Insects and Humans Harmonize in a Symphony of Architectural Sound in this Roman Installation

Courtesy of OFL Architecture

Within the walls of OFL Architecture‘s open-air wooden pavilion, the term “built environment” truly earns its keep. In Wunderbugs, humans become spectators of the natural world as insects toil away in six spherical ecosystems, and sensors weave movements into a web of data. Upon entering the pavilion, visitors are transformed into components of an interactive soundtrack harvested from the sensors and broadcast in the space, uniting the insect and human experience. The project was conceived for the second annual Maker Faire Europe in Rome, where it was installed earlier this month.

Enter the interactive acoustic experience of Wonderbugs after the break.

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7N Architects Reveal Glasgow Masterplan

Courtesy of 7N Architects

Edinburgh-based 7N Architects has revealed their for Shawfield in Glasgow, a development containing 1.2 million square feet of “flexible business space” next to the River Clyde. Produced for the Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company, the scheme aims to capitalize on the growth and investment that was brought to by this summer’s Commonwealth Games by providing “a nationally significant business district which will play a strong role in contributing to growth in Scotland‘s economy.”

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OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition 2015

River Spree in Berlin. Image © Flickr CC User caribb

The OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition is an international ideas competition, aimed at students and emerging practitioners, which is organized every four years by the Architecture Commission of  (International Organization of Scenographers, Technicians and Theatre Architects). The theme of the 2015 competition will be the design of a floating theatre to be moored at a particular location on the river Spree in Berlin, Germany, but capable of being moved to other sites on the river.

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Competition Entry: Fundamental Envisions “House of Hungarian Music” for Budapest

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Fundamental has shared with us their vision for the House of Hungarian Music, as part of the Liget Budapest Competition. Inspired by the Neo-Baroque and Neo-Gothic spires of the park’s monuments which surrounding it, the modest house features a folded, white canopy rooftop which illuminates its surroundings and provides natural light deep into its interiors.

More on Fundamental’s proposal, after the break.

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The Windows of New York and São Paulo

-based graphic designer José Guizar’s captures the city’s eclectic array of windows through his weekly illustrations. Image Courtesy of José Guizar

A little over a year ago, New York City-based graphic designer José Guizar started illustrating an obsession of his that had quickly grown since moving into the city: New York’s varied and eclectic windows. “A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city,” Guizar writes on his website. “This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up.”

Others have since been inspired by Guizar’s colorful and captivating homage to the windows of NYC, and earlier this year São Paulo-based Nara Rosetto began her own weekly illustrations of windows in South America’s largest city.

Ranging from Victorian and porthole windows to windows with security bars, planting boxes and the occasional cat, the windows are as varied as the and buildings they occupy.

Read on after the break for a journey through the windows of New York and São Paulo.

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Emerging Voices: Joyce Hwang of Ants of the Prairie

Joyce Hwang founded Buffalo-based firm Ants of the Prairie in 2004 as an architecture and research practice “dedicated to developing creative approaches in confronting the pleasures and horrors of our contemporary ecologies,” according to the Architectural League. In her as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, Hwang explains her fascination with the conflicted perceptions of urban wildlife, and discusses a series of projects that aim to incorporate diverse animal habitats into the built environment.

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US Department of Agriculture Launches $2 Million Tall Wood Building Prize Competition

Limnologen in Växjö, Sweden. Image Courtesy of Midroc Property Development

Among the changes in material technology that are constantly altering the architectural landscape, one of the most popular – and most dramatic – is the idea of the skyscraper. And with vocal advocates like Benton Johnson of SOM and Michael Green leading the discussion with projects like the Timber Tower Research Project, the wooden highrise is on the verge of becoming a mainstream approach.

To further the conversation in the USA, the US Department of Agriculture, working in partnership with Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), has recently launched the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, an ideas competition with a $2 million prize. To find out more about tall wood buildings, we caught up with Oscar Faoro, Project Manager of the competition. Read on after the Break for our interview and more details on how to enter.

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Scandinavian Design Group and Ctrl+N Create an Undulating Interactive Installation for Lundin Norway

Waves of golden light appear to shimmer and float from the ceiling in “Breaking the Surface” a new interactive from Scandinavian Design Groupctrl+n, Abida, Pivot Product Design and Intek. The kinetic sculpture is composed of an array of acrylic plastic tubes extending through the floor of a two-story mechanized matrix, gracefully moving above and below the surface to evoke abstract images of the undersea geography. Read more about the interactive installation after the break.

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AM3′s Prize-Winning Boarding School to Open Onto Mount Stelvio in Malles

© UpLab; Courtesy of

AM3 Architetti Associati has been awarded first prize in a competition to design a new boarding school in Malles (Bozen, ). The proposed building takes full advantage of the landscape, opening onto views towards Mount Stelvio and the Mustair Valley. Drawing inspiration from this unique context, AM3 crafts a design that integrates opportunities for active participation between building and land, and student with nature.

