A few weeks ago, the AA Visiting School academic program was held in Istanbul and Athens. The program combines theory and practice, in an intensive workshop using computational tools as well as digital fabrication machines in a fully contextualised architectural problematic.
In a period of 20 days, the program bring together people of different levels of architectural experience –from 2nds year students to PhD candidates from various places of the globe. Every workshop runs as a highly-focused unit-based educational system with shared agendas which promotes collaborative design, research and performance. They are run by a tutoring team of full-time professionals who have experience working in internationally renowned architectural firms.
Among other challenges, both the participants and the tutors faced the challenge of short-timed project proposal using computational tools as well as with the use of digital fabrication machines in a fully contextualised architectural problematic. The objective is to achieve interesting design solutions through the use of the latest technological developments and on its’ consecutive year this was accomplished in a very successful way. The final results were presented not as merely attractive images on the screen but as digital prototypes filled with elaborate information that made the digital fabrication possible.
Highly regarded as both an academic and practitioner, Wolf Prix is an architect’s architect. He’s also a Guinness World Record holder. (The Busan Cinema Center boasts the world’s longest cantilever roof). We sat down with the Austrian architect and learned that not only does he welcome the unforeseeable results of rule-breaking, but he also borrows models of strategy and organization from soccer:
“Of course nowadays the architect as a single genius is over. I think we have to learn how to communicate and work in a team. Therefore, I just rearranged the organization of our office along the idea of the football team, FC Barcelona. Barcelona plays a beautiful game, very clever and very intelligent—they always play in a triangle system and then Messi or Xavi breaks the rules and plays street football with unforeseeable rules. This is the way we work in our office and this is the way that we design.”
He founded COOP HIMMELB(L)AU in 1968 (with Helmut Swiczinsky) and in 1980 the office published “Architecture Must Burn!” a manifesto which extolled the virtues of an architecture “that bleeds, exhausts, that turns and even breaks.” From its inception the office has pushed the boundaries of practice through its use of complex forms, communicated using a variety of media and materials. Their projects represent an embrace of imbalance, disquiet, distortion, fragmentation and chaos.
The title of one of his latest lectures (“In two days tomorrow will be yesterday”) aptly encapsulates Prix’s approach to time and space.
He gained international recognition when his firm’s work was featured in the 1988 MoMA show “Deconstructivist Architecture.” The show marked what curator Philip Johnson described as the “pleasures of unease” and highlighted the work of six other architects in addition to COOP HIMMELB(L)AU— Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenmann, Bernard Tschumi and Daniel Libeskind. The curators brought together this diverse group of architects to showcase the commonalities between projects that harnessed previously unexplored potentials of the modern movement.
“We always wanted to get through with our radical ideas. No compromising on one hand; on the other hand, if you build large projects you have to think in real terms as well.”
Prix’s architecture has employed advances in technology to create public spaces that challenge tradition and convention. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s more recent projects include The Busan Cinema Center, Musée des Confluences, BMW Welt, and Dalian International Conference Center. He has taught at the Universität für angewandte Kunst (University of Applied Art) in Vienna, Harvard University, the Architectural Association, Columbia University and other prominent schools of architecture.
Since ArchDaily started, we have interviewed close to two hundred architects to understand the diversity of our profession, and to give you insights from the most successful practices in the world.
Here is a round up with excerpts from some of these interviews, focusing on advice for the young architects.
Last night we attended the Pritkzer Prize ceremony, where the 2013 laureate Toyo Ito accepted the prestigious award at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston.
On his acceptance speech, Toyo Ito recognised the team that has worked with him during his 42 years of practice, including engineers and architects who attended the ceremony, including a very special former employee: Kazuyo Sejima, who worked with him for 7 years before establishing her practice, and also a Pritzker laureate (2010). As Ito said “Making architecture is not something one does alone; one must be blessed with many good collaborators to make it happen”.
And then, Ito continued his wonderful speech on how modern architecture and nature have been in a constant clash, how he has approached this relation and what he hopes for the future, appealing to JFK’s famous quote ”ask not what America will do for you” to propose the question “What can we ourselves do for the freedom of man?”.
The full speech is reproduced below, so you can understand how Ito’s passion for architecture and critic view of the state of world turns into a message of union for architects:
DS+R (Diller Scofidio + Renfro) is one of the most acclaimed architecture practices of these days. The firm was started by Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio back in 1979, and they were later joined by Charles Renfro as a partner in 2004.
In the past years the firm has been involved in several cultural projects, including the Blur Building at the Swiss Expo 2002, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Julliard School, the Alice Tully Hall and the Hypar Pavilion at Lincoln Center in New York and the Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University. They are also currently working on the Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Image & Audio in Rio de Janeiro, the Columbia Medical Building and Business School in New York… and the list just keeps growing.
