AD Interviews: Helene Combs Dreiling, AIA President 2014

Right at the start of this year’s Convention, we had the chance to sit down with the current AIA president,  (FAIA).

Helene, who also serves as the Executive Director at The Virginia Museum of Architecture & Design, is the third female president in the history of the AIA. We discussed the challenges currently facing the organization, particularly the issue of diversity in the profession, and Dreiling’s ambitions to lead a cultural sea-change to improve the way the profession is perceived in the US.

Why Tall Wooden Buildings are On the Rise: An Interview with Perkins+Will’s Wood Expert

IZM Building / Architekten Hermann Kaufmann – Germany. Image © Norman A. Müller

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Wood. The United States is the largest producer of the natural resource in the world. But yet we rarely see it in commercial, high-rise construction. So we asked a wood expert – Rebecca Holt at Perkins+Will, an analyst for reThink Wood‘s recent Tall Wood Survey  – to tell us about its potential benefits.

AD: Why is wood a material architects should use in taller buildings?

There are lots of reasons to consider wood – first it has a lower environmental impact than other traditional choices like concrete and steel.  Wood is the only major building material that is made the by sun and is completely renewable.

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Emerging Practices in India: Abin Design Studio

International Management Institute, Bhubaneswar: Library from the courtyard. Image Courtesy of Abin Design Studio

Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘’ (Volumes I and II), delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today. This article, part of the first volume of the series takes a closer look at ‘Abin Design Studio’, a -based architectural firm.

In a city that, though culturally rich, has remained fairly neglectful of contemporary architectural developments, Abin Design Studio’s dynamic philosophy attempts to trigger a ‘think revolution’ by challenging the conventional and recreating the city-scape of Kolkata. Abin Design Studio was founded in October 2005 by Abin Chaudhuri, who partnered with Jui Mallick in 2006. What started off as a small three-person firm is now a frontline organisation rendering complete design solutions from conceptualisation to realisation of space, object and visual.

The projects have a strong spatial quality which fuse lessons from past traditions with aspirations of the present in a sparkling coup of energy. Their passion to transform and nerve to challenge is almost incomparable. Indian Architect & Builder’s interview with the founders, after the break…

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Arthur Andersson on Timeless Materials & Building “Ruins”

Tower House . Image © Art Gray

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural  in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise Architects wants to build ruins. He wants things to be timeless – to look good now and 2000 years from now. He wants buildings to fit within a place and time. To do that he has a various set of philosophies, processes and some great influences. Read our full in-depth interview with Mr. Andersson, another revolutionary ”Material Mind,” after the break.

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Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating “A Clockwork Jerusalem”

The Mound. Image © James Taylor-Foster

The British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale takes the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and explores the “mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.” The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how “these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes.” To those who know the UK‘s architectural heritage, this cultural and social history is delivered in a way which feels strangely familiar, whilst uncovering fascinating hidden histories of British modernity that continue to resonate in the 21st century.

We caught up with Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT Architecture (of which this exhibition is their final project), and Wouter Vanstiphout, partner at Rotterdam-based Crimson Architectural Historians, outside the British Pavilion to discuss the ideas behind, and significance of, A Clockwork Jerusalem.

© James Taylor-Foster

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Emerging Practices in India: Indigo Architects

NW from site entrance. Image Courtesy of , Ahmedabad

Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘’ (Volumes I and II) delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today.  This interview, part of the first volume of the series, takes a closer look at ‘Indigo Architects’, an Ahmedabad-based architectural firm.

IAB: Please describe your work.

Uday + Mausami Andhare: We have positioned our efforts in the field of architecture in the context of our time, which is ridden with great contrasts. On one hand, rapid and haphazard development in the cities is putting the existing infrastructure under a severe strain and on the other, smaller towns and villages continues to suffer age-old neglect in the area of planned growth and quality of construction. With fast-depleting resources, the onus of a sensitive approach to these realities is a dire need…And architecture has the power to effect change, of course. The question is about being effective in various contexts. Urban, rural, big, or small, private or public, it is imperative to give utmost care and dignity to the smallest of efforts. Perhaps, this may be a model that allows well-meaning practices to carry on with their tasks with an integral focus, in any profession.

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Architectural Photographers: Timothy Soar

Foggo Architects. Image © Timothy Soar

It’s clear that architecture inspires and impassions Timothy Soar - not only has the photographer spent most of his life visiting and capturing great architectural works, but – unlike most photographers, or architects for that matter - he also speaks eloquently about the architecture that inspires him. Describing his favorite building, AHMM‘s Yellow Building, he tells us it “delivers exquisite simplicity out of a complex lattice. The building has a lyrical poetry in the way it wraps and folds itself around the occupants – deft, confident and generous. It is one of London’s great spaces.”

