Category Archives: Asheville | Designing Our Future

Designing Our Future | 010

Less Charlotte | More Copenhagen

As a designer, realtor and resident of Asheville I have had fantasies that the development of our city was influenced by more European lifestyle models, as opposed to, American ones.
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I’m not alone in this thinking given multiple conversations with business partners, friends and neighbors. I’m particularly drawn to the design, cultural and sustainable influences of Scandinavian countries. Many times I’ve attempted to capture these thoughts over the years, but recently found these articles by Build LLC out of Seattle that seem to pick up on the spirit behind these thoughts.

“The principles that the Danes operate with and the philosophy that they exude seem to make for an ideal environment — a deliberate environment. What we learned about life and design while living in Scandinavia influences every house we design and every dinner party we throw”

As you read through these two articles, Studies, Scandinavia & Schnapps & 10 Things We Learned in Scandinaviathink about how it could apply to both the environment, culture and spirit of the city we love and the evolution into our shared future. How do you want to live and what do you want us to become? Proost!BUILD-051-500x375

 

Designing Our Future

The Effect of Boomtowns on the Creative CultureScreen Shot 2015-12-16 at 12.09.47 PM

I read this article recently and couldn’t help but consider this for our own town of Asheville. I don’t feel it is necessary to say anything further, but simply suggest you read this article on Austin, Texas. Cheers!

1-26 Connector Information

We attended the update on the I-26 Connector this evening. Overall, it was a very informative and well run presentation starting with a video overview, detailed exhibits and endless people to answer questions. We were able to talk with both NCDOT folks along with those from the Asheville Design Center. If you didn’t get to attend you can go to this link for more information. IMG_2747

Just like with Duke {which made me so proud of our community} it is your opportunity to get involved and make your opinion known. Do it!

The Legacy of Palm Spring’s Mid-Century Modern

gettyimages-2668264edit_custom-4bf1bc442251fdb7d1312bbb81b78bc10d8601df-s800-c85We’ve often discussed how architecture plays a key role in creating vibrant cities for both its residents and for visitors. Here is a nice article by Matt Guilhem of NPR on Palm Springs and their efforts to preserve and grow their mid-century and modern architectural heritage creating a cool context for multiple generations to thrive. Enjoy!

Designing Our Future | Architecture At Home In It’s Community

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 2.27.20 PMContinuing on this series inspired by the new construction going on in Asheville, I’m posting a new seven minute video I watched today from an architect working in Africa and how he draws from the surrounding community to create designs for new public buildings. Please watch or click on link if it doesn’t show.

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/xavier_vilalta_architecture_at_home_in_its_community.html

As a designer, realtor and resident of Asheville I’m conscious of the changes occurring with our built environment. Kelly, myself and our chosen families frequently witness discussions by both designers and citizens regarding the new hotels, apartments and commercial structures that are stamped out and replicated here identical to other cities. What do these new constructions say about Asheville that is different than Charlotte or Tampa as examples?Asheville Bad Comp

We moved here because Asheville is incredibly rich in geography, history, spirituality, creative talent, environmental consciousness and an independent desire to do things differently. I wonder what our buildings could be doing that help steward our town into its own future inspired by what is here and what is important to our community today and for the future. Think about it. Cheers!

DWELL | Akira Satake

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 7.52.56 AMAsheville has been represented in DWELL a few times of late. Today, in this look at design across the states, Akira’s hand-crafted bowls were featured. But don’t just stop there — take the full tour as a good overview and reminder of what good design brings to our lives. Cheers!

Designing Our Future | How to Make an Attractive City

I came across this video this morning and wanted to share it. While it makes some good points I don’t necessarily agree with everything Alain says here. I appreciate the overall thinking and would love for us to follow a more European model with our urban growth.

