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AJ’s Shortlisted Women Architects of the Year Share Advice for Aspiring Females

© Pollard Thomas Edwards
© Pollard Thomas Edwards

Architects’ Journal has released the shortlist of their annual Women in Architecture awards, naming 17 established and emerging practitioners who have raised the profile of women architects “in a sector where women still face an alarming degree of discrimination.” In honor of their selection, the nominees have shared their advice for aspiring female architects. 

See who was shortlisted and find out what they believe takes for women to succeed in the profession of architecture, after the break. 

Courtesy of vPPR © Williamson Chong Architects © Emre Arolat Architects © Foster + Partners

Concrete Love: The Böhm Family

This year’s Goethe Documentary Film Prize winner is Concrete Love: The Böhm Family. The German film, directed by Maurizius Staerkle-Drux, follows the daily routine of 93-year old architect Gottfried Böhm, documenting interactions with his family (and colleagues) and the inspiration for his work. It delves into the lifelong fervor Böhm has developed for design, family, and life. The jury acclaims, "the film tells a multi-layered tale of love, the passion for architecture and four generations of German history. With sensitive observations, intimate interviews and stirring filmic explorations of an extraordinary architectural legacy, the film creates a lasting impression of the buildings and the people.”

NCARB to Assist Brazil with Regulating Architectural Licensure

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has formed an agreement with the Conselho de Arquitetura e Urbanismo do Brasil (CAU/BR) to “exchange information and share best practices” regarding the regulation of architectural licensure and professional standards. 

“NCARB is pleased to be in a position to help Brazil strengthen and solidify its regulatory approach governing architects,” said NCARB President Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB. “We are also excited to learn from Brazil’s activities, including its effective national system of monitoring various aspects of architectural practice.”

LAMP Awards 2015: Rewarding the Best in Lighting

Last call for entries! LAMP Lighting Solutions is inviting lighting designers, architects, urban planners, interior designers, engineers, landscapers and students to submit their projects for the 2015 LAMP Awards. The LAMP Awards recognize projects that have successfully met the architectural lighting needs of an indoor or outdoor space, having created a positive synergy between architecture, interior design, landscaping and lighting. The awards value the creativity, innovation and sustainability of lighting projects, regardless of the manufacturer or the brand of lights used in the project. January 31st is the last day to submit projects

Last year, 608 projects from 52 countries were submitted as part of the LAMP Awards, and this year the jury will be comprised of Mark Major, Kai Piippo, Douglas Leonard, Anne Bureau, Emma Cogswell, Anupama Kundoo, Juan Carlos Sancho and Ignasi Bonjoch.

Six Public-Interest Design Projects Honored with 2015 SEED Awards

The 2015 winners of the annual Social Economic Environment Design (SEED) Awards for Excellence in Public Interest Design have been announced. The international competition celebrates designs which excel in these realms, and strive to create manageable sustainable impacts. The winning projects, selected by a jury, will receive $1000, as well as attendance to the annual Structures for Inclusion conference in Detroit, Michigan in April.

The six winning projects each encompass the ideals of community outreach, socio-economic improvement, and environmental awareness in the context of their unique locations. Though the designs are distinct, the values they embody are universal.

Read more about the winning designs after the break.

Rwinkavu Operating Rooms and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Image Courtesy of Design Corps Parque Urbano e Instituto Sitie. Image Courtesy of Design Corps El Guadual Early Youth Development Center. Image Courtesy of Design Corps A jam manufactory for NAXII. Image Courtesy of Design Corps

360 Architecture Tops New Atlanta Stadium with Retractable "Roof Petals"

Courtesy of New Atlanta Stadium
Courtesy of New Atlanta Stadium

A fly-through over the new Atlanta Falcons’ stadium has been released, revealing an unprecedented retractable roof designed by 360 Architecture (recently acquired by HOK). According to the stadium’s official website, the Pantheon-inspired stadium’s “eight unique roof petals” can rotate open in less than eight minutes, much like a “camera lens.” It will also be clad in a translucent ETFE fabric that, when closed, will allow natural light to pass into its interior. 

