99% Invisible is, by far, our favorite radio show on architecture and design. Although, granted, there aren’t that many. As Roman Mars, the show’s host and producer, admits: ”since these are disciplines usually appreciated through the eye, you might be thinking: well, that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Fair enough. It turns out [though], I don’t need pictures to talk about design, [...] I like making stories that tell us about who we are through the lens of the things we build.”
Despite being an auditory medium (and a low-budget project, sponsored by KALW and AIA San Francisco, but produced in Mars’ garage), the show works because it gets to the heart of any design project: its story.
Well, it turns out we’re not the only ones into Mars’ quirky approach (Aside: if you are too, stay tuned, we’ll be interviewing him for our Disruptive Minds series next week). After launching a modest Kickstarter campaign to help offset costs, a goal promptly smashed in 24 hours, Mars upped the ante. But not to a price tag. Rather, he wanted a show of support. 5,000 backers.
The results for this little-show-that-could were nothing short of extraordinary.
Read More about 99% Invisible’s Kickstarter Campaign, including the very cool design prizes that went with it, after the break…
Through research, discussions and essays from a variety of resources, Parlour: Women, Equity, Architecture is a platform, a coach, and an inspiration that is available to women worldwide in an effort to bridge the gender gap that exist in the historically male dominant profession of architecture. Launched by a team of scholars led by Dr. Naomi Stead from The University of Queensland and developed and edited by Justine Clark from The University of Melbourne, this website is relevant to all members of the profession, women and men, in all parts of the world. It highlights the reasons why gender gaps are felt as in “implicit bias” whether in pay scale or upward mobility, even though discrimination and prejudices may not be explicit. In this regard, the website and its collection of resources, aims to create a forum for a dialogue about the actual and perceived barriers that empowers women to challenge the social structure that fosters this proven under-representation, whether it is due to professional practices and “gendered behavioral practices” or pressures that women feel to leave the profession at a much higher rate than men.
More after the break. (more…)
Organized by the Institute for Urban Design, the American Pavilion for the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale is devoted to the theme Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. The installation will feature 124 urban interventions initiated by architects, designers, planners, artists, and everyday citizens that bring positive change to their neighborhoods and cities. The selection was narrowed down after a nationwide open call for projects, which yielded over 450 submissions.
Designed by the Brooklyn creative studio Freecell, the space will feature a lively system of banners that will frame an archive of the urban interventions. Collaborating with Sausalito-based communication design studio M-A-D, the installation will also feature a supergraphic that serves as a bold counterpoint to the banners and act as an installation in and of itself. This will all be presented in an enveloping environment to put Spontaneous Interventions into a broader historical and cultural context. Continuing into the courtyard, a NYC-based studio Interboro (winner of the 2011 MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program) designed “outdoor living room” will serve as the pavilion’s hang-out and workshop space during the three months of the Biennale.
Continue after the break to review the selected projects and participants. (more…)
Marcel Breuer, born in Hungary in 1902, was educated under the Bauhaus manifesto of “total construction”; this is likely why Breuer is well known for both his furniture designs as well as his numerous works of architecture, which ranged from small residences to monumental architecture and governmental buildings. His career flourished during the Modernist period in conjunction with architects and designers such as founder of Bauhaus Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe.
In 2009, Syracuse University’s Special Collection Research Center recieved a National Endowment for the Humanities grant with which it began creating the Marcel Breuer Digital Archive. The digital archive, available online, is a collaborative effort headed by the library and includes institutions such as the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Harvard University, the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, the University of East Anglia, and the Vitra Design Museum. It is in the first phase, which includes Breuer work up until 1955, of digitzing over 30,000 drawings, photographs, letters and other related material of his work.
More about Marcel Breuer’s career and the archive after the break. (more…)
Whether you would like to admit it or not, most of us share a similar fetish for Legos, Tinkertoys and any other awesome “childrens” toy that most likely helped us create our first “masterpiece”. Well, you will pleased to know that F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab have created the Free Universal Construction Kit: a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of connections between otherwise closed systems – enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet—or unmeetable—by corporate interests.
