Call for Ideas: Lost Spaces 2015 Design Competition

Courtesy of d.talks

The lost spaces competition is a call for ideas to reframe how underused spaces in Calgary might be used. The aim is to address a particular challenge of public space – what to do with seemingly remnant pieces of public property. The challenge: what opportunities do lost spaces afford?

A “lost space” is any space that remains under-utilized within our urban environment. They might be leftover pieces, a ghost of the planning past. Lost spaces are part of the public realm, rarely designed to function with both social and environmental benefit to the city. You may consider a lost space as a passageway, a roundabout, space between two buildings, a highway shoulder, or tenants of the city’s history and memory. We’d like to ask you to dream, take risks and stretch what we think is possible. Submissions are due March 30, 2015. More about the competition, here.

Aedes Architecture Forum Highlights ZAO/standardarchitecture

Niyang River Visitor Center / Standardarchitecture + Zhaoyang Architects. Image © Chen Su

Berlin’s Aedes Architecture Forum will mark the beginning of its 35th Anniversary Program by continuing its focus on Asia and China. With the architect ofZAO/standardarchitecture from Beijing, Aedes presents one of the most promising protagonists of a young group of Chinese architects and urban planners with the exhibition 营造 Contemplating Basics. This follows on from the 2001 exhibition TU-MU, in which Aedes presented for the first time, and with global success, the first generation of independent architects in China. At that time, the architects and artists introduced in the exhibition – Yung Ho Chang, Liu Jiarkun, Ai Wei Wei, Wang Shu, Lu Wenyu – were fully unknown in the West, while some have since gone on to become Pritzker Prize winners or internationally renowned artists.

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UDM Student Awarded “WIA Emerging Professional Inspiration Award” for Community Outreach

“Belong Here” guerrilla art campaign. Image Courtesy of

“At some point, we all forgot that we belong to each other.” These powerful words helped land Samantha, an M.Arch. student at the and Fellow in the Challenge Detroit Urban Revitalization Program, the ninth annual WIA EP (Emerging Professional) Inspiration Award. Praising Samantha for her work behind the “Belong Here” guerrilla art campaign, the award was given to the student for demonstrating a “great capacity for leadership, an unwavering passion for the profession of architecture, and a willingness to contribute to society.” Learn more about the award, here.

Tiny-House Villages: Safe Havens for the Homeless

Quixote Village. Image © Leah Nash for BuzzFeed

As the need for smart housing solutions rises, so does the appeal of tiny-house villages, not just as shelter for the homeless, but as a possible look to the future of the housing sector. The new article, Are Tiny-House Villages The Solution To Homelessness? by Tim Murphy, takes a closer look into the positive and negative aspects of these controversial communities, as well as their social and political ramifications so far. Through interviews with residents of several tiny-house villages, Murphy investigates the current impacts they have had on the homeless populations within major American , and questions how the lifestyle will evolve in the future. Read the full article, here.

Irish Competition Searches for Conceptual Interpretations of WB Yeats Poem: “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”

Isle of Inisfree. Image Courtesy of Yeats2015

In collaboration with The Model, Hazelwood Demesne Ltd, and Sligo City Council, the Institute of Technology Sligo has launched “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” an international architecture competition inspired by Yeats’ eponymous poem of 1892. Part of Yeats2015, the competition prompts practitioners to propose an intervention for the Irish island of Innisfree, combining “Yeats’ poetic vision and contemporary architectural ideas.” Work may be submitted individually or as part of a team, and must be received by March 12. The winning design will be constructed on the island before June 13, in time for what would have been Yeats’ 150th birthday. See more information about the competition and download the project brief here.

Recommend a Project for The Buckminster Fuller Challenge

SCAPE won the 2014 with Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Image © SCAPE

The Buckminster Fuller Institute announces the launch of the 2015 cycle of The Fuller Challenge through the public invitation to recommend a project that demonstrates a design strategy with significant potential to solve some of humanity’s most pressing problems. BFI is looking for visionary social and environmental solutions from across the globe for “socially responsible design’s highest award” and a cash prize of $100,000. To recommend a project that demonstrates excellence in comprehensive problem solving and anticipatory design, please enter the project name and contact information via this link: Recommend a project.

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Redesigning Los Angeles For Long-Term Drought

River (2013). Image © Flickr CC User Steve Lyon

With many of the world’s cities combating , it is apparent that channeling water away from populated areas with no intended use is not sustainable. Cities are depending on their “precious rain water” more than ever and, as Arid Lands Institute co-founder Hadley Arnold says, “the ace in our species pocket is the ability to innovate.” We need to “build cities like sponges,” starting with permeable hardscape, drought-tolerant landscaping and smarter plumbing. See what NPR has to say about issue of water treatment and Los Angeles, here.

Six Design Trends Reshaping City Life

48 Urban Garden / AK-A. Image © Nikos Alexopoulos

It is expected that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in . However, as FastCoDesign points out, it is unlikely that cities will look the same as they do today. In a recent article, the company outlined six major in 2015 that are shaping city life, including restaurants starting to double as living rooms, healthcare become a retail product and smarter transportation systems. Find out all six trends, here.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Indicates Consistent Growth

Courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for December 2014 has revealed little month-on-month change in indexes with the acknowledgement of a growing level of optimism. After falling back slightly in November 2014, the workload index has remained consistent at +29 (from +37 in November). Workload forecast balance figures have remained extremely positive, with practices reporting +50 in Northern and up to +75 in Scotland. Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with “optimistic” workload prospects heading into the next quarter. The percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed fell to 9% from 12%.

