David Basulto

Graduate Architect. Co Founder and Executive Editor of ArchDaily.com. Architecture geek.

Dive Into ArchDaily Materials, Our Latest Tool

Dear Readers,

In December of last year, we announced the launch of our latest innovation: ArchDaily Materials, our new US product catalog.

Materials will make more useful for you. When you come to our site to browse our projects, and come across certain facades, lighting, or any other kind of detail you admire, Materials allows you to instantly access the makers of those architectural products, so you can incorporate them into your own projects. It’s Inspiration, Materialized.

We wanted to update you now and let you know how Materials has grown over the last five months. Since launching, we’ve added 31 categories that let you easily explore our 286 products. We’ve added a useful link from the product page to the project page – allowing you to see the material applied in all its glory. Following your feedback, we’ve even added construction details and specs to project pages. And we’ve partnered with some amazing manufacturers, including: Hunter Douglas, Equitone, Sherwin Williams, Alucobond, VMZinc, and Big Ass Fans.

Today, we’re happy to report 466,000 pageviews and counting! However, we know we’re still in the early stages yet. Take a moment to explore this inspirational resource by clicking on Materials at the top of the page (between Articles & Interviews), share it with your friends, and let us know how it can be more useful to you!

Sincerely,

The ArchDaily Team

Infographic: What Do European Architects Actually Do?

Courtesy of

Though the professional practice of architecture can be broadly defined, we often just focus on the design work in relation to the completed building, leaving behind other areas in which architects find more opportunities. In this infographic created by OMA in preparation for the Monditalia exhibition at the Venice Biennale, we see how the professional activities are distributed among these sub-areas such as planning, landscape design, interior design and feasibility studies–a relationship which can also allow us to extrapolate the outcomes and products that emerge from these countries.

Click the infographic to get a closer look and browse the projects we’ve published from the represented countries:

Last Chance to Apply for Free Study at the Strelka Institute

Courtesy of

With applications closing on the 26th of July, those wishing to apply to the prestigious Strelka Institute in Moscow need to act fast. The Strelka Institute is a non-governmental research institute with a particular focus on the City, using multidisciplinary techniques from fields as varied as sociology, economics, architecture, political and cultural studies. Since 2012, Strelka has been among DOMUS Magazine’s top 100 European Schools of Design and Architecture.

Successful applicants will study at the Strelka institute for free, with each student receiving a monthly scholarship to focus on their studies.

More after the break

In The Real World: The Consequences of Modernity in Japan at the Venice Biennale

 “We were sensitive to the way in which society was becoming more consumption-oriented and gave serious thought to how we ought to respond to that change without simply accommodating ourselves to it.” -Toyo Ito
“I was entering a dead world, which would never see the light of the day. I wanted to treat that dead world as if it were alive, or to put it another way, to try to create a different reality.” - Terunobu Fujimori

Under the title of Fundamentals, Koolhaas’ Biennale asked national pavilions to focus on their respective countries’ relationships with modernity, the movement that has, for better or worse, shaped the contemporary city. In the case of , modernity was expressed in a unique way, as architecture was instrumental to the rapid industrialization and growth that the country experienced after World War II. This growth resulted in the first architectural avant-garde outside of the Western world. By the 70s, as this movement reached its peak, local architects, historians, artists and urbanists began to look at modernism in a critical way, questioning its impact.

In “The Real World,” the Japan exhibit at the Biennale, curator Norihito Nakatani unearths how this critical movement expressed itself through Osamu Ishiyama, Toyo Ito, Terunobu Fujimori, and other Japanese masters whose works strove to connect to the human of “the real world” rather than contribute to the failed utopias of modernism. Interviews with this group of architects bring to light the desire that they had to positively impact society, and how they attempted to materialize that desire in their early works. The objects found inside the pavilion articulate the storytelling behind the process, leaving their interpretation open to visitors.

“You’ve got to try to make an impact on the times you live in, and you’ve got to do it through your work, not through words.” – Osamu Ushiyama
“Actual objects continue to possess tremendous energy – much more so than photographs or models.” – Tsutomu Ichiki

More about the “In the Real World” after the break:

SALES ODDITY by Andrés Jaque, Silver Lion for Research at the Venice Biennale

By the late 1960s, two dynamics were shaping a new urban reality in Italy: on the one hand, TV was heavily influencing Italian society, becoming an intrinsic part of daily life; on the other, the social tension resulting from student protests and accelerated immigration had begun to impact cities in a chaotic way. These dynamics paved the way for Milano Due, a new town on the outskirts of Milan, which promised a new, idyllic type of urbanism.