Moreover, Soar believes deeply that his does more than merely idealize built forms; not only do his images enable the architects he works with to “refine and amplify” the ideas within their built works, and thus aid them in defining their next work, but it also seeks to advocate architecture for all: “My work as a photographer is predicated on a desire to [...] to be an advocate for design that elevates, to help construct an argument where good design isn’t an occasional, rare and special thing but an everyday, routine and expected event.” Read the whole interview and see more of Soar’s fantastic images, after the break

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Behind the Living Wall: An Interview with Birgit Siber

© Richard Johnson

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Green, or living, walls have begun popping up and growing across commercial interiors everywhere over the last decade. To understand how a living wall functions, and how to design one, we went straight to a pioneer in the profession: Ms. Birgit Siber of Diamond Schmitt Architects in . The synthesis of natural systems and building systems had been in her mind since her days as a student, but the major break came in 2000, when her team constructed a massive living wall for The University of Guelph-Humbar. To understand how architects are closing the gap between interior and exterior via the living wall, read the full interview after the break.

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Emerging Practices in India: mayaPRAXIS

Power of idea - lightening - House in Barren land . Image Courtesy of mayaPRAXIS

Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘Practices of Consequence’ (Volumes I and II) delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today. This article, part of the first volume of the series, takes a closer look at ‘mayaPRAXIS’, a Bengaluru-based architectural firm.

While anchoring each work in its specific site and circumstance, mayaPRAXIS is a synthesis of Vijay Narnapatti and Dimple Mittal’s sensibilities, which endeavor to obtain a deeper experience of time, space, light and . A continuum of specific situations enables works of distinct individuality and stylistic variety from project to project. Every project has a realm of details where the essential qualities are crystallised and catalysed at multiple scales.

Indian Architect & Builder’s interview with the founders, after the break…

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Federico Babina’s Latest Archi-Illustrations: Classic National Architecture (With A Twist)

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Our very talented friend Federico Babina has been responsible for some of ArchDaily’s most popular posts lately. The creativity behind his ARCHISET, ARCHIMACHINE, ARCHIPORTRAIT, ARCHIST, ARCHIBET and ARCHICINE have garnered thousands of shares on social media. Since we loved Babina’s serialized architectural illustrations, we were thrilled when he saw his latest set: the ArchDaily logo imagined in and around the world’s classic architecture. Read on for our interview with the architect and graphic designer. 

ArchDaily: Can you introduce yourself?
Federico Babina: My name is Federico Babina. I am an Italian architect and graphic designer (since 1994) that lives and works in Barcelona (since 2007). But mostly I’ve been a curious person (since forever).

AD: What’s an interesting fact about you?
FB: Every day I try to rediscover a way to observe the world through the eyes of a child. Children are able to have a vision of things totally uninhibited and without the conditioning of the experience. Children’s drawings are always amazing and beautiful in their spontaneous simplicity and clarity. I like trying to explain the world I see through different techniques of expression. I like the richness of the language and the diversity of its forms. I do not want to confine me in a prison of a style or shape.

AD: In what ways does your training as an architect affect your style as an illustrator?
FB: Any architect has to explain his projects through illustration and drawing. Design is the first way to give shape and body to a project. In this sense every architect should be a graphic designer. I was born with illustration. It’s been part of my life since I was a child. I started with book stories, I passed through the comics and then I arrived to architecture. Drawing and illustration and making architectural projects are, for me, one of the ways to recount and capture thoughts, feelings and emotions. Every project has a story and every project is a witness of a story. I ‘m fascinated by the idea of being able to blend the world of architecture and illustration: transform the architecture in an illustration and illustrations in an architecture.

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Crafting Urban Life in Three Dimensions: An Interview with Adam Snow Frampton by James Schrader

Footbridge in Central, Hong Kong. Image by Adam Frampton

The following are excerpts from one of 41 interviews that student researchers at the Strelka Institute are publishing as part of the Future Urbanism Project. In this interview, James Schrader speaks with Adam Snow Frampton, the co-author of Cities Without Ground and the Principal of Only If, a New York City-based practice for architecture and urbanism. They discuss his work with OMA, the difference between Western and Asian cities, his experiences opening a new firm in New York, and the future of design on an urban scale.

James Schrader: Before we get to future urbanism, I thought it would be interesting to look a bit into your past. Could you tell me about where your interest in cities came from? Were there any formative moments that led to your fascination with cities?

Adam Snow Frampton: I was always interested in cities, but not necessarily exposed to much planning at school. When I went to work at OMA , I was engaged in a lot of large-scale projects, mostly in the Middle East and increasingly in Asia, where there was an opportunity to plan cities at a bigger scale. In , there’s not necessarily more construction than in the US, but there is a tradition of thinking big and a tendency to plan. For instance, many Dutch design offices like OMA, West 8, and MVRDV have done master plans for the whole country.

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Emerging Practices in India: Hundredhands

Alila Hotel and Residences. Image © Nathan Willock

Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘Practices of Consequence’ (Volumes I and II) delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today. This article, part of the first volume of the series, takes a closer look at ‘Hundredhands’, a Bengaluru-based architectural firm. 

