Design Students Create a Tool to Map Slums

Shop in Heliopolis © Frank van Leersum via Flickr

Meagan Durlak and James Frankis, both students studying Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons New School for Design, have developed a mobile mapping tool to unveil the true dynamics of informal slum communities, as revealed by Metropolis Magazine.

The system, called Mark, is being tested in the Heliopolis favela of Sao Paulo, Brazil, after which the duo hope it will be “scalable and adaptable” enough to be applied to other informal settlements all over the world. The SMS-based tool is designed not only to provide information about the settlements to external organizations, but also to be a sharing platform for the residents who become cartographers of their own neighborhood.

Read about the motivation behind the Mark project after the break


The Scott Brown Petition & Women’s Role in Architecture

via Plataforma Arquitectura

The petition demanding that architect Denise Scott Brown be retroactively acknowledged as a joint recipient of the 1991 Pritzker Prize has surpassed 12,000 signatures. Notable supporters include past recipients Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and Scott Brown’s own husband and partner of 40 years, Robert Venturi. The success of this campaign, fueled by two young women of the Harvard GSD‘s Women In Design club, is larger than the one female architect it aims to honor – it is a campaign to rethink the difficult and often unjust position of the woman in architecture.

Read more after the break.


Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Announces 2013 National Design Awards Winners

Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre / Studio Gang Architects © Greg Murphy

Now in its 14th year, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards is continuing its legacy to recognize outstanding achievement across a variety of disciplines in the design community.  The awards were established to “promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world”.  This year the recipients will be honored at a gala in October during National Design Week in City.  The goal of recognizing this achievements is to reinforce the idea that “everything around us is designed” and the potential for innovation and creation is present across all types of development. The winners of this year’s design awards were selected based on excellence, innovation and public impact.

Join us after the break for a look at the 2013 Winners. (more…)

Two Islands Wins Inaugural Flat Lot Competition in Flint

Courtesy of Public Art Project

Update: Our friends at Two Islands have launched a Kickstarter campaing so you could also be part of the project. By pledging £5, you can have your own photo used in the ceiling of Mark’s House (or £20 for a bigger one). You can send a photo, a sign, a collage or even a QR code, so get creative! Click here for all the information.

Occupying no more than eight parking spaces on Flint, ’s central downtown parking lot, this temporary summer pavilion designed as an abstract, reflective and floating representation of a Michigander, Tudor-style home has been chosen as the winning scheme in the inaugural Flat Lot competition presented by Flint Public Art Project and the Flint Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. 

More information on the winning scheme after the break…


MoMA Selects Diller Scofidio + Renfro as Architect of the Folk Art Museum

© Michael Moran

The Museum of Modern Art has commissioned  (DS+R) to design its controversial expansion that will overtake the former American Folk Art Museum in New York. This news comes after an intense backlash from prominent architects, preservationists and critics worldwide pressured MoMA to reconsider its decision to raze the iconic, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien-design museum in order to make way for its new expansion.

In response, DS+R has requested that MoMA gives them the “time and latitude to carefully consider the entirety of the , including the former American Folk Art Museum building, in devising an architectural solution to the inherent challenges of the project,” as stated by Glenn D. Lowry, MoMA’s director, in a memo sent on Thursday to his trustees and staff. He added, “We readily agreed to consider a range of options, and look forward to seeing their results.”

More on the DS+R’s commission and the fate of the Folk Museum after the break…


Council Approves Cornell’s Net-Zero Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island

© Kilograph

City Council has approved Cornell’s two-million-square-foot tech campus planned to break ground in 2014 on New York’s . Masterplanned by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), the ambitious carbon positive campus will offer housing for 2,000 full-time graduate students, world-class education facilities, a hotel, a corporate co-location building, and more than an acre of public open space. Construction will commence with the first, state-of-the-art academic building that will be designed by Thom Mayne, founder of Morphosis, who will incorporate the latest environmental advances, such as geothermal and solar power, to achieve net-zero energy for the landmark structure.


