How Kiev’s Independence Square Helped Spur an Uprising

© Flickr CC User Michael Kötter

In a fascinating article for the GuardianOwen Hatherley visits Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev, the public square at the heart of the Ukranian revolution that ironically was designed under Stalin as a Baron Hausmann-style weapon against uprisings. Hatherley examines how elements of the public space were utilized by protesters, and how different areas of the square are now hosting a variety of political factions. You can read the full article here.

MONU Magazine New Issue: Geographical Urbanism

MONU– magazine on urbanism is a unique bi-annual international forum for artists, writers and designers that are working on topics of urban culture, development and politics.

Contrary to the simplified linear causality of the environmentalism of the past, which posited that natural geography shapes urban patterns, it is now thought that contemporary urbanization shapes the surface of the earth. Nikos Katsikis explains this tremendous current shift in the meaning of physical geography for in his contribution “On the Geographical Organization of World Urbanization”, putting the discussion of the 20th issue of on the topic “Geographical Urbanism” in a historical context.

You can read more on this new issue here, and you can browse the entire issue on Youtube.

SketchUp Announces Mobile Viewer for iPad

Courtesy of

SketchUp have recently unveiled the latest app in their suite, SketchUp Mobile Viewer for . Allowing “on the go” access to models, the app also features access to “the entire universe” of files in their 3D Warehouse. Users can use the same familiar features, such as Orbit, Pan and Zoom, to “present their own private 3D models to clients and partners.” With a price tag of $9.99 from Apple’s App Store, early reviews suggest that this is a good first step with some way yet to go. Being the first ever SketchUp tablet product (with a planned Android version in the works), it has been released in conjunction with SketchUp 2014 which incorporated BIM capabilities for the very first time.

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Exhibition: New Moscow – Новая Москва, Urban Development by International Competitions 2012-2014

National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) / © Heneghan Peng, Dublin

A new series of international architecture competitions are characterizing a clear change in the current urban planning strategy of Moscow. The initiator of these developments is the incumbent chief architect of the Russian capital, Sergey Kuznetsov. Together with his team, he has breathed new life into Moscow’s urban development since taking office in mid 2012. The exhibition New Moscow – Новая Москва presents two international competitions – from the fields of landscape planning (1st prize Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York) and cultural building (1st prize Heneghan Peng, Dublin) – and through these demonstrates the great gains for the city’s urban planning that are being drawn from this open, global approach.

Both of the competitions presented in the exhibition demonstrate the great potential for development and innovation in Moscow to meet the growing demands of the city residents for cultural and leisure facilities. A further important topic is the extension of the traffic infrastructure of this growing city, which is initiating a radical change in the building policy of the Russian capital.

For more information, please click here.

Title: New Moscow – Новая Москва, Urban Development by International Competitions 2012-2014
From: Sat, 31 May 2014 
Until: Sat, 05 Jul 2014 
Venue: Aedes am Pfefferberg
Address: 10119 ,

Exhibition: Louis Kahn / The Power of Architecture

The American architect (1901-1974) is regarded as one of the great master builders of the Twentieth Century. Kahn created buildings of monumental beauty with powerful universal symbolism.

This exhibition encompasses an unprecedented and diverse range of architectural models, original drawings, travel sketches, photographs and films. Highlights of the exhibition include a four-metre-high model of the spectacular City Tower designed for Philadelphia (1952-57), as well as previously unseen film footage shot by Kahn’s son Nathaniel Kahn, director of the film ‘My Architect’.

Title: Exhibition: Louis Kahn / The Power of Architecture
Website: http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2014/louis-kahn
Organizers: Design Museum
From: Wed, 09 Jul 2014 
Until: Sun, 12 Oct 2014 
Venue: Design Museum
Address: Shad Thames, SE1, UK

Chinese Firm 3D Prints 10 Homes in 24 Hours

Winsun New Materials, a construction firm based in Suzhou, China, has successfully built ten small-scale houses using a massive 3-D printer. The 22 foot tall machine uses glass fibers and cement to produce building elements, such as walls, in successive layers. Winsun estimates that their printing process is approximately half as costly as traditional construction methods. Acknowledging ’s strict environmental policies, the company also has plans to use scrapped construction materials to print future buildings. You can read more about this ongoing project in this article from the Wall Street Journal.

