KERB 19 / Paradigms of Nature: Postnatural Futures

“So no, I don’t accept that the future is over-sold : it’s productised an as a result it’s over constrained by our current ways of thinking and immediate practices …”

- Rachel Armstrong, letter to ARUP

Have you ever wondered how a single cell can finally transform in a complex organism? And how the survival of this organism depends on the key relations set with its species and the environment. The same questions could be applied when talking about our cities. If we see humankind as the top of evolution, the obvious consequence is to see nature as a resource to achieve all of our goals. The adoption of “Sustainable Development” concept is just another way to name the same behaviour adding a green make-up.

But what if we perceive humankind and its manifestations as part of nature? In this case, natural and technological systems should coexist, and their survival depends on reaching an equilibrium in their exchanges of matter and energy. Some forward thinkers have been spreading this message. Now we can found compiled some of them in the new issue of KERB magazine: Paradigms of Nature. Post Natural Futures. (more…)

Weightless Pull / CO

Courtesy of

Weightless Pull designed by CO was part of Public Summer 2011 at Industry City. The installation temporarily transformed a once narrow and empty passageway into a lively vertical and depending on the wind horizontal sculptural environment.

Constructed of plastic wrap and nylon rope (there were over 600 different knots), CO’s design focused on geometry fields and linear systems, mechanics simple intuitive systems that are natural to the chosen materials and geometry, and materials that are repeatable, reusable, and economically sustainable.

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Tokyo/LA Houses Exhibition Charity Auction

© Taiyo Watanabe (deegan day design)

As part of Little Tokyo Design Week, a recently successful event hosted by Los Angeles, offices deegan day design and of Japan curated an exhibition of 40 houses from Japan and California. The goal was to highlight 20 Japanese and 20 Californian architectural practices that explore new efficiencies of scale, construction and reduced ecological impact, posing innovative possibilities for the future of small-scale residential design. They had many exciting architects participate in this exhibition, such as, Neil Denari, Greg Lynn, Wes Jones, Sou Fujimoto, Makoto Tanijiri, Mt Fuji Architects just to name a few.

As part of their exhibition, most architects also donated a model to auction benefiting the recent disasters in Japan. Although their exhibition only lasted for four short days and they were able to raise over $3,000, they are also starting another auction for the remaining models on eBay. They are currently coordinating with the US-Japan Council in setting up an eBay account that will directly benefit the Japan Platform. The auction is tentatively scheduled for October 17th.

Happy Birthday Le Corbusier!

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Today marks the Swiss-born French architect ’s birthday. Noted as one of the pioneers of modern architecture, ’s architecture career spanned some five decades.  Born in 1887, which would make him 124 today, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret adopted the pseudonym in the 1920s. Known for both his architecture and furniture design you can visit the Galerie Anton Meier where some of Le Corbusier & Pierre Jeanneret furniture is currently on a special exhibit.   More of ArchDaily’s coverage on Le Corbusier, books, buildings, and articles can be found here.

polypod / Bradley Edwards

© Bradley Edwards

Architect: Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA
Location: , Arkansas, USA
Design/Build Team: David McElyea and Bradley Edwards
Owner: Dr. Mark Thomas
Contractor: David McElyea
Project Area: 160 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Bradley Edwards

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Update: CLOG / BIG

Recently, we shared the news of CLOG’s first issue which will focus on Bjarke Ingels Group projects.  The publication seeks to break the fast pace at which architectural projects are thrown upon the public to allow for a pointed discussion and examination on a specific topic. As the editors explain, “CLOG slows things down.”  BIG seems like the perfect firm to examine for this inaugural issue, as the Danish practice has grown so quickly offering architecture lovers a continuous stream of ideas, approaches to form, and flashy visuals – as the editors of CLOG note, “ [is]  a firm that keeps pace with the flow of online imagery, but which has largely been left unexamined.”  On October 7th, CLOG’s launch event at the Storefront for Art and Architecture will become an open forum of sorts as a “Collective Interrogation” will allow guests to ask Bjarke Ingels 10 previously selected questions.

Do you have a question for Ingels and his firm?   Well, here’s your chance to have it answered!  Email your thoughts to interrogation@storefrontnews.org and check out the Storefront for Art and Architecture for more info.

Fashion and Architecture: Le Corbusier inspired Designs

Highlighting fashion one more time this week (take a look at An Architect’s Dress Code) we wanted to share with you this inspired design. Taking a nod from one of architecture’s greats the Corneliani man for Fall/Winter 2011 is an interpretation of the Swiss architect and designer Le Corbusier’s timeless elegance and the ‘talking jacket’. Setting a scene reminiscent of a 1940s movie set the Italian brand’s new collection is described as ‘a suit with peak lapels, a soft, enveloping, deconstructed overcoat, thick glasses and a bow tie symbolise with an eccentric touch a sophisticated and relaxed chic.’

