Is Arcbazar “The Worst Thing to Happen To Architecture Since the Internet Started”?

is gaining popularity worldwide, such as in the Strelka Institute’s “What Moscow Wants” project, shown here. Image Courtesy of Strelka Institute

This article on the Orange County Register tackles the sensitive issue of the design crowdsourcing website, Arcbazar, a site described as “the worst thing to happen to architecture since the Internet started.” On the one hand, Arcbazar seems to be driving down the earnings of talented designers, and could produce some rather suspect designs. On the other, it offers clients with low budgets access to an international group of designers, when they previously couldn’t afford one at all. So, is Arcbazar good or bad for architecture? Read the full article hereto make your own decision.

Urban Emergencies : Emergent Urbanism – Call for Papers

Cities are developing into increasingly complex systems. This is giving rise to new scales of risk, making preparedness measures and resilience planning more challenging to formulate and implement.

Large urban populations growing directly over major fault lines in Iran, infectious disease epidemics becoming endemic in Hong Kong, flooding threatening the ’s coastal towns, and China’s unique aging population issue exemplify how 21st century urbanism is becoming defined by our relationship to risk. We therefore question how prepared our urban lifestyles and urban forms are for these inevitable threats.

This is a call for an international and interdisciplinary perspective on risk within the built environment from students, academics, and professionals. Our goal is to collect worldwide research and extrapolate valuable lessons learnt that can be used in future architectural and education and research.

Urban Emergencies : Emergent Urbanism is seeking papers and projects in a variety of fields which discuss the implications of emergent risks on the built environment and its inhabitants. In addition to architects and urbanists, we welcome submissions from all disciplines including anthropology, geography, history, economics, psychology, political science, etc. Threats are never purely an urban or human issue when it comes to the complexity of cities; risk and resilient solutions lie somewhere in between and cross-collaboration is key.

More information can be found here.

Sign the Petition: Award All US Federal Projects via Open Competition

The White House. Image © Karissa Rosenfield

A public petition that the design of new Federal building projects be awarded by open architectural competition has been submitted to the White House’s “We The People” website for consideration by the Administration. The appeal proposes to give young architects greater access to the building market and needs 100,000 votes by March 24th to qualify for a response from the Oval Office. Sign the petition here

How to Design Out Democracy from Your City (A Dictator’s Guide)

Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution of 2011. Image

In this tongue-in-cheek “Dictator’s Guide to Urban Planning“, the Atlantic explores the various ways that public spaces, and cities as a whole, have been used to suppress uprisings and bolster the control of authoritarian governments. Covering everything from Baron Haussmann‘s 19th Century Paris to the recent revolution in the Ukraine, the article reveals the fundamental relationship between and democracy. You can read the full article here.

Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted

© Tomas Riehle / Arturimages

In the early years of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, was a role model – later on a friend. On the occasion of the Austrian government “Staatspreis” awarded to , Wolf D. Prix held the speech of honor, and characterized him as one of the main representatives of the Austrian architectural approach of celebrating space.  

In his upcoming SCI-Arc lecture, Prix will explain Abraham’s influence on the early works of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU as well as references to the recent international and well-known buildings. How would visionaries like Abraham and Le Corbusier have developed and expressed themselves in today’s digital time? How would digital tools have influenced their designs?  

The lecture is free, with no RSVP required and broadcast live at www.sciarc.edu/live.

Title: Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted
Website: http://www.sciarc.edu/lectures.php?date=2014-03-05
Organizers: SCI-Arc
From: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:00
Until: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:00
Venue: W.M. Keck Lecture Hall
Address: 960 East 3rd Street, , CA 90013, USA

Russian Character International Architecture Competition

The Morton Group announces the “Russian Character” International Architecture Competition to develop the concept for a Culture & Education Center.

The Center will become the main cultural venue in the residential district, a place for recreation and communication for local residents.

The project will help create an environment for social interaction in the new residential district. Butovo Park, like most new developments, is relatively far from cultural and social amenities. The Culture & Education Center will be the only place in the vicinity for lectures, film screenings, concerts and master classes. It will also offer a place for physical activity and holding outdoor events in a pleasant landscaped setting. The Center will include a museum with exhibitions on the history of the area.

The competition is aimed at finding new elements, forms and images that embody contemporary Russian architecture. Applications will be accepted through March 15, 2014. More information can be found at the competition’s official website.

BIG, SHoP, Snøhetta Among Shortlist for Melbourne Office Complex

Pre-existing structures permitted for ‘part demolition and refurbishment’. Image Courtesy of Future Melbourn (Planning) Committee

Australian developer CBUS Property has invited four pairs of Australian and internationally-renowned architectural practices to compete to design an office complex at a 6,000 square meter site in downtown MelbourneAustralia where the National Mutual Plaza currently stands.

See the full shortlist after the break.

(more…)

Call for Submissions – CLOG: REM Issue

CLOG explores, from multiple viewpoints and through a variety of means, a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now. Their latest issue, REM, is now accepting submissions until March 20.

You can download the submission guidelines and find out more about in their official website.

San Francisco Apple Store Passes “Avian Risk” Analysis

Courtesy of

Apple’s signature glass design has come with its fair share of mishaps – from errant snowblowers to, of course, dying birds. To determine the risk posed by Apple’s latest approved store to ’s protected bird population, Apple hired avian collision risk consultants (really) who determined that the risk is “acceptable” (for non-avian species at least). Read the full bird analysis here.