The complex, although traditional in appearance with its red pitched roofs, put into practice modern concepts: its 2,600 apartments, which had access to amenities for education and entertainment, were arranged around a giant artificial garden/lake and were connected via an elevated circulation system. Below ground, the complex housed the studios of the first private TV channel in Italy, a fact that would shape the lives of the inhabitants of Milano Due and eventually all of Italian society.

This interesting urban phenomena is analyzed by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation in “SALES ODDITY: Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism,” a project that was part of the Monditalia section at the Venice Biennale and was awarded the Silver Lion for the Best Research Project. According to the jury “The project presents critically a fundamental aspect of modern societies: how the power of media occupies other social spaces, both physically and politically. It is based on innovative research combining surveys and interviews with planners and residents and re-appropriation of the mass media language. While based on an Italian case, this issue is present in many international contexts dominated by contemporary technological and neo-liberal cultures.”

Dossier, trailer, and more photos of the project by Miguel de Guzmán, after the break:

SALES ODDITY. Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism
by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation

AD Interviews: Helene Combs Dreiling, AIA President 2014

Right at the start of this year’s AIA Convention, we had the chance to sit down with the current AIA president,  (FAIA).

Helene, who also serves as the Executive Director at The Virginia Museum of Architecture & Design, is the third female president in the history of the AIA. We discussed the challenges currently facing the organization, particularly the issue of diversity in the profession, and Dreiling’s ambitions to lead a cultural sea-change to improve the way the profession is perceived in the US.

Venice Biennale 2014: Radical Pedagogies, Exhibit Design by Amunátegui Valdés Architects

Courtesy of

Last year I saw Beatriz Colomina present Radical Pedagogies, a research project that she led together with PhD students at Princeton University School of Architecture. Radical Pedagogies focuses on schools and programs from around the world that emerged postwar, strongly tied to social changes of the time. The material produced over three years of seminars, interviews and archive digging shows a compelling story of the ways that “architectural pedagogy” have impacted today’s architecture education.

Invited to the Monditalia section of the Venice Biennale, Radical Pedagogies paints a global picture while focusing on some of the strong Italian influences of these new movements—such as Lina Bo Bardi in Brazil and Aldo Rossi in Argentina—in an interactive exhibit that includes augmented reality content by dpr-barcelona.

The exhibition was awarded a Special Mention, cited by the jury for ”highlight[ing] the emergence of new poles of architectural thinking in the current world and mak[ing] these accessible as a living archive. The research project is part of an ongoing global project that shows that knowledge is produced and develops in a networked way beyond national borders and national identities.”

We wanted to show our readers more about this project, but focusing on the physical armature of the exhibit, a dimension that is often ignored from a technical point of view. That’s why we asked Chilean practice Amunátegui Valdés Architects to share the architectural details of the Radical Pedagogies: Action – Reaction – Interaction exhibit and construction. Read more after the break.

“Inhabiting the Desert” Since 1914: Morocco at the 2014 Venice Biennale

© Luc Boegly

was heavily influenced by European modernism due to its strategic position in Northern Africa. It was governed as a European protectorate for much of the 20th century, and it was in this region that the modern movement found a place for experimentation; a place where modernist ideals met such particular climate conditions that they evolved a unique regional expression.

The Morocco Pavilion for the 2014 Venice Biennale—their first presence at the event—acknowledges this particular expression aligned with the theme of Absorbing Modernity under the title of Fundamental(ism)s. Curator Tarik Oualalou erected it over a ground of desert sand to create a setting for Morocco’s architecture in the past, entitled Living in the City, and the future, Inhabiting the Desert.

Live from Amsterdam: Pritzker Prize Award Ceremony with Shigeru Ban

The 2014 Pritzker Prize Ceremony to honor laureate Shigeru Ban is taking place today in Amsterdam at 17:00 UCT.

The ceremony will occur outside of the recently re-opened Rijksmuseum. Speakers will include Martha Thorne (Executive Director of the Prize), Eberhard van der Laan (Mayor of Amsterdam), Lord Palumbo (Chairman of the Prize), Tom Pritzker (Preisdent of the Hyatt Foundation), and the 2014 Laureate Shigeru Ban.

Chile’s “Monolith Controversies” – Winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale

Monolith Controversies. Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh

Between 1931 and 1981, the Soviet Union exported a prefab concrete panel system for housing – whose development and exportation embodied the ideals of the modern movement – to countries around the world, creating more than 170 million apartments. In 1972, during the socialist government of Salvador Allende, the USSR donated a panel factory to . The KPD (an acronym derived from the Russian words for “large concrete panel”) produced a total of 153 buildings during its operation, before being shut down and forgotten during the military dictatorship.

