Jane Drew Prize Goes to Kathryn Findlay (1953-2014)

. Image Courtesy of Ushida Findlay Architects

Kathryn Findlay, educator and co-founder of Ushida Findlay Architects, has been named winner of the 2014 Jane Drew Prize. This announcement comes shortly after the news of Findlay’s death, which was unknown at the time of the jury’s decision. Known as “one of the most talented people in British architecture,” Findlay will be remembered for her “outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture.”

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World Trade Center Progress Report: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Cranes over the Transport Hub in July of 2012. Image © Mark Lennihan, AP

Slowly, and surely not lacking critique, ’s transport hub rises $2 billion over budget, SOM’s Freedom Tower — now, more mundanely referred to as 1WTC — is recognized as the tallest building in the western hemisphere and there is still a considerable amount of development yet to be done on the . Read Edwin Heathcote’s article on the Financial Times regarding the good, the bad and the ugly: ”Rebuilding the World Trade Center: A Progress Report.”

John McAslan: Community Design, From Haiti to Tottenham

Tottenham High Road, Where John McAslan + Partners plan to open their new office. Image © Flickr CC User Alan Stanton

John McAslan + Partners, already known for their involvement in humanitarian issues thanks to their work in Haiti, are now turning their attention to Tottenham in London, as reported by The Guardian. The practice hopes that by opening a new office on the high street of Tottenham, the area notorious as the crucible of the riots that spread across the UK in August 2011, and by engaging with the community, they can help to make a change. Read the full story here.

The Tale of Sydney’s Urban Sellout

Barangaroo Artist Impression. Image © Barangaroo Delivery Authority

A recent, well-written article for The Guardian chronicles the story of Sydney’s East Darling Harbour (also known as ‘Barangaroo’), from the city’s optimism in 2003 to the relative disappointment of today. David Shoebridge, a  Greens MP and the party’s planning spokesperson, recounts the series of compromises and sellouts that have turned what was meant to be a “prime public space” into – to add insult to injury – the site for a casino.You can read this cautionary tale in full here.

An All-Nighter at the Bauhaus

The Residential block at the is now open for visitors. Image © Thomas Lewandovski

Recently, the Bauhaus Foundation has opened the residential block of the famous building, offering tourists the chance to spend a night. Seizing the opportunity, Olly Wainwright reports on what it feels like to stay – finding it to be a “primordial soup of originals and copies, and copied originals”, from Albers to Ikea, and coming to the conclusion that it may now be missing the party atmosphere it was once famous for. But at only €35 a night, he hopes the chance to stay will “attract crowds of architecture and design students, to reinfect the pristine white shell with the spirited energy it needs.” You can read the full article here.

The Portland Problem: $95 Million for a Hated Building?

The Building in 1982. Image © Steve Morgan via Wikimedia Commons

In a provocative article,The Atlantic Cities explores the dilemma which Portland currently finds itself in: the Michael Graves-designed Portland Building, one of the most important examples of early postmodernism, requires renovation work to the tune of $95 million; unfortunately, most residents of Portland “really, really hate” the building – as they have since it was constructed in 1983. Should the city spend so much money renovating a building which is unpopular, dysfunctional and poorly built just because of its cultural significance? Read the original article for more.

361° Conference 2014: Architecture and Identity

The 361° Conference, an initiative by Indian Architect & Builder to create a relevant platform for dialogue on architecture in , will take place on February 19th to the 21st in . This year’s edition, based on the theme of “Architecture and Identity,” will include renowned speakers, including Steven Holl and Dr. B V Doshi. More details, after the break…

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Denise Scott Brown: A Must-Read Interview

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

Designers & Books editors Stephanie Salomon and Steve Kroeter sat down with Denise Scott Brown for a conversation centered around the seminal work penned by Scott Brown, Robert Venturi, and Steven Izenour in 1972. The must-read interview reveals some fantastic insight into Scott Brown’s personal and professional life – her unending love of neon (one which led her to Las Vegas), her distaste for the “tyranny of white paper” (which gravely afflicted the design of the first edition of Learning from Las Vegas),as well as her – rather surprising – position on awarding group creativity. Read the full interview here and check out some select quotes from the interview, after the break.

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Should NYC Be Curbing Its Tall Buildings?

111 West 57th Street by SHoP Architects. Image Courtesy of SHoP Architects

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman puts forward his opinion on what should be done about the new breed of supertall residential buildings threatening to place Central Park ”inside the world’s biggest chessboard”. While he accepts that they may be an important factor in bringing wealth (and tax revenue) to New York, he offers some simple changes in legislation that could protect the city’s famous skyline from abuse by high-power development firms. Read the full article here.

Sign Up Now for Porto Academy 2014

For the second year in a row, Indexnewspaper will organize ‘Porto Academy’ at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto () in Portugal from the 21st to the 28th of July 2014.

The academy will consist of a weeklong in which students will have the chance to work closely with: Antón Garcia-Abril, Cecilia Puga, Diogo Seixas Lopes (Barbas Lopes), Emilio Marin, Jan De Vylder (Vylder Van Vinck Tallieu), José Paulo dos Santos, Nuno Valentim, Paulo Providência, Smiljan Radic and Tetsuo Kondo. Participants will attend twelve lectures from those architects as well as three master classes from Valerio Olgiati (and two more architects soon to be revealed). 

Porto Academy will take place in the FAUP’s famous building, designed by Álvaro Siza. More details, after the break…

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Wang Shu’s Partner Lu Wenyu: I Never Wanted a Pritzker

Courtesy of www.ilgiornaledellarchitettura.com

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El País, defends her husband Wang Shu for solely receiving the Pritzker Prize in 2012. Despite the fact that the couple co-founded Amateur Architecture Studio and have worked side by side ever since, Wengyu maintains that her husband would have shared the Prize with her – she just didn’t want it. 

She confides to El País: ”In China, you lose your life if you become famous. I want a life and I prefer to spend it with my son. Over there I don’t accept interviews. And not in English-speaking countries either [...] I’m happy to be able to do architecture that I believe helps our towns and cities to be better. I’m convinced that to talk about this awakens interest in others – not being famous.” Read the full interview at El País

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We Need More ‘Building’ in Architecture School

Courtesy of Flickr user mr kris

“Architectural education is very abstract.” Virginia Tech professors and Rural Studio alumni Keith and Marie Zawistowski sat down to talk about the importance of a hands-on experience, suggesting a fundamental restructuring of curriculums. With projects such as the Masonic Ampitheater, they — together with their students — set out to prove that somethings are simply solved by building. Read the full article here, “What Architecture Schools Get Wrong”.

Joi Ito Explains His Theories of Organic City Design

Joi Ito. Image © Flickr CC User Nokton

As part of their coverage of the Global Agenda Council on Design and Innovation, Grasp Magazine interviewed Joi Ito, director of MIT‘s Media Lab. He voices his opinion that current strategies for masterplanning do not work, as designers struggle to reliably “predict and cause a future to occur” (a better approach is to enable and empower innovation on a grass-roots level); that designers need to find the right balance between intuition and data; and that new technologies should not just improve existing systems, but preferably overhaul them entirely. You can read the full article here.

How We Can Code Democracy Into the Design Process

A scheme to paint a whole favela in Rio de Janeiro, successfully funded via in October. Image Courtesy of Favela Painting’s Page

In this interview with Grasp Magazine Tim Brown, the CEO of , explains his belief that in order to develop solutions to the complex problems found in cities, the only successful approach is from the bottom-up. In order to make this possible, he says, we need to democratize the design process by encouraging and empowering more people to engage in design, by operating with ‘codes’ rather than ‘blueprints’ which invite further contribution. Platforms like Kickstarter are one way that this process is already in motion. You can read the full article here.

Kickstarter: REM

Screen Shot from Casa De Musica Porto. Image © Tomas Koolhaas

UPDATE: REM’s campaign was successfully funded! 

There are only three days left for you to help fund the most highly-anticipated documentary film about the legendary Rem Koolhaas: REM. Directed by the architect’s son, Tomas Koolhaas, the film will explore an unprecedented perspective on what gives Koolhaas’ work function and purpose: how it is used by people. Learn more and donate to Koolhaas’ campaign here on Kickstarter.  

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Cast Your Vote for the Audi Urban Future Award 2014

Speed Pitch: Philip Parsons & Federico Parolotto (screen shot)

How will data shape mobility in future mega-cites? This is precisely what three innovation teams are striving to answer for the 2014 . Review each team’s revolutionary idea after the break and cast your vote on the most innovative solution here. The winner of the voting will be announced by Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler, at the International CES in Las Vegas on January 6, 2014, and will be one participant in next year’s Audi Urban Future Award.

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Call for Papers: STUDIO#06 – POWER

The relationship between Architecture and Power has been the main character in the urban transformation with no space-time boundaries. Architecture has historically demonstrated its Power in creating different urban landscapes capable of influencing spaces that are lived.

Power shows and has shown how Architecture is one of the most efficient tools to express ones vision about the world. STUDIO#06 – POWER wants to investigate how to examine this continuous and difficult relationship within society and in contemporary experiences. The constant relation between the communicative energy of architecture and human ambitions has determined a sometimes symbiotic practice of small and big architecture interventions. At the same time architecture’s formal power defines our perception of spaces, in each little transformation, in an ever-changing manner.

Which were and are in the historical and political scenario the dynamics, examples and the relations between Power and Architecture? In which way nowadays the pair Power-Architecture consciously or unconsciously transforms our cities and the spaces we inhabit?

Structurally organized in different ways of contribution – essays, insights, experiences, images – the issue is meant to be  investigated by a multi-disciplinary global perspective in order to define its complexity. The call for papers defines the field of interest of an issue and produces a context in which situate contributions.

For complete information on the submission guideline, requirements and timeline, please click here.

Young Projects to Design “Match-Maker” Heart for Times Square

Courtesy of

Trailing Situ Studio’s recycled lumber heartYoung Projects has been chosen to design the annual Times Square Valentine’s Day installation for lovers in the Big Apple. Made in collaboration with fabricator Kammental, “Match-Maker” will debut early February. 

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