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Combo Competitions: Emphasis On The Idea

Combo Competitions, an organisation founded by Swedish, London based architect Per Linde, organises international idea competitions for architects, designers and students. With a gentle emphasis on the ideas presented in proposals, rather than aesthetics alone, their main driver is to promote design concepts "where everything comes together to form a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts."

With the increasing ease in producing "amazing renderings and images," underling concepts can often be lost - or hidden by - a seductive final image. Combo Competitions seeks to reverse this trend by rewarding an emphasis on "well advised concepts" alongside appearance and presentation. Their latest competition, entitled Hello Nature, invites participants to explore a way of re-introducing nature into people’s consciousness.

Find out more about the competition and hear from Per Linde after the break...

Sheila Kennedy Awarded 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize

Shelia Kennedy has been awarded the 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize, a $100,000 prize presented biannually to a “distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.” Kennedy is a principal of Boston’s KVA Matx and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first-ever female Professor of the Practice of Architecture who is internationally renowned for her explorations of material innovation in the fields of architecture and urbanism.

Richard Rogers Honored with Lifetime Achievement Medal

Richard Rogers has been honored with the Coutts Lifetime Achievement Medal for his “significant and fundamental contributions to the design industry,” an announcement made as part of the London Design Festival in Rogers’ newly completed Leadenhall Building

“He has played a leading role in designing buildings that made us think again about how we use them and how they function,” stated London Design Festival director Ben Evans. :His eminence is global, and he is part of a golden era of leading British architects who not only reshaped our city but also reshaped the world to some capacity.”

Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 5, “Working on Water”

The latest episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture takes us to Nigeria, where architect Kunlé Adeyemi has designed floating buildings to help solve overcrowding and flooding in the country’s waterside slums. “I am constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing cities,” he says. Yet, despite his studio NLÉ’s easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable prototype for a floating building, Adeyemi still struggles to get approval for their construction from the local authorities. This 25-minute episode follows Adeyemi as he seeks to implement his floating buildings.  

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…

© Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera

ArchDaily Editors Select Our Favorite Projects in Mexico

Today is Mexico’s Independence Day and in celebration of this national holiday we wanted to recognize the great tradition of modern and contemporary architecture in the country. We asked the editors of all our sites – ArchDaily, Plataforma Arquitectura, ArchDaily Mexico and ArchDaily Brasil - to select their favorite architecture projects in Mexico. From Barragan to Rojkind, check out our round-up below, originally published on our sister-site ArchDaily Mexico.

INABA to Construct "New York Light"

© INABA
© INABA

Jeffrey Inaba’s Brooklyn practice INABA has been selected as the first-ever winner in the Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition with New York Light. Organized by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute, the inaugural installation will be constructed in front of the famous Flatiron Building for the duration of the 2014 winter season. 

Obama Shortlists Four Potential Sites for Presidential Library

The Barack Obama Foundation has listed four potential sites for Obama’s presidential library and museum: Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Universities considered were selected for demonstrating the ability to develop a strong vision and design a library that could enhance the local economy. Each institution will now work towards refining their ideas and will submit formal proposals by December.

High-Speed "Skyway" Aims to Shorten Commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan

New York real estate executive Daniel Levy of CityRealty has unveiled a proposal to connect Brooklyn’s waterfront to Manhattan with a $75 million “East River Skyway.” According to Levy, the high-speed gondola could shorten commutes to just four minutes and move more than 5,000 people per hour, while relieving congestion on ferries, subways and bridges. “[The Skyway] would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly deployable solution," said Levy. "It is essential to adapt New York City's transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas.” Levy will present the project in an effort to harness support at the Brooklyn real estate summit on Tuesday. 

Three-Team Shortlist Selected to Redevelop LA's Convention Center

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering has selected three teams for the next phase of the competition to redevelop and expand the Los Angeles Convention Center. The teams, consisting of AC Martin + LMN; Gensler + Lehrer Architects; and HMC + Populous, will now receive $200,000 to develop detailed proposals to be submitted on December 8th.

However, according to The Architect's Newspaper, the redevelopment of the Convention Center outlined by the brief is not yet guaranteed to happen; with the city under contract with AEG to build a football stadium on a portion of the site until October 18th, the Convention Center's Executive Director Bud Ovrum confirmed that, if the city can secure an NFL team by then, the stadium is still the city's first choice.

BIO 50: Ljubljana Marks 50 Years of Design Biennales with "3, 2, 1... TEST"

From the organizers: On Thursday, 18 September 2014, more than 120 designers and multidisciplinary agents descend upon Ljubljana for the opening week of BIO 50, the Biennial of Design. Over the course of four days, they will unveil the results of a six-month long collaborative process, offering perspectives on possible futures for design. The awards for best collaboration will be presented by the BIO 50 jury comprising industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, design critic Alice Rawsthorn and designer and professor Saša J. Mächtig. Before the opening, the talk with Alice Rawsthorn, Justin McGuirk and Jan Boelen will be organized.

