Think/Make: Della Valle Bernheimer (New Voices in Architecture)

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This article, written by Marc Kristal, appeared in MetropolisMag.

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Jared Della Valle and Andrew Bernheimer don't fit the "hip architect" profile. With his cocky Long Island charm, Della Valle, 37, might have fronted a doo-wop group a generation ago, while the Massachusetts-born Bernheimer—40, big, and shaven-headed—has the rough-and-tumble look of a hockey player.


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Nor do the partners, who met in graduate school at Washington University, in St. It worked.

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By combining design excellence with the terrors and pleasures of real estate development, Della Valle Bernheimer DB , based in Brooklyn, has launched into projects of a scale, ambition, and profitability that might otherwise have eluded the firm for years. The motivation for their unorthodox approach was simple. Over the next four years, the partners completed five projects and started several others. In fact, their early independence was a hindrance. Because we started so young, we had to make it happen ourselves.

Those who have worked with them say that Bernheimer seems happiest when he's designing. But Della Valle loves to wheel and deal, and it was his inexhaustible jones for real estate development that offered a chance for them to build.

Though the two professions seem incompatible, Cary Tamarkin, who launched his own highly successful architecture-and-development firm in , says they are actually complementary. The go-go market of the late s provided an opening. He focused on industrial properties in hot neighborhoods—ones the pair could convert into architecturally distinctive condos or co-ops. Though he struck out for several years, Della Valle picked up valuable contacts and experience. In mid, the partners scored, albeit at a less-than-gajillion-dollar scale. Each would contain an owner's duplex and a rental unit.

The department's desire for architectural innovation gave DB an edge: typically, HPD projects are awarded to builder-developers, who submit generic plans that they can construct quickly and affordably.

With a strong design vision, backed by construction experience and Della Valle's development knowledge, DB offered a compelling alternative, and got the job. The partners made a number of smart decisions. Believing that, as Della Valle puts it, "affordable housing requires more thought, not less," they invited several progressive firms—Architecture Research Office, Lewis. To control costs, they established a shared exterior material palette, including corrugated-aluminum and cedar siding, and developed two floor plans that maximized habitable square footage. The firm got high marks from both the creative and business participants.

But this time he was leery. Most important, the partners' willingness to accept the greater management, administrative, and financial obligations that came with development served their architectural ambitions. Della Valle found the land in late and brought it to a Philadelphia developer, David Grasso, whom the firm had worked with.

An Open Letter to Nicolai Ouroussoff

Do your children like the idea of blending art with the environment? Are you a landscape architecture professional visiting a local school and searching for a fun interactive exercise? Whether you are a kid, teen, parent, teacher, undergraduate student, or landscape architecture professional, there are many ways to share the activity books. To start, share with family, friends, classmates, neighbors, other professionals, and community members.

Post your drawings with ASLAactivitybooks to show the world your creative talents! Stay tuned for future initiatives at ASLA including available copies for distribution and Spanish translated editions. Landscape architects create drawings on paper and on digital devices. If you are interested to complete the activity books from your digital device, check out some of the free apps and programs below that include drawing tools. As Ostroff attests, with over , documents archived in the Library of Congress, the Eameses were nothing if not prolific; this volume, accordingly, is not comprehensive so much as representative, curated to reflect the breadth of interests and accomplishments of the pair.

The art is not something you apply to your work The art is the way you do your work, a result of your attitude toward it.

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Design is a full time job It is the way you look at politics, funny papers, listen to music, raise children Art is not a thing in a vacuum— No personal signature Economy of material Avoid the contrived. Apprentice system and why it is impractical for them No office wants to add another prima donna to its staff No office is looking for a great creative genius No office—or at least very few—can train employees from scratch There is always a need for anyone that can do a simple job thoroughly. Primitive spear is not the work of an individual nor is a good tool or utensil. To be a good designer you must be a good engineer in every sense: curious, inquisitive.

As the world becomes more and more digital, Kindles and Nooks are replacing classroom textbooks as learning aids. But new research shows that students should hold onto their hardcovers if they want to remember what they read. Studies show that people have a harder time remembering facts and recalling the names of characters and details when reading an e-book.

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Researchers think this has to do with the way we evolved to remember things. In one study by Kate Garland, a psychology lecturer at the University of Leicester in England, participants got a crash course in economics—a subject nobody understood. Those who were instructed to learn on an e-book required more repetition of the information before they could retain it.

Participants learning on a hard book were able to understand the material more fully, meaning they were able to know the material so well that it just came to them. After all, it is just a blank screen with words that you read down. Other studies by Jakob Nielsen, Web usability consultant and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, show that smaller screens make reading material less memorable and typing or scrolling back to search for something is more distracting than turning the page. Further studies are needed to show the types of learning material best suited for digital books.

Instead of exacerbating these issues, gardeners must harness the many ecosystem services provided by natural systems and design gardens that support and strengthen local ecologies.


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