Eight Ideas for the Future of Cities

Courtesy of TED

In 2012, the was awarded to an idea: The City2.0, a place to celebrate actions taken by citizens around the world to make their more livable, beautiful and sustainable. Now, on the newly relaunched TED City2.org website, you can find inspiring and informative talks on topics like housing, education and food, and how they relate to city life. Preview a sampling of these city centric talks, featuring eight ideas for the future of cities, here.

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Architecture for the Dead

Funeral Parlor / Muñoz Miranda Architects © Javier Callejas Sevilla

There are many moments in life in which architecture helps people confront death. In honor of All Hallows’ Day, we present to you the top 10 images from our “Architecture for the DeadPinterest board for viewing. Pay your respects, after the break.

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Six Keys to Designing Architecture that Terrorizes

The earliest known photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin House, taken during construction in the winter of 1911. Image © Wisconsin Historical Society via Wikipedia

Scaring people is an art, a lucrative art if done right; the haunted house industry makes $300 million a year in the US. recently interviewed the designers behind some of the nation’s most notorious haunted houses to learn just how to design architecture that truly terrorizes. A hint: Set the stage; reclaim an existing, preferably already “haunted”, historic building, add fog, and always “scare people forward.” With this in mind, what famous building would you choose to transform into a terrifying haunted house? Let us know in the comment section below and read all of FastCo’s design tips, here.

Foster + Partners Reveals Cardiff Central Square Masterplan

Millennium Walkway. Image Courtesy of City Council

The City of Cardiff has unveiled plans by Foster + Partners to redesign the city’s Central Square, close to the Millennium Stadium, adding over a million square feet of office, retail and residential buildings organized around a new civic square. Explaining that it is “the key gateway to Cardiff” for many visitors, City Council leader Phil Bale said that Central Square’s ”role in providing a positive image for Cardiff and cannot be underestimated,” adding that Foster + Partners’ design is “reflective of the City’s ambition to be amongst the most ‘liveable’ cities in the world.”

More on the plan after the break

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Pixelmator for iPad: Sophisticated Photo Editing On The Go

Pixelmator, an app which has been familiar to Mac users since 2011, have released a version of their powerful photo editing software for . Although the App Store is awash with photo editing and manipulation packages, Pixelmator’s clean interface and collection of the most used features users require, makes it a good substitute for desktop based software packages when on the move. Alongside allowing image enhancement, a “painting engine, precise colour correction, and live histograms” (allowing you to gauge real-time colour values as you edit), the app also takes step into providing “layers, non-destructive layer styles and a collection of professional-grade selection tools.”

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Spotlight: Zaha Hadid

© Simone Cecchetti

Since winning the Pritzker Prize in 2004, the first woman and Muslim to do so, Hadid’s career has been on an exponential trajectory. Before the prize, Hadid was better known for her extraordinary sketch-paintings of unbuilt works; particularly, her competition-winning entries for “The Peak” in 1982 and the Bay Opera House in 1994. Zaha’s “flying” forms were so revolutionary, that some questioned if they could even be made reality – hence why the Opera House was ultimately rejected, for supposed ”uncertainties.” Indeed, before 1994, the only built project she could boast was the complex, deconstructivist Vitra Fire Station.

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ArchDaily Celebrates World Cities Day: 23 Unmissable Articles on Cities and Urbanism

Last year the UN General Assembly issued a resolution to “designate 31 October, beginning in 2014, as World Cities Day.” A legacy of the Expo 2010 Shanghai, the first World Cities day is being hosted today in Shanghai, with the aim of focusing on global urbanization and encouraging cooperation among countries to solve and promote sustainable urban development worldwide.

“In a world where already over half the population lives in urban areas, the human future is largely an urban future, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on the importance of World Cities Day. “We must get urbanization right, which means reducing greenhouse emissions, strengthening resilience, ensuring basic services such as water and sanitation and designing safe public streets and spaces for all to share.  Liveable cities are crucial not only for city-dwellers but also for providing solutions to some of the key aspects of sustainable development.”

To celebrate World Cities day, we’ve rounded up 23 articles that you can’t miss on critical issues relating to our cities, ranging from to addressing equality and creative solutions for integrating cycling into our cities.

Think we’ve missed something? Let us know in the comments below.

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Santiago Calatrava Breaks Ground on Church at 9/11 Memorial Site

©

Construction has begun on Santiago Calatrava’s Saint Nicholas National Shrine on the World Trade Center site in New York. A “tiny jewel” for lower Manhattan, as referred by Calatrava, the white Vermont marble shrine will be based around a translucent central Cupola that illuminates from within. 

More images and an updated construction image of Calatrava’s neighboring transportation hub, after the break.

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World’s Tallest Twin Towers Planned for Dubai

© Emaar Properties and Holding; Courtesy of Gizmodo

Developers Emaar Properties and Dubai Holdings have unveiled a new mega development planned for Dubai, dubbed Dubai Creek Harbour. Though no official architects have been named, the 6 million-square-meter is designed to be three times larger than downtown Dubai and will include the world’s tallest twin towers.

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Michael Graves School of Architecture to Open in 2015

Graves-designed University building planned for Wenzhou. Image ©

Kean University has announced plans to open a new architecture school based on the design philosophy of Michael Graves. Following the footsteps of a man who laments the “loss of drawing,” the new Michael Graves School of Architecture will prioritize hand drawings as a key to design process.

