archi-speak 001: experience

sometimes when an outsider hears the words used by a design professional, their meaning gets muddied. is she really going to “massage” the plan? does he really get turned on by a glossy, white, metal detail by calling it “sexy?” why exactly are a&d professionals hijacking the tech darling “ux?” in our companion micro-cast, we explore some of the vocab words with past guests of the show to try to decipher: archi-speak.

thanks to kevin valk for kicking us off with: EXPERIENCE

S04/ E01 Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Legendary movie star Cary Grant wants the perfect house in the country so he can get away from the crazy city life with his family. Before he knows it, Grant and his wife become amateur architects and interior designers and soon get in way over their heads and this city family can’t stop the train called his Dream House. Although Cary Grant lived with his “roommate” Randolph Scott for over a decade as “confirmed bachelors” we see the family man Grant in his prime.

In this precursor to The Money Pit meets Funny Farm, we give you a long movie title like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

We. Are. Alive!

Guys,

I feel an explanation is in order. You may have noticed we haven’t posted an episode in a while. Whelp, we are the victims of LIFE.

Jeff and Joelle welcomed a bouncing baby boy two weeks ago after a few false starts, aka false labor. We were on Baby Watch 2018 and didn’t want to disturb their home with recording nonsense.

Vince has been traveling. Lucky duck.

Me… everyone in the Pennington house caught the flu shortly after we recorded the upcoming “Jungle Fever” episode. I firmly believe it’s karma kicking me in the butt for being so ignorant to Spike Lee’s vision of what it was like to interracially date in the 1990’s.

Did you notice the holidays also came upon us? Yoinks-s-doinks. So. Much. PAW Patrol…

Could we have recorded a few episodes in advance to fill the void? Sure… but that would be responsible and, dare i say, professional. But the very definition of professional means we are making a podcast for a living.

Ha! I cry the baby tears of laughter at this… oh, the baby tears… oh…..

Meanwhile, hang tight, favorite listener! “Jungle Fever” will fill your ears soon and you too can think to yourself, “What a bunch of fucking assholes. I’m going to go listen to ‘My Favorite Murder” or ‘Un-Happy Hour.’”

-RP

S03/ E04 Sleepless in Seattle

A dead wife forces an architect to move across the country and live on a houseboat where he is stalked by a crazy lady who likes to peel apples with a switchblade.

This is not a pitch for a horror movie but the basic idea of the romantic comedy starring, America’s sweetheart, Tom Hanks and, Dennis Quaid’s ex-wife, Meg Ryan. If you have a hard time wrapping your head around this or you are already bored to death with the vanilla idea of Hanks and Ryan, then just watch an Affair to Remember. That’s exactly what Nora Ephron did and renamed it Sleepless in Seattle.

This is a moment in time just before Hanks won two Oscars, Ryan hooked up with Russell Crowe, no internet and you could walk up to an airplane gate without going through security. There is nothing else to say about this movie except it was made in 1993 and we watched it.

Thanks for nothing America!

starchitect: Francis Dardis

S03/ E03 TV A&D: Trading Spaces

Forgotten about until just recently, when this “reality show” made a comeback in 2018. Roberta, Vince, Jeff and our guest Joelle Wolinski reminisce about the early 2000s and the design, style and trends it had to offer.

We get into three very different episodes—-One episode has the popular host Paige Davis, one doesn’t have a host at all and the other has a host that isn’t Paige Davis but one Alex McLeod who left the show to pursue…..well, we’re not sure. Anyways, these episodes take us on a journey from horrible South Carolina, to despicable Philadelphia all the way to the beautiful Pacific Northwest’s Seattle, WA….well, Everett, WA. Coffee!

Lets dig into some great interior design (decorating) and watch a show only the likes of what you would see on the Great White Way of Broadway!!!!!……Wait a second. Hold it. Paige Davis get out of here!

As Vern Yip says, “Architect’s get all the girls!”

starchitect: Joelle Wolinski

S03/ E02 Shattered

A film starring the always reliable Tom Berenger and Corbin Bernsen? No it’s not one of the Major League films….It’s Shattered! Yes, one of the many thriller/mystery films that were released in the early 90s and has been forgotten about….Well, not by Starchitects: The Podcast™!

This is a prime example of streaming causing the extinction of so many films. Is this film great? No, but it shouldn’t be forgotten! Tom Berenger plays an architect/developer whose face has been Shattered (sha oobie, shattered) by a car accident and he has to figure out why, who, what and when. All of this plus a crazy condo development on the San Francisco bay that can be developed only if the Titanic didn’t crash there…..you’ll see.

Wolfgang Petersen brought us a film that combines Goonies, Elephant Man, Mask, Red Shoe Diaries and Star Wars. Tom Berenger’s hair is second billed while Corbin Bersen’s hair was fake.

This film has laughter, joy, and loneliness and sex and sex and sex and sex. Look at us, we’re in tatters!

