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Here's What Western Accounts of the Kowloon Walled City Don't Tell You

09:30 - 2 December, 2016
Here's What Western Accounts of the Kowloon Walled City Don't Tell You, Image © Greg Girard and Ian Lambot, authors of the books "City of Darkness" and "<a href='http://www.archdaily.com/493900/the-architecture-of-kowloon-walled-city-an-excerpt-from-city-of-darkness-revisited'>City of Darkness Revisited</a>"
Image © Greg Girard and Ian Lambot, authors of the books "City of Darkness" and "City of Darkness Revisited"

A longer version of this article, written by current ArchDaily intern Sharon Lam, was originally published in Salient, the magazine of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association, titled "In the Shadow of the Kowloon Walled City."

It is the 1970s in Hong Kong, and you are eleven years old. Early one evening, you go out to a nearby neighborhood for dinner with your family. A five-minute walk from your primary school, it is also a place you frequent with your friends. The food here is good and especially renowned for its fishball noodle soup, which is what you always get. You’ve been here so often that navigating the subterranean corridors to the noodle stand is easy, and you know where to step to avoid the ceilings that drip the most. Your bowl of noodles arrives and you slurp them down, unaware of the fact that over the next couple of years this very neighborhood will peak in its population and its infamy, and remain even decades later as one of the most remarkable social anomalies in recent history.

At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—the size of about two rugby fields—making it the densest place on Earth at the time. It was a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one on top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors. All the while, the rest of Hong Kong went about as normal, seemingly unaffected by the crime and squalor within the Walled City.

A Virtual Look Into Richard Neutra's Unbuilt Case Study House #13, The Alpha House

09:30 - 30 November, 2016
A Virtual Look Into Richard Neutra's Unbuilt Case Study House #13, The Alpha House, Courtesy of Archilogic
Courtesy of Archilogic

Of the four homes designed by Richard Neutra for the Case Study Houses program, post-war thought experiments commissioned by Arts & Architecture, only one was ever realized. In the imaginary village of the program's many unbuilt homes, next to #6, the Omega house, stands #13, named Alpha. Archilogic’s 3D model gives us a unique chance to experience this innovative concept home.

Each of Neutra’s projects was designed for a family of five, and each reveals his psychoanalytic approach to architecture, in which the house itself is an intimate part of family relationships, as important as the personalities involved. (Neutra was personally acquainted with Freud, and a committed follower of birth trauma theorist Otto Rank.) Underlining this Freudian view, his imaginary clients are not just neighbours—they are related; Mrs Alpha being sister to Mrs Omega.

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Portfolio

08:00 - 29 November, 2016
5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Portfolio, Image © Giacomo Magnani <a href='http://www.giacomomagnani.com'>(www.giacomomagnani.com)</a>
Image © Giacomo Magnani (www.giacomomagnani.com)

In this article, originally published as "¿Qué es un portafolio de proyectos y cómo se hace?" (What is a portfolio and how do you make one?) from blog Enlace Arquitectura, the author shares a series of suggestions and steps on making a suitable and convenient portfolio for when you’re job hunting. The basis of these recommendations is to correctly understand what a portfolio is and what it should contain. It also details how to maximize creativity in the representation and execution of architectural projects when included in a portfolio.

39 Strange Habits Most Architects Can Relate To

09:30 - 28 November, 2016
39 Strange Habits Most Architects Can Relate To, Courtesy of Sharon Lam
Courtesy of Sharon Lam

Previously we had a look at some of the strange habits of top architects. From drinking on the job to polyphasic sleeping, it turns out famous architects are a bunch of weirdos. But what about the rest of us? It’s not just the famous architects who are weirdos—it’s simply impossible to spend such long periods of time on the job without picking up a few strange habits along the way. Whether it’s the way we work, the way we interact with buildings, or things that don’t even seem odd until a non-architect points them out, those in architecture have some pretty strange habits.

