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Chicago Tribune Says 11 "High Caliber" Architects Asked to Submit Qualifications for Obama Library

Last week, it was reported that the Barack Obama Foundation was searching globally for an architect to design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum (officially known as the Barack Obama Presidential Center). With the list of invited candidates for Obama's Presidential Center still a closely-guarded secret, though, the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has turned investigator, uncovering a list of 11 firms among the "fifty or more" which are believed to have been invited. Kamin states that the 11 firms he has confirmed to be in the running are "A) Of high caliber; B) Represent a broad geographic and aesthetic spectrum; and C) Include the established firms one would expect to be invited."

Read on for the full list uncovered by Kamin.

Harvard and Oxford Take On ISIS with Digital Preservation Campaign

From the 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin to the city of Nimrud, ISIS has destroyed countless monuments and relics. Now archaeologists from Harvard and Oxford have teamed up with UNESCO World Heritage and the epigraphical database project at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to launch the Million Image Database Project. Spearheaded by Oxford's Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), the campaign plans to "flood" war-torn regions with thousands of 3D cameras so people can scan and (digitally) preserve their region's historical architecture and artifacts. 

5 Things Architecture Can Learn from the Tiny House Movement

As the global economy grows uncertain, homeowners are getting more creative in order to afford essential residential spaces. The tiny house movement has gained a foothold worldwide, encouraging the construction of homes as small as 150 square feet (14 square meters), with many smaller housing models cropping up on a daily basis. Home to residents of all ages, tiny houses have evolved far beyond the cramped quarters of Airstream trailers of decades past and, though they were once considered an architectural farce, tiny houses are becoming an increasingly popular solution to weather the economic storm and increasingly relevant to the field of architecture.

With their increasing respectability - and their popularity increasingly exposing the drawbacks of other housing types - we take a look at some lessons that while key to the tiny house movement, are still applicable in the larger architectural arena. Read on to find out what tiny houses can contribute to the race for better space.

Construction Begins on Zaha Hadid's One Thousand Museum in Miami

Following the ground breaking last December, construction has begun on Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum in Miami, with 9,500 cubic yards of concrete already poured. Designed in association with the local architect of record, O’Donnell Dannwolf Partners Architects, the residential skyscraper will rise 62 stories, comprising half- and full-floor residences, duplex townhomes, and a single duplex penthouse, overlooking Museum Park and Biscayne Bay at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard. As a burgeoning area, Museum Park—once called Bicentennial Park—is home to the Peréz Art Museum Miami and will soon be home to the Frost Museum of Science.

MIT Researchers Develop 10-Material 3D Printer Capable of "Smart" Printing

In the latest of a series of technological developments which are expanding the capabilities of 3D Printing, researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a 3D printer that is capable of handling up to 10 materials simultaneously, and uses a process called "machine vision" to dramatically increase the variety of objects which the printer can produce.

NCARB Names 13 US Architecture Schools for Integrated Licensure Initiative

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has named the first 13 accredited architectural schools to implement the "Integrated Path Initiative." Each selected school has proposed a pre-graduation curriculum that would provide students with the necessary mix of education, work experience, and opportunities to complete the Architect Registration Examinations (ARE) to achieve licensure before graduation. The initiative was spearheaded by NCARB to shorten the time it takes for US architects to get licensed. 

The 13 accepted schools represent "a wide range B.Arch and M.Arch programs in nine jurisdictions, including both public and private institutions," says NCARB. These schools are:

David Adjaye: "Architecture Cannot be Autonomous"

"I believe that for architecture to be emotionally relevant to people, that there has to be a connection, [that] there has to be a relationship, that architecture cannot be autonomous. If it's not connected to the lives of people, the histories of people, I think there's a problem." In a recent interview with Aljazeera's Lisa Fletcher, British architect David Adjaye discusses his recent work and how the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History will serve as a "negotiator" on racial tension in the US. Read the full interview, here

Venice Biennale Announces Theme for 2016 Event: "Reporting From the Front"

The Venice Biennale has announced the theme selected by 2016 Biennale director Alejandro Aravena. Titled "Reporting From the Front," next year's Biennale will be an investigation into the role of architects in the battle to improve the living conditions for people all over the world. The theme aims to focus on architecture which works within the constraints presented by a lack of resources, and those designs which subvert the status quo to produce architecture for the common good - no matter how small the success.

Christian de Portzamparc’s House of Dior in Seoul Mirrors Ethereal Clothing Designs

Architect Christian de Portzamparc has completed construction on the new House of Dior in Seoul, South Korea. The building, which houses designs by Christian Dior, is based off of watercolor paintings and the concept of experimentation with light and shadows.

David Chipperfield Selected to Overhaul Saarinen's US Embassy in London

As reported by the Architects' Journal, David Chipperfield Architects has been selected in an invited competition to remodel the US Embassy in London, once the building's current occupants move into the new embassy building currently being constructed in the Nine Elms. The existing building, a Grade-II listed design by Eero Saarinen dating back to 1960, is set to become a hotel after developers Qatari Diar purchased it in 2009.

