Personal Reflection on the Tragedy of April 15, 2019 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France #Paris #Fire #NotreDame #Reflection #Architecture #CarpeDiem

Reflection on the Tragedy of April 15, 2019

This week is Holy Week, when millions of Western Christians mark the death and resurrection of Jesus. Under normal circumstances, Notre Dame cathedral in Paris would have been preparing to display its holy relics to the faithful on Good Friday.

But as fire engulfed the sacred site on April 15, 2019, Catholics across the world reacted in horror and disbelief, particularly when the cathedral’s iconic spire toppled amid the flames.

For generations, Notre Dame Cathedral has been a place of pilgrimage and prayer, and, even as religion in France has declined for decades, it remained the beating heart of French Catholicism, open every day for Mass.

Source: CNN

REFLECTION

When something that is tragic like the Notre Dame Cathedral fire occurs, it is important to take time to reflect on what happened.  First, I look at this tragedy as a Christian, then as the grandson of European immigrants, and finally as an Architect.  I reflect on these recent events using three distinct but entwined lenses:

  • As a Christian, I reflect on what it means to be Christian.  Although imperfect, we are all put on Earth to accomplish great things.  Some have more than others, but we all have our crosses to bear.  As Easter approaches, for many Christians around the world who celebrate this holiest of days it is a time of reflection and hope of things to come.  As Jesus said, you are not of this world (we belong to Him).  When these events happen it also makes us aware of our fleeting earthly lives.
  • As a grandson of Europeans, I feel a strong camaraderie with my neighbors in France.  As technology helps the world shrink we are becoming global citizens.  But as someone who has spent many summers and taken many trips to Europe (probably more than 30 trips over my four decades), I feel a strong connection to what happens in Europe.  I have the same feeling in my stomach that I had when 9-11 happened in New York City.  We take for granted that these beautiful structures will always be here with us.  These events remind us that we must cross off trips that are on our bucket lists sooner rather than later.
  • As an Architect, my primary objective is to safeguard the public.  Sure, I love great design and inspiring spaces as much as the next designer.  However, being an Architect means that we must put safety above all else.  When these events occur, I cannot help but think how vulnerable we are.  As Architects we are always trying to evoke safety and security into our projects – Many times decisions are made with money more than risk aversion.  A 100% safeguard world is not possible, but I challenge my fellow Architects to consider ways that we can educate and confront our clients to ensure that all our buildings are safe.  We are all human with earthly perspectives and we are all bound to mistakes as we manage economics with safety.  Take for example, the Seton Hall student housing fires that changed safety for campus of higher educations around the country.  Can this tragedy bring some good? Perhaps as leaders in our industry we can shape the safety and preservation of our landmarks and new building projects to ensure the safety of the occupants.

Churches, castles and forts are the primary reason I chose this profession. Whenever we lose a structure of significance it is like losing a loved one. Like life itself, our art and architecture must be cherished because it is all temporary after all. Carpe Diem.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


What is the Thinking Hand in Architecture (and why we, as architects, must defend the natural slowness and diversity of experience) #ilmaBlog #Discourse #Theory #Architecture #Design

ILMA The Thinking Hand 01

2009 Book, The Thinking Hand written byArchitect Juhani Pallasmaa

In The Thinking Hand, Architect Juhani Pallasmaa reveals the miraculous potential of the human hand. He shows how the pencil in the hand of the artist or architect becomes the bridge between the imagining mind and the emerging image. The book surveys the multiple essences of the hand, its biological evolution and its role in the shaping of culture, highlighting how the hand–tool union and eye–hand–mind fusion are essential for dexterity and how ultimately the body and the senses play a crucial role in memory and creative work. Pallasmaa here continues the exploration begun in his classic work The Eyes of the Skin by further investigating the interplay of emotion and imagination, intelligence and making, theory and life, once again redefining the task of art and architecture through well-grounded human truths.

Pallasmaa notes that, “…architecture provides our most important existential icons by which we can understand both our culture and ourselves. Architecture is an art form of the eye, the hand, the head and the heart. The practice of architecture calls for the eye in the sense of requiring precise and perceptive observation. It requires the skills of the hand, which must be understood as an active instrument of processing ideas in the Heideggeran sense. As architecture is an art of constructing and physical making, its processes and origins are essential ingredients of its very expression…”

Linking art and architecture he continues, “…as today’s consumer, media and information culture increasingly manipulate the human mind through thematized environments, commercial conditioning and benumbing entertainment, art has the mission to defend the autonomy of individual experience and provide an existential ground for the human condition. One of the primary tasks of art is to safeguard the authenticity and independence of human experience.”

Pallasmaa asserts that,

“Confidence in future architecture must be based on the knowledge of its specific task; architects need to set themselves tasks that no one else knows how to imagine. Existential meanings of inhabiting space can be articulated by the art of architecture alone. Thus architecture continues to have a great human task in mediating between the world and ourselves and in providing a horizon of understanding in the human existential condition.

The task of architecture is to maintain the differentiation and hierarchical and qualitative articulation of existential space. Instead of participating in the process of further speeding up the experience of the world, architecture has to slow down experience, halt time, and defend the natural slowness and diversity of experience. Architecture must defend us against excessive exposure, noise and communication. Finally, the task of architecture is to maintain and defend silence. The duty of architecture and art is to survey ideals and new modes of perception and experience, and thus open up and widen the boundaries of our lived world.”

