AEC Hackathon

A first for the AEC Industry, the AEC Hackathon is a non-profit event that brings together teams of technologists and industry stakeholders to help shape the future of our built environment. Formatted as a traditional “hack”, the AEC Hackathon provides a playful, exploratory environment where disruption, innovation, and creative ideas are brought to life.

The focus of the event is not on technology for technology’s sake, but to hack into traditional processes and workflows of the AEC industry to generate innovation. This can be eventually be applied into global solutions.

The event will take place in and Silicon Valley from November 8 to November 10. For more information on registration and complete details, click here.

Were Brutalist Campus Buildings Designed to Suppress Student Protests?

UMass Dartmouth Library, by Paul Rudolph. Image Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth

In this fascinating article on the Slate design blog, J Bryan Lowder takes on a commonly held myth: that brutalist buildings on college campuses were designed to prevent student riots. From the egalitarian design ethos of to the fact that many of these buildings were around before the widespread student uprisings of the late 1960s, he finds no support for the theory – however he does end with a possible reason why these buildings are now regarded with such suspicion. You can read the full article here.

Where Automobiles & Architecture Meet

Audi A3 Assembly Line. Image © Audi

Where does architecture and the automobile industry meet? Many architects, including Le Corbusier, have tried to understand how building construction can be more like car manufacturing, with mass-produced parts that can be easily assembled on site.  recently explored the idea at their Design with a Purpose: Built Tough panel discussion held at New York’s Center for Architecture. Click here to read The New York Times‘ coverage of the discussion, and check out ArchDaily editor-in-chief’s thoughts on cars and architecture here.

3D Laser Technology to Digitally Preserve The World’s Greatest Sites

’s Scanned Parthenon Project. Image Courtesy of toptravellists.net

CyArk, a non-for-profit 3D laser scanning organization, is scanning the world’s greatest monuments, hoping to preserve over 500 cultural heritage sites around the globe, The Independent reports. The portable laser system creates such a detailed, digital blueprint of structures and ruins that each building can then be reproduced in 3D, with a margin of error of only two millimeters. So far, the statues of Easter Island, the Tower of London, Mount Rushmore, the Tower of Pisa have been preserved. Check out more about the technology in ’s TED Talk.

Winners of the World Habitat Awards Announced

The 2013 will be held in Medellin, Colombia. Image © Flickr / David Peña

The winners of the 2013 World Habitat Awards, a competition focused on addressing housing needs and issues across the globe, have just been announced. Picked from a pool of over 200 applicants, the two winning entries represent the most innovative and resilient proposals with potential for global use, taking on the rampant homelessness problem in the US (The 100,000 Homes Campaign) and exploring revitalisation opportunities for the Old City in Hebron (Hebron Old City Rehabilitation Programme). The winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Medellin, Colombia on October 17, 2014. To learn more about the competition and it’s winners, click here

On Gender, Genius, and Denise Scott Brown

outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and . Image © Frank Hanswijk

“In the 10 years I’ve been running my architectural practice, I [...] have gotten accustomed to people assuming that my male employees — whether younger or older — are the lead architects who will be making final decisions. Yet this time a lingering frustration colored the rest of my day, a sense that while feminism has made significant progress on a conscious level, little change has trickled down into the unconscious of our culture.” Check out the rest of Esther Sperber’s column for Lilith, in which she details the past travails of female architects (particularly Denise Scott Brown’s), and their future mission, here.

Milwaukee Urban Farm Movement Grows

Courtesy of Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture

After the foreclosure crisis, hundreds of cities despaired at the downturn – but in Milwaukee, the HomeGr/own Initiative saw opportunity. The organization converts empty lots into urban farms, calling upon citizens to assist in this growing movement. But while other cities have tried similar projects (and failed), Fast.Co reports that the HomeGr/own Initiative seems suited to last. Learn why here.

Why Do Bad Guys Always Get The Best Houses?