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playze and Schmidhuber Selected to Design Ningbo’s Urban Planning Museum

© playze and Schmidhuber

playze and Schmidhuber have been selected as winners of an invited competition to design the Urban Planning Exhibition Center in , . Inspired by the ancient artform of the Chinese ribbon dance, the exhibition center aims to “blur the lines” between citizens and decision makers in a way that grants the public “rare access into the inner-workings of the city” in an effort to strengthen the relationship between local government and community.

The idea of the Chinese “Urban Planning Museums” is the nation’s response to the rapid urban growth occurring in many of its major cities. The museums are intended to communicate city planning and development issues to the public. You can learn more about playze and Schmidhuber’s design, after the break.

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Icsid Launches Bid for 2018 World Design Capital

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The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) has announced the launch of the World Design Capital® (WDC) application cycle for the 2018 designation, which will mark the sixth cycle for this global initiative. Icsid invites design effective from around the globe to submit bids that showcase the impact of design in their city and demonstrate examples of design as a development tool.

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Orizzontale Illuminates Outdoor Theater with Recycled Keg Wall at MAXXI

© Musacchio Ianniello, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI

Orizzontale, winners of the 2014 Young Architects Program (YAP), have transformed the MAXXI’s piazza Boetti with an “8 1/2” meter-tall mobile theater made of and recycled beer kegs. Built in just four weeks, the installation created an “urban room” for the museum’s Play with YAP events program that provided an inhabitable podium illuminated by a translucent wall of lighted plastic beer kegs for a series of concerts and events.

More about Orizzontale’s design, after the break. 

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Spotlight: Alejandro Zaera-Polo

© Princeton University, Office of Communications, John Jameson (2012)

Alejandro Zaera-Polo is an internationally recognized architect and scholar and founder of London, Zurich and Princeton based firm Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Maider Llaguno Architecture (). First rising to prominence in the 1980s with his writings for publications such as El Croquis, Zaera-Polo has had a prolific career in both the academic and professional realms of architecture.

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Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial Clears Final Design Hurdle

Courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) has approved Frank Gehry‘s revised design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC, meaning that after a fifteen-year process, all the involved parties have finally agreed on a design. Gehry’s most recent design – a slightly scaled-down version of the one he produced in 2011, with the two smaller woven steel tapestries removed to open up the view to the Capitol – was approved by the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC) earlier this month, allowing the CFA to give their final verdict on the new design.

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Autodesk Launches AutoCAD 2015 For Mac

‘Dynamic Blocks’ in action. Image Courtesy of

This week Autodesk launched the latest (2015) release of AutoCAD for Mac, featuring a number of enhancements that seek to bring new improvements to the drafting and design package without sacrificing important functionality, key to people’s everyday design workflows. According to Amy Bunszel, VP of AutoCAD, ”this release has some rich new features but, at its core, is about eliminating dead ends that prevent people from being as effective as they can be when working together on design projects.” For example, users can also share their work with colleagues that are using Windows versions of the for uninterrupted collaboration.

See the new features in full after the break…

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Haworth Tompkins’ Everyman Theatre Wins the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize

2014 winner: The Everyman Theatre / Haworth Tompkins. Image © Philip Vile

Haworth Tompkins’ Everyman Theatre has won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2014, beating competition from Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Mecanoo, O’Donnell + Tuomey and Feilden Clegg Bradley. The result was announced last night by RIBA President Stephen Hodder at an event held at the RIBA’s Headquarter’s in London, with Hodder saying that “Haworth Tompkins have struck the perfect balance between continuity and change” and calling the scheme “a ground-breaking example of how to build a daring, bold and highly sustainable large public building in a historic city centre.”

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CEMEX Announces International Finalists for XXIII Building Awards

CEMEX has unveiled the international finalists for the XXIII Building Awards, which aim to recognize the best architecture and construction internationally. Spanning across three categories, the awards recognize housing, institutional/industrial and large-scale projects that were built during 2013 and stand out for their constructive solutions, aesthetics and innovative techniques.

Both the international and national winners will be announced on November 5. Read on after the break for the international finalists and check out our coverage on the Mexican finalists for the XXIII Building Awards here

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Luftwerk to Illuminate Mies’ Farnsworth House this Weekend

© Kate Joyce, Courtesy of

Starting tomorrow (October 17), Chicago-based artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of Luftwerk will be transforming Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House into a “canvas of light and sound” with the digital , INsite. “An exploration of the philosophy of Mies through light,” INsite will offer an entirely new nighttime experience at the Plano residence that highlights the architecture’s famed characteristics with an interactive light show pulsating to the original “sonic exploration” of Owen Clay Condon.

A video preview of the installation, after the break.

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