Stucco Spray Gun

I wanted to make a version of a stucco spray gun… HoneyDo Carpenter was the inspiration for this project, and the fact that there were so many parts from different stores. I thought I could help to simplify the design and build it into a singular body and print it on a 3D printer. HoneyDo Carpenter admitted that the gun he had designed required several different bit types. I figured I could just include all of those parts into one single body and just put a threaded nipple on there that could attach directly to a store-bought gun.

Here is the development in a few images of the prototype for my design of the 3D printed version. I will be testing in the coming days.

Purchased Parts to integrate with 3D printer piece
Read more

Acoustical Panels, Part 1

I’m interested in putting together a test of aerated concrete as an acoustical wall system. To start I 3-D printed a few module pieces and made a mold of it in order to duplicate this in order to make a larger panel made a mold of it in order to duplicate this in order to make a larger panel.

Read more

JuJu by Susuru in Orlando

We had our first tasting over at JUJU tonight and the pleasure of dining with tasty chomps. This was an old Pizza Hut location and contrary to the belief that you can’t make it look like anything other than a Pizza Hut they manage to accomplish that. The space is inviting with a collection of signage imported from all over Japan within the theme of retro Japan. There’s a reserved dining section for eight people and a preset menu that is booked at least a month in advance. The rest of the dining area and bar are similar food to the favorites by their other brand “Susuru”

A5 Wagyu @ JUJU
Read more

JuJu by Susuru

Susuru’s JuJu opens in August, and will offer regular dining as well as a Kappo Bar Tasting Experience which is more casual than a traditional Omakase experience.

Read more

Toothsome Milkshake Foundry Grand Opening January 29, 2022

Modesto Alcala, Jason Smyth, Thom Boessel, Chef Robert Martinez Jr.

Universal Parks & Resorts has taken a huge step in extending the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium brand into new environments by opening the new Toothsome Chocolate Foundry in Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center arena. Anyone going to a Philadelphia 76ers or Philadelphia Flyers game, a concert, or an event can experience the artisanal milkshakes made famous in the Universal parks.

Read more

We’re Flying 1,000 Miles For…A Milkshake We Could Get in Orlando?

Article from Orlando Informer

Toothsome Milkshake Foundry in Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is known for having one of the richest histories in the United States, and it recently became richer in another sense with the opening of a Toothsome Milkshake Foundry. We’re on the way right now to Philadelphia for a Toothsome Milkshake and compare it to what we’ve got here in Orlando. Dive in for the decadent details we know so far.

Tomorrow, Toothsome Milkshake Foundry opens in the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Toothsome is original to Universal Parks & Resorts, and the Foundry opened in the mezzanine level of the arena marks the first time the artisan milkshake brand has opened up outside of the theme park industry. Just as it does here in Orlando, Toothsome will provide guests with the extravagant desserts the kitchen is known for. We’ll be there when it opens to cover all the delicious details.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Kitchen has an established reputation in Orlando, opening in 2016 and providing guests with varied and delicious menu items ranging from dessert crepes to Beef Filet Mignon. Guests can rest their feet after enjoying the parks and fill up on Truffle Fries, Avocado Bruschetta, or Chicken Bourguignon. If they’re in the mood for something sweeter (which, let’s face it, is what Toothsome calls for), there is a selection of crepes, waffles, and – of course – decadent milkshakes. These milkshakes carry names like Heavenly Hazelnut, Cookie Jar, and Key Lime Pie. But Toothsome is more than just a milkshake bar. Here in CityWalk, guests can enjoy purchasing a variety of steampunk merchandise in the shop, drop by the bar for milkshakes or sundaes, or sit in the dining room to partake in a full menu of fine dining options.

The Toothsome in Philadelphia is decidedly more low-key, which makes sense given the context. The Toothsome Milkshake Foundry is in the Wells Fargo Center, a sports arena that hosts the local NBA and NHL teams, the 76ers and the Flyers, respectively. Ironically, both teams this weekend are playing Kings from California (the 76ers host the Sacramento Kings after the Flyers host the L.A Kings), but our focus will be on trying the milkshakes offered at the Toothsome food venue on the perimeter of the arena.

