Today would have been social activist and urban writer Jane Jacob‘s 98th birthday. Throughout her career, she fought against corporate globalization and urged urban planners and developers to remember the importance of community and the human scale. Despite not having any formal training, she radically changed urban planning policy through the power of observation and personal experience. Her theories on how design can affect community and creativity continue to hold relevance today - influencing everything from the design of mega-cities to tiny office spaces. She passed away in 2006.
In The Life and Death of Great American Cities, her most well-known publication, Jacobs critiques the short-sightedness of urban planners in the 1950s and argues that their assumptions about what makes a good city are actually detrimental to the human experience. For example, she contends that the creation of automobile infrastructure results in the unnatural division of pre-existing neighbourhoods, creating unsafe environments and thereby severing community connections. In the years leading up to her death, she discussed ways in which communities could recover what they lost as a result of poor foresight in earlier city planning efforts.
After her first novel, Jacobs broadened her scope and began to look at topics such as economics, morals, and social relations. Here is a complete list of her publications:
If you lived in a region repeatedly devastated by storms, would common sense be enough to make you leave your memories behind? Two of the ten proposals for the Rebuild by Design competition (which included proposals from OMA and BIG) tackle this issue, providing designs that compel communities to move to safety. To learn more about this sensitive and increasingly relevant social and political issue, known as “Managed Retreat,” check out James Russell’s article on The Atlantic Cities.
In this article published by the National Women’s History Museum, Despina Stratigakos delivers a fresh perspective on the current phenomenon of women leaving the architecture profession. Starting with Architect Barbie and jumping back to the likes of Julia Morgan, the successes and struggles of pioneering female architects are chronicled, offering women pursuing architecture careers today a firm understanding of their roots. Read the article here.
A collection of 41 interviews conducted by students at the Strelka Institute, entitled Future Urbanism, is now available online. The interviews feature architects, urban planners, sociologists, researchers, and other professionals from fields related to urban studies, emphasizing the Strelka Institute’s mandate for interdisciplinary thinking. To take a look at the interviews, see here.
JeanNouvelDesign, the studio led by French architect Jean Nouvel, presented their new collection of furniture during Paris Design Week. Among them is the Oxymore chair, designed by JeanNouvelDesign and produced by specialty group-seating manufacturer Figueras International Seating. This fetishistic chair, a result of research conducted at the Figueras Design Centre, has a singular cubic appearance that provides extreme comfort, softness. It is precisely this unapparent relationship between look and feeling that gives the seat its name—since an oxymoron means a union of contradictory elements.
“I have to believe that one day, the only people doing architecture in China will be Chinese architects. That’s one trend I watch, because I’m not a Chinese architect!” This is the declaration Ben Woods, an American architect living and working in China, made during a recent interview with Forbes. In honour of his prediction, work, and personal commitment to never design a skyscraper, we’ve rounded up a list of fitting cultural projects in China by Chinese architects. See Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu‘s Ningbo Historic Museum, MAD Architect‘s Ordos Art & City Museum, the Jinchang Cultural Centre, the Oct Design Museum, and the Spiral Gallery II. For more information on this post’s inspiration, check out the full interview and article here.
The Noguchi Museum will be honoring architect Norman Foster and contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto as the first recipients of the Isamu Noguchi Award on Tuesday, May 13. The award acknowledges individuals whose work relates to landscape architect and artist Isamu Noguchi, who promoted a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to the arts and was committed to innovation, global consciousness, and Japanese/American exchange. For more information on the benefit, see here.
In 2009 we wanted to find out where our readers work and create. We asked, you responded, and the results gave us a fascinating insight into your daily lives. And so, a few weeks ago, we once again asked our readers to send us pictures of their workspaces. We received submissions from all over the world – from beachside desks to a stark warehouse space to a stunning gallery.
Take a look at these creative spaces – you may even recognize your own workplace, or one quite like it – and keep following and participating by using the #wherewework hashtag on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for your help!
Le Corbusier donned signature glasses; Frank Gehry designed footwear; early twentieth-century architect Adolf Loos even wrote “Why A Man Should Be Well-Dressed.” Now Zaha Hadid is making her way into swimwear. But are the nuances of fashion too much for architects to dip their feet into? Read the full article at the Telegraph.
