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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

Five Buildings Compete to be Named "World's Best Highrise"

Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Boeri Studio are the masters behind five skyscrapers competing to be crowned the “World’s best.” Chosen as finalists for the 2014 International Highrise Award (IHA), the four practices are in the running for a prestigious title and €50,000 prize. 

Award organizers from the City of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche will announce a winner in mid-November. The chosen skyscraper will be selected by an esteemed, multidisciplinary jury based on the criteria ranging from future-oriented design and innovative building technology, to the building’s integrative urban development scheme and cost-effectiveness. 

“Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out. All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future,” commented Jury Chairman Christoph Ingenhoven.

View all five of the competing highrises and the jury’s comments, after the break… 

Spotlight: Renzo Piano

“Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word – fed, fertilised by many things.” -Renzo Piano

APA Awards: James Ewing's Matrimandir Photograph Places First for Architecture

Brooklyn based architectural photographer James Ewing has placed first in the American Photographic ArtistsAPA Awards for architecture. The image, as Ewing describes, “was created to describe the verdant landscape that surrounds the Matrimandir and the community of Auroville.” 

“The land was in an advanced state of desertification when the Auroville project was started in the 1960s. Heavy erosion had removed most of the topsoil and left a barren scorched earth. Through many years of careful engineering and land management Auroville has created a lush, wooded, garden city. I sought out an elevated vantage point that allowed me to present the building in context with its landscape. The building without the landscape would only be half of the story. The cyclists in the foreground show scale and provide a contrast between the familiar low-fi technology of the bicycles and the fantastic sci-fi form of the Matrimandir itself.”

KAMJZ Reveals Proposal for Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan

Already one of the most remarkable examples of China’s urban growth in the last 30 years, Shenzhen will soon also host a bustling new financial district. The Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan aims to create a new city center with top headquarter offices for global corporations and related venues for international conferences, exhibitions, and cultural programs. KAMJZ Architects has recently revealed their competition entry with a plan that proposes a more sustainable city center through the design of a radical new typology for office towers. Read on after the break to learn more about the proposed masterplan. 

Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects

Spotlight: Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando (13 September 1941), the 1995 recipient of the Pritzker Prize, turns 73 today. Ando, a Japanese architect based out of Osaka, Japan, is highly regarded for his unparalleled work with concrete, sensitive treatment of natural light, and strong engagement with nature.

Crest / Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects has constructed an experimental structure on the grounds of London’s V&A Museum, just in time for the London Design Festival. The temporary installation is the practice’s thinnest shell structure to date, testing new design and construction technologies for achieving minimal material thickness while “investigating the relationship between formal arrangement and structural performance.” 

Refresh Yourself with ArchDaily's 15 Most Popular Pools on Pinterest

We present to you 15 of ArchDaily's most re-pinned pools on Pinterest; designs which resonate with the profound power of the aquatic. As Lao Tzu reminds us, "nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it," not even architecture. Now come on in; the water's fine.

Argentina to Build Latin America’s Tallest Skyscraper

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has announced the winning proposal for the Cinematography and Audiovisual Tower that will be built in capital Buenos Aires.  

Out of five competing proposals, MRA+A Álvarez| Bernabó | Sabatini’s design was selected. At 335 meters, the skyscraper will become the tallest building in Latin America, surpassing the 300-meter Costanera tower in Santiago, Chile and a 330-meter tower under development in Monterrery, Mexico. To be used mainly for Argentina's film and television industry, the tower will have 67 floors and 216,000 square meters of space. A hotel will occupy the top 13 floors. 

More details after the break...

Amazon to Occupy Stalled Foster Scheme

Amazon has confirmed plans to move more than 5,000 of its London employees into a Foster + Partners-designed office building planned for Shoreditch High Street. On hold since January 2012, the £290 million mixed-use scheme will compete with Amazon’s Farringdon office to serve as the online retailer’s new UK headquarters.

Construction Begins on Miami’s Tallest Tower

Construction has begun on Miami’s tallest tower: SkyRise Miami. Standing 305 meters above the Biscayne Bay, the waterfront tower will offer three viewing decks, a restaurant, nightclub, ballroom, exhibition space, and even the chance to bungee jump off its upper floors. 

It’s designers, locally based arquitectonica, hope SkyRise will achieve LEED Gold upon completion in mid-2017.

AR Issues: Who Needs Architecture Critics?

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine's monthly editions. In this post, we take you back to AR's June 2014 issue, which examines the state of architectural criticism in our age of online media and ever-present PR. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor argues that "more than ever, architecture is in need of provocative, engaging and entertaining critics."

Ambrose Bierce, the great 19th-century satirist and author of the The Devil’s Dictionary, once defined a critic as ‘a person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him’. Critics occupy a curiously parasitical position in the modern cultural milieu, and an architecture critic perhaps especially so. But in an age when architects can easily find obliging PR minions to dispense their gospel and biddable publishers to churn out infinite, anodyne oeuvres complètes, who still needs critics and criticism?

National Building Museum Honors Charlie Rose with Vincent Scully Prize

The National Building Museum has announced Charlie Rose as the recipient of the 2014 Vincent Scully Prize. The American talk show host and journalist was honored for his exploration “good design, the growth of cities, and the shape of the urban form through his insightful and substantive conversations with leading thinkers of our day.” 

"One of the great joys of spending twenty-five years at the table is meeting a cross-section of the best in culture and science and technology," said Rose. "I have a special place for the men and women who inspire us with the buildings they create. Architecture is a passion of mine and I’ve been proud to know not only architects but also those who teach, assess, and love great buildings. Architecture is one of the reflections of the permanence of a civilization. I am indeed honored to be the recipient of the Vincent Scully Prize, named for a man I have known, admired, and interviewed."

Australian Institute of Architects Announces 2014 National Awards Shortlist

© Peter Clarke
© Peter Clarke

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced the 61 projects making it to this year's 2014 Australian National Awards. Selected from a pool of 153 regional winners across 13 categories, the jury have visited all the shortlisted projects (except the international shortlist) in preparation for the announcement of the National winners at a ceremony in Darwin on November 6th.

Commenting on the shortlist, jury chair Paul Berkemeier said: "As a jury and as members of the profession, we were inspired by the number of projects that had informed clients working closely with the architects to achieve better outcomes. In many instances, this relationship allowed the project to go well and truly above and beyond the original brief."

Read on after the break for the full shortlist

© John Gollings © John Gollings © Patrick Bingham-Hall © Brett Boardman

Competition Challenges Architects and Students to Design Zero Net Energy Housing in California

Architecture at Zero, now in its fourth year, is challenging all students, architects and designers worldwide to envision two mixed-use, zero net energy (ZNE) housing proposals for adjacent parcel sites in Oakland, California. The competition is a response to the ZNE targets set out by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) which aims for all new residential construction in the state to be ZNE by 2020. Entrants are eligible for winning up to $25,000. Early bird registration ends September 12. All projects must be submitted by October 31 at 1PM PST. Learn more on the competition website and review last year's winners

Zaha Hadid Says She "Would Love To Do a Tower in London"

Despite her position as one of the world's most prominent and successful architects, Zaha Hadid yesterday revealed that there is one thing she feels is missing from her portfolio: a skyscraper in London. Speaking to BD at the announcement of her Science Museum competition win, Hadid said "I’d love to do a tower in London but it hasn’t arrived." More of Hadid's comments after the break.