But for sure one of their most important projects has been The Highline, together with James Corner / Field Operations. This urban regeneration project has not only changed Manhattan, but also inspired cities around the world to understand their hidden value. This project is currently on its third stage, which includes a multi-use venue designed by DS+R, the Culture Shed.
In all these projects, there is a common denominator between private/public space relationships, as discussed with Charles Renfro in this interview. In this conversation you will also learn about a very important aspect of the firm’s work, one that is very hard to transmit in traditional architecture media or even on the web: the experience. The art and performance projects that the firm has been doing since its beginning has added a particular layer to their built work. After you see their installations (and the effect they create in people), and then go back to their built projects, you start to see them as a series of situations where users are not static, but part of this performance.
Take for example the sunken auditorium at the Highline, a place that is meant to be seen by the cars driving below, who get a glimpse of the active urban life above. Or the hanging media center at the ICA, that uses the sea as a facade. Or The Art of Scent exhibit at the MAD Museum, where they exhibit the intangible. Or at the Blur Building, where you enter into a cloud.
DS+R’s work is very clear and bold at first glance, but with many underlaying moments and situations that reflect the careful design of each project.
Thanks to UNIACC Architecture School for making this interview possible. Projects by DS+R at ArchDaily:
The format of the event is unique as the professionals of the participating firms present to, and receive live feedback and commendation from, the WAF’s jury, which this year includes architects such as such as William Alsop, Sir Peter Cook, Sou Fujimoto, Dietmar Eberle, Jeanne Gang, Marcio Kogan, and Ole Scheeren, among many others. It will be a live architecture performance, where you will debate, learn and be inspired.
The World Architecture Festival also includes a seminar and keynotes with renowned international architects (full list TBA). In these and other activities, you will be able to exchange ideas with over 2000 architects representing more than 65 countries, as well as broaden your horizons and your contacts.
Another interesting aspect of the WAF is the location. Held in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands, the WAF positions itself in the center of the Southeast Asia, a region with unprecedented growth, where opportunities are constantly opening for architects.
Remember to use code ‘ARCH’ for a 10% discount in your entry.
The Architectural Association announces the 2013 edition of the DLAB, the intensive computation and fabrication oriented workshop. The workshop continues the experimentation of last year’s edition, which resulted on the Fallen Star installation.
DLAB experiments with the integration of algorithmic and generative design methodologies as well as with large scale digital fabrication tools. Continuing its color based agenda DLAB will immerse in blue for its 2013 cycle as a way to investigate natural growth processes in relation to innovative concepts of architectural tectonics and fabrication. Blue will become the inspiration for diving into the depths of emergence, differentiation and complexity which are found at various scales in nature. We will carefully interweave these concepts with interaction and participatory design in order to create full-scale working prototypes. The programme will be formulated as a two-phase process. During the initial phase participants will benefit from the unique atmosphere and facilities of AA’s London home. The second phase will shift to AA Hooke Park campus and revolve around the fabrication and assembly of a full-scale architectural intervention which will unify the design goals of DLAB.
Some of the most prominent features which the participants will be exposed to during DLAB include:
Jarmund / Vigsnæs Architects was the first Nordic practice we featured on ArchDaily after seeing their impressive Svalvard Center, a sharp copper-cladded volume that slowly ages and blends into the landscape.
Since then we have seen many more strong projects of different scales from the Norwegian firm. The firm was established in 1996 by Einar Jarmund and Håkon Vigsnæs, with Alessandra Kosberg who joined as a partner in 2004.
JVA’s projects range from small cabins in the woods and interiors, to large scale hospitality projects and urban plans. The firm has developed expertise in designing for the Nordic weather as well as creating connections between the buildings and the distinctive Nordic landscape. With the above as their focus, the practice constantly explores how to innovate through the use and experimentation of materials.
JVA projects at ArchDaily:
In Chile, a very special project is being developed.
Eduardo Godoy, a design impresario who started his business in Chile in the 80′s, has always been an advocate for design and architecture in the country. In Chile, more than 40 schools of architecture have flooded the market, but the ever growing number of professionals has had a relatively small impact on Chilean cities. Seeing the almost infinite landscape of cookie cutter housing in the suburbs, Godoy asked himself: why not break this model into smaller pieces, each designed by a particular architect, each an opportunity for a young professional? With this in mind, and to foster the appreciation for architects, Eduardo and his team at Interdesign started a project called “Ochoalcubo” (Eight-Cubed). His original idea was to make 8 projects, with 8 buildings designed each by 8 architects, to create developments where the singularity of each piece was key, in order to demonstrate how the individuality of the architect could result in good architecture.
Pedro is a prolific writer, who uses a blog as a laboratory for his ideas about architecture and urbanism (sharing his views on the current states of cities and how architecture can transform them), and will surely have an impact on what the Department of Architecture of the Museum focuses on in the future.
