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Designing Offices For Introverts, Extroverts, & Everything In Between

In an article for Fast Company, Chris Congdon explains the key to designing workplaces that cater to the needs of introverts, extroverts and everyone in between. According to Congdon, most office workers need a mixture: places to be around others, encouraging collaboration, and places to work alone and focus on individual tasks. The solution? A "pallette of places" which give workers an ample choice of where to work. Read the full article here and learn more about how do design successful workplaces here

NASA Plans to 3D Print Spacecraft in Orbit

As revealed in an article on Gigaom, NASA has recently added an extra $500,000 into a collaboration with Tethers Unlimited, a company researching ways to 3D print and assemble structures whilst in orbit. Using this technology, their SpiderFab robots reduce the size of the rockets needed to launch materials into space, and also allow for much larger structures to be created than in any previous technique - opening up new possibilities for construction in space. You can read the full article here.

Reflection from the "Walkie Talkie" Making Cars Melt

The big story today is about a new development in London's financial district dubbed The Walkie Talkie due to its unusual shape.

Apple Redesigns San Francisco Store to Preserve Historic Fountain

Earlier this summer we reviewed plans for a new Foster + Partners-designed Apple Store in the heart of San Francisco which received a considerable amount of backlash for its accused ubiquitous design that disregarded the city's historic Ruth Asawa Fountain. Since, Apple has decided to respond to the complaints and Foster + Partners have just released images of the revised design that preserves the fountain. 

Stephen Hodder Inaugurated as 75th President of the RIBA

Following Angela Brady’s two year tenure as head of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Stephen Hodder MBE was officially inaugurated as the 75th President of the UK’s largest architectural body yesterday. Hodder, perhaps best known as the recipient of the first RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996 for the Centenary Building (University of Salford, UK), is chairman of the award-winning practice Hodder + Partners in Manchester (UK).

Rural Studio Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Eight 20K Houses

"Joanne's House" by Rural Studio. Image Courtesy of Auburn University Rural Studio
"Joanne's House" by Rural Studio. Image Courtesy of Auburn University Rural Studio

Auburn University's Rural Studio, an undergraduate program that focuses on designing well-built, low-cost housing for the poor across three counties of Alabama, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this 2013-14 academic year. Since 1993, Rural Studio has been recycling, reusing, remaking and using local materials while maintaining the belief that both rich and poor deserve good design. In honor of 20 successful years of helping Alabama's rural poor, Rural Studio will, for the first time, design eight 20K Houses in one year- and they need your help.

WXY + DLand Tapped for Study and Planning of High Line-Inspired Park in Queens

WXY Architecture + Urban Design and dlandstudio architecture & landscape have been commissioned to lead a feasibility study and planning for The QueensWay, a 3.5-mile section of abandoned railway tracks in Queens, New York, that will be converted into a High Line-inspired park and recreational pathways. As we reported earlier this year, the elevated railway line has been inactive since 1962 and, if transformed into a public parkway, has the capablitiy of serving more than 250,000 residents that live alongside it. 

Does Prince Charles Abuse His Power Over Architects?

Developers in London are so afraid of encountering opposition from the Prince of Wales that they seek his approval before applying for planning permission - so says Richard Rogers, as revealed by this article in BD. Prince Charles, who is not shy about promoting his traditional tastes, has a sometimes difficult relationship with the architecture community, and Rogers previously accused him of "an abuse of power" when he was ousted from his Chelsea Barracks Project. You can read the full article here.

Criticizing Gentrification: The Ultimate Hypocrisy?

This article in the Atlantic Cities summarizes the work of John Joe Schlichtman, an urbanist who has set out to analyze the "elephant sitting in the academic corner" when it comes to contemporary urban theory: that many (middle-class) urbanists who criticize gentrification are themselves some of the worst culprits. Schlichtman wants to encourage urbanists "to locate themselves within their own literature" - you can read the full article here.

Winners Announced for 2013 Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced the 11th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design award winners: Eduardo Souto de Moura’s Metro do Porto in Porto, Portugal, and the Northeastern Urban Integration Project in Medellín, Colombia. 

When commenting on the significance of the two prize-winning projects, jury member Micahel Sorkin stated: "If there are lessons to be drawn for urban design from Medellín and Porto, I think the broader lesson has to do with the disruption of the segregation of the disciplines in the design field. Historically we have understood that Landscape Architecture sits in one place, Architecture in another, and Urban Design and Planning [in another, with all three disciplines] in constant conflict about their territorial rights. One of the things that is revolutionary about the Medellín project is that distinguishing among the disciplines is no longer possible."