Toothsome Milkshake Foundry in Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA

The Toothsome Milkshake Foundry in the Wells Fargo Center incorporates the steampunk nature of the original idea and carries menu items such as the Cookie Jar, Red Velvet, and Brownie. The milkshakes are almost identically priced, with milkshakes in Orlando coming in between $14.50 – $16.00, and milkshakes in the Philly location ranging from $14.99 – $15.99. Of course, given the constraints of the venue, the menu is more limited than the one in Orlando, and the weather might be a factor here as well. While the climate in Orlando lends itself well to milkshakes and sundaes sounding appealing almost year-round, the temperature for when we land in Philly is expected to be a balmy 28 degrees – with snow showers. 

Here’s what’s on the menu at Toothsome Milkshake Foundry:

Cookie Jar – $14.99
Vanilla ice cream, Oreo chocolate and oatmeal cookies, whipped topping

Chocolate x5 – $14.99
Chocolate ice cream, chocolate chunks, chocolate sauce, chocolate spirals, chocolate whipped topping, strawberries

Strawberry Cheesecake – $15.99
Strawberry ice cream, cheesecake, graham crackers, whipped topping, chocolate dipped strawberry

That’s Mint – $15.99
Mint ice cream, Andes mints, mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich, whipped topping

Red Velvet – $14.99
Vanilla ice cream, red velvet cupcake, raspberry sauce, rainbow sprinkles, whipped topping, maraschino cherry

Brownie – $14.99
Chocolate ice cream, brownie, milk chocolate swirl

This past year, a Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Kitchen opened in Universal Beijing Resort, and Universal Studios Hollywood has plans to open another Toothsome soon. We can’t wait to see if additional Toothsome Milkshake Foundries pop up in venues across the United States, becoming as much a staple as a stadium hotdog or bucket of popcorn.

Read more

LEWIS SPRING HOUSE

BUILT

1954

CLIENT

George Lewis II

ARCHITECT

Frank Lloyd Wright

ADDRESS

3117 Okeeheepkee Road

The house plan was the first of two “pod-shaped” homes that Frank Lloyd Wright had designed throughout his entire career. The Spring House is currently the only private residence that was designed and built in Florida by Frank Lloyd Wright. The home sits on ten acres of hardwoods in the Capital City of Tallahassee, Florida. 

“Primarily the use of and sympathy with the site and nature of the ground and the purpose of the city and town whatever it might be and of course the character of the inhabitants in that connection… a natural architecture” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“The Mr. and Mrs. George Lewis II House is a two-story residence typical of Frank Lloyd Wright’s circular or “hemicycle” mode. It is situated in a wooded setting on the outskirts of the developed suburban area of Tallahassee and sits on a gentle slope overlooking a spring and a narrow stream.”[1]The house was designed during the same period as the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, and both the home and the museum are based on a confluence of arcs that make the two buildings similar and revolutionary.[2]

Figure 1 Ron Jones – Florida Division of Archives

George Lewis II was the president of The Lewis State Bank in Florida, which was the oldest bank and started in 1856. Clifton Lewis, the wife of George, was the one that approached Mr. Wright to design a house for their family. She had first met him at Florida Southern College In 1950 and this is where she had asked him to design their home. Mr. Wright had responded to her request with “find your ground, not on a lot, and get in touch.”[2] Mr. Wright would take on the project once the Lewises found a building site and sent him a map (topographical) of it. By 1952, Mr. Wright had completed plans for the Lewis House. The issue was not having an approved design but having someone capable of building the home with such a complex design with limited resources. The Lewises had to even set up a mill on the site in order to entice contractors to even consider taking on the project. 

The site had a natural spring on the property that flowed to a lake nearby. I am sure that the location of the site please Mr. Wright. He had mentioned in his interview with NBC in 1958 that in the past twenty years of his life he was seeking a kind of refuge at the time… He mentioned that he was getting a worms-eye view of society and needed to get into the country. His mother had prepared a site for him and asked him to come and take it. His response was “I did and of course the countryside is southern Wisconsin low hills protruding rock ledges, wooded sight, and the same thing applied to Taliesin signified to, later on, to bear run. “The site determined the character and features of the house”

Mr. Wright was asked in his interview: “The American press and sections of your own profession have not always treated you kindly I just wonder if you have any comment about this?”

