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11 Nifty Measuring Hacks for Architects

08:00 - 1 October, 2017
11 Nifty Measuring Hacks for Architects, © Martin Reisch via StockSnap.io
© Martin Reisch via StockSnap.io

Believe it or not, architects are just like everyone else! They love a shortcut in their tool belt to accomplish a task. Whether it's in the office or out in the field, all architects have a handful of tricks up their sleeves. The following are ten measuring hacks you can introduce to your daily routine. You can thank us later. 

Roberto Burle Marx's Legacy Reveals The Role of Landscape Architects

14:00 - 30 September, 2017
Roberto Burle Marx's Legacy Reveals The Role of Landscape Architects, © TYBA
© TYBA

There wasn’t much in the way of art that Roberto Burle Marx couldn’t do. He was a painter, print-maker, sculptor, stage designer, jeweler, musician, tapestry-maker and one of the leading landscape architects in the 20th century. Marx’s passion for art, in all forms, strengthened his ability to design landscapes

Carbonized Wood: A Traditional Japanese Technique That Has Conquered the World

09:30 - 30 September, 2017
Carbonized Wood: A Traditional Japanese Technique That Has Conquered the World, Villa Meijendel / VVKH architecten. Image © Christian van der Kooy
Villa Meijendel / VVKH architecten. Image © Christian van der Kooy

Ancestral, vernacular and minimalist; for many, these three words have come to define the architecture of Japan, a country that has served as a source of cultural and technological inspiration to countless cultures.

In recent decades, popular Japanese techniques have spread throughout the world, not only in the field of technology but also in technical and artistic areas. In architecture, the appropriation and reinvention of different materials and construction techniques, such as the carbonization of wooden facades, has been a continuing theme.

A Virtual Look Inside Case Study House #4, Ralph Rapson’s "Greenbelt House"

09:30 - 28 September, 2017

The fourth house in Arts & Architecture’s Case Study program departed from the trend with a noticeably more introverted design. Intended for a modestly sized urban lot, rather than the dramatic and expansive canyon or forest locations of so many other Case Study homes, it couldn’t borrow drama from the landscape, nor would the residents welcome curious glances from their close neighbors—so the house looks entirely inward.

Rapson called his design the “Greenbelt House” for the glass-covered atrium that divides the living and sleeping areas. In his original drawings and model, as in Archilogic’s 3D model shown here, this strip is shown filled with plant beds in a striking geometric pattern. However, Rapson imagined that it could be put to many uses, according to the residents’ tastes: a croquet court or even a swimming pool could find their place here. This “brings the outdoors indoors” rather more literally than, for instance, Richard Neutra’s expansive, open-door designs.

Are Smart Cities Doomed to Promote Inequality?

09:30 - 27 September, 2017
Are Smart Cities Doomed to Promote Inequality?, As the former Chief Urban Designer of New York City, Alexandros Washburn had to carefully consider whether technological developments were right for the city's residents. Image © <a href='https://www.pexels.com/photo/bridge-brooklyn-bridge-buildings-city-534757/'>Pexels user Kai Pilger</a> licensed under CC0
As the former Chief Urban Designer of New York City, Alexandros Washburn had to carefully consider whether technological developments were right for the city's residents. Image © Pexels user Kai Pilger licensed under CC0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Can the Wired City Also Be the Equitable One?"

A city is smart when it makes better decisions, and there are only two types of decision: strategic and tactical. Strategic decisions determine the right thing to do. Tactical decisions choose the right way to do it. SMART technology is not smart technology if it causes us as citizens to confuse strategy with tactics. In other words, there are many decisions about the operation of a city that we may delegate happily to technology. But there are questions of governance, of determining our fate, of deciding what is the right thing to do as populace, that if we delegate—we abdicate. “To govern is to choose,” John F. Kennedy once said.

If I were to have believed the many consultants and emissaries of large technology companies that came to see me when I was the Chief Urban Designer of New York City, the SMART city they promised me was a place where the traffic lights always turned green and the elevator doors always awaited our arrival. They promised a city that would anticipate our needs at every turn, given tantalizing form in the recent present of our connected personal devices and the apps that seem to know us better than we know ourselves. Now, with the advent of the internet of things on the near horizon, we are set to make SMART cities a reality. Imagine the awesome power of an entire city synchronized to our taste and movement!

What Do The Cracks in Concrete Structures Mean?

08:00 - 27 September, 2017

Cracks, which could be classified according to their thickness as fissures or fractures, are serious problems in the construction industry that can negatively affect aesthetics, durability and, most importantly, the structural characteristics of a project. They can happen anywhere, but occur especially in walls, beams, columns, and slabs, and usually, are caused by strains not considered in the design.

