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20 Beautiful Axonometric Drawings of Iconic Buildings

08:00 - 12 March, 2017

Gropius House / Walter Gropius + Marcel Breuer / 1938 . Image Courtesy of Diego Inzunza - Estudio Rosamente Prairie Chicken House / Herb Greene / 1961. Image Courtesy of Diego Inzunza - Estudio Rosamente Glass House / Philip Johnson / 1949. Image Courtesy of Diego Inzunza - Estudio Rosamente Farnsworth House / Mies van der Rohe / 1951 . Image Courtesy of Diego Inzunza - Estudio Rosamente +20

Architect and illustrator Diego Inzunza has created a new series titled "Architectural Classics," which presents and analyzes 20 iconic architectural works from the 20th-century. Using a graphic technique based upon axonometric views, the style allows each building to be seen from multiple sides, creating a comprehensive overall interpretation of the architecture.

Get to Know the Work of 2017 Pritzker Prize Winners RCR Arquitectes Through These Videos

09:30 - 11 March, 2017

The work of the Catalan firm RCR Arquitectes was, until its founders won the 2017 Pritzker Prize this month, little-known worldwide, with appreciation of their projects largely restricted to the few European locations in which they have built and a number of well-informed academic circles. Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta founded their office in the small town of Olot almost 30 years ago, and most of their work for the past three decades have been built in the surrounding regions of Catalonia. As the Pritzker jury has pointed out, one of their greatest qualities is their ability to show how architects can have "our roots firmly in place and our arms outstretched to the rest of the world." Through the videos presented in this article, it is possible to understand a little more about the work of the office, and more specifically, to appreciate the atmosphere of its built works.

Fighting the Neoliberal: What Today's Architects Can Learn From the Brutalists

09:30 - 10 March, 2017
Fighting the Neoliberal: What Today's Architects Can Learn From the Brutalists, <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/790453/ad-classics-barbican-estate-london-chamberlin-powell-bon'>The Barbican</a> in London. Image © Joas Souza
The Barbican in London. Image © Joas Souza

In this second installment of his revamped “Beyond London” column for ArchDaily, Simon Henley of London-based practice Henley Halebrown discusses a potential influence that might help UK architects combat the economic hegemony currently afflicting the country – turning for moral guidance to the Brutalists of the 1960s.

Before Christmas, I finished writing my book entitled Redefining Brutalism. As the title suggests I am seeking to redefine the subject, to detoxify the term and to find relevance in the work, not just a cause for nostalgia. Concrete Brutalism is, to most people, a style that you either love or hate. But Brutalism is far more than just a style; it is way of thinking and making. The historian and critic Reyner Banham argued in his 1955 essay and 1966 book both entitled The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic that the New Brutalism began as an ethical movement only to be hijacked by style. Today, it is a mirror to be held up to the architecture of Neoliberalism, to an architecture that serves capitalism. More than ever, architecture relies on the brand association of the big name architects whose work has little to do with the challenges faced by society, which are today not unlike the ones faced by the post-war generation: to build homes, places in which to learn and work, places for those who are old and infirm, and places to gather. We can learn a lot from this bygone generation.

Dunelm House student union building in Durham, by the Architect's Co-Partnership. Image © <a href='http://www.geograph.org.uk/more.php?id=2935919'>Geograph user Des Blenkinsopp</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/791939/ad-classics-park-hill-estate-sheffield-jack-lynn-ivor-smith'>Park Hill</a> in Sheffield: left, in its original design; right, a section of the renovation. Image © Paul Dobraszczyk "Streets in the sky" at Robin Hood Gardens by Alison and Peter Smithson. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/3058342144/'>Flickr user stevecadman</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> St Peter's Seminary in Cardross, Scotland, by Gillespie Kidd and Coia, here shown in its original state. Image Courtesy of GKC Archive +10

Acoustics and Auditoriums: 30 Sections to Guide Your Design

06:00 - 9 March, 2017
Acoustics and Auditoriums: 30 Sections to Guide Your Design

Seeing the space of an auditorium in section is a key tool in allowing us to approach a design's of acoustics, accessibility, and lighting. These components are what make the design of an auditorium a complex task, requiring detailed and specific studies.