50 Impressive Details Using Wood

07:00 - 27 November, 2016
50 Impressive Details Using Wood

Over the course of history the unique characteristics of wood, which are dependent upon the species of the tree and the location in which it has grown, have enabled humanity to flourish in all parts of the globe. The architectural details of wooden construction therefore show a great diversity of meetings and joints, showing not only a project's constructive and structural logic, but also embodying the value and complexity of each project.

Take a look at these 50 construction details of projects that stand out for their clever use of wood.

Spotlight: Ma Yansong

03:30 - 26 November, 2016
Spotlight: Ma Yansong, Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan
Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan

Founder of the innovative architecture firm MAD Architects, Ma Yansong (born 26 November 1975) has helped to give China a name in the international architecture scene. The first Chinese architect to receive a RIBA fellowship, Ma explores contemporary architecture in relation to traditional eastern values of nature, resulting in buildings that are complex and contextually aware, but sometimes even surreal. 

Beautifully-Designed, Downloadable Bauhaus Architecture Books

12:00 - 25 November, 2016

Last year Monoskop delighted the architecture and art community by making many of the Bauhaus publications available to freely download. As a perennial fan of all types of architecture communication, I had previously written about the exceptional qualities of Bauhaus-produced books and journals and how these visual teaching tools ultimately influenced more recent, canonical publications. Below we share an edited excerpt from “Architects’ Books: Le Corbusier and The Bauhaus,” a chapter from the larger research project, Redefining The Monograph: The Publications of OMA and Rem Koolhaas.

To access Monoskop’s treasure trove, which includes titles by visionaries such as Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and others, visit Monoskop's Bauhaus archive.

As the Bauhaus operated in a generally experimental and revolutionary status, the information taught was not unified in any particularly accessible form. The Bauhausbücher were produced in order to expose the elements of the Bauhaus education to the original, small student body. These books later proved invaluable when the school was closed by the National Socialist Government in 1933, their contents holding authentic records of Bauhaus education. Merging theory and practice, the books, designed by Moholy-Nagy, are a testament to his creative ideas. He saw traditional forms of information dissemination as supplying information to students without stressing the relevance and relationship to the world in which they were living. His books sought to clarify these relationships through stimulating images and insightful (though at times lengthy and ethereal) text.

Interview with WOHA: “The Only Way to Preserve Nature is to Integrate it into Our Built Environment”

09:30 - 25 November, 2016
Interview with WOHA: “The Only Way to Preserve Nature is to Integrate it into Our Built Environment”, PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall
PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall

Driven by the hyper-density of the city-state from which they operate, WOHA have emerged as Singapore's quintessential architects. Combining a locally-specific approach to climate control and spatial planning with an international approach to form and materials, their work holds lessons that can be instructive to architects in all climates. In this interview, the latest in his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks to WOHA founders Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell about their environmental approach and the future of our global cities.

Newton Suites, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall SkyVille@Dawson, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall SkyVille@Dawson, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall +24

10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs)

08:00 - 25 November, 2016
10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs), © Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0
© Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0

After the success of its 6th edition in 2007, Sketchup became one of the world's most widely used 3D modeling software products. This is thanks to its intuitive toolbar, interdisciplinary use within the creative industry (not just architects) and having a free version that doesn't use watermarks.

Its open source library helped the software to provide a wide range of 3D objects, while hundreds of users developed their own plugins not only to solve the problems of each version but also to exploit the potential of their tools. 

We’re going to introduce you to 10 of the plugins shared by Sketchup Tutorials Facebook page using their demonstrative GIFs. If you don’t know how to add a SketchUp plugin, don’t worry! You can learn in this video also posted by them.

5 Ways to Improve Senior Wellness through Centres for Healthy Living

09:30 - 23 November, 2016
5 Ways to Improve Senior Wellness through Centres for Healthy Living, <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/459558/centro-socio-sanitari-martijulia-pinearq'>Elderly Healthcare Building / Brullet Pineda Arquitectes</a>
Elderly Healthcare Building / Brullet Pineda Arquitectes

Today we live in a rapidly aging society. The shift in the population pyramid means that traditional healthcare systems need to be reimagined in order to efficiently support an increasing senior population. This added pressure on healthcare is significant--the number of older adults in the US alone requiring long-term healthcare support is set to increase from 15 million to 27 million by 2050. By partnering with designers, healthcare providers can create valuable responses to address these growing needs.

