Archive for designs

SCOD Medieval to Victorian Shift 2013

Posted in Medieval Tavern, SCOD Thesis, Victorian Tavern with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by Drogo

I am putting my plans and dreams for establishing a Medieval Tavern on hold indefinitely. If I had at least an equal business partner willing to meet me half-way on producing designs, plans, and investments; then I would do it. I have not been able to find such a business partner, and so therefore I was not willing to do it myself; as the risk and stress would have been too much for someone that is not rich. I had already taken out loans for college and car, that I struggled to pay. Now that I have greater financial stability and resources, I am not willing to pour all of my savings into a Medieval Tavern; because I would need to take out another loan, and even if I could make a working business, there is a good chance that business would not make net earnings the first few years (it would be in the red). With what would I pay the loans back, if the gross earnings went into paying only the utilities and employees? Business schools generally teach that most new businesses do not start covering costs, until several years later; some close before that, and others go bankrupt.

For many years I have had some loyal and interested friends, that worked on some of the concepts with me; however it takes more than the occasional comment of encouragement or critique, to match what I had designed, planned, and was willing to invest. I have realized, the hard way, that even creative people that can understand what an awesome idea it is, are probably not going to commit to such a major life project (by commit I mean spend most of their waking days on it like I have often done). Most people have their own lives and dreams, that they may or may not pursue. I have yet to find anyone as intent on making a Medieval Tavern as I have been, and I accept that may be the case until I die.

Yet because I am stubborn when it comes to dreams, I am transferring my SCOD efforts from the Medieval Tavern, to the potential for a Victorian Tavern, Tea-House, or Tap-Room. I have a house that was built in 1908, and has a Victorian first floor interior. There is parking along the streets nearby, and the town is the historic tourist town of Harpers Ferry; so there are already successful bed & breakfasts. In fact we had a B&B in our house for years, among other businesses. So it is more likely I will be able to achieve a Victorian Establishment of some kind, before I die; without as much financial backing, and less partners. I will be starting this new dream based on current and future conditions, and no partners (for now). Some dreams we live with, are in fact, in part, already a reality.

– Drogo Empedocles

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SCOD Alternative Fuel Vehicles Project

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2012 by Drogo

Creative Commons Cars – Share your ideas here so no Company can buy it and bury it! Once your idea is public it is closer to immortality.

Have you ever wanted to design an innovative auto? Please contribute your design ideas to this theoretical project for the greater public good, by simply posting them here on this page, or contacting us. Using sustainable industrial design concepts, even if only fictional, will help encourage innovation and other alternatives to traditional fossil fuel combustion engines. Please submit essays, drawings, photos etc. that can all be used by others without copyright. There is no deadline, and all entries will be published here.

Also feel free to post inspirational examples of any alternative fuel ideas! Check out the SCOD Gallery for Alternative Fuel Vehicles. If you contact us, we can add your ideas to that webpage also. https://sites.google.com/site/scodgalleries/alternative-fuel-vehicles

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/drogo-empedocles/consumer-market-for-alternative-autos/10150858124121910

Note: You do not have to be a professional industrial designer or an automotive expert to be a part of this collaborative project. SCOD is simply seeking a collection of creative designs.

Two Simple Spiral Gardens

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Organic Gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by Drogo

Two basic plans for spiral gardens. The green represents vegetation (herbs, flowers, grasses, shrubs, hedges, veggies, etc), the brown is for tilled soil edging (regularly cleared using hoe, mattock, etc), and the grey is the path made using gravel, bricks, blocks, tiles, sand, or whatever you want. The center of the designs can also feature sculptures, bird baths, etc….

List of Alternative Intentional Communities

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by Drogo

List of Alternative Intentional Communities

Other Websites Listing Alternative Intentional Communities:

Ecotopia (not to be confused with the Book or the Game) EcoSystems Inc. based in California

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Eco-Villages

* Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz, CA

* Baggins End Pod Village UC Davis, CA 1972

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* Loudoun County, VA

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(this page is under construction)

Antoine Predock

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Nature Studies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by Drogo

Alternative Architect Antoine Predock Website Homepage

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Rio Grande Nature Center, Albuquerque, NM

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African-American Museum Proposal DC

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Human Rights Museum

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Notes written at RWU from Architecture Magazine 1984 v 73 by Crosbie:

Rio Grande Nature Center – Architectural movement across the landscape, into the water, enhances educational function. Sited in the wetlands preserve of Albuquerque, NM; it celebrated the history of water management. Arrive through a tunnel of trees, procession snakes around to the hidden bunker of earth berms, concrete, and vegetation. The Metal corrugated entry culvert tunnel burrowing through a berm, uses appropriate engineering language. The central station overlooks exhibits and landscape. Down a spiral ramp is a water pump exhibit with a reverse periscope for underwater viewing. Circular center space with 22 water columns, skylights, kid friendly vistas, sculpted dam.

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Organic Design by Frank Lloyd Wright

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Arts (Design & Performance), Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by Drogo

Essay on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Architecture

Taliesin

Fallingwater

Broadacre City

 

American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, borrowed the word ‘Organic’ from his mentor Louis Sullivan. Wright began expressing his own vision of how organic nature applies to design. He tried to define ‘Organic Architecture’ in words, but the truest expression will always be in his designs and how they relate to the landscape.

 

Taliesin East & West

Frank Lloyd Wright formed the Taliesin Fellowship dedicated to organic design, education, and spiritual theory and practice. It later evolved into the FLW Foundation, and Taliesin Architects continued after Wright’s death. Wright built two small Communities based on his designs and theories. Taliesin East was built first on 600 acres in Wisconsin. Then Taliesin West was built on 600 acres in Arizona. Both developments respected the landscape by leaving much of it natural, while fitting in artistic architecture using site features. Both remained in a constant state of evolution during Wright’s lifetime.

