The chin on the typewriter. It’s a typewriter. The college haircut. Before the personal computer, the Internet. No cell phones. Coffee had not yet been fetishized to the degree it is today. I suspect the coffee thing goes along with the technology. Black. Sugar. Cream. I think she likes black. I know I have another one of her books on my shelves. I know almost nothing about her beyond the book, Formless. For a long time I kept this on my desk when I worked at a corporate firm. I was surprised to find this book of collected essays spanning her career as an art critic and historian. I didn’t look inside, just the cover. That was enough.
To be perfectly honest with you, I’m simply too exhausted to write an in-depth piece on the economic outlook for 2011. I did have good intentions. I woke up in the middle of the night with something nearly complete in my head. It was going to be really informative. Let me summarize: if you are working in 2011 you are getting paid less, working longer hours and have less security. If you are running a firm, now is the time to re-envision your vision, identify your identity, and consolidate your consolidatables. I’m in a good mood…and you might be too…so why ruin it with more of this. I’ll write that piece when I’m in a bad mood. And, to be perfectly honest again, it’s just too early in the year to get a grasp on where it is going. So, let us turn to something else that has been on my mind.
More after the break. (more…)
Rocker-Lange architects shared with us the release of their research project, Serial Architecture – Systems of Multiplicities, which was also part of the exhibit “Quotidian Architectures” in the Hong Kong Pavillion at the Venice Biennale 2010. The project, accompanied by a 400+ book, rethinks quotidian architecture in Hong Kong, a city with an average density of over 6,300 people per square kilometer. More images and architect’s description after the break. (more…)
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
– Oscar Wilde
I’m drawn to John Berger’s essay “Why Look at Animals” for many reasons but primarily because it takes something obvious and turns it inside-out to reveal dimensions that were completely unexpected. The way he describes our cultural and personal engagement with animals got me thinking about how we look at architecture and why we look at it. What are we trying to see there? And is there a there there?
More after the break. (more…)
The intervention proposed by architects António Miguel Gonçalves, based in London, Antoine Pascal, based in London and Anthony Thevenon, based in Lisbon is an idea for “A Room for London,” one which latches onto the roofs of existing buildings to provide views at London’s historic skyline. Its unconventional site and form is a result of the desire to be noticed, and to provoke potential users to explore the potential of the program.
More information and images on this project after the break. (more…)
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…)