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               Architect / Planner / Consultant



                               PETER MEISEN




                 Global Energy Network Institute 



                                               (619) 595-0139


The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

Andrew Charles Yanoviak & Peter Meisen - Air date: 07-08-08




October 19, 2007
  Andrew Charles Yanoviak, AIA

by Heather Livingston
Contributing Editor

Summary: Andrew Charles Yanoviak, AIA, is an environmental and codes specialist in Honolulu and a long-time advocate of the AIA. Yanoviak served on the national AIA Steering Committee for Building Performance and Regulations and has testified at ICC, UBC, BOCA, SBCCI, and CABO hearings. He is the president of Environmental Systems Planning & Design Consultants.

Education: I have a BArch from the Pennsylvania State University. Thatís my basic fundamental background. Then I have a certificate of real estate development from the Wharton School. The reason for that is because when I got into architectural practice I found that the realtors were the ones who were shaping the form of high-rise towersónot only shaping them, but also designating where each tower was going on the site. It bothered me very much that that wasnít a part of architectural work.

Iím also working on my doctorate in architecture at UH [the University of Hawaii], and Iím finishing up my dissertation. Iím going to turn that into a book for young people aspiring to go into architecture, and also it will be a book for their parents.

From Philadelphia to Hawaii: What happened was our children reached school age. I wanted to work in the center of the city, but I didnít want to be involved in commuting to the suburbs. We happened to live right in the center of Philadelphia, and I just walked back and forth to work. So the suburbs werenít very appealing because you can spend an hour-and-a-half to two [hours] commuting everyday, and the children needed to go outdoors. We had an apartment in Philadelphia, and it was all very lovely, but my wife had to take the children to Fairmount Park every day because children like to play in the sand.

We researched the world over a period of two years in terms of where to go. One Sunday, I had absolutely nothing to do. We had finished a major project, and my wife said: ĒWhy donít you go to the Free Library and get some books on Hawaii?Ē I came back to Fairmount Park with seven books on Hawaii and asked her why she didnít tell me about the place before. She said she was trying to, but my mind was crowded with other things. I came out here first and explored the place. I decided that I wasnít going to come here if there wasnít at least one high rise, and there was. I was able to translate many of the things that I learned in Philadelphia out here and Iíve worked on several high rises.

Service to AIA Honolulu: I started the environment committee for what was the Hawaii Society AIA. I founded that particular committee as an offshoot of our Codes and Professional Practice Committee, which I was chairing. Iíve been on the Codes and Professional Practice Committee now for almost 25 years, and Iíve chaired it for almost 20 years. The environment committee I chaired for three years and then handed it over to two reputable people. One of them is still involved as co-chair and the other person that is serving as co-chair came on the committee about six or seven years after it was founded. Back in those days, it took two solid years to get an environment committee approved by the chapter board of directors. Thatís how reticent they were to move forward in that area.

Mentors: Oh, several people. Weíve had some great people here in Hawaii who have passed on. When I came here, I did several interviews and then made a decision to go with Val [Vladimir] Ossipoff. He passed on a couple of years ago, but we remained friends until the end. Another mentor of mine was Alfred Preis. Alfred started the very first state foundation on culture and arts in the nation, which is unusual for an architect. He wrote the legislation and everything. It was modeled after what Philadelphia had done in creating the first city foundation on culture and the arts. Alfred also designed the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Alfred was the one who understood me the most when I first came here. The other one was Pete [George J.] Wimberley. They were the three. As it turned out, when I worked as a consultant on the H-3, which is an interstate highway, all three of those mentors actually were planning and design consultants to the state Department of Transportation, so it really worked out.

