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These Are the World’s 25 Tallest Buildings

08:00 - 10 May, 2017

Humanity has become obsessed with breaking its limits, creating new records only to break them again and again. In fact, our cities’ skylines have always been defined by those in power during every period in history. At one point churches left their mark, followed by public institutions and in the last few decades, it's commercial skyscrapers that continue to stretch taller and taller. 

But when it comes to defining which buildings are the tallest it can get complicated. Do antennas and other gadgets on top of the building count as extra meters? What happens if the last floor is uninhabitable? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed their own system for classifying tall buildings, measuring from the “level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment.” Using this system more than 3,400 buildings have been categorized as over 150 meters tall. 

Spotlight: Gordon Bunshaft

10:30 - 9 May, 2017
Lever House. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/gaf/15726775064'>Flickr user gaf</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
Lever House. Image © Flickr user gaf licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As lead designer of the Lever House and many of America’s most historically prominent buildings, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft (9 May 1909 – 6 August 1990) is credited with ushering in a new era of Modernist skyscraper design and corporate architecture. A stern figure and a loyal advocate of the International Style, Bunshaft spent the majority of his career as partner and lead designer for SOM, who have referred to him as “a titan of industry, a decisive army general, an architectural John Wayne.”

Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz Airport, Jeddah. Image © SOM - Jay Langlois | Owens-Corning Beinecke Rare Book Library. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/joevare/5524134719'>Flickr user joevare</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> Solow Buliding. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solow_Building_New_York_August_2012.jpg'>Wikimedia user King of Hearts</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> W.R. Grace Building. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:W._R._Grace_Building,_New_York,_NY_10018,_USA_-_Jan_2013.jpg'>Wikimedia user WestportWiki</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> +9

Trends in Architectural Representation: Understanding The Techniques

08:00 - 9 May, 2017
Trends in Architectural Representation: Understanding The Techniques, © OMA. ImageIl Fondaco dei Tedeschi / OMA
© OMA. ImageIl Fondaco dei Tedeschi / OMA

The representation of architecture is important in the absence of tangible space. Throughout a lifetime, even the most devoted, well-travelled design enthusiast will experience only a small percentage of architectural works with their own eyes. Consider that we exist in only one era of architectural history, and the percentage reduces even further. Many architectural works go unbuilt, and the buildings we experience in person amount to a grain of sand in a vast desert.

Then we consider the architecture of the future. For buildings not yet built, representation is not a luxury, but a necessity to test, communicate and sell an idea. Fortunately, today’s designers have unprecedented means to depict ideas, with an explosion in technology giving us computer-aided drafting, photo-realistic rendering, and virtual reality. Despite these vast strides, however, the tools of representation are a blend of old and new – from techniques which have existed for centuries, to the technology of our century alone. Below, we give five answers to the question of how architecture should be depicted before it is built.

Spotlight: Rafael Moneo

06:00 - 9 May, 2017
Spotlight: Rafael Moneo, National Museum of Roman Art. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictfactory/2842858053'>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
National Museum of Roman Art. Image © Flickr user pictfactory licensed under CC BY 2.0

As the first ever Spanish architect to receive the Pritzker Prize, Rafael Moneo (born 9 May 1937) is known for his highly contextual buildings which nonetheless remain committed to modernist stylings. His designs are regularly credited as achieving the elusive quality of "timelessness"; as critic Robert Campbell wrote in his essay about Moneo for the Pritzker Prize, "a Moneo building creates an awareness of time by remembering its antecedents. It then layers this memory against its mission in the contemporary world."

National Museum of Roman Art. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictfactory/2840558654'>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Columbia University Northwest Corner Building / Rafael Moneo, Davis Brody Bond, and Moneo Brock Studio. Image © Michael Moran Studio Puig Tower / Rafael Moneo + Antonio Puig, Josep Riu GCA Architects + Lucho Marcial. Image © Rafael Vargas Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/cwsteeds/5324514176/'>Flickr user cwsteeds</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> +11

"See You in Court!": 9 of Architecture’s Nastiest Lawsuits

09:30 - 8 May, 2017
© <a href=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/16868722144/'>Flickr user diversey</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-2.0</a>
© Flickr user diversey licensed under CC BY-2.0

What did Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry get when he designed the Stata Center, an exuberantly whimsical academic complex for MIT? A very large check, plus a major lawsuit, alleging negligence and breach of contract due to rampant leaks, mold, cracks, drainage problems and sliding ice. Sometimes the most inspired designs can go awry. And when they do, some clients lawyer up. Here are 9 fascinating examples.