(Source: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+Thinking+Hand%3A+Existential+and+Embodied+Wisdom+in+Architecture-p-9780470779293)

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


The ‘Allegory of the Cave’

The Allegory of the Cave is a story from Book VII in the Greek philosopher Plato‘s masterpiece The Republic, written in 517 BCE. It is probably Plato’s best-known story, and its placement in The Republic is significant, because The Republic is the centerpiece of Plato’s philosophy, and centrally concerned with how people acquire knowledge about beauty, justice, and good. The Allegory of the Cave uses a metaphor of prisoners kept chained in the dark to explain the difficulties of reaching and sustaining a just and intellectual spirit.

The ‘Allegory Of The Cave‘ is a theory put forward by Plato, concerning human perception. Plato claimed that knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion and that, in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning.

Plato’s “The Republic Book 7” ‘On Shadows and Realities in Education

As our interaction with technology accounts for more of each day, I cannot help but wonder if our perceptions of reality will shift as a civilization. What is real and what is an illusion?

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Prototyping Future Worlds with Futurist Architect Filmmaker @Liam_Young featured on Mind & Machine Podcast with Host @AugustBradley #Technology #Art #Film #ilmaBlog

Earlier this week I heard a great podcast on Mind & Machine, hosted by August Bradley I wanted to share with you.
MIND & MACHINE: Future Technology, Futurist Ideas (Published on Apr 9, 2018)

Liam Young, Speculative Architect, Futurist, Sci-fi Shaper, Extreme Explorer, Provocateur, Technology Storyteller, who uses his design background combined with experience in crafting environments to prototype new worlds — worlds that reveal unexpected aspects of how we live today and how we will live in the future. Liam teaches speculative architecture and world building at Sci Arc, a leading architecture school. He founded Unknown Fields, a nomadic studio documenting expeditions to the ends of the earth, exploring unusual forgotten landscapes, and obsolete ecologies. And Liam has co-founded Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a futures think tank envisioning fantastic speculative urban settings of tomorrow.
Podcast version at: https://is.gd/MM_on_iTunes

More about and from Liam at:

http://www.propela.co.uk/liamyoung
MIND & MACHINE features interviews by August Bradley with leaders in transformational technologies.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/augustbradley
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mindandmachine
Website: https://www.MindAndMachine.io

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

 


My Portfolio Highlights in B&W


Better Than a Selfie

cels-004-selfiecels-003-have-funEveryone likes to take a selfie (these days).  Only thing better is when someone else takes a selfie some place you helped design and build.

What: Center for Environmental Life Sciences

Where: Montclair State University

Who: Architect ; Photographer ; Builder ; Project Manager

Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook
FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
web: Business / Personal
Licensed in CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA


A Message For My Son

Frankie Jr. and his team had a great football season (10W-2l) this year but had a devastating loss their final game.  After a very strong semi-final game where everything went right, they couldn’t catch the break they needed to win the last game. This is my message for my son and his teammates:

Winning doesn’t make you great. What makes you great is the fire inside your heart. The ability to stay focused on the ultimate prize. The tenacity to stick with it, each and every day. The desire to wake up and start fresh on your new goal. Winning is not letting defeat win. You cannot be defeated unless you give up. Quitters never win, but winners have to learn how to lose to get stronger. Let the fire in your heart burn deep. Let the pain and sorrow of a loss ignite the passion to dig deeper into your body, mind and soul. A victory is short lived but a loss makes you think long and hard during the off-season. Which will you choose? Self loathing, excuses and blame, thinking: is it time to give up? Or will you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start training to be even better and stronger for the next season? If it is raining or snowing outside and you know your competition is inside having hot cocoa and playing video games, will you join them? Or will you be working on your mental game, working on building a stronger body, making yourself quicker and more agile, learning new plays and studying video of your heroes training and competing. What am I going to do today to help me win tomorrow? Every day you must choose an action, however small or insignificant it may seem, to build towards your ultimate goal on and off the field. Only you can choose. Take the loss and make it work for you. There will be many moments of disappointments in your life. What you decide to do with it is what makes you a winner. Take the emotion and bottle it. Use it when you think you are at the top of your game. Recall the battle that was lost. Take the feeling and ask yourself, can I throw further, can I hit harder, can I run faster? Did I leave anything on the field or did I play with my entire mind, body and soul? Did I give it my all? Battles are practice for life. Life will take you and chew you up and split you out. Are you ready to stop, rebuild, and return bigger, stronger, faster? Or will you let one single moment in life destroy you. Anyone can be a great winner when they have a great game. I want you to be winner by learning how to take a bad game, one moment of disappointment and frustration, and turn that into a little fire that burns in your heart and soul and builds and builds, stronger and stronger, creating a locomotion of desire, passion and motivation to do great things in your life. I believe in you with all my heart. Love, Daddy

 

Momma Tank, big brother, Frank the Tank, little brothers, the Sherman Tanks

  

Winning the Semi-finals. Time to Celebrate!

  

Frankie Jr.— Focused!

  

Frankie Jr.— Strong Hold

  

Frankie Jr.— Making His Move

  

We Are Family — Your Biggest Fans!!!

  

Little Tanks — Your Biggest Fans!!!

  

Little Tanks — Your Biggest Fans!!!

  

Wallkill vs High Point – Finals

  

Frankie Jr.— Making His Move

  

Wallkill vs High Point – Finals

  

Little Tanks — Your Biggest Fans!!!

  

Wallkill vs High Point – Finals

  

Wallkill vs High Point – Finals

  

Wallkill vs High Point – Finals

  

Wallkill vs High Point – Finals

  

We Are Family — Your Biggest Fans!!!

 

Photos by FRANK CUNHA III (2015)

Media: Nikon D90 DSLR

Post Edits: iPhoto, Instagram