Archifest 2014: Exploring CROWD In Singapore

Courtesy of Archifest and PLUS

Returning for its eighth year, Singapore’s annual premiere festival Archifest explores the concept of CROWD, and how it interacts with and becomes an integral aspect of architecture and urbanism. Hailed as a Festival of Ideas for the City, Archifest is a two week long gala focusing this year on the context of Collective Intelligence and Community Capital, and the intricate complexities and interconnectivity between both. The theme is based on the belief that it is “the human aspect of architecture that encourages, facilitates, and enhances the human quality to hold influence and create energy to the makeup of our city.”

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Homes You Cannot Live in: The New Cost of Architectural Antiques

The Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe, 1951. Plano, Illinois. Image Courtesy of

What is the true value of architecture in today’s society? According to this article by Anna Katz, rare pieces of architectural history have recently soared in value. Katz discusses the booming world of architecture at auction, featuring pieces by Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright among others. The article gracefully compares some of the most important architecture of our time against current prices, exploring the catalyst of rising values in architecture of the recent past, while deliberating on the pitfalls of owning a delicate piece of architecture history. Read the story in full on Blouin Art Info.

Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition 2014

Courtesy of KRob Memorial Delineation Competition

The 40th Annual Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition, the longest running architectural drawing competition, is now accepting submissions. Entries can be conceptual or final elevations, sections, perspectives, or renderings and may be produced digitally or by hand – or a combination of both.

Frank Ching, the acclaimed author and illustrator responsible for teaching countless students about basic architectural elements, principles, and relationships, is one of the three jurors this year. The jury panel will be attending the awards presentation and lecture, which will take place on Thursday, November 20th in Dallas. This event will be hosted by the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, who have been organizing the competition since 1974.

The competition is open to both students and professionals and there are $11,000 in prizes to be won. Entries are due Monday, October 27, 2014 at 5pm CST. For more details, click here.

Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen

© Exothermic

Perhaps the most famous father-son duo in the architectural world, Eliel and Eero Saarinen share more than just a last name. The two designers both left profound influences upon the where they did their work, both were awarded AIA Gold Medals, and, rather uncannily, both share the very same date of birth. But, when it comes to their architectural stylings, that’s where the comparisons end. Find out more about both after the break.

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Scottish Architects To Launch “Architects For Yes” Campaign in Edinburgh

The Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh. Image © Dave Morris Photography

In advance of the Scottish Independence vote next month, a group of Edinburgh-based architects led by Alasdair Stephen of will launch an “Architects for Yes” campaign in support of independence. The campaign, which currently has backing from over 50 architects, states these architects’ belief that independence could be a way to “design a new, better .” More about the campaign and the launch ceremony after the break.

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Sefaira Announces Real-Time Daylight Visualisation Tool for AutoDesk Revit

Daylight Visualisation alongside . Image Courtesy of Sefaira

Sefaira, one of the leading software designers for high-performance building design, have recently announced a new real-time daylight analysis and visualisation tool which runs within Autodesk Revit, one of the most commonly used Building Information Modelling (BIM) enabled (Windows native) design packages. Sefaira for Revit allows for early stage analysis, leading to “more informed design decisions based on multiple daylighting metrics.”

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Cities Need Big Changes to Become Bike Friendly

A bicyclist in Vancouver, Canada. Image © Flickr CC User Paul Krueger

A new study has found that cities need to make big infrastructural changes, rather than small ones, in order to become more bike friendly. As this article from Fast Company explains, small increases in bicycle usage lead to more accidents, which in turn makes others afraid to make the switch from driving to riding. However, the study found that heavy investment in cycling infrastructure brings an economic benefit to in the long run, largely thanks to savings from reduced healthcare costs. To learn about the long-term benefits of big biking investments, click here.

Influential Scottish Architect Andy MacMillan Dies Aged 85

Courtesy of

Professor Andy MacMillan, one of Scotland‘s most important post-war architects, died suddenly this weekend during this year’s Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Andrew Doolan Awards visits. Macmillan was a professor at the Glasgow School of Art from 1973 to 1994, and a partner at Gillespie, Kidd & Coia in 1966. More on MacMillan’s legacy after the break.

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A Future Without Slums: Too Good to be True?

© Denis De Mesmaeker

As the tide of urban migration sweeps across the developing world, experience an overpowering pressure to provide basic services such as electricity and sewage treatment to an enormous amount of people building illegal shacks on city outskirts. When they fail, the slum is born – but is it possible for a city to expand without ? In Hanoi, Vietnam, officials hope to answer this question, with a number of tactics that have led to a “culture of semi-legal construction.” Read this article in The Guardian to learn how Hanoi manages to curb slums and provide a basic standard of living to its poorest inhabitants.

“Expansion and Conflict”: 13th International Docomomo Conference 2014

Courtesy of Docomomo International

How has the advancement of the Modern Movement design ethos, through geo-political from the Western world, challenged the cultural foundation and aesthetic heritage of Asia?

The 13th International Docomomo Conference, hosted in Asia for the first time, seeks to explore the powerful complexities of expansion and . Examining the effects of the expansion of a Eurocentric design philosophy into distinctly individual, pre-existing yet violently colonized cultures, the organization declares that “ is not necessarily a pejorative but…a challenge for the future.”

