As briefly mentioned last month through various online media, I've very happily joined the crew of matte-black-wearing rabble-rousers at Urbanscale. Having hit the ground running, in only the first few weeks, I've had to flex more GIS-related muscles than I've used in a fairly long time while climbing the many learning curves involved in programming, new workflows, software I've never played with, interactions I haven't previously designed for, and mapping a city I haven't mapped before. (On that last one: Big props to the City of Chicago for the pretty incredible amount of data made available.) Suffice it to say for now that the challenges presented are both welcome and exhilarating for two reasons: (1) with this new post I'm offered the opportunity to apply a great deal of my thinking through new (to me) technologies and venues, and (2) if the wardrobe weren't enough, it's always a pleasure to work in an office with the like-minded. Brief updates on my first project are frequently part of Urbanscale's notes as development progresses.
In other news, (while it wrapped up in the first half of the summer, I realize now there was no word on it here) the summer course at NYU's Silver school was a fantastic experience (and getting to spend a week in the Domincan Republic wasn't too bad either). In my first foray into teaching GIS data collection and analysis techniques outside of the design professions, I got a much appreciated peek into and reaffirmation of the real potential of combining spatial and social research.
Next month, Aaron Davis and I are representing PRE-Office in a keynote on the formation of an infrastructure for practice at the annual design conference of the AIA Georgia Chapter. The talk (titled "Grow[ing] Up: Slow[ing] Down") will discuss some of PRE's research into the different modes of architectural practice, calling out some of our conclusions regarding various incarnations of responsibility and sustainability, particularly through turbulent and uncertain economic cycles.
And as the air is signalling that we are well into September, with two and a half weeks left in the regular season, at the time of writing the Yankees are up 2.5 games in the AL East.