During this past year Pedro has been involved in the YAP (Young Architects Program), a platform to discover young architects and foster new ideas through installations at the MoMA PS1 (Queens, NY), the MAXXXI Museum (Rome, Italy), the Istanbul Modern Museum (Istanbul, Turkey) and with CONSTRUCTO (Santiago, Chile).
He also curated the exhibit “9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design” (open until Jun 9th, 2013; Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor), where his views of city and architecture come together in the form of a selection of fresh ideas and examples of architects who actively shaped our cities. The opening of the exhibit included the architectural performance “IKEA Disobedients” by Andres Jaque.
Pedro was also a jury for the 2013 Mies van der Rohe award.
In today’s world, where we have access to everything at the the tip of our fingers, the role of the curator becomes more and more relevant for us to understand our new context.
You can follow Pedro on Twitter @pedrogadanho.
ArchDaily’s Architecture App Guide will introduce you to web and mobile apps that can help you as an architect: productivity, inspiration, drafting, and more.
A year ago we introduced you to The Morpholio Project a web and mobile app based portfolio, created by architects, for the entire creative industry. A few months later they released iPad App: Morpholio Trace, a layered drafting tool that gained traction among architects and designers. This feature was just the beginning of what evolved into Morpholio 2.0 (free download from the App Store ) part of a series of new tools that turn the portfolio app into a flexible workspace where designers, architects, fashion designers, 3D artists, photographers, automotive designers, and everyone in the creative industry can interact and evolve ideas through feedback.
It builds on research into human-computer-interaction to deliver innovations like a tool for image analytics called “EyeTime” and virtual “Crits” where collaborators can share images, and comment on each other’s work via notes or sketches. Human behavior data-mining is essential to offering these forms of powerful feedback, letting you know how your followers are interacting with your work.
Learn more about the 7 new tools Morpholio 2.0 offers to the creative world:
Yesterday, Iñaki Abalos was announced as the new Chair of the Department of Architecture at Harvard GSD; he will begin on July 1st, 2013.
Abalos is a renowned Spanish architect, with much experience in both the academy and the professional field. He started his career together with Juan Herreros at the highly acclaimed firm Abalos + Herreros (1984-2006), and has been working since 2006 with Renata Sentkiewicz at Abalos+Sentkiewicz.
His work always tries to find a balance between technical precision and the integration with the environment and landscape. This has evolved into the concept of “Thermodynamic Beauty”, a concept embodied in his buildings and constantly evolving throughout his academic efforts, which have included the authorship of several books and professorships at the ESTA Madrid, Harvard, Columbia, EPF Laussane, Princeton, Cornell and the BIArch Barcelona. At the GSD he was acting as Professor in Residence, leading studios, lectures, and seminars related to his focus on technology and history, the thermal properties of architecture and the integration of natural elements.
Abalos will soon lead one of the most influential architecture schools in the world, a tremendous responsibility given the challenges of architecture education, which we discuss in this interview. He also talks about how architects lost their authority after post-modernism, and suggests that we could get it back by cultivating a problem solving expertise on the world’s greatest challenges: climate change, the high density of the cities, and more.
Last year, we spoke at a packed lecture at the Center for Architecture, along with Bjarke Ingels, the Morpholio team and moderator Ned Cramer; we were discussing the impact social media and technology have on our profession and the way in which we design.
And now, thanks to the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee, we are happy to invite you to a new event taking place at the Center for Architecture on May 2nd, 2013 at 6:30PM, where together with Mark Wigley (Dean Columbia GSAPP) we will address the present and future of architecture education. The lecture will be followed by a panel with our friends Carlo Aiello (eVolo), David Fano (CASE), Jill Fehrenbacher (Inhabitat), Toru Hasegawa (Morpholio), Tim Maly (Wired Magazine ) and Cliff Kuang (Fast Company / Co.Design).
More details and RSVP form here, more information after the break. See you on Thursday!
The construction of the city is something that goes beyond architects and planners. It involves the government, the citizens and the private sector. For the ArchDaily Interview series we have interviewed many architects with very different backgrounds, and we have started to include people outside the field that have played an important role either for our profession or the city.
During our last trip to Moscow, we had the opportunity to interview Alexander Mamut, businessman and investor who is involved in projects such as the Pioner Cinema, the Waterstone book chain, the blogging service LiveJournal and other projects related to culture, media and the city. He is also one of the founders of the Strelka Institute, a post graduate school located at the Chocolate Factory in the heart of Moscow and using the city as a laboratory, with an ambitious plan to raise the quality of architectural education in the country.
