According to Bloomberg Newsweek, US Architects should be seeing signs of improvement as the Architecture Billings Index has increased for the third straight month, up from 46.1 in March to 48.5. Measured by the AIA, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) serves as an indicator of future building for offices, warehouses and retail properties. The indexes are developed each month by asking AIA firm participants whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. The score is generated based on the proportion of respondents choosing each option. Breaking the index down regionally, the Northeast fared the best with 51, followed by the Midwest at 49.2, the South at 46.5, and finally, the West at 44.7.
However, we know that statistics often times don’t clue us in on the real happenings, so we’d like to hear from you. What has been your experience? Do you feel that the economy is finally turning around and the worst is over? Or, are you worried, due to the latest economical problems with Greece and crisis of the Euro, that another crash is due to affect our profession? (more…)
Derek Leavitt (@architectderek on Twitter) recently posted an opinionated blog entry on ‘Why Open Architecture Competitions Are Bad for Architects’ . The author outlined why entering competitions is detrimental not only to the individual, but also to the field of architecture.
Competition has been a defining characteristic of architecture for centuries. Without competitions to spur creativity, a young woman would have never submitted her graceful yet powerful black line…and we would be without the Vietnam Memorial. Without architects using competitions as a way to test urban gestures, a young team would have never submitted their idea to use just a portion of their allotted site, leaving the rest for a public plaza…and we would be without the Pompidou Center in France. And, dating quite farther back, without an Italian man initially losing a competition and then determined to further his architectural understanding, we would be without the grand achievement of Brunelleschi’s dome.
The point is that although competitions are demanding, and at times may seem unfair, they are a staple in our profession which pushes the field forward. With this in mind, we will attempt to argue in favor of the open competition, in the hope that we can persuade and inspire you to keep listening to your instinctive competitive nature and keep compiling those entries. (more…)
When is was a kid, the futuristic alternative world featured in Tron blew my mind.
So, I was very excited to hear about Trong Legacy, a remake of the film. With details such as Jeff Bridges coming back (he starred in the 1982 version) and a soundtrack by Daft Punk (who also star as “MP3″s on the movie), I knew this sequel would be up to the level set by the original.
And thanks to Cliff Kuang’s article at Fast Company “Why Tron Legacy Will be Awesome: the Director’s an Architect”, I noticed that the guy behind this awesome movie is an architect graduated from Columbia: Joseph Kosinski. And the fact about his school is not casual, as he states on the video:
I decided that architecture would be the kind of ultimate combination of the creative interests I had and the technical interests I had, so… Columbia was one of the first institutions that was giving architecture students the tools that automotive designers and visual effects facilities down in Los Angeles were using in feature films…
And Jeff Bridges explains further:
It’s interesting different filmmakers where they come from and what they bring to the film and [Kosinski's] an architect and so the film has a very, you know, heightened design feel to it. And he hired this wonderful production designer, Darren Gilford. And he is out of car design so it adds another thing. It’s not somebody, you know, who is an interior decorator.
I have the feeling that the movie won’t disappoint Tron fans, and will be something worth watching from an architecture point of view.
Highly recognized architects invited from around the globe such as Eduardo Souto de Moura, Tony Fretton, Édouard François, Heinz Tesar and Petra Čeferin will hold lectures to present an overview of trends in architecture in Hungary and abroad. This event has become a tradition over the last seven years, having grown into the most important event for the architect community in Hungary.
For the complete program and more information on the convention, please click here.
Livestream + Live4Space are co-hosting a live interview with Daniel Libeskind today at 2:00PM ET (GMT -5). Thanks to the Livestream platfom, Libeskind will not only discuss his role on the WTC master plan, but will also answer questions by the audience. All you have to do is go to the streaming website here and send your questions during the interview.
The live event has concluded, and you can now watch a replay on the above video.
Joshua Prince Ramus is one of the best architects I’ve meet, and also a very good speaker. I think most of you have already seen his presentation at TED back in 2006, where he presented the Seattle Central Library, a powerful talk on which he talked about the role of the architects in the process, as an editing/team approach rather than authorship. We interviewed Joshua back in 2008, where we first heard about his position regarding the separation of conception and execution on architecture, as architects became the “artists” leaving the execution to engineers, which can be seen on the first minutes of his talk at TEDx Dallas posted above, before explaining how the Wyly Theatre re interpreted the typical theatre programatic configuration.
I like the story about his silver hat, for decorative purposes only… same as architects (here’s a photo of us while visiting his office, reflected on the mentioned hat).
After our interview, we talked a lot about the role of the architect on the production of buildings, the importance of BIM and more… sadly we didn´t record that but I hope we can have a chance to talk to him again soon, and bring you more on that.
This morning I was watching MTV and there was a video for Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”. Even if you like or don´t her music, the aesthetic/art direction of the video was incredible. After that I went went to my computer to Google more info about the video, and found a tweet by @tomatoejane, one of our readers, pointing to an article on Curbed NY: Frank Gehry Designs Hat For Lady Gaga.
The result? You can see it on the above photo. Personally, I didn´t like it. Before seeing the photos of the hat I thought Gehry would come up with something totally different…
What do you think?
Yesterday, through our Facebook Fan Page we launched a new contest for you to participate. We are looking for the best render that you can send us. Only one per person/office is allowed. The best ones will be featured next week on ArchDaily.com.
Also, there will be a special winners category for the renders that get more “likes”. To vote, just go to our Facebook Fan Page, look for your favorite ones and “like” them. To submit yours, “upload your photo” through the Fan Page, and tell us which software you used to make it.
We have received many great ones, so don’t miss this great chance to show us your work! The deadline is next Monday at noon. Become ArchDaily’s fan right here and start participating right now!