Landmark Preservation Versus Ownership

Vanna Venturi House / Robert Venturi; © Maria Buszek

After years of disconcerting reports that the historic David and Gladys Wright House by Frank Lloyd Wright was under threat of demolition by developers, we announced that a generous benefactor saved it from its fate by providing funds to buy back the property. It seems that this particular story is not unique.  An article on ArchRecord by Frank A. Bernstein lists several other treasures that may soon fall under the same threat as they hit the real estate market.

Find out more after the break.


Libeskind Selected to Design Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial

via The Columbus Dispatch

Daniel Libeskind has been selected among two other renowned artists to design the  Statehouse Holocaust Memorial in Columbus. The 18-foot tall memorial brushed stainless-steel memorial will be punctuated by the six-pointed Star of David and accompanied by a 40-foot walkway with words etched in limestone.


Happy 63rd Birthday Pierre de Meuron

VitraHaus. Photography by Iwan Baan © Vitra

Pierre de Meuron, founding partner of internationally-renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron was born on this day in 1950. Throughout the course of his career, he and Jacques Herzog have developed a reputation (in the words of ArchDaily founder David Basulto for being “one of the few practices pushing new forms on architecture. They always start with something vernacular, extracting its inner essence and materializing it into something new that you will immediately understand”.

Most descriptions of the work of Herzog & de Meuron sound almost paradoxical: in one paragraph they will praise the firm’s dedication to tradition and vernacular forms, and in the next they will describe their thoroughly modern innovation. However, in the hands of Herzog & de Meuron this is no paradox, as they combine tradition and innovation in a way that the two elements actually enhance each other.

Pierre de Meuron and Jacques Herzog were awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2001, and since have only gotten better, producing some of their most recognizable works in the past 12 years: after their 2000 design of London’s Tate Modern, they have added its recent extensions; their VitraHaus is among best known components of the outstanding Vitra Campus; their Bird’s Nest Stadium was the outstanding element of the 2008 Beijing Olympics; and they offered one of the most memorable incarnations of the Serpentine Pavilion last year.

On the occasion of Pierre de Meuron’s 63rd birthday, we invite you to look over just part of his firm’s astounding body of work, after the break:


Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture Unveils Proposal for Mumbai’s Tallest Tower


Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture has unveiled a competition-winning prototype in which they hope will become Mumbai’s tallest skyscraper. Standing 400-meters about the crowded city streets, the 116-story Imperial Tower’s curvilinear form is aerodynamically shaped to “confuse the wind.” Its 132 “spacious and luxurious” residential units are punctuated by north- and south-facing sky gardens, which break up wind currents around the tower and provide unprecedented access to natural light and views of the Arabian sea.


A Crash Course on Modern Architecture (Part 1)

The Barcelona pavilion, now an architectural icon but unnoticed in the beginning. Image © Flickr User CC Wotjek Gurak

Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup is associate Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. This article originally appeared on GRASP.

This is where one has to quote William Gibson:”The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

Within architecture (and design and planning), there are always several simultaneous realities. One very pragmatic reason is that architecture is a very slow form of communication: it may take several decades from the moment a concept arises somewhere to the point where it becomes mainstream knowledge within the industry, and then even more time before it reaches the general public.

Take the “Modern Movement” in architecture. Basically, its theories and formal language were fully developed from 1919 through 1924. And when we read the history books, we get this distorted version that the great modernist pioneers were only stopped by the evil dictatorships in the Soviet Union and Germany. This is as far from the reality of the era as it can possibly be.

Keep reading Ahnfeldt-Mollerup’s crash course to architecture, after the break…


Peter Zumthor Proposes $650 Million Overhaul for LACMA

© Flickr user Diana Lee Photography

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will soon be rolling out the red carpet to welcome Swiss legend to the Golden State. The prized architect’s debut will mark the opening of “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA,” which will unveil the ambitious, $650 million plan to transform the LACMA’s “Byzantine maze of buildings and hallways” into an experience-based “village” of curvaceous modern glass structures that will produce more energy than it uses.

“The idea is to make it permeable by people,” LACMA CEO and director Michael Govan says, who has been working with Zumthor for over four years on the proposal.