NYU and Hudson Yards to Use Big Data to Improve Cities

Phase One Visualisation © Nelson Byrd Woltz; Courtesy of

New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress has teamed up with the developers of Hudson Yards to transform the future 28-acre mixed-use neighborhood into the nations first “quantified community.” As Crain’s New York reports, the aim is to “use big data to make better places to live.” Information, from pedestrian traffic to energy production and resident activity levels, will be collected in order to study how can run efficiently and improve quality of living. You can read more on the subject, here.

RIBA’s 2014 Regional Award Winners Announced

Library of Birmingham / Mecanoo. Image © Christian Richters

has announced the first round of Regional Award winners, all of which will be considered for the RIBA national awards. From the list, Mecanoo’s Library of Birmingham takes center stage, as the artisan-inspired structure received a number of , including the West Midlands Building of the Year and Emerging Architect. Check out the complete list, after the break…

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Are the Palisades Too Pure for LG’s Headquarters?

Courtesy of Michael Kimmelman’s Twitter Feed (@kimmelman)

Responding to the bevy of critics slamming LG Electronics for building their new headquarters in the Palisades in New Jersey (half an hour north from NYC), Lee Rosenbaum, the Palisades-resident and architecture blogger known as CultureGrrl, maintains that “When it comes to preserving the ‘pristine Palisades,’ the boat has already sailed.” Since LG’s planned strip will be located on what is, according to Rosenbaum, already “a very commercial strip,” she suggests that “that the incensed defenders of the purportedly unspoiled beauty of the Palisades [...] haven’t actually set eyes on them.” Check out the images of her neighborhood as well as her very interesting Twitter tussles with The New York Times’ Michael KimmelmanVanity Fair’s and New York Magazine’s  at her blog, and let us know what you think of the debate in the comments below.

Sasanbell to Design £200m Exhibition Center in Aberdeen

© Sasanbell and , via BDOnline

Sasanbell has been chosen to design the ’s “most sustainable facility:” the £200 million Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC). The Glasgow-based company will provide a new home for the city’s existing exhibition and conference center, which will be redeveloped by Cooper Cromar, freeing up space for future development and providing a sizable venue that can accommodate ”large and popular events.” 

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Architecture Critic Inga Saffron Wins Pulitzer

Philadelphia Skyline. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Jacobson

The Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron has won journalism’s most prestigious award, the , for her “distinguished criticism of architecture that blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise.” Passionate about cities, Saffron’s work has had a profound impact on Philadelphia’s city policy and development. You can learn more about Saffron’s selection and read her column, here

MIT’s Thresholds Launches New Website

Courtesy of

In time with the release of the 42nd issue, Human, Thresholds Journal — ’s peer-reviewed journal of art, architecture and culture — has launched a new website. The new ThresholdsJournal.com has been redesigned with more content, spanning the past two decades of the journal’s publication. Other features include online purchasing of past issues, enhanced search capabilities for past contributors, and social media interactivity. The new website will feature news on upcoming issues and related events, submission calls, as well as the broad range of voices that Thresholds has featured since 1992.

Thresholds is also currently seeking submissions for its 43rd issue, to be published in spring of 2015, on the topic Scandalous. What causes you to gasp? Which sites are labeled crime scenes? Editors Nathan Friedman and Ann Lui intend to complicate the idea of high-stakes public discourse through a series of long-form scholarly texts and creative projects. The deadline for contributions is April 30, 2014Content can be sent to thresholds@mit.edu.The full call for submissions can be accessed here.

Preparations Begin to Demolish the American Folk Art Museum

© Flickr CC User Dan Nguyen

Preparations have commenced to demolish Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects’ American Folk Art Museum in New York. Despite international backlash from preservationists, architects and critics, the neighboring Museum of Modern Art will raze the 12-year-old structure in an effort to make way for an expansion designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro. According to recent reports, scaffolding has arrived at the site and will soon be erected in front of the museum’s distinct, copper-bronze facade. More on the controversy, here.

