Tuesday, September 13, 2011


As an architect, sometimes
the membrane separating my “inside” reality from my “outside” reality gets dangerously thin. Especially when talking with other “like minded” architects, or architecture students. When this happens, sometimes my tendency to free-associate runs amok, confusing the hell out of those around me (because, of course, they’re only getting half of the conversation that is taking place in my mind). Why this happens I don’t know - I don’t really care (even though I have to laugh at myself for it).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Keepin' it real, yo...


For this architect, the summer’s been crazy. It began with an actual project, and it will end without one. I can’t say I’m surprised - I had a gut feeling about it. The project (a residential tower) ramped up from zero to full burn in the span of four days and cast it’s intense heat into the universe for eight weeks. Alas the intensity was unsustainable. The owner faltered pulling the plug just last week. It was like a great big hug of hurt, but without the actual fire.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A great big hug of hurt...


Or what not to do on your J4 vacation.

I've been busy since NeoCon. I had a furniture showroom project (for the event) which was completed just in time, and the party was outta' control. Close on the heels of that was Spring Fling (an industry benefit party that's held here every year). Put on by one of the bigger developers in the city, everyone gets all fancy and hangs out on the riverfront for the evening. Most go from fancy to sloppy in a few short hours : ) The beginning of Summer is such an inhibition obliterating time in Chicago. I guess it's all the Winter angst making 'em crack.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I've had some freaky ideas, but...


Recently, I said something which lodged an idea in my brain where it’s been stuck. It was half-baked idea at the time (maybe it still is). I was distracted; it was something about doing the same thing over and over, finding different results. Summer may bring
skin, firepower, and trips to the Shedd, but it also brings a glut of resum├ęs and portfolios from a fresh crop of architecture graduates seeking employment.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Show and NOT tell; In Memorium...


I’ve been AWOL. I blame a recent project I’ve been working on. Albert Einstein once said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”. I wonder what he’d call doing the same thing over and over, finding different results. I’d call it

Monday, May 9, 2011

This is a true fact...


DB: I think there are some constant definitions of truth.

Me: Truth is both provisional and contextual; for every condition of true, I bet I could find an exception proving the reverse (and not in a purely logical sense either).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where do you get your ideas?


Forever thirsty, I dream (unbearably) of a small and orderly labyrinth at whose center lay a well; my hands can almost touch it, my eyes can see it, but so bewildering and entangled are the turns that I know I’ll die before I reach it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Architecture Week - Sat...


This is Carlo Scarpa. He is cool, no? Of course he is (er was, because he’s dead now), but the real question’s why was he cool?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Architecture Week - Fri...


“So what do you need, besides a miracle?”

“Seeds. Lot’s of seeds.”

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Architecture Week - Thu...


Prompted by some great comments from Tuesday’s installment. I thought it’d be fun to linger a bit and showcase fictional architecture. You know. The kind of stuff that exists only in the illustrator’s/architect’s mind vast territory of madness. Illustrations of architecture that could be real, but aren’t; except as depictions of a space, a place, or an object.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Architecture Week - Wed...


Wednesday is day three of Architecture Week. Are you sick of it yet?!? Me neither.

Today’s installment of the obscure, infamous, or interesting is Spaceport America in New Mexico. This project is the product of collaboration between Virgin Galactic, Foster+Partners, SMPC Architects, and URS Corporation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Architecture Week - Tue...


Obscure and marginalized, Lebbeus Woods isn’t so much non-famous as infamous, and interesting. By my experience he’s either detested or loved (depending upon who one asks). While they are certainly brutal, I like his drawings and diagrams; I think they’re freakin’ sweet.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Architecture Week - Mon...

ark 3.0-composite-site-n1-overall1
There are soo many fabricated weeks on the calendar and this week just so happens to be architecture week. Yay! In the spirit of fabricated importance I’m going to try and present one interesting and obscure project per day, for the week.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Do it yourself...

Ahhh, the mantra of ultimate personal action.

I love that phrase because it’s a scalpel; it’s Phaedrus’ knife. It precisely divides one’s desire for something from one’s willingness to invest in it’s production. Everyone knows that an investment of this sort is commonly made with one’s own blood, sweat, and tears hands. Sometimes it also requires some money and resources, depending upon one’s skill level.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Keep moving...

