Green Design Jim

Inspiring local architecture

Inspiring local architecture

Bruce Goff (1904-1982) - was responsible for some of the most iconoclastic architectural designs of the mid-twentieth century.  Masterpiece in Los Angeles—and his last project— is the Japanese Pavilion at LACMA and the Al Struckus house in Woodland Hills just amaze me. I which I could even come close to his imaginative ideas. They inspire me to think of space and volume in whole new ways. No detail is left for others. Totality is realized.


I grew up in laurel canyon in the Hollywood hills in Los Angeles during the 1950’s and 60s. I lived on Wonderland Park Ave. on my street lived Jerry Brown, Governor, with Linda Ronstadt. His neighbor was Dr. Tim Leary. The     people who designed Disneyland lived there. We were the first integrated neighborhood in California. We were all just people, no defined color issues. My neighbor ran the Renaissance Fair, antiwar and women lib movements to freedom. I was just a kid. Our homes were mostly a Mid-Century designed neighborhood with the new look of the 50’s. Our neighbors had Craig ELWOOD AND Koenig homes.  Garrett Eckbo designed Jerrys home gardens. Music of all types was everywhere. I think living in this environment affected me more than I will ever know. The kids from the canyon in most part ended up with careers of self-employment with their own firms. Many became artist of all kinds. Maybe me, also. Architecture of a community has a lasting impact on one’s life. Work to make your impactful.


My father-in-law bought a house in Topanga canyon. When I saw it I was very excited. Every inch of space, material and nature was enriching. It reminded me of Falling water by Frank Lloyd Wright which I had visited and was just blown away by. I ask my boss; Robert Marks, architect; if he knew the house. It was his best friends design and construction, earl weir. I had a strong connection to the home in many ways. Hanging out watching all the lines of the construction, the branches of the Oaks, the flow of the water way, nature all felt so relaxing and comforting. You could be one with the world whether you were in or out of the stone, concrete, redwood, and glass structure. I know where the inspiration had come from and who that person was.


I was the best man in Michael Gardner, structural engineer’s, wedding. The Place was the Wayfarers Chapel a Christian church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California designed by Lloyd Wright set in a redwood Forrest over the ocean on a very steep hillside. Walking around what some call the Trinity Chapel or "The Glass Church" and its grounds feels organic, soulful, peaceful, and energies me to be a better person. This is what architecture and nature are supposed to do. it turns out that my Mentor, Robert Marks Architect, was the site superintendent on this project. My world keeps getting smaller.

GreenWave Blog 3/8/23 Zoos, Aquariums, Museums

GreenWave Blog 3/8/23 Zoos, Aquariums, Museums

Join the group and you will meet new contacts who also want to clean, green and sustain Earth.

As in the past I will just pot light some key comments. If you want more information go to

  • Look outside of your fence – what opportunities are beyond?
  • You and your community is what can define your project
  • Create the culture – the Green Team
  • Connect personal and business action all toward sustainability
  • Each step, each breath, counts 0 walk the talk
  • Share and post your found information – news letters
  • Each department needs to join the team
  • Staff participation – build the culture - collaboration
  • Be proactive – be the leader
  • Visions, goals, create the learning environment
  • Do the deep dive – all things zero waste
  • Always follow up – make it happen as planned with your vision and goals
  • Analyze the results – make changes where needed – keep moving forward
  • Be ambitious – definitions and facts do count
  • Re-use – re-purpose
  • Integrate city, community systems with your project
  • Shrink your environmental footprint – go NZC carbon neutral
  • Use comprehensive strategies – value engineer -  what was the base line, then go with the vision
  • Find your local resources
  • Living systems – eco-systems- form does follow function – allocation of the strategic action vision
  • Plan for 12-24 months out, not future – change is happening too fast
  • Engage, have fun, relationships count – invest in your resources

These comments come from about 10 different teams working toward sustainability all from the key people running sustainability programs from all over the USA on the GreenWave conference zoom meeting 3/8/23 on Zoos, Aquariums, and Museums.

Reflections on the Art of Living – A Joseph Campbell Companion

Reflections on the Art of Living – A Joseph Campbell Companion

I have read some of Campbell’s other books. I bought this one because I thought a friend recommended it. Turns out he mentioned a similar named author.


As an Architect I am always looking to see what I really see. In the end, I am just who I am, it is a privilege of a lifetime being who I am. I will share some of the books comments, using my interpretations. It helps staying focused on being me!