The video, after the break.

Kengo Kuma's V&A Dundee Budget "Blown By 70%"

When Kengo Kuma's concept for the new Victoria and Albert Museum of Design (V&A) in Dundee, Scotland, was unanimously chosen as the winning design in late 2012, the jurors had stated that the proposal has been "subject to exhaustive scrutiny, including having external assessors do a detailed examination of projected costs." They stated that they "did not have to exclude any of the submissions on grounds of affordability." It is now reported, a little over two years later, that the original £45million budget has now exceeded £80million in spite of the fact that the building has already been 'redesigned' once in order to try to reign in soaring costs.

IaaC Students Develop a Passive Cooling System from Hydrogel and Ceramic

Students at the Digital Matter Intelligent Constructions studio at Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia have created a composite facade material of clay and hydrogel, which is capable of cooling building interiors by up to 6 degrees centigrade. Entitled Hydroceramic, the material utilizes the ability of hydrogel to absorb up to 500 times its own weight in water to create a building system that "becomes a living thing as part of nature and not outside of it."

Read on after the break for more on how Hydroceramic works.

A proposal for a "cooling pavilion" designed with a hydroceramic skin. Image Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia A proposal for a "cooling pavilion" designed with a hydroceramic skin. Image Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Hydrogel pellets, both with and without absorbed water. Image Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

AIA Says December ABI Closed 2014 on "Solid Footing"

Rising from a score of 50.9 to 52.2 in December, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) closed 2014 on "solid footing." As reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), design services continued to increase throughout the majority of last year and all regions, except the Northeast, experienced favorable conditions. 

“Business conditions continue to be the strongest at architecture firms in the South and the Western regions,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Particularly encouraging is the continued solid upturn in design activity at institutional firms, since public sector facilities were the last nonresidential building project type to recover from the downturn.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Microsoft Reveals Holographic Features for Windows 10

At their Windows 10 Event today in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft unveiled features for its forthcoming operating system that it feels could revolutionize computing, particularly for people who want to design, make or fix something in the real world: holographics. The company revealed both the Windows Holographic features that will be built into Windows 10 and HoloLens, an in-house designed headset that will be capable of placing holographic elements into the world around you - think of it as a combination of the flat augmented reality overlay in Google Glass, and the immersive yet virtual-only presentation of Oculus Rift.

The video trailer above shows the far-reaching implications for a variety of designers, both professional and amateur (including a nod to the architecture profession at the 50-second mark), with TechCrunch explaining how the technology "offers a way for architects to survey and present their designs alongside clients even when separated by great distances."

RSHP Reveals Plans for the "Ladywell Pop-Up Village" in Lewisham

Addressing increasing housing demands in the London Borough of Lewisham, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) has unveiled their plans for the "Ladywell Pop-Up Village," which is to become one of the UK's first temporary housing villages.

The short term housing will provide accommodation for 24 families, alongside community and commercial spaces at street level. Drawing its name from the site of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre upon which it is to be located, the Ladywell Pop-Up Village is fully demountable, thanks to its volumetric construction technology. It is envisioned that the housing units will remain at the Ladywell site for up to four years, after which point they can be relocated throughout the Borough as needed. 

Call for Papers: STUDIO Magazine Investigates "Urban Pause"

STUDIO Architecture and Urban Magazine is calling for submissions for its ISSUE#8 publication: Pause. As the title suggests, the issue will look at the modern city’s propensity for change and movement by focusing on “the crystallization of a moment, a temporary stop out of time and space, where you can listen to the sound of silence.” The magazine is looking for a variety of different submissions, from essays to infographics, relating to any field of design. Interested contributors must send a 200-word abstract (in English) explaining their proposal. The deadline for this is February 25th. Final pieces chosen for the issue are to be submitted by March 20th, with an expected publication date in April. For full submission requirements, click here!

