

29.       Shame on the architect who does not design with love and builds that which is unloved by its own creator.

30.       For an architect or planner, doubt only marks the beginning of a path to wisdom. Doubt only marks hubris if it is treated as a destination unto itself. Take the path and never assume you have arrived.

Issue 4 of More Poor Richard for Architects and Planners cometh soon!

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More Poor Richard | Part 2

More Poor Richard, Part 2
by Mark David Major, The Outlaw Urbanist contributor

Courteous Reader,

I attempted to win your favor when I wrote my first Almanac for Architects and Planners, in the name of the public good and professional betterment, by way of earning some profit and a wife. I am gratified by your expression of encouragement for my tireless efforts dedicated to these aims. Alas, my circumstances still find me exceedingly poor and, unluckily, exceedingly wifeless. I am required to earn some profit to address both problems whilst now addressing a third, namely testing the proposition that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” To satisfy my own particular brand of insanity, I have written more proverbs and whimsical sayings for your benefit and, hopefully, my own.

As before on The Outlaw Urbanist, I write this new Almanac in increments of ten, according to the dictates of Moses and the Almighty. However, once published as an Almanac for Architects and Planners, the proverbs and witticisms were gathered into a number equal to the days of the week, after being reliably informed that both seven and ten are sacred numbers. My desired requirement for a wife is sufficient motive to write this new Almanac in the hope it will find your favor and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my continued efforts but also your charity to this sane Friend and poor Servant,

Richard

On Architecture

11.      Quality is presence of value and not absence of mistake.

12.       Profit is not an aesthetic choice. It’s a surrender.

13.       The act of design condemns all architects and planners to play God poorly, some more so than others.

14.       Good design enhances everything as surely as bad design defiles all.

15.       Architecture cannot save the world, only people can. This is why God sent a carpenter to be the ‘temple’.

16.       If architecture is a language, then a lot of architects are speaking in gibberish.

17.       Don’t judge a building by its façade. Every building is a story waiting to unfold for those willing to read it.

18.       Architecture always lies. Technological innovations only make the lies more transparent.

19.       Standardization is a blessing for quantity and a curse for quality in architecture.

20.      Architecture represents the outward appearance of things best when the architect understands the inward significance of those things.

Issue 3 of More Poor Richard for Architects and Planners cometh soon!

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More Poor Richard | Part 1

More Poor Richard, Part 1
by Mark David Major, The Outlaw Urbanist contributor

Courteous Reader,

I attempted to win your favor when I wrote my first Almanac for Architects and Planners, in the name of the public good and professional betterment, by way of earning some profit and a wife. I am gratified by your expression of encouragement for my tireless efforts dedicated to these aims. Alas, my circumstances still find me exceedingly poor and, unluckily, exceedingly wifeless. I am required to earn some profit to address both problems whilst now addressing a third, namely testing the proposition that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” To satisfy my own particular brand of insanity, I have written more proverbs and whimsical sayings for your benefit and, hopefully, my own.

As before on The Outlaw Urbanist, I write this new Almanac in increments of ten, according to the dictates of Moses and the Almighty. However, once published as an Almanac for Architects and Planners, the proverbs and witticisms were gathered into a number equal to the days of the week, after being reliably informed that both seven and ten are sacred numbers. My desired requirement for a wife is sufficient motive to write this new Almanac in the hope it will find your favor and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my continued efforts but also your charity to this sane Friend and poor Servant,

Richard

On Cities

1.    As big as the road, so will the car be.

2.    When American urban designers and planners developed an allergic reaction to straight lines and right angles, our cities started sneezing phlegm all over the place.

3.    A ‘road to nowhere’ is much less important than all the ‘somewheres’ it will eventually lead.

4.    Suburban sprawl breeds idiotic driving behaviors.

5.    Interruptus en extremis isn’t any good for urban life… or your sex life.

6.     Pursuing (politically palatable) green spaces to the exclusion of (hard choice) urbanity is a self-defeating proposition. We have that, it’s called suburban sprawl.

7.     Observe the world around you before daring to create anew.

8.     Every city should have at least one Electric Avenue we gonna rock down and then take it higher… perhaps even two.

9.     The pattern of great cities is at once sensuous and logical; elegant with the past, restless in the present, and pregnant with future potential.

10.    Part is to whole as whole is to part in the city.

Issue 2 of More Poor Richard for Architects and Planners cometh soon!

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