His sixth point does hit home to me as we watch most of our newest construction coming from outside influences bringing corporate brands to Asheville blurring our unique identity. My question for us as a community is how can we accommodate this important growth while constructing buildings that are filtered by the values of Asheville itself? What is important to us? How do we maintain our own sense of place that has attracted us all to live and travel here? Think about it. Cheers! Troy

Designing Our Future | With Porches and Parks

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.09.23 AMHi Folks. Here is a short audio segment {5 1/2 minutes} from NPR’s “All Things Considered” Cities Project capturing the planning behind a community outside Austin. The community is designed to be convivial, walkable and energy-efficient. Click here to read the article and listen to the podcast.

As I listened to this I considered and compared it to some of our newer communities such as Reynolds Mountain or Biltmore Park. What could we do to add more community and cultural value to new growth and rediscovered neighborhoods? Can we make use of these opportunities to make growth less painful? Last, can we as a community get involved and influence our future? Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.09.36 AM

Designing Our Future | Food for Thought

Typically, my brain likes to keep itself busy looking at issues from many angles. This includes development and the built environment. As I consider Asheville, it is easy for me to consider things like architecture, transportation, culture, usage and development. Admittedly, here is something I hadn’t considered — food.

Before agriculture, permanent settlements did not and could not exist. Architect Carolyn Steel discusses how food has shaped the cities we live in, urging watchers to realize that our world is made from what we eat. Estimating that the population of cities will double by 2050, she frames food as a powerful tool to positively shape our future urban environments.
Asheville seems to be doing better at this than most cities with its variety of market options inclusive of community and developing urban farms. I simply share this video to bring this thinking into my own and other people’s consciousness and, also, as another layer to stewarding our developing town in a sustainable and enriching way for those of us who live here. Obviously, there are already many folks thinking about it here. Cheers to them!

Troy

Designing Our Future

f8268275eb31b2f256a8e2363772c394Building a Legacy for the Future

In continuing this series I was thinking about my childhood hometown of Columbus, Indiana. One man inspired a legacy of quality design in Columbus which has amassed to over 60 notable buildings for a town of 44,000. In searching for an overview to share with you I found this 12 minute NPR podcast from the “Destination Art” series on Weekend Edition. If you have some time it is worth a listen. There are some nice points made on both architecture and community. Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 8.14.37 PM

J. I. Miller, the visionary behind Columbus, Indiana’s architectural legacy states “mediocrity is expensive”.  Today, my hometown continues his legacy without him and this small, conservative town in the mid-west continues to reap the cultural and economic benefits whether they are all aware or not. What they build — matters. Unlike Columbus, Asheville doesn’t need to take the path of hiring international architects to create a legacy. We have the resources, inspiration and talent to literally design our own future based on the cultural values of Asheville and it’s citizens today. Cheers! Troy

Designing Our Future | Promiscuous Hybrids

Promiscuous Hybrids

I’m kicking off a new series of posts inspired by the new construction in Asheville. Being both a designer and realtor I’m hyper-conscious of the changes occurring with our built environment. Kelly, myself and our chosen families witness discussions by both designers and citizens regarding the new hotels, apartments and commercial structures that are stamped out and replicated here along with other cities. What do these new constructions say about Asheville that is different than…say…Charlotte, Milwaukee or Tampa?Asheville Bad Comp

We have a unique past, including architecture, that is part of our cultural fabric and economic draw to the area. Furthermore, we are here because Asheville is incredibly rich in geography, history, spirituality, creative talent, environmental consciousness and an independent desire to do things differently and want a different life. Change is a given. I welcome the business and what it affords both my intimate circle and the community I love. However, I find myself wondering what our buildings could be doing that help steward our town into its own unique future inspired by what is here and the vision of our local talent? What life, culture, brand and future do WE want for ourselves decades from now?

Yes, I’m a bit of a dreamer and I don’t know all the complexities {yet} that create these results. However, for me and others, Asheville has the resources to lead the way for something new. I simply ask the questions — are we missing an opportunity? Could we do things differently and what would that look like? For the moment, I leave you with this video as an opportunity to step outside the box we know and offer a different vision of architecture within a particular community. Please enjoy! Troy