The Atlanta BeltLine: From Student Thesis to Community Mobilizer

A parade passes through the Eastside Trail of the BeltLine, completed in October 2012. Image © Christopher T. Martin

An abandoned twenty-two mile stretch of derelict railroad and industrial sites used to be a thorn in the Atlanta community’s side. But with one student’s thesis proposal to redevelop these areas into a sustainable network connecting 45 mixed-use neighborhoods, public concern has since turned into excitement. To learn more about the ambitious project, head over to The Atlantic  here.

Open International Competition for the Design of Summer Residential Unit

Project Baltia magazine and Hostel & Space have just announced the Open International Competition for the Design of Summer Residential Unit. Five winning projects will be implemented on the territory of the Hostel by August 2, 2014. The units should enable temporary accommodation for one or two persons. Functions of these units are similar to those of a hotel room.

Architects and designers from and abroad are invited to take part in the Competition. Project teams must not consist of more than 4 participants under the age of 35 years (inclusive).

You have until June 10 to submit your proposal. More information can be found on the competition’s official website.

Biking to Work Increases 60 Percent in U.S.

© 2008-2012 American Community Survey

Over the last decade, the amount of bicycle commuters have increased 60 percent in the U.S. As the U.S. Census Bureau reports, this is the largest percentage increase of all modes tracked by the 2000 Census and the 2008-2012 American Community Survey. Along with the study, the Bureau released a new interactive map that allows you to zoom-in and explore the statistics for every neighborhood in the U.S. Find out how to access this map and read some highlights from the report, after the break…

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Request for Proposals: The Energetic City / Connectivity in the Public Realm

The Design Trust for Public Space announces The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm, a new request for project proposals to redefine public space.

The Energetic City is an initiative to seed and develop new forms of connectivity among the diverse people, systems, and built, natural and digital environment of City. This public call invites proposals for research, design and planning projects to improve the experience of urban life by connecting people through ‘great’ design informed by the needs and aspirations of community users.

This year the Design Trust places a special emphasis of opening the project call to individuals, in addition to community groups and public agencies. We will offer seed funding so the projects can begin immediately. Projects may include the production of a clearly defined deliverable—a design prototype, pilot intervention, beta app, publication, video, or public artwork, among other possible formats—or be structured as the research, planning, or public outreach stage of a potentially larger project, where the process will inform the ultimate deliverable.

The kick-off event will take place on Monday May 19, from 7-9 pm, at BRIC House, 647 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. For more information, please click here.

Exhibition: TALL DC / New Monumentalism

Since it was enacted by Congress, the Height of Buildings Act of 1910 has restricted how tall buildings can be designed in the District of Columbia.

TALL DC: New Monumentalism features student work from the Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture and Planning (CUA) that provocatively explores what Washington could look like in the absence of this law.

Working within CUA’s Emerging Technologies and Media graduate concentration, analyzed two of Washington’s most recognizable structures, the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument, and questioned the definition of “monument” in the contemporary context of global commercial markets, residential migration, and iconic skylines.

Three distinct proposals for a mixed-use ‘skyscraper’ were created for the Department of Commerce site located near the National Mall. Using radically different design strategies, each concept offers a creative and controversial idea for building a TALL DC.

More information can be found here.

Title: Exhibition: TALL DC / New Monumentalism
Website: http://aiadac.com/sigal-gallery/tall-dc
Organizers: Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning
From: Thu, 22 May 2014 
Until: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 
Venue: District Architecture Center
Address: 421 7th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004,

Norman Foster Receives Inaugural Isamu Noguchi Award

Norman Foster has been selected alongside artist Hiroshi Sugimoto to receive the inaugural . Presented by Motohide Yoshikawa, the ambassador of Japan to the United Nations, the award recognizes “individuals that share Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi’s commitment to innovation, global consciousness and Japanese/American exchange.” Watch an ArchDaily with Foster, after the break…

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What Makes a City a City?

The presence of a cathedral meant St David’s in Pembrokeshire had city status with a population of around 2,000. Image Courtesy of Alamy

You probably use the word ‘city’ on a daily basis, but if put on the spot – could you give it a concise definition? Under the rule of Henry VIII, the title of city was given to virtually any settlement in the United Kingdom with a diocesan cathedral. Obviously, times have changed. For Robert Bevan’s thoughts on the title’s past and present meaning, read his article on The Guardian here.

Competing Utopias: An Experimental Installation of Cold War Modern Design from East and West in One Context

Poster Design: David Hartwell, 2014

Competing Utopias is a design collision that should never happen. But somehow, in , in 2014, twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it will.

This installation is a ‘mash-up’ in the most provocative sense of that word. Its force comes from the collision of two design cultures that have been kept apart but have been visually connected in ways yet unexamined. What’s proposed is an experimental installation that presents Cold War modern design from East and West in one context.

Competing Utopias is organized by two Los Angeles institutions: the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences and the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War, each a different type of museum. The Neutra House is an iconic Los Angeles mid-century modern house museum, designed by Austrian born American architect Richard Neutra. The Wende Museum is the largest archive of Cold War artifacts in the world. Both ‘institutions’ originated in German speaking Europe, both subsequently landed in Los Angeles. Their collections embody two forks of a Cold War history.

