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Positive vibes: Let's take a look at the brighter side of these crazy times

Perhaps now is a good time to take a page from Monty Python's book and look on the bright side of life. So let's push aside the doom and gloom for a bit and bring a little positivity to these strange times we all currently find ourselves in.

March 19, 2020 |

Courtesy Pixabay


As virtual happy hours get old, employers seek fresh ways to engage remote workers (WSJ) 
Virtual concerts, talent shows, "Ask me anything" video sessions, virtual team lunches (with meal delivery), virtual book clubs, and more! 



#WFH podcast: Life of an Architect's Bob Borson, FAIA, and Andrew Hawkins, AIA, on the new reality of working from home full-time. 

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business as usual is anything but. Andrew and I felt like we should interrupt our regularly scheduled podcast to take some time and talk about working from home—something that we all are going to have to deal with for the foreseeable future."
Listen in at:








Work voice: 'I'm married to a "let's circle back" guy—who knew?'

We're all discovering the "work voices" of our spouses and/or family members. Check out this hilarious and all-too-accurate reddit thread.



Blitz architecture + Design
Betchya couldn't care less about our plan to address CV19 right? Instead here is a little something that you might actually find useful - our take on the ideal design to support your newfound WFH lifestyle. We hope you'll take a cue a two and spruce up your quarantined quarters. Pro tip: prioritize the "fuel" stations. 

Blitz home office



Pajamas and Kids!

Many of you might be working from home—putting on the work shirt over your pajamas with the kids running the show! Welcome to the daily lives of our team. The process goes a lot better when you get into a routine. Ask us for tips!

CEO Dr. Garry Vermaas works among his 12 children who remain off from school.

Daily BASE4 operations between our remote team members.



Virtual cocktail hours help those stuck at home
Video happy hours are helping bring some normalcy to those stuck at home in self quarantine. Read more here and here 



Tour museums around the world from the comfort of your couch!
American Museum of Natural History
New York, NY
While the American Museum of Natural History is closed, the Museum is sharing a range of online content that engages audiences in its scientific research and educational mission. Among the resources from the Museum are the OLogy science website, where kids and families can find fun activities and games to learn about the natural world around them; online curriculum collections for teachers, parents, and students on topics ranging from dinosaurs to river ecology; learning opportunities for all ages through Museum courses on CourseraKhan Academy, and Kahoot; professional learning for teachers on Coursera and through the Museum’s Seminars on Science; and opportunities to visit virtually through the Museum’s YouTube channel, which features videos that take audiences into the institution’s world-class collections and into the field with researchers. Additionally, over the next two weeks, the Museum’s Facebook page will host previously recorded tours of the Museum’s halls and collections as Facebook Lives at 2 p.m. ET.

Corning Museum of Glass
Corning, NY
The Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s foremost authority on glass, provides a wealth of knowledge and insight into this fascinating material not only in Upstate New York, but also online. For those missing the physical gallery space, take a virtual tour through Google Arts + Culture of the airy Contemporary Art + Design Wing or get lost in the 35 Centuries of Glass galleries. For those looking for educational materials, look no further the digital collection from the Rakow Research Library, which features everything from Blaschka design drawings to glass recipe books. Their popular, award-winning YouTube channel has hundreds of hours of glassmaking content which includes everything from how glass is conserved to live stream demos of past Guest Artists who have worked in the Amphitheater Hot Shop. There’s also exciting You Design It; We Make It demos as glassmakers turn audience-submitted drawings into beautiful works of art. And, if you don’t actually want to do anything but watch Netflix, the Museum is there too. Netflix’s glassblowing competition show Blown Away prominently features the Museum. If you still need a Blown Away fix after that, viewers can check out the many related videos, including behind-the-scenes footage from the set, interviews with the production team, and guest artist demos with the finalists.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York, NY
An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum in New York is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums. Online, visitors from all over the world can take a virtual 360-degree tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling rotunda, access 200+ art books available in the museum’s digital archive, and watch more than 65 artist profiles, including short interviews with contemporary artists from around the world whose works have recently been featured in exhibitions at the Guggenheim.