In this episode of KCRW’s Design & Architecture (DnA) podcast, ArchDaily contributor Guy Horton speaks with Frances Anderson about the architect’s ethical responsibility to protect construction workers’ rights, following up on his popular article “Will We Stay Silent? The Human Cost of Qatar’s World Cup.” The episode also features a fascinating look into Shigeru Ban‘s career and Pritzker win as well as the Folk-Moma controversy. Listen here.
“Green” measures nothing. Which is greener: a building that saves water or a building that uses certified carpet? There is no obvious answer to this question – this is why trying to quantify “green” is biased and leads nowhere. Using carbon as a metric, on the other hand, makes sense. This is something you can accurately measure and therefore reduce. Going “low-carbon” not only contributes to fighting climate change but also totally redefines construction (choice of materials, energy sources, etc.).
This is why shapedearth.com, the first free online calculator for assessing the whole life embodied carbon of building projects, is such a useful tool.
In 2009 we reached out to our readers across the globe and asked “What does your office look like?” From transparent tubes (like Selgas Cano’s popular studio) to wide-open spaces (like BIG’s offices in Copenhagen), we learned that the projects we publish every day are produced in all kinds of settings. But has anything changed over these few years?
Once again we’re crowdsourcing your workspaces. Post a photo of your office via Facebook or Twitter, tagging us @ArchDaily, by using the hashtag #wherewework and let us know what inspired the organization and/or layout. We’ll ask some renowned firms to give us a peek into their offices too. Then in a few weeks, we’ll compile all of them into one post on ArchDaily for you to enjoy. So let us know – where do you work?
UPDATE: The results from the Elite 8 have been announced, and the time to vote for the Final Four has arrived! Do you think “Less Is More” should take the crown? Voting’s open until Friday afternoon (EST).
In honor of the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament, Dallas-based architecture firm Good Fulton & Farrell has created an “Arch. Madness” tournament to crown the Best of Architecture. “The tournament pits 64 of the greatest in architecture stereotypes, culture, tools, and ideas against each other. From things architects like, to misconceptions people have about architects (or undeniable truths), this will be a fun way to determine what is the best thing (or most ridiculous thing) about the architects we work with every day.” The winner will be crowned on April 8th. CLICK HERE to vote for your “Arch Madness” champion now!
Federico Babina, the illustrator behind the extremely popular ARCHIST and ARCHICINE, has just released his latest project: ARCHIPORTRAIT, “an artistic representation of 33 architects, in which the faces and the expressions are made of their architecture.” As Babina says, “The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the protagonist through his aesthetic.”
See all the portraits – from Corbu to Foster to Gehry and more – after the break.
In response to the recent popularity of “selfies” in social media, The Society of Architecture Photography (SAP) has racked their archives to release a few rare images of what the society is calling “architecture selfies” – images taken by architects in front of their works. SAP’s Director, Chantelle Archambault, told us: “We weren’t sure if we would find any at all, but we were pleasantly surprised to find seven – even one of Le Corbusier at Chandigarh in 1961. I suppose it’s only natural – architects consider travel an integral part of their creative process, and a pilgrimage to a built work is one of the most rewarding experiences an architect can claim.”
See all the newly released “architecture selfies” – including photographs of Mies van der Rohe, Louis Kahn, and more – after the break…
Explore the architectural development of Pritzker Laureate Shigeru Ban – from his early, more minimalist residential work in the 90s to his experimental, undulating structures (2010′s Pompidou Metz, Nine Bridges Golf Club) to his latest masterpiece in timber construction, Tamedia New Office Building (2013).
Are you subscribed to the best newsletter in architecture? By writing in your email below, you’ll receive an even more curated selection of projects, news, and articles every morning – because while you may love everything ArchDaily, sometimes, less really is more.
If you’re already signed-up, thank you! If not, what are you waiting for? For some extra incentive, if you sign up in the next twenty-four hours you’ll be eligible to win a pack of ArchDaily stickers. So, subscribe now!