The founders of Strelka (who also include Sergey Adonyev, Dmitry Likin, Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper and Oleg Shapiro) invited Rem Koolhass to design the curriculum for this new school, who under the AMO research arm prepared the educational programme for Strelka, with a research agenda based on design, energy, preservation, public spaces and thinning. The institute brings together professionals from different disciplines to have a comprehensive approach to city and architecture, from architects to urbanists, writers, designers, scientists, and journalists.
The city of Moscow is facing tremendous challenges, due to the growth and changes it has undergone in the past few years, which will only accelerate as the result of its vibrant economy. The city is expected to double its population in the coming years, and many competitions, including the masterplan for the city’s expansion, are being held with this objective in mind.
In this scenario, architecture education is key in order to form the new generation of professionals that wil face the critical issues of contemporary Russia. And this is why we wanted to include Alexander Mamut, whose passion for the city led him to invest in the city in a particular way, in our interview series. He is a good example of what can be done from the private sector to develop cities with a long-term vision.
During the interview, we discuss with Alexander Mamut the future of Moscow, how education can improve the quality of life of its habitants, the importance of the private sector in the development of cities, and more.
During the 2012 World Architecture Festival, we had the opportunity to interview Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre, the directors of the UK firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects who received the World Building of the Year Award for their Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay.
Chris Wilkinson founded the firm in 1983, partnering with Jim Eyre in 1987. Since then, the practice has displayed their innovation through the informed use of technology and materials, applied to projects in areas as diverse as transportation, the arts, infrastructure, masterplanning, as well as commercial, industrial, retail, leisure, educational, cultural and residential buildings. The firm has also developed a tremendous expertise in bridge design, with more than 30 projects of this type.
A good example of their applied innovation is the Cooled Conservatories, where climate control for 20,000 sqm in a complex environment posed a tremendous challenge. The sustainable cooling strategy lead to the reduction of, with air conditioning, would have been an otherwise big carbon foot print.
For the 2012 Olympic Games, the firm designed the Basketball Arena, one of the biggest temporary venues erected for any Olympics, an iconic building that was the result of a tight budget and the requirement to recycle two thirds of the structure after the games.
More projects by Wilkinson Eyre Architects at ArchDaily:
“Assess: Chile at Columbia” is an initiative led by the Latin Lab at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation’s (GSAPP) of Columbia University that discusses, in several formats, the state of contemporary cities in the southern country by addressing the question: who cares for Chilean cities?
This project aims to raise questions and skip external, often patronizing understandings of Chilean practices. To do so, “Assess: Chile at Columbia” invites Chilean scholars who— closely in touch with both national practices and international debates in the fields of architecture, public space, and urban projects—are uniquely positioned to initiate a critical conversation.
Distinguished Chilean scholars Luis Eduardo Bresciani, Romy Hecht, and Rodrigo Pérez de Arce selected three projects to represent each of the aforementioned categories in the exhibition Answers form Architecture, Public Space and Urban Projects, to be held on the 100 Level of Avery Hall. This show will inform the Conference “Who cares for Chilean cities?,” at which renowned US-based scholars Saskia Sassen, Stan Allen, and Iñaki Ábalos will assess the topics and works presented by their Chilean peers, opening up a further discussion moderated by GSAPP faculty Clara Irazábal, Galia Solomonoff, and Enrique Walker.
A few days ago, we had the opportunity to talk with Toyo-san, the 2013 Pritzker Prize laureate. A short, but intense talk where Ito shares with us, using precise words, insights about his design process and what he thinks about architecture, everything connected to the human aspects of the profession, understanding and connecting to the people.
For you, what is architecture?
(Laughs) Hard question! Architecture is the relation between one person and another, something that can make people gather.
How did you feel, as an architect, facing the disaster after the 2011 earthquake in Japan?
As a person facing such a disaster, I had the responsibility to do something for the people who had lost their homes in the area, and by talking to the people in the disaster area I saw a similarity to the previous question, what is architecture. I think it was a very good opportunity to rethink, to start from zero what architecture really is fundamentally.
Fernando Romero is part of the new generation of young Mexican architects that have reshaped the profession in a country with a longstanding tradition.
Fernando studied at the Universidad Iberoamericana, and shortly after graduating went to Europe, ending up working at OMA where he became a project leader of the Porto House of Music (1996-1999). In 2000, he went back to Mexico where he established his own firm FR-EE which as of today has built more than ten million square feet, with offices in New York and Mexico City, and many on-going projects.
The practice has a strong focus on research, and the process of each building is the result of an integrated workflow with a multidisciplinary team. These processes are documented on a series of publications by the firm, including You Are the Context , launched at the Guggenheim a few months ago.
Some of his recent works include the G20 International Convention Center, the iconic Soumaya Museum and the Jumex Tower.
In this interview, Fernando shares with us his views on architecture, the role of the architect, and how he has setup this particular type of practice.