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7 Ways to Use Animated GIFs to Improve Your Project Presentation

09:30 - 26 July, 2016

Introducing movement to drawings and diagrams is an excellent way to show the development and progress of ideas fundamental to a project. Animated GIFs can therefore be a useful tool to improve your project presentation, explaining in a lean way a large amount of complex information.

When it comes to architectural drawings, it's fundamental to understand what information needs to be highlighted and what is the best way to show it, getting rid of all the extra data to focus attention on the main asset. With that in mind, here is a list of 7 different types of animated GIF that really show off the best of every project.

Surface Magazine Examines Alejandro Aravena's "Architecture of Improvement"

08:00 - 26 July, 2016
Surface Magazine Examines Alejandro Aravena's "Architecture of Improvement", Alejandro Aravena in his exhibit at the Arsenale, created using waste material generated from the last Venice Biennale. Photo © James Mollison / Surface. Image Courtesy of Surface Magazine
Alejandro Aravena in his exhibit at the Arsenale, created using waste material generated from the last Venice Biennale. Photo © James Mollison / Surface. Image Courtesy of Surface Magazine

It’s the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena’s habit to look at architecture as a way to help people, and not to simply dazzle them with form. The ethos and practice of Aravena’s Santiago-based firm, Elemental, is essentially the blueprint for each national pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale (through Nov. 27), which he is directing. His brief, “Reporting from the Front,” asks a simple question, one that’s increasingly difficult to address: How can the advancement of architecture, given physical needs and local contexts, actually improve the quality of people’s lives? 

The question is central to how Aravena approaches his own work. Before he puts pen to paper, the economic, environmental, political, and social dimensions of the built environment are fully taken into account. 

Has "Terror" Been an Important Factor in Shaping Russian Cities?

04:00 - 26 July, 2016
Has "Terror" Been an Important Factor in Shaping Russian Cities?, Perspective view of the Zamoskvorechye district of Moscow. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine
Perspective view of the Zamoskvorechye district of Moscow. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine

In this interview Nadya Nilina, a Russian architect, urban planner and educator specialising in large-scale masterplanning and historical preservation, traces the formation of Russian discourse on urbanism and discusses what goals might be set for the future of urbanisation in the country.

Alongside Prof. Dr. Ronald Wall, Nilina is curating the Urbanisation of Developing Countries course as part of the new Advanced Urban Design programme at Moscow's Strelka Institute, which will provide a detailed critical overview of Russian urban development over the last three hundred years. Urbanisation of Developing Countries is considered one of the key topics in urbanism today and represents a large and complex part of this discussion.

Perspective view of the Zamoskvorechye district of Moscow. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Plan of Magnitogorsk. Image via New Town Institute Moskovskoe motorway, residential block. E. Levinson, I. Fomin, 1939-1940. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Petrov's plan of St. Petersburg (1738). Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine +7

The 80-20 Rule: The Key to Producing Better Work in Less Time

09:30 - 25 July, 2016
The 80-20 Rule: The Key to Producing Better Work in Less Time, © Max Griboedov via Shutterstock
© Max Griboedov via Shutterstock

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter as "How to Work Smarter with the 80-20 Rule."

“OK, let me see your list.” I was fresh out of architecture school and working on my first project as a designer. It was one week before our design Development Deadline. The project manager asked me to draw up a list of remaining design issues.

“Here are the ten things I have left,” I said as I handed over the list. “It was hard to prioritize them. They’re all really important.” I was fortunate to be working with an experienced project manager who, in addition to being extremely patient with me, saw it as her responsibility to mold and shape green architecture graduates into fully functioning architects. Not an easy task...

Spotlight: Glenn Murcutt

02:30 - 25 July, 2016
Spotlight: Glenn Murcutt, Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Art Centre (1999), Riversdale, West Cambewarra (NSW), designed in collaboration with Reg Lark and Wendy Lewin. Image © Flickr user Un Rosarino en Vietnam
Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Art Centre (1999), Riversdale, West Cambewarra (NSW), designed in collaboration with Reg Lark and Wendy Lewin. Image © Flickr user Un Rosarino en Vietnam

As an architect, critic and winner of the 2002 Pritzker PrizeGlenn Murcutt (born 25 July 1936) has designed some of Australia's most innovative and environmentally sensitive buildings over a long career - and yet he still remains a one man office. Despite working on his own, primarily on private residences and exclusively in Australia, his buildings have had a huge influence across the world and his motto of "touch the earth lightly" is internationally recognized as a way to foster harmonious, adaptable structures that work with the surrounding landscape instead of competing with it.

10 Steps to Simplify Your Firm's Transition to BIM

09:30 - 24 July, 2016
10 Steps to Simplify Your Firm's Transition to BIM, OHSU/PSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building by SERA Architects and CO Architects. Image © SERA Architects
OHSU/PSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building by SERA Architects and CO Architects. Image © SERA Architects

So you’re convinced that BIM will be a good addition to your firm. Unlike more conventional CAD, BIM is composed of intelligent 3D models which make critical design and construction processes such as coordination, communication, and collaboration much easier and faster. However, for these reasons BIM is also seen by many as a more complicated software with a steep learning curve, with the potential to take a large chunk out of a firm’s operating budget during the transition period. So how do you actually transition an entire firm’s process to BIM? Here are ten steps to guide you on your way.