8 Models of Memorial Architecture from Different Cultures

09:30 - 5 May, 2017
8 Models of Memorial Architecture from Different Cultures

In most architecture projects, the input of the end user of the space is an important consideration; but what if those users are no longer living? Memorial architecture for the dead is a uniquely emotional type of design and often reveals much about a certain culture or group of people. Especially in the case of ancient tombs, archaeologists can learn about past societies’ customs and beliefs by examining their burial spaces. The personal nature of funerary spaces and monuments conveys a sense of importance and gravity to viewers and visitors, even centuries after the memorials were created.

The list of 3D models that follow, supplied by our friends at Sketchfab, explores memorial spaces and artifacts that span both space and time, representing a variety of cultures and civilizations.

'220 Mini Metros' Illustrates Metro and Train Networks from Around the World

08:00 - 5 May, 2017

American graphic designer Peter Dovak is passionate about urban transportation. He has creates colorful designs that represent transit systems in a much more instructive way so that people can interpret them more easily. 

One of his last projects, called 220 Mini Metros, was based on metro and light rail networks from 220 cities of the world. 

Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto Through Fernando Guerra's Lenses

06:00 - 5 May, 2017
Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto Through Fernando Guerra's Lenses

This week we present the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto through the lenses of Fernando Guerra. Here we share a complete series from the photographer of this iconic work, along with a brief text on the subject. The University of Porto plays a major role in the world's architectural landscape, always among the highest in rankings and boasting great architects like Eduardo Souto de Moura (Pritzker 2011), Fernando Távora and Álvaro Siza Vieira (Pritzker 1992).

Be a Voyeur in Christian Grey’s Revamped “50 Shades” Penthouse With This 3D Model

09:30 - 4 May, 2017

The interplay of tantalizing eroticism continues within Christian Grey’s luxury tower in the recently-released film sequel, Fifty Shades Darker. In the first film, Grey’s plush apartment played an integral role in undressing the personas of Anastasia Steele, who liberates herself from her chaste existence, and Christian, who exposes the seething and fiery carnal desires and fetishism behind his glorified masculine beauty, charm, and appearance.

Grey's penthouse, which resonates with his unyielding and intimidating Heathcliff undertones in the first part of the trilogy, turns over a new leaf in the sequel. There is ambient warmth in the penthouse; nevertheless, the high level of sophistication prevails in his penchant for singular tastes and fastidiously-selected objects and it remains unapologetically lush.

Behind The Scenes at Studio Gang

06:00 - 4 May, 2017
Behind The Scenes at Studio Gang, Aqua Tower. Image © Victor Delaqua
Aqua Tower. Image © Victor Delaqua

Chicago Zoo Park. Image © Victor Delaqua Studio Gang HQ - Chicago. Image © Victor Delaqua WMS Boathouse in Clark Park. Image © Victor Delaqua Studio Gang HQ - Chicago. Image © Victor Delaqua +7

Last year I had the opportunity to visit Studio Gang, one of the most prestigious and inspiring firms around led by architect Jeanne Gang. I was able to talk with her team about the workspace, some of her projects, about the future of architecture, the role of women in the profession and even about the inspirations behind the United States Embassy in Brasilia.

We Are Approaching "The End of Work." How Will This Change Our Housing?

09:30 - 3 May, 2017
We Are Approaching "The End of Work." How Will This Change Our Housing?, As the American Dream dies, we must rethink our suburbs, homes, and communities. Seen here: ,L’Abri de la Bourgeoisie, after L’Abri du Pauvre, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, 1804, from Atlas of Another America, Park Books, 2016. Image Courtesy of Keith Krumwiede
As the American Dream dies, we must rethink our suburbs, homes, and communities. Seen here: ,L’Abri de la Bourgeoisie, after L’Abri du Pauvre, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, 1804, from Atlas of Another America, Park Books, 2016. Image Courtesy of Keith Krumwiede

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper in their April 2017 issue and on their website titled "As the American Dream dies, we must rethink our suburbs, homes, and communities." It is part of a series of articles that mark the AIA National Convention in Orlando that took place at the end of April.

Americans define themselves through work; it builds character, or so we believe. The American Dream is premised on individual achievement, with the promise that our labor will be rewarded and measured by the things we collect and consume. For many, the sine qua non of the dream, our greatest collectible, is the single-family house. Of all our products, it is the one we most rely upon to represent our aspirations and achievements.

Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?

09:30 - 2 May, 2017
Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/novecentino/512652036/'>Flickr user novecentino</a> licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
© Flickr user novecentino licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Taking a taxi from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport into the city, one cannot help but look at the seemingly random distribution of buildings along the road; an array of mismatched concrete blocks, worlds away from the images of Sheik Lotfollah Mosque that typically adorn the covers of Iran travel guides. “My observations about architecture in Iran are like that of many other countries that have changed in terms of architectural characteristics; Iran has changed too,” says Tehran-based architect, M. Reza Karfar. “Now we are in a time where everything is mass produced and we are just using and using, but not making memories with anything. That sense of belonging will, of course, go away. You see a 50 or 60, or 200-year-old house that just gets demolished and replaced by a 4 or 5-story building, and in 5 years they will demolish that 4 to 5-story building too.”

Not to say that Iran should be an exhibit for tourists, only consisting of beautiful tiled buildings, but this fear of memories fading in disappearing public spaces is one that, despite the numerous historical sites preserved around the country, is noticeable in Iran’s big cities. And while the subject is particularly pertinent in Iran, as Karfar points out this phenomenon is not unique to just one country. As a result, Iran might offer something of a case study for other countries around the world. 

The Architecture of Some of the World's Oldest Continuously Inhabited Cities

09:30 - 1 May, 2017
The Architecture of Some of the World's Oldest Continuously Inhabited Cities

What’s so great about the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world? Probably the fact that their societies have been evolving in one unbroken series of eras, with ever-changing values and styles that have, among other things, given rise to architectural memories of their long histories. These cities aren’t like the archeological sites we visit to see how people lived thousands of years ago; they are the exact places people lived thousands of years ago, places where people are still living today, with their rich histories buried under layers of paint and concrete instead of earth.

With ancient cities found in regions around the world, the variety of architectural treasures that can be found in these cities is vast. To give you a taste of their diversity, here is a selection of 18 of the oldest continually inhabited cities from various regions of the world, ranging from youngest to oldest, with a small snippet of their various architectural puzzles. 

© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berat.jpg'>Wikimedia user Joonas Lytinen</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dziecienocy/5039948774'>Flickr user dziecienocy</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/worak/907175079'>Flickr user worak</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gopuram-madurai.jpg'>Wikimedia user Nataraja</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 1.0</a> +20

Art or Architecture? 13 Projects That Blur The Boundary

09:30 - 30 April, 2017
Art or Architecture? 13 Projects That Blur The Boundary

Whether architecture is a form of art or not has often been a controversial topic of conversation within the architecture world. If one goes by the general definition of the word "art," architecture could potentially fit within the umbrella term: "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." As anyone involved in the architectural discipline probably knows, there is an abundance of varying definitions of the word "architecture," so whether its primary purpose is to achieve beauty or to organize space is evidently up for discussion.

Ask Jay A. Pritzker, founder of the Pritzker Prize, and he may say that "architecture is intended to transcend the simple need for shelter and security by becoming an expression of artistry." Ask The Guardian's Jonathan Jones and he may tell you that "architecture is the art we all encounter most often, most intimately, yet precisely because it is functional and necessary to life, it's hard to be clear about where the 'art' in a building begins." But this ambiguity is part of what makes the field of architecture challenging and exciting. To celebrate this complicated aspect of architecture, below we have collected a list of just some of the works that could be seen as art, architecture or both, depending on who’s looking, to provide some context to those blurry boundaries.

© James Dow © Florian Holzherr Courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson © Anders Sune Berg +14

12 Dynamic Buildings in South Korea Pushing the Brick Envelope

08:00 - 30 April, 2017

Bricks are as old as the hills. An enduring element of architectural construction, brick has been a material of choice as far back as 7000BC. Through the centuries, bricks have built ancient empires in Turkey, Egypt, Rome and Greece. Exposed stock brick came to define the Georgian era, with thousands of red brick terraces still lining the streets of cities such as London, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Today, brick is experiencing a Renaissance. Architectural landmarks across the world such as Frank Gehry’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building in Sydney and the Tate Modern Switch House by Herzog & de Meuron are pushing the proverbial brick envelope, redefining how the material can be used and perceived.

South Korea presents an interesting case for the changing face of brick, with a preference for dark, grey masonry striking a heavy, brutalist, yet playful tone. Like many countries, South Korean brick architecture has questioned conformity, experimenting with stepped, perforated, permeable facades, and dynamic, curved, flowing walls. Below, we have rounded up 12 of their most interesting results.