One building typology that expresses this designer-provider partnership are centers for healthy living (CHL). CHLs help to bridge the gap between the senior living and healthcare sectors, and go beyond simple clinic or exercise spaces. Taking a more holistic approach, they seek to become accessible destinations for programs that nurture wellness while providing a sense of place and community.

In a new downloadable reportPerkins Eastman have explored this typology in great depth by investigating existing CHLs. Through spatial and market research, case studies and user surveys, their findings identify strategies for improving upon the CHL model in the future. Read on for our summary of their discoveries.

15 Details of Metal Structures and Facades for Residential Projects

08:00 - 23 November, 2016
15 Details of Metal Structures and Facades for Residential Projects

The use of steel in both the past and present is mainly associated with the success of grand industrial and civic structures. But due to the commercialization and standardization of steel profiles, its use in residential projects (thanks to its mechanical properties and fast installation) has resulted in complex and interesting solutions on a domestic scale.

Dive into these 15 construction details from residential projects that have made use of steel structures and cladding. 

Freelancing as an Architect: The Pros, The Cons, and Tips for Success

09:30 - 22 November, 2016
Freelancing as an Architect: The Pros, The Cons, and Tips for Success

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "The Pros and Cons of Starting out as a Freelance Architect."

Freelancing can be a great option for architects looking for more autonomy and freedom in their work. Although there are drawbacks to this kind of work, there are specific strategies that you can use to overcome the challenges and uncertainties of going solo.

It is easy to look down on freelancing. Those who are employed by a traditional company or firm see freelancing as an inferior work model that automatically implies less financial security and suggests to employers a loose definition of responsibility. People often imagine freelancers as slumming it in their pajamas doing just a few hours of work per day, or as Jacks-of-all-trades, overworked and constantly chasing new commissions. While data from recent studies and surveys show that freelancers do indeed work fewer hours than those in traditional employment, the rising number of freelancers proves that this trend is not waning. In fact, according to recent reports, increasing numbers of US and European workers are choosing to go freelance.

50 AutoCAD Commands You Should Know

08:00 - 22 November, 2016

After spending countless hours in front of AutoCAD working on a project, you’re bound to have your own set of favorite commands to standardize a few steps. We also bet that you don’t have them all memorized or often forget them. To help you remember, we've made a list of 50 commands that can help you speed up your work game, discover new shortcuts, or come in use as a handy tool for when you forget what the command you need is called.

The following listing was developed and corroborated by our team for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 versions of AutoCAD in English. We also prepared a series of GIFs to visualize some of the trickier ones.

When you’ve finished reading, we would love to know what your favorite commands are (including those that we didn’t include). We will use your input to help us update the article!

6 Ways BIM Can Make Your Architecture Firm More Competitive

18:00 - 21 November, 2016
6 Ways BIM Can Make Your Architecture Firm More Competitive, Emerson College Los Angeles by Morphosis Architects, which won the AIA's 2015 Technology In Architectural Practice Innovation Awards for its use of BIM. Image © Iwan Baan
Emerson College Los Angeles by Morphosis Architects, which won the AIA's 2015 Technology In Architectural Practice Innovation Awards for its use of BIM. Image © Iwan Baan

Starting an architecture firm may sprout from one’s love for and interest in the discipline, but running a competitive business requires more than just a tendency to enjoy the work. BIM could be the edge a firm needs in order to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways a firm can make use of BIM to become more profitable on their projects and successful in winning those projects in the first place; read on to find out more about six of them.

