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Category Archives: General News

63842863 Pavement Handicap Symbol And Wheelchair

Are We Losing ADA Protections? And Should We?

Were you aware that there are one in five, or 56 million Americans living with disabilities? Further, of those 38 million, or one in ten, are considered living with severe disabilities such as blindness, deafness or epilepsy. These are sobering numbers and brings to light that the challenges Americans with disabilities face on a daily basis are on a grand scale.

Because of these challenges, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The legislation prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. To architects, the most concerning part of the act is Title III. This concerns physical access to privately owned places offering public accommodation, such as restaurants, retail stores, hotels and other public environments.

This act has created tremendous change for the accessibility of millions of Americans. Most developers, architects and business owners have energetically embraced the letter of the law and the spirit of the act to make life just a bit more reasonable for the disabled. Just like every good action, there seems to be a sinister force that has taken advantage of well-intentioned legislation. This deceptive group of individuals have created a ‘business’ of filing thousands of lawsuits against businesses for alleged noncompliance with Title III and the ADA. These suits have damaged businesses, hamstrung courts with unnecessary actions, and created a shadow on legislation that was created to do what is right and just.

Currently, H.R. 620 just passed the House of Representatives, which promises to remedy and relieve Americans from the burdens of some elements of Title III and the ADA. If it falls on favorable ears in the Senate and on the desk of the President of the United States, these changes would become permanent. This being the case, it could actually create new legal barriers for the disabled and leave them stranded without legal relief.

We must understand the impact the ADA has our our society, and overall it has been a positive force in our society. What needs to change is the cottage industry of fraud surrounding this act and the unscrupulous behavior of less than reputable businesses that refuse to act in a manner that is respectable.

Can we preserve Title III and the ADA, while respecting the rights of millions of disabled Americans? Why did the American Institute of Architects (AIA) not shout loud enough for the public to hear that the rights of 56 million Americans will be impacted?

From the Factory Floor

…a fixture in the making

IMG 7875

By Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


Doshi Architect Pritzker Prize Historical

Balkrishna Doshi Recognized For A Lifetime of Social Good

“One is all the time looking at financial returns — that is not only what life is. I think wellness is missing.”

Balkrishna Doshi, Architect

Balkrishna Doshi has become the 45th laureate of architecture’s highest honor, the prestigious Pritzker Prize. He is also the first laureate from India. The Pritzker Prize is bestowed upon a living architect or architects whose work clearly demonstrates talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.

Mr. Doshi started his architectural career in 1947 at the Sir JJ School of Architecture in Mumbai. During the 1950’s he contributed to the work on Chandigarh, which was an experimental modernist city 150 miles north of New Delhi. He continued his work on the Mill Owners’ Association Building in 1954 and other projects in the Ahmedabad region, to include the Sarabi House in 1955. In 1956, he founded his practice Vastushilpa, which now has five partners and 60 employees. In the early 1960’s, Dr. Doshi worked on the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, where he was an associate of Louis Kahn for the project. His work has consistently drawn on the grandeur of Indian history and culture, reflecting the essence of local materials, busy city streets and the splendor of Indian shrines and temples. Mr. Doshi has always had a certain vision for his projects. He strongly feels that architecture is not static, but a living organism. Never intended to be iconic structures, his projects were intended to be miniature societies that residents can easily expand over time.

“What is the role of an architect today? Are we going to be a service provider working for a client, or are we going to be useful to the society at large?”

Balkrishna Doshi, Architect

He has been driven by the larger issues of sustainability and social good throughout his career. Mr Doshi feels that today’s architecture is a culture and profession focused strictly on the bottom line of projects. Instead, he feels strongly that architecture should focus on wellness throughout the design. Considerations of living life at your own pace and how we should connect with silence should be incorporated into designs.

The Pritzker jury commented in their citation that housing as shelter is but one aspect of these projects. The entire planning of the community, the scale, the creation of public, semipublic and private spaces are a testament to his understanding of how cities work and the importance of the urban design.