  • If you are ready for it, the doors will open for you where there were no doors before. You must have the courage. Think of the Wizard of Oz. Oz is the friend I was talking about, it is a call to adventure.
  • The gates will often close fast. Be brave and move into a field of your future.
  • With one little hook, you can teach and introduce your message to the people. Your message is your art!
  • The realization, the final thing is knowing, loving, and serving life in a way in which you are eternally at rest.
  • Freedom to pass back and forth across the world --- is the talent of the masters. (Nietzsche)
  • You set new responsibilities in life as new conditions to live by. The renunciation is literally a death and a resurrection.
  • The outer world is tied to sensation, thinking, feeling, and intuition. (Carl Jung) These provide us the ability to estimate the possibilities inherent in the object or its situation. There is an intentional limitation in order to go in a direction, in getting there. Each of us has individual capacities.
  • Decide to be imperfect. Joyful participation in the world. Do not give up your vices. Make your vices work for you. Life is a spiritual quest.
  • It is useful to strive for perfection and precision in everything. As in poetry, heighten your power of expression. The simplest objects stand out in mysterious beauty. The silence holds the secret of temporal existence. Experience the moment in and out of the home. Instill into the nation.
  • The question was about the laws of space. They are known to the mind for they are of the mind. (Kant) The outer and inner space are the same.
  • The inward joy inspires you to realization. The childhood meditation is a systematic discipline that will solve your problems. Find the systems that is blocking you. This is the “knowing” part of: “To know, to love, to serve.” (Joyce)
  • The journey to the new life is the free fall into a future that is mysterious and fluid. The first law is that you and the other are one.
  • Find yourself again and again. Joy from the inside lets you experience your own will and your own intensions, all in your own kingdom.
  • Everything is in the moment! Create timelessness. Create great Architecture.
  • Connect with your sacred space, the Grail, the inward life.
  • If you are to advance, all fixed ideas must go! (Buddha) Find the Buddha within yourself.
  • Without changing the world, there is escape from sorrow just by shifting the perspective. We can change our attitude toward it.
  • Synergy is the behavior of the whole system, unpredicted by the behavior of the parts. (Buckminster Fuller). Synergy holds the Earth together.
  • Integritas (the wholeness of being – harmony in the placement of everything), Consonantia (rhythm of beauty including the spaces between), Claritas (Radiance – esthetic arrest) are the key, the Grail.
  • Music is nothing but Rhythm. It is really space. There is no beginning or end.
  • Your mental attitude determines whether you experience the revealing power. This is Maya! This determines what you see looking at an object.
  • The Grail is the sense of total rapture and of spiritual fulfillment.
  • The change of consciousness from stasis to kinesis is the Fall in the Garden. Release yourself from bondage.
  • When at Chartres Cathedral (outside of Paris) you experience the Rose Window, revealing the radiance. This is an expression of a spiritual insight. This structure is one at the very top of Gothic design. It is true for I have been there. The town lives around the Cathedral just like ancient cities of Greece and Rome.
  • You need to learn all the rules, get the experience and then and only then forget them. Melt back into pure action. Remember playing as a kid.
  • Form and expression are similar. One has to translate that into movement. That makes the art.
  • Art is the harmony parallel to nature. That dance is the highest symbol of life itself. Nurture your creative aspect! Give it a defined number of hours daily. Exercise your intensions. Be consistent. That is a meditation.
  • Do not design unless the stuff is really working on you. Dream it over and over again. Hold the door open for as long as you can. Then get to work.
  • Fear of God will block you. Love of God will carry you on. Chose any God for that is personal.
  • Turn it over and over again. Turn it into a work of ART! That is the duty (Dharma) of your experiences. At that point do not listen to others.
  • Perfection is the fulfillment implicit in Art. Imperfection is life. All forms in life are imperfect, but the function of art is to see the radiance through imperfection. (Thomas Mann and Joyce) The artist opens the forms of the work to transcendence.
  • The craft keeps the artist in touch with the phenomenality of the World. That is the revealing power.
  • Art talks directly to the feeling system and immediately elicits a response. Afterwards the brain may come along with comments.
  • Look for symbols everywhere. Symbols talk directly to the feeling system and immediately elicit a response. It is like a magical accord uniting symbols as one spiritual organism, functioning through members who, though separate in space, are yet one in being and belief. (Joyce)
  • One soars beyond thought into boundless space. Our bodies are one with this Earth, the oasis in the desert of infinite space. It’s the mathematics of that space, our mind, Newton’s mind, the Earths mind, and the Universe’s mind, that all comes to flower and fruit in this beautiful oasis through ourselves.


