Friday, January 31, 2014

New FitSpace Home

We recently sold our home and will be looking for a new home soon.  We'd like to live in a FitSpace house so we've put together a kind of check list to use to evaluate potential new homes that could be renovated to match our needs.  Indeed this is a FitSpace house checklist:

Context
Nearby to restaurants and retail.
High walking score.
Character of environment is benefit; interesting, history, amenities, farmers markets, etc
Quality of neighbors and some privacy (tidiness of neighboring properties, street appeal, street view)
Views to city or mountains is bonus
Emotive / spiritual connection to outdoors / sky / landscape/ views.

Quality of schools public / private.  Daycare, preK, school system.  After school programming, recreation facilities.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Incorporating Pull Stations (think exercise) into the Home

Last week I had an idea after watching a DIY video (How to build a weight machine http://howtolou.com/). Lou built a resistance cable system in his basement and while not pretty is a great use of space and gave me the idea to incorporate something like it into the home.  My version would have a centralized weight stack (could be located between studs or in a cabinet) and from this stack cables would run throughout the house (probably limited to one floor).  Each cable would terminate in an 'outlet' that could be used to attach a bar for an exercise.  Further thought led to thinking about each outlet as a light fixture, probably LED.  Imagine a recessed LED fixture in your home that could also function as a Lat pulldown station or a small fixture in the wall that could be used as an upright rowing station.  In this way, the entire home could be a useful gym of sorts.  Here are a few sketches (now I need to find a friend with a building that has an unfinished interior like a garage so that we can build a prototype):




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cool ways to display your bike OR book


A couple of very nice ideas for getting both storage and utility.  Check out the Fusillo design at http://www.jebiga.com/fusillo-bookshelf-andviceversa/

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fitness – An architect’s perspective

As an architect and endurance athlete, I’ve been interested for a long while in how the environment can be designed to foster fitness.  I’ve designed a few projects around this theme and my approach to “fitness architecture” is unconventional from that of both perspectives, however, I believe that this kind of thinking can be of great benefit to those seeking greater options for fitness in their lives.  
Here are a few examples of how your environment can have a positive impact on your fitness:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Car Bunk


Ok, I'm particularly proud of this project.  Not because it's any great feat of engineering or high design.  It's a simple project that took me a few hours to bang out, but has already expanded my big day or 'small epics.'  The idea is simple; a comfortable bed for the car with decent ventilation and a bit of privacy.  The bunk can be broken down and stored in the trunk (or way back) and includes a reading light, small fan, some window screens and, of course, the bunk itself.  Not a lot of space, sleeping on it reminds me of my 'Capsule Hotel' experience in Fukuoka, Japan.  All good, no adventure should be complete without one:
Over night for a two day intro to paragliding (flying solo).
Over night for an early morning trail start to climb Mt. Washington.
Midnight hike with Tucker under full moon along Granite Ledges trail in White Mountains followed by a climb to top of Mt. Adams after a few hours of sleep on the bunk.  
Most recently, Tucker and I completed hike to North Baldface after arriving to the trailhead around midnight (and snowing) on Easter Sunday (after dinner with family).  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

FitSpace and the 'Small Epic'

I think of FitSpace as a mentality insofar as design (a little forethought) can help us navigate our everyday world.  Fitness too is a mental construct; if I think of myself as 'fit' I'm more likely to make healthier choices all the way around from the dinner table to how I choose to work (standing or seated).  The 'design' aspect of fitness, or the forethought that creates the fit environment such as a stand up workstation, can extend into the most unlikely places. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Skateboard as Aesthetic


I'm a huge fan of skateboard riding.  When my dog was still a puppy I trained him to get comfortable out front and encouraged him to pull.  Now, he's a pulling machine and our favorite mode of getting around town together is by long board.

I love the idea of the skateboard as an aesthetic element in my home.  I only have one board (my go to) but can imagine a few different boards of style and color hanging neatly on a wall and ready for use.  The picture above is borrowed from Boosted Boards, a cool new development electric assist vehicles.  I can't wait to get mine.  I'll be sure to include an outlet for recharging on my 'board display wall.'