Take the ‘Equity in Architecture Survey 2014′

Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

The Missing 32% Project has a mission: to understand why in the US women represent about 50% of students enrolled in architecture programs, but fewer than 18% of licensed architects (and fewer in leadership roles). If you too are curious about this unusual discrepancy, you can help find an answer by participating in the Equity in Architecture Survey. The Missing 32% Project (along with San Francisco) will use the results to determine best practices for attracting, promoting, and retaining talent in architecture.For more information about the project and to take the survey, go to http://themissing32percent.com/.

Image of pie chart via shutterstock.com

Exhibition: Agnese Sanvito – Absorb/reflect/scatter

National Theatre, London. 1976 / Denys Lasdun / 6:10pm, January 4, 2014

Architectural photographer Agnese Sanvito will be exhibiting a selection from her portfolio at The Building Centre in London. Her works, which include photographs of buildings by Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel, Santiago Calatrava, Wilkinson Eyre, and Sou Fujimoto, focuses on the ways color shapes our sense of buildings.

The exhibition will run from March 17 to April 26, 2014.

Title: Exhibition: Agnese Sanvito – Absorb/reflect/scatter
Website: http://www.buildingcentre.co.uk/galleries/galleries_cafe.asp#Agnese
Organizers: The Building Centre
From: Mon, 17 Mar 2014
Until: Sat, 26 Apr 2014
Venue: The Bulding Centre
Address: 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT, UK

Could a Lick of Super Strong Carbon Paint Fix Caltrava’s Palau de les Arts?

El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia

Will the peeling shell of Santiago Calatrava’s Palau de les Arts in  be saved by an innovative, new paint? Calatrava’s $455.6 million project, which surpassed its budget four times over, has sprouted many defects over the years, but none more damning than its peeling facade – a defect that spurred the city of to sue Calatrava’s office. However, Spanish paint manufacturer Graphenano has proposed an innovative solution: Graphenstone, a mixture of limestone powder and the allotrope graphene, which should just prevent further deterioration. Whether the solution could also relieve some courtroom tension, remains to be seen. Read more on Inhabitat and The Architect’s Newspaper.

AIA Awards Four with 2014 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the recipients of the 2014 . The award, to be presented at the 2014 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago, recognizes and encourages distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession. Among this year’s winners include the ACE Mentor Program, the National Building Museum, the AIA New York’s “Post-Sandy Initiative,” and computer-aided design pioneer Rick Smith. You can learn more about the awardees here.

Dear MoMA, Couldn’t the Nouvel Tower Save the American Folk Art Museum?

© Flickr CC User Dan Nguyen

In this Metropolis Magazine post on MoMA‘s planned demolition of the American Folk Art Museum, Karrie Jacobs asks a strangely unasked question: How has the Nouvel Tower – in its day the most controversial of MoMA’s expansion plans - not been brought into the debate? The Jean Nouvel-designed tower was predicated up a circulation plan that, by necessity, ignored the (then occupied) Folk Art Museum entirely. Why is this plan no longer possible? Read the fascinating argument here.

KWK Promes Designs Hotel in Pieniny Mountains

©

Construction has begun on KWK Promes’ lakeside hotel in . Inspired by traditional mountain homes that found refuge from flooding on a neighboring hilltop, the building’s low profile burrows into the ground at its entrance while opening up to the Czorsztyn waters as topography descends. Similar to the regions typical layout, two massive gable roofs, which appear as two separate structures, are designed to house the elevated sleeping quarters.

(more…)

2014 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture Recipients

Convention 2014, June 26‒28, Chicago

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected James L. Abell, FAIA, Carole J. Olshavsky, FAIA, and Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, as recipients for the 2014 for Public Architecture. The award recognizes excellence in architectural advocacy and achievement in three categories: Private-sector architects who have established a portfolio of accomplishment in the design of architecturally distinguished public facilities (category 1); public-sector architects who manage or produce quality design within their agencies (category 2); and public officials or other individuals who by their role of advocacy have furthered the public’s awareness and/or appreciation of design excellence (category 3). Learn more about the recipients, after the break.

(more…)

DEFAULT!: The Latest Issue from another pamphlet

Last night, another pamphlet launched its sixth issue, DEFAULT!, at ’s Printer Matter, Inc. With contributions from CODA’s Caroline O’Donnell (winner of the 2013 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program), critic Sylvia Lavin, Urtzi Grau and Cristina Goberna (of Fake Industries) and others, this installment tackles the presupposition that “design inherently denies the default, and that the default is by definition un-designed.” Copies of DEFAULT! are available through their website. More information after the break.

(more…)

Skyscrapers Shedding Ice in NYC

One World Trade Center as seen from the Hudson River. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

As begins to thaw after record breaking winter conditions, city dwellers are forced to be on high alert for falling ice. Streets surrounding the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center have been closed following reports of ice shearing from its surface. Some blame the more energy efficient buildings for the deadly occurrence, believing that because the newer structures are able to hold in more heat their exteriors remain colder which aids the formation of ice. Materials and building form can help prevent this phenomena. You can learn more here.