Madrid's Forgotten Geometries Through The Lens of Joel Filipe

06:00 - 27 September, 2017
Madrid's Forgotten Geometries Through The Lens of Joel Filipe, © Joel Filipe
© Joel Filipe

After the first series of photographs revealing Madrid's architectural geometries, Joel Filipe shared his work with us again; this time the Into the Fog series. In these photographs, Filipe presents, through a layer of mist, well-known projects featuring the skyline of the Spanish capital. 

PwC Tower / Carlos Rubio Carvajal and Enrique Álvarez-Sala Walther. Image © Joel Filipe PwC Tower/ Carlos Rubio Carvajal and Enrique Álvarez-Sala Walther + Torre Cepsa / Norman Foster. Image © Joel Filipe Crystal Tower/ César Pelli and Ortiz & Léon. Image © Joel Filipe Space Tower / Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Henry N. Cobb, José Bruguera. Image © Joel Filipe + 12

Sustainable Design Offers New Business Value for Dekker/Perich/Sabatini

Sponsored Article
Sustainable Design Offers New Business Value for Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, Site-wide pEUI Analysis using Autodesk Insight: helps identify outliers that could possibly impact the site’s energy consumption the greatest.. Image Courtesy of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Site-wide pEUI Analysis using Autodesk Insight: helps identify outliers that could possibly impact the site’s energy consumption the greatest.. Image Courtesy of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini

Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (D/P/S) has made a strategic business decision, one that architecture firms are starting to adopt as a means to help them achieve their own sustainability goals and drive more business. With the implementation of a Building Performance Analysis (BPA) team and equipped with time-saving design tools, D/P/S has been leveraging building information modelling (BIM) for energy analysis. Since joining the AIA 2030 Commitment last year, the firm has already analyzed and reported nearly 1 million square feet in new construction projects.

9 of the Most Bizarre and Forward-Thinking Radical Architecture Groups of the 60s and 70s

09:30 - 26 September, 2017
9 of the Most Bizarre and Forward-Thinking Radical Architecture Groups of the 60s and 70s

The first moon landing, widespread anti-war protests, Woodstock and the hippies, rural communes and environmentalism, the Berlin Wall, the women’s liberation movement and so much more—the tumultuous decades of the Sixties and Seventies occupy an unforgettable place in history. With injustices openly questioned and radical ideas that set out to unseat existing conventions and practices in various spheres of life, things weren’t any different in the architectural world. 

The grand visions dreamt up by the modernists were soon challenged by utopian experiments from the “anti-architecture” or “radical design” groups of the 1960–70s. Reestablishing architecture as an instrument of political, social, and cultural critique, they drafted bold manifestoes and designs, experimented with collage, music, performance art, furniture, graphic design, zines, installations, events, and exhibitions. While certain individuals from this era like Cedric Price, Hans Hollein, and Yona Friedman remain important to the realm of the radical and the unbuilt, the revolutionary spirit of these decades also saw the birth of various young collectives. For eccentricity at its very best, read on for a (by no means exhaustive) list of some groups who dared to question, poke, expand, rebel against, disrupt and redefine architecture in the 60s and 70s.

Towards an Architecture of Light, Color, and Virtual Experiences

12:00 - 25 September, 2017

This essay by Space Popular references an installation currently on display at Sto Werkstatt, in London. You can experience it in virtual reality, here.

The Glass House has no purpose other than to be beautiful. It is intended purely as a structure for exhibition and should be a beautiful source of ideas for “lasting” architecture but is not intended as such. According to the poet Paul Scheerbart, to whom it is dedicated, the Glass House should inspire the disillusion of current architecture’s far-too-restricted understanding of space and should introduce the effects and possibilities of glass into the world of architecture.

Bruno Taut [above] described his Glashaus for the 1914 Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, as a "little temple of beauty"; as "reflections of light whose colors began at the base with a dark blue and rose up through moss green and golden yellow to culminate at the top in a luminous pale yellow.”[1] The Glass Pavilion, designed based on its potential effects on those who perceived it, was supposed to create vivid experiences. The site was the human mind.

The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular + 15

Porto's Subway Through The Lens of Fernando Guerra

16:00 - 24 September, 2017
Porto's Subway Through The Lens of Fernando Guerra, Porto Subway. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Porto Subway. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The following photo set by Fernando Guerra focuses on Porto's Subway, a project completed in 1996 and projected by the important Portuguese Architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Designing a subway station in Porto is about influencing the daily lives of thousands of people, where they daily circulate, establishing flows and routes, in a urbanistic and architectural intervention with large-scale dimensions. Although it demands an extremely functional and austere design, it is possible to see the gestures of the architect through the details and surprises. 

