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Faculty Sections / Viktor Vasnetsov
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:44:25 AM »

Faculty Sections / Work–life balance
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:34:56 AM »
According to a survey conducted by the National Life Insurance Company, four out of ten U.S. employees state that their jobs are "very" or "extremely" stressful.[9] Those in high-stress jobs are three times more likely than others to suffer from stress-related medical conditions and are twice as likely to quit. The study states that women, in particular, report stress related to the conflict between work and family.

In the study, Work-Family Spillover and Daily Reports of Work and Family Stress in the Adult Labor Force , researchers found that with an increased amount of negative spillover from work to family, the likelihood of reporting stress within the family increased by 74%, and with an increased amount of negative spillover from family to work the likelihood to report stress felt at work increased by 47%.[10]

Employee benefits in the United States –MARCH 2011 Paid leave benefits continued to be the most widely available benefit offered by employers, with paid vacations available to 91 percent of full-time workers in private industry in March 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Access to these benefits, however, varied by employee and establishment characteristics. In private industry, paid vacation benefits were available to only 37 percent of part-time workers. Paid sick leave was available to 75 percent of full-time workers and 27 percent of part-time workers. Paid vacations were available to 90 percent of workers earning wages in the highest 10th percent of private industry employees and only to 38 percent of workers in the lowest 10 percent of private industry wage earners. Access to paid sick leave benefits ranged from 21 percent for the lowest wage category to 87 percent for the highest wage category. These data are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost trends and incidence and provisions of employee benefit plans.[11]

According to 2010 National Health Interview Survey Occupational Health Supplement data, 16% of U.S. workers reported difficulty balancing work and family. Imbalance was more prevalent among workers aged 30–44 (19%) compared with other age groups; non-Hispanic black workers (19%) compared with non-Hispanic white workers (16%), and Hispanic workers (15%); divorced or separated workers (19%) compared with married workers (16%), widowed workers (13%), and never married workers (15%); and workers having a bachelor's degree and higher (18%) compared with workers having a high school diploma or G.E.D. (16%), and workers with less than a high school education (15%). Workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries (9%) had a lower prevalence rate of work-family imbalance compared to all employed adults (16%). Among occupations, a higher prevalence rate of work-family imbalance was found in legal occupations (26%), whereas a lower prevalence rate was observed for workers in office and administrative support (14%) and farming, forestry, and fishing occupations (10%).[12]

The number of stress-related disability claims by American employees has doubled[when?] according to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association in Arlington, Virginia. Seventy-five to ninety percent of physician visits are related to stress and, according to the American Institute of Stress, the cost to industry has been estimated at $200 billion-$300 billion a year.[9]

Steven L. Sauter, chief of the Applied Psychology and Ergonomics Branch of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, states that recent studies show that "the workplace has become the single greatest source of stress".[9] Michael Feuerstein, professor of clinical psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Bethesda Naval Hospital states, "We're seeing a greater increase in work-related neuroskeletal disorders from a combination of stress and ergonomic stressors".[9]

It is clear that problems caused by stress have become a major concern to both employers and employees. Symptoms of stress are manifested both physiologically and psychologically. Persistent stress can result in cardiovascular disease, sexual health problems, a weaker immune system and frequent headaches, stiff muscles, or backache. It can also result in poor coping skills, irritability, jumpiness, insecurity, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating. Stress may also perpetuate or lead to binge eating, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

According to James Campbell Quick, a professor of organizational behavior at the University of Texas-Arlington, "The average tenure of presidents at land-grant universities in the past ten years has dropped from approximately seven to three-and-a-half years".[9]

The feeling that simply working hard is not enough anymore is acknowledged by many other American workers. "To get ahead, a seventy-hour work week is the new standard. What little time is left is often divided up among relationships, kids, and sleep." This increase in work hours over the past two decades means that less time will be spent with family, friends, and community as well as pursuing activities that one enjoys and taking the time to grow personally and spiritually.[citation needed]

Texas Quick, an expert witness at trials of companies who were accused of overworking their employees, states that "when people get worked beyond their capacity, companies pay the price." [9] Although some employers believe that workers should reduce their own stress by simplifying their lives and making a better effort to care for their health, most experts feel that the chief responsibility for reducing stress should be management.