"DIY For Architects": This Parametric Brick Facade Was Built Using Traditional Craft Techniques

12:00 - 23 July, 2016
"DIY For Architects": This Parametric Brick Facade Was Built Using Traditional Craft Techniques, Courtesy of Sstudiomm
Courtesy of Sstudiomm

With their latest facade construction, Iranian architecture firm Sstudiomm explores the potential that brick can offer by utilizing parametric architecture. Instead of relying on unique construction elements for assembly on-site at a later date, in their new project (called, in full, "Negative Precision. On-Site Fabrication of a Parametric Brick Facade // A DIY for Architects") the firm considers how a simple mass-produced element like the brick can be assembled in unique ways by taking advantage of digital technology. While firms like Gramazio Kohler have already developed industrial methods of assembling brickwork following parametric designs, Sstudiomm aims for a more lo-fi approach, creating parametric brick walls using little more than the traditional construction methods found in Iran and a dose of ingenuity.

Courtesy of Sstudiomm Courtesy of Sstudiomm Courtesy of Sstudiomm Courtesy of Sstudiomm +16

This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability

09:30 - 23 July, 2016
This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability, The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue
The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Line//Shape//Space publication as "Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings: Why a Theater Company Chose Resurrection (Not Demolition)."

For a ruined Civil War-era warehouse in Brooklyn, there may have been no better organization than an avant-garde theater group to think creatively about its future.

Situated in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in the popular Dumbo neighborhood, the 1860 tobacco warehouse was crumbling and forgotten when St. Ann’s, a 36-year-old theater company that began life in another Brooklyn church, sought to renovate it for its first permanent home. Attaining energy efficiency in historic buildings is not just possible—it can be the most sustainable and aesthetic choice.

St. Ann’s, led by artistic director Susan Feldman, hired a building team that included Marvel ArchitectsBuroHappold Engineering; and Charcoalblue, a theater, lighting, and acoustics consultancy. The resulting 25,000-square-foot complex, St. Ann’s Warehouse, includes two versatile and changeable performance spaces, lobby and event areas, and a triangular garden (designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates).

AR Issues: How the Internet Has Promoted the Banality of "Notopia"

09:30 - 22 July, 2016
AR Issues: How the Internet Has Promoted the Banality of "Notopia" , Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the July 2016 issue, Editor Christine Murray continues the crusade, begun in the previous issue, against "Notopia." Here, Murray describes Notopia's connection to our 21st century digital society, arguing that "the failed promise of the internet is how it has hurt the real world."

It may be found even in an attractive metropolis, densely packed with fine buildings old and new, replete with coffee shops and bicycle lanes. Here, Notopia is a simulacrum of inhabitation, like a stage set for its players. Nothing is what it seems. The historic apartments that overlook the twisted pedestrianized lanes of Barcelona are in fact hotel rooms for weekend visitors. The towering sea-view condominiums of Vancouver are foreign investment properties bought in exchange for citizenship. Detroit’s streets of elegant gabled houses have no services, the municipal water systems long turned off.

Comic Break: "Bait And Switch"

06:00 - 22 July, 2016
Comic Break: "Bait And Switch", Courtesy of Architexts
Courtesy of Architexts

We all know that clients can be difficult to work with. But, doing a personal project for a boss… if you haven’t done it before, you’re really lucky. As much as you tell yourself it’s a great thing to have your boss trust you enough to do something for him or her, the stress is so much worse. Have you been there before?

Why Islamic Architecture in the United States is Failing American Muslims

09:30 - 21 July, 2016

This essay by Jenine Kotob was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Why Now, More Than Ever, We Need A New Islamic Architecture."

At a time when Muslims find themselves at the center of the nation’s political stage, the topic of Islamic architecture in the United States is more relevant than ever. The American mosque has become a prominent symbol, within which identities, practices, and cultures converge. More often than not, this convergence results in conflicting goals, further resulting in mosques that fail to identify and serve the needs of their diverse constituents.

Why Leaders in Altruistic Architecture Need to Drop the Ego

09:30 - 20 July, 2016
Why Leaders in Altruistic Architecture Need to Drop the Ego, Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger in Haiti, designed by Architecture for Humanity. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity
Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger in Haiti, designed by Architecture for Humanity. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity

This article was originally published on Lance Hosey's Huffington Post blog as "A Darker Shade of Green."

Last week, Architectural Record reported that Architecture for Humanity (AFH), the nonprofit founded in 1999 to address humanitarian crises through building, is being sued for mismanagement of funds. On June 10th, a court-appointed trustee filed a complaint alleging that the co-founders, Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, and the ten-person board of directors acted with gross negligence by shirking their fiduciary duties from 2012 through 2014. The specific charges relate to misusing charitable donations earmarked for specific purposes. This is the latest in a string controversies, beginning with the co-founders departing in 2013 and the organization declaring bankruptcy last year.

21st Century Nolli: How Pokemon GO and Augmented Reality Could Shape Our Cities

14:00 - 19 July, 2016

A photo posted by yesi (@mskittenk) on

Augmented reality is not a new piece of technology. The term has existed in some form since the early 90s, and it has had practical effects for architects since at least 2008, when ArchDaily posted its first AR article about a plugin for Sketchup that allowed users to rotate a digital model around on their desk using just their bare hands. But these past few weeks, society was given its first glimpse of augmented reality’s potential to affect the way we interact with the places we occupy.

That glimpse, of course, has been provided by Pokemon GO, the location-based augmented reality mobile game that allows players to capture virtual creatures throughout the real world. With more many active daily users as Twitter and a higher daily usage time than social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Whatsapp, it cannot be denied that the game has captured our attention unlike anything that has come before it.

Spotlight: John Hejduk

08:00 - 19 July, 2016
Spotlight: John Hejduk, Wall House II, built 2001 in the Netherlands. Image © Liao Yusheng
Wall House II, built 2001 in the Netherlands. Image © Liao Yusheng

Artist, architect and architectural theorist John Hejduk (19 July 1929 - 3 July 2000) introduced new ways of thinking about space that are still highly influential in both modernist and post-modernist architecture today, especially among the large number of architects who were once his students. Inspired both by darker, gothic themes and modernist thinking on the human psyche, his relatively small collection of built work, and many of his unbuilt plans and drawings, have gone on to inspire other projects and architects around the world. In addition, his drawing, writing and teaching have gone on to shape the meeting of modernist and postmodern influences in contemporary architecture and helped bring psychological approaches to the forefront of design.

26 Things All Architects Can Relate To

09:30 - 18 July, 2016
26 Things All Architects Can Relate To, © hvostik via Shutterstock
© hvostik via Shutterstock

Working in architecture is always a challenging experience in which you just never know what might happen next. That said, there are a number of things we can collectively relate to as a part of this industry. Here we've created a list of things we're all too familiar with—whether that relates to finishing projects, working with clients, or just dealing with people that totally don't even know what goes on in architecture. Which ones did we miss?

A Tiny Luxury: What are “Tiny Houses” Really Saying About Architecture?

09:30 - 15 July, 2016
A Tiny Luxury: What are “Tiny Houses” Really Saying About Architecture?, © Roderick Aichinger
© Roderick Aichinger

Following a successful pilot launch in Boston and $1 million in venture backing, a startup company called Getaway has recently launched their service to New Yorkers. The company allows customers to rent out a collection of designer “tiny houses” placed in secluded rural settings north of the city; beginning at $99 per night, the service is hoping to offer respite for overstimulated city folk seeking to unplug and “find themselves.” The company was founded by business student Jon Staff and law student Pete Davis, both from Harvard University, out of discussions with other students about the issues with housing and the need for new ideas to house a new generation. From that came the idea of introducing the experience of Tiny House living to urbanites through weekend rentals.

Inspired by the notion of micro-housing and the powerful rhetoric of the Tiny House movement, initiatives like Getaway are part of a slew of architectural proposals that have emerged in recent years. Downsizing has been cited by its adopters as both a solution to the unaffordability of housing and a source of freedom from the insidious capitalist enslavement of “accumulating stuff.” Highly developed and urbanized cities such as New York seem to be leading the way for downsizing: just last year, Carmel Place, a special micro-housing project designed by nARCHITECTS, was finally completed in Manhattan to provide studio apartments much smaller than the city’s current minimum regulation of 400 square feet (37 square meters). Many, including Jesse Connuck, fail to see how micro-housing can be a solution to urban inequality, yet if we are to judge from the early success of startups like Getaway, micro-architecture holds widespread public appeal. Isn’t user satisfaction the ultimate goal of architecture? In that case, it’s important to investigate the ingenuity behind these undersized yet often overpriced spaces.

© thebearwalk.com © Kataram Studios © Roderick Aichinger © Kataram Studios +26

Spotlight: Moshe Safdie

12:30 - 14 July, 2016
Spotlight: Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67. Image © Canadian Architecture Collection, McGill University
Habitat 67. Image © Canadian Architecture Collection, McGill University

Theorist, architect and educator, Moshe Safdie (July 14, 1938), made his first mark on architecture with his masters thesis, where the idea for Habitat 67 originated. Catapulted to attention, Safdie has used his ground-breaking first project to develop a reputation as a prolific creator of cultural buildings, translating his radicalism into a dramatic yet sensitive style that has become popular across the world. Increasingly working in Asia and the Middle East, Safdie puts an emphasis on integrating green and public spaces into his modernist designs.

The Top 12 Architecture Channels on Youtube

09:30 - 14 July, 2016
The Top 12 Architecture Channels on Youtube

There’s so much to learn about architecture, yet so little time. The smart architect knows to have a variety of sources for their architectural knowledge, and that's why we’ve put together a shortlist of our Top 12 Architecture Channels on Youtube, and picked some of their best videos for you to see. Read more to find out the best architecture videos, from sketching and rendering tutorials to architecture documentaries.