 

Fallingwater

Fallingwater was a unique residence designed by Wright which show-cases his Organic Architecture. The natural organic landscape meets his organic designs above a waterfall. I was awarded a student residency there in high school, and every day for weeks we went down to the cold waters of Bear Run to wake up and begin our sketches and studies. Inside the house, concrete rests on stone, and the woods are seen through generous windows. That house has more of a give and take between the architecture and the landscape (including the water) than most other modern buildings in the World.

 

Broadacre City

Broadacre City was designed to show how various types of buildings should be organized in urban planning, using Organic Architecture. The hypothetical City was 4 square miles and published first in his Disappearing City, 1932 and continued to evolve until his death in 1959. One important rule was that the tallest buildings (sky-scrapers) should have enough open space around them so their shadows do not fall upon other buildings. Another factor was giving most residents one acre to build their own houses based on Usonian models. It was an effort to take the new concept of suburbs to a Utopian extreme by furthering the concept of combining rural and urban while striving to keep the best of both. Broadacre decentralized urban design, and lay grid upon rural country; advocating that the desire for suburban life be fully granted. Mass transportation would still be available at stations, but freedom was maintained through the use of individual vehicles on the roads and in the air.

 

 

Thomas Jefferson’s Landscape Architecture

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Book Reports, Historic Architecture, Nature Studies, Organic Gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by Drogo

Essay on the Organic Design Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson

Interdisciplinary Concerns of a Colonial Landscape Architect:

Architecture, Agriculture, Botany, Horticulture, Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, Geology, Entomology, and Zoology

 

Ruins of architecture help to distinguish historic landscape architecture from organic terrain that may or may not have been influenced by human designs. Masonry is perhaps the most enduring milestone when it comes to lasting remnants of changes we have made to our landscape. Plants, animals, and soils are more organic and form-shifting. Organic elements of landscape designs change annually as their elements grow, die, or move.

 

Keeping a landscape design controlled even to the desired proportions is virtually impossible. Plants are almost always too small, too big, or in the wrong spot. Trees provide the most for us: shade, nuts, berries, shelter, shade, fuel, etc… but they are also capable of great destruction as well if trunks or branches fall upon animals or architecture.  An understanding of relative growth proportions in the environment can go a long way towards ease of maintenance.

 

Most Americans know Thomas Jefferson as a Founding Father first, and second as architect and politician; but few know of his feelings and designs towards Landscape. Landscape designers were called “Master Gardeners” or “Landscape Gardeners” back then. We know from his writings that his primary influences were English Gardens and Classical Architecture. He was well versed in contemporary French and English literature and philosophy, and experienced various landscapes during his travels.

 

Thomas Jefferson never fully accepted any one style or tradition. Although he was familiar with the Colonial mundane rectangular yard gardens, he was always innovating new hybrid ideas. Jefferson’s accumulated knowledge of surveying, architecture, climate, plants, and soil gave him tools beyond most other landscape gardeners. Jefferson’s approach to landscape design included both ornamental and utilitarian concepts regarding species, form, and layout.

 

As a child, Jefferson was home schooled in ancient literature and classical music. Learning also took place out-of-doors and so he came to love nature with infinite fascination. Jefferson developed his knowledge of the natural environment from first hand experience as well as books. In 1760 he attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, where he founded a secret burlesque society known as the “Flat Hats” with a group of friends.

 

Jefferson became a devotee of improving American design with an open mind to World designs, and the natural environment of each site. He believed in contour plowing, as designing with nature was beautiful and practical. As he began traveling he embraced Palladian Architecture. These influences are evident later in his home, Monticello, when we see the geometric architecture combined with organic landscaping.

 

According to his “Garden Book”, he was able to bud-graft cherry trees, and started planting at Monticello 2 years before be began building the house. During this time he was also practicing law (represented 68 cases). In his gardens he planted forwardest peas, midling peas, asparagus, strawberries, purple hyacinth, narcissus, carnations, Indian pink, marygold, globe amaranth, auricular, double balsam, tricolor, Dutch velvet, sensitives, cockscomb, Prince’s feather, lathyrus, lilac, Spanish broom, umbrella, laurel, almond trees, muscle plumb trees, and Cayenne pepper. Monticello means “small mountain”. He fit it upon a terraced hill with rectangular and serpentine designs. In his notes he showed plans for garden olitory, pleasure grounds, spirals, and curves. Both Monticello and University of Virginia have a “temple” with colonnades that embrace a courtyard. The Monticello courtyard is Egg shaped because of the paths and hill, although both cloisters are rectangular.

 

Some conclusions can be drawn about the study and practice of Thomas Jefferson’s landscape architecture. Nature is a contractor for landscape architecture, because plant production in landscape was like human production in buildings. Designs are judged by their “finished product”; so in landscape architecture, products include flowers, fruits, and vegetables. His preferred building block was brick, but he made exceptions for wood and earth. He built several pise’ (mud packed in wooden forms) with General John Cocke at Bremo plantation. Jefferson believed that log and chinking was better insulated than scantling (wood frame) and plank siding. He believed it was foolish to ignore foods that grow easily nearby. “Useful” was his most used word.

 

Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, and it was not until 1899 that Landscape Architecture was considered a profession by society. His only complete book “Notes on the State of Virginia” remains one of the most comprehensive observations of natural environmental conditions.

 

Reference: Thomas Jefferson Landscape Architect by Nichols and Griswold