Peter Marino and Marc Jacobs Chat about Design, Architecture, and Fashion

Fashion visionaries Tom Ford, Gianfranco Ferre, and Gianni Versace all began their education in architecture. In the words of Coco Chanel, “fashion is architecture.” It was likely with this in mind that the Architecture Foundation hosted it’s annual John Edwards Lecture. The event, which was held at the Tate Modern’s Starr Auditorium, was a discussion between designer Marc Jacobs and architect Peter Marino, who have frequently collaborated together on retail design.

The conversation, led by Penny Martin (editor of The Gentlewoman) covered a range of topics but focused especially on the intersection of the two participants’ fields – fields whose borders seem to be dissolving more and more every year (also see Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid’s foray into shoe design or the 3D printed dress that wowed the world earlier this year).

Raphael Sperry Speaks About His Quest for Humane Prison Design

Deanna Van Buren’s ‘Mediation Womb’ could form part of an alternative to inhumane prison design. Image Courtesy of FOURM Design Studio

In this interview in Metropolis Magazine, Raphael Sperry elaborates on the goal of his organization Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility to ban members of the AIA from designing execution chambers and certain forms of prisons. He explains why the ’s existing charter should make this ban a no-brainer as well as highlights the success and support the campaign has received, even in unexpected places. You can read the full article here.

YAP 2013: bam! Debuts ‘He’ at MAXXI

He has made his debut in the piazza. As the winner of the Young Architects Program (YAP) in Rome, Turin-based studio Bottega di Architettura metropolitan has transformed the concrete facade of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum into a visual spectacular with the installation of a yellow, translucent and aerostatic prism. 

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Bloomberg Rushes to Approve Billion-Dollar Projects Before Leaving Office

Courtesy of VisualHouse

Bloomberg’s decade long administration may be ending this January, but not before he ensures the approval of $12 billion worth of privately developed projects throughout City. Under Bloomberg, 40 percent of NYC has been rezoned, creating a hot-bed of new construction. From multi-million dollar research centers to multi-billion dollar neighborhoods — complete with luxury waterfront apartments, outlet malls and the western hemisphere’s largest Ferris Wheel — each one of these megaprojects will undoubtedly transform NYC in the coming decades. Check them out here.

Christmas Tree Made of Sledges / Hello Wood

© Dániel Dömölky

From a distance, it would seem a traditional Christmas tree has been erected in front of the Palace of Arts in Budapest. But upon closer inspection, a surprise is revealed- the tree is made up of 365 sledges. Designed by Hello Wood, an architecture and design studio based out of Hungary, the 11 meter tree will eventually be disassembled and the sledges given to the kids of SOS Children’s Village. Read more about the installation after the break…

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Calatrava’s “Sharq Crossing” Planned for Doha Skyline

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

Located in , Sharq Crossing is a set of three interconnected bridges spanning almost ten kilometres in the Bay. Designed by the famed architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge will connect the city’s cultural district in the north to Hamad International Airport and the central business district in West Bay. The bridges, which are designed to accomodate as many as 2,000 vehicles an hour per lane, are also flanked by a series of subsea tunnels to manage and direct the flow of traffic across the bay.

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Finalist Proposal for First Public University in South Africa Since Apartheid

Courtesy of

TC Design Architects have been announced as one of the four winners in a country-wide architectural competition to design the University of Mpumalanga in , the first public university in South Africa since the end of Apartheid. Of 147 architectural practices, the Department of Higher Education and Training has narrowed the pool of entries down to TC Design, Conco Bryan Architects, Cohen and Garson, and Gapp Architects & Urban Designers.

More on TC Design’s proposal after the break…

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Heneghan Peng Architects Selected to Design Contemporary Arts Center in Moscow

Heneghan Peng Architects’ Winning NCCA Proposal. Image Courtesy of NCCA

Heneghan Peng Architects has won an international competition for a new National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) at ’s Khodynskoe Pole. Selected from a shortlist of three, the Dublin-based practice will now further develop their winning scheme which vertically stacks exhibition spaces as flexible “trays” to maximize accessibility and visually connect the NCCA’s activities to the surrounding landscape.

Once complete, the large-scale building will host a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as lectures, professional conferences, concerts, performances, studios, art education facilities and more.

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Kickstarter Campaign: The Blindspot Initiative

The Blinspot Initiative: “Beyond competition, towards collaboration”. Image Courtesy of

Like many in architecture, the Blindspot Initiative has grown tired of ”the exclusive, winner takes all mentality of .” Instead, they value collaboration and open access to design ideas, and so are renting a studio in East LA for an exhibition that will display the work of 10 fringe (blindspot) designers, “presenting work on a neutral ground to encourage conversations and practice which lives outside the conventions of typical design outputs and practices.” Visit their kickstarter project to learn more and contribute to their cause (and check out their video, after the break).

