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Renzo Piano Teaches You How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle

16:08 - 15 July, 2015
Renzo Piano Teaches You How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle, Boccadasse, Genoa. Image © Flickr CC User Giorgio Minguzzi
Boccadasse, Genoa. Image © Flickr CC User Giorgio Minguzzi

In a recent article published by The GuardianRenzo Piano encourages architects to make sandcastles. "There is no age limit," he says, "... it helps you think like a child." The Italian architect credits the start of his career to the first sandcastle he ever made on the Genoa shoreline. "Making things has always been a pleasure for me – happy hands, happy mind – and making sandcastles was my training in fantasy."

Embracing the ephemeral nature of such a building, Piano has provided step-by-step instructions on how to make the "perfect" sandcastle: 1) "Study the waves" and site your castle near the water; 2) Build a 60cm tall "little mountain" with 45° slopes and surround it with a 30cm deep, 45cm wide moat; 3) Allow sea water to enter the moat, sit back and watch; and 4) Top the sand structure with a "little flag" to make it visible, then "go home and don't look back." 

Read Renzo's complete sandcastle instructions, here

This New Brick by MIT-Researchers Uses Little Energy and Helps Deplete Landfills

11:30 - 15 July, 2015
Traditional Red Bricks. Image Courtesy of MIT Tata Center
Traditional Red Bricks. Image Courtesy of MIT Tata Center

India has one of the fastest growing populations in the world and to accommodate it, a better building material is needed. Currently over 200 billion of the country’s traditional clay fired bricks are manufactured every year, resulting in numerous pollution and environmental problems. To address these issues, a team from MIT –- composed of students Michael Laracy and Thomas Poinot, along with professors Elsa Olivetti, Hamlin Jennings and John Ochsendorf -- has developed Eco-BLAC bricks: an alternative to traditional bricks that reuses industrial waste and is low-cost and low energy. 

NCARB's 2015 Report Projects Positive Future for the Architecture Profession

08:00 - 15 July, 2015
NCARB's 2015 Report Projects Positive Future for the Architecture Profession, Screenshot Taken from NCARB Report
Screenshot Taken from NCARB Report

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released “NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring statistics important to the architecture profession in the US. NCARB’s research portrays a positive future for the profession, with statistics showing that diversity is growing, architects are becoming licensed at an earlier age and progressing through licensure paths more quickly than in previous years, and more architects are becoming licensed than ever before.

The 2015 report covers the causes and effects of the results, looking into the impact of location and education. A section entitled “Jurisdictions by the Numbers,” lays out standardized relevant information for viewers to investigate conditions in the architecture profession in each state. The report also includes an analysis of the role of NAAB-accredited programs in helping architects achieve licensure.

Learn more on the information in NCARB’s report after the break.

Monocle 24's 'Section D' Explores Public Space in Bandung and Housing in Montreal

04:10 - 15 July, 2015

This edition of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, travels to Indonesia’s third city Bandung, where former architect and current Mayor Ridwan Kamil "is transforming public space." The show also takes a tour of three early 20th-century apartment buildings in Montreal, and hears from Neri & Hu Design and Research Office in Shanghai.

10 Shortlisted to Re-Envision Kazan's Kaban Lake Embankments

14:08 - 14 July, 2015
10 Shortlisted to Re-Envision Kazan's Kaban Lake Embankments, Project site. Image Courtesy of competition organizers
Project site. Image Courtesy of competition organizers

Ten finalist have been shortlisted as part of an open, two-stage competition set to redesign the Kaban lake system embankments in Kazan. Held under the authority of the Republic of Tatarstan Government, the competition will now ask the remaining teams to work on other town-planning projects in the Republic of Tatarstan held within the three context of the Water-Conservation Zones Year - in Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk and other cities. Visiting sessions with the President of the Republic will be organized to introduce the context of the competition to the finalists.

The Winner will receive one million Rubles and a contract for the design project development of the future embankment.

The 10 remaining finalists are...

"Hang Out" In These Extraordinary Peruvian Sky Pods

12:39 - 14 July, 2015
"Hang Out" In These Extraordinary Peruvian Sky Pods, via Huffington Post
via Huffington Post

Adventure seekers have yet another reason to visit the Peruvian Andes; Peru-based tour company Natura Vive is now offering a luxurious night's stay 400-feet above the Inca Empire in these glass sky pods. Visitors can access the "Skylodge" by scrabbling up the mountainside. After staying the night, and indulging in some fine dining on top their 192-square-feet room, visitors return Peru's famed Sacred Valley via a series of (terrifying) zip lines. 