Infographic: The History and Future of Solar Energy in the US

Texas and clean energy are hardly considered synonymous. However, as uncovered by a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Texas has emerged as an unexpected leader in solar power, with $1 billion now being invested in solar energy infrastructure with an aim to produce up to 12,500 megawatts of solar electricity by 2029. To mark this important moment in US energy production, the New Jersey Institute of Technology has produced this infographic revealing the benefits (and drawbacks) of solar energy for the average American consumer, including everything from the history of solar energy to incentives available for solar systems nationwide. Read on to view the infographic in full.

YO! Home Offers a Compact, Transformable Living Space

With the cost of space rising in city centres everywhere, YO! Home by Simon Woodroffe provides a possible solution – a transformable, modular living space. Acting as a reinvention of the traditional studio apartment, YO! Home is a 40 square metre living space with movable features to create the impression of a much bigger home. Read more about this London apartment project after the break.

Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO!

Semi-Finalists for Buckminster Fuller Challenge Announced

The Buckminster Fuller Institute has announced 15 semi-finalists for its 2015 Fuller Challenge, which calls for “innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems."

As the 8th cycle of the competition, this year’s Fuller Challenge drew the strongest application pool to date, receiving entries from 136 countries. Out of the many entries, one winner will receive a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of their design.

The proposals were evaluated by the Challenge Review Committee, which focused on how the works are “visionary, comprehensive, anticipatory, ecologically responsible, feasible, and verifiable.”

The 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge semi-finalists are:

Designnobis’ “Tentative” Provides Compact, Individual Living Spaces for Disaster Victims

Addressing the displacement of people by natural disasters, Designnobis has created Tentative – a compact, all-in-one, deployable emergency shelter. Designed by Designnobis founder, Hakan Gürsu, Tentative was honored with a Silver Award in the Social Design category of the A' Design Award 2014-2015 and has been nominated for the 2015 Design Index and World Design Impact Prize 2015 by ICSID. Read more about this emergency shelter after the break.

Build a Life-Size LEGO Structure with these Modular Plastic Blocks

via Wired
via Wired

LEGO enthusiast Arnon Rosan has created a full-scale, interlocking "LEGO" block that allows users to quickly assemble life-size structures. The LEGO-like "EverBlock" is a modular system of polypropylene blocks with raised lugs that can be stacked to form furniture, installations or even emergency shelters. As Wired reports, the blocks come in 14 colors, three sizes - full (one-foot-long), half (six-inches), and quarter (three-inches) - and vary in weight from a quarter to two pounds.

"Each module is designed to connect easily with the parts above and below, using a pressure fit which creates a strong link between blocks. Because of its unique lug system, you can stagger EverBlocks in 3" increments, to create all types of patterns," says EverBlock.

US Pavilion Announces Architects for the Venice Biennale 2016

After a selection process involving over 250 submissions, the curatorial team for the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale has selected 12 teams of architects to produce the US exhibition: The Architectural Imagination. The Architectural Imagination will speculate possible architecture projects for four sites in Detroit with an eye for application internationally.

This fall, the teams will travel to Detroit for site visits and community meetings, as well as to meet with faculty and students at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon hope to have selected a team that produces creative and resourceful work to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.

See all of the selected teams after the break.

Monocle 24's 'The Urbanist' Explores Reykjavík's "Growing Success"

For this week's The UrbanistMonocle 24's "guide to making better cities," Andrew Tuck and David Plaisant broadcast a Reykjavík special with a series of reports from the Icelandic capital. They explore how this city marks its spot on the world map, looking at its high-quality new museums alongside its growing cultural and culinary scene. With around one million tourists visiting the city last year, th Reykjavík is experiencing a boom in popularity — which some describe as "maybe too much". With only around 300,000 inhabitants, Monocle 24 asks how the world's most northerly capital is coping with this growing success.

GIVEAWAY: Win Tickets for the RISING Conference September in Copenhagen

In less than four weeks, Copenhagen will turn into a big playground for everyone with an interest in architecture and urban design. As RISING Architecture Week unfolds around the theme Growing Cities, more than 50 events throughout the city will explore new ways of thinking about architecture and the future of cities. Movies, walks, bike-rides, runs, boat-trips, swimming, and talks with the themes "Why We Love Trees", "Temporary Urban Spaces, and "Architecture in a Circular Economy," are just a few of the many events.

Among the city-events, RISING will host a 2-day conference at PapirØen (Paper Island). At the RISING conference, you will meet with a big, international audience, develop and exchange ideas across borders, while connecting with future partners. Keynotes and discussants as well as a number of interactive showcases and activities will take you on an educational journey. Your involvement will complete the debates.