16 Tips To Improve Your Model-Making Skills

09:30 - 21 November, 2016
© Tim Viktorsson
© Tim Viktorsson

Virtual 3D Modeling has for decades been increasing in its popularity, yet hand-made models are far from extinct. Perhaps a reason for this is that despite the "3D" in "3D modeling," viewing those models on a screen or print is still, effectively, two-dimensional. A physical model of course can be held in your hand, examined and understood spatially in a way that a CAD model can’t. It can also be used as a quick and intuitive 3D sketch to get some ideas going. Whether it's for a client or a professor, models are almost always necessary in order to produce a complete understanding of the relationship between spaces in your design. To make the most use of this tool, read on for tips on how to improve your modeling:

© Fruzsi Boutros © Jakob Breidablik, Panuela Aasted, Ane Norderhus, Christian Graugaard © Tim Viktorsson, Aja Borby Ørtenblad, Andreas Zacho, Klaus Wahid Knudsen © Tim Viktorsson +19

The 7 Best Sustainable Design Courses in the United States

09:30 - 20 November, 2016
The 7 Best Sustainable Design Courses in the United States, Students at <a href='http://architecture.woodbury.edu/'>Woodbury University School of Architecture</a>. One of Woodbury's graduate professional practice courses, focused on the Los Angeles region and the state of California, was named one of seven exemplary courses in sustainability-centered design. Image Courtesy of Woodbury University
Students at Woodbury University School of Architecture. One of Woodbury's graduate professional practice courses, focused on the Los Angeles region and the state of California, was named one of seven exemplary courses in sustainability-centered design. Image Courtesy of Woodbury University

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine.

For many years now, climate change has been a major concern for architects and engineers— and with good reason. After all, the built environment contributes to over 39% of all CO2 emissions and over 70% of all electricity usage in the United States. Several architecture and design-based initiatives aim to guide architecture away from environmentally harmful practice and towards a more sustainable approach. Architecture 2030, one such initiative, believes that to incite design change we must begin at its source: architectural education.

"Night White Skies" Podcast Explores How the Design of Our Environment and Our Bodies is Changing Architecture

09:30 - 19 November, 2016
"Night White Skies" Podcast Explores How the Design of Our Environment and Our Bodies is Changing Architecture, Courtesy of Sean Lally
Courtesy of Sean Lally

Humanity is at a key moment in a larger story, one in which we are willfully manipulating both our global environments as well as our human bodies. The first is changing the makeup of the physical spaces we occupy and the second, the very body that perceives that space. At this intersection are the physical boundaries that define architectural space. Both our environments and our bodies are therefore open for design, and architecture has swerved in a new direction.

Created in response to these changes is a new podcast, “Night White Skies” w/ Sean Lally: A podcast about architecture's future, as both earth's environment & our human bodies are open for design. The podcast is about conversations with designers, engineers, and writers on the periphery of the architecture discipline, engaging in these developments from multiple fronts. Though the lens of discussion is architecture, it is necessary to engage a diverse range of perspectives to get a better picture of the events currently unfolding. This includes philosophers, cultural anthropologists, policy makers, scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Each individual’s work intersects this core topic, but from unique angles.

How Toyo Ito is Embarking on a "New Career Epoch" With Small-Scale Community Architecture

09:30 - 18 November, 2016
How Toyo Ito is Embarking on a "New Career Epoch" With Small-Scale Community Architecture, Steel Hut, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture in Omishima, Japan. Image © Daici Ano
Steel Hut, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture in Omishima, Japan. Image © Daici Ano

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Toyo Ito’s Next Architectural Feat: Revitalizing Omishima Island in Japan."

Last year, as construction at his National Taichung Theater in Taiwan was winding down, Toyo Ito found himself at a crossroads.

A 10-year project in the making, the gargantuan cultural beacon is made of biomorphically curved concrete walls that wind together like a knot of arteries, creating an otherworldly experience for arts patrons. It’s every bit the landmark project you’d expect from 2013’s Pritzker Prize Laureate, but its rapidly approaching completion triggered a vital question: Where to go from here?

A Virtual Look Into Mies van der Rohe's Core House

09:30 - 17 November, 2016
A Virtual Look Into Mies van der Rohe's Core House, Courtesy of Archilogic
Courtesy of Archilogic

Architecture depends on its time. It is the crystallization of its inner structure, the slow unfolding of its form. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

20 Details of Stunning Small-Scale Structures

08:00 - 17 November, 2016
20 Details of Stunning Small-Scale Structures

Throughout history, simple structures have constituted one of the most common forms of human expression. Small-scale housing, shelters, and viewpoints have been shaped by myriad materials that effectively created - depending on the techniques used - different forms of response to the same need.

Here is a compilation of 20 small-scale projects that stand out due to their small size and their simple, practical structures.

How to Design Theater Seating, Shown Through 21 Detailed Example Layouts

09:30 - 16 November, 2016
How to Design Theater Seating, Shown Through 21 Detailed Example Layouts

Audience sightlines, accessibility and acoustics all make theater seating a hugely precise art. As part of their set of online resources for architects and designers, the team at Theatre Solutions Inc (TSI) have put together a catalog of 21 examples of theater seating layouts. Each layout is well detailed, with information on the number of seats, the floor seating area and row spacing. These layouts fall under three general forms; to supplement this information, alongside TSI's diagrams we've included the pros and cons of each type, as well as examples of projects which use each format. Read on for more.

The Blyth Performing Arts Centre / Stevens Lawson Architects. Image © Mark Smith Theatre Agora / UNStudio. Image © Iwan Baan Ulumbarra Theatre / Y2 Architecture. Image © Peter Clarke Hamburg Elbphilharmonie / Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Iwan Baan +32

How to Design School Restrooms for Increased Comfort, Safety and Gender-Inclusivity

09:30 - 15 November, 2016
Northwood Elementary School in the Mercer Island School District. Image © Benjamin Benschneider
Northwood Elementary School in the Mercer Island School District. Image © Benjamin Benschneider

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Why Architects Must Rethink Restroom Design in Schools."

"Gang style" bathrooms, in which rows of stalls are installed opposite rows of wash basins and designated only for males or for females, have been de rigueur in educational facilities for the last hundred years. They involve predictable plumbing, mechanical exhaust, and fixture costs. Short doors and divider walls allow for the passive monitoring of behavior.

Relinquishing this traditional bathroom model is daunting, since individual toilet rooms can significantly increase costs through additional plumbing, ductwork, ventilation, partitions, doors and hardware. These designs many times require additional space, trigger further ADA compliance, and invalidate some USGBC LEED points. Moreover, school districts typically have limited budgets, established facilities, and deep-rooted social practices.

8 Short Architectural Texts You Need To Know

09:30 - 14 November, 2016
© Sharon Lam, using an image by <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adolfloos.2.jpg'>Wikimedia user Martin H.</a> licensed under Public Domain
© Sharon Lam, using an image by Wikimedia user Martin H. licensed under Public Domain

Update: We've added links to help you find these books for purchase and, in 5 of 8 cases, tracked down a way you can read them online for free!

Quality over quantity, so the saying goes. With so many concepts floating around the architectural profession, it can be difficult to keep up with all the ideas which you're expected to know. But in architecture and elsewhere, the most memorable ideas are often the ones that can be condensed textually: “form follows function,” “less is more,” “less is a bore.” Though slightly longer than three words, the following lists a selection of texts that don’t take too long to read, but impart long-lasting lessons, offering you the opportunity to fill gaps in your knowledge quickly and efficiently. Covering everything from loos to Adolf Loos, the public to the domestic, and color to phenomenology, read on for eight texts to place on your reading list:

Adaptable Bamboo Geodesic Domes Win the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Student Category 2016

09:30 - 13 November, 2016
Adaptable Bamboo Geodesic Domes Win the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Student Category 2016, Courtesy of CHHAT
Courtesy of CHHAT

Launched in 2007, The Buckminster Fuller Challenge has quickly gained a reputation for being what Metropolis Magazine once called “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.” This year, for the first time, a Student Category was reviewed separately from the general applications, however still based upon the same criteria: comprehensiveness, feasibility, replicability, ecological responsibility, and how verifiable and anticipatory the project is. Students from the Centre for Human Habitat and Alternative Technology (CHHAT) claimed the prize with their adaptable and lightweight modular domes, made from natural, local or recycled materials.

Courtesy of CHHAT Courtesy of CHHAT Courtesy of CHHAT Courtesy of CHHAT +12