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The Windows of New York and São Paulo

00:00 - 18 October, 2014
New York City-based graphic designer José Guizar’s captures the city’s eclectic array of windows through his weekly illustrations. Image Courtesy of José Guizar
New York City-based graphic designer José Guizar’s captures the city’s eclectic array of windows through his weekly illustrations. Image Courtesy of José Guizar

A little over a year ago, New York City-based graphic designer José Guizar started illustrating an obsession of his that had quickly grown since moving into the city: New York’s varied and eclectic windows. “A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city,” Guizar writes on his website. “This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up.”

Others have since been inspired by Guizar’s colorful and captivating homage to the windows of NYC, and earlier this year São Paulo-based Nara Rosetto began her own weekly illustrations of windows in South America’s largest city.

Ranging from Victorian and porthole windows to windows with security bars, planting boxes and the occasional cat, the windows are as varied as the cities and buildings they occupy. 

Read on after the break for a journey through the windows of New York and São Paulo.

US Department of Agriculture Launches $2 Million Tall Wood Building Prize Competition

01:00 - 18 October, 2014
US Department of Agriculture Launches $2 Million Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, Limnologen in Växjö, Sweden. Image Courtesy of Midroc Property Development
Limnologen in Växjö, Sweden. Image Courtesy of Midroc Property Development

Among the changes in material technology that are constantly altering the architectural landscape, one of the most popular - and most dramatic - is the idea of the timber skyscraper. And with vocal advocates like Benton Johnson of SOM and Michael Green leading the discussion with projects like the Timber Tower Research Project, the wooden highrise is on the verge of becoming a mainstream approach.

To further the conversation in the USA, the US Department of Agriculture, working in partnership with Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), has recently launched the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, an ideas competition with a $2 million prize. To find out more about tall wood buildings, we caught up with Oscar Faoro, Project Manager of the competition. Read on after the Break for our interview and more details on how to enter.

Scandinavian Design Group and Ctrl+N Create an Undulating Interactive Installation for Lundin Norway

00:00 - 18 October, 2014

Waves of golden light appear to shimmer and float from the ceiling in “Breaking the Surface” a new interactive installation from Scandinavian Design Groupctrl+n, Abida, Pivot Product Design and Intek. The kinetic sculpture is composed of an array of acrylic plastic tubes extending through the floor of a two-story mechanized matrix, gracefully moving above and below the surface to evoke abstract images of the undersea geography. Read more about the interactive installation after the break.

OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition 2015

01:00 - 18 October, 2014
OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition 2015, River Spree in Berlin. Image © Flickr CC User caribb
River Spree in Berlin. Image © Flickr CC User caribb

The OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition is an international ideas competition, aimed at students and emerging practitioners, which is organized every four years by the Architecture Commission of OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Technicians and Theatre Architects). The theme of the 2015 competition will be the design of a floating theatre to be moored at a particular location on the river Spree in Berlin, Germany, but capable of being moved to other sites on the river. 

Emerging Voices: Joyce Hwang of Ants of the Prairie

00:00 - 18 October, 2014

Joyce Hwang founded Buffalo-based firm Ants of the Prairie in 2004 as an architecture and research practice “dedicated to developing creative approaches in confronting the pleasures and horrors of our contemporary ecologies,” according to the Architectural League. In her lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, Hwang explains her fascination with the conflicted perceptions of urban wildlife, and discusses a series of projects that aim to incorporate diverse animal habitats into the built environment.  

Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Clears Final Design Hurdle

00:00 - 17 October, 2014
Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Clears Final Design Hurdle, Courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
Courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) has approved Frank Gehry's revised design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC, meaning that after a fifteen-year process, all the involved parties have finally agreed on a design. Gehry's most recent design - a slightly scaled-down version of the one he produced in 2011, with the two smaller woven steel tapestries removed to open up the view to the Capitol - was approved by the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC) earlier this month, allowing the CFA to give their final verdict on the new design.