Immerse Yourself in Architectural Spaces Worldwide With the NYT's Daily 360

10:30 - 29 April, 2017
Immerse Yourself in Architectural Spaces Worldwide With the NYT's Daily 360, via The New York Times Daily 360
via The New York Times Daily 360

With 360 camera technology, the ability to transport people into a space through film has become all the more immersive. Viewers are able to turn the viewport in every direction to see the whole scene, or even to put on a headset for a more natural way of viewing a scene. Of course, this has important implications for viewing architecture, which many believe has become too image based, and therefore two-dimensional. 360 videos leave no corners conveniently hidden, as a traditional video or image would, perhaps providing a fuller picture of a place - could this perhaps open up a more human-scale understanding of space?

The New York Times have treated their Facebook followers to some great architectural insights through their Daily 360, getting more than their money’s worth out of their 360 camera equipment. Some of these must-see videos include a dance rehearsal taking place in the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda, as well as an aerial view of La Paz, Bolivia. Read on to take a peek into the richness of earth’s urban spaces:

The Global Cities With the Worst Traffic Problems

12:00 - 28 April, 2017
The Global Cities With the Worst Traffic Problems, Courtesy of TomTom Traffic Index
Courtesy of TomTom Traffic Index

Earlier this year, Dutch company TomTom(TOM2) released a detailed report that uncovered the cities around the world *that have the most traffic congestion, based on the results of the TomTom Traffic Index 2017. According to the latest analysis, Mexico City will retain its crown as the "most traffic congested city" in the world. Drivers in the Mexican capital are expected to spend an average of 66% extra travel time stuck in traffic any time of the day, and up to 101% in the evening rush hours adding a whopping 227 hours of extra travel time per year. 

Next in the global rankings are Bangkok (61%), Jakarta (58%), Chongqing (52%) and Bucharest (50%), making up the top five most congested cities in the world. You can find out more about TomTom's Traffic Index and discover where your home city ranks at after the break.

TED Talk: The Designer of Chile's Bahá'í Temple Explores Sacred Spaces in a Secular Time

09:30 - 28 April, 2017

In a recent TED Talk, architect Siamak Hariri takes the audience inside his design process for the Bahá'í Temple of South America. Responding to an open call in 2003 to design the last of the faith's continental temples in Santiago, Chile, Hariri recalls a moment as a student at Yale when he learned about the transcendent power of architecture, a moment he tried to recreate in the twelve-year project.

© Asamblea Espiritual Nacional de los Bahá'ís de Chile + Hariri Pontarini Architects © Asamblea Espiritual Nacional de los Bahá'ís de Chile + Hariri Pontarini Architects © Daniela Galdames © Daniela Galdames +5

The Iconic Architecture of Apple Retail Stores

08:00 - 28 April, 2017

Yesterday, the Apple Store Dubai officially opened to the public, becoming the tech giant’s 494th retail store to debut since the opening of their very first brick-and-mortar store in 2001 in Fairfax County, Virginia. Since that first occasion, their stores have become synonymous with ground-breaking, transparent design, with Apple even receiving patents for their iconic flagship store and glass staircase designs

With their newest stores, Apple has tried to build what they call a “modern-day town square,” where visitors come not just to shop, but to be inspired, learn and connect with others in an inviting community space.

To mark the Dubai store’s opening, we’ve rounded up 11 of the most iconic Apple stores from around the globe.

© Nigel Young © Nigel Young Courtesy of Apple Courtesy of Apple +13

Adjaye Associate's Aishti Foundation Photographed by Julien Lanoo

14:00 - 27 April, 2017
Adjaye Associate's Aishti Foundation Photographed by Julien Lanoo, © Julien Lanoo
© Julien Lanoo

In this series, photographer Julien Lanoo turns his camera toward Adjaye Associates' Aishti Foundation in Beirut, a shopping center and museum showcasing the private contemporary art collection of Tony Salamé, the founder of Lebanese luxury retailer Aishti. 

Located on a coastal brownfield site in central Beirut, the building integrates the two distinct programs by establishing what the architects call a "celebration of views into the spaces as well as a homogenising tiled design that presents a language throughout the building’s floor, façade and roof." Interior spaces are organized around a reflective central atrium, while an undulating landscape along the water reclaims seaside public space, and opens up views over the city of Beirut.

Check out the full photoset, below.

© Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo +19

Spotlight: Gert Wingårdh

10:30 - 26 April, 2017
Spotlight: Gert Wingårdh, Aula Medica. Image © Tord-Rikard Soderstrom
Aula Medica. Image © Tord-Rikard Soderstrom

One of Sweden’s most esteemed living architects, Gert Wingårdh (born 26 April 1951) brought Swedish architecture out of the tradition of the International Style and into contemporary times with his playful design spirit and love of eye-catching materials. With his use of bright colors and geometric motifs, his recent buildings have been described as "Maximalist" or "Modern Baroque."

Aula Medica. Image © Tord-Rikard Soderstrom Kuggen. Image © Tord-Rikard Soderstrom Facts Emporia. Image © Tord-Rikard Soderstrom Quality Hotel Friends / Karolina Keyzer + Wingårdhs. Image © Tord-Rikard Soderstrom +15

I.M. Pei’s Inspiration: A Comparison of Masterful Architecture with Minimalist Art

09:30 - 26 April, 2017
I.M. Pei’s Inspiration: A Comparison of Masterful Architecture with Minimalist Art, I.M. Pei's JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Massachusetts. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/masstravel/8568079947'>Flickr user masstravel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
I.M. Pei's JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Massachusetts. Image © Flickr user masstravel licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Today, April 26th 2017, marks I.M. Pei’s 100th birthday. The occasion offers a wonderful opportunity to take a retrospective look at one of the most significant and productive architects of the past 100 years, with many organizations hosting events, celebrations, and symposiums to talk about Master Pei and his notable projects. However at these events, just as throughout I.M. Pei’s career, there is unlikely to be much intellectual conversation about Pei’s architectural legacy. The main discussion around I.M. Pei is still focused on his design talent and intriguing narratives about the charisma he used to convince clients to continue through tough projects.

Though I.M. Pei himself has never talked at length about his design theory or the intellectual basis of his projects, these simple narratives leave certain questions unanswered: Where does I.M. Pei’s inspiration for architectural form come from? How did his architectural design affect his peer group of architects and artists, and contribute intellectually to the contemporary art world?

A Young Architect's Chance Encounter With Living Legend I.M. Pei

08:30 - 26 April, 2017
A Young Architect's Chance Encounter With Living Legend I.M. Pei, Villa Punto de Vista, the resort designed by David Konwiser at which I.M. Pei was the first guest. Image © Sergio Pucci
Villa Punto de Vista, the resort designed by David Konwiser at which I.M. Pei was the first guest. Image © Sergio Pucci

Imagine having a world famous architect be the first inhabitant of your debut solo architecture project - and not just any architect, but I.M. Pei, who turns an incredible 100 years today. This unlikely turn of events actually happened to Costa Rican architect David Konwiser 7 years ago when Pei rented out Konwiser’s Villa Punto de Vista for New Years, although the unbelievable chance encounter almost didn’t become a reality. Just two and a half months prior to Pei’s arrival, the villa was more construction site than materialized building. Understandably, those two and a half months were, in Konwiser's own words, "the most difficult... of my career - and likely my life," as the architect writes in an article for the Architectural Digest. Despite that immense pressure, or perhaps because of it, the villa was ready for its first, and arguably its most important, visitor.

From Superheroes To SuperMaterials: Five Super Materials With The Power To Change Our World

08:00 - 26 April, 2017
From Superheroes To SuperMaterials: Five Super Materials With The Power To Change Our World, Courtesy of The Built Environment Trust. Image © Chris Tubbs
Courtesy of The Built Environment Trust. Image © Chris Tubbs

What's behind our current obsession with all things Superheroes, from the Marvel and DC comics spinoffs for TV and Film, to the more eccentric offerings on Netflix from the Wachowski’s Sens8 to the cosmic supernature of The OA? Critics see the classic superhero expressing the desire to re-establish order in the face of chaos (Batman/Joker) but some of our more recent superheroes are about the power of change, of remaking the world through a kind of ‘superempathy’. The power of the superhero depicted as an eccentric group of people reskilling with new forces and energies – think the aerobics-physics of The OA which invents and designs a new collective body and superpower and the transcultural/transtemporal superempathy of Sens8.

Something of this otherworldly capability of the new wave of superheroes is tangible at SuperMaterial exhibition at The Building Centre in London. It's about materials and the built environment, how these SuperMaterials will radically transform our relationship to the world around us through the superpower of material empathy, either adapting and changing to the environment, or being so efficient to produce and upcycle that they diminish the need to lay waste to the environment in the extraction of resources.