Blueprints Printing: The Architect’s Time Machine

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a time machine - to skip ahead into a future when technology has solved all of our problems, or perhaps to go back to a simpler time when we didn’t have to deal with the complications that modern technology brings? However, in the wise words of Archibald, the animated architect: “Architecture is not a final destination in time; it is a journey through life.”  As architects and builders, we are constantly imagining and designing for the future, while attempting to deal with reality as it exists in the present. 

Mayor Rejects Sou Fujimoto's Taiwan Tower Over Fears of Soaring Cost

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung has temporarily “pulled the plug” on Sou Fujimoto’s ambitious Taiwan Tower, saying he would rather pay a penalty for breaking the contract than spend an estimated NT$15 billion to realize the “problematic” project. 

The Banyan tree-inspired tower was hoped to become the “Taiwanese version of the Eiffel Tower,” as well as a model for sustainable architecture by achieving LEED Gold with its energy producing features. Its steel superstructure, which proposed to hoist a triangular section of the Taichung Gateway Park’s greenbelt 300-meters into the air, intentionally had “no obvious form” and was to be perceived as a natural phenomenon. 

Prada Launches FW2015 Menswear in OMA/AMO's "Infinite Palace"

On Sunday, Prada ditched the classic runway to kickoff their 2015 Fall/Winter menswear line in a “disorienting landscape” designed by OMA’s research counterpart AMO. The partitioned catwalk transformed an exiting room inside the Fondazione Prada at Via Fogazzaro 36 in Milan into an intimate series of interconnected spaces affectionately referred to as “The Infinite Palace.”

“The existing room is disguised into a classic enfilade of rooms, gradually changing proportions as in an abstract mannerist perspective. As opposed to a single stage, the new sequence of spaces multiplies and fragments the show into a series of intimate moments,” described AMO.

Examining China's "Edifice Complex"

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Dinny McMahon and Yang Jie visit Shenyang - a "chilly industrial town" in north eastern China which was once the country's capital (circa 1600). The city will soon be home to what's being dubbed the 'Pearl of the North', "a 111-floor office tower that will, briefly, be the seventh-largest in the world, dwarfing One World Trade Center." The tower, designed by Atkins, is "symptomatic of China’s edifice complex," McMahon notes - and the city is "just getting started." Read the article in full here.

City ID and Billings Jackson's Maps Hope to Make Moscow More Legible

Any system is only as good as its weakest link. A public transport system can have all manner of souped up trains, glamorous transport hubs and turbo-buses, but this can all be for nothing if one station has a confusing layout that unintentionally directs passengers onto the wrong route. For something as interconnected as a transport network, continuous and steady passenger flow is absolutely crucial. With this is mind, the Moscow Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development, commissioned City ID - a firm known for their wayfinding solutions in cities such as Bristol and New York - and their frequent collaborator Billings Jackson Design to develop a new system of smart signage for the city.

© Ivan Anisimov Sign for the Moscow Wayfinding System. Image © Ivan Anisimov Sign for the Moscow Wayfinding System. Image © Ivan Anisimov Sign for the Moscow Wayfinding System. Image © Ivan Anisimov

Avery Associates Reveals Design for 270-Metre Tower Next to London's Cheesegrater

London practice Avery Associates Architects has unveiled their designs for No.1 Undershaft, a 270-metre tall office tower directly adjacent to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' Cheesegrater in the City of London's central skyscraper cluster. The building is currently planned to be the tallest in this cluster and the second-tallest in London (after the Shard) - notwithstanding an as-yet-unrevealed plan for the site of the scrapped Pinnacle project which could potentially supersede it.

Courtesy of Avery Associates Architects Courtesy of Avery Associates Architects Courtesy of Avery Associates Architects Courtesy of Avery Associates Architects