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Georgia's Soviet Architectural Heritage Captured by Photographers Roberto Conte and Stefano Perego

09:30 - 21 September, 2017
Tbilisi. The Palace of Ceremonies/Rituals, by Victor Djorbenadze (1984-1985). Image © Roberto Conte
Tbilisi. The Palace of Ceremonies/Rituals, by Victor Djorbenadze (1984-1985). Image © Roberto Conte

The Republic of Georgia’s past is defined by turbulence and a struggle for identity. A former republic of the USSR, Georgia is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. The nation's history has been anything but calm, and remnants of the architectural past provide a glimpse into the nation that was.

The country's remaining Soviet landmarks give Georgia an air of being caught between the past and the present. Italian photographers Roberto Conte and Stefano Perego capture this in their photo series, Soviet Architecture Heritage in Georgia, with a compilation of photos that highlights the existing Soviet heritage in Georgian architecture today. 

Tbilisi. Archaeological Museum (1988). Image © Stefano Perego Zhinvali. Aragveli monument. Image © Stefano Perego Tbilisi. Technical Library, by G. Bichiasshvili (1985). Image © Roberto Conte Tbilisi. The Palace of Ceremonies/Rituals, by Victor Djorbenadze (1984-1985). Image © Roberto Conte + 12

Many Feared Dead or Trapped After Earthquake Topples Buildings Throughout Mexico

09:15 - 20 September, 2017
Many Feared Dead or Trapped After Earthquake Topples Buildings Throughout Mexico, The destruction of a building in Mexico following the 2017 earthquake. Image via Infobae
The destruction of a building in Mexico following the 2017 earthquake. Image via Infobae

Following the devastating earthquake measuring 7.1 in magnitude that struck Mexico yesterday at 13:14 local time, many—over 200 people at the time of writing—are feared either dead or trapped in collapsed buildings or unsafe structures. While rescue efforts continue and information surrounding the scope of devastation is preliminary, schools are closed indefinitely and major companies and organizations have requested their employees not to work.

The death toll continues to rise while ArchDaily México, which is located in Mexico City, reports wide-reaching destruction of the built fabric of the capital. Footage captured by terrified residents show the final moments of buildings—many taller than four stories—that were reduced to dust and debris in seconds.

3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick

09:30 - 19 September, 2017
3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick, Courtesy of ArchSmarter
Courtesy of ArchSmarter

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter.

Have you ever played the party game “telephone”? You know the one, where you tell something to the person next to you and they pass it on to the person next to them and so on down the line. Inevitably, your original message is badly mangled and misappropriated by the time it gets back to you. Everyone gets a good laugh at how far the end message is from your original one.

13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

09:30 - 18 September, 2017
13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

The history of humans building shelters goes back over 10,000 years. Over this time, the human need to build was distilled into the profession of architecture, and in the process it attracted all manner of eccentric, visionary, and stubborn individuals. In light of both architecture's long history and its abundance of colorful characters, it's no surprise that it's full of surprising and unlikely stories. From Lincoln Logs and the Olympics to Ouija boards and 9/11, here are 13 architecture-related facts you may not have previously known.

How VR Is Helping Researchers Understand the Phenomenology Behind Light in Architecture

12:30 - 17 September, 2017

“How shall we hew the sun / Split it and make blocks / To build a ruddy palace?” wondered Wallace Stevens in his 1918 poem Architecture for the Adoration of Beauty. Inspired by the verse, in his essay The Room, the Street and Human Agreement, Louis Kahn paraphrased “What slice of the sun enters your room?” The great architect also spent his entire career experimenting with those dual protagonists: light and shadow. Kahn’s obsession with light, and in particular the architectural control of it, influenced countless architects, including Peter Zumthor and Tadao Ando.