20 Amazing Images of Architecture as Seen from the Sky: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 24 September, 2017
20 Amazing Images of Architecture as Seen from the Sky: The Best Photos of the Week, © Chen Hao
© Chen Hao

This week we have prepared a special selection of 20 images of architecture as seen from the sky. This style of image, made possible by the emergence of drones, is increasingly used in architectural photography. It makes it possible to understand, in a single image, the totality of a project, and to see how the project interacts with the context in which it is immersed. Read on to see a selection of renowned photographers such as Hufton + Crow, Fernando Guerra, NAARO, and Jesús Granada.

© Takumi Ota © Steve Troes Fotodesign © Barbara Vetter, Vincent Heiland © Felipe Díaz Contardo + 20

Social Agenda vs Social Media: Reviewing the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

09:30 - 24 September, 2017
Social Agenda vs Social Media: Reviewing the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, © Steve Hall
© Steve Hall

While architecture exhibitions have a tendency to be drab affairs with poorly displayed poster boards and reams of intellectualized text spouting pseudo-complex ideas, the Chicago Architecture Biennial stands out for its undeniable sense of playfulness. From its central HQ to the fringe performance events, this exhibition is bright, fun and Instagram-ready.

Chicago, like Venice, is blessed when it comes to architecture, making the city an ideal home for a recurring architecture show. The importance of this year’s iteration, the second after its inaugural event in 2015 (thus confirming its status as an actual “Biennial”), is clear. And the curators, Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee from LA-based practice Johnston Marklee, seem determined to grab people’s attention.

How Narinder Sagoo And Foster + Partners Are Turning Architectural Preconceptions On Their Head (With A Pencil)

14:45 - 22 September, 2017
How Narinder Sagoo And Foster + Partners Are Turning Architectural Preconceptions On Their Head (With A Pencil), © Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

This short article, written by the author and critic Jonathan Glancey, coincides with the launch of the inaugural Architecture Drawing Prize – a competition curated by the World Architecture Festival, the Sir John Soane's Museum, and Make. The deadline for the award has been extended to September 25, 2017, and successful entries will be exhibited in both London and Berlin.

For architects, says Narinder Sagoo, Head of Design Communications at Foster + Partners, drawings are about story telling. They are also a highly effective way of raising questions about design projects. Although the history of architecture—certainly since the Italian Renaissance—has been mapped by compelling drawings asserting the primacy, and reflecting the glory, of fully resolved buildings, there is another strain of visualisation that has allowed architects to think through projects free of preconceptions.

© Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners + 8

Architecture City Guide: 20 Places Every Architect Should Visit in Madrid

08:00 - 20 September, 2017
Architecture City Guide: 20 Places Every Architect Should Visit in Madrid, © Nico Trinkhaus [Flickr], License CC BY-NC 2.0
© Nico Trinkhaus [Flickr], License CC BY-NC 2.0

Madrid is unfathomable. If the city itself is immense, it´s examples of interesting architecture are overwhelming. For over a half a century, Madrid has been an experimental laboratory for modern and contemporary architecture in Spain. With numerous examples of innovative and experimental architecture, as well as many failures, few of which are valued and recognized. This selection seeks to show archetypal examples of architecture that have transcended time; it does not intend to be an exhaustive list of the city´s architectural works. Many will think that the list lacks important buildings and personally, I couldn´t agree more. That is perhaps the beauty of Madrid: there is a diversity of opinion, there are thousands of sites to see, the city surprises you with every step you take. 

Poblado Dirigido de Caño Roto Zarzuela Hippodrome. Image © Ana Amado Ciudad BBVA. Image © Joel Filipe Primer Puente impreso en 3D del mundo. Image Cortesía de IAAC + 22

3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick

09:30 - 19 September, 2017
3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick, Courtesy of ArchSmarter
Courtesy of ArchSmarter

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter.

Have you ever played the party game “telephone”? You know the one, where you tell something to the person next to you and they pass it on to the person next to them and so on down the line. Inevitably, your original message is badly mangled and misappropriated by the time it gets back to you. Everyone gets a good laugh at how far the end message is from your original one.

The Ambitious Project that Brings Together 44 Mexican and International Architects

06:00 - 19 September, 2017
The Ambitious Project that Brings Together 44 Mexican and International Architects, © Adlai Pulido
© Adlai Pulido

In Baja California, Mexico, the 860 hectares that make up 'Cuatro Cuatros'—a tourism development that for the past ten years has been overseen and designed by Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo of Taller de Arquitectura—present an arid and mostly monochromatic landscape interrupted only by stones and bushland.

Vast as the site may seem, only 360 of its hectares will be destined for housing development, of which only 10% can be impacted by construction. The challenge will lay in mitigating the protagonistic stance architecture usually assumes when conquering previously untouched lands, by taking on a presence that disappears into the landscape. 

A New Generation of Tools: The 3D Visualization Multiplex

Sponsored Article
A New Generation of Tools: The 3D Visualization Multiplex

A 3D visualization multiplex is a system to instantly visualize 3D models on multiple devices: desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, augmented reality gear, and virtual reality glasses.

