from Pradodesign JIRA is an antipattern
Atlassian’s JIRA began life as a bug-tracking tool. Today, though, it has become an agile planning suite, “to plan, track, and release great software.” In many organizations it has become the primary map of software projects, the hub of all development, the infamous “source of truth.”
It is a truism that the map is not the territory. Alas, this seems especially true of JIRA. Its genesis as a bug tracker, and its resulting use of “tickets” as its fundamental, defining unit, have made its maps especially difficult to follow. JIRA1 is all too often used in a way which makes it, inadvertently, an industry-wide “antipattern,” i.e. “a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being highly counterproductive.”
One thing that writing elegant software has in common with art: its crafters should remain cognizant of the overall macro vision of the project, at the same time they are working on its smallest micro details. JIRA, alas, implicitly teaches everyone to ignore the larger vision while focusing on details. There is no whole. At best there is an “Epic” — but the whole point of an Epic is to be decomposed into smaller pieces to be worked on independently. JIRA encourages the disintegration of the macro vision.
What’s more, feature-driven JIRA does not easily support the concept of project-wide infrastructure which does not map to individual features. A data model used across the project. A complex component used across multiple pages. A caching layer for a third-party interface. A background service providing real-time data used across multiple screens. Sure, you can wedge those into JIRA’s ticket paradigm … but the spiderweb of dependencies which result don’t help anyone.
Worst of all, though, is the endless implicit pressure for tickets to be marked finished, to be passed on to the next phase. Tickets, in the JIRA mindset, are taken on, focused on until complete, and then passed on, never to be seen again. They have a one-way lifecycle: specification; design; development; testing; release. Doesn’t that sound a little … um … waterfall-y? Isn’t agile development supposed to be fundamentally different from waterfall development, rather than simply replacing one big waterfall with a thousand little ones?
Here’s an analogy. Imagine a city-planning tool which makes it easy to design city maps which do include towers, residential districts, parks, malls, and roads … but which doesn’t easily support things like waterworks, sewers, subway tunnels, the electrical grid, etc., which can only be wedged in through awkward hacks, if at all.
Now imagine this tool is used as a blueprint for construction, with the implicit baked-in assumption that a) the neighborhood is the fundamental unit of city construction b) cities are built one neighborhood at a time, and neighborhoods one block at a time. What’s more, one is incentivized to proceed to the next only when the last is absolutely complete, right down to the flowers growing in the median strips.
Now imagine that the city’s developers, engineers, and construction workers are asked to estimate and report progress purely in terms of how many neighborhoods and blocks have been fully completed, and how far along each one is. Does that strike you as a particularly effective model of urban planning? Do you think you would like to live in its result? Or, in practice, do you think that the best way to grow a city might be just a little more organic?
Let’s extend that metaphor. Suppose you began to build the city more organically, so that, at a certain significant point, you have a downtown full of a mix of temporary and permanent buildings; the skyscrapers’ foundations laid (i.e. technical uncertainty resolved); much of the core infrastructure built out; a few clusters of initial structures in the central neighborhoods, and shantytowns in the outskirts; a dirt airstrip where the airport will be; and traffic going back and forth among all these places. In other words, you have built a crude but functioning city-in-the-making, its skeleton constructed, ready to be fleshed out. Well done!
But if measured by how many blocks and neighborhoods are absolutely finished, according to the urban planners’ artistic renditions, what is your progress? By that measure, your progress is zero.
So that is not how JIRA incentivizes you to work. That would look like a huge column of in-progress tickets, and zero complete ones. That would look beyond terrible. Instead JIRA incentivizes you to complete an entire block, and then the next; an entire neighborhood, and then the next; to kill off as many different tickets as possible, to mark them complete and pass them on, even if splicing them together after the fact is more difficult than building them to work together in the first place,.
(If you prefer a smaller-scale model, just transpose: city → condo building, neighborhood → floor, block → unit, etc.)
And so people take tickets, implement them as written, pass them off to whoever is next in the workflow, consider their job well done, even if working on scattered groups of them in parallel might be much more effective … and without ever considering the larger goal. “Implement the Upload button” says the ticket; so that is all that is done. The ticket does not explain that the larger goal of the Upload button is to let users back up their work. Perhaps it would actually be technically easier to automatically upload every state change, such that the user gets automatic buttonless backups plus a complete undo/redo stack. But all the ticket says is: “Implement the Upload button.” So that is all that is done.
