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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Glass Boxes with Sky Gardens

Kieran Timberlake recently won the competition for the new American embassy in London. The design is a glass box with a high tech shading screen and a cut out for sky garden.

I like the design and it reminds me of a project I worked on at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: One George Street in Singapore.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The First Anniversary

It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for a year now. All of this started with a modest post letting the world know that I bought a new TV. Actually the blog was intended for friends and family in the U.S. to see what we were up to. I started my own blog because I didn't want to use Facebook; I want my own space and some control over the format; after all I am an architect. But just for fun, let's compare Facebook with my blog. Facebook gets over 260 billion page views a month, while my blog generated 5,633 page views in this past year.

Roughly halfway into the first year, I set up an AdSense account which placed a few automatically generated ads on the right side of my blog. I was just curious whether my blog will miraculously make some money for my 529 accounts. On this anniversary, the result of the experiment is actually pretty funny. I have a total estimated earning of US$0.39. Therefore, I am going to take the ads off. I better stick to my day job.

While my blog doesn't rank anywhere in terms of page view, it is not a blog with an audience of one, at least not yet. I do have a cult (sounds much better than "small") following. While my blog is not their home pages, I want to thank them for checking in regularly. These dedicated fans are enough for me to continue.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy New Year

For Chinese New Year, we did some cleaning, bought some flowers, and put out some holiday decorations.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mon Goûter: Sadaharu Aoki

Sadaharu Aoki has opened a shop in the basement of Bellavita. Needless to say I am extremely happy about it. Unlike Robu's Salon a few flights above, Aoki's shop is not an enclosed space, rather it is part of a large food court. The shop is in three parts: a large L-shaped glass enclosed counter for pastries such as macarons, chocarons, eclairs, and cakes; an open area for baked goods; and a back area with a few tables and chairs with table service. Since the back area is small and people tend to linger, it is hard to get a table to sit down. And unfortunately, despite the abundance of space, Bellavita doesn't really have places to sit down either. Therefore, I find the easiest thing to do is to just buy the pastries and go home to enjoy them with some coffee.

Aoki's packaging is really beautiful: white square box with curved planes and an elegant typography.

For our goûters Maria got an éclair and I had the matcha millefeuille.

It was delicious.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Paper and Plastic

Muji is one of my favorite places to shop. I have always liked Muji's idea about minimalism in design, no-brand name, and an avoidance of waste.

However, the other day when I made a purchase at Muji, I was handed a paper shopping bag inside a plastic shopping bag. This was because it was raining heavily outside and Muji didn't want the paper bag to be wet. I appreciated Muji's care, but I thought it was a bit wasteful.

While the answer to the age old question of paper or plastic may still be unsettled, it should definitely not be both.