The Secret Sketchers at SFMOMA


I am part of a group of architects and artists presenting their work at SFMOMA. Register with the AIASF here. While there are numerous "series" of sketches that I can present, I decided to do a series of sketches that specifically explore the "Secret City" theme of this year's Architecture and the City festival - a series of quick street vignettes exploring the less visited parts of the city. All done in fountain pen, black in, Strathmore paper. Come for the show!


Sketchy Tuesday with the AIA San Francisco

Samples from past urban skething events.

Samples from past urban skething events.

The Architecture and the City Festival with the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco, is happening though the month of September 2017 - just like it does, every year. Here's the AIASF description of the event "Presented by AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design, the annual Architecture + the City festival is one of the nation's largest and longest running architectural and design festivals. Taking place in San Francisco every September, the month-long celebration features behind the scenes, walking and home tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more that address varying aspects of the design, planning and building process. Over 40 programs throughout the month provide an excellent opportunity for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city."

I've been participating every year. This year, I am involved with organizing and running some of the programs.

  • Some of my work is exhibited in the AIA SF main exhibition space. I had a little preview here, in a previous post.
  • I will be doing a talk at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) about my sketches, with a group of of other artists from the Bay Area.
  • I will be involved in Sketchy Tuesday, together with the good people at Arterra. This is series of 4 lunch time sketch session - just simple urban sketching with like minded architects, design professionals or artists. Register here to participate on session ONE. The remaining sessions - two, three and four, to be listed with the AIASF Calendar. Basically, every Tuesday at noon. Full calendar here.

Kids' Playroom with ArcHive Arch. and Studio SHK


A recent assignment to shoot the interiors for a model home. The kids' room in particular. Appropriately furnished and colored. In addition the the usual room furniture, the owner commissioned a sculptural piece called "the termite mound", designed and build by ArcHive Architecture of San Francisco. It's built out of stacked layers of 3/4" plywood, CNC machine cut. As pictured, inhabitable by one playful kid or adventurous adult. Or by the kid in you, regardless of your actual age or physical size... I will follow up win a separate post with more on this.


Exhibition with the AIA SF - a little preview...

Dan Hogman Exhibition with the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco

Dan Hogman Exhibition with the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco

Here is a preview of two exhibits happening with the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco - AIASF, running during the Architecture and the City festival and through November 2017 --- "Through his latest series, "Secret City - Elements", Dan takes the approach of the street photographer to explore the less travelled parts of San Francisco - back alleys - with parts and pieces that don't necessarily have a visual appeal, but are critical "elements" in making the city work. This is a series of 20 urban vignettes, each of them done as a quick, 15-minute on-location or studio work. Dan purposefully omits details, textures and shadows, in order to focus on the quality of the linework, done with simple fountain pens and black ink"

Fondation Louis Vuitton // Frank Gehry

Gehry, always overdoing it... here again, at Foundation Louis Vuitton - because we all know "98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit" I think he is just in the expensive part of the 98 percent. Regardless, I needed to stop by. Interesting to look under the skin, to see the structure supporting the trusses and glass panels.

"Let me tell you one thing," the architect replied to a few journalists "In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There’s no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that’s it."... "Once in a while, however, a group of people do something special. Very few, but God, leave us alone."

As expected, press coverage everywhere. All these articles are over two years old, as the building was completed Fall 2014 --- The Verge, "Frank Gehry drops a spaceship in Paris. Legendary architect flashes defiant middle finger to his critics with new Fondation Louis Vuitton art museum". The Guardian, Archdaily, Architectural Digest, Design Boom, Vanity Fair, Vogue.



