12/21/12

crossing oceans

MilanTrain Station2

I’ve crossed an ocean. Both figuratively and literally. Let me explain. As I prepared to launch my new entity, LWS, I took some time to travel with the primary objective of enriching and even challenging my own ways of thinking about architecture and design. I traveled across the U.S. and Italy, exploring the underpinnings of my professional practice, and have added to my body of knowledge in new, astonishing ways. I never really appreciated the value of a professional sabbatical until now, as I enthusiastically look forward to sharing all that I’ve recently experienced in my work going forward.

Some highlights of my recent activities have been:

Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) 2012 Annual Conference: Sept. 20-22, in LaJolla, California. I attended this conference to enrich my understanding of how to better shape meaningful home and work environments using studies from the emerging field of Neuroscience for Architecture. Having explored the theories of Feng Shui extensively, and as co-author of the book “Feng Shui Principles for Building and Remodeling”, I wanted to learn how ANFA and evidence-based design principles lend empirical evidence to feng shui’s time-honored dictates. Indeed, this conference taught us that as architects and designers, we can use this information to shape the sensory experiences that produce more satisfying environments for our clients.

The conference took place at the Salk Institute, the iconic institution built by Louis Kahn and was itself a study of the positive effect that thoughtful design has on behavior, and in this case, on creativity, discovery and productivity.

The following article has additional information about this concept of architectural design:
http://www.salon.com/2012/11/11/are_neuroscientists_the_next_great_architects

In October, I visited the studios of colleagues in Italy – in Naples, Rome, and Milan – and discovered how collaborative associations and technology play a part in their practices. We discussed strategies on how to weather the economic downturn in our respective countries, and shared ideas about better serving our clients. In addition, we visited the renowned work of legendary architects such as Andrea Palladio and Carlo Scarpa. The visits to historic landmarks reignited my interest in the exquisite features that qualify them to be masterpieces, and inspired me to further reference those qualities in my own work going forward. I can’t wait to reflect those design elements in my future work including refined proportions, lighting (both natural and mechanical) and detailing. Not to mention how Scarpa’s elegant water features are a great example of how to improve a structure’s feng shui factor!

We also attended several architecture and design forums which provided a remarkable amount of current information. I will be writing more about these in future blogs, but they include:

Salone Architettura Internazionale Edilizia or International Building Exhibition (SAIE):
http://www.saie.bolognafiere.it Bologna, Italy

Milano Architettura Design Edilizia or Milan Architecture Building Design (MADE Expo):
http://www.madeexpo.it/en Milan, Italy

The Venice Biennale:
http://www.labiennale.org/en/biennale/index.html Venice, Italy

Abitare il tempo – “Dwell Time”:
http://www.abitareiltempo.com/en Verona, Italy

These recent experiences have been part of an amazing professional odyssey. Yet in the end, I am most grateful for the breadth and depth of professional practice I’ve engaged in for the past 26 years, especially in my role as partner at Full Circle Architects. From here, I feel as if I’m at an architectural “sweet spot”, poised to offer clients the value of my experience combined with a fresh outlook, new and exciting resources as well as renewed vitality. I intend to share my thoughts and experiences by written word (blogs and other musings) and more importantly through built environments in the form of future projects. It is with this inspired perspective and enthusiasm that I introduce Lenore Weiss Studios. I invite you to join me for the ride!

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