Monday, November 19, 2012

Terrain Fitness = FitSpace


We've started a series of Sunday morning workouts in my neighborhood.  With 2 down and 3 to go, we're picking up momentum.  I expect to have a dozen athletes for our next workout on Dec 3rd.

The premise behind Terrain Fitness is to site each workout in a unique location and to design each workout for that specific location.  In this way, the local topography or Terrain will dictate the work to be done.  Each workout focuses on a warmup, base strength, strength building and agility.  I'm also slowly starting to introduce mindfulness and meditation (for holistic fitness).  So far, these workouts have been great fun!  I remember the days of being a kid again and going outside to play with the neighborhood kids...

For more visit Terrain Fitness

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fit City NY AIA

Several weeks ago the NY AIA held a symposium on designing spaces the contribute to healthier living.   Lots of great research and precedent to support their Active Design Guidelines.


Link to active design guidelines for urban spaces and buildings here.




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bicycle Display (and oh yeah storage too)

I designed and built this free standing bicycle storage column in my house.  Between us, Robin and I have six bikes (although one's for sale).  The mountain bikes are in the basement but the beautiful road machines are on display here in the corner of our living room.  The column is built to the specs of each 'steed' and spot lights project flattened 'images' of the front and rear wheels onto our living room walls.  It's quite spectacular.  I'm playing with the idea of having the wheels rotate slowly with a small motor attached to each wheel but am thinking that it may be too psychedelic...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

FitSpace House

The first built FitSpace house has been finished and we got some great shots of it a few weeks ago.  This was a renovation of an existing house.  Follow this link for more...
For Original Pics

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Box

Thought I'd post these images from a trip we did a few years ago to one of my favorite places on the west coast, Oregon Dunes National Park on the southern Oregon coast.  Its a beautiful spot with a remote stretch of beach where you'll hardly see another soul since access to the beach requires a 3 1/2 mile hike across the dunes (stunning walk).  Once we reached the beach we decided to play a game I call the 'box.' 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My new sink

This isn't really my new sink, but what a great idea.  Thanks to Maryanne for sending me the pic!

FitSpace Mug

I say often that FitSpace is a mindset.  Any space can be a FitSpace as long as your surroundings contribute to your body's need to move. There's nothing worse than sitting at a desk all day (think 'atrophy'). To combat desk-sitting-atrophy I decided to put together a coffee mug with some stretching and strengthening exercises.  Things to do whilst you wait for your doc to save or email to load.  You might pick three or a column and do a 10 minute workout from your desk.  The first column for example would be a great way to get through the afternoon dulldrums...
The mug has shipped and I'll load a pic of the finished product when it arrives...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Inspiring presentation YESS lecture series at Salem YMCA

My Friend Jim Logan gave a great talk last week at the Salem YMCA.  His topic was something that resonated with me and I've been giving it a lot of thought especially in how it relates to FitSpace and fitness.

Jim started off with a brief summary of human physiology and how it relates to movement.  The title of his talk was 'Primal Conditioning.'  He gave some great examples of groups that have embraced this concept as a conditioning methodology.  Groups like the Monkey Bar Gym, Primal Fitness, The Strength Box, MovNat, Wild Fitness, Parquour.  Check out this link and try not to be inspired:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyTgnGBlNTA

Jim asked me to provide the next talk in the YESS series with focus on FitSpace.  The talk will be in December at the Salem YMCA.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sport Tags

I recently forgot my helmet on a group ride up in the White Mountains.  Fortunately for me there was a bike shop across the street from were we started our ride.  Forty dollars later, I was able to begin my ride clad with a new, over sized ATB helmet complete with visor (which I removed).