There are a number of ways to design an auditorium that offers multiple responses to these challenges. For this reason, we have selected a number of sections from different auditoriums that can help you understand how other architects have solved the challenge.

Check out the 30 auditorium sections below, they are sure to inspire you!

6 Eye-Catching Corten Steel Construction Details

08:00 - 8 March, 2017
6 Eye-Catching Corten Steel Construction Details

The characteristics of Corten steel has been respected by all architects, both for its strength and for its particular color. It corresponds to a type of steel manufactured with a chemical composition that provides an oxidation that protects the piece, practically without altering its mechanical characteristics. The architectural details of Corten steel present a diversity of situations and connections, not only the obvious constructive factor but it also gives an aesthetic value to any architectural project.

We have compiled this list of 6 eye-catching Corten steel construction details that stand out the most.

7 Moon Hoon Sketches that Have Actually Been Built

06:00 - 8 March, 2017
7 Moon Hoon Sketches that Have Actually Been Built, Courtesy of MoonHoon
Courtesy of MoonHoon

Seoul-based architect Moon Hoon describes his style and attitude towards design as “putting architecture to the edge of art” and having as much fun as possible in the process.

Hoon’s drawing history began 40 years ago, and is a habit he still maintains in the form of diaries or, as he likes to call them, "magic books." All of his interests come together in these books from which ideas emerge and transform into architecture—futuristic fantasies in diary format, with drawings which eventually get constructed in real life.

Keep reading to see some of these drawings and their real-life, built counterparts!

10 Types of Architecture Students

08:00 - 7 March, 2017
Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

Architecture students have a lot in common. We share a long-term committed relationship with coffee. We share an instinctive urge to collect random cardboard boxes for model-making. We share a university studio which, over time, becomes our ‘home away from home’. As we get to know our fellow students, however, we learn that the architecture studio hosts a micro-society of ten different, but lovable, characters.  

Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

9 Everyday Activities to Increase Your Spatial Intelligence

09:30 - 6 March, 2017
9 Everyday Activities to Increase Your Spatial Intelligence , © Ariana Zilliacus
© Ariana Zilliacus

Architects design and organize spaces; without space, there is no architecture. So it goes without saying, therefore, that spatial intelligence is of high importance to architects. Luckily for us, spatial intelligence is not something you’re inherently gifted at or just “born with,” it’s something that can be trained and improved through practice. More practice means more advancement, so why not make it enjoyable and easy—easy enough even to do in your everyday life? From drawing to speaking to engaging in play, here are 9 everyday activities to improve your spatial intelligence.

See Frank Lloyd Wright’s Missing Works Recreated in Photorealistic Renders

08:00 - 6 March, 2017
See Frank Lloyd Wright’s Missing Works Recreated in Photorealistic Renders, Larkin Building (1903-1950), digitally reconstructed by David Romero. Image © David Romero
Larkin Building (1903-1950), digitally reconstructed by David Romero. Image © David Romero

With the help of a vast array of software, Spanish architect David Romero has digitally recreated a series of iconic works by Frank Lloyd Wright, two of which have been demolished and a third that was never built. The three projects were based in the United States: the Larkin Administration Building (1903-1950), the Rose Pauson House (1939-1943) and the Trinity Chapel (1958). 

"The 3D visualization tools that we have are rarely used to investigate the past architecture and the truth is that there is a huge field to explore,” said Romero in an interview with ArchDaily about his project Hooked on the Past. Romero worked with AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Vray, and Photoshop while restoring black and white photographs, sketches and drawings of these works.

Rose Pauson House  (1939-1943). Image © David Romero Rose Pauson House  (1939-1943). Image © David Romero Trinity Chapel (1958), an unbuilt project by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © David Romero Trinity Chapel (1958), an unbuilt project by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © David Romero +29

84.75 Studio Hours: A Week in the Life of a Master of Architecture Student

09:30 - 5 March, 2017
84.75 Studio Hours: A Week in the Life of a Master of Architecture Student, Courtesy of Kurt Nelson
Courtesy of Kurt Nelson

This article by Kurt Nelson originally appeared on Medium.

