By my lights, the Musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, on the left bank of the Seine not far from the Eiffel Tower, is a nearly perfect museum. More commonly referred to simply as “the quai Branly,” it is a sprawling celebration of ethnographic objects and the people and cultures who made them. Designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum is exuberant, overwhelming, almost intentionally chaotic, and a compelling case study in how architecture and exhibits can be mutually... Read More
I spent a week in April in Paris with my family, marveling anew at how profound the cultural differences are between even our two highly globalized and westernized societies. There’s the food, of course, and not just fine dining, which we didn’t indulge in; or the rotating roster of neighborhood street markets, for which the Mairie de Paris – city hall – provides set up and knockdown of the vendor stalls as a basic service; or even the topnotch bakeries on every corner. What was more... Read More
I had cataract surgery a month or so ago. After removing the cataracts in my left eye the ophthalmologist inserted a lens – an intraocular implant – to correct my vision. I have been profoundly nearsighted since I was about five years old; my mother used to say that she knew we had a problem when I couldn’t read the flavors on the menu board at an ice cream stand. Now I’m wearing glasses with only one lens, and I’m learning to see again.
The change has been truly transformational.... Read More
Last weekend, with my wife Lisa and our 13 year old son Sam, I joined the Boston Women’s March for America. Saturday morning dawned cold, wet and grey. We bundled up, packed water bottles and power bars, and carried our homemade sign to the subway near our home. The station was crowded and the platform was jammed. A genial transit policeman had locked open the gates and was waving people through. Nearly everyone, it seemed – men, women and children alike – was wearing a floppy-eared pink... Read More
We began a new project in December with our friends from the landscape architecture firm Studio Outside, master planning for the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens. The existing gardens are located on the University’s South Campus, which houses the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, and they are scattered across the site: formal perennial beds in front of college buildings, pocket-sized ornamental plantings, color trial gardens alongside athletic practice fields: here a... Read More