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How Air Conditioning Helped Shape Architectural History (For Better or Worse)

09:30 - 16 May, 2017
How Air Conditioning Helped Shape Architectural History (For Better or Worse), © <a href=''>CWCS Managed Hosting</a> via <a href=''>Flickr</a> licenesed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>
© CWCS Managed Hosting via Flickr licenesed under CC BY 2.0

This article originally appeared on Curbed as "How air conditioning shaped modern architecture—and changed our climate."

During a conversation with the New Yorkera window washer who worked on the Empire State Building says that some of his toughest moments have been cleaning the trash that tenants toss out the windows. In his many years working on the Depression-era skyscraper, he’s wiped numerous half-empty coffee cups off window panes, and even scraped 20 gallons of strawberry preserves from the building’s facade. Tossed out in the winter, it stubbornly clung to the outside of the skyscraper.

Cracking a window open in a skyscraper seems like a quirk, especially today, when hermetically sealed steel-and-glass giants offer the promise of climate-controlled comfort. But ever since Chicago’s Home Insurance Building, considered one of the first skyscrapers, opened in 1884, the challenge of airflow, ventilation, and keeping tenants cool has been an important engineering consideration shaping modern architecture.

The great commercial buildings of the modern era owe their existence, in many ways, to air conditioning, an invention with a decidedly mixed legacy.

The 13 Most Important Non-Architecture Skills You Learn in Architecture School

09:30 - 15 May, 2017
The 13 Most Important Non-Architecture Skills You Learn in Architecture School, © Megan Fowler
© Megan Fowler

Architecture school is a long haul and we all know it. Whether you get a 5-year professional degree or choose to take on a few years of graduate school (or both), it’s a grueling process. However, most would hopefully agree, it’s worth it for the knowledge you gain throughout those years (not to mention the friendships you form in the close quarters of the studio). Architectural education is about more than learning to design great spaces and whether or not you realize it at the time, architecture school is also a great teacher of other life lessons. All the skills below are those you’ll likely attain incidentally during your tenure in architecture school, but which will be an asset outside of academia as well.

Why Instagram Should Be a Part of Every Architect's Design Process

09:30 - 14 May, 2017


A post shared by Office Of Adrian Phiffer (@officeofadrianphiffer) on

Instagram is an app. Instagram shows images. Instagram is a verb. Instagram it! Instagram has 600 million users. Numbers are very important. These days, they are an exact expression of what one is, or isn’t; by the way, how many followers do you have? Instagram is the great equalizer.

I don’t think Instagram is about news. Instagram is about influence. It is that very moment when the old order is changed; the moment when the recent graduate changes the established practice. Instagram is space. Have you seen @archiveofaffinities? It is better than any school library. It is the space to spend your most important time. It is a spa.

Students Construct Timber Structures in the Argentinian Countryside at Hello Wood Argentina

09:30 - 12 May, 2017
Students Construct Timber Structures in the Argentinian Countryside at Hello Wood Argentina, Sombra Pampa / Marantz Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik
Sombra Pampa / Marantz Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik

For the past seven years, Hungary-based Hello Wood has been gathering participants from across the globe for its summer camps to engage in a week-long curriculum about creating spaces, networks, and knowledge. However, this year the event has expanded its borders even further; organized with partners MANDARINA and TACADI, Hello Wood Argentina was the first local Hello Wood summer camp, drawing a group of 150 students, architects, and designers. Hello Wood focuses on socially-engaged concepts and turning architectural theory into practice with collaborative week-long design-build projects. As a complement to traditional university education, students get the chance to work and learn alongside famous international architects to bring their concepts to life.

The theme of Hello Wood Argentina’s first summer camp was "Con-Tacto" (Contact), located in Ceibas, Entre Ríos. Curator Jaime Grinberg selected applicants with strong concepts to generate spaces that encouraged connection, whether traditional, functional, utopian, or idealized. Concepts also needed to be simple, natural, and feasible for a team of students to produce in a week. Hello Wood’s educational platform focuses on achieving social benefits and improving the quality of life through architecture and design. See below for photos of the projects built at Hello Wood Argentina.

Fragata Natura / Carlos Campos l Silvana Ovsejevich. Image © Fernando Schapochnik Una Ola / Santiago Perez de Muro. Image © Fernando Schapochnik NOPASSANA / IR Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik Edificio para Ceremonias Desoconocidas / Formosa. Image © Bernardo Ramirez +11

SEO for Architects: How to Get Your Website (and Projects) Noticed

09:30 - 11 May, 2017
SEO for Architects: How to Get Your Website (and Projects) Noticed

This article was originally published on Monograph's Blog as "Architect's Guide to SEO — Part 1."

More than likely you've heard the term SEO, but, for the uninitiated, SEO literally means Search Engine Optimization— technical jargon for a set of methods used to boost your website's rank in Google's search results.

Now, why should you care? Well, according to this article put out by the SEO gurus at MOZ, the top 3 positions in Google's search results account for a whopping 55% of organic clicks, with the number one spot alone netting over 30%.

Think about that, over one third of visitors click on the first result they see. Naturally, everyone wants to be number one, so we've outlined below 5 steps you can take to help boost your website's ranking.

86% of the Most Dangerous Cities are in This Part of the World

08:00 - 11 May, 2017
86% of the Most Dangerous Cities are in This Part of the World, © <a href=''>500px user Magdalena Roesler</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 3.0</a>
© 500px user Magdalena Roesler licensed under CC BY 3.0

For the past fifteen years, global headlines have depicted, through harrowing imagery, the effects of war on cities across the Middle East. An inevitable fracturing of law and order leads to an explosion of crime which we imagine could not be tolerated in a region at peace. However, when cities in war zones are set aside, an overwhelming yet underreported narrative emerges – 86% of the world’s most dangerous cities are in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

A Virtual Look Into Richard Neutra's Case Study House #20, the Bailey House

09:30 - 10 May, 2017

The Bailey house—one of Richard Neutra’s four Case Study designs for Arts & Architecture—forms one of five Bluff houses, standing high above the ocean. The brief was to create a low-budget home for a young family, with just two bedrooms, but offering the possibility of expansion as time went by (which did in fact transpire; additional Neutra-designed wings were later built).

Neutra employed the same indoor-outdoor philosophy that can be seen at work in his unbuilt Alpha and Omega houses, using large sliding glass doors to create light and a visual sense of space, as well as ensuring that the house physically opened up to, as he put it, “borrow space from the outdoors.” With this sunny Californian ocean-view setting, it made perfect sense to use the back garden and terrace as living and dining room.

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=''>Flickr user gaf</a> licensed under <a href=''>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=''>Flickr user joevare</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> Solow Buliding. Image © <a href=''>Wikimedia user King of Hearts</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> W.R. Grace Building. Image © <a href=',_New_York,_NY_10018,_USA_-_Jan_2013.jpg'>Wikimedia user WestportWiki</a> licensed under <a href=''>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=''>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href=''>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=''>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href=''>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=''>Flickr user cwsteeds</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> +11

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

09:30 - 8 May, 2017
© <a href=‘'>Flickr user diversey</a> licensed under <a href=''>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=''>Flickr user novecentino</a> licensed under <a href="">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=''>Wikimedia user Joonas Lytinen</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href=''>Flickr user dziecienocy</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © <a href=''>Flickr user worak</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href=''>Wikimedia user Nataraja</a> licensed under <a href=''>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.