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Why Landscape Designers Will Be Key to the Future of Our Cities

For most people, spending time outdoors in well-designed public spaces is one of the highlights to city life. Why, then, do we spend comparatively little time and money on designing them? In this article, originally posted on Metropolis magazine as "Designing Outdoor Public Spaces is Vital to the Future of our Cities" Kirt Martin, the vice-president of design and marketing at outdoor furniture designer Landscape Forms, makes the case that landscape architects and industrial designers working in the public realm are key for our cities' health and happiness.

All of us treasure our time in outdoor spaces. So why do we devote so little of our attention to their design?

As a designer in the site-furniture industry, I am always curious about the value people place on the outdoors. I like to ask people I meet to describe a great city like New York, Chicago, or Paris and what they most remember about being there. Or I ask them, if they won $25,000 to spend on a dream vacation, where they would go and what they would do. Their fond memories of a celebrated city or an escape into the wild often have little in common, except for one thing: Their most memorable and meaningful experiences almost always revolve around the outdoors.

Call for ArchDaily Interns: Fall 2015

 is looking for motivated architecture geeks to join our team of interns for Fall 2015 (September - December)! An ArchDaily internship is a great opportunity to learn about our site and get exposed to some of the latest and most interesting ideas shaping architecture today.  Read on to find out what it takes to work for the world’s most visited architecture website!

Zaha Hadid Architects Releases Full Statement on Scrapped Tokyo Stadium Plans

Following the news earlier this month that their design for Tokyo's 2022 Olympics stadium would be scrappedZaha Hadid Architects have released a comprehensive statement about the project's cancellation. Despite the many critics of the project's design - including Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki - it was ultimately the project's increasing costs that sparked its demise. However, the 1400-word statement from ZHA attempts to put distance between the firm and the claim by the Japan Sport Council (JSC) that much of the increase in costs was due to a complex design, instead arguing that "At every stage over the two years of development, the design and budget estimates were approved by the JSC" and adding a number of times that "ZHA worked proactively to reduce the estimated cost throughout."

Read on after the break to find out where ZHA pins the blame for the cost increases and to read the statement in full.

Ingrid Böck's "Six Canonical Projects by Rem Koolhaas" Dissects the Ideas that have Made Koolhaas' Career

Seattle Central Library. Image © Ramon Prat
Seattle Central Library. Image © Ramon Prat

First published in May, Six Canonical Projects by Rem Koolhaas by Ingrid Böck reveals the logic behind Koolhaas’ projects and the ideas and themes running through his career. Incredibly thorough in her analysis, Böck aims to correct what she views as an absence of complete studies on an architect who has had an enormous influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Böck presents these six projects, which include Koolhaas’ thesis project “Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture,” Ville Nouvelle Melun-Sénart, Maison Bordeaux, the Dutch Embassy in Berlin, the Seattle Central Library, and the CCTV Headquarters, because they most directly explore six concepts prominent throughout Koolhaas’ work: Wall, Void, Montage, Trajectory, Infrastructure, and Shape.

The Top 5 Questions to Prepare for in an Architecture Job Interview

It's that time of year when many graduates across the Northern Hemisphere are searching for jobs or internships - the time of year when many realize that there's a lot more to landing a solid position at a good firm than simply being a great designer. One of the largest hurdles they will encounter is the job interview, and while there is plenty of advice out there about job interviews in general, little of it is aimed directly at architects. In this post originally published on The Architect's Guide, Brandon Hubbard tackles the top five most common questions in an architecture job interview - and how to ace the answers.

The architecture profession has been steadily recovering since the downturn of 2009. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released “NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring a positive trend for the architecture profession. This means more jobs for architects - assuming you can get through the interview of course...

These Schools for Refugee Children in Jordan are Built Using Scaffolding and Sand

Using the ground “beneath your feet,” the Pilosio Building Peace organization, along with architects Pouya Khazaeli and Cameron Sinclair, have developed RE:BUILD, an incredible constructive system for building safe and comfortable structures in refugee camps. The system allows for the construction of temporary buildings of high quality through the use of wall panels formed with scaffolding and grids, which are then assembled and filled with gravel, sand or earth, creating well insulated interiors at a low cost. 

Although the structures can be used for hospitals, housing, and other functions on this occasion we present two schools constructed using this system in Jordan.

Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Queen Rania Park, Amman, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Queen Rania Park, Amman, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace

How to Become a LEGO® Architect

Admit it: you have a secret LEGO® stash somewhere. Before you had even considered becoming an architect, you had already built cities, developed housing, and mastered the art of using every last brick, no matter the size. You may think you've outgrown your favorite toy, but we have the perfect book to turn your childhood LEGO® collection into a legitimate (and seriously fun) adult pastime. The LEGO® Architect by Tom Alphin brings the best of playtime to the forefront of design through a visual story of the history of building, infused by models made entirely of LEGO®. 

Find out to build your own neoclassical dome, or Frank Lloyd Wright's trademark Prairie House, or even the iconic Lever House by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill using the simplest of LEGO® components! Enter the world of The LEGO® Architect, where little white bricks can do anything with a little ingenuity and some architectural know-how. 

AR Issues: Architects Used to Design Homes for People, Not Investment

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the July 2015 issue, AR editor Christine Murray takes on "the most pressing issue of our time," the global housing crisis, asking "why don’t we shelter the homeless in empty housing? This crisis seems nonsensical when the postwar housing crisis was solved so efficiently."

The architect-designed home is a desirable commodity, that Modernist minimalist bungalow, all steel and glass with a large sofa, the Case Study House complete with swimming pool, MacBook Air and stunning view. 