Haworth Tompkins' Everyman Theatre Wins the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize

00:00 - 17 October, 2014
Haworth Tompkins' Everyman Theatre Wins the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize, 2014 Stirling Prize winner: The Everyman Theatre / Haworth Tompkins. Image © Philip Vile
2014 Stirling Prize winner: The Everyman Theatre / Haworth Tompkins. Image © Philip Vile

Haworth Tompkins' Everyman Theatre has won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2014, beating competition from Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Mecanoo, O'Donnell + Tuomey and Feilden Clegg Bradley. The result was announced last night by RIBA President Stephen Hodder at an event held at the RIBA's Headquarter's in London, with Hodder saying that "Haworth Tompkins have struck the perfect balance between continuity and change" and calling the scheme "a ground-breaking example of how to build a daring, bold and highly sustainable large public building in a historic city centre."

Icsid Launches Bid for 2018 World Design Capital

00:00 - 17 October, 2014
Icsid Launches Bid for 2018 World Design Capital, © ICSID
© ICSID

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) has announced the launch of the World Design Capital® (WDC) application cycle for the 2018 designation, which will mark the sixth cycle for this global initiative. Icsid invites design effective cities from around the globe to submit bids that showcase the impact of design in their city and demonstrate examples of design as a development tool. 

Autodesk Launches AutoCAD 2015 For Mac

00:00 - 17 October, 2014
Autodesk Launches AutoCAD 2015 For Mac
'Dynamic Blocks' in action. Image Courtesy of Autodesk
'Dynamic Blocks' in action. Image Courtesy of Autodesk

This week Autodesk launched the latest (2015) release of AutoCAD for Mac, featuring a number of enhancements that seek to bring new improvements to the drafting and design software package without sacrificing important functionality, key to people's everyday design workflows. According to Amy Bunszel, VP of AutoCAD, "this release has some rich new features but, at its core, is about eliminating dead ends that prevent people from being as effective as they can be when working together on design projects." For example, users can also share their work with colleagues that are using Windows versions of the software for uninterrupted collaboration.

See the new features in full after the break...

Orizzontale Illuminates Outdoor Theater with Recycled Keg Wall at MAXXI

01:00 - 17 October, 2014
Orizzontale Illuminates Outdoor Theater with Recycled Keg Wall at MAXXI, © Musacchio Ianniello, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
© Musacchio Ianniello, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI

Orizzontale, winners of the 2014 Young Architects Program (YAP), have transformed the MAXXI’s piazza Boetti with an “8 1/2” meter-tall mobile theater made of timber and recycled beer kegs. Built in just four weeks, the installation created an “urban room” for the museum’s Play with YAP events program that provided an inhabitable podium illuminated by a translucent wall of lighted plastic beer kegs for a series of concerts and events.

More about Orizzontale's design, after the break. 

© Musacchio Ianniello, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI © Musacchio Ianniello, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI © Musacchio Ianniello, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI © Daniele Lanci +21

8,000 Illuminated Balloons to Mark 9-Mile Stretch of Berlin Wall

00:00 - 16 October, 2014
8,000 Illuminated Balloons to Mark 9-Mile Stretch of Berlin Wall, Lichtgrenze (rendering) via the Chicago Tribune
Lichtgrenze (rendering) via the Chicago Tribune

25 years ago on November 9, East German protesters torn down the Berlin Wall. To commemorate this moment, the German capital plans to line the wall’s original 9-mile stretch with 8,000 illuminated, white balloons. The installation, named lichtgrenze or “light frontier,” will be open November 7. On the 9th, the balloons will be simultaneously released into the air to music provided by the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra. 

OMA + OLIN Selected to Design D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park

01:00 - 16 October, 2014
OMA + OLIN Selected to Design D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park, © OMA & Luxigon
© OMA & Luxigon

The competition jury for Washington D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park has unanimously selected OMA + OLIN's design to turn the ageing freeway structure over the Anacostia River into an elevated park and new civic space for the city. With their dynamic intersecting structure, OMA + OLIN saw off competition from three other teams composed of: Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), NEXT Architects and Magnusson Klemencic AssociatesStoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners.