More about the prize-winning projects, courtesy of the GSD:

The People's Architect: Dutch Residents Pay Tribute by Crowdfunding Future Piet Blom Museum

"Architecture is more than creating a place to live," stated the late Dutch architect, Piet Blom, "you create a society." Till his death in 1999, Blom designed homes and urban schemes as if to reject the stern, coldness of post-war Modernism in light of a warmer, more human architecture. His drawings, diagrams and homes portray an affectionate commitment to reconcile elements of culture with the architecture around us. Characterized by his use of lively colors and equally expressive architectural geometries, project's such as the "Kasbah" and the cube houses in Rotterdam stand as testaments to his belief that architecture serves the people, not the other way around. 

A true "People's Architect," Blom's work has endeared a growing number supporters, among these are residents who have lived in his houses and are hoping to garner donations to share these artifacts with the public. Ingeborg van der Aa, secretary of the Piet Blom Foundation, mentions that the initiative's mission is to promote recognition, new insight and appreciation with the hopes of encouraging a younger generation to be active creators of their society. 

To learn more or contribute towards the Piet Blom Museum, visit there Indiegogo page here. 

Follow us after the break for a rare collection of Blom's drawings. 

Why Cycling is Part of Being Dutch

Did you know that there are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands? You may be shocked to learn that up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague. To accommodate such a huge number of bike-enthusiasts, bike parking facilities can be found everywhere - outside schools, office buildings and shops. Not to mention the fact that many Dutch cities even have special bike paths that are completely segregated from motorized traffic with signs that read "Bike Street: Cars are guests." Ever wondered why the Dutch are so bike crazy and how bicycles came to be such an important part of everyday life in The Netherlands? Click here to read all about it and look here for our story on Why Cycle Cities Are the Future!

Kickstarter: London Skyline Reimagined as Chess Set

Imagine your city skyline as a chessboard battleground; which landmark would declare itself as the almighty king and who serve as its faithful pawn? Well, according to British designers Ian Flood and Chris Prosser, London’s Canary Wharf, Renzo Piano’s Shard and Norman Foster’s Gherkin would all deserve high ranks while the ubiquitous London terraced house fulfilled the role of the pawn. 

Southern States Outlaw LEED Building Standards

The US Green Building Council’s federally adopted LEED certification system has come under legislative siege with lobbyists from the timber, plastics and chemical industries crying out, “monopoly!” Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama have lead efforts to ban LEED, claiming the USGBC’s closed-door approach and narrow-minded material interests have shut out stakeholders in various industries that could otherwise aid in the sustainable construction of environmentally-sensitive buildings.

Most recently, Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, slipped in a last minute amendment to both the Housing and Urban Development and Department of Transportation appropriation bills stating no tax money may be used to require implementation of any green building certification system other than a system that:

ADEPT Selected to Construct “Green Loops City” in China

Danish practice ADEPT has won an international, invited competition to master plan the 17KM2 site of Laiyan New Town and Binjian District in Hengyang, China. Their winning proposal, “Green Loops City” was lauded for developing an innovative and sustainable way to accommodate rapid urban growth while preserving Hengyang’s cultural heritage and lush surrounding landscape. 

Aidi Su from ADEPT stated: “Much of Hengyang’s cultural and natural resources are still very much intact when compared to other Chinese cities facing rapid urban development. This is an incredible opportunity for us to make a difference in Chinese cities.”

INDEX: Award 2013 Recipients Announced

The world’s biggest design prize, INDEX: Award has announced their 2013 recipients. From the Danish capital’s pioneering plan of how to address the changing climate to a Dutch take on intelligent roads of the future, each of the five recipients will receive a €100,000 award to implement their ideas which all offer sustainable solutions to global challenges. 

The INDEX: Award 2013 recipients are: 

Architecture's Vicious Equation: High-Cost Education and Low-Paying Jobs. Could PAVE Offer Another Way?

Every year thousands of young hopefuls attend architecture school, entering with the expectation that, after their years of struggle and long hours in studio, they’ll come out the other end as legitimate architects doing legitimate architecture. 

How quickly they must abandon that unreasonable idea. 

From CAD monkeys to baristas, most architecture grads are not doing what they thought they would when they submitted their first tuition checks. And, to add insult to injury, those tuition checks only multiplied, leaving our grads in thousands of dollars of debt.

Surely there must be another way. PAVE, a kind of Kickstarter that connects individuals to investors, offers—if not a solution—then a very intriguing alternative.

Three Teams Shortlisted to Design Denmark’s Largest Hospital

© BIG+WHR+Arup
© BIG+WHR+Arup

The full shortlist has been revealed for the second phase of an international competition to design one of Denmark’s largest hospitals in Hillerød: Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland. Competing against the BIG+WHR+Arup team to design the 124,000 square meter, north of Copenhagen, will be C. F Møller+Alectia+Ramboll and Herzog and de Meuron+Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects