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/ 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/ 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/ 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/ 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

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

S01/ E07 Electric Dreams


Richard Branson brought his unique production talents to what is a seemingly banal movie about a young architect learning the ins and outs of becoming computer literate for the sake of his job and personal organization. Any scene becomes active when you can turn major plot points into a music video. Just nailed the girl of your dreams for the first time? Music montage at Alcatraz. Not sure how to say “I love you?” Call on Culture Club to get your emotions smash cut to a head. Are you a computer who has recently become sentient and stuck in a love triangle with your owner and the woman upstairs? Might I suggest a little Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder (“Together in Electric Dreams”) to shake your virtual booty into a more upbeat mood?

Life lessons abound in this 1984 classic:

  • Lesson #1: Don’t download your boss’s hard drive over a telephone modem.

  • Lesson #2: Don’t put out an electrical fire in your hard drive with a bottle of champagne.

  • Lesson #3: When your conscious computer takes over all functions of your apartment, unplug it. No, really, you can unplug it despite the warning tag on the cord! UNPLUG IT!!

starchitect: Matt Carter

S01/ E06 My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Sometimes, the most fantastic foods together sound like a memorable moment of gastronomy: seasonal fruit with artisanal cheese, freshly caught salmon grilled on cedar, a dusty cabernet, lavender creme brulee. Likewise, a movie with the star power listed in “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” would elicit the same anticipation of joy and fulfillment. But really, this movie takes our would-be dreams, dumps it into a blender, turns it on puree, then throws it onto the pee-soaked streets of skid row to add a little fragrant flare.

Uh boy, this movie.

Jeff wows the starchitects team with his AMAZING Luke Wilson impersonation while Roberta defends her undying love for the actor, bloated or no. (I mean, when you make the commitment to stalk someone, it’s for the long haul…)

starchitect: Kevin Valk

S01/ E04 TV A&D: The Brady Bunch

The starchitects team go into the Way-Back Machine to visit the family who made a day wearing bell bottoms a sunshine day, “The Brady Bunch.” Did you remember Mike was an architect? In the episodes we watch ("A Clubhouse is Not a Home," "Mike's Horror-scope," and "Call Me Irresponsible"), Mike's life as an architect at home and at the office are revealed. Pull on your plaid shirt and pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade, we're getting some work done.

Holy shmoly....

starchitect: Joelle Wolinski

Brady Bunch House Floor Plan.jpg

S01/ E03 Bio-Dome

Long ago, in a time called “the Nineties,” the environmentalist movement took hold of a generation. We watched our culture embrace the love of recycling cans, bottles, and office paper. We looked to MTV (back when they played videos) and connected with one man who fully embodied our innocent, doe-eyed GenX souls: Pauly Shore. After such hits as “Encino Man,” “Son-in-Law,” and “In the Army Now,” how could he lose with the enviro-themed “Bio-Dome?” 

The starchitects team learns why this moronic romp was guest Andrew Rosengarten’s favorite movie at age ten. Okay, we already know why: dick and fart humor mixed with shitty hair styles and REALLY baggy shorts.

If you are having trouble stomaching the tone of the movie, the team suggests you turn on Italian dubbing and call the movie "Bee-Oh Doe-May" pretending you're watching a would-be Roberto Benigni venture.

starchitect: Andrew Rosengarten

S01/ E02 Death Wish

“Death Wish” teaches us when wronged to the point of breaking and seeking revenge, start with a sock full of quarters first, then go to firearms. Charles Bronson goes from a wooden work-a-holic architect whose smile looks painted on for the first fifteen minutes of the movie to gun toting vigilante when his wife is beaten to death and daughter is brutally raped. Oh ya, that’s Jeff Goldblum’s butt doing that. Yoiks.

Native Texan Josh Guerra, licensed architect, sits down with Roberta, Vince, and Jeff to decipher the complex back story of Paul Kersey and his use of an apparent Vulcan-like demeanor used in all stressful situations. We’re talking client meetings, his wife’s funeral, and beating a man with a sock full of quarters.

starchitect: Josh Guerra

S01/ E01 Indecent Proposal

In 1993, Billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford) asked a would-be architect (Woody Harrelson) to “have one night” with his wife, played by Demi Moore, for $1,000,000. The pretense of this movie sparked conversations all over America where one significant other asked the other, “Would you take the money?”

The starchitects team was mystified how a thirty year old architect could have an AIA award so young, the affable nature of Robert Redford’s portrayal of a man who has asked a man to pimp his wife “just cos,” and Demi Moore’s purse/ backpack/ vest/ chocolate hoarding apparatus.

Jeff, Roberta, and Vince are joined this episode by Eric Li, a self-proclaimed seven-layer nerd with geek sauce on top, licensed architect, and all around nice guy for this insane ride through PURE RELATIONSHIP FICTION.

starchitect: Eric Li.