Read on after the break for more on the design and a complete set of images.

Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA © OMA & Luxigon © OLIN © OLIN Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA + OLIN +29

Mapdwell and Jonas Dahlberg’s “Memory Wound” Ranked Top 10 Design Innovations of the Year

00:00 - 16 October, 2014
Mapdwell and Jonas Dahlberg’s “Memory Wound” Ranked Top 10 Design Innovations of the Year, © Mapdwell
© Mapdwell

Fast Company has released what they consider to be the 10 best designs of the year. Selected from over 1500 international submissions and 53 finalists, the MIT-born Solar System platform Mapdwell and Jonas Dahlberg’s “Memory Wound” were among the winners to receive the 2014 “Innovation by Design Award.”

More about Mapdwell and Memory Wound, after the break.

CEMEX Announces International Finalists for XXIII Building Awards

01:00 - 16 October, 2014
CEMEX Announces International Finalists for XXIII Building Awards

CEMEX has unveiled the international finalists for the XXIII Building Awards, which aim to recognize the best architecture and construction internationally. Spanning across three categories, the awards recognize housing, institutional/industrial and large-scale infrastructure projects that were built during 2013 and stand out for their constructive solutions, aesthetics and innovative techniques.

Both the international and national winners will be announced on November 5. Read on after the break for the international finalists and check out our coverage on the Mexican finalists for the XXIII Building Awards here

5-Axis Milling: The Next Level In Accessible, Versatile Digital Fabrication

00:00 - 16 October, 2014

The 5AXISMAKER is a desktop 5-axis multi-fabrication CNC machine that hopes to expand the possibilities of digital fabrication by making it cheap and more versatile. Should the project receive backing on Kickstarter before the 27th October 2014, the possibility of 5-axis milling will become an affordable reality for manufacturing complex design prototypes. The product in development "provides a large cutting volume for it’s size, therefore producing "generously sized objects." Developed by graduates of London's Architectural Association, they hope to "shake the manufacturing world with new ways of fabricating using industrial robots right at your desk."

Luftwerk to Illuminate Mies' Farnsworth House this Weekend

00:00 - 16 October, 2014
Luftwerk to Illuminate Mies' Farnsworth House this Weekend, © Kate Joyce, Courtesy of Luftwerk
© Kate Joyce, Courtesy of Luftwerk

Starting tomorrow (October 17), Chicago-based artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of Luftwerk will be transforming Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House into a “canvas of light and sound” with the digital installation, INsite. “An exploration of the philosophy of Mies through light,” INsite will offer an entirely new nighttime experience at the Plano residence that highlights the architecture’s famed characteristics with an interactive light show pulsating to the original “sonic exploration” of Owen Clay Condon.

A video preview of the installation, after the break.

Call for Ideas: Rome Community Ring

01:00 - 15 October, 2014
Call for Ideas: Rome Community Ring

In partnership with La Sapienza University, Progetto Forti and Rome municipality, Young Architects Competitions (YAC) is launching a competition to redesign one of the treasures of Rome: Forte Portuense.

#FairyTales2015: Blank Space Launches Architecture Storytelling Competition

01:00 - 15 October, 2014
#FairyTales2015: Blank Space Launches Architecture Storytelling Competition , © Fairy Tales 2015
© Fairy Tales 2015

After the record breaking success of Fairy Tales 2014, with over 300 entries from 50 different countries, Blank Space is excited to announce that the second edition of the competition is now open for registration. The Fairy Tales competition invites architects, designers, writers, artists, engineers, illustrators, students and creatives to submit their own unique architectural fairy tales. The scale, location, and program of the submission is up to each entrant. A successful entry crafts a text narrative, along with 5 images, in the most spectacular way possible. 

