A little over thirty years ago, Shanghai was a fairly dense, mid-rise city with no skyscrapers. Now, Shanghai has been transformed into a global metropolis with over 4,000 skyscrapers – twice as many as New York. In an attempt to capture the “diversities and eccentricities of the metropolis that is Shanghai beyond the famous skyline,” photographer Rob Whitworth and urban identity expert JT Singh joined forces to create ‘This is Shanghai.’
To mark the occasion of World Refugee Day on June 20th, the IKEA Foundation announced an important new collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Refugee Housing Unit to design a new type of shelter which will replace the outdated tents currently in use in refugee camps worldwide.
As you’d expect from IKEA, the result is a flat-packed, modular design (ideal for cheaply transporting to refugee camps) that can be assembled in 4 hours. Though it is expected to cost about twice as much, it will last much longer than the tents, which must be replaced roughly every six months – a particularly important improvement, as the average family stays in a refugee camp for 12 years.
The design also carries a number of other advantages, such as increased space and privacy, better temperature control and enough solar energy to power a light in the evening. The design is currently being tested in Ethiopia before being deployed worldwide, however, this is not the end of IKEA’s collaboration with UNHCR. These shelters are just the first part of a long-term collaboration which will hopefully provide healthcare and education – and ultimately a better quality of life for the world’s refugees.
More coverage of architecture’s involvement in refugee aid, after the break.
Zaha Hadid Architects worked together with design offices Kollision, CAVI and Wahlberg to create the interactive installation ‘Parametric Space’ for the exhibition ‘Zaha Hadid – World Architecture‘, which is on view at the Danish Architecture Centre through September 29, 2013. The installation is a fully parametric space that reacts to the visitors’ movements by changing shape and expression. Learn more after the break.
Derived from 40 years of research by architect, professor and author Jan Gehl, The Human Scale takes a critical look at the way we build and use our cities. Assumptions about modernity are questioned, as director Andreas M. Dalsgaard urges the viewer to imagine what would happen when we put “people into the center of our equations”.
Alberto Biagetti, Italian designer invites us into his home, a space that has become the ultimate private gallery.
The Louisiana Channel at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark shared with us their video, titled ‘Snøhetta – Memories of Architectural Landscapes,’ which captures the inner and outer landscapes of Snøhetta. The 30-minute tour features one of the heads behind it all – Norwegian architect Kjetil T. Thorsen, who reflects upon some of Snøhetta’s major landmarks such as the Alexandria Library, the opera house in Oslo and The 9/11 Memorial Pavilion on Ground Zero in New York.
From the very beginning in the 1980′s, Snøhetta’s architecture has been inspired by landscapes, both natural and urban. ”Landscapes are a massive force”, says Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, co-founder and director of Snøhetta: “And they are masterpieces, which architects can be inspired by.” To view more of Snøhetta’s work, please visit here.
The latest in NOWNESS‘ In Residence series features a look into the home of Piero Lissoni, co-founder of Italian design firm Lissoni Associati. Externally inspired by the way that children draw houses, the interior of the home is filled with what Lissoni calls a ‘contamination’ of different ideas and objects. Nevertheless it is stylish and a beautiful accompaniment to the spectacular rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside.
Highly regarded as both an academic and practitioner, Wolf Prix is an architect’s architect. He’s also a Guinness World Record holder. (The Busan Cinema Center boasts the world’s longest cantilever roof). We sat down with the Austrian architect and learned that not only does he welcome the unforeseeable results of rule-breaking, but he also borrows models of strategy and organization from soccer:
“Of course nowadays the architect as a single genius is over. I think we have to learn how to communicate and work in a team. Therefore, I just rearranged the organization of our office along the idea of the football team, FC Barcelona. Barcelona plays a beautiful game, very clever and very intelligent—they always play in a triangle system and then Messi or Xavi breaks the rules and plays street football with unforeseeable rules. This is the way we work in our office and this is the way that we design.”
He founded COOP HIMMELB(L)AU in 1968 (with Helmut Swiczinsky) and in 1980 the office published “Architecture Must Burn!” a manifesto which extolled the virtues of an architecture “that bleeds, exhausts, that turns and even breaks.” From its inception the office has pushed the boundaries of practice through its use of complex forms, communicated using a variety of media and materials. Their projects represent an embrace of imbalance, disquiet, distortion, fragmentation and chaos.
The title of one of his latest lectures (“In two days tomorrow will be yesterday”) aptly encapsulates Prix’s approach to time and space.
