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 Ningbo, . 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 . 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 timber and recycled beer kegs. Built in just four weeks, the 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 Autodesk

This week Autodesk launched the latest (2015) release of  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 Stirling Prize 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 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 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 installation, 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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8,000 Illuminated Balloons to Mark 9-Mile Stretch of Berlin Wall

Lichtgrenze (rendering) via the Chicago Tribune

25 years ago on November 9, East German protesters torn down the Berlin Wall. To commemorate this moment, the German capital plans to line the wall’s original 9-mile stretch with 8,000 illuminated, white balloons. The , named lichtgrenze or “light frontier,” will be open November 7. On the 9th, the balloons will be simultaneously released into the air to music provided by the Staatskapelle orchestra.

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Mapdwell and Jonas Dahlberg’s “Memory Wound” Ranked Top 10 Design Innovations of the Year

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has released what they consider to be the 10 best designs of the year. Selected from over 1500 international submissions and 53 finalists, the MIT-born Solar System platform Mapdwell and Jonas Dahlberg’s “Memory Wound” were among the winners to receive the 2014 “Innovation by Design Award.”

More about Mapdwell and Memory Wound, after the break.

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OMA + OLIN Selected to Design D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park

© OMA & Luxigon

The competition jury for Washington D.C.‘s 11th Street Bridge Park has unanimously selected OMA + OLIN‘s design to turn the ageing freeway structure over the Anacostia River into an elevated park and new civic space for the city. With their dynamic intersecting structure, OMA + saw off competition from three other teams composed of: Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), NEXT Architects and Magnusson Klemencic AssociatesStoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners.

Read on after the break for more on the design and a complete set of images.

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5-Axis Milling: The Next Level In Accessible, Versatile Digital Fabrication

The 5AXISMAKER is a desktop 5-axis multi-fabrication machine that hopes to expand the possibilities of digital fabrication by making it cheap and more versatile. Should the project receive backing on Kickstarter before the 27th October 2014, the possibility of 5-axis milling will become an affordable reality for manufacturing complex design prototypes. The product in development “provides a large cutting volume for it’s size, therefore producing “generously sized objects.” Developed by graduates of London’s Architectural Association, they hope to “shake the manufacturing world with new ways of fabricating using industrial robots right at your desk.”

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CEMEX Unveils National Finalists for the XXIII Building Awards

The CEMEX Building Awards recognize the best architecture and construction in Mexico, ranging from single-family homes to large-scale projects. For the XXIII CEMEX will recognize projects that were built during 2013 that stand out for their constructive solutions, aesthetics and innovative techniques. 

CEMEX has already unveiled the national finalists for the 13 categories, and the winners will be announced on November 5. 

Read on after the break to see the finalists. 

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#FairyTales2015: Blank Space Launches Architecture Storytelling Competition

© 2015

After the record breaking success of Fairy Tales 2014, with over 300 entries from 50 different countries, is excited to announce that the second edition of the competition is now open for registration. The Fairy Tales competition invites architects, designers, writers, artists, engineers, illustrators, students and creatives to submit their own unique architectural fairy tales. The scale, location, and program of the submission is up to each entrant. A successful entry crafts a text narrative, along with 5 images, in the most spectacular way possible.

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MVRDV Selected to Design “Hafenspitze” Office Towers in Mainz

© MVRDV

MVRDV, together with Munich-based morePlatz, have been selected among seven teams in an international competition to design two office buildings in , Germany. The five- and eleven-story “Hafenspitze” structures are expected to spearhead the transformation of the former Zollhafen industrial harbor, which plans to become a new mixed-use city quarter over the coming decades.

More about the towers’ design, after the break.

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Henning Larsen Wins Competition for Future Vinge Train Station in Denmark

Courtesy of

Henning Larsen Architects, in collaboration with an international team consisting of Tredje Natur, MOE and Railway Procurement Agency, has won Frederikssund municipality’s architecture competition to design a regional train station and new quarter in the future town of Vinge. While primarily serving to connect Vinge to the regional public transit system, the undulating, circular urban hub is designed to prevent the railway from dividing the town in two halves.

“The proposal best connects the train station, nature and town structure as one united whole,” lauded the selection committee regarding Henning Larsen’s winning scheme.

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Call for Ideas: Rome Community Ring

In partnership with La Sapienza University, Progetto Forti and Rome municipality, Young Architects (YAC) is launching a competition to redesign one of the treasures of Rome: Forte Portuense.

How can former military architecture be transformed into a leisure time and cultural focal point? The aim is to look for ideas worth triggering urban redevelopment, social cooperation and tourism.

This architecture will become part of a network of leisure time facilities a hair’s breadth away from the very core of Rome.

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