The full story of the concrete panels produced in Chile had been buried in history, but research conducted by curators Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola for the Chile Pavilion has resurfaced the political, ideological and aesthetic implications of the panel. Monolith Controversies not only shows the technical aspects of a fundamental element of a prefab building system, but also demonstrates how it was connected to an ideology. Upon entering the Chile pavilion, visitors find themselves in the recreation of an interior of one of the apartments. Next they enter the main space, in which one concrete panel found by the curators stands as the representation of how modernity was absorbed in Chile.

In the Absorbing Modernity section of the Biennale, Koolhaas asked curators from all over the world to bring to light the ways modernism developed in their countries. The work done by the Chilean curators in the Monolith Controversies exhibition is one of the best examples of this call, recognized by the jury with the Silver Lion. Read on for the curator’s statement.

A Biennale of Knowledge: Rem Koolhaas on The Importance of the Archive

Curated by Rem Koolhaas, this year’s Biennale set high expectations in the architecture world, a fact reflected in the massive attendance during the preview. As Koolhaas stated at the awards ceremony, he took on the hard task of reinventing the Biennale, recognizing its influence in how architecture is exhibited around the world.

Under the title “Fundamentals,” Rem rallied this year’s curators to assemble a vast amount of knowledge, bringing to light research that had been hidden, forgotten, scattered, and/or previously unexamined, and making it available to the larger architectural community. This was achieved not only in the form and content of the Biennale, but also in the numerous publications produced by the curators (a practice which closely follows OMA/AMO traditions).

Yet this is actually a double-edged sword; in many pavilions, the density and depth of the content made it hard to understand at first glance. Architecture festivals and exhibitions tend to lean on experiential one-liners, but since “Fundamentals” was so focused on conveying ideas about architecture’s relationship to modernity over the past 100 years, it was a significant challenge to the curators. Many pavilions produced impressive publications, so that all the rich knowledge they unearthed may continue to influence architectural thought long after the Biennale ends in November.

Inside Korea’s “Crow’s Eye View” – Golden Lion Winner at the Venice Biennale 2014

Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula. Image © Nico Saieh

Today, the Korean Peninsula provides a striking example of a post-war polarization: two opposite political and economical systems, constantly presented in contrast/conflict by the global media, that still maintain an intricate, complicated relationship. Architecture’s role in this polarization was instrumental. North Korea sought to represent the aspirations of a new communist nation within a context devastated after the war — a tabula-rasa from which adaptations of modernism could appear. In South Korea, fast economic growth bred a form of modernization that represented the ideals of a globalized world.

These distinct absorptions of modernity, and the relation between the two neighboring nations, are represented in Korea’s Pavilion in an exhibition called Crow’s Eye View, winner of the Gold Lion at the .  The dense exhibition, commissioned and curated by together with Hyungmin Pai and Changmo Ahn, used every corner of the pavilion to represent this subject. The curators invited a multidisciplinary group of architects, urbanists, poets, writers, artists, photographers, film-makers, curators and collectors to demonstrate (to best of their availability, since official cooperation with North Korean institutions proved impossible) the architectural intersections and divisions between North and South Korea.

Recognized by the judges as “research in action,” Crow’s Eye View provided an invaluable addition to a discourse which has been predominantly carried by Western-centric narratives. And it is precisely this that, according to rumors, made it Koolhaas’ favorite pavilion.

Venice Biennale 2014: Israel’s Tabula Rasa

© Nico Saieh

is a country that was built with modernism as its guide. It flourished in a particular way and resulted in a unique architectural landscape, not only in terms of singular buildings, but also in the way in which the territory itself was planned. Anti-urban in essence, the Sharon Plan from 1951 gave birth to more than 400 new towns scattered across the territory.

This new landscape -a tabula rasa- evolved into a variety of patterns and forms, a landscape that is neither Urban nor Suburban.

“Urburb” is the title of the Israeli exhibit at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Within the pavilion, a constant robotic performance traces the patterns that resulted from the Sharon plan in the sand, only to erase them after a few minutes and then draw them again. It is a performance that makes one think about the future of new settlements and the possibilities of robotic construction.

The exhibition is curated by Ori Scialom, Dr. Roy Brand, Keren Yeala Golan and Edith Kofsky.