The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego®, Duplo®, Fischertechnik®, Gears! Gears! Gears!®, K’Nex®, Krinkles®, Bristle Blocks®, Lincoln Logs®, Tinkertoys®, Zome®, ZomeTool® and Zoob®. Adapters can be downloaded from Thingiverse.com and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer).
While we are at it, don’t forget to try and win Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House from LEGO® Architecture! The giveaway closes Sunday, March 25th at 11:59 EST. (more…)
With the realization that disasters are an unavoidable reality, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have launched ArchitectsRebuild.org in an effort to eliminate “that first awkward and uncoordinated period when people, eager to put their talents into response and recovery, can’t find the means.”
As we announced last month, the two organizations formed a strategic partnership to better coordinate advocacy, education and training that will allow architects to become more involved in helping communities prepare, respond and rebuild after a disaster, known as the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Program. As promised, they have now completed the first task on their agenda, establishing a Disaster Plan Grant Program. Continue reading to learn more. (more…)
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat ( CTBUH) has launched The Skyscraper Center – a comprehensive resource for data and information on all buildings taller than 200 meters, whether they are completed or currently being developed. Detailed profiles and images reveal each towers global and regional size-ranking, as well as the projects latest updates and data. For example, recently completed Al Hamra Firdous Tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill ranks first in its city and national ranking, second in its regional ranking and is the thirteenth tallest building in the world.
“The new site builds on our database compiled through 40 years of research and adds valuable new functions, new information and extensive assets for both professionals and non-professionals exploring the world of skyscrapers,” said Timothy Johnson, chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
In material safety article for the New York Times, Fred A. Bernstein conducts an interview with architect Peter Syrett and interior designer Chris Youseff of Perkins + Will that highlights their endeavor to create a database of common building materials and the potential dangers associated with their composition. The database, simply and appropriately referred to as Transparency Lists, is a resource of precautionary measures which breaks down into four categories: Precautionary List, Asthma Triggers + Asthmagens, Flame Retardants, and News, Media + Additional Research.
Read on for more after the break.
The devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan in early March caused unimaginable damage and heartbreak to many. In response, Google has created a website named “Mirai e no kioku”, meaning “Memories for the Future”. The website allows the people of Japan to share photos and videos of their cities in an effort to preserve the memories collected over generations that may have been lost during the disaster. Google has also provided thousands of miles of Street View imagery that includes “Before” and “After” comparisons of the hardest hit areas.
We recently came across a photo expose chronicling numerous projects by Peter Zumthor. It features an extensive gallery covering models, drawings, and photos of his projects in various states from construction to completion. Be sure to check the site out here, and catch a glimpse into the inner workings of Zumthor.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin turned 100 this year. As part of the commemoration Tour de Force 360VR produced an award winning “guided” 360 degree virtual tour of the estate. The center of Frank Lloyd Wright’s world was Taliesin near Spring Green, Wisconsin. It was his home, workshop, architectural laboratory and inspiration for nearly all his life. Our international award winning Tour de Force, allows visitors from around the world to experience this place in ways only a personal visit could provide before. The response has been dramatic. More information on the tour after the break. (more…)
Zaha Hadid Architects have launched a new interactive website that has a large archival library of the many works, built and un-built by the firm. Looking through this vast collection of projects, it becomes obvious how much of Zaha Hadid’s work is public architecture: between urban projects, museums and galleries, this architect’s project are made for masses. We are the real users of her architecture. The new website allows visitors to not only appreciate her work, but participate in an internet forum of sharing a common appreciation for the work. Each project can be “starred” and added to YourZHA, which becomes a log of her work that the visitor to the site can then refer back to.