As I read many different types of books they seem to come to similar points within the realm of life philosophies. They direct. They open up thought. For me they reinforce my life’s past, current, and future choices, my free will, my Art. I am an Architect. I am here to dream and serve.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

While in the first year of Architectural School, our class was told a few time that to be a good architect, one must read the humanities. That I continue to do. Empathy is learned, turned on, and seeing through other eyes awakens it.


A friend turned me onto Joseph Conrad. My dad’s cousin was one who worked in the Congo helping the children for many years. So now I read Conrad. My dad’s cousin, Herbert Weiss, now old even told me the next book to read on the Congo. They both were born in Vienna Austria with a great education and understanding of colonialism.


A few takeaways from the book all in regard to the art of writing or the impulses to deal with the choices art provides:

  1. Know your art – how to manipulate your words, design, and events.
  2. Art is beyond all other greatness – it is a work for the Gods.
  3. Sympathetic consciousness of a common destiny – the art of fidelity to the right practice which makes great craftsmen, the call to honor, devotion to our calling, our idealism, rest firmly on Earth. Go with the spirit of adventure tied with the spirit of service. Risk is part of daily work. Create a steady fidelity to what is nearest at hand and heart. Go with the sense of immediate duty.
  4. The world of marvel contains enough marvels and mysteries. They act upon our emotions and intelligence in an enchanted state. This applies to the living and the dead in their countless multitudes.
  5. Act humbly to the conditions of art should carry a justification for every line. Art itself may be defined as a singles-minded attempt to render the highest kind of justice to the visible universe by bringing truth underlying its every aspect. It is the attempt to find in its form, in its color, in its light, in its shadows, in the aspects of matter and in the facts of life, what of each is fundamental, what is enduring and essential – their very truth of existence. The artist descends within himself to a lonely region of stress and strife, by choice, for the love of his craft. The artist appeals to that part of our being which is not independent on wisdom, to that which is a gift, therefore more enduring.
  6. All the truth of life is there: a moment of vision, a sigh, a smile - and all the return to an eternal rest.
  7. Liberty of imagination should be the most precious possession.
  8. A good artist should expect no recognition of his toils and no admiration of his genius. It is all for the promise of perfection. Let his thoughts dwell on the strength of his imagination amongst the things of this earth. Permanence of memory – “Take me out of myself – look for the light of imperishable consciousness.
  9. I am no slave to prejudices and formulas. My attitude toward subject and expression, angles of vision, method of composition will always be changing. I am free to express. I am not a slave.
  10. Approach the task at hand with the spirit of love for mankind.
  11. Use one’s abilities to as a means of conquering darkness.
  12. There is a singleness of intension, an honest concern for the right way of moving forward, a humble road ahead. It is a rule to stay out of the darkness. See everything clearly, even through the fog.
  13. Give your own personal visual perceptions a more complete autonomy. There is an intuitive response to visual sensations. What does each individual see? “A private view of reality”.
  14. The internal and external prevail at the moment of observation.
  15. One-man try’s to express his most inward impressions’. There is a chance to find oneself.
  16. The impression is the equivalent of the entire perception as man experiences it all with the powers of his being.
  17. Be liberated from the bonds and irrelevances of the purely circumstantial and go with larger ideas and attitudes.
  18. Expand moral awareness. Find the light in all our thoughts. There can be an inherent in their structure and purpose rather than just illustrative and functional. Find the origins of consciousness. Feel the events without being able to explain them.
  19. The Heart of Darkness points us toward such origins, in morality, language, and consciousness. Think of the primitive vs the civilized on all perceptions.
  20. We need to be prepared for this kind of perceiving before we arrive at our destination.
  21. There is an art to the shaping of consciousness. Self-revelations may come.
  22. Be aware of naked commercialization devoid of human concern. Be aware of the difference between fact and value. Restraint is part of the path. Locate the moral value within each experience.
  23. What we cannot embrace we reject, what we cannot love we hate. Reach for the insights and your self-discovery. Be free!
Happy Holidays from JHAI

Happy Holidays from JHAI

Happy Holidays to everyone this year, we hope you have a good one!


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