ArchDaily at the 2014 Venice Biennale

Rem Koolhaas at the preview of the Elements exhibit © ArchDaily

ArchDaily is excited to announce that we are now in Venice to cover this year’s highly anticipated Biennale. Curated by the influential Rem Koolhaas, this edition of the biennale delves into the past to inform current architectural production.

For this year, Koolhaas proposed “Fundamentals” as the main theme for the Biennale. Rather than focusing on contemporary production (as the Biennale traditionally has), “Fundamentals” is divided into three large exhibits that look into the past, present and future of architecture: Absorbing Modernity 1924-2014 (National Pavilions), Elements (Central Pavilion), and Monditalia (Arsenale). You can learn more about these exhibits in our previous coverage.

So far, we’ve seen a tremendous effort in the content of the exhibitions. In “Absorbing Modernity,” 65 countries from every continent (even Antartica) show how modernity was manifested in their respective national contexts, bringing to light comprehensive archives and demonstrations of modernism’s storied and complex past. This retrospective looks into one of the most powerful movements in history, a time when architects aligned with the needs of society and set the foundations for an ideal future. The consequences of modernism -whether good or bad- have shaped our cities and highly influenced how we live. And now, Koolhaas hopes to help us understand why it should be thought of as a fundamental part of architectural education.

Stay tuned for more reports from Venice in our dedicated Venice Biennale 2014 section. For updates in real time, check out our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

This complete coverage is brought to you thanks to our partners at CEMEX.

The Most Saturated European Markets: Where (And How Big) Are The Opportunities for Architects in Europe?

Courtesy of Monditalia Twitter Page, https://twitter.com/monditalia

A few weeks ago Monditalia, one of the three main exhibits of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, tweeted a small infographic which showed the number of architects per country, unleashing an intense debate among architects around the world.

Today Monditalia revealed even more figures, provoking us to think not only about which markets are saturated, but also where opportunities and possibilities lie for our profession. Using data from the construction research center CRESME, the curators of Monditalia have graphed the potential in European markets for architects, in terms of thousands of euros per year.

How do you see the landscape of opportunities in your region or country? Have you moved to another country to find better opportunities to work as an architect? Where do you think opportunities are right now?

Follow @monditalia on Twitter (as they are constantly sharing useful data) and be sure to check our previous article on this subject – ‘The 9 Best Countries for Architects to Find Work‘.

AD Interviews: Andreas G. Gjertsen / TYIN tegnestue

A young, cooperative architecture practice based in Trondheim, Norway and founded in 2008 by Andreas G. Gjertsen and Yashar Hanstad, TYIN tegnestue has already built in Thailand, Myanmar, Haiti, Uganda and their native Norway. Though the partners are relatively young, the quality of their designs has earned them the important distinction of being recognized for The European Prize for Architecture (joining the ranks of GRAFT, BIG and Marco Casagrande).  And their projects have been pretty popular with ArchDaily’s readers, too.

TYIN tengstue started working as students, and the success of their firm has been dependent on their ability to find a way to fund the kind of work they were passionate about in school. For us, their approach to knowledge sharing is notable; they make their projects completely available. Also, when they build and create new architecture that uses traditional , they train local work forces so that the designs can be replicated–giving the architecture a better chance for proliferating within the context it was specifically design for.

Don’t miss our conversation with Andreas, and check out ’s projects on ArchDaily:

@ArchDaily Instatour: #Tokyo

Sunny Hills by Kengo Kuma via @archdaily on

We recently went to during the Sakura to visit the city’s incredible architecture: from Metabolist towers and the work of Pritzker laureates to the buildings of the new generation of Japanese architects. See the 27 photos we snapped after the break.

Also, leave your suggestions for our next Instatour in the comments below, and be sure to follow @ArchDaily on Instagram to travel with us through the world of architecture! Next destination: #Venice.

AD Interviews: Jesús Robles / DUST

We were excited to have the chance to speak with DUST when we lectured at U of Arizona a few months ago. The project for a villa in Tucson that DUST shared with in 2009 gained a lot of attention before it was even built–particularly for its use of a traditional construction system (rammed earth) and a bold material palette. The large walls act as thermal masses but are, most importantly, part of a system that is deeply connected to the site.

We wanted to talk with principal Jesús Robles (who founded DUST with Cade Hayes) to find out more about DUST’s latest work, especially since they know how to design and build with a very low impact, allowing them to be hands-on and innovative in terms of . For the interview, DUST brought us to the remote stretch of land in the San Rafael valley where they have been working on their latest project, Casa Caldera. You can see the progress of this house made of scoria here.