Seems like I've been forgetting a lot of stuff lately.  Last week you may have found me rummaging through the YMCA lost and found for a dry TShirt.  I've packed these bags a thousand times and how I continue to miss stuff is beyond me...really.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

FitSpace Community

video
A FitSpace community is a multifacetted system designed for healthy living.  That is to say, the key program objectives are to facilitate activity and to foster a lifestyle that promotes health and wellness.  This FitSpace program is protected from many aspects that threaten our ability to be active, such as an isolation from recreational space, dependency on the car, lack of community serving infrastructure.  In this case, each home (box car) is a connector of street and park.  One enters the front of the home from the car or the back of the home on the bike (or foot).  The pathways shared within each community connects to a larger network of bikeways, aka rail trail, which makes bicycle commuting viable citywide.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

FitSpace Companion



Robin and I recently added a new member to our family, Tucker, an Australian Shepard puppy. And let me tell you, he's pretty cool.

My concept of FitSpace embodies more than a physical place, rather it's a mentality that can be applied to many aspects of living. Anything that gets you up and moving, outside and into sunlight:) as a solution to a problem that normally would keep you in is a good example of the FitSpace mentality. In this way, Tucker embodies FitSpace completely.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

FitSpace Cabin


The FitSpace cabin is a Dog Trot type structure; simple with a single roof mass enclosing 2 living spaces and a indoor / outdoor multipurpose space. The house is designed to be opened up to the outside when feasible.

Front elevation is top.

FitSpace Cabin


The plan of the FitSpace cabin is efficient. Rooms are organized along an interior runway or 'FitSpace performance deck.' The house uses a series of outdoor or semi-outdoor rooms which includes a deck with outdoor fireplace (multipurpose space), outdoor performance deck to mimic indoor hall and an outside tub as an extension of the bath.
FitSpace 'circuits' are used to organize spatial sequences and points of entry. For example, returning from a run, one enters through the 'mudroom' bath. Used clothing is recycled before a shower. The bath also is a lounge with a small wetbar for recovery. And, of course, the soaking tub completes the axis.

FitSpace Cabin

The interior climbing wall

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Portrait


I love this picture that five-year-old Wyatt Murphy (nephew) drew of me from memory and unsolicited. I don't have kids, so for those of you that do, this little gem is probably nothing extraordinary. I simply find this sketch fascinating. One morning, while we were visiting CA, little Wyatt watched me and friend, Daniel, gear up to head out on a long ride. I was wearing a red jersey with a gray cycling vest (therefore gray with red sleeves). Wyatt captured the image in his mind's eye perfectly and then drew this sketch a few days later as a gift before we left to come home.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When work becomes something else...

I like this project because it reminds me that work can be associated with 'fun.' In a similar regard I typically think of gyms or 'health clubs' as dreadfully boring places. Imagine your health club facility revamp with the attitude and spirit of this project. What a wonderful world it would be...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Longbeach gets it!


My birthplace, Longbeach CA, gets the concept of cycling. For one thing, imagine going from .1% efficiency (in your car) to +15% efficiency (on your bike). Cyclists of all shapes and sizes are saving the world!

Check out Longbeach's bike initiative: http://www.bikelongbeach.org/Default.aspx

A Bicycle Community



Here is the completed design for a new community plan focused on providing safe passage for the bicycle. The bicycle and car are not mutually exclusive. In this scheme, residents drive into the front of their homes and exit on their bikes from the rear (onto a greenway). The road for cars terminates in retail, while the road for bikes terminates in a park...its a simple statement really.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Interview with Patrick McCrann

video

Last year Patrick McCrann gave me a call to talk about FitSpace. Patrick is a triathlon coach and author. His excellent blog 'Fuel Your Endurance Lifestyle' is always a good read. In addition to the interview, I've added a few images but really, you're going to want to hit the play button, sit back and relax. Enjoy!
http://www.patrickjohnmccrann.com/

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The perfect 'Man Cave?'


Climbing at the rock Gym (yesterday) is a little like being a kid in a candy store. Climbing is just plain fun! A couple of flat screen TVs and a wet bar would make this world perfect...