Mr. Wright had a strong response that is worthy of mentioning to better understand the Architect of the Spring House: “Well I don’t see any reason why they should have treated me kindly I was entirely contrary to everything they believed in and if that was right they were wrong why should they treat me kindly it was a question at one time I suppose of their survival or mine and in those circumstances you know what happens don’t you… it’s still happening in a way but not so much now but it is true that still, the greatest appreciation for what we’ve done comes from European countries and the Orient rather than from our own country we’re very slow to take things on that occurred at home it’s always been the idea of our people that culture came from abroad and they did can’t blame them for thinking so they didn’t want to hear this developing in the tall grass of the Western prairies that was not exciting in fact they’d rather resented hearing about it in that sense so hundreds had gone abroad and it had been understood and appreciated abroad and the Europeans came over here with it so they could sell it to the American people and they would take it from them when they didn’t like to take it from me.”

I was looking at the influences of this house during the same time, but before I get into what other discussions about the changes through time and what influences there were in art, culture, society, etc. it is important to know that one of his personal guiding thoughts in his life is the following. This quote is a response to this thinking about his work as it related to the influences of others on his work. “My idea was pretty well fixed I was pretty sure of my ground and my style and I saw no occasion you see early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have not seen a reason to change even now. They’re pursuing the same centerline to all changes and I’m confident that the principle of our work which is its heart and centerline is really the ideology of democracy. If democracy is ever to have a free architecture I mean if it’s ever to have freedom have a culture of its own architecture will be its basic effect and condition and I believe we have the centerline of that architecture for freedom and for democracy.” 

Mr. Wright was a believer in Art and that Art could not be taught and that it could only be inculcated by exemplars. A guiding principle of his work was to navigate the site, occupants, and the needs of all parties in order to have a “pay-off.” His thoughts of the majority of Architecture were to have the effects sought and multiplied and the why of the effect the real cause of the center of the thing seems to have vanished. If Architects mastered the inner principle, an infinite variety would be the result. “No one would have to copy anybody else and my great disappointment in it all is that instead of emulation what I see is a wave of imitation.”

Historicism vs. Nostalgia

William Pahlmann, created furniture with casters in order to provide flexibility and adjustment within a room more easily. Pahlmann was at the forefront of color richness. He was proud of introducing, green, orange, deep cerulean blue for the lounge of the Columbus Hotel in Miami, driftwood, lime, orange, and white.

It is difficult to know what the furniture design was for the home. It was cited that Mr. Wright did design furniture, but the owners did not have it made. The only furniture that was integrated was built-in furniture, which is purpose-built to orient views outward. The existing furniture has a stark contrast to the flexibility that Mr. Pahlmann was designing at the same time. 

There was also the development of other interior ideas from colors to fabrics, to textures, and even to the forms adjusting. The idea of sunken living space. A space created specifically for the integration of a family. This is in contrast to a building that is designed around multiple facets of life. A purpose-built space and in isolation of all other elements. This friction between Historicism and Nostalgia went as far as broadening the scope of an Interior Decorator. In 1957, NSID was founded, and there was reluctance to move away from Decorator to Designer. 1954 Federal Renewal Program. A slum meant any building over thirty years old. The federal renewal program was a specific program in order to motivate “design” for a political need. This act alone probably influenced statements from Wright about his disappointment with imitation over emulation. “No one would have to copy anybody else and my great disappointment in it all is that instead of emulation what I see is a wave of imitation.”

“If anything, good could stand in isolation, then it could stand next to anything else good.” – 1950’s viewpoint of quality

The interior spaces of the Lewis house were a composition of the whole… a family, a site, the function. 

“Primary seating in the living room is adjacent to the fireplace on a low wood seat which runs the entire length of the west wall. This area is provided a strong sense of enclosure by the low ceiling under the second story, but the vista is toward a two-story space and the glass “rear” wall.  

Interior decorative interest is provided by the natural colors, textures, and arrangement of the exposed structural materials. Only the ceilings are plastered and these are unpainted. All doors and operable windows are hung with exposed brass piano hinges; all other hardware is also of brass. All lighting fixtures are within 9″ square.”[1]

The home which has a plan of concentric and intersecting circles was atypical of common American building practices. The Lewis House was a radical statement within the historical architectural traditions of Tallahassee. 