According to Esther M. Orioli, president of Essi Systems, a stress management consulting firm, "Traditional stress-management programs placed the responsibility of reducing stress on the individual rather than on the organization-where it belongs. No matter how healthy individual employees are when they start out, if they work in a dysfunctional system, they’ll burn out." [9]
Formation of the "ideal worker" and gender differences

Work-life conflict is not gender-specific. According to the Center for American Progress, 90 percent of working mothers and 95 percent of working fathers report work-family conflict.[13] However, because of the social norms surrounding each gender role, and how the organization views its ideal worker, men and women handle the work-life balance differently. Organizations play a large part in how their employees deal with work-life balance. Some companies have taken proactive measures in providing programs and initiatives to help their employees cope with work-life balance (see: Responsibility of the employer).

Work-life conflict may come from organizational norms and ideologies. As a macro structure, the organization maintains the locus of power. Organizations, through its structure, practices, symbols and discourse, create and reproduce a dominant ideology. The dominant ideology is what drives organizational power and creates organizational norms.

At the top of the organizational hierarchy, the majority of individuals are males, and assumptions can be made regarding their lack of personal experience with the direct and indirect effects of work-family conflict.[13] For one, they may be unmarried and have no thought as to what "normal" family responsibilities entail. On the other hand, the high-level manager may be married, but his wife, due to the demands of the husband’s position, has remained at home, tending solely to the house and children. Ironically, these are the individuals creating and reforming workplace policies.[14]

Workplace policies, especially regarding the balance between family/life and work, create an organizational norm in which employees must fall into. This type of organizational behavior, according to Dennis Mumby, "contribut[es] in some ways to the structuring of organizational reality, and hence organizational power." [15]

The reality of what employees experience, specifically in regards to work-life balance, is a direct result of power operating covertly through ideological controls. This is seen in the ideological norm of the "ideal worker." Many organizations view the ideal worker as one who is "committed to their work above all else".[16] "Ideal workers" are those that demonstrate extra-role behaviors, which are seen as positive attributes.

Alternatively, those who are perceived as having to divide their time (and their commitments) are seen not as dedicated to the organization. As research has shown, a manager’s perception of a subordinate’s commitment to the organization is positively associated with the individual’s promotability. Hoobler et al.’s (2009) findings mirrored the perceived commitment-to-promotability likelihood.[17]

Often, these perceptions are placed on the female worker. Managers who perceived their female employees of maintaining high work-family conflict were presumed as not as committed to the organization, therefore not worthy of advancement. This negatively impacts working mothers as they may be "inaccurately perceived to have less commitment to their organizations than their counterparts, their advancement in organizations may be unfairly obstructed".[16]

Working mothers often have to challenge perceptions and stereotypes that evolve as a working woman becomes a working mother. Working mothers are perceived as less competent and less worthy of training than childless women.[18] Another study, focusing on professional jobs, found that mothers were 79 percent less likely to be hired and are typically held to a higher standard of punctuality and performance than childless women.[13] The moment when she becomes a mother, a working woman is held at a completely different norm than her childless colleagues. In the same Cuddy et al. (2004) study, men who became fathers were not perceived as any less competent, and in fact, their perceived warmth increased.[18]

The ways in which corporations have modelled the "ideal worker" does not compliment the family lifestyle, nor does it accommodate it. Long hours and near complete devotion to the profession makes it difficult for working mothers to participate in getting ahead in the workplace.[14] A Fortune article found that among the most powerful women in business (female CEOs, presidents and managing directors of major corporations), 29 percent were childless compared to 90 percent of men who were parents (;[14][19]).