All too often, the only time anyone worries about the vision of the project as a whole is at the very beginning, when the overworked project manager(s) initially deal(s) with the thankless task of decomposing the entire project into a forest of tickets. But the whole point of agile development is to accept that the project will always be changing over time, and — albeit to a lesser extent — for multiple people, everyone on the team, to help contribute to that change. JIRA has become a tool which actually works against this.
(And don’t even get me started on asking engineers to estimate a project that someone else has broken down, into subcomponents whose partitioning feels unnatural, by giving them about thirty seconds per feature during a planning meeting, and then basing the entire project plan on those hand-waved un-researched off-the-top-of-the-head half-blind guesses, without ever revisiting them or providing time for more thoughtful analysis. That antipattern is not JIRA’s fault … exactly. But JIRA’s structure contributes to it.)
I’m not saying JIRA has no place. It’s very good when you’re at the point where breaking things down into small pieces and finishing them sequentially does make sense. And, unsurprisingly given its history, it’s exceedingly good at issue tracking.
Let me reiterate: to write elegant software, you must keep both the macro and the micro vision in your mind simultaneously while working. JIRA is good at managing micro pieces. But you need something else for the macro. (And no, a clickable prototype isn’t enough; those are important, but they too require descriptive context.)
Allow me to propose something shocking and revolutionary: prose. Yes, that’s right; words in a row; thoughtfully written paragraphs. I’m not talking about huge requirements documents. I’m talking about maybe a ten-page overview describing the vision for the entire project in detail, and a six-page architectural document explaining the software infrastructure — where the city’s water, sewage, power, subways, and airports are located, and how they work, to extend the metaphor. When Amazon can, famously, require six-page memos in order to call meetings, this really doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
Simply ceasing to treat JIRA as the primary map and model of project completion undercuts a great deal of its implicit antipatternness. Use it for tracking iterative development and bug fixes, by all means. It’s very good at that. But it is a tool deeply ill-suited to be the map of a project’s overall vision or infrastructure, and it is never the source of truth — the source of truth is always the running code. In software, as in art, the micro work and the macro vision should always be informed by one another. Let JIRA map the micro work; but let good old-fashioned plain language describe the macro vision, and try to pay more attention to it.
1Atlassian seems to have decapitalized JIRA between versions 7.9 and 7.10, but descriptively, all-caps still seems more common.
from Pradodesign Introduce Colors to Your Architectural Facade Using Materials Other Than Paint
You have most likely come upon a project of a kindergarten, a school, or a recreational center once before and thought that a touch of cheery colors on the facade would do it much good. However, what options do we have to introduce color to an architectural facade? By default, we think of the most basic, available, and seemingly economic material, and that is paint. Paint has been advancing lately with new and better types of developing every now and then, but is it good enough for your exterior facade? You have probably heard once or twice before that plain old paint on a facade makes the building look cheap and inelegant. But how else could you add a pleasant variety of colors to your facade? How to design an architectural elevation?
Here, we will give you a list of materials which are available in a varied range of colors and which you can flexibly and fashionably use to clad your elevations
List of Materials for Your Architectural Facade:
Painted metal is one classy solution to the issue of color. Colored metal cladding panels come in various forms, and they are mostly manufactured from Aluminum or Stainless Steel. The panels are painted and coated with protective chemicals to keep them vivid and lustrous.
Mira Shopping Center in Munich, Germany – Chapman Taylor
Photography: Rufus46 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Sometimes, instead of opting for plain solid panels, architects prefer to use aluminum mesh panels with tiny regular punctures. These panels give a semi-transparent effect to the architectural facade.
Espace Culturel de La Hague in France – Peripheriques Architectes
Photography Sergio Grazia
Triangular red metal panels envelop the entrance and terrace of this cultural center in Northwest France. These panels comprise frames of anodized steel beams and mesh, and they structure together a dynamic 3D-skeleton to shelter the space within.
Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore – WOHA
Photography: K. Kopter
The Oasis Hotel in Singapore is clad, almost all-around, in mesh panels of various red shades. Creeping plants grow in between these panels, giving the whole edifice an exotic impression and referencing Singapore’s tropical location.
