Architects in Conversation: Preston Scott Cohen and Stan Allen, FAIA

Architect Preston Scott Cohen, Professor and Chair of Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, speaks about projects in Asia and his design for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s celebrated Lightfall with architect, educator and National Academician Stan Allen. The event will take place October 23, from 6:30pm till 8:00pm at the National Academy Museum. For tickets, please click here.

Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie

Journey through a three-dimensional landscape of striking architecture in this career-spanning exhibition of Moshe Safdie’s work. Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie surveys the renowned architect’s career from his formative period in the 1960s and early 1970s to his recent projects around the world, exploring his aesthetic language of transcendent light, powerful geometry, and iconic forms.

Using sketches, models, photographs, and films of twenty-five projects, the exhibition portrays Safdie’s architecture not only as visual art but as a medium for advancing social, political, and cultural goals. Along with the exhibition, there will be a talk with at the Skirball Cultural Center on Sunday, October 20, 3:00pm. Click here for more information.

Turkey Design Mission 2013

Courtesy of Design Mission

Turkey’s fast growth has increased the demands in the construction sector, opening many opportunities for architects.

Turkey Design Mission Edition III will be Turkey’s only event to gather the key stakeholders involved in development projects as part of the Hospitality Focus and Urban Regeneration scheme for face to face interactions, source the most innovative products and most importantly lead goal setting discussions to prescribe the standards to be met as part of Turkey’s Vision of 2023 in the real estate sector.

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LEGO® Architecture Landmark Series: The United Nations Headquarters

Courtesy of LEGO®

LEGO® has officially announced the next addition to their architecture-inspired products: The United Nations Headquarters. Standing alongside New York City’s East River, the United Nations Headquarters is a beacon of modernism and international collaboration, designed by a team of multinational architects including Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. Scaling 5 inches high x 8 inches wide x 6 inches deep, this representation of the UN Headquarters costs  $49.99.

Check out more about the building and its history here.

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Could Mobile Technology Help Us Define “Good” Architecture?

Courtesy of gizmodo.com

Architecture researchers in Edinburgh have completed a breakthrough study on brain activity recorded in situ by using mobile (EEG) technology, which records live neural impressions of subjects moving through a city. Excitingly, this technology could help us define how different urban environments affect us, a discovery that could have provocative implications for architecture. Read the full story on Salon. Also, check out this article from Fast Company about how a similar mobile technology could show us the effects of – not on our brains, but on our bodies. 

If Skyscrapers Predict Crises, What Do “Donuts” Tell Us?

HQ (USA). Image © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright,

In a recent article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote explores the ‘Skyscraper Index’, an informal term that suggests a correlation between the construction of a big company’s ambitious headquarters and subsequent financial crisis: “Think of the Empire State Building opening into the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Twin Towers being completed as New York City was flirting with bankruptcy or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur taking the mantle of the world’s tallest building and presaging the Asian financial crisis.” Heathcote goes on to describe the latest generation of headquarters being constructed for our current, tech-oriented goliaths – like Apple‘s monolithic “donut”, by Foster + Partners, and Facebook‘s Gehry-designed Menlo Park campus - and wonders: “if skyscrapers can tell us something about the temperature of an overheating economy, what do these groundscraping new HQs say?” Read the full article here.

Sukkah City: An Architectural Take on an Old Tradition

Courtesy of oxbowlakefilms.com

Each year, Joshua Foer, author of the bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein, would celebrate sukkot (a traditional Jewish holiday) with his family by building a sukkah, a small temporary shelter that acts as a reminder of the Jews’ plight after being expelled from Egypt. Years later, he co-founded a competition to challenge architects to consider the holiday from a designer’s point of view. Sukkah City, a on the competition, follows a couple projects through their inspiration and construction. Read more about it here.

Aidlin Darling Design Receives ASLA’s 2013 Professional Award

Sonoma Spa Retreat. Image Courtesy of

San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design has received the 2013 Professional Award for residential design from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for their work on the Sonoma Spa Retreat in Northern ’s wine country. The project started with reclaiming an overgrown hillside, revitalizing it with a series of paths that preserved its natural features, and then integrating an outdoor kitchen, solar heated pool and recreational areas. For more information on the project and the award, which evaluates context, design value and sustainability, click here.

AA Students “Amplify the Forest”

Courtesy of Stewart Dodd and the Architectural Association

Marking the Forest, now in its second year, is a ten-day summer course by the Architectural Association. Set in a managed forest in central Oregon, it aims to engage students with the forest through thoughtful architectural intervention.

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Modules and Systems: Architecture for Social Inclusion – A Lecture by Giancarlo Mazzanti

El Porvenir Social Kindergarden / © Rodrigo Davila

‘Colombia: Transformed/Architecture=Politics’ is an exhibition currently taking place at the Center for Architecture. In relation to the exhibition, Colombian architect Giancarlo Mazzanti will be giving a lecture on architecture for social inclusion, Friday, October 11 at 8:30am.

More information after the break.