S03/ E01 A Master Builder

After a long and well deserved break—Roberta, Jeff and Vince are back for season 3 of starchitects: the podcast!

No better way to open up a new season than with a pretentious look at how a self-important and self-absorbed architect (played by sex machine Wallace Shawn) can whisk little girls off to a magical kingdom and drive their loved ones insane while convincing their protégés they are worthless without them.

It’s truly inconceivable that this passion project of Wallace Shawn was captured on a digital chip and helmed by Jonathan Demme who seemed to forget he once made films like Silence of the Lambs, Married to the Mob and Something Wild. All we have to say is…..Ragnar!

S02/ E12 Poltergeist

Our final episode for Season Two is 1982’s summer sleeper hit "Poltergeist." Many of the practical effects of this tale brought back terrifying childhood memories of boy-eating trees, self-opening closet doors, and a base fear of clowns.

starchitect, and “Poltergeist” virgin, Graham Taylor brings his real estate nerdery to the basement to dissect the possibility of re-developing land once housing hundreds, if not thousands, of consecrated, buried bodies… and deciphering how much money Steven was making off his real estate transactions. If the amount is as much as we projected, why does their home look like a room from a 1980's Grey Gardens?

Roberta was able to find the actual house where the movie was filmed and grab an aerial shot as well as a best guess of the basic floor plan used to create and customize the house in the late seventies.

Enjoy!

starchitect: Graham Taylor

 

Tract home floor plan. The "Poltergeist House" was probably customized off this inital plan but the basic element are there, though no indication where the portal to the other-side resides and if you can relocate it to a more user friendly area like the family room....

Tract home floor plan. The "Poltergeist House" was probably customized off this inital plan but the basic element are there, though no indication where the portal to the other-side resides and if you can relocate it to a more user friendly area like the family room....

the house where the movie was filmed. the location is public record; the original owners still own the house as in it has never been sold.

the house where the movie was filmed. the location is public record; the original owners still own the house as in it has never been sold.

S02/ E11 The Cable Guy

In a $20 million dollar coup, the King of Dick and Fart movies, Jim Carrey, broke a salary record for his betrayal of “Chip Douglas,” cable installer and stalker. Matthew Broderick, the center of Chip's attention, lumbers along reacting (?) to Carrey's antics in what appears to be a narcotic haze.

Ben Stiller (aka Derrick Zoolander) directs this comedy, which between you, me, and the lamp post, isn’t that funny nor is it that exciting watch. Anna Winn joins the team in the basement as we try to figure out if Carrey is spooky or trying his damnedest to people please. The team is split; you decide.

starchitect: Anna Winn

S02/ E09 Two for the Road

 “Two for the Road” saw Albert Finney as the protagonist and love interest to the setting sun of Audrey Hepburn as flirty ingenue. He mumbles his way through all dialogue about… life? art? architecture? We couldn’t make it out… then he eats an apple. Double that with Hepburn’s scarecrow thin body and you have the recipe for the most BORING ten-year journey of a pair’s relationship.

Think of this movie like a fender-bender on I-84…. I mean no one really dies, and it’s kind of interesting to see how the cars are wrecked but… meh.

starchitect(s): Jeff Wolinski, Vince Galea, Roberta Pennington

S02/ E08 Housesitter

“Housesitter” is as rom-com-y as it gets: jilted lover meets drastically, mismatched, kookie gal our protagonist is destined to love…. but are they?! Will they?! One giant bag of Chinese food and awkward boob touch later, Goldie Hawn’s Gwen is instantly engaged to Steve Martin’s Davis.

If we walked away with one life lesson from this fluffy piece of super fluff, it’s okay to lie. You’ll get the girl, the house, and the promotion. Go on now, lie. Frank Oz said it’s okay. Frank Oz, the voice of Super Grover, tells us it’s okay to lie.

starchitect: Alex Sklar

S02/ E07 My Architect

PT Barnum is noted as saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Could it be an entire generation of architects were swindled by noted starchitect, Louis Kahn? He sure fit the bill of a con artist: self-assured, self-serving all while supporting secret families, mistresses, and skyrocketing personal and business debt.

Nathaniel Kahn, Louis’s youngest of his illegitimate brood, explores his father’s life through the lens of the architect’s work. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Are we all just a bunch of suckers trying to hear what that mother f***ing brick is saying?!

starchitect: Joelle Wolinski

S02/ E06 Pacific Heights

Post “Batman,” Michael Keaton tested his menacing chops as the mysterious Carter Hayes, who turns out to be a misfit, well-to-do psychopath hell bent on making his landlords’ (Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine) lives a living nightmare.

Vince laments: I’d totally follow Melanie into the desert to get my sex robot back any day.

The starchitects team and guest Diony Lopez talk about the realities of being a landlord in San Francisco, something Diony, Jeff, and Vince have in common. Strangely, this movie isn’t too far off in its depiction of horrific tenants who will do anything to NOT pay rent and treat apartments like absolute garbage. Even the premise of having a monkey brother isn’t beyond fiction, as Vince shared the below picture with us….

starchitect: Diony Lopez

 

photographic evidence vince has monkey brothers....

photographic evidence vince has monkey brothers....