After reading through ArchDaily’s article on the hours architecture students work outside of class, I was curious. I made it through a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree and I’m currently enrolled in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania, so how does the time I spend on coursework stack up to the average of 22.2 hours per week? Granted, the data they presented only represented first-year students, but it could still be an interesting comparison. With that in mind I set out to log one week of my time, just like you would at a job. Here’s what I found.

Critical Round-Up: The 2017 Pritzker Prize

11:00 - 4 March, 2017
Courtesy of Pritzker Prize. Image © Hisao Suzuki
Courtesy of Pritzker Prize. Image © Hisao Suzuki

The 2017 Pritzker Prize was a surprise to many, awarded to the three founders of RCR Arquitectes, a modest Spanish firm located in the small town of Olot in Catalonia. Many people and critics shared their astonishment at the prize being awarded to three individuals for the first time since the Pritzker Prize began in 1979, including the third female winner, and at the relatively low profile of RCR Arquitectes before March 1st.

Whether this surprise was pleasant or shocking differs from critic to critic, but there nevertheless seems to be a consensus on the jury’s decision to venture further into politics and away from their traditional interest in celebrity architects. As clearly stated in the jury’s citation: “In this day and age, there is an important question that people all over the world are asking, and it is not just about architecture; it is about law, politics, and government as well.” Are they steering the prize in the right, or wrong, direction?

Courtesy of Pritzker Prize. Image © Hisao Suzuki Courtesy of Pritzker Prize. Image © Hisao Suzuki Courtesy of Pritzker Prize. Image © Hisao Suzuki © Eugeni Pons +21

RCR Arquitectes' Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library, Photographed by Pedro Kok

14:00 - 3 March, 2017
RCR Arquitectes' Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library, Photographed by Pedro Kok, Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library / RCR Arquitectes. Image © Pedro Kok
Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library / RCR Arquitectes. Image © Pedro Kok

Following the announcement on Wednesday of the winners of the 2017 Pritzker Prize, which was awarded to architects Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes, architectural photographer Pedro Kok has shared with us a series of photographs of the Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library, located in Barcelona, Spain.

As with many of the Catalan trio's work, the library stands out for its materiality and careful construction, making intense use of transparency and light.

Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library / RCR Arquitectes. Image © Pedro Kok Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library / RCR Arquitectes. Image © Pedro Kok Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library / RCR Arquitectes. Image © Pedro Kok Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library / RCR Arquitectes. Image © Pedro Kok +10

A Virtual Look Inside the Case study house #12 by Whitney R Smith

09:30 - 3 March, 2017
A Virtual Look Inside the Case study house #12 by Whitney R Smith, Courtesy of Archilogic
Courtesy of Archilogic

In designing his (unbuilt) house for the Arts & Architecture Case Study program, Whitney Smith, like Richard Neutra, prioritized the connection to outdoor space. His motivation, however, was more specific than a desire to extend the living area of a small house. Rather, he wanted to create a highly personal space, geared to the passion of his hypothetical client. Seeing conventional plans as a straitjacket for residents who craved appropriate working space within their home (be it a sewing studio or a photography darkroom), he aspired to fit this house to the needs of a keen horticulturist.

Who Are RCR Arquitectes? 9 Things to Know About the New Pritzker Prize Winners

10:00 - 1 March, 2017
Who Are RCR Arquitectes? 9 Things to Know About the New Pritzker Prize Winners, Soulages Museum (2014). Image © Hisao Suzuki courtesy of the Pritzker Prize
Soulages Museum (2014). Image © Hisao Suzuki courtesy of the Pritzker Prize

Today, the Pritzker announced Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, the three founders of Catalan firm RCR Arquitectes, as the recipients of the 2017 Pritzker Prize. As designers of an architecture that is both stylistically and physically local—RCR Arquitectes’ work is mostly found in Catalonia, although recent projects have taken them to France and Belgium—the firm has established a strong profile in north-eastern Spain and a cult following among academic circles around the world. However, other members of the architectural community might find themselves forced to reach for the nearest search engine. For those people, the following 9 facts will provide the information you need to understand architecture’s newest Pritzker Prize laureates.

