Skip to content

Connecting the Dots

May 3, 2013

Steve Jobs on Creativity… “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”


Permit Conditions go to the Supreme Court

January 15, 2013

Ever get a ridiculous permit condition on a project?  You may soon get some ammunition to fight against unreasonable permit conditions.

In Supreme Court docket 11-1447 the issue of conditional permitting will be debated in the case of Koontz v St Johns River Water Management District, Tuesday Jan 15.  The core question which surrounds the  quid pro quo structure of conditional permitting is defining when approving agencies go too far and the requests are no longer roughly proportional or violate the essential nexus test set out in previous land use Supreme Court cases.  Is it possible for an agency to effectively exercise a regulatory taking when a land owner does not meet the permit conditions?

Port Miami Development Alternative

July 25, 2012

Similar to the recently awarded CornellNYC Tech University campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City (a project spearheaded by the NYC Economic Development Corporation), Miami has the opportunity to attract a collaboration of world-class universities to create a new university campus with a focus on science and technology to serve as a solid base to our emerging technology and biotech industries.

Currently the Port Miami 2035 Master Plan calls for retail, commercial and/or residential development on the underutilized SW corner of Port Miami.  Rather than status quo, lets provide a keystone to our community on what is a county owned, one of a kind parcel of land.  As an attractor the county can provide land and/or infrastructure incentives to the winning University.  Miami, hub of the Americas, with a world class urban site, would undoubtedly be an attractive location for such a project.  Let’s have Miami Dade County continue to be of public service, investing in our citizens and economy rather than condos.

Biomimicry in Architecture

May 24, 2012

I’m extremely interested in diving deeper into Biomimicry and how it relates to the way we design and operate the built environment.  As I begin to take on more research I’ll post updates on my blog and the route I’ve followed.  Along with most, I first learned of Biomimicry through the work of Janine Benyus and her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

Benyus’s organization, Biomimicry 3.8, has been the leader in the field with their consulting, education and resources.  I was able to beta test their first online course, Introduction to Biomimicry, which in addition to the book I would recommend as primers.

Specifically in architecture, Michael Pawlyn has surfaced as the expert in the field with some great projects and a book listed below.  Major firms such as HOK, Arup and Grimshaw Architects have also embraced the philosophy.  When traveling down this path it is also important to be cognizant of the difference between Biomimicry and Bio-Inspired.

(Image Source: WorldChanging article Lecture Notes: Biomimicry in Architecture)

Research Completed:

– Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus

– Introduction to Biomimicry Online Course from Biomimicry 3.8

What is up next:

Biomimicry in Architecture by Michael Pawlyn

The Sand Dollar and the Slide Rule: Drawing Blueprints from Nature by Delta Willis



Websites & Blogs:



Inhabitat Biomimicry Post Category

Fast Company & Fast Co.Exist articles on Biomimicry


– Janine Benyus at TED

– Michael Pawlyn at TED

Half way through a culture change?

May 16, 2012

Energy Star, the US Green Building Council and the Congress for the New Urbanism, all influential organizations in the sustainability of the built environment are celebrating their ~20th birthday this year!  At first glance one may just say its a coincidence but when you factor that most cultural changes take 40 years to fully take hold, maybe there is something deeper here.  Could we be half-way towards shifting to a sustainable economy based off clean energy, effective transportation and walkable communities?  Check back here in 20 years to know if the prediction has come true…

(They all formed just a year or so after the first Rio Summit in 1992 which gave birth to the Kyoto Protocol)

Central Park over Miami

July 30, 2011

Ever wonder just how big Central Park is? (843 Acres, .5 miles by 2.5 miles)  If only Miami had a Central Park it would cover nearly all of Brickell and Downtown!  Bayfront Park which would be considered our marque park is 61 acres.

Valuable Journals

March 30, 2011

I just recently stumbled upon the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal.  I would like them to add a scope to encompass environmental regeneration as well but its current body of work (since ’07) still looks to be a valuable read.

The Journal of Green Building is another I found last fall which has great industry articles and research.