YouTube Preview Image

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CLOG:BIG

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So, you know about Bjarke Ingles’ Yes is More…but how about CLOG? The inaugural issue of the publication will focus on BIG projects offering different critiques and contributions from over 40 writers, as well as responses from Bjarke Ingles.  The work is a reaction to this fact-paced ago of online press, blogs, tweets, etc. where the public is introduced to alarming amounts of work is such a short period of time.  “CLOG slows things down. Each issue explores, from multiple viewpoints and through a variety of means, a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now. Succinctly, on paper, away from the distractions and imperatives of the screen. “   Bringing together contributors from backgrounds including art, architecture, criticism, journalism, parkour, engineering, comics, photography, philosophy, CLOG:BIG presents the first holistic, critical examination of Bjarke  Ingels and his firm.   And, on October 7, the diagloue will continue at the Storefront for Art and Architecture with Bjarke Ingles and CLOG.  Check out the 100+ page book here.

65,000 LEGOS Create a 10-Foot Tall Replica of the Trump Tower

©

There’s a new Trump in town — and it’s ten feet tall! Chicago’s Trump International Hotel and Tower has been given the LEGO treatment, thanks to designer Sean Kenney. The LEGO expert has been creating sculptures from the children’s toy, and paying tribute to the country’s finest buildings over the last few years, choosing Trump’s Apprentice headquarters as his latest project and using 65,000 pieces to complete it! More images and project description after the break. (more…)

World Population Concentrated

© www.persquaremile.com

What would the world’s landscape look like if it were concentrated into one megalopolis?  This graphic analysis illustrates the amount of land required to accommodate all 6.9 billion people based on the densities of cities across the globe.  The differences illuminate the adverse affects of suburban sprawl.

References: www.persquaremile.com
Photographs: www.persquaremile.com

“Thicket” – Installation / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Sanders Pace Architecture

Architect: Sanders Pace Architecture
Location: Manchester,
Project Team: Brandon Pace, Michael Davis, Michael Aktalay, Larry Davis, Matthew Davis, Carah Ferry, Will Spencer, Garrett Ferry, Ashley Pace, John Sanders, Stephanie Dowdy, David Scott, Shane Elliot, Leslie Smith
Project Area: 900 SF (x2 pods)
Project Year: Summer 2011
Photographs: © Sanders Pace Architecture 

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Dispersed Memorial

© Dispersed Memorial

Through technology, light pixels and paper cards, Dispersed Memorial creates a country-wide collective remembrance of 9/11.

One month before the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Dispersed Memorial is distributing memory cards ten at a time across the country to honor the date. Each laser cut card reveals the project name through delicate voids in the paper which create an ephemeral image only visible when the card is held to the light or casts a shadow. With each exchange of the card, a moment of remembrance is initiated and prompts a dispersed, collective conversation about the memory of loved ones lost or affected by the events of 9-11.

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Zaha Hadid Architects Launches New Website

© Iwan Baan

Zaha Hadid Architects have launched a new interactive website that has a large archival library of the many works, built and un-built by the firm.  Looking through this vast collection of projects, it becomes obvious how much of Zaha Hadid’s work is public architecture: between urban projects, museums and galleries, this architect’s project are made for masses.  We are the real users of her architecture.  The new website allows visitors to not only appreciate her work, but participate in an internet forum of sharing a common appreciation for the work.  Each project can be “starred” and added to YourZHA, which becomes a log of her work that the visitor to the site can then refer back to.

Zaha Hadid’s work has been well received by the people for whom the architecture was built.  Last month, the new Riverside Museum celebrated 500,000 visitors within its first few weeks of opening.  Read more about it here.

YourZHA is but one of the interactive features on the site.  Browse through the hundreds of projects each coupled with descriptions and images.  The website also features a news section where visitors can be kept up to date on lectures, competitions, galleries and phases of various projects.  Visitors can also do a keyword search through the archives in a number of categories from architecture, design, masterplans, awards, publications, people and videos.

Check it out for yourself here: http://www.zaha-hadid.com/.

 

Modernist and Traditionalist on Establishment Bias Against Traditional Architecture

Kroon Hall Yale University, Hopkins © Morley von Sternberg

Tensions mounted between modernist and traditionalist camps earlier last month when Paul Finch, UK Chairman for the Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment, praised the fact that modernists had won bids to design buildings for the 2012 Olympics. In response, Robert Adam, member of the Traditional Architecture Group, and Michael Taylor, senior partner at Hopkins, the firm that designed the Olympic velodrome, met for a discussion on hegemony, timeliness, and pastiche moderated by Guardian staffer Lanre Bakare.