Friday, October 15, 2010

FitSpace House

It seemed perfectly fitting to show up on moving day and offer my services to move furniture into this (first) FitSpace house. The house is beautiful and I couldn't be happier with the reaction from my friends and clients. Bob and Anne are endurance athletes. They are completing a marathon every month. In addition, Bob has completed Ironman triathlons and is an avid cyclist. An 'off-the-shelf' house just wasn't going to cut it, they needed a house that could accommodate their lifestyle.



Friday, October 8, 2010

Stone Wall


I had this idea for a stone garden wall while visiting the Tillamook Cheese factory (home of the famous Tillamook cheddar cheese) in Oregon. While waiting for Robin to buy her ice cream, I ventured outside and sat on a low wall that sloped with the grade. I thought about how engaging a sloped wall could be and how many activities it could provide. In the image above, the wall starts at about 6" and slopes to sitting height. One could use the wall for stretching, strengthening or sitting. At higher slopes, you could engage your upper body. The wall becomes a climbing wall as it reaches its full height of 9'. Of course, it's complete with a little sitting platform for a good view into the neighbors yard.
I imagine the wall made of field stone with a bluestone cap. The sitting areas would be wood and detailed to 'float' above the bluestone. There is a wooden fence shown behind the wall for privacy or the wall could be free standing in your garden. Better yet, use it as a retaining wall that slopes with the grade of your site. Water views from the top are preferred...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kitchen Renovation





This kitchen, entry, sunroom and bath renovation was just finished for my friend David Halligan. I've included some before and after pictures. The design challenge here was to improve the flow and utility of adjoining rooms that were relatively disjointed. Whereas in the original layout, the kitchen, mudroom entry and sunroom were functionally very separate spaces. I redesigned these rooms to become one larger space. The sunroom is an essential connector to the rear yard and terrace so it needed to remain barrier free to the kitchen.
Lastly, the kitchen layout was reconfigured to function better with generous circulation, cabinets and countertop space.
I'm not sure that this project would be defined as 'FitSpace.' However, because thes design focused on making such a strong connection to the outside I'm putting it here and not IngramArchitects.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All things are possible?

Just did The Rock Run on Saturday solo in 12 hours and 39 minutes.

Anne did 51.6 miles at Around the Lake a week ago and then continued until she hit 52.4 = double marathon. Never knew that we would end up doing ultra marathons! I guess when you build a "Fit Space" house, all things are possible!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Terrain Workout


I'm introducing a new term; 'Terrain Workout.' A terrain workout is a unique workout specific to your local resources. It's a workout that I might do that you can't because your backyard is different than mine. I might ski (in NE) while someone one else might surf (in CA). Each outside workout is dependent on conditions specific to where you live.
Last night I did a swim + run Terrain Workout. Many of you (triathletes) know this as a 'brick.' However, what made this workout different was that it was born from the unique considerations of my own playground and it was completely self supported.
My workout started with a short run through Salem to the end of Derby pier. Derby pier has a lighthouse on the point and folks like to hang out there and / or fish. At the lighthouse, I transitioned to the swim with a special 'rig' that I've come up with to keep my run kit dry. The folks on the pier were pretty amazed to see me go into the water!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New workstation = faster running

Here's a quick work-in-progress shot of the new workstations that I'm working on (literally). The two stations, standing and seated are networked. Yesterday, I worked at the tall station for over 8 hours. At the end of the day my knees and back ached. As it got dark, I grabbed a headlamp to get in a quick run. It was the best run of my season. My legs were ready to go.

Sitting in a chair all day is one of the worst things we can do to our bodies. A seated position retards blood flow and allows our muscles to atrophy. ATROPHY. I'm a huge believer in standing while working to increase productivity and fitness.