Should a woman seek a position of power within an organization, she must consider the toll on other facets of her life, including hobbies, personal relationships and families. As Jeffrey Pfeffer states: "Time spent on the quest for power and status is time you cannot spend on other things, such as … family…The price seems to be particularly severe for women".[20] Many executive jobs require a substantial amount of overtime, which as a mother, many cannot devote because of family obligations.[14] Consequently, it is nearly impossible for a working mother in a top management position to be the primary caretaker of her child.[14] Work life balance should be maintained for an efficient and effective life.
Perceptions and gender differences

This circumstance only increases the work-life balance stress experienced by many women employees.

Research conducted by the Kenexa Research Institute (KRI), a division of Kenexa, evaluated how male and female workers perceive work-life balance and found that women are more positive than men in how they perceive their company’s efforts to help them balance work and life responsibilities. The report is based on the analysis of data drawn from a representative sample of 10,000 U.S. workers who were surveyed through WorkTrends, KRI’s annual survey of worker opinions.

The results indicated a shift in women’s perceptions about work-life balance. In the past, women often found it more difficult to maintain balance due to the competing pressures at work and demands at home.[21]

“The past two decades have witnessed a sharp decline in men’s provider role, caused in part by growing female labor participation and in part by the weakening of men’s absolute power due to increased rates of unemployment and underemployment” states sociologist Jiping Zuo. She continues on to state that “Women’s growing earning power and commitment to the paid workforce together with the stagnation of men’s social mobility make some families more financially dependent on women. As a result, the foundations of the male dominance structure have been eroded.”[22]
Concerns of men and women alike

Similar discrimination is experienced by men who take time off or reduce working hours for taking care of the family.

For many employees today—both male and female—their lives are becoming more consumed with a host of family and other personal responsibilities and interests. Therefore, in an effort to retain employees, it is increasingly important for organizations to recognize the balance.[21]
Young generation views

According to Kathleen Gerson, Sociologist, young people "are searching for new ways to define care that do not force them to choose between spending time with their children and earning an income" and "are looking for definition of personal identity that do not pit their own development against creating committed ties to others"[23][24] readily. Young adults believe that parents should get involved and support the children both economically and emotionally, as well as share labor equally. Young people do not believe work-life balance is possible and think it is dangerous to build a life dependent on another when relationships are unpredictable. They are looking for partners to share the house work and family work together.[24][25] Men and women believe that women should have jobs before considering marriage, for better life and to be happy in marriage. Young people do not think their mother’s generations were unhappy. They also do not think they were powerless because they were economically dependent.
Identity through work

By working in an organization, employees identify, to some extent, with the organization, as part of a collective group.[26] Organizational values, norms and interests become incorporated in the self-concept as employees increase their identification with the organization. However, employees also identify with their outside roles, or their "true self".[27] Examples of these might be parental/caretaker roles, identifications with certain groups, religious affiliations, align with certain values and morals, mass media etc.

Employee interactions with the organization, through other employees, management, customers, or others, reinforces (or resists) the employee identification with the organization.[27] Simultaneously, the employee must manage their "true self" identification. In other words, identity is "fragmented and constructed" through a number of interactions within and out of the organization; employees don’t have just one self.

Most employees identify with not only the organization, but also other facets of their life (family, children, religion, etc.). Sometimes these identities align and sometimes they do not. When identities are in conflict, the sense of a healthy work-life balance may be affected. Organization members must perform identity work so that they align themselves with the area in which they are performing to avoid conflict and any stress as a result.