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Call for Submissions: Archonic Magazine #2 “Disassemble”

Courtesy of Project Archonic

Sydney-based collective Project Archonic is currently accepting submissions for Archonic Magazine, a quarterly publication exploring the nexus between architecture, art, and design. Themed “Disassemble” and prompting creatives to deconstruct, re-evaluate, and reconfigure their surroundings, the marks the second issue compiled by Project Archonic, and is expected to launch in March 2015. Learn more about the and view spreads from the previous issue after the break.

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Call for Papers: STUDIO Magazine Investigates “Urban Pause”

© Studio Magazine

STUDIO Architecture and Urban Magazine is calling for submissions for its ISSUE#8 : Pause. As the title suggests, the issue will look at the modern city’s propensity for change and movement by focusing on “the crystallization of a moment, a temporary stop out of time and space, where you can listen to the sound of silence.” The magazine is looking for a variety of different submissions, from essays to infographics, relating to any field of design. Interested contributors must send a 200-word abstract (in English) explaining their proposal. The deadline for this is February 25th. Final pieces chosen for the issue are to be submitted by March 20th, with an expected date in April. For full submission requirements, click here!

The Architect’s Time Machine

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a time machine – to skip ahead into a future when has solved all of our problems, or perhaps to go back to a simpler time when we didn’t have to deal with the complications that modern brings? However, in the wise words of Archibald, the animated architect: “Architecture is not a final destination in time; it is a journey through life.”  As architects and builders, we are constantly imagining and designing for the future, while attempting to deal with reality as it exists in the present.

Deciding when and how to modernize your business is potentially a make-or-break decision.  We know from working with engineers, architects, and construction professionals, that the move to digital interaction increases efficiency and is a desirable strategic goal.  However, there are also those who are comfortable with hard copy plans and trips to their local reprographer.  No matter where your business falls on the technology continuum, Blueprintsprinting.com is your design/build time machine – transporting you into the technological future without out any new grey hairs.

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Examining China’s “Edifice Complex”

The ‘Pearl of the North’ (expected to complete 2018). Image Courtesy of

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Dinny McMahon and Yang Jie visit – a “chilly industrial town” in north eastern China which was once the country’s capital (circa 1600). The city will soon be home to what’s being dubbed the ’Pearl of the North’, “a 111-floor office tower that will, briefly, be the seventh-largest in the world, dwarfing One World Trade Center.” The tower, designed by Atkins, is “symptomatic of China’s edifice complex,” McMahon notes – and the city is ”just getting started.” Read the article in full here.

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Spotlight: Thom Mayne

Courtesy of Princeton University Lecture Series

The principal architect of LA firm MorphosisThom Mayne was the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize and the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, and is known for his experimental architectural forms, often applying them to significant institutional buildings such as the New York’s Cooper Union building, the Emerson College in Los Angeles and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters.

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St. Peter’s Seminary: ‘La Tourette’ With “Scottish Inspirations”

Landscaped overview (proposed). Image Courtesy of ERZ Landscape Architects

In an article for The Guardian, Rowan Moore explores the state and future of the Grade A listed Brutalist Seminary of St. Peter, “where the influence of Le Corbusier’s monastery of La Tourette combines with [...] Scottish inspirations.” Although the building is often seen as wholly unique in the canon of religious buildings, it is still comprised of traditional elements – “cloister, chapel, refectory, cells – but rearranged over multiple levels in unexpected ways, alternately enclosing and opening up to its surroundings.”

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Shelter Global Launches Dencity Competition 2015

© Shelter Global

Shelter is pleased to invite architects, planners, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations from all over the world to take part in the first annual Dencity Competition. Rapid world growth and urbanization is not allowing to adapt and provide for their inhabitants. Towns are quickly growing into , and some of the densest places in the world are comprised of makeshift homes, otherwise referred to as slums. Furthermore, already overcrowded have to absorb people leaving their rural hometown in hope of job opportunities. There are currently over 1 billion slum dwellers in the world. This number is expected to reach 2 billion by the year 2030. Now, more than ever, we need to play a central role in the development of substandard neighborhoods. Slums effect much more than just housing; they affect almost all living conditions and communities as a whole.

The intent of this competition is twofold: to foster new ideas on how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of this massive problem. Contestants should consider how design can empower communities and allow for a self-sufficient future.

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Knight Cities Challenge Selects 126 Finalists

© AIA Detroit Chapter’s Urban Priorities Committee

Last week, the Knight Foundation announced the 126 finalists for its Knight Challenge. This Challenge was an open call for ideas on how to invigorate the 26 US communities that receive funding from the Foundation. Over 7,000 submissions were received, with ideas ranging from the installation of street arcades to the transformation of vacant city lots. The chose submissions from each of the 26 communities, selecting those that best encouraged community engagement, provided economic opportunity, and made the city a more attractive place to be. See the full list of finalists, here!

Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light

Firminy C, architecture by Le Corbusier, 2007, digital b-w silver gelatin print. Courtesy of ammann gallery. Image © Hélène Binet

In the wake of her selection as the recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award for 2015, Hélène Binet‘s work will be exhibited at the Woodbury University Hollywood (WUHO) Gallery in , . The exhibition, entitled Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light, will be open from February 28, 2015 to March 29, 2015, showcasing the highlights of the artist’s career as a renowned architectural photographer. The exhibition will be initiated with an opening reception and award ceremony on February 28, 2015 to honor Binet for her achievements. 

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