We’ve spent the last few days in Savannah, Georgia, one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the U.S. Savannah’s founder James Oglethorpe developed the original town plan on a grid centered around a series of squares. It’s instructive to see how the grid and series of park-like squares reveal themselves even today after all these years.

The purpose for our visit was to give a presentation and a series of workshops at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I’ll try to post a few drawings from the trip after our we return to Seattle. In the meantime, here are a few photos.

5th Urban Sketching Symposium


I am happy to announce that I have been selected to be among those who will be teaching workshops at the 5th International Urban Sketching Symposium to be held August 27–30, 2014 in Paraty, a historic Portuguese colonial town situated on the lush coastline between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. To be able to meet and draw with urban sketchers from all over the world in such a beautiful setting is a rare privilege.

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Seattle Bouldering Project


The Seattle UrbanSketchers group met yesterday at the Seattle Bouldering Project, a climbing gym that offers a range of classes to introduce beginners to the sport as well as help more experienced climbers develop techniques for strong and skilled climbing. This view, which was drawn from the mezzanine level, began with blocking out the basic volume of the tall space. Then it was a matter of filling in with the climbing volumes and walls and pertinent details.


Here is another view from below. Trying to capture the climbers themselves was difficult because of their constant movement so all you might be able to see are their ghost images.

Architecture: Form, Space &, Order

Much of my attention recently has been attuned to preparing the fourth edition of Architecture: Form, Space & Order. Working on this revision is giving me the opportunity to explore and attempt to understand the spate of irregular forms and compositions that dominate our consciousness.

Beginning a project is always enjoyable; thinking about all of the possible directions a work can take can be liberating. But beginnings can also be difficult when innumerable false starts interrupt the work flow and inhibit a sense of progress. I have come to realize, however, that these friction points are a necessary part of the creative process for they compel us to slow down, to pause, and to think ahead rather than simply charge forward into uncharted territory. One way I occupy these uncertain spaces is by roughing out ideas with a pen on paper and teasing out possibilities with a certain tactile rhythm. Here are a few examples.

AFSO4e_Studies1 AFSO4e_Studies2 AFSO4e_Studies3

The Indoor Sun Shoppe


This is another in a continuing series of places in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The Indoor Sun Shoppe opened its doors in 1970 in the University District but moved to its present location at 160 North Canal Street in Fremont in 2003. The shop sells greenhouse and indoor gardening supplies as well as a range of tropical and exotic houseplants, including Venus fly traps and other carnivorous plants. For inhabitants of Seattle and the Puget Sound region who have Seasonal Affective Disorder and the related blues because the winter daylight lasts only around nine hours, the Indoor Sun Shoppe also offers light therapy boxes!