Monthly Archives: May 2009

OSFA postcard!!

What’s OSFA?  Well, it’s on our new postcard, so we thought we’d illuminate the acronym & our intentions a little more…..

Office of Student Financial Aid?   Oklahoma State Firefighter’s Association?   Operation Save Furry Animals?   I know, it’s the name of some IKEA utensil?

No- it’s one size fits all (OSFA)!

One frustrating question we get as architects & landscape architects is what do you do;  residential or commercial?   Like it’s a flow path diagram & there’s only one route or assumed answer with the question.  What about both?  What about more?  Institutional, industrial; medical, homeopathic; comical, serious;  open, closed;  paper, plastic?  It’s a pretty ludicrous simplification of a practice that shouldn’t be perceived as so specialized, or reduced to one basic categorization.

With our new website, we thought let’s not structure the portfolio section by type;  lets use size!!  Therefore- small, medium, large, and OSFA.  Why not XL, you ask?  Well, being sustainably minded- we don’t actually espouse an extra large, or for that matter gargantuan, enormous, stupendous, or any other word used to describe the magnitude of a thing.  Simply put- the most sustainable thing you can do is to work, live, play using less stuff, but build & DESIGN better!!   That’s our default position- no XL!!

Size doesn’t have to be a BIG issue- pun intended, but it can be.  Our homes keep getting bigger (though that is starting to level off), and offices (read; cubicles for many) keep getting smaller.  But area or volume is just one element of design, both interior & exterior.   Quality & adaptability of whatever we create is a task we take seriously.  Ideally, whether it’s a structure, built ‘space’ or an exterior places (natural or otherwise) made amenable and meaningful for your purposes, experiences, or needs- we like to think that we can do more with less and actually have it better!

From a remodel, garden, upfit or simple path through a wooded property, we welcome the challenge of creating meaningful, functional, spaces/places for you that work best with your site or context.

What would the house, park, store, office, yard, display, garden or restaurant of your dreams look like?   (hint: probably not like everyone or anyone else’s!)   We all have specific needs, so let us meet yours!   At B + O design studio, OSFA is the grouping of projects in which we place work that cannot be easily categorized, or work that we have determined for some rationale does not belong in the other three.  Maybe it encapsulates all sizes, or maybe it’s anti-sized.  Because in the long run, it isn’t the category that matters anyway, it’s the work.

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Denim collection drive for HFH…

B & O design studio is working as a downtown drop location for a May denim collection drive for Habitat for Humanity green homes.  Sapona Green Building Center & Elaine Jack are heading efforts in the area- and will be having a collection party on June 3 @ their store.   If you’ve got some old jeans that could go to a good cause,  drop them here- or at other locations around town including Sapona Green on 17th or Tidal Creek Co-op on Oleander.

Flyer for event.

Flyer for event.

Our window display downtown

Our window display downtown-205 Princess St.

Hearts weren’t left there- but it sure was fun!!

We are all back from trips to San Francisco recently and feeling very carbon-heavy in our auto-centric, less than dense hometown of ILM after the visit.  Amy went for a long weekend, and Scott & Lara (& Calvin, of course) went for a week of recreation & for Scott to attend the annual AIA Convention at the Moscone Center (4/29-5/2).   It was a very energizing trip for us all- and quite motivating and inspirational.

The highlight of the trip was experiencing the new California Academy of Sciences building by Renzo Piano.   A truly, beautiful, amazing facility that takes at least 4-6 hours to see everything.  An aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, theater & exhibits in one building.  Plus, it gained a LEED Platinum rating and has one of the largest green roofs in the world- you can practically see & hear Po & LaLa rolling around the landscaped indigenous hillscape.A must-see if you are in the city.  http://www.calacademy.org/

We also took in many other sites;  numerous museums, the SF zoo (yes, we saw THAT area, the tiger attack zone- it’s very newly re-barriered), Coit tower, Lombard St., the Embarcadero, and numerous cable car rides & neighborhood walks.  Calvin even rode the outer rails on the steeper Hyde-Powell line!!  All of this, in one of America’s most dense cities with phrase ‘Swine Flu pandemic’ screaming out of every radio & TV.

Scott attended many general sessions with the general theme of Diversity in/of the field.  He also took several continuing education seminars; mostly with themes around sustainability, ‘integrated practice/teams’, and the diversification of practice (especially to deal with the economy in its current state ….).   On Wednesday, he attended a tour of Sustainable Infill Housing projects in the SOMA neighborhood- all three LEED.  Overall, SF has such vision- one really wants to get even a fraction of that philosophy & action to occur in the Cape Fear region.  In actuality, if the building/construction community (50% of our environmental/carbon impact globally) doesn’t hit new targets over the next 10-40 years we’re the ones that will lose out if the oceans rise 5-6 feet by 2100.

The mayor, Gavin Newsom, spoke at the first event & he could/may/should become the next Governor of the Golden State after Arnold the Governator steps down next year.  A very energetic, well-spoken leader (SF is only US entity- county/city with a uniform health care plan & sustainability/carbon reduction plan….).  Well, ILM at least has two LEED projects, and maybe a few more to finish in 2009……