I walk.

Just, walk. Moving from the point where I entered this existence to the point where I’ll exit. Like many I’m intimately familiar with my own start point, and know nothing of my own endpoint; not the when, the where, nor my proximity to either. Common sense demonstrates the endpoint to be in flux, undetermined, and inevitable.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

"You ready," she asks?


Nodding, I close my eyes to focus on relaxing my arm. A needle finds it’s way into a vein on the back of my hand. I could’ve had a port installed. But in my chest!?! Nooo thank you! Between pain and the possibility of an infection that close to my core, I’ll take pain any day.

“Here goes,” she says opening the drip valve.

I feel a cold burn creep into my vein and up my forearm, followed almost instantly by the “taste-slash-smell” of the chemo entering my bloodstream. It smarts a bit so the nurse slows the drip and the sting subsides. I can hear the incessant bleeping of some daytime talk show. It sort of pisses me off, but since they’re in this room, whoever’s watching it probably needs the distraction. So I just sit silent, eyes closed, focusing on the pulsing sound of the IV pump.

burn this moment

Hours later the side effects kick in. Lasting about a week, and ranging from a glowing (though chemically induced) sun tan, to incessant bodily pain, to weird mind things that are difficult to describe. This will be my bi-weekly ritual for the next six months.

suffer this moment

When it all feels insufferable I close my eyes, focus upon some latent detail in the environment, and center. Always with the thought, “Live this moment.” Sometimes issued as a battle cry, shouted in defiance; other times as a directive, like a quiet statement of fact. However it’s delivered, it’s the best advice ever.

focus on this moment

That was ten years ago, this month. In retrospect, the whole experience was one wild ride!

For me design’s a lot like that; tuning latent details to transform complex inputs, into coherent streams of consciousness. Streams that when focussed, produce spaces that both sustain, and are sustained by, living.

don’t speak this moment

The object of focus need not be of lofty purpose; It may just be pragmatic and simple. Either way, the fewer the words required for someone to “get” it, the better the “it” is.

These words may already be too many. Whatever ride you’re on, make it wild. Live this moment.

There’s a roster of #letsblogoff posts below that lists other participants. Go read their stuff too.
Don’t forget to leave a comment.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Sounds of madness...

cathedral scan image

The vast territory of madness in my mind that I inhabit is a freakish and scary wondrous place. I can assemble visual representations of it in minutes (it’s not difficult).

Monday, February 28, 2011

Legacy is...


Walking amongst phantoms, feeling their vaporous touch and sensing their ghostly vectors.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Show and NOT tell; Erosion...


Sometimes I find images that are so freakin’ sweet it hurts. Then I’m overcome by a creeping terror as I realize what the images are actually depicting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The truth jurts, but not THAT much...


I’m sitting in the Argo Tea on Belmont satellite office rehashing old thoughts when I have an epiphany. Time to accept it. Time to step out of the fog of shame and confess.

I’m an architect...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



I awoke today with a mission. Update the optical media archive housing all of the projects I’ve ever worked on. “It’s been awhile”, I think to myself pondering the stacks of CD’s and DVD’s that’ve been accumulating for the past four years nine months on my desk (owning and operating your own business takes a lot of time, OK)!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mapping memory...


i've been here before. each time finding something new, but not different. i wonder

am i lost?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Show and NOT tell...

massaud manned cloud 1

Helium airships, gotta love ‘em. This one, dubbed Manned Cloud is designed by Jean-Marie Massaud.

Airships in general appeal to my zen sensibilities representing the least contrived form of human technology that I know. I could explain why (there’d be lots of words about internal versus external state change, environmental harmony, “treading lightly”, and the
Prime Directive), but for now I’ll leave that for another day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011



For a northern city like Chicago the snowfall this morning was respectable, though not the worst I’ve ever seen. Fortunately I awoke in my condo cozy and warm thanks to the steam radiator system. I only say I was fortunate because some people woke up in their cars, still strung out on Lake Shore Drive LSD from the night before (it’s a terrible drug, really). And so my day began:

Sunday, January 30, 2011



Curious?!? Good!

Who I am is Izzy Darlow. Where I am is irrelevant. What I do is anything I can muster the will
to do, and what I believe is likely to emerge from reading the entries populating this web-space. You can trust that I am human and that, is about it.