Workshop by Ma Yansong (MAD Architects) at Ajman University

Ma Yansong, founder of MAD Architects, will be having a workshop at Ajman University of Science & Technology, from October 7 to October 10. For registration you need to contact Dr. Jihad Awad at j.awad@ajman.ac.ae.

Jimenez Lai Wins Inaugural Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Début Award

White Elephant / © Magnus Lindqvist, Kyle D, Eberle & Kamil Krol. ImageWhite Elephant /

Jimenez Lai, founder of Chicago-based Bureau Spectacular has been selected as winner of the first Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Début Award. The award, presented by Millennium BCP president Fernando Nogueira, distinguishes a young architect or studio under 35 on outstanding work, development of original design thinking and the pursuit of critical ideas with a monetary prize of €5,000.

Jimenez Lai was chosen from 180 candidates for the “originality and range of his body of work, whose uncompromising and thought-provoking approach to formalism lends it an exploratory vein that,” in the words of the jury, “is crucial to the future of .”

(more…)

Public Space Popping Up in London’s Suburbs

A Mobile town square designed for Cricklewood, by Studio Harto and Studio Kieren Jones. Image Courtesy of http://cricklewoodtownsquare.com/

Cricklewood, a North London suburb devoid of , is finding a new lease of life through a series of pop-up interventions - including a mobile town square designed by Studio Hato and Studio Kieren Jones - put together by civic design agency Spacemakers. While the project might have a bit further to go before any benefits are truly felt by the local residents, the project is part of a wider scheme financed by the Mayor’s Outer London Fund which will hopefully lead to the rejuvenation of more of the capital’s suburbs. Read Liam O’Brien’s full article in The Independent here.

The Photon Project launches at the London Design Festival

Courtesy of The Building Centre

A large scale architectural installation, informative exhibition and free two day conference will take place at The Building Centre WC1 during the 2013 London Design Festival to launch a four year study into the effects of natural light.

A typical new home in the has an average of only 12% of the walls glazed. Natural light in the home and workplace can reduce energy costs and improve health and wellbeing, so why do we have so little natural light in our buildings?

The Photon Project is a major four-year scientific study to investigate the impact of natural light on biology and wellbeing. To launch the project a prototype fully-glazed ‘Photon Pod’ will be built in Central , complete with seating and landscaping. The installation and exhibition will be in place during the Design Festival (14 – 22 September). During this week the public are invited to experience ‘life under glass’ and take part in simple scientific tests, designed specifically for the event by Harvard University to test the effects of daylight on the human body.

Complete information after the break.

(more…)

Fall 2013 Public Programs at SCI-Arc

The Southern California Institute of Architecture () is pleased to announce its schedule of public lectures, discussions and exhibitions for Fall 2013, when the school welcomes an international roster of award-winning architects, urban historians, critics, writers, designers, and artists for programs that span from innovative theory to contemporary architecture and technical practice.

The semester’s public programs includes lectures by GRAFT, Antón García-Abril, Tom Wiscombe, and a debate between Kenneth Frampton and Eric Owen Moss.

Lectures are free and open to the public in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall and are broadcast live on www.sciarc.edu/live. For additional information including lecture updates and gallery hours, please visit www.sciarc.edu.

What Does Being ‘Green’ Really Mean?

Rendering © Herzog & de Meuron. Image Courtesy of Perez Art Museum Miami

The term ‘green’ is notoriously difficult to define, and even more so when it comes to . An often overused and fashionable way of describing (or selling) new projects, ‘green’ design seems to have permeated into every strand of the design and construction industries. Kaid Benfield (The Atlantic City) has put together a fascinating case study of a 1,700 dwelling estate near San Diego, challenging what is meant by a ‘green’ development in an attempt to understand the importance of location and transport (among other factors) in making a project truly environmentally sustainable. In a similar vein, Philip Nobel (The New York Times) explores how ‘green’ architecture is less about isolated structures and far more about “the larger systems in which they function”. Read the full article from Kaid Benfield here, and Philip Nobel’s full article here.

Zaha Hadid: Has International Fame Come at a Cost?

© Marco Grob, via The Guardian

From “Paper Architect” to employing over 400 staff working on 950 projects in 44 countries, Zaha Hadid has proven that her avant-garde ideas are not only buildable, but also the most popular architectural brand in the world. China, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among the countries first in line to commission Hadid icons. Rowan Moore, however, claims that her recent accolades have come at the cost of her original ideals, becoming trapped in her own public persona. Read the full article, Zaha Hadid: queen of the curve.

Turks Paint Public Walkways in Protest

Courtesy of Twitter User durmusbeyin

In June we covered some of the anti-government protests that were taking Turkey by storm – but the Turks are still making headlines! Last week, one resident decided to paint a derelict public stair only to find it hastily covered up by government workers. In an act of “guerilla beautification” and silent protest, people across Turkey have once again taken to the streets to paint their stairs and public walkways in rainbow colors. For the full story, check out this article on The Lede by Robert Mackey.

What is Architecture? Steven Holl Describes It In Four words

© ArchDaily

While artists work from the real to the abstract, architects must work from the abstract to the real.“ 

Taking on no easy task, Steven Holl has set out to define , with a capital “A” – in just four words. His article, featured in the Critics Page of The Brooklyn Rail, is part of a series of short writings by artists and architects. Read What is Architecture? by Steven Holl.

