Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is advertising-free, and is supported by my subscribers on Patreon. History adventuring posts are shared there daily. The basic tier is a dollar a month, and the PhD tier, which includes "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos, is five dollars a month, and is discounted for seniors, veterans, and students. If you're a subscriber, thank you! You make this happen!

Excellence of design - Phoenix freeways


As a Graphic Design teacher, people often asked me where they could go to see great Graphic Design? When I suggested their local mall, many people were confused. Isn't that just where the stores are? And nowadays when I want to point out excellence of design, I tell people to look at the 303 freeway.

As a frustrated architect (I couldn't do the math) I've always been fascinated with all types of buildings. And that includes the kind of structures that surround us, and we take for granted, airports, shopping malls, and even freeways.

If this point of view is new to you, I suggest that you start by looking at great architecture from the past. No one seems to have any difficulty recognizing excellence of design if it's old enough. Maybe the Pyramids, or the Roman Coliseum.

If I could time-travel, I'd go back and see great things being built. I'd go watch them build the Hoover Dam in 1933, I'd see the Grand Canal being dug through Phoenix in 1878. And so when I have the opportunity to see what I call "history in the making", such as the construction of the 303 freeway, not far from me, I go look at it.

I can't put it into words, because excellence in design is a completely different language. It starts with looking at it. So if you go take a look at it, don't be surprised if people are wondering what you're looking at, because they probably can't see it. But maybe someday they will. And when you see it, it's breathtaking.


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