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2013 Architecture & Design Film Festival

During the city’s most important moment for architecture and design (Archtober), the fifth annual Architecture & Design Film Festival will return to Tribeca Cinemas with its most ambitious and exciting program to date. Over the course of five days (October 16-20), the festival will screen 25 feature-length and short films from all over the world exploring various themes of art, architecture, design, urban planning, and more. In addition to the curated selection of films, ADFF will present a series of intimate discussions with architects, designers, industry leaders and filmmakers as well as three panel discussions. On Saturday afternoon, Wanted Design will curate a panel on gentrification in Brooklyn. The two Sunday panels are about historic preservation and Russian modernism.

More information after the break.

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Parramatta Square Design Competition

Parramatta City Council is delighted to invite you to participate in an exciting architectural design competition, Architectural Concept Competition for Stages 5 and 6 of the Parramatta Square Precinct development, .Council is inviting architects to submit visionary ideas for two large commercial towers in the heart of Parramatta City Centre.

The four nominated architecture practices or teams will then be invited to participate in a Design Excellence Competition. Each shortlisted architecture practice or team will be paid $30,000 on submission of a complying Design Excellence Competition entry. For complete information, please click here.

Adaptive Architecture ACADIA 2013

ADAPTIVE ARCHITECTURE ACADIA 2013 will present world-leading research in contemporary architectural design. 2013 is the 36th annual conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture, presented at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Oct. 24-26 with workshops running Oct. 19-23 and 27. The event includes presentations by international researchers, a series of exhibitions, a suite of publications and specialized workshops on advanced design methods, fabrication and simulation.

ADAPTIVE ARCHITECTURE will examine computational design of environmentally responsive, intelligent, interactive, and reconfigurable architecture. ADAPTIVE ARCHITECTURE will bring together the spectrum of research and creative practice currently occurring within ACADIA, the oldest society for computational design in North America. ACADIA is an international network of digital design researchers and professionals. ACADIA 2013 is supported by the combined research networks of the University of Waterloo, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Nottingham working in partnership with The London Building Centre Trust.

Keynote speakers include Michelle Addington, Yale/YSOA Hines Professor of Sustainable Architectural Design, Cristiano Ceccato, Associate, Zaha Hadid Architects/Previous Director Gehry Technologies, and Stephen Gage, Professor, Bartlett School of Architecture.

For more information, and to register see: http://2013.acadia.org/.

Dallas Architecture Forum Announces Its 2013-2014 Lecture Season

Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing challenging and on-going public discourse about architecture, design and the urban environment, is pleased to announce its 2013-14 season of lectures that will begin with award-winning Korean architect and the founder of Mass Studies, Minsuk Cho, who will speak Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at The Magnolia Theater, 3699 McKinney Ave. Other speakers for this season include Hugh Broughton, Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano, Larry Scarpa, and Gregg Jones.

Lectures will occur at 7 p.m. on the designated evening with a complimentary reception beginning at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 per lecture for general admission and $5 for students (with ID). Tickets can be purchased at the door before the lecture. No reservations are needed to attend Forum lectures. Dallas Architecture Forum members receive free admission to all regular Forum lectures as a benefit of membership, and members can earn one hour of CE credit for each lecture. For more information on the Dallas Architecture Forum, visit www.dallasarchitectureforum.org.

A Kickstarter Campaign to Paint Entire Favela in Rio de Janeiro

Favela Painting: Rio Cruzeiro, realized in 2008. Image Courtesy of Favela Painting’s Page

Dutch duo Haas and Hahn gained fame in 2005 for painting a few houses of Rio Janeiro’s favelas in a palate of bright hues. Now they’re back again, this time with a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds to paint the rest of the favela in the hopes of further transforming this crime-ridden community.

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World’s First Inflatable Concert Hall Opening in Japan

Lucerne Festival Ark Nova 2013. Image Courtesy of The Telegraph

The Telegraph reports that a new inflatable dubbed “Ark Nova,” created by the British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, is to tour the region of northern Japan that was most affected by the 2011 Tsunami. The hall, which will host world-class concerts, events and workshops, has a single skin membrane that can be easily inflated or deflated as well as seating constructed from local, tsunami-damaged cedar. The opening will take place this week in the coastal town of . Learn more about the hall here.

How Will the Shutdown Affect Architects?

Capitol Rotunda. Image Courtesy of Architect of the Capitol

The President, Mickey Jacob, FAIA has just released the following statement on the US government’s historic shutdown: “The design and construction industry is slowly recovering from one of the worst economic crises in modern history. The last thing we need is the self-inflicted wound that can potentially further damage the .” To find out just how the shutdown could affect you, check out the AIA’s FAQ page here.

RIBA Stirling Prize Winners: How Prize-Worthy Are They?

The Scottish Parliament, winner in 2005 has experienced multiple problems. Image © Dave Morris Photography

With Astley Castle winning this year’s Stirling Prize last week, Olly Wainwright investigates the fortunes of other Stirling Prize winners – finding that in many cases critical acclaim and awards do not necessarily translate to long term success. His study brings into question what qualities should be awarded, and seems to imply that there should be a greater focus on post-occupancy awards, such as the 10-year award started by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) this year, and another being considered by the RIBA. You can read Wainwright’s full investigation here.