When it comes to global cities, New York City may be one of the most prominent – but it is also relatively young. Just 400 years ago, Manhattan island was mostly covered in forests and marshes. In his talk at TEDx Long Island City, Eric Sanderson discusses the city’s radical changes in land use over the past four centuries, and begins to contemplate what the next four might look like. How can we take a city like New York and make it as efficient as the forest it replaced? In a bid to uncover the ideas that might make this possible, he introduces Manhatta 2409 – an online tool which maps/compares the historic and current land use of Manhattan and allows users to propose new uses. Learn more in the video above.
If You Build It is a documentary following the story of high school students in Windsor, a small and downtrodden rural town in Bertie County, North Carolina. In this setting, architects Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller started Project H, an educational initiative designed to not only improve the education of these disadvantaged young people, but also to reach out to the wider community and make real change.
Read on for more about Project H and the If You Build It documentary
In honor of Thom Mayne’s birthday today, we’re sharing this video interview from Danish Website Louisiana. In it Thom Mayne introduces his building at 41 Cooper Square by saying “I wanted to produce something that was off, and was not at all systematic in any normal architectural sense.” Ultimately, the form of the building is, he says, an attempt to engage with New York City, understanding Cooper Union as a key part of the city’s incredible intensity of intellectual creative capital. He also discusses how the building – despite its avant garde form - won over the local community. Enjoy!
What does the workplace of the future look like? Shawn Gehle, of Gensler, explains in this TEDx Talk that with over 10 billion square feet of existing office space in North America, we may not even need to envision new buildings. Rather, by “hacking” existing buildings, architects can transform them into something completely new. For more on Gensler’s “hacker” philosophy, read our article here.
In 2007, Oklahoma City was ranked the most obese city in America. The heavy news caused the city’s – at the time – overweight mayor, Mick Cornett to take a hard look at himself and his city. He realized that the city he deemed great, was only great if its citizen was the car.
For the next five years, Cornett committed himself to improving his city’s health. By 2012, Oklahoma City residents lost a collective million pounds, which removed them from the obese rankings and placed the city as America’s 22nd most fittest. This change was made possible by a series of city initiatives that revolved around the integration of health related infrastructure. By doing this, Cornett sparked a cultural shift that significantly improved quality of life. See what these initiatives included and hear the whole story by watching Cornett’s TED Talk above.
Bunker 599, one of 700 secret bunkers that were used to weaponize artificial hydrology in during the 19th century (see: New Dutch Waterline), recently underwent a radical transformation. RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances], in collaboration with Atelier de Lyon, sliced through the seemingly indestructible bunker to link visitors to an existing network of footpaths, create a publicly accessible attraction to those revisiting the NDW, and form a dramatic connection with the flooded plains that were altered more than 200 years ago.
The video above takes you through the process of altering the concrete monolith, ending with film of the stunning result that has been attracting thousands of daily visitors since its completion. To learn more about the project, follow this link.
Spanish architecture photographer Miguel de Guzmán has released a new video, just in time for Christmas. The video covers three light installations in Berlin designed by Brut Deluxe: the first, a huge light dome, the second consisting of five big three-dimensional light cubes, and the third, an artificial landscape built of 50 light shrubs. All of the installations are designed to create atmospheric spaces that can be entered and experienced. Check out more of his videos here, and some great pictures of the installations after the break…
Formlessfinder, the New York-based architects, designers and outside-the-box thinkers won this year’s commission to build the entrance to Design Miami/. Tent Pile is a balancing act of aluminium and sand, the latter is often seen as an obstacle to overcome in architecture rather than the solution. But that’s the way these guys roll.
Los Angeles-based cinematographer Tomas Koolhaas is nearing completion of his highly anticipated film, REM. The feature length documentary, which focuses on the work of Tomas’ famed father, Rem Koolhaas, is the first architectural film to “comprehensively explore the human conditions in and around Rem Koolhaas’ buildings from a ground level perspective.” Rather than lifeless still shots and long-winded, intellectual discourse, REM exposes the one thing that gives each building function and purpose: how it is used by people.
So far, REM has been funded entirely by grants. However, in order for Tomas to collect the necessary funds to complete post-production, he has turned to you by launching a Kickstarter campaign.