Tom Creighton, the former editor of Progressive Architecture, was another mentor of mine. He kept on telling everyone when I first came here that I was very articulate and should be teaching at the university. He was doing a course in architectural history and theory up there and he turned it over to me. I was working in Valís office and Val said, ďIím going to make an exception in your case, but no one in my office has ever worked anywhere else while theyíre working in my office. Itís one of my rules, and just because Iím allowing you to do this, no one else is going to do it after you.Ē It was a special privilege, but I had to agree to come into work on Saturdays. I said, ďNo problem. Iím used to that.Ē

Bucky [R. Buckminster Fuller] is another mentor of mine, but heís way up there. Another mentor was Ed Bacon from Philadelphia. Iíve had a lot of mentors.

Yet another mentor of mine was Le Corbusier. My wife and I got married at Ronchamps. Architectural professors throughout the nation have said that that is the best work of architecture during the 20th century, and it is a musical instrument. A gift from the [abbot] was that he had 100 German students sing during our wedding ceremony, so it was fantastic. It was like being inside a violin or a cello.

Why did you become an architect? I became an architect because my father told everyone I would. When I was in ninth grade, he was in construction, and I was doing isometric drawings, which were supposed to be perspectives. I didnít really know how to make an isometric, and I didnít really know how to make a perspective according to all the rules. I learned that later, but they were three-dimensional drawings that he could follow in construction instead of trying to combine floor plans and elevations and sections. He had it all in 3-D, so he could count the concrete blocks and so forth. Everything was right there: all the framing members and everything, so thatís how I got started. Then I got into mechanical drawing and it just went on and on.

Everybody told me: ďYes, youíre definitely going to be an architect.Ē I made up my mind, but I didnít want to let everyone know. It worked out okay.

On the Buckminster Fuller Challenge: Iím all for it. I just hope I have time to work on it. I have had several ideas already that Iíve passed over and itís amazing the research materials I have in my files on the World Game and also trim tab, and Iíve had quite a bit of correspondence with Bucky. I do plan [on submitting for the challenge]. I have until the end of October. I hope I can do it because time is marching on rapidly and Iím involved in so many other things. It needs to be done. Itís a great concept.

Friendship with Bucky: Every time Bucky was coming out here, his secretary Miss [Shirley] Sharkey would get in touch with me and let me know, and I would have a few minutes with Bucky at the Honolulu Airport or wherever was possible, so thatís the way it worked. Bucky was a great architect, although many architects donít recognize him as such. He was a beautiful thinker, always working.

He wore three watches back in those days: one for where he was, one for where he was going, and one for where he came from. At the Honolulu Airport one time he told me, ďAndrew, Iím going to take a little nap.Ē The first time it happened I was really shook up. He said, ďItís going to last around five minutes. Youíll think Iím dead. Do not disturb me. I need to rest.Ē And then he tells me: ďWhen I wake up, I donít want to hear anything about anything weíve been talking about. I only want to know three things: where I am, what time my next flight is, and what gate I go to. I donít want to hear anything else from you. Iíll judge if I have enough time to talk to you.Ē But he was a great person.

Favorite way to relax: Should I tell you about my mistress? I play an accordion and my wife says that thatís my mistress. Iím currently working on Rossiniís Barber of Seville, the overture. Itís a lot of fun. Prior to that I was working on his Italian Girl in Algiers, the overture, and that was a lot of fun. I get involved in arranging those pieces as well for the instrument because the accordion is not a symphony, but it comes a little close. I have to do certain modifications. Iíve composed 24 pieces now of my own.

I didnít play for 17 years while I was putting my children through private school and then college. I guess about three months before my oldest daughter got married she called me and said, ďDad, I want you to play the accordion at my wedding.Ē I went to the closet to get it out and the termites had a good chance at it first [and] they virtually ruined it. There was only one here on the islands that I could purchase new, and that was a Hohner. I still have it, but now I have four others as well. I do manage to spend time playing it every evening. I try to squeeze it in somehow because I need to do it. It starts coming to my head around that time. Itís like Frank Lloyd Wright said, music and architecture intertwine.

