Call for Pilots: Storefront TV

Storefront TV is an online channel focused on the communication of contemporary art and architecture ideas with an emphasis on experimentation with a live TV format.

After the exciting inaugural Storefront TV season in Fall 2013, Storefront for Art and Architecture announces the launch of a second season with a Call for Pilots, inviting proposals of original television programs and web series. All selected pilot programs will be taped at in front of a live studio audience and broadcasted online. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through August 20, 2014.

Interested parties should submit a proposal using this form on or before August 20, 2014.

20 Scholarships the AA BILBAO Visiting School: COMPUTING TOPOS III 2014 / Bilbao, Spain

© AA Visiting School

AA Visiting School is an international network of design workshops and other programs organized by the Architectural Association School of Architecture. This event will be realized in , between July 23 and August 5.

AA Visiting School will give away 20 scholarships for those interested in attending. If so, you need to send your CV/portfolio and a description explaining why would you like to attend the event.

The workshop will explore the question of ‘place’ or ‘topos’ and its radical transformation in the recent years due to the proliferation and availability of environmental parameters. The rise of digital methods in architectural design as well as simulation platforms for environmental analysis, have produced a renewed interest in the relationship between architecture and phenomena and in particular into the possibility of the integration of environmental aspects into the design process. Nevertheless, approximation means to environmental phenomena in relation to urban morphology need to be further explored to mediate between sophisticated simulation platforms and design agendas, beyond reductionist definitions of the environment.

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Typhoon Class Submarine Open Ideas Competition

Throughout the entire period of its existence, humankind was developing numerous methods of elimination of each other. And with invention of the nuclear weapons this desire has endangered the being itself. Matterbetter researches how the community in contemporary world can contribute to making this world a little safer and more friendly.

Matterbetter invites architects and designers to participate in open-ideas competition that aims to explore the architectural potential and transform the biggest nuclear submarine ever built into a peaceful architectural object. 

Participants must register before August 24. For complete information, go to the competition’s official website.

Has London’s British Museum Become a “Mall”?

The Great Court / Fosters + Partners. Image © janis.photo

“They’ve got the mall. They’ve got the food court. Now they’ve got the multiplex.” ’s latest piece for the Guardian discusses the collaged plight of London’s British Museum as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) complete a large extension of exhibition spaces. Describing it as a “composite Foster-Rogers” building, Moore argues that “a strange distribution of space” coupled with “an inattention to the cultural complexities of the modern museum” have led to “a void, wrapped in a void, with another void to the side.” Although he states that “there are many things to like about RSHP’s building”, the total compilation of spaces, extensions and interventions have led to a museum more like a mall than a house of culture.

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Conference: Urban Routines 2013/14

Russian city dwellers live their daily lives, drive cars on busy streets, sit in front of computers in offices, buy groceries and other goods in supermarkets and shops, bring up their children and watch television at home. This decidedly typical Lebenswelt, routine, everyday, the gigantic and complex world of the ordinary, is under-researched and poorly analysed. The theme for Strelka’s 2013-2014 research school year is Urban Routines.

Student research, public lectures, and talks on Urban Routines constitute an attempt to figure out what the everyday life of Russian cities is made of.

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Boris Johnson Speech Reignites Row Over Mount Pleasant Development

Courtesy of Cityscape

The controversial Mount Pleasant development in London has sparked another row this week, as campaigners accused Mayor Boris Johnson of “compromising his neutrality” over the 681-home scheme which he has called in to review personally. Though he is supposed to remain neutral until the hearing, last week Johnson remarked in a speech that the development “will be a wonderful place to live.” However many have expressed concern over the design, including Thomas Heatherwick, who lives locally and called the scheme “empty, cynical and vacuous.” Read all the details at BD Online.

Russell A Davidson Elected as 2016 AIA President

Russell A Davidson. Image Courtesy of

This weekend, at the AIA‘s national conference in Chicago, Russell A Davidson was elected the AIA’s 2016 president. Davidson, who served as the AIA’s Vice President in 2012-13 and president of AIA’s New York State chapter in 2007, will be joined by William J Bates and Francis M Pitts as Vice presidents, and John A Padilla as AIA Secretary.

In addition to electing its next leaders, the AIA also adopted a new board structure, which will see it add a new body, the ‘Strategic Council’, which will inform the Board and other Institute bodies of important professional issues.

More on these developments from the AIA National Conference after the break

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India’s Most Successful Architect: Improving India’s Slums or Exacerbating Social Gaps?

On what used to be a shantytown, Hafeez Contractor’s the Imperial Towers now loom over low-income apartments. Image © Mahesh Shantaram for The New York Times

“The Indian poor live in perpetual darkness, while the Indian rich live in perpetual light.” This fact is obviously embedded in Mumbai, where luxury condominiums rise in the middle of slums. Many of these extravagant buildings were designed by ’s most commercially successful architect, Hafeez Contractor, who believes his arrestive work is the beginning of slum redevelopment. Learn about his crusade and how he’s been criticized in this New York Times article by Daniel Brook.

David Rockwell’s Luxurious Pre-Fab Homes

Courtesy of Rockwell Group

Two weeks ago, David Rockwell took a step away from his usual work of interior and set to present his foray into the prefab game – an adaptable 2,400 square-foot house called “Pinwheel.” His aims to challenge two assumptions about prefabrication: one, affordability and luxury are mutually exclusive and two, pre-fab’s limited flexibility makes a cookie-cutter result inevitable. Rockwell says the project, a collaboration between himself and Fred Carl, founder of modular venture C3 Design, was inspired by his childhood in Mexico, where “outdoor space was part of the lifestyle.” Check out the plan and more designs after the break.