Today there are many young women who do not want to just stay at home and do house work, but want to have careers. About 64% of mothers whose youngest child was under age six, and 77% of mothers with a youngest child age 6-17 were employed in 2010, indicating that the majority of women with dependent care responsibilities cannot or do not wish to give up careers. While women are increasingly represented in the work force, they still face challenges balancing work and home life. Both domestic and market labor compete for time and energy. “For women, the results show that only time spent in female housework chores has a significant negative effect on wages”.[citation needed]
Maternity leave

Maternity leave is a leave of absence for an expectant or new mother for the birth and care of the baby. This is a very important factor in creating a work-life balance for families, yet in the United States most states do not offer any paid time off for this important time in one's life. Many mothers are forced to return to work only weeks after having given birth to their children; missing out on important bonding time with their child. At this age, newborn babies and their mother are forming an important bond and the child is learning to trust and count on their parents. Yet, they are often sent to daycare and are now being cared for by a non-family member. According to the US Census, Almost two-thirds of American women (62 percent) with a birth in the last year were in the labor force in 2008

Faculty Sections / Dropbox
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:27:48 AM »
Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by Dropbox, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California, that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on their computers, which Dropbox then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder are also accessible via the Dropbox website and mobile apps. Dropbox uses a freemium business model, where users are offered a free account with a set storage size and paid subscriptions for accounts with more capacity.[6]

Dropbox was founded in 2007 by MIT students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, as a startup company from the American seed accelerator Y Combinator.[7] Dropbox provides client software for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone and web browsers, as well as unofficial ports to Symbian and MeeGo.

O.O. Demirbas¸ and H. Demirkan, Department of Interior Architecture
and Environmental Design, Bilkent University, 06800 Bilkent, Ankara,
Learning as an interactive process is an important issue in architectural
design education. This study aims to focus on architectural design
process through learning styles that are ‘accommodating’, ‘diverging’,
‘assimilating’ and ‘converging’ as stated in the Experiential Learning
Theory of Kolb. A research was conducted to evaluate the effects of
learning style preferences on the performance of design students in a
design process. It was found that there were statistically significant
differences between the performance scores of students having diverse
learning styles at various stages of design process. Also, it was found
that performance scores of all students having different learning styles
had increased at the end of the design process where the progress of
assimilating learners were the highest and accommodating learners the

Since the Los Angeles Times broke the news that the LA River Revitalization Corp has enlisted Gehry Partners to lead a new master plan effort for the Los Angeles River, there have been a slew of negative responses: the Friends of the Los Angeles River have refused to endorse the Gehry effort, reactions collected by the Architects Newspaper ranged from skeptical to angry, and Alissa Walker at Gizmodo did not mince words when her headline declared “Frank Gehry is the Wrong Architect to Revitalize the Los Angeles River.” These responses raise real and legitimate concerns - progress on the LA River has been years, if not decades, in the making. There is already a master plan, prepared by Mia Lehrer and Associates, and the US Army Corps of Engineers approved a plan to restore 11 miles of the river, known as Alternative 20, just this past July. There are worries that this new effort could threaten the current approvals and funding.

Frank Gehry is an easy target for criticism. His buildings can be polarizing, and his detractors are quick to seize on any defect. Details are trickling out slowly, but a recent presentation to reporters revealed that the plan would eventually identify locations for parks and real estate developments, as well as establish a unified design theme for future improvements such as pedestrian and bicycle paths. For his part, Gehry has emphasized the water reclamation aspects of the project - an especially timely subject in drought-stricken California. And in an interview with Frances Anderton on KCRW’s “Design and Architecture,” Gehry was quick to clarify, “It’s not a building, I’m not doing a building!”

Departments / Juulia Kauste / Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA)
« on: September 08, 2015, 04:14:38 PM »
On her recent trip to Chile for the Finland-Chile Architecture Marathon lecture series we had the chance to chat with Juulie Kauste, the director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA) in Helsinki. “[MFA] has always had the dual mission of focusing on collecting the heritage of architecture in Finland as well as focusing on contemporary architecture both in Finland and internationally,” Kauste explained.