(tables are unfinished)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Incredible 'Rolling' House

Imagine the possibilities here. This room is truly multifunctional. Check it: RollingHaus

Monday, May 24, 2010

Guerilla Workouts


Guerrilla workouts may change your life! Ok, that might be a little extreme but seriously these workouts will rock your world. Join our small group for some experimental new training workouts that are designed to kick your butt AND be fun. Utilizing the resources and terrain around us we'll focus on unique opportunities for challenging our fitness. You'll laugh, you'll cry...you'll be back!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Design of new workstations

Here's a preliminary design for a new home office workstation which I'll start building this weekend. It's designed to include a standing workstation, intended to promote better productivity and posture. It will also be nice to have different options for working those long hours in front of a monitor.
Here's a great post on the benefits of standing while you work by my friend Coach Patrick: Stand while you work.
Of course you can also whistle while you work...I plan to do both.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Treadmill Desk

Great idea for combining stationary tasks with movement:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Competition - Update

Good Afternoon Designers:
Thanks to all of the architects, landscape architects, planners, and other designers who submitted a proposal to the Valley Ideas Design Competition. We received a total of 28 submissions for the three sites -- 13 for Hadley, 8 for Palmer, and 5 for Southampton.
The competition schedule will be as follows -- the jury members will review the submissions in early March. The presentation boards will then be sent out to the communities for the month of March, and be made available to the public for People's Choice voting . We have tentatively set the Public Event, when Jury and People's Choice awards will be announced, for Monday, April 5, 2010 at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission offices in Springfield, MA.
We will keep you posted of any additional changes to the schedule, and let you know of the locations for the public viewing in March.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Competition - Need for open 'play' space


Communities are often designed without meaningful outdoor space.
The development of the competition site focuses on providing outdoor play space as a shared resource for the neighborhood. Its often the case with competitions that large parts of the concept remain under-designed and such is the case with this view. A common pedestrian way would be shared and maintained by the community. The back yard of each home would connect to shared greens, orchards and natural landscapes. These would in turn connect to pathways within the neighborhood linking homes to commercial infrastructure. The community as designed is aligned with the existing rail trail again connecting to a larger context.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Competition Site

The competition site aligns with a rail trail extending from Amherst to the Connecticut River. This connector could provide meaningful passage within community(s) for people interested in alternative transportation and promoting wellness and health (wealth). The site would be developed to strengthen the infrastructure for those traveling by bicycle and to promote this lifestyle decision. While remaining accessible by car, the sense of place would be distinctly unique from that of traditional development.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Competition - Bicycle Community


There is something uniquely satisfying about riding a bike. I'm convinced that the rhythm of cycling triggers brain wave activity similar to listening to music. Consider the following:

“Riding my bike is very often the best part of my day, any day of the week. That was certainly the case yesterday, even though a cold, wet and windy afternoon. The experience was sweetened by the subtle sound of laughter coming from the woods behind the corner store. Children's laughter; a kind of anonymous chorus, undecipherable and non-distinct.
I don't have children, maybe if I did I'd feel differently about this, but I've long since determined that Children's laughter is one of those precious wonderful sounds like the sound of birds returning in the spring, or the sound of ocean surf. When I hear these sounds I try to stop and listen, if only for a minute, because it makes me feel good.
So, by circumstance I was on my bike yesterday in the rain, working my way home, and off in the distance, from the woods behind the corner store, I heard the fantastic, yet faint sound of children's laughter. I tried to find the source and thought that I was able to make out one of the kids but I couldn’t be sure. I did, however, feel lucky to be there to capture it.”


Competition Parti


My solution to the future development of this site and smart growth objectives was to develop a unique bicycle community. Ok so this shows my bias toward alternative forms of transportation. Could a bicycle community work?
The sketch shows the railtrail at bottom and the dotted lines are cycling paths that connect to it from the community. Alternatively, cars enter the site from the north (top) with separate access (no more bike / car collisions). Each bicycle street terminates in a park. Each car street terminates in a parking lot.
The blocks along the rail trail are commercial, retail infrastructure for the community and larger context of bicycle riders, all able to access by the rail trail connecting neighboring towns.


Competition

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission recently hosted a Design Ideas Competition in western MA.
Three sites were available to choose from. I chose the Hadley 'Big Box' site near Amherst. A unique feature of the site is that it adjoins a railtrail; bicycle and walking path.

The Valley Development Council, in collaboration with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, invites you to participate in the 2009 Smart Growth Design & Reuse Competition.