Watch REM’s official trailer above, which follows a parkour expert as he moves through the Casa De Musica in Porto, and follow us after the break for Tomas’ exclusive interview with Kanye West, who comments on his work with OMA at the 2012 Cannes film festival.
In this TED Talk, Xavier Vilalta of Xavier Vilalta Arquitectura walks through the design of two projects: a multistory shopping mall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and a multi-family apartment complex in Tunisia. Each is a prime example of how harnessing nature and referencing local traditions can allow architecture to naturally grow from its surroundings and become an integral component of the city.
Jeff Speck, the city planner and architectural designer best known for advocating smart and sustainable growth, was recently interviewed by MSNBC to discuss the key to success for future cities: walkability. It is no secret that both millennials and the aging population have expressed an overwhelming desire to live in a walkable, urban hub. Though many major cities across the U.S. have embraced this philosophy, some are lagging behind. It is becoming increasingly apparent that a city’s walkability will have a major influence on the city’s competitiveness in the near future.
Watch the interview above to find out the four keys to having a great walkable city.
Filmed at TEDxToronto in September 2013, this talk by architect, educator and theorist Rodolphe el‐Khoury is based on the inevitable “internet of things.” As TEDxToronto described, “More than ever before, the line between the digital and real worlds is increasingly blurred. Historically, computers and devices have functioned as a separate layer within our lives… In this world, our homes, workplaces, and the objects within them will all be digitally connected, intelligent, and responsive.” It is only a matter of time.
Originally conceived as a feature documentary series, ‘Straight and True’ explores the exciting period of Australian architectural history known as the Modernist era. This is the story of how a generation of young architects and their clients attempted to change the way we live in line with a stronger more defined sense of the Australian environment and lifestyle. It is also a cultural critique examining why Australians on the whole rejected this incredible leap forward. In other words a cultural look at the Australian psyche and it’s general apathy towards design and a fear of change.
Due to the multi-layered nature of this project, both visually and thematically and its immense scope (covering mid-century domestic architecture in every major Australian city) they have decided to change its shape from linear documentary to a multi-platform transmedia project. They are currently in talks with several digital content creators to find the perfect partnership to help realise this new shape.
Producers Monstro Filmes have shared with us a gorgeous animation: an homage to the city of Sao Paulo and its five major architectural icons.
São Paulo: 5 Grandes Construções (Sao Paulo: 5 Great Buildings) highlights the Martinelli Building, Banespa, MASP, COPAN and Unique. Clearly inspired by ”Chicago – Five Great Buildings,” by Al Boardman, the video uses simple, fluid lines to represent and reveal each building’s unique form.
Chris Baribeau of Modus Studio is the exemplar of a “community builder.” With a mantra that moves beyond the building and believes the architect to be responsible for the creation of healthy and thoughtful places, Baribeau and his Fayetteville-based practice have built works that transcends ordinary design. Embodying everything in which drives Modus Studio, the award-winning Eco Modern Flats serves as a prime example of community-based, sustainable design.
“Let’s meet on the red square.” The artists behind Superkilen explain how this colorful wedge shaped public park in Copenhagen, Denmark, was a collaboration based on extreme civic participation.
A public park in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, Denmark, Superkilen was developed by artists’ group Superflex in collaboration with architectural firms Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Topotek1. The park was officially opened in June 2012.
In this interview two members of Superflex, Jakob Fenger and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, tell us about the ideas behind the project, and how it came about as an extreme example of citizen inclusion and collaboration: “We found it interesting to look at this very diverse group of people in regard to culture, social standing, nationality, etc., and then see it as a rich and significant foundation for impacting the area these people live in.”
More after the break.
In the latest of NOWNESS‘ spectacular videos, Ole Scheeren – a former partner at OMA and now principal of Büro Ole Scheeren in Beijing – reflects on the past decade he has spent in China overseeing construction of the CCTV Headquarters. He muses over the delicate balancing act that Western architects maintain when they work in China, simultaneously bringing change to the city and allowing the city to change who they are and how they see the world. In this context, where change is “something that you are immediately and instantly confronted with” he believes that the CCTV Building is “both confrontational and complicit”.