Archipendium 2014 Call for Submissions ends May 31

There’s only a few weeks left for you to be part of Archipendium 2014, Powered by ArchDaily.  2014 showcases great examples of from all around the world. 365 different architectural studios have been featured over the past few years, including; BIGChaix & MorelCOOP HIMMELB(L)AUDavid ChipperfieldDelugan MeisslEisenman ArchitectsFoster+Partnersgmp von Gerkan, Marg und PartnerGraftJean NouvelKing KongMassimiliano FuksasMVRDVOMA,Steven Holl ArchitectsTony Fretton,UNStudioand Zaha Hadid. In order to get a unique view of modern architecture, every featured architect personally chooses which project to submit. Each project is presented as a main photograph, with additional text and drawings on the reverse. This new version will also include ArchDaily’s Monthly Editor’s Choice.

More than just a calendar, Archipendium 2014 is a collector’s item. This calendar is an impressive overview of the latest trends in both modern architecture and design. Become part of the Archipendium architectural calendar that shows different contemporary architecture for every day of the year. Participation in this publication is free of charge.

You have until May 31 to send the requirements. Interested? Please send us an email with the following information attached after the break.


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Apple Fifth Ave © Esto/Peter Aaron; Courtesy of

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has been honored with the Good Design is Good Business Lifetime Achievement Architecture Award, presented by Architectural Record in association with the American Architectural Foundation. The firm is the second recipient of this award in the program’s 15-year history, which was originally started by BusinessWeek and Architectural Record to recognize exceptional contributions to bettering how businesses and institutions perform through architecture.


The Presidio Trust of San Francisco Announces 3 Finalists for Cultural Hub Competition

Presidio From Southeast © Robert Campbell

is planning a new cultural facility on the former commissary of the military base that has been turned into a national park and has announced three finalists in its competition held by Trust, according to news outlet SFGate.  The 92,000 square-foot building is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and has an ambitious future that will be developed on this unique location.  The three finalists have diverse agendas that range from turning the future cultural center into a performance and exhibition space to an institute that focuses on sustainability issues.  The Presidio Trust is currently laying out guidelines in the next step of the competition that will likely be due in the fall.  The trust also plans to engage the public with a to-be-scheduled forum in June that will host presentations by the finalists.

Join us after the break for a look at the three finalists.


Lamp Lighting Solutions 2013 Awards Finalists

Cineteca Matadero

This year, the Lighting Solutions 2013 celebrated its 5th version. The are organized by LAMP, an architectural technical lighting company, specialized in, advising on and designing efficient solutions adaptable to any project by way of innovative and competitive products and services.

Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards 2013 closed its registration period with record on all the previous editions, with a total of 608 projects submitted from 52 countries and 61% internationalization.

More details on the winners after the break.


One World Trade Center Will Soon Top Out at 1,776 Feet

After weather conditions refused to cooperate on Monday, the final two sections of Freedom Tower have been lifted to the summit of the One World Trade CenterConstruction of the gargantuan 758-ton, 408-foot spire – a joint Canadian-U.S. venture – began in December 2012, when 18 separate pieces were shipped to Manhattan from Canada and New JerseyThis final addition, including a steel beacon, means that the height of the building will soon rise from 1,368 feet to a more patriotic 1,776 feet once the segments are permanently installed within the next few weeks. However, it’s not yet certain that the building will officially be the tallest in the U.S.

Read more after the break…


‘Borderless Competition: Designing Future ASEAN Borders’ Winners Announced

1st prize / Courtesy of Hélène Grialou & Sebastien Gafari

Aiming to bring attention to the spaces along the borders of the 10 ASEAN nations, the ‘Borderless Competition: Designing Future ASEAN Borders’ sought proposals that focused on local border sites, where specific cultural, social and ecological issues can be addressed while engaging in larger spatial and institutional scales. Sponsored by the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA), and with the goal of demonstrating how architecture can re-define the future of ASEAN borders, the winning entries were recently announced with the proposal titled, ‘Floating Border Project’ by Hélène Grialou and Sebastien Gafari announced as the competition’s overall winner. More images and the description of the winning entries after the break.