He gained international recognition when his firm’s work was featured in the 1988 MoMA show “Deconstructivist Architecture.” The show marked what curator Philip Johnson described as the “pleasures of unease” and highlighted the work of six other architects in addition to COOP HIMMELB(L)AU— Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenmann, Bernard Tschumi and Daniel Libeskind. The curators brought together this diverse group of architects to showcase the commonalities between projects that harnessed previously unexplored potentials of the modern movement.
“We always wanted to get through with our radical ideas. No compromising on one hand; on the other hand, if you build large projects you have to think in real terms as well.”
Prix’s architecture has employed advances in technology to create public spaces that challenge tradition and convention. COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s more recent projects include The Busan Cinema Center, Musée des Confluences, BMW Welt, and Dalian International Conference Center. He has taught at the Universität für angewandte Kunst (University of Applied Art) in Vienna, Harvard University, the Architectural Association, Columbia University and other prominent schools of architecture.
Shigeru Ban Architects shared with us their timelapse video for their latest construction, the IE Paper Pavilion. Made up of 173 paper tubes, this temporary structure is located in the grounds of IE’s Madrid campus and will be used to host executive education events and other activities. The structural design is eminently efficient. It took only two weeks to build, is based on sustainability objectives, and there was a requirement that it be a temporary construction. For more information on the project, please visit here.
The Parisian designer’s aesthetic is deeply rooted in his boundless embrace of nature. Enjoy this video on Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance!
The prolific architect and designer Fabio Novembre imbues every object he touches with his rhapsodic brand of Milan élan.
Dazzling viewers with its “tron-like landscape of infinite white,” as described by Guardian critic Oliver Wainwright, Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park is arguably “one of the most radical pavilions to date.” The 350 square-meter latticed structure melts into its surrounding by fusing together the man-made and natural world, creating a lush, semi-transparent terrain in which transforms into a variety of seating, steps and side tables that complement its interior coffee bar (view more images here).
ARQUIVO, a web series of small documentaries about contemporary Portuguese architects that is available for free, shared with us their video featuring architect João Pedro Falcão de Campos. Their project aims to create an archive of a generation of architects and to promote, both at a national and international level, the architecture that is currently being produced by Portuguese architects. For more information on their work, please visit here.
Battling against international sanctions, global economic crisis and the challenges behind creating a hotel locally and sustainably in Iran, Ameriha House is a recipe for disaster. Or is it?
In a crowed auditorium in central Los Angeles on Sunday, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor sat down with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) director Michael Govan to kickstart the opening of The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA. The hour-long discussion, captured in the video above, began with an insightful overview of Zumthor’s most famous works before moving to an in-depth conversation about the underlying ideas that drive Zumthor’s design for the highly anticipated LACMA overhaul.
The project – already six years in the making and yet still in its schematic phase – plans to replace LACMA’s aging cluster of three pavilions with an elevated, 21st century facility. A detailed project summary, alongside images captured from Zumthor’s 6 ton, concrete exhibition model, is available for you to review here on ArchDaily. Enjoy! (more…)
Beneath an elevated railway in the former red-light district of Kogane-cho, the city of Yokohama and NPO Koganecho Area Management Center commissioned five architects to transform a 100 to 150 square meter site into what is now a destination for local artists and residents. Each practice – Contemporaries, Studio 2A, Workstation, Koizumi Atelier, and Nishikura Architectural Design Office – was assigned a single project, providing the community with a gallery, cafe, studio, meeting hall for artists, and stepped outdoor plaza. Tour through each space with this video, provided by JA+U.
(Almost) everything you need to know about 20th century design has been synthesized into 6 brightly-colored, easily-digestible videos (all narrated by the sweet Scottish tones of one Ewan MacGregor).
From the Gothic Revival to Post-Modernism, this series of shorts from The Open University’s OpenLearn website just touches the surface of these design movements; however, they act as a great introduction for the un-design-initiated (indeed, The Open University sees them as an intro to their free course on Design Thinking) or, for design-aficionados, a fun refresher.
We’re particular to the video on the Bauhaus (after all, we also tackled the movement in a brilliant infographic) and the Modernist video (after the break) – but you can find all 6 at OpenLearn. Enjoy!
The American Design Club (AmDC) was conceived in the spring of 2008. At that time, America’s relevance in the design world was being questioned, with some postulating that US-based designers would never be as influential or productive as their European counterparts. Looking around, however, all they saw was talent and ambition in our fellow American designers, from close friends to former employers to recent design school graduates. What was missing was an avenue for these designers to share their work with a broad audience. The AmDC’s founding members resolved to improve the situation by creating a platform from which designers could launch new ideas and connect with one another.