It's an everyday tool to streamline conversations between architects, engineers, contractors, their clients, and the rest of the world.

With the formidable combination of CAD software programs - e.g. SketchUp or Revit - and a multiplex, 3D storytelling has never been simpler.

It works on both high-end immersive headsets and on smartphones with - or without - very capable $10+ glasses. Using augmented reality, a model can be directly integrated into the real world.

13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

09:30 - 18 September, 2017
13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

The history of humans building shelters goes back over 10,000 years. Over this time, the human need to build was distilled into the profession of architecture, and in the process it attracted all manner of eccentric, visionary, and stubborn individuals. In light of both architecture's long history and its abundance of colorful characters, it's no surprise that it's full of surprising and unlikely stories. From Lincoln Logs and the Olympics to Ouija boards and 9/11, here are 13 architecture-related facts you may not have previously known.

How Architects Dress vs How Normal People Dress

08:00 - 18 September, 2017
Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

"Does this come in black?" is probably the most used phrase during any architect's shopping trip, but nobody really knows why. Search the internet for the reason that architects wear black, you will find that numerous people have written about the subject,—there’s even a book about it! The fact is that other people don't quite understand how many shades of black there actually are like you do. And it's also a common misconception that wearing black is all in the name of convenience, since looking for a specific item in your wardrobes takes 5 times longer when everything looks the same. In short, architects will continue to wear black... at least until something darker comes out.

Space Popular Reignite the Concerns of "The Glass Chain" Letters By Way of Virtual Reality

16:45 - 17 September, 2017

"The Glass Chain" (Die Gläserne Kette in its native German) was an exchange of written letters initiated by Bruno Taut in November 1919. The correspondence lasted only a year, and included the likes of Walter Gropius, Hans Scharoun, and Paul Gösch. In the letters, the penfriends—thirteen in all—speculated and fantasized about the possibilities of glass, imagining, in the words of Fredrik Hellberg and Lara Lesmes (Space Popular), "fluid and organic glass follies and colourful crystal cathedrals covering entire mountain chains and even reaching into space."

© Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom + 18

How VR Is Helping Researchers Understand the Phenomenology Behind Light in Architecture

12:30 - 17 September, 2017

“How shall we hew the sun / Split it and make blocks / To build a ruddy palace?” wondered Wallace Stevens in his 1918 poem Architecture for the Adoration of Beauty. Inspired by the verse, in his essay The Room, the Street and Human Agreement, Louis Kahn paraphrased “What slice of the sun enters your room?” The great architect also spent his entire career experimenting with those dual protagonists: light and shadow. Kahn’s obsession with light, and in particular the architectural control of it, influenced countless architects, including Peter Zumthor and Tadao Ando.

Kynthia Chamilothori shares that fascination. A 2014 Architectural Engineering graduate from the Technical University of Crete, where she received the Limmat Stiftung Excellence Award, and current PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Integrated Performance In Design (LIPID) in EPFL under the supervision of Prof. Marilyne Andersen and Dr. Jan Wienold, Chamilothori’s doctoral research project focuses on how the patterns of light and shadow shape the way we perceive architectural spaces. But, while Kahn and other architects throughout history have relied on little more than intuition, Chamilothori is using far more scientific methods, working with a tool that wasn’t available to the great masters: virtual reality. Through experiments in virtual and real environments, Chamilothori investigates the impact of facade and daylight patterns on the atmosphere of a space. Her PhD is supported by a grant awarded by the Velux Stiftung Foundation.

Stunning Images of Stone Architecture: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 17 September, 2017

Stone construction is a simple technique that has been used since the earliest human civilizations. These days, stone is regaining popularity in contemporary architecture thanks to the diversity of results that can be achieved by the union of stone pieces. Whether it's the size, the type of cut, or the color of the material, the truth is that the use of stone can add incredible textures to architectural designs. Read on for a selection of 13 photos that allow us to marvel at stone's beauty and expressiveness, created by renowned photographers such as Erieta AttaliKyungsub Shin and Dimitris Kleanthis.

© Kyungsub Shin © Robert Leš © Simon Devitt © Kyungsub Shin + 14

Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy

14:00 - 16 September, 2017
Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy, Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland
Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland

Not just meatballs and Vikings; Scandinavia has always been the epicentre of design across the world - just look at the growing impact of Bjarke Ingels and Ikea's future living lab SPACE10. To showcase their significant influence, Expedia has illustrated the works of four famous architects from Denmark, FinlandNorway and Sweden and how they shaped international architectural movements of the 20th and 21st centuries in a collection of posters called Monumental Minds.  

EF Headquarters, Massachusetts. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland House of Sweden, Washington. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland St Paul's Church, Estonia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, Saudi Arabia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland + 21