Don Friedman

Systems Thinking

People focus too much on materials or individual members in structure, and not enough on systems. You can’t understand modern structures – by which I mean ones that follow the cutting edge of thought since the 1880s – without thinking about them in terms of structural systems. The picture above shows the underside of a …

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A Design Problem

The Oculus at the World Trade Center has as its signature design element exposed truss work that – to me, anyway – greatly resembles the skeleton of a stegosaurus. Whether or not that design is good aesthetically is not really a topic I want to debate. But there’s a usability issue that I noticed the …

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All In The Context

The archetypical American home is a wood-framed stand-alone house. Despite the growing popularity of apartments, attached townhouses, and other options besides the detached singe-family house, that type still dominates. Using data from the Census Bureau, the estimates are (as of 2017), there are something like 121,560,000 “housing units” in US, of which 76,833,000 are detached, …

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Differing Degrees Of Approval

Sometimes my reading creates accidental synchronicity. “The real answer is ‘maybe’” by Karrie Jacobs is, like all of her writing, a thoughtful examination of both a physical issue and its social context. “New York City will take steps to combat the problem of ‘zombie homes’” by Valeria Ricciulli is, on the other hand, a tightly-focused news …

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