S02/ E05 Fools Rush In

Project management. It’s a job definition most people, even those in the profession, can’t quite put their finger on. In her recent shift to project management, Roberta was able to offer some insight as to what Matthew Perry’s character was doing on the job site in “Fools Rush In.” Still, no one in the room could grasp the whole picture of scope of service… well, maybe Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing as Alex Whitman could. Could his job responsibilities BE any more vague?

Synopsis: An episode of “Friends” minus the other five. Selma Hayek is hot.

For the record: Project Managers plan, budget, oversee and document all aspects of a project. Project managers work closely with clients to make sure the scope and direction of each project is on schedule, within the planned budget and executed properly per outlined scope.

starchitect(s): Jeff Wolinski, Vince Galea, Roberta Pennington

S02/ E04 TV A&D: Designing Women

It's a snapshot into a time when women in their late-twenties wanted to look like women in the mid-forties. A time when shoulder pads were worn to intimidate men and weaker women alike. When Delta Burke's weight was as hotly debated as perestroika. While "Designing Women's" pretense was to show women in control, the end result was five twittering morons who were one step away from uttering "fabulous" with the stereotyped hiss of most TV designers.

starchitect Mark Miller joins the team in the basement to talk curtains, pillows, and tassels. No: it is not what any of us went to school for, but your mom thinks so.

starchitect: Mark Miller 

S02/ E03 Road House

Hotly debated amongst the starchitects team, "Road House" has been on Roberta's mind for months after strong arming this film into Season Two. Roberta contends it's a movie about urban design as a small town bar owner wants to better his establishment, make a safer place for the townspeople to gather and unwind after a hard day of fighting off organized crime and shopping at the JC Penny's; the rest of the group considers it a ploy to get a Patrick Swayze movie into our rotation.

You decide.

starchitect: Russell Holzinger

S02/ E02 Dream Lover

2016 saw the 30th anniversary of “Pretty in Pink” where James Spader plays a rich teenager who seems kind of rape-y. In “Dream Lover,” Spade takes an acting leap in a tour-de-force performance playing a rich architect who seems kind of rape-y.

The starchitects team and guest Jessie Lenhardt recommends paying the $2.99 to watch the 1-hour 43-minute full version versus the edited option available for free on YouTube. From what I’m told, the nudity makes up for the clown scenes. Yep; there’s clowns. Read it again: clowns.

starchitect: Jessie Lenhardt

S02/ E01 Earthquake

The starchitects team kicks off its second season after a holiday hiatus to talk about all that is wrong in the world of pre- and post-earthquake Los Angeles in the celebrity cluster f***k, “Earthquake.” All-star guest Eric Li returns to remind us no one will ever be calmed by hot coffee and sandwiches in an underground shelter/ mall, especially if that shelter/ mall is constructed of cardboard columns painted to look like brick.

Personally, I cannot get enough George Kennedy.

(Did you notice the new starchitects logo? It’s like we got a hair cut over winter break hoping you’d notice and finally ask us out to the Valentine’s Day dance. Well, suck it. We’re going to get drunk in the parking lot then throw rocks in the quarry until dawn.)

starchitect: Eric Li

S01/ E10 Steel

In the 1970's, men and women worshipped one man on their televisions: Lee Majors. His finely chiseled, action-figure looks and Kung Fu grip would also open the door to become "Mr. Farrah Fawcett.” During this time, television actors rarely made the jump to feature length films, but Lee would prove them all wrong, because... “Steel.”

Joined by fellow Rust Belt native, Crawford Smith, the starchitects team dazzle at the wooden acting and flat butts. Even more amazing, the complete lack of OSHA oversight on a job site where (SPOILER ALERT) not one but TWO people die from fatal falls.

Grab a High Life and your ‘merican flag; this movie is happening.

starchitect: Crawford Smith

S01/ E09 A Christmas Kiss

You want Christmas with little plot, no back story, no character development, no inflection in the voices of 60% of the actors, and more face glitter than last seen from a cocaine bender from Studio 54’s hay day, you got it. “A Christmas Kiss” is the worst kind of movie for the interior design profession.

We hear the words “design” A LOT, but never are the words “health,” “safety,” or “welfare” uttered, let alone “ergonomics,” “egress,” or “efficiency.” What we are shown is a glitter-encrusted, one-dimensional space case who decorates her crush’s (read boss’s boyfriend) house for Christmas. Ribbon with more ribbon heaped on top of Hallmark-branded ornaments heaped on top of more ribbon. She is NOT an interior designer. She is a decorator and not even the kind of decorator from HGTV. Those decorators would be offended by this woman’s work.

Roberta gives the starchitects team an early Christmas present: 183 Hallmark movie titles in alphabetical order to enjoy over the holiday break.

Happy Everything!

starchitect: Joelle Wolinski