Most important work: Itís something that I call ďUNIVERSE: CITY 2000,Ē which is a take-off on the word ďUniversityĒ: 2000. I actually came up with this concept in the late í60s and early í70s, but itís a whole new direction for designing and planning cities where you donít take up so much of the landscape. You donít devour streams in the process or destroy watersheds. The university system with research, education, and community service is a three-pronged multi-functional entity, and the same is true of the city. A city has three major functions: government, university, and industry. Government we all think of first because we all have to pay the taxes and we all get the benefit of this. Thereís always university involved. Itís another major function or component of a city, and so is industry. It all forms tetrahedral triangular relationships, so I designed a city on that basis and inverted it because there are three classical ideals.

In mankind, ever since the beginning of civilizations, innate and inborn within all of us are truth, goodness, and beauty. If you line up those three classical ideals with the reason for a city to exist in terms of its components, universities are supposed to be involved in the function of truth, not deception. Industry is supposed to be involved in beauty, not in environmental blight or ugliness. Government is supposed to be involved in goodness, not corruption. So that was another rationale for me from the standpoint of design for inverting the city. But we have to take care of Mother Earth, and so my ďUNIVERSE: CITY 2000Ē concept is intentionally oriented in that particular direction.

Advice for young architects: Everybody says study hard, work hard. Itís true of most professions, but I think one of the most important things that I learned early on at Penn State was to develop a philosophy about life because architects are designing for people. Donít only study buildings. Study people. Get to know how people react to certain statements psychologically. Study how people react psychologically in small conferences and also sociologically in larger groups. And, learn from experiences like the World Trade Center because we need to learn. Architects make mistakes just like others in professional life.

news headlines



Peter Meisen, Author - Speaker
President, the GENI Initiative
Global Energy Network Institute

Topics Covered



  • Public & Foreign Policy
  • International Relations
  • Global Solutions
  • Long-range Planning
  • Stabilizing Population Growth
  • Ending Hunger & Poverty
  • Sustainable Development
  • Peace Strategies


    Presentation Topics

    "A Compelling Strategy for Peace and Sustainable Development"
    Peace is much more than the absence of conflict. It can be a dynamic relationship between nations that benefits neighboring nations in cooperative ways. Electrical infrastructure between countries is an engineering strategy to build peace and environmental protection.

    "Linking Renewable Energy Resources Around the World"
    The shortage of energy is a myth that persists today. Clean, renewable energy is abundant on our planet ó yet marginally utilized. The technology exists today to tap a much greater share of "green energy" ó and reduce atmospheric pollution and the greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

    "How Kilowatts can Stabilize Population Growth"
    Moving a family out of daily survival into a better living standard results in a marked reduction of birth rates. For 2 billion people who have no basic electricity, the availability of lighting, refrigeration, and clean water creates immediate improvement ó and lessens the need for larger families.

    The dymaxion map with
    global electric network

    "Comprehensive Anticipatory Design ó Planning for the Future"
    Today, long-range thinking often has a horizon of the next quarterly report. Optimal planning takes into account all the interrelated issues, projected trends and efficient design ó to determine an optimal set of solutions. The questions we ask are oftentimes more important than the answers.

    "There is Enough for All"
    Many people believe that to get ahead, some else must lose. While the phrase "win-win" has become commonplace, the principle of ephemeralization, "doing more with less", offers humanity the possibility of providing a decent quality of life for everyone."