A great part of our day is spent browsing architects websites looking for new works to share with our readers, and we have noticed that some are very good, while others were such a pain to navigate… So we decided to go and ask our community about this.
Last week, we asked our Facebook Fans for the best architecture office website they knew. We checked them out and decided the top 10, with no particular order. We looked for the best ones in terms of looks, navigation (is is easy to navigate? Is it fast? Can you go back without reloading the menu? Can you link directly to a specific project?), presentation quality, does it look up to date?, projects (can you sort them by location? by year?).
Also, you will notice that no flash website made the list. That’s because we think flash websites have some dificulties. For example, you can’t link a specific project and Google can´t index most of the contents. So we decided to create a ‘honorable mention’ list with all the flash websites we thought deserve it.
Via mirage.studio.7 we ran into this list of fictional architects in movies. There are some classic ones, like Henry Fonda. Some new ones like Adam Sandler. And there’s even an actual architect who made it to The Simpsons.
Which one do you like the most? The least? Is there anyone missing in this list? Some actor/actress you would really like as an architect in a movie? Tell us what you think. Full list after the break.
A week ago, through our Facebook Fan Page we asked which emergent local architect would you recommend us. We received 60 comments in which architects all over the world recommended great offices, many of who we had never heard before.
We decided to put together some of them so you can check them out as well. And in case you are still not a fan, go to our Facebook Fan Page and become one today! We have many more surprises coming. The full list after the break. (more…)
Each year, Wallpaper* Magazine bring us a list of 30 emerging practices around the world. This year, they decided to ask each of the 30 practices to create their ideal model home.
Architectural Record recently published their Top 250 architecture firms. Companies are ranked according to revenue for architectural services performed in 2008 in $ millions.
Firms engaged in the business of architectural design that responded to Engineering News-Record’s annual Top 500 Design Firms survey submitted these revenue figures. Number 1 was for AECOM Technology Corporation (in the picture), an engineer-architect firm from Los Angeles, California.
The firms classify themselves by:
You can see the top 25, after the break. (more…)
CNN’s Talk Asia just featured an interesting interview with Rem Koolhaas. At the beginning of the video we see the Prada Transformer in action.
Highlights of this interview are Dubai, which lead to Koolhaas talking about the public sector and the stimulus, and his views on the Generic City.
When talking about influence (Rem was on the 100 most influential people list by Time magazine in 2008) and “star architects”, Koolhaas sentences the term to death:
“I think it’s a name that is actually degrading to the vast majority of people it is applied to. And it really is a kind of political term that for certain clients is important because they use star architects. My hope is that through the current complexity that title will exit discretely and disappear”.
Architectural photographer Pasi Aalto sent us a good photo report on the Crossing Now “Dialogues for Emergency” Exhibition. This exhibition was organized after the Sichuan earthquake (May 12, 2008), which devastated the Chinese nation, with over 69,000 lives lost and over 15 million people affected, needing temporary homes. Crossin Now looks to help these people through architecture, on an exhibition that will bring talented architects from around the world to discuss the issues of environment and emergency architecture from a global perspective.
This exhibition featured works by architects such as: Sou Fujimoto, Rintala Eggertsson, Teddy Cruz, OBRA, PRODUCTORA, Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter, CAFA, Song Xiewei+Han Tao+Xi Xiaojing, Smiljan Radic + Gonzalo Puga, A4设计组, CAL-Earth, ECAL_Martino d‘Esposito, EH+GS, IK studio, Jia Kun Architecture, KUB and ML. + SJU & leondelima
Architect Magazine listed the Top 100 U.S. firms based not just on their size, but on three elemental and critical aspects of each one: profitability (revenue per employee, based on 2008 gross revenue), sustainability (with variables such as percentage of LEED projects in 2008 and green policies) and design quality (based on awards on 2008).
Take a look at the complete ranking after the break.
Vice Magazine went to Brazil to interview the legendary architecture master Oscar Niemeyer. A pioneer in reinforced concrete, played a crucial role in the modern movement, not only because of formal or material explorations, but also for designing the new capital for Brazil: Brasilia. The whole city was built in only 4 years, and was a sandbox to put in practice the ideals of the modern movement.
Oscar Niemeyer is now 101 years old, and he keeps working every day at his office in Rio de Janeiro, with on going projects in Brazil and Spain. I think that his secret is how passionate he is about architecture and women, and he has devoted his life to both.
mountains/waves/women = curves
It is not the right angle that attracts me. nor the straight line, tough, inflexible, created by man. what attracts me is the free, sensual curve. the curve I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the waves of the sea, in the clouds of the sky, in the body of the favourite woman. Of curves is made all the universe.
You can read a short version of the intervier at Vice Magazine.
Last year there was an interesting exhibition on the ORDOS villas by 13 NY Architects, 13:100. During that time the Architectural League conducted short interviews with some architects asking them some interesting things about the ORDOS 100 project.
- What was your initial reaction to the invitation? Did you ever consider not accepting the commission?
- How aware were you of Ai Weiwei’s work when you accepted the commission? To what extent do you think we need to see the Ordos 100 project in the context of his work thus far?
- Describe how you dealt with designing a private residence for an abstract client.
- To what extent were you designing with Chinese construction technique and standards in mind? How is this reflected in your design?
- Describe what is architecturally at stake in your project. What were you after architecturally?
- How do you feel about your participation in the project now that the design phase is over?
- What do you think of the site plan and the cumulative effect of the one hundred architectural interventions?
- Can you imagine an equivalent development being built on the United States?
- Describe how you think the sheer size of Ordos impacts the role and position of the architect.
- Describe your dream commission.
See the answers by Pablo Castro from OBRA Architects. You can also see their villa on our following post.