We can all admit, that aesthetically pleasing color and pattern is lacking in the urban and architectural fabric of San Francisco, Bay Area. We are not talking about gaudy, orange or blue palette (which is more shocking than awe inspiring). We’re referring to carefully, chosen  interplay of color and pattern that works with the space, forms, light and shadows to create something magical.  As bay area architects, we’re always looking for inspiration on our travels both from nature and man made landscapes. Equally, intriguing are the abstruse elements of cultural, religious, philosophical and habitual differences and practices.

Art, Architecture and Design with meaning is created when the influence or inspiration isn’t literal. Most Architects and designers reach for architecture history books, or trade magazines for ideas. We on the other hand look out the window. We seek inspiration from theater, poetry, literature, fashion, nature, cultural and social nuances for non-literal ideas, (turning these into a space or form is a challenge with a huge reward).  Add to that,  issues larger than regulatory requirements concerning environmental, social and technological advances and voila, you have something revolutionizing, no matter what the scale. Stagnation in the creative process happens when folks stop looking or paying attention. Simple Lunch hour visits to an antique or vintage store or even a hardware store can turn into a fireworks of ideas.

Below are some pictures of a random road side temple we came across in Bangkok. We don’t know the story behind these ‘toy’ zebras, we didn’t come across a store or vendor that was selling these either. Their arrangement, varied scale, minimalist pattern and color with yellow garlands put the spunk in the otherwise grey, polluted plot of land and city of Bangkok at large. This was not a tourist spot, just a piece of land in between touristic attractions. There was no temple, the area couldn’t have been more than 200 sf and was fenced in with an open gate, so anybody could walk in. And that’s exactly what we did . . . .



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HB+A Architects