One of the oldest architecture-focused museums in the world, MFA is unusual in that not only do they archive the work of every Finnish architect, but they also play an active role in promoting Finnish architecture and participating in the global architectural community. At both the Shenzhen Biennale and the 2014 Venice Biennale, MFA hosted “Re-Creation,” an installation that used both traditional Finnish and Chinese construction techniques to explore the concepts of “copying” and “reinterpretation.”

“The key part of the role of the museum is to provide a platform for a discussion and debate around architecture and around the ways in which architecture matters to society,” Kauste said. “It’s very much about this idea of sharing information about architecture, making information about architecture available, but also understandable.”

See what else Kauste has to say about what the role of architecture museums should be, how the digital age is affecting museums and the benefits of cross-cultural collaboration in the full video interview above and check out some of our past coverage on MFA below.

Departments / Wood Veneers - Natural Wood Veneers | Verolegno
« on: September 08, 2015, 04:13:29 PM »
erolegno's Natural Wood Veneers previously selected and always sectioned with the SLICER cut to achieve solid wood's beautiful appearance, showing original colors and veins of each species.The Natural Wood Veneers are out together under technological systems that adjust to every single project, which can be Book Match ( twinned), Plank match (random), Slip match, etc.

- Surface covering
- Interior cladding
- Interior Floors
- Furniture

- Residential
- Coporate
- Office
- Retail

- Solid wood appearance
- Wide range of colors and finishes

Special Natural Wood Veneers
These Natural Wood Veneers can be subjected to different processes of pigmentation or tinted saturation and Smoked (Afumatto); achieving truly spectacular effects. These veneers are also available in the Rough Cut (Saw cut) in different natural species, tinted and smoked .

Story, Article & Poetry / Vacation House / LM Architects
« on: September 08, 2015, 04:02:52 PM »
  The private residence is situated in the outskirts of Monemvasia, Greece, in a high pitch ground with panoramic view to the sea.

The functional units of the residence are distributed along a synthetically emphasized axis of movement creating two alternative open spaces allowing a maximum exploitation of the panoramic view and continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. The gradation of movement between solid and void spaces enables their adaptation to the slope organized in three levels.

The relationship between the building and tradition is expressed through references on its synthetic structure rather than regionalist ones.

Among the materials used, most significant are the stone- which underlines the basic synthetic principals, fair faced concrete and hacked plaster. Wooden decks and panels complete the composition of the residence.

Story, Article & Poetry / Shelf Life: Anne Linde Metal Collection
« on: September 08, 2015, 03:18:40 PM »
 Love metal? So do we, and we’re not talking Black Sabbath. We’re talking Danish metal. Designer Anne Linde from Denmark has created a range of gorgeous shelves that are so majestically Scandinavian minimalist, they have our head spinning.

“I find metal fantastic. I love its sleek, elegant expression that can be formed, bent, cast in infinite ways. It is a living, strong and durable material which is timeless. The organic aspects of my design add a soft and a sculptural feel to the metal that into all kinds of interior.”

The library/storage system can be customized by moving the boxes into different positions and different configurations. The boxes can be used separately or in groups to create new looks and custom storage capabilities.

The cylinders that aren’t supporting boxes can be used to hang objects like coats, bags, and decorative items. Even with no boxes installed on the wall system, Dots looks like a pleasant modern art installation that would fit perfectly into a modern home interior.

Made of autoclaved pine and durable polyester cord, the shelf offers virtually limitless possibilities to hold objects inside and out, from books to small personal items like sunglasses and phone charging cables. Stack shoes or paperwork with simple stretched lines or get more complex and engineer rope baskets for potted plants.

The 6-meter (19.6-foot) cord is long enough to wrap in all sorts of ways. Don’t need a lot of that length to hold the items inside? Try your hand at some decorative knots on the exterior. This piece by Lucas Couto and Pedro Augusto Rocha doesn’t appear to be for sale, but would be easy to replicate on your own with a few simple materials and tools.

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