“In our technologically savvy world, to this day, Michael Graves’ philosophy is to draw by hand first so that the students see, ‘feel’ and experience the new building spatially. Then, only after the drawing is complete will the students transfer the design to a computer so that the computer becomes an execution tool, not an ideation tool,” describes acting dean and former student of Graves, David Mohney.

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Fly Through Milan’s 2015 Expo Site in Progress With the Help of a Drone

YouTube Preview Image

Construction is entering into the final stages for Expo Milan 2015, with just over six months left in the five-year build. A quick fly through shows the centrepiece Italian Pavilion nearing structural completion, with national and corporate pavilions making steady progress. The video is the fifth in a series of drone-led tours of the site, created in partnership between Expo Milan and Telecom Italia.

Find out more and watch the remaining four videos after the break 

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Our Latest Tool for Inspiration: The Materials Newsletter

“I work a little bit like a sculptor. When I start, my first idea for a building is with the material. I believe architecture is about that. It’s not about paper, it’s not about forms. It’s about space and material.”  - Peter Zumthor

Over the past several years, ArchDaily has become the main source of inspiration, knowledge, and tools for architects across the US, and it’s precisely for this reason that we are driven to improve our applications and develop new initiatives day after day.

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Preston Bus Station to Become a Youth Centre Under New Proposal

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A proposal to ensure the future of Preston Bus Station could see part of the structure converted into a youth centre, as part of a £23 million renovation. The proposal by the building’s owners, Lancashire County Council, involves halving the number of bus bays used by the structure to 40, freeing up the western end of the building for other uses, including a sports hall, climbing wall, art centre and outdoor sports pitches.

In addition to the youth centre, the £23 million budget covers renovation to the existing structure and improvements to the surrounding highway. Funding for the proposal will come partly from the council and partly from Preston Youth Zone.

More on the proposal after the break

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BIG and Morphosis Among Six Shortlisted for Des Moines’ Kum & Go Headquarters

Downtown Des Moines. Image © Flickr CC User Jason Mrachina

Kum & Go has enlisted six internationally renowned practices to compete for design of its new $92 million headquarters planned for Des Moines, : Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Morphosis, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Safdie Architects, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). The 24-hour convenience store chain plans to select an architect by mid-November. The 120,000-square-foot corporate office will be built on the north side of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, between 14th and 15th streets.

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Three Finalists to Develop Strategies for Vacant Land Reuse in New Orleans

NOLEX. Image Courtesy of VAI

Three finalists have been selected to move forward in the Van Alen Institute (VAI) and Redevelopment Authority’s (NORA) “Future Ground” open ideas competition. Each will be provided with a $15,000 stipend to investigate and develop long-term design and policy strategies for vacant land reuse in New Orleans.

“Too often, vacant land has been seen only as a remnant of or absence within the 20th century city,” described the VAI. “Today, with a critical mass of designers, policymakers, scholars, artists, activists, and residents creating pilot projects, thoughtful studies, and new kinds of urbanism on abandoned properties, it is possible to imagine this land as an integral part of the future city.”

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Benedetta Tagliabue Appointed as Newest Pritzker Prize Jury Member

Benedetta Tagliabue. Image © Vicens Gimenez

Barcelona architect Benedetta Tagliabue has been appointed as the newest and ninth member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, joining Martha Thorne (executive director), Peter Palumbo (chair), Alejandro Aravena, Stephen Breyer, Yung Ho Chang, Kristin Feireiss, Glenn Murcutt, Juhani Pallasmaa and Ratan N. Tata.

As Tom Pritzker, president of the Hyatt Foundation described, Tagliabue was chosen for her “deep and international knowledge of the best in architecture today” which will bring “new perspectives” to the jury. 

“The has become the award that points out the most important directions in architecture,” stated Tagliabue. “For more than 35 years, quality in architecture at all scales and regardless of firm size has been the outstanding value of the prize. I feel incredibly honored to be part of the jury and I am looking forward to sharing ideas and beautiful moments with my colleagues.” 

More on Tagliabue’s selection, after the break. 

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Ohio State Researcher Team Invents Combined Solar Cell and Battery

Nanometer-sized rods of titanium dioxide (larger image) cover the surface of a piece of titanium gauze (inset). The holes in the gauze are approximately 200 micrometers across, allowing air to enter the battery while the rods gather light. Image Courtesy of Yiying Wu, The Ohio State University

A new technology developed by researchers at Ohio State University has the potential to increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of generating and storing the sun’s energy. Led by professor of chemistry and biochemistry Yiying Wu, the team has created a combined solar cell and lithium storage battery with an efficiency of electron transfer between the two components of almost 100%, in a design which they believe will reduce costs by up to 25%.

“The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy,” Wu said. “We’ve integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost.”

Read on after the break for more on the news

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Built Reminders of a Former Time: Europe’s Dissolved Border Crossings Photographed

Border: Austria / Czech Republic. Image © Ignacio Evangelista

Citizens of central , perhaps uniquely in the world, are used to a life of no and free movement between nations. Following two devastating wars fought primarily on European soil, the formation of the early European Union in the 1950s paved the way for a more liberal, less isolated continent. It was not until the signing of the Schengen Treaty in 1985 (which came into effect in 1995) that the majority of borders were truly dissolved and travelling between nations, cultures, and communities became as simple as walking down the road.

Ignacio Evangelista’s series of photographs entitled After Schengen examine the remnants of the old, abandoned crossing points that still exist across the Union. No longer necessary to maintain a country’s independent sovereignty, and almost twenty years since the revolutionary pact was ratified, these palimpsests of border control remain as striking today as when they when delineated the closed boundaries between nations.

See a selection of the collection after the break…

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