La Lira Theater Public Open Space (2011). Image © Hisao Suzuki courtesy of the Pritzker Prize Soulages Museum (2014). Image © Hisao Suzuki courtesy of the Pritzker Prize Bell–Lloc Winery (2007). Image © Hisao Suzuki courtesy of the Pritzker Prize Barberí Laboratory (2008). Image © Hisao Suzuki courtesy of the Pritzker Prize +11

The Story of the 1960s Mass-Produced Modular Design That Actually Went into Production

07:00 - 1 March, 2017
The Story of the 1960s Mass-Produced Modular Design That Actually Went into Production, Slovenian designer Saša J. Mächtig conceived the concept for the Kiosk K67 project half a century ago, but its ideas of indeterminacy and open-endedness remain relevant. Image Courtesy of Museum of Architecture & Design, Ljubljana
Slovenian designer Saša J. Mächtig conceived the concept for the Kiosk K67 project half a century ago, but its ideas of indeterminacy and open-endedness remain relevant. Image Courtesy of Museum of Architecture & Design, Ljubljana

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Enduring Lives of Saša Machtig's Modular Creations."

Even in relative old age, the Kiosk K67—a shape-shifting system of modular fiberglass structures—keeps active. A kiosk in Kromberk, Slovenia, in the former Yugoslavia has become a beehive. Another, used by a Bosnia and Herzegovina food vendor, has received a masonry addition. In Ljubljana, a kiosk that formerly sheltered parking lot attendants now supports an automated ticket machine.

These may not have been adaptations the Slovenian designer Saša J. Mächtig had in mind when he first conceived the K67 50 years ago. But accounting for all of them would have been impossible. In theory, the system permitted unlimited configurations and variations. By the time production stopped in 1999, around 7,500 units of the K67 had been manufactured. While most remained in Yugoslavia, some were exported abroad—among other places, to Poland, Japan, New Zealand, Kenya, Iraq, the former Soviet Union, and the United States. Around the world, they were adapted to uses ranging from border patrol stations and ski lift ticket booths to retail and fast-food stands. No one is really sure how many are still in use today, or what other kinds of folksy, improvised alterations have been made to them, but among the greatest pleasures of the kiosks is their endless capacity to surprise. The K67, a recent retrospective of Mächtig’s work at the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana managed to restore its original brilliance. And it did so without suppressing the deviations. As the show’s curator Maja Vardjan writes in her catalogue essay, what distinguishes the K67 is “its position between architecture and industrial design, embeddedness in the framework of a modern city and society, the rituals of daily life, and, last but not least, its persistent capacity to reinvent itself.” While the visionary architectural schemes of the 1960s and 1970s may inspire wistful longing (What could have been!), the K67 kiosks, even as they disappear from view, provoke a question: Why have they persisted for so long?

3 Success Stories Show How to Apply Road Safety Through Public Health Plans

06:00 - 1 March, 2017
3 Success Stories Show How to Apply Road Safety Through Public Health Plans, © Flickr User: NYCDOT. Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
© Flickr User: NYCDOT. Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Vision Zero is an initiative that started in Sweden in 1997 when the country began implementing a series of road safety measures to reach their goal of zero deaths from traffic accidents. As a result, the country managed to reduce the number of deaths to 3 people per 100 thousand inhabitants.

Since then the plan has been adopted by different cities and has inspired the creation of various organizations that are looking to make our streets a safer places. One of them being the Vision Zero Network that brings together traffic engineers, health professionals, local leaders, and policy makers.

How MASS Design Group’s Approach to Data Could Save the Architectural Profession

09:30 - 28 February, 2017

On Thursday, December 22nd, an email arrived in the inboxes of ArchDaily’s editors that made us sit up, shake off our holiday-induced lethargy, and take notice. MASS Design Group’s Year in Review email might initially have blended in with the many other holiday wishes and 2016 recaps we receive at that time of year—it recapped such highlights as Michael Murphy’s TED Talk in February or the launch of the first African Design Center—but it had one thing that we hadn’t seen from other firm’s years-in-review: detailed statistics about the firm’s achievements that year.