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Chinese to Build “Dubai 2.0″ in Kenya

The new city is planned for land South-East of ’s Capital, . Image © Flickr CC User DEMOSH

As reported by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper, a group of Chinese investors has revealed plans for a new city in Kenya that will “match the splendour of Dubai“. Though the investors are still resolving details with the Kenyan government, the city is planned for an area in Athi River, around 30km south-east of Nairobi, and is billed as a Chinese-controlled economic zone. At this early stage, the plans feature at least 20 skyscrapers. You can find more details of the proposal here.

From Autonomy to Automation: The Work of Peter Eisenman

BANAMID Architecture Research Institute in collaboration with AN.ONYMOUS will hold the third International conference from the “Contemporary Architecture: Iran and the World Dialogue” series in Tehran, Iran. The conference, titled “From Autonomy to Automation: The Work of ” will focus on the defining legacy of spanning across 50 years of his intellectual and professional body of work. The conference will trace the evolution of Eisenman’s work over time and will examine its imprint on the contemporary discourse of architecture.

“From Autonomy to Automation” is organized in three main sessions: Autonomy (1968-1978), Archeology (1978-1988), and Automation (1988-present), corresponding to the three stages of Eisenman’s work. Each session would begin with an introductory talk by one of the conference speakers and will follow a response by Peter Eisenman. The speakers would then engage in a discussion with Peter Eisenman about his work. Other speakers include: Iman Ansari, Cynthia Davidson, Marta Nowak, and Meghdad Sharif.

The conference will take place on May 13th and 14th, 2014 at the main conference hall of Milad Tower in Tehran. The event is open to public to stimulate critical dialogues amongst participants, and instigate a broader discussion about the state of contemporary architecture in Iran. Conference organizers also anticipate that this event would promote intellectual and cross-cultural exchange between Iran and the rest of the world.

Title: From Autonomy To Automation: The Work of Peter Eisenman
Organizers: BANAMID Architecture Research Institute, AN.ONYMOUS
Speakers: Peter Eisenman, Cynthia Davidson, , Marta Nowak, and Meghdad Sharif
Media Partners: Log, ArchDaily, Milad Tower Cultural Center, Banamid TV
Educational Partners: University of Tehran, Shahid Beheshti University
Date & Time: Tuesday May 13, 2014, 10:00-14:00 | Wednesday May 14, 2014 10:00
-14:00
Venue: Hafez Main Conference Hall, Milad Tower
Address: Milad Tower Private Access Road, Hakim Motorway, Tehran, Iran
Registration: Event information and registration at: http://event.banamid.ir/

And don’t miss this article, which originally appeared on Architectural Review, in which AN.ONYMOUS’s Iman Ansari interviews Peter Eisenman about his personal views on architecture throughout the course of his career.

Guy Horton on Zaha Hadid & the Architect’s Ethical Responsibility

Courtesy of ZHA

In this episode of KCRW’s Design & Architecture (DnA) podcast, ArchDaily contributor Guy Horton speaks with Frances Anderson about the architect’s ethical responsibility to protect construction workers’ rights, following up on his popular article “Will We Stay Silent? The Human Cost of Qatar’s World Cup.” The episode also features a fascinating look into Shigeru Ban‘s career and Pritzker win as well as the Folk-Moma controversy. Listen here.

Young Architects in Africa Announced

Seed, blueprint for libraries in South African Schools (Johannesburg) / (Kuba GRANICKI, Mike RASSMANN, Alessio LACOVIG)

AS.Architecture-Studio has announced the 2014 Young Architects in Africa. The award aims to highlight creative African projects and help a rising generation of young architects achieve worldwide recognition. Selected from nearly 200 projects, these three practices have been named as finalists: Architects of Justice (South Africa), (Kenya), and Andre CHRISTENSEN & Mieke DROOMER (South Africa).

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Rafael de La-Hoz Unveils TEDA Monument in Tianjin

Day 1. Image Courtesy of

Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz has designed a mirrored, 60-meter monument to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). The design, titled “A Cut between heaven and earth”, was “driven by an effort to analyze the process of abstraction and reinterpretation of the site.”

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