Perforated metal panels don’t have to come in standard regular mesh-like forms. The perforations could be of any size and shape, and they could form a sort of a pattern or a figure to mark the facade and give it an aesthetic appeal.
Euronews Headquarters in Lyon – Jakob + MacFarlane
Photography: Nicolas Borel
The whole building is enveloped in a green aluminum perforated skin with sinuous patterns, to filter the incoming air and light. There are, also, these two oversized egg-like punctures in the main facade which reveal strips of solid green aluminum panels and glass.
There are other ways to obtain unique colors for cladding-metal other than artificial paint; like for example Oxidized Copper. Copper in its original state has a lustrous brownish tint which could look quite attractive on a facade. However, when oxidized under the effect of certain chemicals, it reveals a unique shade of green. This shade of green is known as the “patina”. One famous example that features natural patina is the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Public Middle School Of Labarthe-Sur-Lèze in France – LCR Architectes
Copper used for cladding in its original state – Photography: Sylvain Mille
Stuckeman Family Building in Pennsylvania State University – Overland | WTW Architects
Courtesy of Penn State College of Art and Architecture
Colored glass is another option to enliven you architectural facade. Glass gains color when certain metals and metal oxides are added to it during its production. For example, Iron oxide gives the glass a bluish-green tint, while nickel gives it a blue, violet, or black tint, according to its concentration.
Kayseri Ice Ring in Turkey – BKA-BahadırKulArchitects
Photography: Ket Kolektif
This building in Kayseri Turkey is home to an ice rink, and the designers aspired to reflect the activity inside on the facade by introducing colors. They decided to seal the building’s organic amorphous openings with colored glass, and the result is quite impressive.
Colored glass sheets don’t have to reflect one color. You can opt for Dichroic glass which reflects various shades of color under different lighting conditions. This could give your architectural facade a playful dynamic effect.
FULTON – A5 A1 | Agence Bernard Bühler
Photography: Sergio Grazia
The Fulton block in Paris showcases the variance in the reflected color of the dichroic glass, used for the balconies’ handrails, at day and night and from different angles.
Ceramic is quite appealing as pottery, but it is also popular as a flooring and wall-cladding material, especially for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. It has three main types: earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain.
Terracotta is one form of ceramic which belongs to the earthenware family. It has been used since ancient times for sculptures, pots, decorative elements, and to give architectural facades a touch of red. An interesting modern application of Terracotta, in its glazed and non-glazed form, is the Coca-Cola Headquarters building in Berlin.
Coca-Cola Headquarters in Berlin, Germany – Tchoban Voss Architekten
Photography: Claus Graubner
Three of the building’s four elevations feature horizontal ceramic claddings colored in five Terracotta shades. These shades include Coca-Cola’s trademark red “Chinese Vermilion”, two shades lighter, and two shades darker. The two lighter shades are matt, while the rest is glossy, to show the cladding’s true colors and highlight the variation in tones.
Although concrete panels and tiles are remarkable for their cement-gray shade, they would still look good in colors. That was the case with the Yardhouse in London.
The Yardhouse in London, UK – Assemble
Courtesy of Assemble (Left) – Photography: David Grandorge (right)
The Yardhouse showcases the beauty of concrete tiles when given various hues. The shingle-like tiles were handmade on site and colored randomly in different pastel pigments. The outcome was this diverse yet harmonic and charming facade. While this might arguably count as paint, the final impression is certainly far more exquisite.
Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Poland – Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat
Photography: Paul Raftery
This museum in Poland utilizes colored concrete but in a different and more profound light. The whole building is enveloped in Terracotta-red concrete panels, while the main facade of its entrance building is fully glazed. The ensuing contrast between the solid red-tinged concrete and the transparent glass gives it an outstanding look.
If one material won’t work then you can use many. One way to do so is by combining two or more different materials in one facade. But, one step further is to combine these different materials in one, and that is what many manufacturers of architectural materials are doing now.
Cultural Centre Ca Don José in Spain – Hector Luengo Arquitectos
Courtesy of Trespa
This cultural center in Spain features Lego-like colorful panels on its facade. These panels are made from High-Pressured Laminate (HPL) or what is known as Decorative Laminate. This laminate is composed of resins and fibers, which can be natural to a percentage.