Zaha Hadid’s work has been well received by the people for whom the architecture was built. Last month, the new Riverside Museum celebrated 500,000 visitors within its first few weeks of opening. Read more about it here.
YourZHA is but one of the interactive features on the site. Browse through the hundreds of projects each coupled with descriptions and images. The website also features a news section where visitors can be kept up to date on lectures, competitions, galleries and phases of various projects. Visitors can also do a keyword search through the archives in a number of categories from architecture, design, masterplans, awards, publications, people and videos.
Check it out for yourself here: http://www.zaha-hadid.com/.
Immersive Kinematics, a new research group at the University of Pennsylvania, shared with us their newly launch website. The research agenda expands the roles of architecture and engineering focusing on integrating robotics, interaction, and embedded intelligence in our buildings, cities, and cultures.
It owes much to the unique commitment from the School of Engineering as a partner and collaborator beyond the classical roles of architect and engineer. We’ve just started working, and will have more uploads to come with expanded research. The group offers a class teaming architecture and engineering students in mechatronic projects.
Check out their website here.
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Every day we spend quite some time visiting architect’s websites (maybe even yours!) to be up to date with new and ongoing projects.
It’s a very fun part of our job, especially when websites have a good design and usability. However from time to time we stumble upon websites that are very difficult to browse, or present projects in a way that you can’t even understand them.
You know that we as architects have the ability to design “from a spoon to a city”, and a website should be among those things we can (and should) design, especially when it is one of our most important marketing tools. I’m not saying that you should learn HTML and code your own website, but as we know from our work, an informed client is a good client. Therefore, having a good idea on what your website should offer to its visitors can help you relate with the person you hire to maintain it, the same way we love when a client has a clear idea on how they want their building to be… and not asking for a “green roof” just because they read it in some random magazine.
Below you will find a few tips that can help you on this process. I’m very confident that some of you may already know about some of them, and it’d be great if you could share your comments based on your experience.
It’s been a year and a couple of months since we first started ArchDaily.
With the one mission of “broadcasting architecture worldwide” we have already published 1,200 architecture related posts and our readers have engaged with more than 12,000 comments in architecture related discussions.
Architecture is the most frequent word we use. We are architects and we love architecture. With this in mind, we have again decided to search and rank the best sites devoted to architecture only. This is not an easy job and of course it can be considered a subjective topic (as it is with every ranking). In order to reduce subjective observations, this year we have decided to consider only a recognized third party ranking system: alexa.com.
Based in our extensive architecture and Internet experience complemented with previous feedback from our readers, we came out with a list of 20 English written sites devoted to architecture only and ranked them according to alexa.com. Alexa ranks with a number 1 the most popular website in the world, which is now google.com.
We are architects, and during the last few years we have been reading and commenting on several architectural websites. As many of you do, we love to watch, learn and discuss about architecture online, with people from around the world. One day we decided to put all these sites together to get the whole picture on architectural sites, and then order them according to our likings. But in the meanwhile, we noticed it wasn’t that easy, because each one of us had different interests and approaches. In our listings, several sites were repeated, but in different places.
So, we decided to find a way to make a standardized procedure to rank and order these sites. Then we noticed Michiel van Raaij at Eikonographia repeated the ranking he started in 2007, the MoPo (Most Popular Architectural Blogs). Although Michiel did a very accurate job, he restricted it to English blogs from individual authors, leaving out several of our favorite blogs from either foreign languages or multiple authors, and some other sitess that mix architecture with other related subjects (design, sustainability, trends, etc).
To expand this rank, we decided to put together some common criteria. The most logical criteria should be the amount of visitors, but this is almost impossible since most sites don’t publish these stats. But there are some other factors you can use to measure the relevance of a website: (a) Rank of websites based on an estimate of their traffic, by Alexa, (b) Google Page Rank and (c) and the frequency of the updates, an average of the entries published in the last 2 months (done by us). That´s how we came up with YAMoPo (Yet Another MoPo).