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Why was this book not required reading in architecture school? I could swear we were supposed to be educated about usability, but I find that now I’m thinking more about digital user experience it’s making me consider usability in the physical world a lot more. I’m not going to say that much about this book, because if you haven’t read it you should, but he does a little section on how he explained which light switches went to each light in a huge room that’s genius, I tell you.

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Maybe every architect should be required to live with their clients for two weeks. You find out the most interesting things — both about them and about the space.

For one: the loft is much noisier than I could ever have imagined. Theoretically I knew that a cocktail of concrete floors, brick walls, and drywall everywhere else was a recipe for echoes and difficulty hearing, but I was still amazed at how close you have to put the sofa to the TV in order to understand it.

And speaking of noise, the wet walls carrying all the piping from the rest of the building are clearly not well-insulated; every time someone flushes the toilet in a unit above it sounds like a freight train rushing towards you as you’re trying to untie yourself from the tracks… Read More