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Students and Community Members Come Together to Construct Theater in Cape Town Township

Courtesy of Future

The Guga S’Thebe Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township, is expanding to include a theatre exclusively for children and adolescents. The main component of the theatre, set for completion this fall, will be a large, multi-functional space for hosting performances. The project, a collaborative effort between future users and international architecture students, is aimed at stimulating sustainable development while widening the possibilities for the target demographic. To check out more project images, continue after the break.

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Conversation / Cose Turche: Architecture in Istanbul

© Giuliana Sibilia

MAXXI and Insula architettura e ingegneria with Based Architecture present “Cose Turche”,  a  conversation of six voices about Istanbul, aimed to recognize and trace the pulsating identity of a metropolis, which in its present metamorphosis is able to tell us about significant pieces of third millenium urban culture.

Recently some of Istanbul public spaces as Gezi Park, Taksim square with Ataturk Cultural Center by Hayati Tabanlioglu and Third Bosphorus Bridge became symbol and central places of an intense debate still open, which assumed a global broader connotation.

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PlanGrid Launches Educational Offering

Courtesy of PlanGrid

PlanGrid, touted as “the fastest blueprint viewer” available, is one of the most mature apps for viewing, amending and discussing drawings on a collaborative cloud-based platform. This week they launched PlanGrid for , allowing students full and uninhibited access to every feature of the app free of charge. According to the company, they currently have “40,000 blueprints being uploaded to PlanGrid daily and over 9 million blueprints stored digitally”, making the platform one of the fastest growing in its market.

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AIANY ENYA’s 2014 Biennial Design Ideas Competition Exhibition

The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee of the AIA New York Chapter is pleased to announce the opening of its sixth biennial design ideas competition exhibition, QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm on Thursday, July 17 at 6:00 PM at the Center for Architecture.

The exhibition showcases winners of the 2014 ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition, which challenged entrants to design a vertical gateway for the elevated viaduct portion of a 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway in Central Queens. The QueensWay is currently under study for conversion into an urban greenway by The Trust for Public Land, Friends of the QueensWay, and their design consultants. Four Prize Winners, one Honorable Mention, and a slide show of the 120 entries from 28 countries will be shown, along with progress and background information on the community development process. The exhibition is presented as part of the 2014 New York Chapter Presidential Theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision.”

ENYA will also host a symposium at the Center for Architecture on Saturday, July 19 from 12:00 – 4:00 PM to highlight the winning entries’ designs and possibilities for the site’s and neighborhood’s future development.

Title: AIANY ENYA’s 2014 Biennial Design Ideas Competition Exhibition
Website: http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=upcoming&expid=281
From: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 
Until: Fri, 31 Oct 2014
Venue: Center For Architecture
Address: 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012,

Does London Really Need the Garden Bridge?

© Arup

In an interesting analysis in the Guardian, Olly Wainwright draws attention to the questionable process by which of Thomas Heatherwick‘s Garden Bridge proposal has gained such strong support from the British government. It is, according to Wainwright, the product of “one voguish designer, one national treasure and one icon-hungry mayor” – however he contends that compared to other more needed potential bridges over the Thames, the Garden Bridge may just be ”a spectacular solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist,” and a terrific waste of infrastructure funds. You can read the article in full here.

Exhibition: What Models Can Do

Laurie Simmons & Peter Wheelwright, “Kaleidoscope House”, 2001 © Simmons/Wheelwright. Photo Christian Wickler

A new  in Germany looks at the history of the architectural model in contemporary art. It begins with a legendary model by Charles Simonds, covers the 1990s with Ludger Gerdes, Hermann Pitz and Thomas Schütte, and ends up in the present day with Alicia Framis, Hinrich Sachs and Carlos Garaicoa.

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Call for Papers: STUDIO#07 – ILLEGAL

Contemporary society is based on written rules or not – whether right or wrong – that influence people’s existence, thus as in everyday’s life, also the city creates its rules, offering hidden scenarios going beyond their normal ordinary perception, proposing new types of space and relation.

STUDIO#07 – ILLEGAL wants to investigate the existence of different ways do make architecture and consequent alternative processes of urban reality transformation.

The magazine is looking for contributors for their September issue. All submissions should be made via email to: studiomagazine@rrcstudio.com by August 25th (abstract is due July 20th).

Disaster Relief Housing For The Next “Superstorm”

Exterior Of The Prefabricated Relief Housing Units. Image Courtesy of GOTHAMIST / JAKE DOBKIN

With hurricanes Sandy and Katrina etched into recent memory, the need for post-disaster relief housing is now. New York City and Garrison Architects have developed a modular, prefabricated housing system to relieve displaced citizens during the next “superstorm.” At only 40′ by 100′ long, they can squeeze into the city’s smallest corners – all while having kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and storage spaces. The prototype is on display in Brooklyn – but you can see the entire  at the A/N Blog.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Demonstrates Continued Stability

Courtesy of RIBA

The results of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBAFuture Trends Survey for May show that the Workload Index among UK practices was slightly down in comparison to April (from +35 to +33) with the recovery in confidence levels remaining consistently “very strong” across the country. Although last month’s survey showed London as the region with the brightest outlook, confidence levels reported by architects in Wales and the West topped the index with a balance figure of +49. Workload forecasts in the private sector, public sector and community sector have all significantly increased.

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