Museum at Prairiefire in Kansas, US – Verner Johnson
Photography: Sam Fentress
Now, we get back to the first approach with this unusual shimmering facade. The architect combined multi-colored iridescent stainless steel tiles and dichroic glass to end up with a quite vibrant yet stylish facade that changes color at the different times of the day.
Brandhorst Museum in Munich, Germany – Sauerbruch Hutton
Courtesy of Sauerbruch Hutton
Here, on the other hand, the architect achieves a playful trick of color, using both Terracotta and Aluminum. Red and blue horizontal aluminum sheets act as a backdrop for 36,000 ceramic rods that feature 23 different custom colors. The combination creates an animated effect under the sunlight and the colors seem pleasantly harmonious when viewed from afar.
These were our suggestions for alternative materials which you can use to add color to your Architectural Facade other than paint. Surely, there are many other innovations out there. So, what have we missed? Tell us what else should be on our list.
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from Pradodesign 50 Years Later, We Still Don’t Grasp the Mother of All Demos Doug Engelbart didn’t just want to show off new technology. He wanted to demonstrate a system for improving humanity. https://ift.tt/2E9eBF2 https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Ribbon House | G2 Estudio
Ribbon House, Linking distant lands, this time G2 Estudio was hired by two families from Tahiti- French Polynesia, partners in the adventure to create a holiday house in San Carlos de Bariloche – Patagonia Argentina, the one should have a wide integrated space for leisure and recreation, two master-rooms, two bedrooms for the children, and all the necessary equipment to a holiday house.
Photography: Laila Sartoni
Like the current residence style of the owners (on an island), the choice of the area where the house would be implanted also seems to be an island, but this time between two rivers, surrounded by a stunning landscape into the four cardinal points: Cerro Catedral to the West, Sierra Ventana to the South, the Golf to the North, and a canyon with a creek and lush vegetation to the East. This way the house should be sufficiently dislocated in the footprint composition to ensure that each volume can achieve a particular frame of the breathtaking nature…
Photography: Laila Sartoni
The initial idea comes from the juxtaposition of volumes, each containing different functions, on one hand, the social life and in the others the private life. When these volumes meet each other, mixing the geometry and space, it generates dynamic routes between the activity and rest areas of the house, that getting in tension they experiment the transition between being supported on the rock to rise into the sky searching perfect visuals.
Is this way that we can appreciate an up-down experience link.
Photography: Laila Sartoni
The morphology and materials used were thought to achieve that the strong became in fragile, the solid in ethereal, the supported in support, the dynamic in static, and vice versa.
So the house is a search between the balance, juxtaposition, ribbon, viewing-point, vital tour, and hug.
To get the artistic expression and to reach the limits of the materials, the work was performed with two different systems that can reflect the idea of the project. The support would be reinforced concrete, bringing it to their fullest potential in horizontal planes, vertical and lead off, for a seismically active area such as San Carlos de Bariloche, along with the stone as a heavy and rustic material in dialogue with the near mountains. The sustained would be of steel-frame for the outer shells, partitions, panels, sun visors, which would be clad in wood from the area taking advantage of its warmth and lightness. For the roof panels and folded it was used asphalt slate black color, creating color and texture contrasts.
Photography: Laila Sartoni
The interiors are the result of the interpenetration of volumes compositional directions respecting convergences and materiality making a dramatic balance between the expression of forms, textures, and visuals.-
With Ribbon House G2 Estudio closes a small cycle of evolution in the search for housing types, and launches into new spaces for this architectural exploration, arguing that every expression of architecture should be unique and unrepeatable as the users are.
Architects: G2 Estudio
Structural Calculations: Ingenieria Zapata
Area: 396.0 m2
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Laila Sartoni
Project Name: Ribbon House
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from Pradodesign El Camion Restaurant | LLONA + ZAMORA Arquitectos + Fernando Mosquera
El Camion Restaurant designed by LLONA + ZAMORA arquitectos + Fernando Mosquera, On the Panamerican Highway, nineteen kilometers south of Lima, there is a mandatory rest stop for truck drivers, which include a gas station, rest areas, and food services. EL CAMION is located on one of the corners of this rest stop, in an area of 22.5 x 10m, where it is unfeasible to park. Surrounded by trucks, with constant movement, there is always a new landscape. The restaurant is locked up between trucks; hence the project looked for the creation of an “interior”, providing patios in which truck drivers could rest after extended working hours.