Paulwilliams Architect Historical

Paul Williams Shaped the Face of Los Angeles Architecture

Black History Month is celebrated during February and is the perfect opportunity to recognize the contributions of a historic and groundbreaking black architect who shaped the face of Los Angeles architecture forever.

“Planning is thinking beforehand how something is to be made or done, and mixing imagination with the product – which in a broad sense makes all of us planners. The only difference is that some people get a license to get paid for thinking and the rest of us just contribute our good thoughts to our fellow man.”

Paul Williams, Architect

Paul Williams was a native Angeleno and largely practiced in Southern California. He was the only African-American student in his elementary school and went on to study at the Los Angeles School of Art, the Los Angeles branch of the New York Beaux-Arts Institute of Design. He went on to further his education at the University of Southern California (USC) studying architecture, where he designed several residential buildings while a student there. He became a certified architect in 1921, becoming the first black architect west of the Mississippi. He later became a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1923 and was inducted as their first black fellow. When he began his career, he could not find another black architect to be a role model or mentor.

Williams made his name by being an architect to the stars. His work would come to signify the glamorous and luxurious lifestyle of Southern California. One of the hallmarks in his designs was a luxurious curving staircase, which was the prominent feature in a 1925 Colonial he built in Brentwood for a notable financial services mogul. The new owner remarked that when he first saw the home, it looked so luxurious that he wasn’t sure he could afford the home, but if he could afford the staircase, he would take it with him. Williams’ homes were soon know for their grace, design and elegant proportions. They attracted such clients as Frank Sinatra, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Lon Chaney, Sr., Lucille Ball, Julie London, Tyrone Power, Barbara Stanwyck, Bert Lahr, Charles Correll, Will Hays, Zasu Pitts, and Danny Thomas. In all, he designed over 2300 homes in the Hollywood Hills and the Mid-Wilshire district.

Paul Williams retired in 1973 and passed in January of 1980. In October 2015, a monument and memorial plaza was dedicated to Williams north of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building. It features a bas relief of Williams with many of his works.

Custom Lighting From the Factory Floor

Inspired fixture by ADG…just like an Erector set with lights!

Custom Lighting Creative Lighting Adg

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


Sustainable Architecture Design Sustainability

Sustainable Architecture Can Provide Sustainable Shelter

Our world is changing and challenging us to face new realities never considered before. Climate change, drought, famine and wars are creating a situation where people are without adequate and affordable housing. With a global population of over one billion people, the lack of adequate housing is only going to increase. Experts are now looking to sustainable architecture to provide solutions to this crisis. Structures initially designed using sustainable architecture to provide housing for future inhabitants on Mars for NASA may be the answer.

“Forced displacement from war or persecution is one of humanity’s great challenges in the 21st century. It’s not about to go away any time soon and those who are affected desperately need our help.”

Kathryn Mahoney, Senior Communications Officer for the UN’s Refugee Agency.

Sustainable Architecture Creates Solutions

The late Nader Khalili, architect and founder of Cal-Earth, started his quest for answers in 1974, when he became determined to find housing solutions for people with limited money and no resources. At that time, Khalili discovered that millions of people around the globe were either refugees, homeless or just a few steps away from disaster. He spent five years traveling in the Iranian desert and learned from indigenous communities how they used sustainable architecture to their advantage. His non-profit Cal-Earth now teaches the concept of building SuperAdobes. The method is simple. Put to use the raw elements available, with basic architectural principles and habitable shelter becomes a reality. All that is needed would be soil, water, sand bags, barbed wire and a shovel to complete a structure.

When you are building with natural materials, you are creating solutions through sustainable architecture that addresses the challenges of war, storms and other potential disasters. No matter what the situation people may find themselves in, the skills developed by Cal-Earth using sustainable architecture techniques will allow people to build in any situation. Dastan and Sheefteh Khalili carry on with the groundbreaking work of their father through Cal-Earth. Their vision is that people will be able to build homes that work in harmony with nature and a minimal carbon footprint.