    Previous Speaking Forums

    • Alaska Support Industry Alliance
    • Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs
    • Buckminster Fuller Institute
    • Conference on Electric Power Supply Industry
    • Computer Simulation Society
    • Electric Power Research Institute
    • IEEE/Power Engineering Society
    • International Solar Energy Society
    • Rotary Clubs
    • Royal Institute for International Affairs
    • Society for International Development
    • Sustainable Development Conference
    • Transmission & Distribution International
    • World Affairs Council
    • World Sustainable Energy Trade Fair
    • USSR Academy of Science


    Peter Meisen is a graduate (1976) of the University of California at San Diego with an Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences Degree. In 1986 he founded GENI, a non-profit research educational institute to explore global solutions for peace and sustainable development. His focus is on the premier strategy of linking electrical networks between countries and continents, with an emphasis on tapping renewable energy resources. In 1983, Meisen co-founded SHARE (Self Help and Resource Exchange), a large private, self-help food distribution program in the United States. Internationally, there are rural development programs in Mexico and Guatemala, using the strategies of micro-credit lending, community organizing and family health and nutrition.


    "I support with enthusiasm your initiative. While directing the Foreign Affairs of Egypt, between 1977-1991, I have advocated the integration of the electricity grids of all the African countries of the Nile River using the Nile as the infrastructure of this project. I believe, as you do, that electricity must be at the service of peace and international co-operation."
    Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Former Secretary General, United Nations

    "The most thoughtful and scientific solution to the world's problems I've ever seen."
    Ron Williams, Senior Research Director, General Motors

    "The program for a World Energy Grid deserves the attention and full support of individuals and groups throughout the globe concerned with creating a culture of peace based on genuine sustainable development. It's a practical vision and significant contribution to the movement for a just world order."
    Dr. Saul Mendlovitz, Dag Hammarskjold Professor of Peace at Rutgers University

    "The GENI initiative fits right into the more and more interdependent world. Globalization is about a more and more borderless world and the need to respond globally to the needs of mankind. To preserve our common base, the Earth, we need to join forces to generate electricity as environmentally friendly as possible. This is crucial and therefore GENI deserves support."
    Ruud Lubbers, former Prime Minister of The Netherlands

    What the Experts are Saying

    "The electric power business has grown remarkably in this century across the globe. However, the quantity of electricity traded internationally is abysmally small. Interconnecting grids internationally would permit the generation and transfer of electricity at least possible cost, which would not only ensure efficient utilization of natural resources, but also provide access to tapping efficiently generated power across international boundaries. The environmental and economic benefits from this approach could have revolutionary significance."
    Ragendra K. Pachauri, Ph.D., Director of Tata Energy Research Institute

    "I have followed closely the work of GENI for some time, and find the project to be one of the most important opportunities to further the cause of environmental protection and sustainable development."
    Noel Brown, Special Advisor, Group of 77 Developing Nations

    "I will not repeat it often enough. We need several great world engineering projects which will help save us incredible sums of money spent on national duplications, increase productivity of the world economy and help us save the environment. . . The world energy grid should receive top attention and be supported"
    Robert Muller, Chancellor, University for Peace

    "A global energy network makes enormous sense if we are to meet global energy needs with a minimal impact on the world's environment."
    Al Gore, as US Senator (Tennessee)

    "My conclusion is that to build a new world -- to build peace -- we must literally build it... Two billion people live without electricity today. Show me any area in the world where there is a lack of energy, and I'll show you basic poverty. There is a direct tie-in between energy and poverty, energy and war, energy and peace... Electrical interconnections between regions -- and even continents -- can and must be tackled now. This can be a vast and visionary undertaking -- worthy of our generation."
    Walter Hickel, Governor of Alaska, Chairman of Northern Forum

    Selected Articles by Peter Meisen

    "Asking the right question for spaceship earth", Asia Engineer, November 1997

    "Linking electricity for peace: a compelling global strategy", Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, November 1997

    "No cure for a sick world?", Chemistry and Industry, November 1997

    "The Missing Link", Sustain, Newsletter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, April 1997

    "Linking renewable resources around the world: a compelling global strategy", IEEE Power Engineering Review, July 1996

    "Want to contain global population? Then expand energy resources", World Citizen News, vol. VIII, No. 5, Oct/Nov 1994

    "Worldwide interconnections may be an idea whose time has come", Transmission and Distribution International, December 1992


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