Kynthia Chamilothori shares that fascination. A 2014 Architectural Engineering graduate from the Technical University of Crete, where she received the Limmat Stiftung Excellence Award, and current PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Integrated Performance In Design (LIPID) in EPFL, Chamilothori’s research diploma project focuses on how the patterns of light and shadow shape the way we perceive architectural spaces. But, while Kahn and other architects throughout history have relied on little more than intuition, Chamilothori is using far more scientific methods, working with a tool that wasn’t available to the great masters: virtual reality.

This Quirky Architecture Couple’s Instagrams are #instagoals

09:30 - 16 September, 2017

A post shared by Anna Devís (@anniset) on

Whether they're pretending facade details are raindrops or peeking out of Ricardo Bofill’s La Muralla Roja, Daniel Rueda and Anna Devis introduce a unique perspective on the city. The Valencia-based duo are #couplegoals, and their Instagram accounts reveal their fun, quirky personalities and love for the built environment.

Scrolling through their feeds, viewers get a glimpse of the couple’s travels through whimsical portraits which celebrate the beauty of architecture. The adorable duo playfully interacts with their surroundings, using the city as their stage and architecture—and each—other as characters.

Curators Johnston Marklee Introduce the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, "Make New History"

11:15 - 15 September, 2017

As the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial prepares to open its doors, curators Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee) introduce Make New History – the theme of the second edition of North America's largest architecture and design exhibition.

Understanding the trace of history is more important than ever. Maybe now it's a good time to take stock and reevaluate to see what architecture could do better, and there are certain issues that other disciplines address better than architecture itself.

Herzog & de Meuron’s Museu Blau in Barcelona Through the Lens of Denis Esakov

09:30 - 15 September, 2017
Herzog & de Meuron’s Museu Blau in Barcelona Through the Lens of Denis Esakov, © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov

We look for materials which are as intelligent, versatile and complex as natural phenomena, in other words materials which don't just appeal to the eyes of the astounded art critic, but are also really efficient and appeal to all our senses.
– Jacques Herzog

Like several other works of architecture by Herzog & de Meuron the Forum Building, known since the 2012 relocation of Barcelona's Museu de les Ciències Naturals as the Museu Blau, is remarkable for its sensitive use of materials. A triangular mass of gray-blue concrete punctured and split in places to reveal the contrasting use of reflective planes, the building is a hard one to ignore, especially for an architectural photographer.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov + 16

In "Vertical City," 16 Contemporary Architects Reinterpret the Tribune Tower at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

20:55 - 14 September, 2017
© Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

In a large-scale, central installation at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the likes of 6a architects, Barozzi Veiga, Kéré Architecture, MOS, OFFICE KGDVS, and Sergison Bates—among others—have designed and constructed sixteen five meter-tall contemporary iterations of the renowned 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower design contest.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 55

Why Jan Gehl, the Champion of People-Oriented Cities, Doesn't Necessarily Dislike Skyscrapers

09:30 - 14 September, 2017
Why Jan Gehl, the Champion of People-Oriented Cities, Doesn't Necessarily Dislike Skyscrapers, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/gruban/288465746/'>Flickr user gruban</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
© Flickr user gruban licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Jan Gehl on Why Tall Buildings Aren’t Necessarily Bad for Street Life."

Jan Gehl, the great Danish urbanist, has much in common with Jane Jacobs. For the better part of a half-century now, his focus has been on the development of people-oriented cities. The author of a number of books, including Life Between Buildings, Cities for People, Public Spaces—Public Life, and most recently, How to Study Public Life, Gehl and his colleagues have also served as consultants for the cities of Copenhagen, London, Melbourne, Sydney, New York and Moscow. Gehl Architects currently has offices in Copenhagen, New York and San Francisco. I spoke to Gehl about Jacobs, the folly of modernist city planning, and New York City’s durable urban form.

Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo: “It is Important Not to Doubt That Architecture is Art”

09:30 - 13 September, 2017
Estudio Iturbide, Coyoacán, México City, 2016-2017. Image Courtesy of Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo
Estudio Iturbide, Coyoacán, México City, 2016-2017. Image Courtesy of Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo

In August I moderated a round table at UNAM in Mexico City in which I posed a provocative question: is architecture art? The participants, architects Mauricio Rocha, Gabriela Carrillo, and Victor Legorreta argued that despite architecture’s limitations, it is architects’ attempts to overcome them that makes it art. Meanwhile Gabriel de la Mora, an artist trained as an architect, drew a line, separating the two disciplines: “Art is art and architecture is architecture,” he insisted. Yet both sides were not quite satisfied with their initial assertions and the discussion continued, opening up to many interesting positions that pulled and pushed the interlocutors closer together and further apart with every attempt to give an explanation. I loved the discussion and I hoped we would not reach any definitive answers; the last thing we need in architecture is a consensus. It is our insistence on questioning that leads to new visions and unique solutions.

The following is my conversation with Rocha and Carrillo, as part of my City of Ideas column, in which we talked about their desire to make gravity feel light, seeing each project as a dialogue, their love for making decisions based on accidents, and their disinterest in being perfect. The architects strive to achieve a “meaningful silence” and they prefer to pay no notice to that line between architecture and art, the boundary that so few architects even dare to approach.

School of Plastic Arts, Oaxaca de Juárez, México, 2007. Image Courtesy of Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo Library for Blind and Visually Impaired People, Ciudadela, Mexico City, 2012-2013. Image Courtesy of Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo Compensatory Care Center for Blind and Visually Impaired, Mexico City, 2001. Image Courtesy of Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo Academic and Cultural Center of San Pablo, Alfred Harp-Helú Foundation, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, 2008-2011. Image Courtesy of Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo + 72

The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins

08:00 - 13 September, 2017
The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins, via Enscape
via Enscape

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter as "The 10 Revit Apps You Should Be Using in 2017."

I recently asked ArchSmarter readers what tools they’re using to be more productive in Revit. Over 75 different add-ins were recommended! I tallied up all the votes and came up with this list of top-ten recommendations. There are some repeat nominees from my previous round-ups (which you can read here and here) as well as some welcome newcomers. 

So who made the cut? Here’s this year’s list of the top 10 Revit apps you should be using.  

How to Choose an Undergraduate Architecture Thesis Topic

09:30 - 11 September, 2017
How to Choose an Undergraduate Architecture Thesis Topic, © Suneet Zishan Langar
© Suneet Zishan Langar

As architecture students head to their final year of BArch, half-crazy from years’ worth of scraped fingers, ghastly juries, sleepless nights, and a general lack of social life, they encounter the mighty problem of choosing a thesis topic. There are many subjects to choose from, but a personal interest in a particular subject is just one of the many factors that should influence this decision. Students need to ask themselves several other questions: Is the topic significant enough? Is it expansive enough? Is the project realistically doable?

The process can be daunting, for the decision has many consequences; sometimes, the choice of topic alone can mean the difference between the success and failure of a thesis. With so many factors to consider and deadlines closing in, students easily end up making decisions that they regret later. Here are eight tips to help you make an informed choice on the matter:

5 Unexpected Benefits of Working at a Large Design Firm

09:30 - 10 September, 2017
Courtesy of CannonDesign
Courtesy of CannonDesign

Like most architecture students, I heard the debate about whether it was better to work at a large or small design firm numerous times during my collegiate career. There are undoubtedly benefits offered by firms of each size, and you’ll find tons of people eager to discuss how the resources of a large firm can compare to the creative flexibility of a small firm and similar such discussions during your student journey. Truthfully, there’s no one best option or preferred path, but, with thousands of students set to head back to architecture or design school this fall, I wanted to share my perspective.

