“Today, European architects regularly work in the United States, Americans work in Europe, and everybody works in Asia. This globalization of architecture would seem like a good thing for us and it’s obviously good for (many) architects. [...] Architecture, however, is a social art, rather than a personal one, a reflection of society and its values rather than a medium of individual expression. So it’s a problem when the prevailing trend is one of franchises particularly those of the globe trotters: Renzo, Rem, Zaha and Frank. It’s exciting to bring high-powered architects in from the outside. [...] But in the long-run it’s wiser to nurture local talent; instead of starchitects, locatects.”
In a fascinating piece for T Magazine, Witold Rybczynski discusses the limitations of globalized architecture and makes the case for “locatecture” that has a “true sense of place.” Read the full article at T Magazine.
From Touring With Skrillex to Building A Community: A Musician-Turned-Designer Builds “Beautiful Things”
Before starting down the arduous path of the life of a designer, those who have been there before you will insist on one thing: you must be passionate about what you do. Music brought Nathanael Balon to California, where he ended touring with his neighbor Sonny Moore (you probably know him as Skrillex). But 40 days into his second world tour he woke up wishing he were doing something else. Nathanael dreamed of building.
His desire to “build beautiful things” culminated in the creation of WoodSmithe, a company that designs and constructs retail environments, window displays and trade-show booths. Get a glimpse into Nathanael’s courageous move in the short video above and read on to find out about a group of people who have made bold decisions to follow their dreams.
Multigenerational homes are nothing new. But with life expectancy increasing, young people staying longer in their childhood homes, and Baby Boomers aging, children, parents, and grandparents under the same roof might soon become the norm. To explore this possibility, Metropolis Magazine asked four design firms to consider what multigenerational living might look like in the future. Check out each unique take on sharing resources and space by reading the article here.
Ten years after closing its doors, the Brooklyn Domino Sugar Refinery’s iconic forty-foot tall yellow sign is still legible along the waterfront, even from parts of Manhattan. The refinery, built in 1882, was once the largest in the world, producing over half of the sugar consumed in the United States. Sadly, the historic landmark will soon be demolished, making room for luxury living — and a handful of apartments for affordable housing, at mayor Bill de Blasio’s insistence. As time runs out, a photographer, photography editor, and historian are vying for the opportunity to thoroughly document the site and publish a book entitled Sweet Ruin: Fossils and Stories of the Brooklyn Domino Sugar Refinery.
The photographer, Paul Raphaelson, was recently given a day’s worth of access to the site by its owner, real estate development company Two Trees Management. Raphaelson was able to visit and photograph three of the refinery’s buildings, capturing the sugar-coated interiors of the hauntingly cavernous spaces. He hopes to revisit the site before it’s too late to take more photographs with the guidance of his two collaborators, photography editor Stella Kramer and historian Matthew Postal. For the compelling images and more details about the future publication, keep reading after the break.
Do you get excited when you discover a game-changing command on AutoCAD? Don’t worry, us too – which is why we’re recommending five AutoCAD YouTube tutorials selected by Line//Shape//Space. To learn something new (like importing point cloud data or searching for text within your drawings), or just to brush up on your skills, click here.
For small firms, design competitions can often feel like a Catch22 - enter and lose precious time and resources (usually for nothing) or avoid them – at the risk of losing out on the “big break.” Now a new class at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design takes on just this quandary, as well as the many other practical, theoretical, and moral implications of architectural competitions for the profession. Learn more at this article at the Harvard Gazette.
Who is Knud Lonberg-Holm? An overlooked modernist architect, photographer, author, researcher, and teacher praised by the likes of Buckminster Fuller – one of his good friends and biggest advocates. To learn about the architect’s unsung accomplishments and the people determined to preserve his memory, check out Metropolis Magazine‘s article by clicking here.
TAC tableware – designed in the 1960s by Walter Gropius and influenced by the Bauhaus style – has been given new life by BIG and the industrial design studio Kilo. The new tableware set features the heritage blue skylines of twelve cities, including Copenhagen, London, and New York. To check out the full set and spot the likes of Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty, head to the manufacturer’s website by clicking here.
Last week one of the greatest icons of Brazilian architecture, João Filgueiras Lima, also known as Lelé, passed away. Photographer Joana França has shared with us photographs depicting the architect’s extensive repertoire - from his most classic works to some lesser-known gems.
See them all, after the break…
The city of Cape Town has adopted a new strategy for improving informal settlements – re-blocking, “the reconfiguration and repositioning of shacks in very dense informal settlements in accordance to a community-drafted spatial framework.” Re-blocking serves to create communal spaces, make neighborhoods safer, and improve dwelling structures – among many other things. To see how it has been implemented and where, head to Future Cape Town and continue reading here.
During this year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice, homes rented through AIRBnB (although not the company itself) will host an independently curated pavilion. AIRBnB is a six-year old platform through which home owners can rent out rooms, apartments, and entire houses, allowing “the fortress of the family and the individual” to be infiltrated. The pavilion will take advantage of this “infiltration” and how it reveals “the house, the home and today’s life.” To learn more, follow @airbnbpavilion on instagram and twitter.
An abandoned twenty-two mile stretch of derelict railroad and industrial sites used to be a thorn in the Atlanta community’s side. But with one student’s thesis proposal to redevelop these areas into a sustainable network connecting 45 mixed-use neighborhoods, public concern has since turned into excitement. To learn more about the ambitious project, head over to The Atlantic Cities here.
You probably use the word ‘city’ on a daily basis, but if put on the spot – could you give it a concise definition? Under the rule of Henry VIII, the title of city was given to virtually any settlement in the United Kingdom with a diocesan cathedral. Obviously, times have changed. For Robert Bevan’s thoughts on the title’s past and present meaning, read his article on The Guardian here.
As we mentioned a few days ago, Norman Foster’s controversial New York Public Library renovation was axed before the most current proposal was even revealed. While book worms rejoice over the victory, others are disappointed about the lost opportunity. To read about what could have been, head on over to New York Magazine and read Justin Davidson’s thoughts here.
UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. We will contact the winner in the week.
Next month, the AIA National Convention is coming to Chicago – bringing together the best and brightest building professionals to network, and learn about growing trends in the architecture industry. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend the event free of charge!
reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the AIA National Convention ($945 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on site that are passionate about innovative design with wood in mid-rise, and even high-rise projects.
To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before May 21 12:00PM EST: What architect(s) are doing the most interesting work with wood today?
More on reThink Wood at the AIA, after the break.
“What makes us New Zealanders different from, say, Australians?” William Toomath, the late modernist architect, asked himself this question at the onset of his career. In this article published by the Australian Design Review, Jack Davies takes a look at Toomath’s work and how he helped define New Zealand architecture. To keep reading, click here.
While architects don’t always see the connection between politics, social constructs, and architecture, James Stewart Polshek considers the three indivisible. In an interview on Metropolis Magazine about his newly released book Build, Memory, he describes how this belief launched his career 65 years ago. To learn more about Polshek’s approach to architecture and the publication, click here.