In recent decades, certain aspects of architecture have become increasingly open to scientific analysis, most notably when it comes to a building’s environmental impact. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see MASS Design Group’s claims that their work uses 74% less embodied carbon than typical building projects, or that 78% of their materials are sourced within 100 kilometers, but alongside these were some more unusual metrics: since it was founded, the firm has invested 88% of construction costs regionally, created 15,765 jobs, and in 2016 alone, their work served a total of 64,580 users. These numbers suggest a way of thinking about architecture that few have attempted before—a way that, if widely adopted, could fundamentally change the way architecture is practiced and evaluated. We spoke to MASS co-founder Alan Ricks to find out how these statistics are calculated, and what purpose they serve.

6 Unique Long Weekend Travel Ideas for Architects

09:30 - 27 February, 2017
6 Unique Long Weekend Travel Ideas for Architects

The "architectural pilgrimage" is much more than just everyday tourism. Studying and admiring a building through text and images often creates a hunger in architects, thanks to the space between the limitations of 2D representation and the true experience of the building. Seeing a building in person that one has long loved from a distance can become something of a spiritual experience, and architects often plan vacations around favorite or important spaces. But too often, architects become transfixed by a need to visit the same dozen European cities that have come to make up the traveling architect's bucket list.

The list here shares some sites that may not have made your list just yet. Although somewhat less well known than the canonical cities, the architecture of these six cities is sure to hold its ground against the world's best. The locations here make ideal long weekend trips (depending of course on where you are traveling from), although it never hurts to have more than a few days to really become immersed in a city. We have selected a few must-see buildings from each location, but each has even more to offer than what you see here—so don't be afraid to explore!

Does it Pay to Invest in Good Architecture? The Case of 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark

06:00 - 27 February, 2017
Does it Pay to Invest in Good Architecture? The Case of 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark, The Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco
The Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco

It is often said that architecture only makes projects more expensive. That architects only add a series of arbitrary and capricious complexities that could be avoided in order to lower their costs, and that the project could still work exactly the same without them. Is this true in all cases?

Although they are more profitable economically, human beings don't seem to be happy inhabiting cold concrete boxes without receiving sunlight or a breeze everynow and then, or in an unsafe neighborhood where there's no possibility to meet your friends and family outdoors. Quality in architecture is a value that sooner or later will deliver something in return. 

Balance is key, and a good design will never be complete if it's not economically efficient. How do we achieve this ideal? We reviewed the design process for 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark. A project that managed to convince the authorities and investors when proposing a high-impact and tight-budget design, which in its form seeks to respond to the objective of guaranteeing the quality of life of its users and their neighbors. 

The Iceberg, Model. Image © José Tomás Franco Mikkel Frost, Founding Partner of CEBRA, explaining us 'The Iceberg' during the Press Tour of The Architecture Project. Image © José Tomás Franco The Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco The Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco +15

Confórmi: How Visual References Echo Through the Ages

04:00 - 27 February, 2017
Confórmi: How Visual References Echo Through the Ages, Alvaro Siza Vieira, Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse), Berlin, 1980-1984 — Alvar Aalto, MIT Baker House Dormitory, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1947-1948. Image © Davide Trabucco
Alvaro Siza Vieira, Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse), Berlin, 1980-1984 — Alvar Aalto, MIT Baker House Dormitory, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1947-1948. Image © Davide Trabucco

Confórmi (also on Instagram) is a project which began two years ago as a way to manage its curator's visual references. Bologna-based Davide Trabucco, the curator in question, describes the archive as "a personal work-instrument" that positions apparently dichotic elements into a visual relationship with each other. All of these images, Trabucco believes, "are already present in our collective imagery and in visual culture." Their visual impact is clear: formally and aesthetically, each visual pairing "is immediately understandable – even to the uninitiated."