The Leiden Collection
Founded by Thomas S. Kaplan and Daphne Recanati Kaplan, The Leiden Collection is among the largest and most important collections of seventeenth-century Dutch art in private hands. This unique “lending library” of paintings by Dutch Golden Age masters—including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Fabritius, and Van Mieris, among many others—has no permanent home and has been made readily available to the public through loans, and since 2017 through its website and extensive online catalogue. Users of the online catalogue, which provides in-depth information about more than 175 paintings and drawings, are able to search The Leiden Collection by artist, date, medium and subject, learning about each individual work and pour over exquisite details by zooming in on high-resolution digital images. Scholarly essays illuminate important themes in the genre and provide in-depth analysis about the oeuvre of many artists who were connected to Rembrandt and his school, in particular. A wealth of videos explore different facets of the collection and provide trenchant insights into this important moment in art history.

The Menil Collection
Houston, TX
The Menil Collection embodies the ideals and values of its founders, John and Dominique de Menil, that art is vital to human life and should be readily accessible to all persons. Online, the Menil Collection offers its public programs on YouTube featuring conversations and lectures with artists such as Trenton Doyle Hancock, Sam Gilliam, Glenn Ligon, Charles Ray, Richard Serra, Amy Sillman, Danh Vō, and Kara Walker, among others. Many of the Menil’s most beloved objects are displayed in the online collection including the Arts of Africa, Americas and Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands, the Ancient World, Medieval and Byzantine Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, and its unparalleled holdings of Surrealist Art. The Menil also offers a number of online publications.

Minneapolis Institute of Art
Minneapolis, MN
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, one of the nation’s leading encyclopedic museums, making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures and believes in inspiring wonder through the power of art. Mia has long encouraged visitors to use its collections as a catalyst to spark their own creativity. Inspired by Mia invites anyone to download a high-res image from Mia’s collection and create their own work of art. Or viewers can approximate sketching from “life” by visiting the Museum’s 3D photography collection. They can then send their image back to Mia to be featured on the museum’s website. For those who appreciate art, but don’t make it, Mia has a terrific podcast series—with a new episode each month—exploring the strange and wonderful true stories of art. Season 2 just launched with an episode on William Edmondson, a middle-aged laborer in Nashville, Tennessee, who at the height of the Great Depression was told by God to carve a tombstone, and then went on to take the NYC art world by storm.

Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, CA
With the mission to inspire wonder, discovery and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County - including the Natural History MuseumLa Brea Tar Pits and William S. Hart Museum - are innovating to open new doors to natural history virtually while physical doors are closed. We are launching NHMLAC CONNECTS to continually offer new opportunities for Angelenos and the world to explore natural and cultural wonders: safely, and digitally from home. Think social distancing with dinosaurs and mammoths, and connecting with nature and community science right outside your own door. The museums want to know: what blows YOUR mind? Connect with inspiring educators, scientists and each other for virtual adventures. Access rich school curriculum and activities to do with your family at home. Participate in exciting crowd-sourced science and social media campaigns. Learn through neighbors' stories, history and culture in "Becoming L.A." Join scientists on international expeditions as they share discoveries, from Antarctica to Tarpits of the World, including La Brea Tar Pits, the one-of-a-kind active urban Ice Age excavation site. Visit NHMLAC.ORG/connects to begin exploring collections, exhibitions, educational experiences and global science adventures online.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
The New-York Historical Society offers a wealth of digital content at, including an audio library, video library, and online exhibitions. The vast collection of audio recordings includes public programs from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Grateful Dead, as well as a list of podcasts about the American presidency and additional curated playlists to launch soon. Video highlights include “Fun Fact” clips about magic tricks or the Statue of Liberty’s green hue, as well as filmed public programs through the years, including David M. Rubenstein’s interviews with Billie Jean KingTom Brokaw, and Ken Burns. Online exhibitions offer virtual access to past shows, including Armory Show at 100Slavery in New York, and The Vietnam War: 1945-1975, among many others.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara, California
While the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) is temporarily closed, the Museum is sharing exciting content on their website and social media accounts to continue to digitally engage the public and maintain its mission to integrate art into the lives of people through internationally recognized exhibitions and special programs, as well as the thoughtful presentation of its permanent collection. One digital resource is the website’s Video Library, which contains a Curator’s Choice Lecture Series, musical performances at the Museum, Exhibition Extras, and Studio Sundays videos. Musical performances include The Sound of Art, the culmination performance of Grammy Award-winning musician and composer Ted Nash’s two-week stay at SBMA as an artist in residence and five-day workshop with a selection of local students and fellow musicians in which he responded to MoMA masterpieces and was inspired by the SBMA’s collection and contemporary special exhibitions; and Gradient, a video featuring artist collective wild Up playing elegant and visceral violin music in front of and inspired by Nam June Paik's TV Clock installation then on view at the Museum. Exhibition Extras range from cool time-lapsed installation videos to panel discussions with Museum curators and artists, to a close-up video of a sculptural light prop installation. Studio Sundays is a free, monthly program at the Museum where the public can participate in art projects inspired by exhibitions. Instructional videos from the series are a great resource for at-home art projects. Here you can learn how to make your own pieces inspired by SBMA’s past exhibition, The Observable Universe: Visualizing the Cosmos in Art; and here you can recreate artwork by Alfredo Ramos Martínez, whose work was on view at SBMA in Alfredo Ramos Martínez: On PaperParallel Stories is a literary and performing arts lecture series that pairs art and artists with award-winning authors and performers, and functions as a multidisciplinary lens through which to view the Museum's collection and special exhibitions. Guest lecturers give presentations in the Art Matters series.

