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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Isn't it bliss? Don't you approve?

The farce known as Portland "urban renewal" continues this week with -- I am not making this up -- an "eco-charrette" on this goofball project. They were supposed to build affordable housing somewhere around there, I hear, but apparently that was just a lie made up to get a condo tower or two built.

If you attend the "eco-charrette," please! Go by streetcar. And don't forget to leave your ties to reality at home.

Comments (19)

I guess the term "brainstorming session" is not hoity-toity enough for the creative class.

I guess the term "brainstorming session" is not hoity-toity enough for the creative class.

You are not supposed to use that term any more. Its insensitive to those of lesser intelligence. The accepted PC phrase is now "thought showers".

Go here and get certified.


National Charrette Institute

What the heck, is this Charrrette central?


Participants find the NCI Certificate Training More Relevant Than Ever
March 24th, 2009 by Heidi Haberbush · No s

Training participants came to Portland last week from locations around the world including: British Columbia, Florida, California, Tennessee, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, Mexico.

Now is the time to learn something new. Increase your competitive advantage by adding a NCI certificate to your credentials. Raise your proposal success rate by using the NCI Charrette System™ approach in your proposals. Join the others who have come to Portland from across the country and abroad to get your NCI certificates at the next training near you.

Sustainability reminds me so much of the late 1980s and early 1990s fascination with Japanese manufacturing (e.g., just-in-time, etc.).

1. Each practice is a "good idea."
2. Each practice requires substantial up-front expenditures.
3. Eventually everyone adopts the practice.

One major difference is that sustainability seems to demand massive amounts of public resources to "work."

In addition, because of (3), soon there will be nothing special about Portland's obsession with sustainability because everyone will be doing it. It's like spending millions of dollars teaching everyone how to make pet rocks.

and not just a sustainable building, but "ultra-sustainable".


and of course, it's not really a charrette--it's a marketing event. sometimes I go just to raise my hand and say "why can't we do without this building?"--and then watch the uncomfortable coughing and seat-shifting.

What the hell is an eco-charette? Does it involve invasive procedures or puncturing of the skin?

So, where did the term "charrette" come from? It brings unpleasant connotations to mind for me - Charon, the guy who rows the dead across the river Styx . . . "char" as in burning (or, in this case, what sounds like a miniature burning, complete with charcoal or briquettes).

When programs have names that the general, English-speaking public has trouble making head or tail of, imagine how incomprehensible they must be to anyone for whom English is a second language.

Not exactly accessible.

OK, Wikipedia sez this:

"Thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 19th century, the word charrette is from the French for 'cart' or 'chariot.' It was not unknown for student architects to continue working furiously, at the last minute, on the illustrations for their design presentations, even while riding in the school cart ('en charrette') through the streets of Paris en route to submit the projects to their professors.[1] Hence, the term metamorphosed into the current design-related usage in conjunction with working right up until a deadline.

"Historically, the term charrette also has been applied to the cart or tumbril used to carry the condemned to the guillotine."

Gee only a $1000/sqft (probably) to build sustainable buildings.

"Gerding Edlen-led team"
Oops, sorry $1500/sqft. At least Homer had the decency to disappear to LAX.

Nice when you can spend OPM (other people's money) with no accountability.

To the extent that the charrette industry is bringing people to Portland from other places for training and certification, I approve, After all, it's a green activity and brings green dollars to town. When it comes to having charrettes here to plan, well, that's another story. The green dollars being brought in are probably just a drop in the bucket compared to the tax dollars which will be devoted to building the Green Edifice.

I hope this group will at least help design a building that is not just unique but has style and elegance. Something we can nickname, like The Gherkin in London. Also, please design and build something everyone in Oregon will treasure, not just a spec building for designers and planners to ooh and aah over. And please don't give short shrift to palette. No more browns, grays, and ochers. If you don't know what I'm talking about, visit The Pearl District on a gray and rainy day. So dreary and uninspired.

As for the term "eco-charrette" it sounds to me like something hemp-filled for smokers who aspire to be green.

Don't be such grinches. The coffee and pastries your tax dollars provide at these shindigs are the best in the whole USA. And our development mafia can sling the jargon better than anyone in the biz. That's no small accomplishment. Have some pride in Portland, fer cryin' out loud.

Checked out the site

I kept expecting a banner headline from the onion to pop out.

My brain hurts...

you probably were thinking of this story:



Yeah Ok swell.

And when it's done move Portlandia over to gaze upon it with amazement.


My head hurts.

""sometimes I go just to raise my hand and say "why can't we do without this building?""

Indeed. The greenest building is no building at all :)

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