Category Archives: Asheville | Designing Our Future

Hotel Design | Placemaking for Locals

In discussing our changing downtown conversations, as we often do, always lead to the hotels and whether or not development is pushing locals out. Is there a way to accommodate both tourists and locals and is our current development doing that? While that is a challenging question, here are some interesting articles from hoteliers looking at that issue. Go here for Metropolis Magazine. Here. Also, here and here. Note that most of these articles are from the Hotels perspective creating and adding experiences to bring locals and doesn’t necessarily address the bigger urban planning aspect of what residents need downtown for living and working.

Sunday Morning Modern

Great Architecture Can Heal | Pour yourself some coffee and enjoy this 16 minute Ted Talk with Architect Michael Murphy on how both architecture and the building process can be transformative. My favorite line is, “Architecture should invest in the dignity of the places it serves.” Enjoy the talk here and have a sweet Sunday. Cheers!

Incorporating Plants on Buildings

We would love to see some of this thought brought to life in our downtown buildings and elsewhere as part of the beautiful natural environment in which we live. I had always imagined the BB&T building simply being re-skinned and areas recessed to incorporate plants reflecting a greener and more thoughtful future for our downtown. Either way, please enjoy this article from our daily dezeen feed and have a fun holiday weekend. Cheers!

Bjarke on Abstract | Art of Design

bjarke-ingels-netflix-abstract-706x369Kelly and I have been watching the series Abstract on Netflix – a refreshing documentary on design. We were both inspired by this episode on Architect Bjarke Ingels. Here is a synopsis on deZeen. We hope you will watch it. Cheers!

Design for Progress

From Sight Unseen | Here’s One Thing We Can Do Today to Help Enact Change

Hi Folks! Check this out from Sight Unseen, “Though we don’t typically use this space for anything political or even particularly personal, we woke this week, as so many did, with a heavy heart and an urge to do something that matters. At the heart of it, Sight Unseen has always been about providing inspiration and creating a platform for unheard voices. Today, we plan to use that platform for a different cause. Starting now, we are launching a fundraiser called Design for Progress. Voting with our ballots didn’t work, so we’re going to vote with our wallets, providing assistance to causes that will almost certainly be under attack under America’s new administration. We hope you’ll join us.screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-6-37-09-am

On, we’ve created a fundraiser to benefit to some of the organizations we feel are doing important work to protect groups and issues in need of the most support after this election: Planned Parenthood, Everytown for Gun Safety, the ACLU,the Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign, EarthJustice, and the National Immigration Law Center. To anyone feeling powerless, marginalized, scared, or angry today, this is one small thing we can all do to help.”

Designing Our Future 016 | Designing for Tourism

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-3-49-04-amThank you Jack Thompson of the Preservation Society for sending out this article from The Post and Courier. It is a good little read to reflect on cities that struggle under a tremendous growth of tourism and worth considering given our own growth. For the full article go here. Cheers!toursim“Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, however, recognizes the importance of keeping a diverse mix of residential, business and tourist uses on the peninsula. Earlier this year he proposed that the city hold off for a while on approving new hotels while the city assesses the situation. More and more are being built on the peninsula to take advantage of Charleston’s popularity as a tourist destination.”

Designing Our Future | The Missing Middle

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 7.06.01 AMYesterday, following a closing on a property for one of our investor clients {YEAH!} Kelly and I attended a meeting with AIA Asheville and a member of our city’s planning department on the movement towards changing our zoning to allow more density and housing types in some of our neighborhoods. If interested the presentation can be seen HERE. The city is looking for your input so, also, go HERE and take the survey following. This is your chance to help influence the future of your community. Cheers!