Tippet Rise Art Center*
Fishtail, MT
Tippet Rise Art Center celebrates the synergy of art, architecture, music, and nature. Set on a 12,000-acre working ranch in Montana, the art center also has a robust and inspiring online presence. The Tippet Rise podcast, which releases a new episode on the first Thursday of every month, explores the art center's mission through poetry, prose, and interviews with outstanding artists and other visionaries, including architect Francis Kéré, musician Julian Brocal, and Tippet Rise co-founder Peter Halstead, among others, and by sharing extraordinary musical moments from Tippet Rise. The art center offers a rich variety of films on its website and its YouTube Channel, featuring scenes from its extraordinary landscape and its monumental, site-specific outdoor sculptures, all set to gorgeous recordings of classical music performed at Tippet Rise. The films offered online also include a wonderful selection of recorded performances from the Olivier Music Barn and the Domo, an acoustically-rich sculptural structure that doubles as an outdoor performance venue. And, Tippet Rise’s newest architectural offering, a pavilion designed by Francis Kéré, as well as many of its other site-specific sculptures can be explored on Google Arts + Culture.
*Tippet Rise Art Center operates seasonally. It is scheduled for its regular season opening at the beginning of July 2020.

Qatar Museums
Doha, Qatar
Visitors from across the world can experience the collections and institutions that make up Qatar Museums. Take a 360° tour of the Museum of Islamic Art, an architectural masterpiece designed by the late Chinese American architect I. M. Pei. The public is also welcome to explore the collections of the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar’s world-class collections of Islamic art spanning some 1,400 years; the collections of the recently opened, Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar, which include an array of archaeological and heritage objects, such as the renowned Pearl Carpet of Baroda, embroidered with more than 1.5 million of the highest quality Gulf pearls and adorned with emeralds, diamonds, and sapphires; and the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art’s holdings, which offer a uniquely comprehensive overview of modern and contemporary Arab art. These collections are accessible through Google Arts & Culture. The Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World provides free in-depth, peer-reviewed information on modern and contemporary artists from the Arab world. Launch in 2013, it includes entries commissioned from scholars and independent researchers as well as other resources.

Yale Center for British Art
New Haven, CT
The Yale Center for British Art is a public art museum and research institute that houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. On the Yale Center for British Art App, users can take an architecture tour of the museum, the last building designed by the internationally acclaimed American architect Louis I. Kahn, and explore the permanent collection installation, “Britain in the World”. Additionally, some 100,000 objects in the Center’s holdings are available to view online. The Center’s video archive includes artist talks with Eileen HoganYinka Shonibare MBE (RA), and Howardena Pindell, along with videos related to special exhibitions, including the recording of a recent program of Victorian art and music held to celebrate the opening special exhibition “Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement”.



A few quotes for the times
"'Yes,' said Doctor Elmer, 'the world is dying and that is serious. But we will save ourselves, and part of the luggage we take with us is a little good humor. If we are too serious, we will die also. The serious always die first.'" R.A. Lafferty, Day of the Glacier.

“In the endless universe there has been nothing new, nothing different. What has appeared exceptional to the minute mind of man has been inevitable to the infinite Eye of God. This strange second in a life, that unusual event, those remarkable coincidence of environment, opportunity and encounter...all of them have been reproduced over and over on the planet of a sun whose galaxy revolves once in two hundred million years and has revolved nine time already. There has been joy. There will be joy again.” Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man.

“'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.' J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.




Anyone been in their office lately?


It's good advice.


Where's Oprah when you need her?


Again... no touching!


Anyone taking the opportunity of being stuck at home with family to air grievances?


We want to see your cool home office! Send us videos and photos for posting here!  


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