The conversation is lively and aggressive. Ironically, the ‘progressive’ Taylor comes off as complaisant (“Let’s agree vast parts of our cities are covered in very bland modern buildings with too much glass and steel.” “There are some buildings where there will be common ground – for example, the works of Brunel, or Crystal Palace.”), and opinionated (“Anyone would recognise the problems with modernism and see values in which they like, but the problem is is fixed and isn’t something that people think is moving forward.”)  and Adams, a bit of a snob, (MT: People are benefiting from cars, aeroplanes and other modern technology, and so to take the appearance and facades of your architecture as one separate element which should make a very clear and literal quotation back to history seems to be inconsistent. And I think people struggle with that. / RA: I think only architects struggle with that. Most people don’t have a problem with a Ferrari in the drive and a Georgian house behind it.) proves to be keenly aware of traditionalism’s place in contemporary Britain (“The prejudice towards traditionalists is rather like sexism. It’s just in the culture. If you’re in the profession, that’s just what you do. When you’re delivering the prejudice you don’t really notice it, but if you’re on the receiving end of it, then it’s a problem”). More an exhibition of conflicting ideologies than a conversation about contemporary viewpoints, the discussion is a fascinating look into how two feuding camps see themselves and their place in the world at large.

Follow this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/05/architecture-modernism-vs-traditionalism-olympics

Mayor Signs Contracts Drunk, Blames Design Firm

Mayor Resendiz, from his Facebook page via CURBED
Mayor Resendiz, from his Facebook page via CURBED

Sunland Park, N.M– Martin Resendiz, mayor of a small community near Las Cruces, admitted earlier this month to signing contracts with a San Diego–based parking design firm while drunk. The company, Synthesis +, is suing the city for nonpayment. Resendiz claims the contracts were never valid since the City Council did not approve them.

“The day I signed … I had way too much to drink. It was after 5 p.m. and I signed it (the contracts) and I didn’t know what I was signing,” Resendiz wrote in response to questions from Synthesis+ lawyers. “My sister had to pick me up.”

“Again, this was after two or three hours of us drinking, not exactly the best time to do business, not exactly the best time to read over legal documents, which he (Soltero) did not portray at any time to be legal documents,” Resendiz said in a deposition.

Soltero is a Synthesis+ executive. The deal is worth over $1 milllion; the drinking happened at Ardovino’s Restaurant in Sunland Park.

VIA The Washington Post and New Mexico Independent

Meet New People through mmmm… and the Times Square Alliance

Courtesy of mmmm...

Ever think you could find a moment of peace and quiet to have an intimate conversation with a friend in the middle of Times Square?  The designers that go by mmmm… must have considered the same thing.  Starting August 16th, people visiting Times Square can enjoy a private moment with up to eight people in one of mmmm…’s Meeting Bowls supported by the Times Square Alliance. The 5-foot tall, 7-foot wide pieces of street furniture will be available as a visiting exhibition until September 16th between 8am and midnight.

In this effort to humanize the otherwise frenetic city of , the designers at mmmm… hope to inspire intimate dialogue and interaction in the commercial center.  These semi-spherical forms are more than benches; they seat people across from one another, obscuring all the other events outside of the space.  They even rock gently as people enter and leave the bowls.

Review: De Stoel van Rietveld: Rietveld’s Chair, book + film by Marijke Kuper & Lex Reitsma

© Jules Gianakos

“It is hard to tell what the value of something eventually will be”

, 1937.

This new insight into a classic illustrates Gerrit Rietveld’s transition from humble cabinet maker’s son to Architect and leading designer in the De Stijl movement. The book and film compliment each other nicely, covering several different furniture designs both preceding and subsequent to the famed Red Blue Chair, including alternate versions of that particular design (unpainted, arm rest panels, etc.).

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London Tube Map Sparks Debate: “Design” and the Multi-screen World

© Mark Noad

Soon after Mark Noad’s vision of the London Tube Map was viewed, debate ensued about whether the integrity of the original diagram was misused to create a hybrid between the original information as a concept of the underground train system and its pathways and the concept of a geographically accurate map.   With a slightly more condensed font style, the map is intended to be more legible, especially on mobile devices.  Eminent typographer and designer Erik Spiekermann headed the debate stating that Harry Beck original depiction of the Tube was not a map at all, “it’s a diagram. Not meant to show geographic relationships, but connections.”

Therein lies the schism between the concept of depiction and .  Fastco Design writer John Pavlus discusses the value of the designer’s intent – to produce something of use – rather than the initial concept of the first drawing.  Most users of the train system diagram are likely to call it a map.  The visual information implies that it will be used to guide travelers to particular destinations, thereby making it useful as a map.  The initial intent of the information becomes irrelevant when its use and usefulness comes into play.  Did Mark Noad achieve the clarification that the Beck’s original diagram was lacking by adding elements of a geographical map into it?

The question that Pavlus concludes with is how does the designer extend his or her role beyond solving problems; how does a designed artifact continue to evolve with each iteration, engage the public and continue to develop new and better uses?

(via Fastco Design)