The Dwell Vision Award

The Dwell Vision Award celebrates design innovation and skill and will reward 1 winner for their excellence in modern design. Entries must consist of projects completed between 2012 and today that are technically and artistically ground breaking, and that show a new method, material or concept that is pushing modern design forward. Submit a project description or statement between 250-350 words that encapsulates your original design elements and methodology along with 3 or more images. Three finalists will be featured on .com and be flown to New York for an celebration where the winner will be announced.

Enter now through August 30, 2013. Read here for more information, including rules and how to enter.

Five London Firms Shortlisted for Met Police HQ

Metropolitan Police Service Headquarters; Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

Five -based firms - AHMMAllies & MorrisonFoster & Partners and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands - have been selected to compete for the “Scotland Yard” redevelopment of the abandoned Curtis Green MPS building on the Victoria Embankment. As reported by BDOnline, the shortlisted firms will each propose a “landmark building for London” that will provide a “modern and efficient working environment” for the new Metropolitan Police Service Headquarters. The judging panel, spearheaded by architect Bill Taylor and RIBA Adviser Taylor Snell, will review the proposals in September. 

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Marina Abramovic Launches Kickstarter to Build OMA-Designed Performance Center

Marina Abramovic, one of the most seminal performance artists of our time, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the transformation of an abandoned New York theater into an interdisciplinary performance and education center: Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI).

The institute, designed by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas of , will be dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work. Visitors will spend a minimum of six hours partaking in the Abramovic Method, a method that helps participants “develop skills for observing long durational performances through a series of exercises and environments designed to increase awareness of their physical and mental experience in the moment.” Needless to say, MAI will be unlike any other institute in existence.

A virtual tour of OMA’s design and more information after the break…

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London School of Economics – New Global Centre for the Social Sciences Competition Shortlist Announced

Courtesy of RIBA

RIBA Competitions just announced the six teams that were selected to take part in the design stage of the competition for The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to design their New Global Centre for the Social Sciences. The shortlisted teams include: Grafton Architects, Ireland; Heneghan Peng, Ireland; Steven Holl Architects, USA; Hopkins ArchitectsOMA, The Netherlands; and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. This new building will have a vital role to play in cementing the LSE’s position as a world renowned educational establishment and will become a place that inspires existing LSE students and will help attract new high calibre students and staff to the School.

The shortlisted teams will now have until September to work on their design submissions with final interviews/presentations due to be held in October 2013.

Chinese Developer Plans to Build Crystal Palace Replica in London

The Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill, 1854. Photo by Philip Henry Delamotte © Wikimedia Commons

Shanghai-based developer ZhongRong Holdings is working with Arup on an ambitious proposal to reconstruct Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in London. Originally built to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, the 80,000 square-meter cast iron and glass structure was relocated from Hyde Park to south-east London in 1854 where it was ultimately destroyed by fire in 1936.

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Three Teams Shortlisted to Re-Envision Downtown Dallas

Courtesy of Dallas CityDesign Studio

OMA* (), Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (Barcelona), and Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston) with SHoP (New York) have been selected as the top three teams to re-envision Dallas’s urban center and its connection to the Trinity River Corridor. The teams kickstarted the final leg of the competition this past weekend with a summer workshop, symposium and site visit alongside local developers and city officials. All three final proposals will be unveiled to the public this mid-October with a lecture series host by each team (dates and information here). A winner is expected to be selected shortly after.

Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial Takes Major Step Forward

Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP, 2013

Frank Gehry’s revised design for the controversial Eisenhower Memorial has been approved by US Commission of Fine Arts in a 3-1 vote – a major step forward after the project’s funding was nearly scraped last year. Though Gehry’s redesign was welcomed by the commission, BDOnline reported that they’ve requested he removes the three woven metal tapestries that border the site, as they believe the scale “undermined Gehry’s attempt to convey the president’s humility.” Gehry accepted this request and now awaits re-authorization from Congress.

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The Architecture of Incarceration: Can Design Affect the Prison System?

Pelican Bay State Prison © Jelson25

On July 9th, 30,000 prison inmates across California took part in a hunger strike to show solidarity with those incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison, a ‘Solitary Housing Unit’ in which prisoners are incarcerated – some supposedly for years at a time – in solitary confinement.

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and its founder Raphael Sperry have made it their mission to make sure that architects are not complicit in designing prisons, even going so far as to form a petition asking the AIA to forbid members from designing execution chambers, ‘supermax’ prison facilities or solitary confinement facilities, as part of their statement that “members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors.”

At ArchDaily we have already questioned whether it may actually be beneficial for architects to design prisons, rather than allowing them to be designed by less-trained people who could end up designing a space that is even less humane. Now, an article on Blouin Art Info seems to take a similar position: rather than retreating from the business of prison design altogether, architects should try to encourage prison design that facilitates rehabilitation rather than emphasizing punishment.

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Madison Square Garden Limited to 10 Year Permit

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Competition Proposal for a New

A landslide vote (47-1) by the New York City Council has limited the permit for Madison Square Garden to just 10 years. The decision comes after the property owner’s – MSG Company - 50 year permit expired earlier this year, sparking a heated debate on whether or not the city should deny the owners request to renew the permit in perpetuity and envision plans for a new Penn Station.

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Is This the Best Planned City in the World?