Winning Proposals Suggest Alternatives for San Francisco’s 280 Freeway

Fieldshift by Erik Jensen and Justin Richardson. Image Courtesy of The + Design

The Center for + Design and the Seed Fund announced the winners of the Reimagine. Reconnect. Restore What if 280 came down?, a competition that explored the idea of removing San Francisco’s 280 Freeway, north of 16th Street,  in an effort to pedestrianize that portion of the city while generating funds for several regionally important transit projects. The open competition, which encouraged designers to submit urban design interventions, from public art to infrastructure, awarded $10,000 in prizes. 

This is not the first time that San Francisco has demolished a freeway to successfully revitalize a neighborhood (remember the Embarcadero and the Hayes Valley?) and it certainly isn’t a first for other American cities, either. In fact, demolishing old, ineffective and/or obstructive freeways has become a powerful vehicle for urban change in this country and the 280 Freeway Competition is just one example of that trend.

(more…)

Zumthor: “Apostle of the Real”

at the Steilneset Memorial.. Image © Andrew Meredith

In an article for Vanity Fair Paul Goldberger unravels the Swiss Mystique surrounding Peter Zumthor’s personality and work, describing him as a “cross between Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Proust, with perhaps a tiny bit of Bob Dylan thrown in.” With completed projects few and far between, but executed with intense experiential thought and craftsmanship, the article explores how Zumthor’s motives has informed his rigorous attitude to architecture. Having recently been awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, the “cult following” that Goldberger described in 2001 seems to only be getting stronger. You can read the full article here.

Urban Planning Lessons from the World’s Largest (Temporary) City

© la_eclectic

For two months out of every twelve years, Allahabad in India becomes one of the most populous cities in the world – thanks to the Maha Kumbh Mela, a Hindu Festival that is the largest single-purpose gathering of people on the globe. In an article for Smithsonian Magazine, Tom Downey relates his experience of the Festival and sheds light on how a temporary city can swell to such astronomical sizes and still function as well as, if not better than, permanent cities. It is hoped that the research by Harvard Graduate School of Design at the Kumbh Mela can inform the construction of refugee camps, emergency cities and even permanent cities in the future. You can read the full article here.

Final Design Team Shortlist Announced for New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted three design teams for the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon for Stage 3 evaluation. The project is part of OBO’s Excellence in Diplomatic Facilities initiative in which seeks to provide safe and functional facilities that represent the best in American . The shortlisted teams are:

(more…)

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals Decrease in UK Architects’ Salaries

Courtesy of RIBA

The latest Future Trends Survey, published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), shows a decrease of 3% in average earnings bringing the average in the UK to around £40,000. The largest fall in earnings is with sole principals, a quarter of whom are receiving less than £18,500 per annum. This is compared to principals in partnership who continue to average a of around £50,000.

According to the report, Architects earning the highest wages with an average salary of around £53,000 are working “in-house for private firms such as developers or other commercial groups.” Reported unemployment has fallen to 2%, which is lower than in recent years.

(more…)

IE TEKA Awards for Design Talent

The IE-TEKA Awards for Design Talent is a design ideas competition hosted by TEKA, IE Business School and IE School of Architecture & Design for young professionals from the fields of , interior design, engineering and other related fields working in the GCC Region. This first edition of the competition highlights the alignment of management and design strategies for innovative retail stores of the future.

The jury includes the winner of the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize, Wang Shu, and Martha Thorne, Executive Director of the Pritzker since 2005. Complete information on the requirements and after the break.

(more…)

The Real Carbuncle: The Low Standard of Student Housing

Baker House tops Wainwright’s list of the world’s best student . Image © Wikimedia – dDxc

In the wake of two heinous designs for student housing dominating the conversation in the Carbuncle Cup, The Guardian’s Olly Wainwright explores the causes of such poor standards in the field of student accommodation. He explains how the economics and planning regulations surrounding student housing in the UK make it a hugely profitable area of the construction industry, while also making it susceptible to low standards which would be seen as unacceptable in any other housing sector. By contrast, in another article he lists the world’s best designed student accommodation. You can read the full article investigating poor standards here, and his top 10 list here.

reGEN Boston: Energizing Urban Living Competition

Boston Society of Architects Committee and Emerging Professionals Network Presents reGEN Boston: Energizing Urban Housing, an international ideas competition with presenting sponsor First Republic Bank.

In the 21st Century, more people than ever will be living in Cities. Generations are drawn together through the lifestyles a city can provide. In response to growing density in Urban areas, cities will renovate and re-purpose existing areas, and new urban centers are ripe to erupt. What new housing typologies will support this love for urban living? If , and other cities, want to retain their diverse demographic, and lasting appeal, there needs to be an enticing solution for housing or, the cities risks losing their greatest asset, residents.

ReGEN Boston seeks innovative housing typologies to responds to Boston’s need to house the continuing life-cycles of its residents. The City needs a new round of planning, charged with harnessing growth and extending it to the many neighborhoods, many of which have been overlooked or under valued. (more…)

Sick & Wonder / Best Act

On Saturday September 7, at 6 pm at Ara Pacis Museum in ,CITYVISION, in partnership with NuFactory and OUTDOOR International Street Art Festival, will present Sick & Wonder / Best Act, the most important annual event curated by the roman based urban lab for contemporary architecture.

The OUTDOOR Festival, now in its fourth edition, has raised re-appropriation of urban spaces as a place of meeting, exchange, inter-cultural and inter-generational dialogue. OUTDOOR became an unique platform to interact with other forms of creativity. Among these, the architecture is certenly playing a key role. This explains the partnership with CityVision.

During the eleventh edition of the PECHA KUCHA NIGHTTM ROMA the event will feature bloggers, gallery owners, opinion makers, architects, to arrive to the Rio Cityvision Competition  Ceremony.

More info after the break.

(more…)