The Sheats Goldstein Residence by . Image © Jeff Green

In this interesting article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote dissects two Hollywood homes that are infamous as the homes of slick movie bad guys. The Lovell Health House designed by Richard Neutra appeared in LA Confidential as the home of pornographer and pimp Pierce Patchett; the Sheats Goldstein Residence appeared in The Big Lebowski – again as the home of a pornographer – and was designed by none other than “Hollywood’s favourite architectJohn Lautner. Heathcote probes the two architects’ design influences and ideas, and of course offers an explanation as to why “”bad guys always seem to get the best houses“. You can read the full article here.

Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, Architect

Lebbeus Woods, Project: Inhabiting the Quake, Quake City, 1995; graphite and pastel on paper; 14 1/2 in. x 23 in. x 3/4 in. (36.83 cm x 58.42 cm x 1.91 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Estate of Lebbeus Woods

From November 22 through March 2, 2014, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University presents Lebbeus Woods, Architect, bringing together over 100 works from the past 35 years by one of the most influential architects working in the field. Recognized beyond architecture, Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012), who was born in Lansing, Michigan, has been hailed by leading designers, filmmakers, writers, and artists alike as a significant voice in recent decades. Notably, Zaha Hadid, architect of the Broad’s newly inaugurated building, cities Woods as a key influence.

“Lebbeus was a very close friend and great architect. His visionary work explored the fantastic potential and dynamism of space with radical proposals and powerful drawings that were extremely influential,” says Hadid.

Woods’ works resonate across many disciplines for their conceptual potency, imaginative breadth, jarring poetry, and ethical depth. On view in the Broad’s own visionary spaces, Lebbeus Woods, Architect offers compelling insight into the infinite potential of profound architectures, whether real or imagined, to inflect our lived experience. This travelling exhibition features drawings and models from major national and international collections including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), MoMA, the Whitney, MAK Vienna, and the Getty Research Institute.

More information can be found here.

Title: Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, Architect
Website: http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/lebbeus-woods
Organizers: Michigan State University
From: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 
Until: Sun, 02 Mar 2014 
Venue: Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Address: 547 East Circle Drive, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823,

Redefining Context with Tatiana Bilbao

© Iwan Baan

The simple concrete-hewn structures designed by acknowledge their context in a way that most buildings don’t. In a recent interview with uncube Magazine, Bilbao explains how her outlook on design shifted after she realized that “the quality of architecture relies heavily on the people who build it and what techniques and materials they are used to.” And it seems this novel approach hasn’t gone unnoticed – she recently showed her work at ’s Architekturgalerie and is on a star-studded shortlist to design the Menil Drawing Institute. Read the full interview here.

Giveaway Winners: ‘Richard Meier & Partners Complete Works’

Last week, thanks to the courtesy of Taschen, we gave you the chance to win one of five copies of the book Richard Meier & Partners Complete Works.

To participate, all you had to do was answer the following question.

What is your favorite project designed by Richard Meier & Partners and why?

After more than 150 comments, we now have the winners! Congratulations to Paweł Wołejsza, Sahrudin Omar, Leony Wu, Nikola Petrovic, and Claudia Wainer. You will be contacted through your email. Thanks everyone for participating and stay alert… more giveaways to come!

Exhibition: Isay Weinfeld at Espasso

Isay Weinfeld, the multi-award winning Brazilian architect and designer, will be opening his first ever US exhibit at Espasso in conjunction with the launch of a new monograph that takes a closer look at his recent projects.

Isay is behind some of Brazil’s most visionary buildings and this year marks his 40th year practicing architecture. Over the last few years he has designed the award-winning 360° Building, the Fasano Porto Feliz, winner of Interior Design’s award for best resort hotel, numerous retail spaces along the Rua Oscar Freire and stunning residential projects that showcase contemporary art. The A to Z exhibit is being premiered in the US at Espasso and also serves as the launch for the monograph titled Isay Weinfeld.

Title: Exhibition: Isay Weinfeld at Espasso
Organizers: Espasso
From: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 
Venue: Espasso
Address: 38 North Moore Street, , NY 10013,

First Section of Santiago Calatrava’s PATH Station Opens in NYC

Image via New York Daily News © Mark Bonifacio

A portion of ’s $4 billion station has opened. According to NY Daily News, the Western Concourse will now relieve New Yorkers from “cramped sidewalks and temporary bridges” crossing West St. with a 600-foot underground passage lined in “bright white marble” that connects the World Trade Center to the neighboring office complex formerly known as the World Financial Center. Once complete in 2015, the controversial transit hub will double as a massive shopping and retail complex, which aims to “transform” the cultural experience of lower Manhattan. 

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Mountains of Construction Debris Accumulate Outside Chinese Cities

© Aly Song / Reuters

Chinese city-dwellers are waking to find eight stories of construction outside of their homes. Over two billion tons of waste, outside Beijing and other major cities, is a result of a booming construction industry. “There’s no systematic way to deal with [the garbage],” says Wilson W.S. Lu, architecture professor at the University of Hong Kong, “The illegal dumping is everywhere.” Recycling efforts have just begun, but local activists believe it will require a radical paradigm shift in the way Chinese residents reclaim material. Read the full Times article, “China’s Mountains of Construction Rubble.

Nakagin Capsule Tower: A Prototype for Today’s Micro Housing

© Arcspace

Seizing on the current trend for ‘micro-apartments‘ in cities such as New York, Fast Company has an interesting profile (including some great photos) of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, the 1972 Japanese building, one of the first (and still one of the most extreme) examples of small-plan living. The article explores both the successful and unsuccessful elements of the design, such as the difficult maintenance and non-openable windows, as well as the ongoing battle for preservation since the residents voted to replace the tower with a conventional building. You can read the full article here.

Dymax Redux: Crowd.Sourcing a New Map for the Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) is proud to partner with The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design to exhibit DYMAX REDUX, a crowdsourcing design contest to highlight today’s graphic designers, visual artists and citizen cartographers own interpretation of Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map. Originally published 70 years ago, Fuller’s map was a cartographic breakthrough showing one island in one ocean; an iconic design that has inspired generations since.

The exhibit will feature mounted prints of all 11 finalists from the DYMAX REDUX contest, whose submissions offer a variety of beautifully original, informative and radical projections onto the Dymaxion world map. By using map as canvas these finalists explore a range of topics including deforestation, climate and atmospheric conditions, historic events, migration routes, water use, gun violence, urbanization, time zones and even lunar topography. Also exhibited will be a selection of Fuller’s own maps to provide background and context for the project.

More information can be found here.

Title: Dymax Redux: Crowd.Sourcing a New Map for the Buckminster Fuller Institute
Website: http://www.cooper.edu/events-and-exhibitions/exhibitions/dymax-reduxcrowd-sourcing-new-map-buckminster-fuller-institute
Organizers: The Cooper Union
From: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 
Until: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 
Venue: The Cooper Union
Address: 7 East 7th Street, , NY 10003,

RIBA Future Trends Survey Indicates Stability for UK Profession

Courtesy of

The latest Future Trends Survey, published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), indicates both stability and optimism. The Future Trends Workload Index increased to +26, a rise of four balance points from August 2013, “building upon the steadily increasing positive trend” seen since the start of this year. The survey also shows evidence that “the growing optimism about an upturn in overall workloads is now widespread” throughout the .

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Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Design Ice Rink for NYC

Courtesy of / Dbox

After sitting derelict for years, the Kate Wollman Memorial Rink in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is poised for something of a rebirth. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s plans for a sports complex, known as Lakeside, is expected to restore the rink’s role as the park’s chief attraction. Michael Kimmelman recently stopped by the site to explore the project as it nears completion – click here to read his thoughts on what he calls one of the last “parting gifts of the Bloomberg era to the city.”