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Should China put Design Restrictions on New Developments?

Apartments in Shenzhen. Image © Neville Mars under a CC licence

China may be at a turning point in urban design: a recent article in Australian Financial Review points out that over 50 million apartments in Chinese cities (about 22.5 percent) are unoccupied. This problem springs from the ongoing Chinese construction boom, prompted by developers looking to stimulate urban economic growth as quickly as possible. However, Ma Yansong of MAD Architects believes these empty apartments are a sign that buyers find them unsuited to their needs, and that  should begin to enforce good design principles on these rapidly-constructed complexes. Read the full article here.

What Are the Best Things About Life in the City?

Turns out it’s not the big buildings and big crowds that draw people to cities. Image © Flickr CC User Ed Yourdon

Contrary to popular belief, the most visible aspects of cities – new, shiny buildings and crowds of people – aren’t really why people around the world are drawn to city life. Curious about the overwhelming trend toward , design firm surveyed 1,000 people in Boston, Chicago, New York City, Austin, San Francisco and Washington DC to discover the most beloved elements of cities. Finding differences across regions and between generations, this article on Fast Company explores the humble and often surprising reasons we adore city living. Read the full article for more.

Neri&Hu: Redefining the Meaning of ‘Made in China’

Design Collective / Neri & Hu. Image © Shen Zhonghai

When Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu arrived in Shanghai in 2000, working on a project for Michael Graves, they had no plans to stay. “Three months turned into six, then eight,” said Neri of his first visit; fourteen years later, Neri & Hu Design and Research Office operates from with more than 100 multi-disciplinary staff. The firm has developed a reputation for their original designs in a landscape dominated by duplicate architecture. In a recent article in The Star Online, Leong Siok Hui maps Neri & Hu‘s road to success, featuring their work on Design Collective and The Waterhouse at South Bund. Read more here.

20 Productivity Apps to Help Make Your Life Easier On Sale Now

Need some help being productive or organizing your life? Ranging from Clear, an app that helps create tasks, reminders and to-do lists, to Grafio, which lets you organize your thoughts via diagrams, Apple has put 20 productivity in the iOS App Store on sale.

The apps range from $0.99 to $6.99, and some are up to 60% off their normal selling price. Check out all 20 on the iOS App Store’s “Amazing Productivity Apps” section.

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Amsterdam is “Dirty, Filthy, and Too Full”

Dutch Canal Houses. Image © James Taylor-Foster

Wim Pijbes, director of ’s Rijksmuseum, has declared in an open letter to the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad that the Dutch capital is “dirty, filthy, and too full.” Complaining primarily about the culture of short-stay accommodation, segways, scooters and canal cruisers in the historic heart of the city, he argues that “the charm and spirited character has long since faded.” Amsterdam, an apparent magnet for those who enjoy an “anything-goes atmosphere,” faces an uphill battle in order to remold a dwindling reputation.

Initiatives like Project 1012, which seeks to put a cap on (and even shut down) some of the brothels and marijuana ‘coffee shops’ in the city’s historic core, is part of a wide-reaching clean up campaign. For Feargus O’Sullivan however, “if Amsterdam loses its sense of license, its aura of permissiveness, and its immaculate order held in delicate balance, then it will lose some of its delight, its uniqueness – even its Dutchness.” Read his article in The Atlantic’s Citylab in full here.

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Does Australia Need More Design Competitions?

© Flickr – User: Jong Soo (Peter) Lee

Architecture offer an opportunity for architects to launch their careers, and in some cases generate unexpected designs in the process. Many iconic works of architecture, including the famous Sydney Opera House, were the result of open design competitions – but do architecture competitions today maintain the influence they might have had in the past? While critics in the United States have recently argued that it could be time to quit competitions, Donald Bates argues that Australians should be organizing more. In his article on The Conversation, Bates discusses the state of design competitions in Australia, and why we should take another look. Read the full article here.

Amale Andraos Named Dean of Columbia GSAPP

. Image via Architect’s Newspaper

New York-based architect and co-founder of WORKac, Amale Andraos, has been selected as the new dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), the Columbia Spectator has reported. Andraos will assume the position on September 1, replacing Mark Wigley who announced his retirement last year.

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Spotlight: Jean Nouvel

© Artribune

“My interest has always been in an architecture which reflects the modernity of our epoch as opposed to the rethinking of historical references. My work deals with what is happening now—our techniques and materials, what we are capable of doing today.”

Today is the 69th of the great French architect and designer, Jean NouvelThe winner of the Wolf Prize in 2005 and the Pritzker of 2008, Nouvel has attempted to design each of his projects without any preconceived notions, resulting in a variety of projects that – while strikingly different – always demonstrate an interesting use of light and shadow as well as a harmonious balance with their surroundings. More on the Pritzker-winning architect, after the break.

His variety of work can be seen in such acclaimed works as the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Fondation Cartier and. Nouvel also has a series of notable projects currently in the works, such as the New Louvre in Abu Dhabi and the National Art Museum of China.

In honor of his birthday, take a moment to revisit Nouvel’s previous works on ArchDaily.