London's Royal Academy Launches 'Urban Jigsaw' Ideas Competition

04:15 - 14 July, 2015
London's Royal Academy Launches 'Urban Jigsaw' Ideas Competition, © James Bailey
© James Bailey

The Royal Academy of Arts in London have launched a new international ideas competition which aims "to refocus attention to the huge potential of the brownfield sites that still exist across London." 'Brownfield' sites, or those earmarked for potential building development that have had previous development on them, are plentiful in the UK capital. This competition seeks "speculative ideas [which] make the most of these missing pieces in London’s urban jigsaw."

Prioritize Who You "See First" in Your Facebook Feed

16:23 - 13 July, 2015
Prioritize Who You "See First" in Your Facebook Feed, © ArchDaily
© ArchDaily

Did you know you can manage who you "see first" in your Facebook news feed? Don't let advertisers take your top spot, as Facebook's new "See First" feature allows you to control which of your favorite friends and websites (hint: ArchDaily) are shown to you first. Make ArchDaily part of your daily newsfeed on Facebook by following these few simple steps: 

The Most Successful US Firms of 2014 are...

14:08 - 13 July, 2015
The Most Successful US Firms of 2014 are..., Metropolis; Los Angeles / Gensler. Image © Greenland, USA
Metropolis; Los Angeles / Gensler. Image © Greenland, USA

Architectural Record has named the "Top 300 Architecture Firms" in the United States, ranking the nation's most successful practices based on their architectural revenue from 2014. Gensler, whose annual revenue surpassed one billion USD, maintained the lead for the fourth consecutive year. The firm's recent commissions, such as Los Angeles' Metropolis, help them set new records for revenue. AECOM, who came in second, also recorded significant growth - both internationally and domestically. 

The top 25 firms are...

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval

12:23 - 13 July, 2015
Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval , © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
© Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has awarded Frank Gehry's controversial Eisenhower Memorial final approval during a meeting held on July 9. This means all agencies overseeing the project has (finally) agreed on the design, which has taken 15 years and many design revisions to achieve. The project, now a joint venture between Gehry and AECOM, was initially granted preliminary approval last October. 

"The resulting Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design satisfies the goals of the seven design principles established for this site in 2006 by the NCPC to preserve and enhance the unique character of this site and establish a new green space within the context of L’Enfant’s plan for Washington D.C.," said the NCPC in their final report. You can read the report in full, here

My ArchDaily: How to Create Your Very Own Architecture Library

08:00 - 13 July, 2015

Dear ArchDaily Readers,

One of the most important pillars of our mission is to constantly improve the way that we deliver inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world. Over time, the tens of thousands of projects we have featured in-depth have grown to form a large "ArchDaily Iceberg" in which most of this invaluable architecture content accumulates below the surface. In our quest to make this information more accessible, and especially given our understanding of how we (architects) collect and organize case studies and references, we launched a modest tool in late 2010: My ArchDaily. This tool allowed you to bookmark and save your favorite projects and sort them in folders, two concepts that relate to how you use your browser and desktop. 

My ArchDaily was also the authentication tool for voting in Building of the Year Award, and over the years this feature started to gain traction among our users--reaching more than 282,000 registered users as of today! But, My ArchDaily had taken a back seat to other development projects and wasn't updated until we launched our new platform a few days ago.

So now, we're happy to present the new-and-improved My ArchDaily! It was launched alongside other improvements that you may have noticed over the past few weeks. If you aren't using it already, we welcome you to start building your very own personalized architecture library and organize projects and articles using labels.

Whether you are researching specific precedents or just want to save a particularly inspiring project, My ArchDaily's seamless integration allows you to save information with one-simple click. 

Neri Oxman’s “Mushtari” Is a 3D Printed Wearable That Makes Products from Sunlight

16:00 - 12 July, 2015
Neri Oxman’s “Mushtari” Is a 3D Printed Wearable That Makes Products from Sunlight

Designer and architect Neri Oxman, working with the Mediated Matter group, has unveiled “Mushtari”: a 3D-printed wearable that can convert sunlight into usable products. Joining the “Wanderer” collection, Mushtari was designed as a relationship between the most primitive and most sophisticated life forms. The wearable contains 58 meters of internal fluid channels and functions as a microbial factory, using synthetic biology to convert sunlight into items for the wearer. 

