All Posts Tagged With: "architect"

Neighborhood Design Center

photos by: Joe Stewart

The Neighborhood Design Center works throughout the Baltimore and Prince George’s County area helping residents, small non-profit organizations, and community development corporations do what they typically otherwise couldn’t: improve their communties. These communities many times are seeking to improve blocks and homes, renovate parks and school grounds, reclaim abandoned structures for new community uses, improve neighborhood commercial districts, etc., but simply lack the means. The Neighborhood Design Center helps by offering multiple free services: conceptual building and site plans, preliminary feasability studies and cost estimates, neighborhood master plans, and community development guidance. As the center itself is a non-profit, it does all this by mobilizing volunteer architects, planners, landscape architects, engineers, and other design professionals who donate their professional services to help neighborhoods in their initial revitalization efforts. Through their work the center hopes to strengthen community participation in neighborhood improvement efforts, educate the public about the value of good design, and serve as a catalyst for increased investment in neighborhood development.

The Spaces Between

photo by: Julie

One of the categories of GOforChange is "Inspiration." I’ve always been fascinated by the etymology of words that we tend to throw around unconsciously. "Inspiration" comes from the Latin, inspiratus , or inspirare : "inspire, inflame, blow into," from in -"in" + spirare "to breathe." Breathing is such a part of life that we often are completely unaware of it. When we take a bit of time to notice our breath, we become more open and expansive. This stillness helps us navigate the challenges of life.

I’ve been listening to Wayne Dyer’s "Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life," which is his exploration of the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching , as applied to our modern world. Each day, I listen to a verse of the Tao, along with his musings on what it means to us today and how to apply it in simple, practical terms. For example:

11th Verse of the Tao Te Ching

Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub.
It is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.

Shape clay into a vessel.
It is the space within that makes it useful.

Carve fine doors and windows,
but the room is useful in its emptiness.

The usefulness of what is
depends on what is not.

As an architect, I have always been attracted to this verse, with its embrace of the void, of the spaces between. Continued

What’s Working

courtesy of: What's Working

What’s Working is a team of professionals brought together by green building expert David Johnston who have worked in the field of green building and sustainable program design since the early 90s. They serve customers with practical, effective services in green building program design, policy development, strategic planning, resource tool development, design and materials consultation, marketing, facilitation and training. Whether a business, a municipality, a developer, an architect, a supplier/ manufacturer, or simply a homeowner, What’s Working can assist you.