Patient and purposeful, the work of Hundredhands responds to fundamental concerns of form and space, material integrity, economy and efficiency with a strong efficacy with respect to function and relevance. With a team of architects and architecture trainees directed by Bijoy Ramachandran and Sunitha Kondur, Hundredhands has a significant investment in the conceptual development of their work and architectural discourse as an extension. 

Pragmatic and grounded in ‘doing’, the built work of Hundredhands is developed through an analytical process of drawing, physical and virtual model-making, detailing and a control on the process of building. Their buildings have a sense of clarity that comes through methodical process and elimination of the unnecessary. They use contemporary building technology and materials responsibly and with due regard to available skill. Their architecture is enriched through selection and restraint.  

Indian Architect & Builder’s with the founders, after the break…

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When Biology Inspires Architecture: An Interview with Doris Kim Sung

Much of dO|Su Studio Architecture’s work is with Thermal-Bimetals, a laminated sheet metal material that can expand and contract at different temperatures. Image © Brandon Shigeta

, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Before attending Columbia University for her Masters in Architecture, Los Angeles-based architect Doris Kim Sung took a fairly non-traditional approach to becoming an architect: she was a biologist. Naturally then, Sung’s architectural work tends to take inspiration from the biological world, particularly in the way she experiments and innovates with materials. Much of her work involves thermal bimetals, a material that expands and contracts with temperature swings; it can even act as a sun shade and ventilation system, without the need for electricity.

So where does a biologist-turned-architect draw inspiration from? We interviewed Ms. Sung to find out for ourselves — the responses, like her work at dO|Su Architecture, are simply fascinating.

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AD Interviews: Jesús Robles / DUST

We were excited to have the chance to speak with DUST when we lectured at U of Arizona a few months ago. The project for a villa in Tucson that shared with ArchDaily in 2009 gained a lot of attention before it was even built–particularly for its use of a traditional construction system (rammed earth) and a bold material palette. The large walls act as thermal masses but are, most importantly, part of a system that is deeply connected to the site.

We wanted to talk with principal Jesús Robles (who founded DUST with Cade Hayes) to find out more about DUST’s latest work, especially since they know how to design and build with a very low impact, allowing them to be hands-on and innovative in terms of materials. For the , DUST brought us to the remote stretch of land in the San Rafael valley where they have been working on their latest project, Casa Caldera. You can see the progress of this house made of scoria here.

From the Desert to the City: An Interview with Wendell Burnette

© Bill Timmerman

Since childhood, growing up on a farm outside of Nashville, Wendell Burnette has been inspired by nature; indeed, the amplification of the natural site has highlighted his body of work. In the following question and answer by Guy Horton of Metropolis Magazine, the Pheonix-based architect speaks about memories, inspiration and experience. 

Wendell Burnette’s journey through architecture has taken him from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, where he has designed a type of architecture that resonates with the power of natural surroundings. It has also taken him to one of the world’s fastest growing cities, Phoenix, Arizona, where his practice, Wendell Burnette Architects, is based and where he calls home. More recently it has brought him to Los Angeles where he is the current Nancy M. & Edward D. Fox Urban Design Critic at the USC School of Architecture. He is also Professor of Practice at The Design School at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts.

I spoke with Burnette about his approach to architecture, the importance of direct experience, and the meaning behind his current USC studio, “Earth Curvature”.

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Architectural Photographers: José Campos

House in Monção by Joao Paulo Loureiro. Image © José Campos

Architectural photographer, José Campos had the privilege of being born in an architectural paradise: Porto, Portugal. Having trained as an architect as well as a graphic designer, Campos brings a mature architectural eye and a keen attention to detail, light and color to his shots. His work has been published in dozens of well-known national and international books and publications. ArchDaily interviewed Campos to learn more about his start and artistic process. Read the entire , and check out his amazing images, after the break.

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Architectural Photographers: Allan Crow

MAXXI Museum / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image ©

Allan Crow may be, as he humbly puts it, just one of “two blokes that take photos.” But Hufton+Crow, the studio founded by him and Nick Hufton ten years ago, has reached far more than humble success. The duo have shot some of the most talked-about architectural works of the last few years -from Zaha Hadid‘s Galaxy Soho to Steven Holl‘s Sliced Porosity Block to BIG‘s Danish Maritime Museum - and have been published in renowned websites and magazines around the world. Learn more about how Crow began his career as well as his favorite architecture, after the break.

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Rodrigo Nino: In Defense of Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding

The 17John Building in . Image Courtesy of Prodigy Network

As both crowdsourcing and crowdfunding gather momentum in the architecture world, they also gather criticism. The crowdsourcing design website Arcbazar, for example, has recently attracted critics who label it as “the worst thing to happen to architecture since the internet started.” A few months ago, I myself strongly criticized the 17John apartment-hotel in New York for stretching the definition of “” to the point where it lost validity, essentially becoming a meaningless buzzword.

In response to this criticism, I spoke to Rodrigo Nino, the founder of Prodigy Network, the company behind 17 John, who offered to counter my argument. Read on after the break for his take on the benefits of tapping into the ‘wisdom of crowds.’

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