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Bruce Damonte


Design Ethics: Rethinking Practice in 2021

Ethical practice spans all parts of architecture. From intersectionality and labor to the climate crisis, a designer must work with a range of conditions and contexts that inform the built environment and the process of its creation. Across cultures, policies and climates, architecture is as much functional and aesthetic as it is political, social, economic, and ecological. By addressing the ethics of practice, designers can reimagine the discipline's impact and who it serves. 

© Stijn Bollaert© Adli Wahid© CO Adaptive Architecture© Anne Fougeron+ 13

Can Architects Finally have a Seat at the Table? Labor Rights and Work Conditions in Architecture

The early stages of practicing architecture are often met with what many explain as "the slippery slope of being an architect", where expectations do not at all meet reality of the profession and gets worse as the experience progresses. With constant burnouts as a result of working overtime and on weekends on the account of “gaining experience”, extraordinary expectations, low wages, and physical and mental strains, the prestige of being an architect has evidently vanished with modern-day work conditions. So how can architects fight for their labor rights after years of exploitation and what is currently being done to ensure them?

Desk for Office / nanometer architecture. Image © ToLoLo studioL’agence Office / jaq. Image © Antoine BonnafousBOHO Décor Head Office / BOHO Décor. Image © Hiroyuki OkiZaha Hadid Architects Presents Virtual Gallery Exploring Architecture, NFT's, and the Metaverse. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects+ 6

Arctic Architecture: 17 Projects that Explore Different Heating Techniques in Interior Spaces

Some of the most picturesque projects are those built in the mountains; the rustic cabin wrapped with a floor-to-ceiling glass panel that overlooks the snow-covered trees. Visually, the architecture exudes an enchanting feeling, but is it truly a habitable space? When houses are built on an elevation of 3,000 meters, installing a fire element alone is not efficient or sustainable. Spaces on such altitudes or particular geographic locations require to be treated thoroughly, beginning with the architecture itself. Whether it's through hydronic in-floor heating systems or wall-mounted chimneys, this interior focus explores how even the most extreme winter conditions did not get in the way of ensuring optimum thermal comfort.

PokoPoko Club House / Klein Dytham architecture. Image © Nacasa & Partners© Peter EckertGoatbarn Lane / Renée del Gaudio. Image © David Lauer PhotographyEastwatch House / F9 Productions. Image © Jason Buss+ 21

Indoor Bleachers: From Offices to Homes

Sede da Unicred / Arquitetura Nacional. Image © Cristiano Bauce
Sede da Unicred / Arquitetura Nacional. Image © Cristiano Bauce

Circulation spaces are often challenging for designers as they are intended—as the name implies—for moving from one room to another. While many take advantage of these areas by using them as storage spaces, Mies van der Rohe at the Farnsworth house reduced circulation to a minimum, creating an open floor plan completely free of hallways. When faced with vertical circulation, the issue is similar. Stairs fulfill the purpose of overcoming the height between one floor and another, but rarely constitute indoor living spaces. Bleachers, in turn, play this role in several projects. Until recently, they were only found in sports spaces or amphitheaters; now the use of bleachers has become widespread and is seen in office spaces, public buildings, schools and even homes.

Reaching for Zero Energy in High Density Housing

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Buildings contribute nearly 40% of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, so the push is on to “get to zero” on many fronts. What happens when ambitious goals like zero energy meet a conventional building industry that’s structured on repetition and cost, in a market that struggles to keep up with massive demand? This is often—too often—our challenge.

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects

© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte+ 12

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  11000 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2020
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Cedar, Finishing product
  • Professionals: Applied Engineering

Cultural Centers: 50 Examples in Plan and Section

How many times have you been faced with the challenge of designing a cultural center? While this may seem like quite a feat, many architects have had to design a program that blends a community center with culture.

Among the projects published on our site, we have found numerous examples that highlight different responses, from flexible configurations to sites that prioritize central gathering areas for citizens and activities. See our series of 50 community centers and their plans and sections below.

Cortesía de Mecanoo© Adam Mørk© Gonzalo Viramonte© Stephan Lucas+ 148

Living in Paradise: Luxurious Homes Along the Hawaiian Coast

Hawaii has become a place that defines paradise. From pristine beaches and a warm climate to natural scenery and active volcanoes, the islands are home to incredible landscapes and culture. With indigenous and modern building styles, the state’s architecture is intimately tied to the environment. Reinterpreting historic building techniques and traditions, contemporary Hawaiian architecture balances a desire to honor the past while celebrating new experiences and modern culture. This has led to the formation of incredible spaces to live and dwell.

© Derek Skalko© Nic Lehoux© Nic Lehoux© Benny Chan+ 10

Solar Design: How Architecture and Energy Come Together

Solar design in contemporary architecture is rooted in the profession's sustainable turn. The relationship between architecture and energy is tied to both passive strategies and performance via more recent innovations in technology. As one way to begin addressing the global climate crisis and greenhouse gas emissions, solar design is reshaping cities and architecture around the world.

© Bruce Damonte© Ivar Kvaalvia Creative CommonsCourtesy of Tesla+ 14

West Coast Modernism: LA's New Class of Single Family Homes

Los Angeles is a city of dreams. Known across the United States and the world, L.A. embodies both freedom and experimentation, defined as much by its freeways as its diversity. It is also a city of houses. Single family homes cover almost half of Los Angeles, and as the city continues to evolve, architects have explored new ideas on modernity and daily life through the single family typology.

© Iwan Baan© Brandon Shigeta© Gregg Segal© Eric Staudenmaier+ 14

AIA California Announces 2020 Residential Design Awards

The American Institute of Architects California (AIA CA) has announced the recipients of the 2020 Residential Design Awards. With nearly 100 projects submitted, the jury recognized ten projects with honor, merit and leading edge awards. As AIA California states, the jury took many aspects into consideration, looking for "exceptional design" that represents all that California architecture has to offer.

Dawnridge by Field Architecture Inc. Image © Joe FletcherWalk-Street House by ras-a studio. Image © Joe FletcherWalk-Street House by ras-a studio. Image © Joe Fletcher222 Taylor by David Baker Architects. Image © Bruce Damonte+ 6

Monochromatic Kitchens: 3 Design Strategies with a Single Color

Apartament in Korydallos / Plaini and Karahalios Architects. Image © Nikos PapageorgiouTetrys 607 Apartament / CR2 Arquitetura. Image © Cris FarhatJade Residence / E/L Studio. Image © Pepper WatkinsApartament in Korydallos / Plaini and Karahalios Architects. Image © Nikos Papageorgiou+ 29

A monochrome environment is a space in which most architectural elements are of a single color. Although it is common for architects to design black or white monochromatic spaces due to its neutrality, it is possible to use almost any color to design a space, taking advantage of their infinite tones, undertones, and shades.

How New York City's Architecture Has Responded to National Emergencies over the Last 20 Years

New York City is the pinnacle hybrid between the vibrant and granular neighborhoods that Jane Jacobs once envisioned and the sweeping urban innovations of Robert Moses. However, its diverse population has experienced hardship over the last twenty years, forcing the city into a recursive wave of self-reflection to reevaluate the urban strategies, design trends, and global transportation methods that it had grown so accustomed to. After the September 11th and Hurricane Sandy tragedies, the delicate balance between promoting a sense of individual culture and the strength in unity that New Yorkers are so often known for served as the lifeblood for revitalization. New York City has consistently handled adversity, by always rethinking, redesigning, and rebuilding this city for a better future.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District HQ Renovation / Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture

© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte+ 17