The triumph of Modernism was more dependent on the growth of the new, young generation than it was dependent on a change of sympathies.”[4]

Mr. Wright objected to the idea of modernism in the sense of objecting and turning your back on something for subjective reasoning. Instead, the idea that Natural architecture should be the driver in the development of new forms. An emulation of the experiences and art that creates something new is important. 

There is an entirely different way of approaching the Art of Architecture when you think of it holistically and respond to the site and the needs of the individuals. A lot of the reading on Historicism and Nostalgia are based not on the inner principles of the design, but on a motivator that is not connected directly to the needs of the occupants. I will once again leave you with the important descriptor of what it means to have Natural Architecture. 

“Primarily the use of and sympathy with the site and nature of the ground and the purpose of the city and town whatever it might be and of course the character of the inhabitants in that connection… a natural architecture” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Mr. Wright had a belief that his most satisfactory achievement of his career would be his next building. 

Figure 1 Photo by Ron Jones Florida Division of Archives

Bibliography

  1. Catalog.archives.gov. 2021. [online] Available at: <https://catalog.archives.gov/id/77842905> [Accessed 22 October 2021].
  2. “Lewis Spring House.” Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Accessed October 24, 2021. https://franklloydwright.org/site/lewis-spring-house/. 
  3. National Broadcasting Company, and Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc. 1958. Frank Lloyd Wright. National Broadcasting Co.
  4. Allen Tate and C. Ray Smith, Interior Design in the 20th Century, Chapter 15, pp. 421-442. 
Read more

Artificial Intelligence – Architecture as Confirmation Bias

I have been researching artificial intelligence over the past four years, and I have concluded that a computer will be able to produce the perfect painting at some point. What is a perfect painting? It is a painting that has positive feedback from a majority of its viewers. The masses to look at the piece objectively see something beautiful. There is an interesting connection to the interior analysis research from last week, which was the Spring House by Frank Lloyd Wright. In my research on Mr. Wright, I discovered an interview where he expressed his thoughts on imitation and emulation. Mr. Wright thought that most of the buildings are meer imitations and copies of one another, but that is not Art and that you cannot teach Art. Emulation is the creation of ideas upon another to improve them by creating something new.

Sandford Kwinter is a bit of a radical in architecture based on the collection of his writings that I analyzed. He proposes thought-provoking and controversial ideas that seemingly appear to be for the sake of controversy. In his “Four Arguments for the Elimination of Architecture,” he mentioned that architects might be irrelevant in thirty years. The idea is that there are “organizations” that will take on a majority of the work. It is an exciting idea for those who have to pay Architects’ fees, but I think he is conflating Building and Architecture. Mr. Wright would say there was plenty of Building happening simultaneously when he was doing his Architecture. The same is still true today. Many buildings are happening designed and constructed. For instance, when I was in china, I would see rows of buildings that could be compared to “the projects ” in the United States. What rarely gets mentioned is that they are not interested in any architectural idea to strengthen the community. It is often the case that they would pay an architect to design one Building, and the developer repeatedly copies the building design. The developer would not need to pay the architect to design the entire complex of buildings because they were the same Building. A copy of ten to fifteen of the same Building on a single plot of land so that they could reduce the fees of an architect. Budgets are tight in china, and the developer needs a return quickly because the Government only provides a thirty-five-year loan on commercial property. A lot of the Apartment buildings that I visited did not have Restrooms within each apartment, but they were a shared resource on the base floor, so they did not have to plumb the entire Building having further savings (This is not the case typically in Tier 1 cities, but they can be found).

Zaha Hadid, Steven Hall Rem Koolhaus, and others develop iconic buildings and, sometimes, more extensive development. Rem Koolhaus did what the Beijingers call “short pants building” for the CCTV. This Building and the Olympic Village Architecture is propaganda at its most refined and infiltrated. For instance, These buildings are featured in the new Karate Kid movie. At the start of the movie Dre Parker responds to his mother about moving to china, “ah man china sucks… It’s old… I don’t want to go there,” and then a few scenes later, they have a drive-by showing the Building, and the mother says “Look! there is the Olympic village, its beautiful… yes! I guess there’s nothing old in china, huh Dre?,” the uplifting music, John Mayers, Say, during the china arrival montage.

Architecture is Art, but Building can be an “organization.”

Read more