Design With Company + Arup Create “Shaw Town” Theatre in Chicago

16:00 - 11 July, 2015
Design With Company + Arup Create “Shaw Town” Theatre in Chicago , Courtesy of Design With Company
Courtesy of Design With Company

Chicago based architecture studio Design With Company, in collaboration with Arup, have constructed their winning proposal for the Ragdale Ring design competition, which asked entrants to redesign Howard Van Doren Shaw’s 1912 performance venue for a Chicago artists’ community. Their design lightheartedly references features of Shaw’s architecture, while creating a venue for acoustically unamplified performances.

Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company +24

Create a Mini Metropolis with Sticky Page Markers

14:00 - 11 July, 2015
Create a Mini Metropolis with Sticky Page Markers, via Duncan Shotton Design Studio
via Duncan Shotton Design Studio

Building a city has never been so easy. With Duncan Shotton Design Studio's Sticky Page Markers you can create your own urban landscape, while marking the pages of your books, catalogues, or notes.

Amanda Levete's MPavilion Inspired by Forest Canopy

16:23 - 10 July, 2015
Amanda Levete's MPavilion Inspired by Forest Canopy, © AL_A
© AL_A

Images have been released of Melbourne's second annual MPavilion. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A, the temporary structure will use the latest technology in nautical engineering to stimulate a forest-like canopy within the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens. A series of three- and five-meter wide petals made from ultra-thin translucent composite and carbon fiber will "sway" on top slender columns, mimicking the tree line to the site's east.

Kengo Kuma, SANAA and Nikken Design New Shibuya Skyscraper

12:24 - 10 July, 2015
Kengo Kuma, SANAA and Nikken Design New Shibuya Skyscraper, © Tokyu Corporation
© Tokyu Corporation

Tokyu Corporation has unveiled a new skyscraper planned will rise adjacent to Tokyo's Shibuya Station. A collaborative design by Japanese firms Kengo KumaSANAA and Nikken, the 230-meter mixed use tower will feature an unprecedented, 3,000-square-meter public sky deck that promises "views of Mt. Fuji" (on a clear day).  

The Shibuya tower is planned to open in 2019, a year before the Tokyo Olympics.

4 Ways Technology Can Improve Architecture for (and by) the Blind

09:30 - 10 July, 2015
4 Ways Technology Can Improve Architecture for (and by) the Blind, inTACT Sketchpad for the visually impaired. Image via Dwell Magazine, Courtesy of Don Fogg
inTACT Sketchpad for the visually impaired. Image via Dwell Magazine, Courtesy of Don Fogg

Seven years after waking up without sight, San Francisco-based architect Chris Downey is helping to revolutionize the built environment with interactive technologies optimized for the blind. One of the world's leading blind architects, Downey intrinsically understands the issues facing blind and visually impaired people worldwide. As a consultant to a variety of organizations serving to advance universal access, Downey has played an integral role in the development and integration of new, non-invasive technologies designed to assist the blind. 

In a recent article in Dwell, Downey illustrates the various technologies currently being tested and implemented in San Francisco - a city notorious for its topographical challenges to differently abled residents. See four takeaways from Dwell's interview with Downey on how technology can help bridge the gap between architecture and universal access after the break.

Help Save Odile Decq’s BPO Building From Being Demolished

08:00 - 10 July, 2015
Help Save Odile Decq’s BPO Building From Being Demolished , The BPO Building, currently up for demolition. Image Courtesy of Studio Odile Decq
The BPO Building, currently up for demolition. Image Courtesy of Studio Odile Decq

Designed by Odile Decq and Benoit Cornette, the BPO Building in Montgermont, France is now being threatened by a demolition permit. Inaugurated in 1990 and having won no less than 12 awards in its lifetime - including a Golden Lion at the 1996 Venice Biennale - the building has been widely lauded for its technical innovations, including a double-glazed suspended façade and panoramic elevators. It has appeared as the focus of theses internationally, and is featured at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine and Palais de Chaillot, illustrating its pivotal role in architectural growth. It was one of the first buildings in the 90s to demonstrate an acute response to the quality of workplaces, and stands as an example of conscious, thoughtful design.