From the Factory Floor

Sketch of new lighting fixture
Custom Lighting Architect Adg
 by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


N9612 0822SF UD Master SR Lkg Fwd Copy

Yacht Design Project Nominated For Prestigious Awards

Our unique collaboration with Scott Cole of Ardeo Design to design lighting for the Ardeo yacht project Lacey Kay has received well-deserved accolades with recent award recognition. The Lacey Kay is a 96’ foot New Nordhavn Super Yacht, based out of the Caribbean. Ardeo Design was commissioned to work on the interior design of the new yacht, and ADG Lighting was the perfect choice to partner with them on the project. The Lacey Kay project was nominated for several awards:

Boat International Design & Innovation Awards 2018 recognized the Lacey Kay as a finalist for 2018. Previously known as the ShowBoats Design Awards, the refreshed awards program acknowledges not only the naval architecture and styling, but also design aspects that represent innovation and engineering amid the changing demands of owners and the increased product portfolio of technology.

The International Yacht & Aviation Awards are in their 8th year and are the only design-focused awards for the industry. The Lacey Kay was a 2017 winner. There are other events which are, of course, are similar in nature, but none that have come about with the sole intention on focusing on the essential design elements of both the yacht and aviation sectors.

International Superyacht Society Awards recognized the Lacey Kay as a finalist in 2017. It is the global association for the superyacht industry.

ADG Lighting was challenged to bring the client’s vision to reality. The owner of the Lacey Kay had a vision of walnut wood, leather and fabric on the interiors with accents of polished stainless steel. The creative offerings from ADG Lighting included a chrome shade wall sconce and a round drum chandelier. Both offerings precisely created the vision of the client and Ardeo Design. The final design concept surpassed the owner’s expectation and vision for a design that featured natural and metallic elements. The partnership was the perfect opportunity for ADG Lighting to feature their creative collaboration approach to design. The Lacey Kay was delivered to the owner in early 2016.

Photo Credit: Martin Fine. Interior Design: Scott Cole.



climate change, green architecture, architecture, innovation, creative

Climate Change: Will We See Floating Architecture?

“Given the impact of climate change, we can begin to think a lot more about the opportunity for living with water as opposed to fighting it,”

~Kunle Adeyemi, Architect

In an age where we grapple with the effects of climate change and rising water level across the globe, the question now becomes how will our cities properly deal with the challenge? Some in the architectural community put forward the idea that floating buildings will be the answer moving forward. These innovative ideas are being promoted in a wide variety of designs in various locations around the world. Solutions that are being offered range from floating prefab homes to entire neighborhoods that are totally amphibious.

Core samples, tide gauge readings, and most recently, satellite measurements tell us that over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches. However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches a year, roughly twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years. When sea levels rise rapidly, as they have been doing, even a small increase can have devastating effects on coastal habitats. As seawater reaches farther inland, it can cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants.

With the ever-increasing threat of rising water, a community that has pioneered the idea of water-based living is the Netherlands. With over half of its landmass underwater, the Netherlands have mastered the art of water management, namely through an effective and creative canal system. Climate change has forced that creativity forward to find more ambitious ways to transform its cities. In Amsterdam, you will find innovative houseboats all around the city. One of the most creative designs is a slatted timber structure that floats and has one story submerged below the water level. Designs now exist for an entire housing complex that can float and is set on artificial islands.

Other examples of floating architectural design that are meeting the challenges of rising water levels can be found in Lagos, Nigeria, which is battling significant rises in tides and water levels. Architect Kunle Adeymi has designed numerous floating buildings in the region, including schools and radio stations. Other innovations are being offered by teams from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Their idea was to design and build prefabricated houses that can be shipped and assembled anywhere in the world.

From The Design Studio

Collection from the ADG showroom

custom lighting, design, architecture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting