Symposium: Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation

What unites contemporary design? What is the through line that connects designers between continents and across decades? This spring, The MA program in Design Studies at Parsons The New School for Design presents a two-day symposium that will bring together a rare interdisciplinary group of professionals and academics to explore narratives surrounding the field of design, and attempt to answer these questions. The conference, Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation, will be held March 7 – 8.

This is the conference’s second year. In 2013, it was one of the first events held by the then-new MA in Design Studies. It brought together an international roster of scholars, practitioners, and entrepreneurs who considered how design shapes specific experiences and embodies fundamental assumptions about our relationship to the world and each other.

For more information, please click here.

What Does a Zaha Hadid-Designed Water Fountain Look Like?

© ZHA

Zaha Hadid ArchitectsAdam ArchitectureHopkins ArchitectsEric Parry ArchitectsAllford Hall Monaghan Morris and Studio Weave have all unveiled, what AJ describes as, six “jaw-dropping” proposals for new water kiosks planned for central London. As part of a competition, conducted by the British journal, the architect-designed drinking fountains will be on view at The Building Centre from February 20 through March 14. View them all and vote for your favorite here.

Call for Proposals: PXSTL Community Program Grants

Courtesy of Freecell Architecture

Back in September 2013, we told you about PXSTL. Organized by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, challenged US artists, architects and designers to propose a small-scale intervention for a vacant lot in the St. Louis Grand Center cultural district that could possibly spark large-scale urban transformation. Freecell Architecture was announced as the winner of the competition, with their proposal “Lots”.

Today, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts announced an open call for community program proposals that respond to “Lots”. The structure will be open from May 9 to October 5, 2014, during which several curated events will be taking place. Up to $1,500 will be granted to individuals, community groups or organizations whose proposals help in engaging the community exchange at the site. For more information regarding criteria, site, and submission guidelines, please click here.

Exhibition: Beyond the Supersquare

Livia Corona (b. Mexico, 1975; based in New York) / From the series: “Two Million Homes for Mexico / 47,547 Homes for Mexico Ixtapaluca, 2007 / Archival Chromogenic Print / 30 x 40 inches / Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Agustina Ferreyra, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Beyond the Supersquare brings together a select group of contemporary artists whose insightful work addresses the remnants of the Modern Movement in Latin America and the Caribbean. While the exhibition will address how Modernism defined a number of decisive aspects related to contemporary architecture, urbanism, and art in Latin America, this exhibition will also examine the larger political and social underpinnings of these cultural and environmental developments.

Through drawings, photography, sculpture, , and video, Beyond the Supersquare presents a series of responses to the aggressive rise of Latin America’s urban centers and the ways in which they have evolved since the mid-twentieth century.

For more information on this exhibition, please click here.

Title: Exhibition: Beyond the Supersquare
Website: http://www.bronxmuseum.org/exhibitions/beyond-the-supersquare
Organizers: The Bronx Museum of the Arts
From: Thu, 01 May 2014 
Until: Sun, 11 Jan 2015 
Venue:
Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456, USA

Phoenix Determined to Build BIG Pin

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Although Arizona developer Novawest was determined to build BIG’s 420-foot observation tower in downtown before the 2015 Super Bowl, failed negotiations has left them without a site. Once planned for the interior courtyard of the Arizona Science Center, the privately-funded project is now being considered for an undisclosed downtown site with completion rescheduled for 2016. Considering the project has received a considerable amount of support from city officials, it seems inevitable that the BIG pin will eventually be built despite harsh criticism from nearby residents. Modifications for the new site will be minimal. You can review the design here

Is It Time To Abandon the Coastline?

New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Image © Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen

Between Hurricane Sandy in the USA and ongoing storms and floods damaging large areas of Britain, the issues of flood prevention and coastal defense are now a top priority for planners on both sides of the Atlantic. This article in the Guardian asks whether it might be time to give in to the sea and rethink our affinity for coastal living; and this one on Architecture Boston asks to what extent society should be expected to foot the bill for those in high-risk areas, and wonders how, legally, the state could encourage people to live elsewhere.

From Grain Silo to Shipping Container Student Housing

Courtesy of Citiq Property Developers, via Inhabitat

Inhabitat has just featured an unlikely new student housing project in : Mill Junction, a student complex that consists of two former grain silos topped with shipping containers. According to its developers, Citiq Property Developers, the energy and money-saving project re-directs money towards communal facilities, proving popular with students. As a result, Mill Junction, the second shipping-container housing project built by the Developers, may be the second of many more. More info at Inhabitat.

Libeskind Designs “Polycentric Spiral” for Cosentino Group

Beyond the Wall / Daniel Libeskind for Cosentino Group

Daniel Libeskind has unveiled a permanent sculpture at the Cosentino Group world headquarters in Almeria: “Beyond the Wall.” Inspired by the “infinite possibilities of the spiral,” the is intended to exhibit how the company’s ultra-compact, innovative surfacing material, ® can be used to clad contemporary facades.

“This is not a traditional spiral with a unique center and axis, but a contemporary spiral that opens multiple paths in many different directions,” describes Cosentino in a press release. “In short, a polycentric spiral energy is projected to a dramatic peak.”

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Spectrum Magazine Spotlights MIT’s Cross-Disciplinary Research into Cities

Fluid Crystallization, a project by Skylar Tibbits which informed his investigation of 4D printing. Image Courtesy of The Self-Assembly Lab,

Spectrum Magazine, an annual publication by MIT to highlight the work of a cross-section of their professors and alumni, has recently released its 2014 edition. This year, the focus is on cities, with a great selection of architecture, planning and technology based contributions. You can download a pdf of the magazine here – or read on after the break for links to some articles of note.

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The Best Future Cities Presented on Film

A still from “Metropolis”, perhaps the archetypal futuristic city film. Image

From 1927′s Metropolis to 2002′s Minority Report, this article on the Guardian Cities explores film’s futuristic utopias, dystopias, and those somewhere in-between – and asks: which of these cities would be safest? Most suited to under-30s? The best to live in? You can find out by reading the article here.

The A-Z of Brutalism

© Andy Spain

’s has named the “incredible hulks” of Brutalism with a thought provoking A-Z list that ranges from Hans Asplund, who coined the term “nybrutalism,” to California’s fascination with Zapotec-like adornments in the 1960s. Read the list in full and discover why Quebec City, Yugoslavia’s Janko Konstantinov, and Danish architect Jørn Utzon are all considered incredible hulks here.

Frank Gehry’s Ground Zero Performing Arts Scheme Abandoned

Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners

The recent hire of temporary artistic director has indicated that plans for Ground Zero’s “world center for the performing arts” is moving forward in New York. The famed London director will work alongside Charcoalblue managing partner Andy Hayles to revise the original -designed scheme which, according to the center’s president, was prematurely designed. This leaves Gehry’s involvement unclear, as the initial 1000-seat center will be abandoned for a scaled down, three-theater house that ranges from 150 to 550 seats. Competition for funding also remains an obstacle, in light of venues such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s 2017 Culture Shed. You can learn more about the center’s update here

Emerging Visions Portfolio Competition 2014

The Chicago Architectural Club, with the support of AIA Chicago and the Graham Foundation, today announced the launch of the 2014 Emerging Visions portfolio competition. This competition seeks to provide a forum for young designers to be recognized and to share their visions, inventions and ideas. The award promotes significant architectural endeavors by young architects, designers and new practices yet to be acknowledged.

Prominent architects Elva Rubio and Dan Wheeler founded the Emerging Visions portfolio competition in 1998 in an effort to draw attention to the significant design contributions of rising talents based in . Previous winners include: Michael Wilkinson (1998), Jeanne Gang & Mark Schendel (2000), Sarah Dunn & Martin Felsen (2003), Tristan d’Estree Sterk (2005), Karla Sierralta & Brian Strawn (2007) Iker Gil (2010).

Entry information, including a complete set of rules, can be found at http://chicagoarchitecturalclub.org/. Entries are due by 10pm CST, March 09, 2014. Winners of the 2014 Emerging Visions will present their work at an event at Chicago Architecture Foundation on March 13, 2014 and have their work exhibited at the 2014 AIA National Convention from June 26-28, 2014.

20 Teams to Compete in 2015 U.S. Solar Decathlon

2013: Team Austria Wins Top Honors. Image © Jason Flakes/U.S. DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected 20 collegiate teams to participate in the 2015 Solar Decathlon at Irvine, ’s Orange County Great Park. The eight returning teams will compete against 12 new teams, with partners from four international schools, to build “solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence” within the allotted two-year period. View the full list of competitors, after the break.

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Diller Scofidio + Renfro Designs Public Plaza, Restaurant for LA’s Broad Museum

© , via Designboom

Alongside news that The Broad’s completion date has been pushed back to 2015, rather than this fall, Diller Scofidio + Renfro has unveiled a new collaboration with landscape architect Walter Hood that will transform the mid-block parcel adjacent to the Grand Avenue museum into a pedestrian-friendly landscaped plaza and restaurant. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the new square will establish an important link to the neighboring school and apartment, as well as the future 2020 Regional Connector subway stop. The 24,000 square foot parcel will be enhanced by100-year-old olive trees transplanted from Northern . Watch a video about the design after the break, and find more information here

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A Proposal to Turn Paris’ Unused Metro Stations Into Parks, Pools, and More

’ Arsenal Station as an underground park. Image Courtesy of Manal Rachdi, OXO Architects & Nicolas Laisné, via IBT

We architects know full well the power of renderings to capture the imagination. Apparently – so too do politicians. Capitalizing on the popularity of projects around the world (a trend instigated by the success of New York’s High Line), French politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet has made converting Paris’ unused “ghost stations” a major part of her platform, promising that these projects will come to pass should she be elected mayor.

The renderings, by Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associés, show the Arsenal station (unused since 1939) alternately as a swimming pool, a green park, restaurant, disco, or theater. As there are in fact 16 disused metro stations in Paris, the idea behind these renderings is to instigate debate among practitioners as to how these spaces could best serve the city. See all the renderings, after the break.

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Congress Aids the Impending Doom of Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial

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Congress budget cuts have officially stalled ’s controversial Eisenhower Memorial, according to a recent report, rejecting $49 million in construction funds and cutting the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s annual budget in half. Unless the commission is able to raise a substantial amount of private funds, as well as win support from the Eisenhower family (which is doubtful), Gehry’s “grandiose” memorial is unlikely to ever break ground. Despite this, the commission’s director is optimistic, stating that the FDR Memorial took nearly 45 years to get built. You can read more about the controversy here.

Snow Reveals Opportunities for Public Space

Image via This Old City.

Traffic imprints found in Philadelphia’s record snowfall has revealed some clever opportunities for public space. As reported by This Old City, formations have carved examples of unused streetscape that could be easily reclaimed as pedestrian space. This would not only improve traffic safety, but would also enhance the city’s and desirability. Learn more and see examples here.