The German magazine AIT invited 100 selected architecture and interior design offices across Europe to redesign the ‘ONO’ chair produced by the Dietiker company. The newly designed chairs will be exhibited in the context of a road show in the AIT-Architektur Salons Hamburg, Munich, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Stuttgart. The main auction of the chairs will talk place in spring 2010. The revenues generated through this auction will support the Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa. Hofman Dujardin shared with us their entry into the competition, their OYES chair, as an urban charity for city. More images and architect’s description after the break.
This week, we present the first of a special series called “Post-Occupancy” in which we feature the experience of the owner-dweller in different types of architectural spaces. Our goal is to present architecture by letting the users narrate for themselves what it means to them, how they experience it, how it has transformed them. We pose the questions. What do owners want? What do they need? How do they experience their homes after they’ve lived in them for a while?
Often, architectural discourse begins and ends with the designer. Here, the owners come first. They provide the answers in their own words, without the dialect of the discipline mediating what they say.
In this first installment, the goal was to examine the experience of domestic space from the point of view of a globe-trotting intellectual couple. James Massengale and Tracey Sands are both scholars. And as is the way of many academics, they have more than one residence: one in the United States and one abroad, located in the region of their studies. In this case, that is Scandinavia. And this is what they had to say.
More after the break. (more…)
This prototype system, Homeostatic Facade, is the latest in green building design. The line maze like facade consists of material that flexes and bends as an artificial muscle fighting solar heat gain by changing shape on its own. No computer programing or physical adjustments required. The system regulates a buildings climate by auto responding to environmental conditions and has an advantage over other systems because of its low power consumption and localized control.
Check out the video of the moving Homeostatic Facade following the break.
Few design competitions ever focus on truly traumatic life experiences, the kind of situations that force men, women and children into their primal survival tendencies. Luckily, in 2010 this gaping hole in architectural design was finally addressed. The 2010 Zombie Apocalypse Safe House Competition posed the task to designers to find solutions to the the very real threat of having to defend yourself against hoards of brain hungry zombies as the end of mankind grows near. Follow after the jump to read about this lighthearted design competition, the entries and their presentation boards.
The Mies van der Rohe Society recently released their newly designed website. Some of the features we like are the detailed building biographies, sketches, models, 3D renderings, and photographs that showcase the buildings Mies designed.
In addition, when you visit the site you can:
- Browse the titles on Mies’ bookshelf and read his speeches
- Track progress on building restoration efforts and support the organization by becoming members
- Sign up for architectural tours at IIT
- Register for events, such as Mies’ 125th birthday party scheduled for March 28, 2011
- Learn about exhibits, lectures, and performances at S.R. Crown Hall
Defining the City
The construction of a city involves how is it defined, understood and experienced. These processes and definitions diverge wildly depending upon one’s location: East or West. Heretofore, western architects have subjected analysis of “The City” in China, indeed all of Asia, to a set of western-privileging universals for both physical and epistemological constructions.
More after the break.
This years architectural events in New York are bound to have a meaningful effect on the years to come; the decision by NYU to add another tower complementing I.M Pei’s existing Silver Towers complex (rather than their initial plan to demolish them), the opening of the first section of Brooklyn Bridge Park coupled with the completion of the High Line has re-established New York City as a key model to reference when it comes to designing urban public space, and finally construction began on Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, by Louis Kahn, to name a few.
From transportation, urban planning, exhibitions, residential and office buildings follow the break to see the New Yorkers list of some of the most influential decisions surrounding architecture over the past year in New York.
Design Initiatives, an innovative, award-winning architecture practice based in Los Angeles, California and Sofia, Bulgaria, shared with us their proposal for A Room for London, a competition for a temporary demountable hotel room for up to two guests on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London during the Olympic year of 2012. Designed as a boundary structure floating in space between ground and sky, their proposal employs the dialectical contrast of active OR passive. More images and architect’s description after the break. (more…)
New Year’s Resolutions for principal of a firm (in this case, size does not matter).
1. Be honest with my employees.
2. Be respectful to my employees and open to their suggestions.
3. If absolutely necessary for economic reasons, I resolve not to lay off any employees but instead to furlough them—as well as to furlough or reduce my own salary. And I resolve not to exploit them by demanding that they work on their furlough days.
More after the break.
London-based Robin Monotti Architects shared with us “White Cube for London”, their entry for the Living Architecture and Artangel “A Room for London” Competition, for a roof-top hospitality structure to be built in the year of the 2012 London Olympics. More images and architect’s description after the break. (more…)
Kevin Hui of pushpullbar architecture + design forum and 4site architecture shared these travel photographs. He recently completed a 16 day / 66 building trip through Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, accompanied by Andrew Maynard of Andrew Maynard Architects. The photographs include: Mercedes Benz Museum by UN Studio, Museum of Modern Literature by David Chipperfield, Dupli.Casa by J Mayer H, Sammlung Goetz by Herzog & de Meuron, Treptow Crematorium by Axel Schultes Architekten & Charlotte Frank, Cottbus Techincal University Library by Herzog & de Meuron, Wolfsburg Cultural Centre by Alvar Aalto, and Phaeno Science Centre by Zaha Hadid. Follow the break to see all eight featured photographs.
Here is something to consider: September 25, 1940. Portbou, Spain. Walter Benjamin, aged 48, is found dead in his hotel room. He had been fleeing the Gestapo, intending to make his way to the United States. He carried with him a manuscript he deemed more important than his own life. To this day, it has never been recovered.
The end of Benjamin the man would ultimately be the beginning of “Benjamin” the international philosopher. Had he made it to the United States one suspects he would have attained the unique fame philosophers can enjoy—alive and relevant rather than dead and relevant. Due to the influence of colleagues, Benjamin’s position in the pantheon of the philosophy of modernity would be secured.
The discipline of architecture, seeking new ideas, would ultimately turn to his oeuvre through Manfredo Tafuri’s influential Teorie e storia dell’architettura, translated in 1968. This marks Benjamin’s official entrée into architectural discourse. The attention subsequently led to an explosion of Benjamin citations in the field.
More after the break. (more…)
Witold Rybczynski, author of fifteen books and over 300 articles, is one of the most prolific and engaging writers on architecture and the urban milieu. He is the Martin and Margy Meyerson Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania and architecture critic for Slate.
His writing, propelled by the insights of a sensitive designer, imbues subjects such as the home, Central Park, and cities with feeling and wonder. Like a guide to the built environment, his sharp prose points to what needs to be looked at and seen and why architecture matters.
As part of my series of discussions with critics, I recently exchanged ideas with him about his interest in cities and architecture, his role as a critic, and his new book Makeshift Metropolis.
Interview after the break. (more…)