Why a Solid Tripod is Essential in Architectural Photography

Manfrotto Italy was gracious enough to send me a tripod of my choice (thanks, Claudia!). I've selected the 190XPRO Aluminium 3-Section Tripod and XPRO Ball Head. This is probably one of the heaviest Manfrotto tripod Manfrotto offers. Do I need such a heavy one, considering that I am using a fairly light mirrorless system? (Fujifilm X-Pro2 as my main body)

This is probably not needed for the weight of the camera. Also, I don't do long exposure too much. But the most important thing is having a good way to accurately frame my subjects. In Architectural photography, this is arguably more important than photography nature or portrait. Again, it's accuracy! Also, the weights adds stability, really needed in outdoor windy situations. I selected the aluminum on purpose, will get a carbon fiber at a later time...

One additional feature is the 90 degree option for the center column - see the photos above. I might use this in the future as part of my overhead shooting rig - basically, a camera support sitting over my table, pointing straight down at my drafting board. This is how I record my architectural sketches. I will post about this at a later time. 

Philharmonie de Paris // Jean Nouvel

I believe this is the first building by Jean Nouvel that I am seeing. Probably because I've avoided Paris my whole life, where many of his buildings are... Philharmonie 1 is an organic design with innovative forms rising like a hill within the Parc de la Villette. Yes, it remains a Jean Nouvel design, despite his efforts to remove his name from the building. It is a little bit hard to digest, but we should not just walk away from our design, whether it turns out the way we envision it or not... his thoughts: "The architecture is martyred, the details sabotaged," he said in a Le Monde editorial, "so taxpayers will have to pay, once again, to correct these aberrational decisions."

Regardless, it has some interesting moments that are worth capturing. This is why I spent more time there than I should have. I think the texture that is being used to cover almost all surfaces works well with the overall geometry. I let The Guardian tell more about the design "Some have compared it to a pile of broken paving stones. Others, to a rusty spaceship crash-landed on the edge of the city." and "the building certainly seems to embody the anguish it has caused both architect, client and taxpayer"

It has been extensively covered on Archdaily, New York Times, Design Boom and many more...

Lamy Imporium in Black and Gold

Although I am not a big fan of high-end luxury products and never owned anything that contains gold, I need to say that the Lamy Imporium in Black and Gold is a special product... I've used the Lamy Safari for many years, the white one is my favorite one so far, and I never felt the need to upgrade, until I was offered the opportunity to try one.

It's definitely a very well crafted writing instrument. Probably one of the better ones I've even handled. Well crafted finish in metal, black, with gold (yes, 14k gold!) accents - the nib, cap clip and the ring at the end of the barrel. The cap is threaded, a new to me, and the LAMY logo is in engrave just once, on the golden clip. This is the titanium version, designed by Marco Bellini. It also comes in all black or titanium finish.

It offers an extremely smooth writing. A little heavier than the usual pen, so this might be a negative to some. To me, the weight gives it a solid feel. Again, this is an extremely high-quality instrument, all metal, super cool and sleek. I almost feel bad for using it to draw, but I am gentle. Thanks, Lamy!


FULTON – A5 A1 // Agence Bernard Bühler

FULTON – A5 A1 / Agence Bernard Bühler - did not really plan for this photoshoot, but I was in the area. So I stopped by. Quite a colorful contrast, probably a little bit out of place regarding the historic context of the area, but I appreciate the boldness of the architects to express themselves in such fashion.

From Archdaily

"The operation is consists of a base superimposed by two towers of 11 floors separated by an urban breach. This plinth consolidating the project an a way alive along the Quai d'Austerlitz thanks to the presence of a projecting large commercial showcase. This screen offers a good visibility to the activities that it welcomes. This block to be extricating itself from the concrete base. It thus creates two accesses to the shops in continuity of a wide pedestrian area."

Paris Travel Notes

Paris in inspirational... a good listener. I am spending a good amount of time here doing plenty of sketches. A total of 50. I am not keeping them all. 12 are commissioned by a private collector. Another 10 are giveaways to my Instagram followers. The folks that seem to REALLY love them, get them. Out of the remaining ones, I am keeping some, I am selling as requested. Feel free to email me and tell me which one you're interested in.

Here are sketches 1-5 -