Machu Picchu. Image © Dan Merino via Flickr

This discussion on Quora, entitled “which is the most well planned city in the world?” certainly got us thinking; not only because of the interesting and diverse answers to the question, but also because of the different reasons which were used to support these answers.

Currently the most popular answer seems to be Zurich, on account of its excellent (and obsessively punctual) public transport, organized waste disposal and numerous public drinking fountains. Other cities which are commended for their public transport and cleanliness are Singapore and Seoul. But other contributors seem to have a very different idea of what makes a well-planned city – read on to find out more.

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Happy Birthday Glenn Murcutt!

Marika-Alderton House, Northern Territory, , 1994 © Glenn Murcutt, Courtesy the Pritzker Prize Committee

“Layering and changeability: this is the key, the combination that is worked into most of my buildings. Occupying one of these buildings is like sailing a yacht; you modify and manipulate its form and skin according to seasonal conditions and natural elements, and work with these to maximize the performance of the building.” – Glenn Murcutt, 1996

Today, on the 77th birthday of Australian architect Glenn Murcutt, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the lasting impact Murcutt’s career has left on the profession of architecture. Since establishing his practice in 1979, Murcutt has steadily developed a series of small, yet exemplary projects that have become the touchstone of sustainable architecture. 

A selection of his work, after the break…

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Jean Nouvel Selected to Design National Art Museum of China

Jean Nouvel’s Winning NAMOC Proposal

The rumors are true: Jean Nouvel has been selected as the official winner of the highly acclaimed National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) competition in . According to Dezeen, the news has been confirmed by Nouvel’s adviser, Oliver Schmitt. Though little has been released about the winning design, earlier reports have described it as a “vast structure” based on the simplicity of a single line – “a single brush stroke.”

In an interview with Financial Times, Nouvel quoted the Chinese artist Shi Tao (1642-1707): “A single line is the source of everything in existence. [...] We started with calligraphy. [...] Pupils used to spend half a year just on that first line with a brush. That first line contains all of Chinese culture – painting, writing and the energy of Chi.”

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Why Bankruptcy May Be the Best Thing for Detroit

M@dison Building, a tech hub in . Image via Inc.com

While the rest of the world scoffs at Detroit’s recent announcement of bankruptcy (using it as an opportunity to bemoan how far the city – and the country – has fallen since its golden Motown days), many Detroiters themselves are embracing the move as a long overdue turning point.

Like Las Vegas, undergoing an urban patronage from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Detroit has similarly been the focus of its own CEO: native-Detroiter and Quicken founder Dan Gilbert. By channeling over $1 billion dollars into the city, and inspiring others to follow suit, Gilbert is helping Detroit attract young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs. Throw in the lure of cheap land/rental rates, and it’s no wonder the city’s is host to a burgeoning tech scene.

The only thing that’s been getting in these techies’ way – is the city itself. Which is why many are hopeful that Detroit’s bankruptcy is just the beginning.

More after the break…

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The Gherkin Receives CTBUH’s Inaugural 10 Year Award

© Nigel Young

Norman Foster’s Swiss Re Headquarters, a.k.a. “The Gherkin,” has been selected as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) first recipient. The uniquely-shaped skyscraper, as described by CTBUH, “cleared the way for a new generation of tall buildings in London and beyond. Ten years on, its tapering form and diagonal bracing structure afford numerous benefits: programmatic flexibility, naturally ventilated internal social spaces that provide user comfort while reducing energy demand, and ample, protected public space at the ground level.”

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June’s ABI Reflects Consistent Industry Growth

June via Calculated Risk

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) remained positive again in June after the first decline in ten months in April. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 51.6, down from a mark of 52.9 in May. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, up sharply from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

Key ABI highlights and details on the construction industries remaining threats after the break…

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Micro Housing Makes a Comeback

adAPT NYC Winner / Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS; Images via CURBED

In the early 20th century rooming houses and residential hotels with small bedrooms and shared bathrooms were the norm of city life: they provided cheap, day-to-day housing near downtown areas (where affordable food and entertainment was abundant). However, a tide of well-intentioned health and safety regulations in the 50s and 60s led cities to essentially ban this type of housing across the .

In an article for the Slate, the director of the Sightline Institute, Alan Durning, suggests that this was one of the most misguided legislations ever implemented in American cities: instead of enforcing higher quality housing for cities’ lower earning peoples, it has instead left them stranded, with fewer and fewer affordable housing options.

More after the break…

RIBA Shortlist for Stirling Prize Announced

UPDATED: Out of 52 exemplars of UK architecture, RIBA has chosen the six buildings that will compete for the prestigious RIBA (awarded to the building that makes the greatest contribution to British architecture that year). See the six contenders, including a video of each, after the break…

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Next Landmark 2013 Winners Announced

Courtesy of Shoko Murakaji

Launched by Floornature, the winners of the second edition Next Landmark competition were just announced. Originality, environmental and all the ideas that exploit relations between people, architecture and landscape were the main determinants of the winning projects. For the first time, the 3 winning projects and the 6 special mentions were announced in a live streaming event conducted by anchor-architect, Pietro Polidori with the participation of all the big names on the judging panel. Next Landmark 2013 was an all-women edition, with two women winning first prize for the First Work and Research categories, Shoko Murakaji from Japan and the Russian, Nataly Abramova respectively. The first prize for the new Photography section went to the very young photographer and designer, Hugo Soo from Canada. More images and information on the winning projects after the break.

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