Kenneth Frampton wins 2012 Schelling Architecture Theory Prize

Kenneth Frampton selected publications.

British-American architect and historian Kenneth Frampton has been confirmed as this year’s winner of the Theory Prize of the Schelling Architecture Foundation. The jury is honoring Frampton for his “fundamental studies on tectonics and the architectonic large-scale form as predominant elements of urban landscapes. His theoretical range encompasses a vastness that no other prominent thinker in architecture has yet achieved. In addition, he will be honored for his accurate studies in which he has been analyzing current construction processes as well as the history of modern architecture since the early 19th century”.

As the winner of the 2012 Theory Prize, Frampton will now participate as a jury member in the selection of the winner. Given that of the ten winners of the four of them have already won the Pritzker Prize – most recently and Lu Wenyu – the nomination for the is in itself a distinction.

The three nominated practices for the €20,000 Schelling Architecture Prize are: (more…)

TEDx: Fracture-Critical Design / Tom Fisher

, Professor in the School of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, discusses the subject matter of his most recent book, Designing To Avoid Disaster: The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design.

Fisher believes we have been engaged in a “Ponzi scheme” with our planet, as fracture-critical design has lead to a number of recent catastrophic events in our infrastructure, politics and economy. The I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, New Orleans’ , the BP oil spill, Port au Prince’s destruction by earthquake, Fukushima nuclear plant’s devastation by tsunami, the Wall Street investment bank failures, and the housing foreclosure epidemic are all examples of fragile systems that were created by this failed system. The solution? Integrating resiliency back into our lives. Watch the video to learn more.

via TEDxUMN

SFMoMA presents “Field Conditions”

Lebbeus Woods, Conflict Space 2, 2006; crayon and acrylic on linen; 74 x 120 in. (187.96 x 304.8 cm); Collection , gift of Aleksandra Wagner; © Lebbeus Woods

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be hosting an exhibition from September 1, 2012 through January 6, 2013 that features works of conceptual and theoretical architecture. Blurring the lines between the two, the “field” to frame these investigations into construction, representation, and experience of space entitled Field Conditions features works in a wide variety of media by artists and practicing architects. Some of the notable names that will have their work on display include Tauba Auerbach, Daniel Libeskind, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Sol LeWitt, and Lebbeus Woods. More snapshots of the work after the break. (more…)

Video: Wang Shu, “Geometry and Narrative of Natural Form”

Founder of Amateur Architecture Studio and Head of Architecture at the China Academy of Art, Wang Shu was the first Chinese architect to hold Harvards Graduate School of Design (GSD) Kenzo Tange professorship. The Harvard lecture honors architect Kenzo Tange by bringing distinguished architects from around the globe to the GSD.

’s practice caught the world’s attention with their pavilion for the 10th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2006. As a critique of the architectural profession, excessive building and the on-going demolitions caused by the rapid urbanization of China, their installation ‘Tiled Garden’ was constructed of 66,000 recycled tiles salvaged from demolition sites. Their work is embedded in the history and traditions of Chinese culture, referencing everyday building tactics and the Chinese vernacular tradition of building, hence their practice name “amateur architecture”.

Reference: The Harvard GSD

Video: Culture of Craft / AIA Committee On Design

The experts at studio/216 have shared with us the Culture of Craft – a pilot for an AIA Committee On Design (COD) series about The Value of Design. The non-profit AIA committee spent this past year discussing this topic, hosting two conferences in Seattle and Japan. In this film, architects Tom Kundig FAIA, FAIA, Annie Han, Prentis Hale and Roy McMakin discuss the value of craft and design in theory and in practice.

This film was created by studio/216.

The Architecture and Transformation of elBulli / From World’s Best Restaurant To Culinary Research Foundation

© Maribel Ruiz de Erenchun

Food is as much about architecture as it is the concept of taste. With food comes the sum of its parts to create the whole, the great attention to detail and the emotion of first bite like that of entering a memorable space for the first time.

Jorge Louis Borges says, “The taste of the apple lies in the contact of the fruit with the palate, in the fruit itself, in a similar way poetry lies in the meaning of the poem and the reader, not in the lines of symbols printed on the pages of a book. What is essential is the aesthetic act, the thrill, the almost physical emotion that comes with each reading.”

Ferran Adria, the master chef of elBulli, which has religiously been called the Best Restaurant in the World, has a heideggerian approach to food, cooking, and the physical act of eating. Similar to that as architects with the same heideggerian approach and the concepts of material, making, and the experiencing of space. Like Jorge Louis Borges and heideggerian architects, Ferran Adria crosses the realm of cooking and enters the presence of wholeness of experience. Transforming the traditional means of eating and elevating them to a memorable moment where memory, experience and taste meet.

Continue reading for more in-depth information.

   

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Bernhard Leitner: Sound Spaces

©

“I can hear with my knee better than with my calves.” This statement made by Bernhard Leitner, which initially seems absurd, can be explained in light of an interest that he still pursues today with unbroken passion and meticulousness: the study of the relationship between , space, and body. Since the late 1960s, Bernhard Leitner has been working in the realm between architecture, sculpture, and music, conceiving of sounds as constructive material, as architectural elements that allow a space to emerge. Sounds move with various speeds through a space, they rise and fall, resonate back and forth, and bridge dynamic, constantly changing spatial bodies within the static limits of the architectural framework. Idiosyncratic spaces emerge that cannot be fixed visually and are impossible to survey from the outside, audible spaces that can be felt with the entire body. Leitner speaks of “corporeal” hearing, whereby acoustic perception not only takes place by way of the ears, but through the entire body, and each part of the body can hear differently.