It was just a few years ago that I was in my final year of school and faced with a decision: what size firms should I pursue for my first job? There were numerous aspects of small firms that spoke to me, but ultimately, I chose the large-firm experience. Big offices, big projects, job security, the latest tech, modeling and 3D printed resources—this all sounded great to me. Two years in, I’ve found most of those benefits to ring true, but I’ve also uncovered several benefits I didn’t know I should have been looking for in the first place. These unplanned discoveries have made a significant difference in my day-to-day experience and in helping to kickstart my career. I thought it might be helpful to share them so other students can consider them when making their decision in 2018 and beyond.

From Brunelleschi to Today, This Documentary Tracks the Evolution of Architecture in Tuscany

09:30 - 9 September, 2017

Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the Italian region of Tuscany to view works of architectural mastery. Renowned architectural figures such as Michelangelo and Brunelleschi transformed Tuscan cities to be stages of cultural rebirth during the 14th-17th century. These times, however, have passed. Today, Tuscany is faced with problems such as the decline of suburbs, abandoned buildings, and property speculation. The modern Italian architecture scene is in decline, and the country is experiencing an oversupply of architects, requiring many to emigrate in search of work.

Can the spirits of these Renaissance architectural masterminds be emulated today in modern Tuscany? This is exactly the topic that cultural association 120g explores in their new documentary, Tuscanyness. The film depicts how this nature of cultural rebirth is alive today through the architects born and educated in the Tuscan region. Here, emerging architects have the unique opportunity to listen to the teachings of the past to inform the architecture of the future.

The Top 7 Travel Grants for Young Architects

09:30 - 8 September, 2017
The Top 7 Travel Grants for Young Architects, Image <a href='https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-boat-near-brown-concrete-building-227417/'>via Pexels</a>
Image via Pexels

For many young architects, studying abroad is a life-changing event in their development as a designer. It opens their eyes to a different culture, style, and history in a manner that no books or classes could explain. For that reason, architecture schools have been making study abroad easier and more ingrained in their curriculum. In addition to the study abroad opportunities offered by universities, there are many opportunities for students and recent graduates to travel and explore their own topic of study. Below is a list of 7 amazing grants and scholarships open to young architects and students:

The Astonishing (Vanishing) Stepwells of India

08:00 - 8 September, 2017

Thirty years ago, on my first visit to India, I glanced over an ordinary wall. The ground fell away and was replaced by an elaborate, man-made chasm the length and depth of which I couldn’t fathom. It was disorienting and even transgressive; we are, after all, conditioned to look up at architecture, not down into it, and I had no clue as to what I was looking at. Descending into the subterranean space only augmented the disorientation, with telescoping views and ornate, towering columns that paraded five stories into the earth. At the bottom, above-ground noises became hushed, harsh light had dimmed, and the intense mid-day heat cooled considerably. It was like stepping into another world.

Ujala Baoli: Mandu, Madhya Pradesh. Image © Victoria Lautman Navghan Kuvo Vav: Junagadh, Gujarat. Image © Victoria Lautman Batris Kotha Vav: Kapadvanj, Gujarat. Image © Victoria Lautman Indaravali Baoli: Fatehpur Sikri, Rajasthan. Image © Victoria Lautman + 15

Explore Iron Man's Futuristic Malibu Mansion With This 3D Model

09:30 - 6 September, 2017

What might the futuristic home of Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) look like in our more mundane world? In this fun exercise, Archilogic imagines a for-sale version the Malibu mansion. Explore it for yourself in the 3D model!

Ever dreamed of a real superhero lifestyle? We have a rare opportunity to buy in this secluded Malibu location, thanks to a change of heart by the former owner. Dramatic views, spectacular entertaining areas, plus a huge workshop/garage and helipad – it’s all here.

Lovingly rebuilt after an unfortunate accident, this stark white clifftop mansion once again has all its original features. Buyers who enjoy a rich social life will appreciate the glamorous history of the house, in which the celebrity former owner enjoyed a lavish party lifestyle, as much as its spectacular design.