But there was once a different kind of architect-designed home, for people in need of shelter, not investments – and it’s sorely required now. Housing is the most pressing issue of our time, with one in every 122 people in the world either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum – a record high, according to a UN report. Yet cash-strapped states do nothing, build nothing. They stand eyes averted, hands in their pockets.

A Virtual Look Into Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House, the temple of domestic modernism designed by Mies van der Rohe as a weekend retreat for a Chicago doctor, is one of the most paradoxical houses of the 20th century. A perfectionist mirage, it floats like a pavilion in a park, but its history has been beset by plagues, floods and feuds. As the second installment of a series of three modernist classics presented by Archilogic, we’ve modeled the Farnsworth house so that you can see if—in spite of its austere reputation—it can be lived in after all. In this model you can explore the spatial arrangement of the house, and refurnish it with Eames chairs, deck it out with your IKEA favorites, or booby-trap it with children’s toys.

Bolivia's Ignored Satellite City is Building Itself a Whole New Identity

La Paz, the historic de-facto capital of Bolivia, is widely renowned for its incredible setting, colonial architecture, and cultural buildings. El Alto, on the other hand, is not. It was, in fact, La Paz's rather dismal satellite city, all low rise brick and commuting. Yet El Alto has become the centre of an entirely new, independently evolved architectural style that is rapidly catching on across South America.

19 Notable Figures Who Left Architecture to Follow Other Career Paths

What do Ice Cube, the members of Pink Floyd, and Seal have in common with fashion icon Tom Ford and former president Thomas Jefferson? They all studied architecture. Perhaps a representation of the diversity of talents in architecture studios, household names like Samuel L. Jackson and Courteney Cox found their footing as students of architecture prior to reaching success in other fields. 

We've put together a list of some of the most unexpected names gracing the yearbooks of architecture schools from around the world, including the likes of Queen Noor of Jordan and George Takei of Star Trek fame. Discover "Weird Al" Yankovic's true (architectural) passions after the break.

Queen Noor of Jordan. Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Skoll World Forum Monticello by Thomas Jefferson. Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Eric Langhorst Ice Cube. Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Eva Rinaldi George Takei. Image via Flickr Creative Commons user TEDxKyoto

Sketching for Architecture & Interior Design

The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Stephanie Travis' book Sketching for Architecture & Interior Design. The book features over 45 sketching and drawing exercises across three chapters (Furniture + Lighting, Interiors, Architecture). Below we feature sample exercises for sketching transitional spaces, building materials and foreground + background. We're also giving away copies for two lucky readers, so read on to find out how to enter! 

Drawing is truly a tool for seeing. To draw an object, interior, or building, you have to look at the subject in a new way. You are forced to pause and scrutinize, as drawing requires another way of thinking, shifting into a deeper realm that encompasses elements such as shape, form, texture, rhythm, composition, and light. When you have developed your drawing skills, the finer details of a space—key features that you may not previously have noticed—will be revealed to you. Freehand drawing allows viewers to see in a way they never have before. The sketching process is a means of expanding your creativity and awakening your senses. 

See How Much New York Has Changed Since the 1990s

Grégoire Alessandrini’s blog “New York City 1990’s” contains an enormous collection of images taken between 1991 and 1998 that artfully depict New York. The website is a snapshot of New York in the 1990s, capturing the spirit of the era with photographs of New York’s architecture that could only exist at that time. As politics and public sentiment have changed, the city has changed with it, and much of the New York Alessandrini captured no longer exists. 

To document just how much New York has changed in the past 25 years, we have curated a selection of Alessandrini’s images and set each photograph next to a Google Street View window corresponding to the photographer’s location at the time. In the photographs where Alessandrini observes from an elevated vantage point, the Street View images are as close as possible to the photographer’s location.  

Read on after the break to see the images of New York’s dynamic change from the 1990s to 2015. 

AR Issues: Has Architecture Lost its Social Conscience?

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the June 2015 issue, The AR's editor Christine Murray addresses the question:"has architecture lost its social conscience?" According to Murray, "the question has become an arthritis; a dull ache that improves or worsens depending on the weather."

For some, the social purpose of architecture is associated with the idealism of youth, to be shed like a snakeskin as the responsibilities of age take over. But there is still plenty of teeth gnashing and hand wringing. Even if architects are powerless to shape the economic and political context of their work, a building is still a place where people gather. A social purpose, whether for a school or an office tower, is still the driver of its design. And yet, when the paperwork and construction are done, the bureaucracy surmounted, the fees paid (or not), and a building is finally complete, it’s the people we strip away. When architecture is published and the critic’s verdict given, it’s the messiness of life we edit out. 

AD Essentials: Smart Cities

This article is part of ArchDaily Essentials, a series of articles which give you an overview of architecture's most important topics by connecting together some of our best articles from the past. To find out more about ArchDaily Essentials, click here; or discover all of our articles in the series here.

AD Essentials: 3D Printing

This article is part of ArchDaily Essentials, a series of articles which give you an overview of architecture's most important topics by connecting together some of our best articles from the past. To find out more about ArchDaily Essentials, click here; or discover all of our articles in the series here.

AD Essentials: China

This article is part of ArchDaily Essentials, a series of articles which give you an overview of architecture's most important topics by connecting together some of our best articles from the past. To find out more about ArchDaily Essentials, click here; or discover all of our articles in the series here.

AD Essentials: Postmodernism

This article is part of ArchDaily Essentials, a series of articles which give you an overview of architecture's most important topics by connecting together some of our best articles from the past. To find out more about ArchDaily Essentials, click here; or discover all of our articles in the series here.