Alvar Aalto, Silo, Toppila | Oulu, Finland, 1931 — Herzog & De Meuron, Feltrinelli Porta Volta, Milano, Italy, 2008-2016. Image © Davide Trabucco Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Bürohaus Friedrichstraße, Berlin, 1929 — Herzog & De Meuron, Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, 2003-2016. Image © Davide Trabucco Louis Kahn, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, USA, 1959-1965 — Bas Princen, Ringroad (Ceuta-Fnideq), 2007. Image © Davide Trabucco Le Corbusier, Tower of Shadows, Chandigarh, India, 1957 — “Ecomostro” | Blot on the Landscape, Ostuni, Italy, 1980. Image © Davide Trabucco +19

AR Issues: Looking Back on 120 Years of The Architectural Review

09:30 - 25 February, 2017
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 December – January 2017 issue—the magazine's celebration of its 120th anniversary—Editor Christine Murray discusses the legacy that comes from more than a century being one of architecture's most respected magazines, and looks forward to the future of the publication. "Looking forward, we are committed to doing things differently – which, paradoxically, is what we’ve always done," she explains.

The archive of The Architectural Review is a great cabinet of curiosities – a cacophony of voices, styles, illustrations and photographs, Outrages and Delights, personalities and proclivities, polemics, failures and fetishes. In creating this anniversary edition celebrating 120 years of criticism, we wanted to capture the diversity and eccentricity of this ongoing architectural conversation. As such, the archive content is organized not chronologically, but in perennial themes that have echoed and evolved across the decades, from technology to education – forces that have shaped the profession.

Save Time With This Efficient Method For Managing Revit Templates

09:30 - 24 February, 2017
Save Time With This Efficient Method For Managing Revit Templates

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter as "The Best Strategy for a Super Effective Revit Template."

The best thing about Revit templates is how much time they can save you. The worst thing about Revit templates is how much time they take to create.

It’s a bit of a catch-22. In order to save time, you need to spend time. It’s not easy to find that time when you have billable projects to work on and deadlines to meet. Believe me, I know.

And once you do finish the template, how often do you review it and keep it updated? What if you have a project that’s a new building-type? Does your template still work for that kind of building? What if you need to follow an owner’s BIM standard? Can you modify your template to fit their requirements?

Instagram's Newest Feature Allows You to Make a Photoset of Your Favorite Buildings

14:00 - 23 February, 2017

Architecture lovers, rejoice! First, there was the zoom feature that we all love, now Instagram has rolled out a new feature that will make documenting and sharing your favorite buildings even easier. Just released this week, the update to the iOS app will now allow you to create photosets (with videos included) in one single post.

6 Low-Cost Techniques to Activate Underused Urban Space

10:30 - 23 February, 2017

“Public space is the new backyard,” says Hamish Dounan, Associate Director of CONTEXT Landscape architects. “Great landscape architecture projects can actually get people out of their apartments and going for walks. It can get them engaging in a social way,” adds Shahana Mackenzie, CEO of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). Trends to activate public spaces are increasing in popularity around the world; urban parks and gardens, vibrant street places, wider pedestrian walkways, cafes with outdoor seating. So during the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture held in Canberra during October 2016, Street Furniture Australia launched a pop-up park in the underused urban space of Garema Place, in collaboration with AILA, the ACT Government and In The City Canberra. The aim of the pop-up park was to create a small social experiment, “to test the theory that the fastest and most cost-effective way to attract people is to provide more places to sit.” In addition to moveable furniture, the design by CONTEXT Landscape architects included bright colors, additional lighting, a lawn, free Wi-Fi and bookshelves as techniques to make Garema Place more inviting.

The process and results of the pop-up park were documented in a report by Street Furniture Australia, with some impressive results: before the #BackyardExperiment, 97% of people were observed to just pass through Garema Place without stopping, and 98% of the people who did stop in the space were adults. During the 8 days of the experiment, the number of passersby increased by 190% as people chose to walk through Garema Place instead of taking other routes. In addition to this, 247% more people stayed at the place to sit and enjoy the pop-up park and surrounding area. There was an incredible 631% increase in children at the park, double the number of groups of friends, close to a 400% increase in the number of couples and almost 5 times the amount of families. With the numbers as evidence for the success of the #BackyardExperiment, here is a summary of the elements used to evoke such a positive response. Simple, cost-effective and relatively easy to implement, these interventions are an attractive “cocktail” for any underused urban space.