- George Kargl, Fine Arts Vienna

   

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Paolo Soleri’s Bridge Design Collection: Connecting Metaphor

© Foundation

“Of all things that are man-made, bridges are, with dams, the most “structural,” single-minded, and imposing. As connectors at a breaking point, they have a heroic force that is aided by a challenging structuralism. As a strand of continuity in a non-continuum, the bridge is full of implied meanings. It is the opposite of devisiveness, separation, isolation, irretrievability, loss, segregation, abandonment. To bridge is as cogent in the psychic realm as it is in the physical world. The bridge is a symbol of confidence and trust. It is a communications medium as much as a connector.”

-, 1970, from “The Sketchbooks of ”, published by MIT Press, 1971
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Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti : The City in the Image of Man

© www.arcosanti.org

70 miles north of Phoenix, in central lies an experimental town created by Paolo Soleri, intended to house 5,000 people. Arcosanti is the study of the concept of arcology, which combines architecture and ecology. The intensions of this community is to form a gestalt that houses the relations and interactions that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment.

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Video: Ole Bouman, “Broadcasting Architecture”

In this earnest and insightful video, NAi director Ole Bouman lectures on our shared need to “celebrate architecture’s glory.” The was recorded in June 2011 at the International Architecture Festival (“FESTARCH“).

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The Decaying Dutch Harbor Bunkers

© Tom Doyle

Set against a backdrop typically reserved for postcards, the decaying bunkers of the Aleutian Islands Campaign serve to memorialize a little-known chapter of WWII lore. Read more about these distinctive relics after the break.

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Blast from the Analog Past! Physicist Identifies First Protractor

Egyptian artifact identified as world's first known . www.newscientiest.com

And now a controversial look back… way back.

Physicist Amelia Sparavigna recently identified an artifact in a Turin museum as the world’s first known protractor. Sparavigna argues that the artifact’s ornate decoration, which resembles a compass rose with 16 evenly spaced petals surrounded by a zigzag with 36 corners, was used in combination with a plumb line to measure the slope angle of an object beneath it.

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Venice: City in Peril

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar - http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/

is commonly regarded as one of the wonders of the world, attracting over 17 million tourists each year. However, the city of faces ongoing problems that threaten its ability to stay above water. The city’s issues are notorious around the world. Every year water surges through its legendary labyrinth of streets wreaking havoc on architectural gems such as the Palazzo San Marco. With its architecture under threat, and dwindling population as many young people flock to the mainland, it is appropriate to think of Venice as a dying relic. (more…)

Why Politics Matter: Le Corbusier, Fascism, and UBS

Le Corbusier on the Swiss 10 franc banknote, © Will's Online World Paper Money Gallery

Le Corbusier’s politics are a divisive issue for architects and rightly so: his work is still highly influential, in both adoration and enmity, and his expressed political views are at odds with contemporary western democratic values.

It’s easy for the discussion of those views to lapse into a sort of ethical debate by-proxy, devolving into a discussion about whether or not Le Corbusier should continue to be included in the canon of twentieth century architects considering his apparent anti-Semetism and sympathy for the Nazi party. Such narrow and moralistic inquiry negates other issues pertinent to Le Corbusier’s  place in history. It is possible to both be aware of Le Corbusier’s political affiliations and to discuss his work as an architect, urbanist, and designer for its own merits. By way of explanation, I would like to revisit a recent controversy concerning Le Corbusier.

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Gotham City’s Architecture Portrayed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Skyline, Photo by esherman - http://www.flickr.com/photos/esher27/

Director Christopher Nolan is preparing to shoot his third and final Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which promises to bring the events of its blockbuster predecessors full circle. The filmmaker will experience new ground with the conclusion to his trilogy by shooting a portion of the film in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Shooting locations for Nolan’s Batman installments are shot all over the world, in places such as, India, Iceland, Romania, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, , Chicago, and now Pittsburgh. Each location offers unique elements of architecture to create the look and feel of Gotham City and Batman’s world. More information after the break. (more…)

O’ Mighty Green / STAR strategies + architecture

Sustainable Cenotaph for Isaac Newton – Boullée, 1784: © , 2011

The Rotterdam based design team STAR strategies + architecture has shared with us their recent project, O’ Mighty Green, a critical piece about Green – washing and especially about the abuse of “Green” in architecture. Additional images and text can be seen after the break.
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Parametricist Manifesto / Patrik Schumacher

Zaha Hadid Alpenzoo Station

We have seen a growing interest in parametric design as it offers a new approach to architecture based on  advanced computational design techniques.   As parametricism becomes a tool more designers are turning toward, is this method beginning to define the style of our time?  In an effort to identify our architectural style to allow it to be recognized, , a partner at Zaha Hadid, has communicated his beliefs in his . “As a style, parametricism is marked by its aims, ambitions, methodological principles, and evaluative criteria, as well as by its characteristic formal repertoire.”

More about the manifesto after the break. (more…)

Learning from the slums (2/2): the rediscovery

The model #1: Napoli, quartieri Spagnoli (image: flickr)

If the mainstream view on the slums describes them as places to escape from and as to destroy as soon as possible, more and more people look at slums in a different way.

The first glances at slums were from some of the architects involved in urban renewal projects, who started to integrate in their projects some elements of the slums. Some of the recurrent features are:

  • narrow courtyards and alleys
  • division of the building into small blocks
  • use of different colors and materials within the same building.

(part 1/2)

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