Photography: Michelle Llona R
The project proposes the main volume of 20 x 2.5m and 6m in height, that achieves the desired intimacy while establishing a formal dialogue with the surrounding elements. A big, yet light container emerges within the rest of the trucks in the parking lot. This main element configures the image of EL CAMION: a wickerwork box that rises over the trucks, visible from the highway. The restaurant´s interior is organized through a sequence of enclosed smaller volumes, interspersed by voids: toilets, patio, an enclosed dining hall (yet to be built), patio, and kitchen.
Photography: Michelle Llona R
The materiality distinguishes two systems. First, a system of reinforced masonry painted white for the smaller volumes. Second, a system of Guayaquil cane for the container volume. The box rises up to 6 meters, using the maximum length allowed by the cane. The structure is solved through porches braced by canes in its surrounding, and steel tensors in the interior and roof; all of these bracings are located in the upper section of the space—a table-like structure. The joints between canes, columns, beams, and bracings are made with bolts and fasteners. Moreover, rigidity in the knots is assured by infiltrating concrete in the canes.
After the structural armature, a series guide for the wickerwork is placed with a cane of lesser width. The alternated horizontal displacement of the wickerwork produces a lattice that allows for glimpses of both the interior and exterior of the dining hall.
Photography: Michelle Llona R
Architects: LLONA + ZAMORA arquitectos + Fernando Mosquera
Location: Villa el Salvador, Lima, Perú
Area: 220.0 m2
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Michelle Llona R
Project Name: El Camion Restaurant
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from Pradodesign Facebook’s and Tumblr’s New Policies Top This Week’s Internet News Roundup Last week, the blogging platform had a rough go of it. And that was just the beginning. https://ift.tt/2UwHfFI https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Waymo’s Self-Driving Launch, and More This Week in Cars But the announcement came with serious caveats. Plus: Tesla’s Autopilot, May Mobility, and scooters. https://ift.tt/2UojTlI https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Best Noise-Canceling Headphones (2018): Bose, Sony, Plantronics, and More These over-ears and earbuds will add some silence and serenity to your day. https://ift.tt/2E81mEK https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Best Base Layers 2018: Patagonia, Ridge Merino, REI, Columbia From merino wool to space gel, we put eight different long johns to the outdoor test. https://ift.tt/2Emm70k https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Kangan Batman Institute | Lyons
Kangan Batman Institute designed by Lyons, The new Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Melbourne’s Docklands accommodates a dedicated training and showcase facility for Australia’s automotive trades and manufacturing. It consists of high-bay workshop spaces, specialist workrooms, classrooms, and office accommodation.
A strategy was needed to develop an appropriate civic scale for this small public building in the context of its surrounding commercial urbanscape.
Photography: John Gollings Photography
We looked at the history of the Docklands to identify a gesture to allow the building to compete with its high rise neighbors – in particular, the history of the ‘big shed’, evident in the adjacent railway sheds. The roof is a large, simple gable which connects ACE to other Melbourne based industrial training spaces.
The building also absorbs sources from automotive culture, and its relationships with the city; kerb signs, tyre treads, city overpasses, and the sheen of car showrooms. The interiors evoke something of the automotive predilection for contrasting the technological and mechanical with the finished and the smooth.
Photography: John Gollings Photography
The main foyer with its monumental staircase acts as the key circulation pathway through the building. Visitors experience a transition from traditional technical college materiality; raw blockwork, exposed steel, and concrete to contemporary applications of carbon fiber and glass projection technology.
The shed facade system incorporates automated louvers which enable the workshop spaces to be naturally ventilated. The offices and classroom spaces are cooled by an active thermal mass system. In combination with other environmental sustainable design features the building has achieved a 5-Star Green Star environmental rating.
Location: Docklands, Victoria, Australia
Project Manager: Carson Group
Structural Engineering: Robert Bird Partnership
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering: Umow Lai & Associates
Acoustic Consultant: Watson Moss Growcott
Builder: Hansen & Yuncken
Area: 5000.0 m2
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: John Gollings Photography
Project Name: Kangan Batman Institute
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