Asheville Infill Housing Survey

thumb_AVL_City_Logo_-_long-589d8974-4de0-4c81-937e-45781366ada8The City of Asheville’s Planning Department is exploring options for removing barriers and allowing for more small-scale residential infill housing types. They are looking for your input so go HERE and take the survey. This is your chance to influence the future of your community. Cheers!ss-1

Designing Our Future | 014

A Regionally Inspired Parking Garage

masstimber1As always, we believe we could be far more innovative in designing and constructing a living and sustainable downtown. I came across this little story on NPR and just wanted to share it as inspiration from the Northwest. Here is a snippet, “Employing a unique engineered wood product only recently produced by Oregon mills, a UO student team has won an Honorable Mention in a competition hosted by the American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region.dt.common.streams.StreamServer

The students in Professors Judith Sheine and Mark Donofrio’s spring studio designed a parking structure using Oregon’s newest structural wood product—cross-laminated timber, or CLT—an exceptional accomplishment in architectural education and design practice.” Go here for the rest.

Wouldn’t it be great to see some of our own designers be able to participate, use regional inspiration and resources, in the design and construction of our downtown buildings and community. Cheers!

Designing Our Future | 012

A Rich Life with Less Stuff | The Minimalists | This video just popped up on our YouTube Channel. I don’t know how I have missed this one. It hits home for many of us who moved to Asheville having left corporate jobs elsewhere. Kelly, Chett and myself all left high income careersScreen Shot 2016-04-07 at 4.38.13 PM to move to Asheville with the purpose of living differently and selling most of our possessions in the process. Why would a couple leave a sprawling home in Los Angeles with their teenage daughter to move into a small bungalow in the mountains with one bathroom. Obviously, to connect to themselves, family and community in richer ways they couldn’t do having a lifestyle elsewhere. Why do I live in 600 sqft with empty closet shelves? Simply put it allows me choices to do other 425a41c223d13d7cb1b5fb5d068f7553things. Would we rather dust another room or take a drive on the Parkway? Or have the freedom to create a business we are passionate about? “Less is More” is a modernist concept in design from almost 100 years ago. Today, it is a growing modern lifestyle.

And how many of us have cleared out a family member’s home who hasn’t wondered, “What am I going to do with all this stuff?”

Enjoy this 15 minute video. Cheers from us!

Designing Our Future | 011

maxresdefaultThanks to Kelly for sending me this video. There are some really beautiful points within this that offer us good perspective of the development of our own beloved Asheville. It is worth the fourteen minutes to watch.

What Makes a City Attractive? Try These 6 Points. Challenging the notion that beauty is subjective, Alain de Botton has made a case for attractive cities, believing that a city’s beauty is key to its success and citizens’ quality of life. The Swiss philosopher, author and founder of London’s The School of Life believes that attractiveness is the primary reason why many choose to vacation to Paris, and not Frankfurt.

“We think beauty is subjective, and so no one should say anything about it,” says Botton. “It’s a very understandable qualm, but it’s also horribly useful to greedy property developers.”

So, what makes a city attractive? Find out Botton’s six points for beautiful cities. Watch the video here. Cheers!attractive-Buffalo

Designing Our Future #10 | A Place for Artists

What could a property boom mean for our creative scene?  I recently
read the below article from the Portland Monthly — my old stomping grounds. I often refer to Asheville as a mini-Portland given the similar cultural vibe which made it an easy transition for me when I finally decided to land here nine years ago now. What was one of the first things I did here? I opened an art studio in the River Arts District and immersed myself in the Asheville art scene. IMG_2311The art and design scene has always had a gravitational pull and remains part of the culture of our collective Modern Asheville Real Estate office, team and community.

The below linked article discusses the issue of what happens to artists and our creative culture given times of unwavering growth. Here is a snippet ~ To many, the moment represented how Portland’s rising cost of living and booming real estate market are scattering its artists—and, in a larger sense, how a shiny, more expensive New Portland is sweeping aside the scruffier, less polished predecessor.Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 9.31.57 AM

In our office and community we love both the polish and the grit of Asheville and hope our city can strike a balance with the two as we move through unprecedented growth. Please take a moment and read the article here and reflect. What are the considerations for our city as we evolve? Cheers!