Helsinki Announces Competition for City Centre High Rises

01:00 - 15 October, 2014
Helsinki Announces Competition for City Centre High Rises, The Pasila district has been marked for development for some time. Above, a model of the area masterplan from 2006. Image © Flickr CC User Darren Webb
The Pasila district has been marked for development for some time. Above, a model of the area masterplan from 2006. Image © Flickr CC User Darren Webb

The city of Helsinki has announced plans for a design and build competition for a new commercial and residential district in Pasila, near the city centre. The competition, which calls for 8-10 buildings of 15 stories or more, will be part of the city's drive to make Pasila the "second centre of Helsinki," with a total of 150,000-200,000 square metres of residential and office space planned for the district. Read on after the break to find out more about the competition.

'People's Palaces': Behind The Scenes at Mecanoo's Upcoming Exhibition in Berlin

00:00 - 15 October, 2014

Mecanoo have shared with us a behind the scenes look at their upcoming exhibition at Berlin's Aedes Architecture Forum, entitled People's Palaces. Presenting some of the Dutch practice's recent public buildings, such as the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize nominated Library of Birmingham and the Maritime and Beachcombers Museum in Texel, the Netherlands, the timing of the exhibition also celebrates the company's 30th anniversary. Founded in 1984, Mecanoo continues to develop a strong reputation for libraries, as well as cultural spaces and performance venues. This exhibition specifically traces the impact of Mecanoo’s public buildings on local communities.

CEMEX Unveils National Finalists for the XXIII Building Awards

00:00 - 15 October, 2014
CEMEX Unveils National Finalists for the XXIII Building Awards

The CEMEX Building Awards recognize the best architecture and construction in Mexico, ranging from single-family homes to large-scale infrastructure projects. For the XXIII awards CEMEX will recognize projects that were built during 2013 that stand out for their constructive solutions, aesthetics and innovative techniques. 

CEMEX has already unveiled the national finalists for the 13 categories, and the winners will be announced on November 5. 

Read on after the break to see the finalists. 

Video: Jan Wurm and Lukas Verlage Discuss Arup’s “Solarleaf”

00:00 - 15 October, 2014

In this video from Zumtobel Group, Jan Wurm of Arup Deutschland GmbH and Lukas Verlage, CEO of Colt International GmbH, discuss the unique technological developments in “Solarleaf,” which recently won first prize in the Zumtobel Group Award’s Applied Innovations category. In addition to functioning as an effective shading system, this façade system uses solar panels to produce energy from algae to provide a new source of sustainable energy.

Rem Koolhaas: How the Age of the Decision Maker Impacts Building Design

00:00 - 15 October, 2014

How does contemporary architecture differ around the world and what causes these differences? In this video of a discussion between Rem Koolhaas and Nest C.E.O Tony Fadell at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Koolhaas gives some interesting insights into his experience with decision-makers around the world. Watch the video above and read Vanity Fair’s full article here to learn more about this seldom-considered factor in building design. 

Winners of the 2014 LEAF Awards Announced

01:00 - 14 October, 2014
Winners of the 2014 LEAF Awards Announced, Refurbishment of the Year: BIG Library; Gourdon, France / CoCo Architecture with Atelier RK © Edouard Decam
Refurbishment of the Year: BIG Library; Gourdon, France / CoCo Architecture with Atelier RK © Edouard Decam

Winners have been announced for the 2014 LEAF Awards. Spanning 14 categories, including best refurbishment of the year (pictured above), all winning projects “demonstrate buildings that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural and design community.” 

See which project landed Jean Nouvel top honors, after the break.

Public Building of the Year: Saw Swee Hock Student Centre; London, UK / O'Donnell + Tuomey Best Future Building of the Year - Under Construction: Mongkok Residence; Hong Kong / Aedas Commercial Building of the Year: cultura bookstore; São Paulo, Brazil / studio mk27 Best Sustainable Development of the Year: One Central Park; Sydney, Australia / Ateliers Jean Nouvel and PTW Architects +17