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Can a Law of Linguistics Predict How Cities Grow?

– Twice the size of LA. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Katy Silberger

An interesting article on io9 unveils a curious law that can apparently predict the size of cities - a law developed by a linguist. The original version of Zipf’s law states that in any language, the most common word was used twice as much as the second most common, three times as much as the third and so on. It seems though, that this law also applies to the populations of the in a given country. And the most interesting part? Nobody really knows why. You can read the full article here.

RRC Studio Design Residential & Commercial Expansion for Al Dhakira

Aerial view. Image Courtesy of

Italian Practice RRC Studio has released designs for new residential and commercial quarters in Al Dhakira, Qatar. The will roughly double the size of the small city, situated 60km outside the capital of Doha, providing new housing blocks, villas, hotels, and a new commercial district.

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Sustainable Container Home Selected in Competition for Sydney’s Bondi Beach

Courtesy of

Czech architect Ales Javurek has been awarded first prize in the [AC-CA] Architectural Competition for his design of a two-story, 340 square meter vacation home utilizing shipping containers in Sydney, Australia. The proposal situates the home on the edge of a 1500 square meter hillside to maximize the striking panoramic view of Bondi Beach. By preserving current trees and the slope’s profile, consisting of “three platforms,” the proposal successfully addresses the main brief: to design a contemporary, sustainable vacation house which sensitively fits into its context and considers Sydney’s climate conditions. 

Learn more after the break…

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AIA Announces Three Award Recipents

Louisiana State Museum. Image © Timothy Hurlsey

The American Institute of Architects recently announced that three of its distinguished members have been awarded some of the Institute’s top honors. Each recipient has made significant contributions to the advancement of the architectural profession or education, helping to shape the field for future generations. The awards include the 2014 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion, the 2014 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award, and the 2014 Edward C. Kemper Award. Read more about the recipients after the break…

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Bloomberg’s Next Move: Leading an ‘Urban SWAT Team’

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

After a 12 year mayoral run, many have been wondering what Michael Bloomberg’s next move will be. The answer: be mayor of every city (kind of). Bloomberg, along with most of his Hall team (including transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan), has shifted his focus to Bloomberg Associates, a consultancy group that – like an ‘urban SWAT team’ – offers advice to that call for it. For free. To learn more about Bloomberg’s newest initiative, read the full article here on The New York Times. 

Formlessfinder’s “Tent Pile” a Hit at Design Miami/

© James Harris

From the architects. Formlessfinder’s Tent Pile brings an intensely architectural intervention to Design Miami/, inventing a new building typology to provide shade, seating, cool air, and a space to play for the city’s public. The practice, co-founded by Julian Rose and Garrett Ricciardi in 2010, approaches new projects with an interest in the specifics of geography — closely examining the spatial, social, and physical conditions of the location with which their structure will interact. They prioritize the use of available materials, committing to deploy them in ways that allow for reuse, an approach that produces what they refer to as “an architecture that can go from nothing to something and back again.”

Learn more after the break…

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Alfonso Architects Selected to Design Museum of American Arts and Crafts

Courtesy of Alfonso Architects

Alfonso Architects have been awarded the building project for the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Hundreds of objects from the early 20th century movement – including furniture, pottery and paintings – have been offered by the museum’s patron, art collector Rudy Ciccarello, in collaboration with the Two Red Roses Foundation. 

Galleries and exhibit spaces, says lead architect Alberto Alfonso, are inspired by the “detailing and customization of materials and joinery” characteristic of the era. The four-story, 90,000 square-foot museum “is a tremendous gift by Mr. Ciccarello for the city of and our state,” adds Alfonso. 

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Video: design/buildLAB’s Reality Check

The design/buildLAB at the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design has recently released a new documentary by Leon Gerskovic titled Reality Check, a film that chronicles the journey of 16 students as they undergo the and construction of their Masonic Amphitheatre in Clifton Forge, Virginia. The project was a complete redevelopment of a post-industrial brownfield into a public park and performance space; the video relates how students collaborated with local community and industry experts to bring meaningful architecture to this struggling American rail town.

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SLASH with Phillips/Pilkington Architects Win the Royal Adelaide Hospital Competition

SLASH. Image Courtesy of ODASA

Slash with Phillips/Pilkington Architects have been announced as the winners of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Site International Design Competition, which was open to registered architects and landscape architects from around the world. The competition centred around redesigning the current hospital site, which will be vacated in 2016, in order to create an iconic place within the Greater Riverbank Precinct of Adelaide. See the winning and shortlisted proposals after the break.

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