Open Call: Our Future With/Without Parks 2105

Courtesy of

The Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture (JILA) will be celebrating its 90th anniversary in May 2015, and is pleased to host an international competition for design proposals envisioning future Tokyo with/without parks in 2105, 90 years from today.

The competition invites students and young practitioners in design, planning, research, and related fields to rethink the raison d’etre of the park, one of the greatest urban inventions for modern society, and to propose innovative visions for future Tokyo with/without parks. Online registrations close April 24, 2015. You can learn more and apply, here.

Is the Golden Ratio Design’s Greatest Hoax?

© Sébastien Bertrand

For more than 150 years, the has been one of the main tenets of design, informing generations of architects, designers, and artists. From Le Corbusier to AppleVitruvius to Da Vinci, the ratio purportedly dictates which forms will be found aesthetically pleasing.  Yet mathematicians and designers have grown skeptical of the practical applications of the Golden Ratio, with Edmund Harriss of the University of Arkansas’ mathematics department putting it at its most simple: “It is certainly not the universal formula behind aesthetic beauty.” Writing for Fast Co. Design, John Brownlee collates sources as diverse as the mathematics department at Stanford University to Richard Meier, laying out the case against what may just be design’s greatest hoax. Read the full article here.

Richard Rogers Restructures Practice Prior To Relocation

The Architects’ Journal have reported that London based practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), headed by , has refined its in-house structure “as the practice continues to implement its long-term succession plan.” The practice, who will move into their new home on level fourteen of the Leadenhall Building following its completion last year, will operate one studio led by Richard Rogers alongside partner Simon Smithson; another by Graham Stirk with partner ; and a third headed by Ivan Harbour.

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Spotlight: Peter Behrens

portrait taken by Waldemar Titzenthaler c.1913. (Public domain)

If asked to name buildings by German architect and designer Peter Behrens (14 April 1868 – 27 February 1940), few people would be able to answer with anything other than his AEG Turbine Factory in Berlin. His style was not one that lends itself easily to canonization; indeed, even the Turbine Factory itself is difficult to appreciate without an understanding of its historical context. Despite this, Behrens’ achievements are not to be underestimated, and his importance to the development of architecture might best be understood by looking at three young architects who worked in his studio around 1910: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius.

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RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows UK Public Sector Workloads Dip

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for February 2015 has revealed continued optimism, although the public sector workload forecast has dipped with uncertainty about spending commitments ahead of the General Election in May. The workload index fell back slightly to +26 (from +29 in January) and workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in the Midlands and East Anglia (+43) and in Wales and the West (+39). In addition, practices have reported that they are now employing 16% more Part 1 (undergraduate) and Part 2 (postgraduate) students than they were twelve months ago.

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Take an Architectural Tour of Milan with ParkMapp

Courtesy of Park Associati

Released in time for the opening of the Furniture Show at EXPO 2015, ParkMapp is the ultimate guide to Milan’s modern and contemporary architecture. An ongoing project by local architecture and design firm Park Associati, ParkMapp is a mobile app that identifies and geo-locates significant landmarks across the city. The app’s sleek and legible interface is divided into modern and contemporary architecture, and features pictures and short descriptions of Milanese landmarks. A “lifestyle” section recommending , retail, and dining attractions rounds out what Park Associati envisions as an “active map” for new and returning visitors alike. ParkMapp is available for download via the Apple App Store, or on Google play for Android devices.

Erik Andersson Designs Carbon Fiber Pedestrian Bridge for Gothenburg

© MIR

The City of Gothenburg has commissioned Erik Andersson Architects to design a new pedestrian in the city’s historic Haga district. The circular , connecting streets Haga Kyrkogata and Arkitektgatan, will be made of carbon fiber, allowing for a narrow profile that seemingly floats over the water. It is envisioned that the the crosses inside the circular form can be used as an amphitheater for riverside performances.

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AIAS Launches Campaign to Promote Early Licensing

Courtesy of

The AIAS has launched a new campaign, the Professional Advancement Support Scholarship, or PASS. The program, available for AIAS alumni pursuing licensure, provides incentive for recent graduates to take a portion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) by reimbursing them for successfully undertaking this task. Through a proactive approach, coupled with an informative blog series, the AIAS encourages aspiring architects to actively seek licensure to kick-start their professional careers.

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Michael Sorkin’s ‘The Next Helsinki’ Competition Attracts Over 200 Entries

The organisers behind The Next Helsinki, a competition masterminded by architect and critic Michael Sorkin, have announced that they have received over 200 international entries. Launched as an alternative to the controversial Guggenheim Helsinki project, the competition called upon architects, urbanists, artists, and environmentalists to imagine how and the South Harbour site allotted to the proposed museum could be transformed for the maximum benefit of the city’s residents and visitors.

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Faculty Install Grid Structure for SUTD Open House

Courtesy of SUTD

Associate professor Toni Kotnik and assistant professor Carlos Bañón have collaborated on the design of an exhibition platform for the 2015 SUTD Open House. Held in early, the exhibition was the main showcase for the department of Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Contrasting the neutrality of the white exhibition space, Kotnik and Bañón’s design used 200 wooden studs, each 1-meter in length and configured into a modular grid system. The structure was supported by 16 oxidised steel tripods that add both stability and a visual density to the platform. Both Kotnik and Bañón are faculty members at the University of Technolgoy and Design, with particular interests in architecture and sustainable design. More images after the break.

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Open Call: “STITCH” Portland

Courtesy of Portland

Now in its second year, the AIA Portland is seeking entries for its ideas competition - “2015 STITCH II.” Open to everyone, the competition asks participants to reinvent an unused site beneath Portland’s I-405 into an active public space or shelter. While the specific programming is left to the participants’ discretion, designs must respond to the specific context of the neighborhood. Registration is open now and submissions are welcomed through June 1, 2015. Three winners will be chosen by a multidisciplinary jury and announced at a ceremony on June 9, receiving monetary prizes between $100 and $500. For more information, visit aiaportland.org. To register, visit eventbrite.com. You can see last year’s winner, here.

Spotlight: Jørn Utzon

in front of the during construction, 1965. Image Courtesy of Keystone/Getty Images

Pritzker Prize winning architect Jørn Utzon, who died in 2008 aged 90, was the relatively unknown Dane who, on the 29th January 1957, was announced as the winner of the ‘International competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney’. When speaking about this iconic building, Louis Kahn stated that:

The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building.

Unfortunately, Utzon never saw the Sydney Opera House, his most popular work, completed. Learn of his fascinating story, after the break.

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Spotlight: Richard Neutra

© Klaus Meier-Ude via architonic.com

Though Modernism is sometimes criticized for imposing universal rules on different people and areas, but it was Richard J. Neutra‘s (April 8, 1892 – April 16, 1970) intense client focus that won him acclaim. His personalized and flexible version of created a series of private homes that were and are highly sought after, and make him one of the United States’ most significant mid century modernists. His architecture of simple geometry and airy steel and glass became the subject of the iconic photographs of Julius Schulman, and came to stand for an entire era of American design.

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BIG-led Webinar to Discuss the Manhattan “Dry Line”

Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

One of the six winners of the Rebuild by Design competition, Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) “Dry Line” project aims to protect from future storms like Hurricane Sandy by creating a protective barrier around lower . The barrier will be formed by transforming underused waterfront areas into public parks and amenities. Now, you can learn more about the vision behind the project and how it was developed in a webinar led by Jeremy Alain Siegel, the director of the BIG team and head of the subsequent East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. The webinar will take place on Friday, June 12. Learn more and sign-up on Perform.Network

Spotlight: Kisho Kurokawa

Image via ritsumei.ac.jp

Kisho Kurokawa (April 8th 1934 – October 12th 2007) was one of Japan‘s leading architects of the 20th century, perhaps most well-known as one of the founders of the Metabolist movement of the 1960s. Throughout the course of his career Kurokawa advocated a philosophical approach to understanding architecture that was manifest in his completed projects throughout his life.

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David Chipperfield’s First Residential Project in New York to be Built at Bryant Park

. Image Courtesy of Architects

Manhattan based real-estate company HFZ Capital Group has announced “The Bryant,” David Chipperfield Architects‘ first residential condominium project in New York City, located at 16 West 40th Street. The proposal for the 32-story building features a hotel on the lower levels, with 57 apartments ranging from one- to four-bedrooms, including two duplex penthouses, on floors 15 through 32 – offering residents “the rare opportunity to live in a new construction, residential development on the fully-restored Bryant Park,” according to the developers.

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AIANY and the Center for Architecture Name David Burney as Interim Executive Director

David Burney. Image Image via Architect Magazine

After the unexpected departure of Rick Bell last week, the American Institute of Architects’ New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture have named David Burney as interim Executive Director until a long-term replacement can be found. Currently an Associate Professor of Planning and Placemaking at the Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and Board Chair for the Center for Active Design, Burney worked as an architect at Davis Brody Bond until 1990, when he embarked on a 24-year career as one of New York‘s key civil servants: first as director of design at the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) until 2003, and then as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) from 2004 until 2014.

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Nasher Sculpture Center Announces New $100,000 Prize

interior designed by Renzo Piano. Image ©

The Nasher Sculpture Center has announced the new $100,000 Nasher Prize, an international prize that will be awarded annually to living artists worldwide for “work that has had an extraordinary impact on the understanding of sculpture.” The inaugural winner will be announced in Fall of 2015.

“The Nasher Sculpture Center is one of a few institutions worldwide dedicated exclusively to the exhibition and study of modern and contemporary sculpture,” says the center. “As such, the prize is an apt extension of the museum’s mission and its commitment to advancing developments in the field. By recognizing those artists who have influenced our understanding of sculpture and its possibilities, the Nasher Sculpture Center will further its role as a leading institution in enhancing and promoting this vital art form.”

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