SCDA-Designed Condominium to Rise Between High Line

“515 Highline” is the latest luxury condominium planning to make its claim next to New York’s beloved High Line. Clad in an undulating glass and steel facade, the 12-story, 12-residence development designed by Singapore's SCDA Architects will be unique in that it is the only property bordered by the elevated park on two sides. 

Exclusive Video: Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini / Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL

Chile is recognized internationally for the quality of its architecture, even though its most lauded projects are not often found in urban areas. At a time when the true potential of Chilean architecture seems absent from the South American country's cities, Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL has designed a conceptually - and physically - dense project in Santiago.  

Hawkins\Brown Unveils Legacy Designs for London Olympic Broadcast Centre

Hawkins\Brown has unveiled designs for Here East, the redevelopment of the former Press and Broadcast Centre at the London 2012 Olympics. The design for a "world class creative and digital cluster" will feature office and studio space for both established global companies alongside some of East London's many creative start-ups. Providing over a million square feet of flexible space, the design also includes shared work spaces and public areas, and a shared yard to host events, aiming to promote sharing of ideas and collaboration between the companies at various scales that will inhabit it.

Shigeru Ban to Construct Tainan Museum of Fine Arts

Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban has won an international competition to design the future Tainan Museum of Fine Arts. With an agenda to promote arts culture and tourism in Taiwan’s cultural capital, the museum will foster the research of arts, literature and history, while exhibiting local talent. 

Cascading volumes featuring an auditorium, classrooms and exhibition galleries will be capped with a pentagonal roof canopy and softened with lush terraces and landscaping. An outdoor sculpture park and public recreation area will allow the museum’s inner contents to bleed into its surroundings and activate the city. 

More images, after the break...

Big Thinking For Small Projects: Bolster Offers Insurance for Residential-Scale Work

It is a common complaint among architects that, unlike other manufacturing systems, the way we build has remained essentially the same for hundreds of years. This presents a huge number of challenges, not only to architects but also to their clients and to contractors, with disputes over unexpected costs and time overruns - resulting in a system where contractors, clients and architects often see each other as adversaries rather than as members of a team.

The world of commercial architecture has at least gone some way to a solution: many large projects financed by developers or by the government are covered by construction bonds, which tie all parties down to a contract, and provide insurance against unexpected expenses and overruns. But what about the architects who work for small private clients? Now, thanks to a company called Bolster, designers on smaller projects can have the insurance used to streamline major projects - as well as a client matching service which can help architects and contractors find work.

Find out more about Bolster, and what it can offer architects, after the break

Harvard Design Magazine No. 38 / Do You Read Me?

The following is a re-print from the newly relaunched Harvard Design Magazine. The new approach to the 17-year-old publication is the vision of recently appointed editor in chief Jennifer Sigler and associate editor Leah Whitman- Salkin, in collaboration with creative director Jiminie Ha (With Projects, Inc.). “Do You Read Me?” invites “reading” across disciplinary boundaries, and stakes out an expanded arena for architecture and design dialogue. In her Editor's Note, Sigler explores "When Walls Are Doors." Read on to find out how you can win a subscription to HDM.

My favorite book as a child was called Story Number 2. Written by the absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco, it tells the tale of the logical Josette and her enigmatic father, who gives her a lesson in “the real meaning of words”:

“The ceiling is called floor. The floor is called ceiling. The wall is called a door,” Papa explains matter-of-factly.

“A chair is a window. The window is a penholder. A pillow is a piece of bread. Bread is a bedside rug.”

Alumni Launch Petition to Save the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture's Accreditation

A group of alumni from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture have launched a petition on change.org to incorporate the school “as an independent subsidiary as required by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to ensure this irreplaceable treasure is perpetuated.” The school is currently at risk of losing its accreditation due to a recently enacted HLC law that requires colleges and other institutions to be  accredited separately from the organizations that sponsor them. The Frank Lloyd Wright School is currently funded as a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which supports both of the school’s campuses, and preserves collections of Wright’s work. 

New York Shows that Protected Cycle Lanes are a Win-Win Improvement

The introduction of protected bike lanes in many cities usually raises objections from motorists who believe that devoting an entire road lane to cyclists will restrict the flow of cars and add to congestion in cities. However, a study of New York's streets, which has been ongoing since the first protected bicycle lanes opened in 2007, has recently shown that the opposite is actually true: by separating different types of traffic, cars can actually get around faster.

That's before we even begin to discuss the safety benefits of protected bike lanes, with the study showing the risk of injury to cyclists, drivers and pedestrians all falling on streets where the protected lanes were installed.

Read on after the break for more results of the study