Title: Competing Utopias: An Experimental Installation of Cold War Modern Design from East and West in One Context
Website: http://neutra-vdl.org/site/competing_utopias.asp?514201404423
From: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 
Until: Sun, 14 Sep 2014
Venue: Neutra VDL Research House
Address: 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039,

Sydney Pushes First-Ever Policy to Promote Culture

© Flickr - User: Jong Soo (Peter) Lee

The City of has requested that 1.6 million square meters of empty commercial and residential space be made available to artists for “creative activities.” The proposed cultural offers over 120 ideas in which the space can be used to enhance ’s reputation as a world renowned creative city. “The City is proud to spend more than $34 million each year to support the arts, culture and creative activity in – but we know it is equally important to create an environment where ideas and imagination can flourish.” More information on the new policy can be found here

RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship Awarded to Student Investigating Climate Change

Buffer Landscapes 2060. Image © Joe Paxton; Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Joe Paxton of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, was awarded the 2014 for his proposal “Buffer Landscapes 2060.” The £6,000 travel grant will enable him to study the impact of in a number of locations, ultimately to propose some measures that might mitigate the threat of floods, droughts, melting glaciers and rising temperatures. A comment from Foster, after the break…

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HR Giger, Swiss Architect & Visual Mind Behind “Alien,” Dies

MUSEUM HR GIGER BAR in Château St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland. Image © Richard McMullen / flickr user johnleespider

HR Giger, the Swiss artist and designer who inspired and helped craft the visuals for the Ridley Scott film Alien, has died at the age of 74, The Guardian reports. Although he studied architecture and industrial design in Zurich, Giger never entered the profession, but used his spatial know-how to help design dark in both the real and cinematic worlds.

Giger was even hired by Alexandar Jodorowsky in 1975 to design the world for an (unrealized) adaptation of the novel Dune. In Giger’s words: ”My planet was ruled by evil, a place where black magic was practiced, aggressions were let loose, and intemperance and perversion were the order of the day. Just the place for me, in fact.” More about Giger’s life and work at The Guardian.

Baumgartner+Uriu “Apertures” at SCI-Arc Gallery

Apertures reflect a current architectural discourse of digital ecologies, emphasizing the relationship between the natural world and advances in digital technology, which leads to a new type of interactive, organic buildings. The installation focuses on a symbiotic relationship between nature, building morphologies, and material expression.

Rooted in Baumgartner+Uriu’s work and ongoing research, Apertures challenges the notion of an architectural opening as a static object. Moreover, it aims to redefine the DNA of a window both in terms of its appearance and materiality, as well as its nature as an object in continuous flux, responding to its environment through movement or sound. The pavilion and its apertures are designed to physically engage the visitor with the architectural work through sensors and sound feedback loops creating an immersive spatial environment in which the visitor can experience their own biorhythms.  

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Lost Opportunity? Norman Foster’s New York Public Library Renovation

Not gonna happen. Image Courtesy of dbox/Foster + Partners

As we mentioned a few days ago, ’s controversial New York Public Library renovation was axed before the most current proposal was even revealed. While book worms rejoice over the victory, others are disappointed about the lost opportunity. To read about what could have been, head on over to Magazine and read Justin Davidson’s thoughts here.

Plans Underway for “Russian Tate Modern”

Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage via Wikimedia Commons

Rumor has it that Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov’s Bakhmetevsky bus garage may soon be transformed into Moscow’s prime modern art gallery. An “equivalent to London’s Tate Modern,” as the Calvert Journal describes, the historic 1927 structure has been said to be the most likely location for the new museum, dubbed “.”

Toomath’s Legacy: Defining Modern New Zealand Architecture

Toomath House, view of the Oriental Bay. Image Courtesy of Simon Devitt

“What makes us New Zealanders different from, say, Australians?” , the late modernist architect, asked himself this question at the onset of his career. In this article published by the Australian Design Review, Jack Davies takes a look at Toomath’s work and how he helped define architecture. To keep reading, click here.

“Every Building is a Social Critique” – Polshek Describes His Oeuvre in Latest Book

Polshek’s memorable design for the Rose Center for Earth and Space (2000) at the American Museum of Natural History in . Image Courtesy of Timothy Hursley

While architects don’t always see the connection between politics, social constructs, and architecture, considers the three indivisible. In an interview on Metropolis Magazine about his newly released book Build, Memory, he describes how this belief launched his career 65 years ago. To learn more about Polshek’s approach to architecture and the publication, click here.

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“Design Mind” Witold Rybczynski Discusses His Latest Work

Photo by Michael Cooper

While most of the profession looks forward, author Witold Rybczynski is focused on the past. Named 2014′s “Design Mind” by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum earlier this month, Rybczynski writes about historical buildings to give a better understanding of modern architecture. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Rybczynski talks about his latest book “How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit,” the dangers of “celebrity” architecture, and his favorite non-designer chair. Check out the full interview here.

Deadline Approaching: Submit Your Interior Design for an INSIDE Award

Do you think your project has what it takes to win an INSIDE award? The deadline (May 30th) is fast approaching, so make sure to submit your projects soon! Divided into 12 categories — which include Residential, Retail, Transport, Office and more — entries will be judged by distinguished designers (judges confirmed for 2014 include Fabio Novembre, Matteo Thun, Jaya Ibrahim, David Kohn, Joyce Wang, Voon Wong and Chris Lee). In October, architects and interior designers will meet in for the INSIDE Festival, which is held alongside the World Architecture Festival. During the festival, the category winners will compete for the ultimate prize: World Interior of the Year.

To find out more and submit your entry, click here!