Oct 19, 2007

Design Lessons from Glorietta Explosion

Many will be talking about today's blast in Glorietta, but most will ignore two important design elements that came into play but will be ignored. First is the design of our buildings in general and second is the design of security in malls and other public places in our country.

Design of Buildings. An eyewitness interview in TV Patrol revealed an important detail that will be ignored by most of us. The eyewitness, who was inside the mall when the blast happened, said that it took several minutes because they could get out of the mall because it was very, very dark.

Most of our building designs were patterned after old, western design: bulky, hulking structures. Just look at the boxy, claustrophobic design of Megamall or the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the buildings in its vicinity.

In today's global-warming-conscious world, these buildings are energy inefficient. They suck up thousands of watts of electricity daily, just to power air conditioning, lighting, escalators and elevators.

Ironically, we are in a tropical country with lots of sun and wind. We should take advantage of this by making buildings that use lots of natural light and air to save on electric costs.

Our architects need to look back into the design of more traditional houses. The bahay kubo and bahay na bato maximized natural lighting and ventilation. But we have destroyed most of these buildings and erected instead unventilated bungalows and box buildings.

Oct 1, 2007

Going to Google

It's slowly dawning on me that I'm leaving this Friday for Silicon Valley to attend the Google SoC Mentors Summit, to represent the Drupal community (I'm one of three geeks who will be going there for Drupal). This was so sudden that my brain is still in denial.

I wouldn't have accepted this had it not been for Google's sponsorhip of my air fare and one night's stay. I'll just extend a few days to visit friends and relatives in San Jose, San Francisco and LA. Aside from Googleplex, I'm thinking of visiting the Intel Musuem, Apple HQ, Stanford and UCLA. I'm hoping to buy a Macbook for Data and an iPod, probably.

I'll be posting relevant discoveries at IndioSign and Mac Switcher.

Thanks to Denise for lending me her precious digital cam!