"Originality is dead" is not an uncommon phrase to hear in our modern, information packed era of Big Data and easy access to source material. If you take a look at Google’s Ngram Viewer, the use of the word "originality" appears to have waned; it is now roughly as common as it was at in 1800, with its peak use occurring just before 1900. So what was going on around that peak time? In 1893, the first moving pictures were played; in 1989, the first escalator was installed; in 1899, aspirin was invented; and 1901 saw the first wireless transmission sent from England to Canada. 
At that time, the development of various forms of technology was allowing and encouraging people to explore and fulfill ideas that could only have been dreamed of in the past. But without this injection of new tools, it's difficult to compete with 200,000 years of new ideas; so to help you do so, here are seven aspects of our modern world that make it difficult to come up with original ideas, and ways you can combat them.
It is the 1970s in Hong Kong, and you are eleven years old. Early one evening, you go out to a nearby neighborhood for dinner with your family. A five-minute walk from your primary school, it is also a place you frequent with your friends. The food here is good and especially renowned for its fishball noodle soup, which is what you always get. You’ve been here so often that navigating the subterranean corridors to the noodle stand is easy, and you know where to step to avoid the ceilings that drip the most. Your bowl of noodles arrives and you slurp them down, unaware of the fact that over the next couple of years this very neighborhood will peak in its population and its infamy, and remain even decades later as one of the most remarkable social anomalies in recent history.
At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—the size of about two rugby fields—making it the densest place on Earth at the time. It was a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one on top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors. All the while, the rest of Hong Kong went about as normal, seemingly unaffected by the crime and squalor within the Walled City.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is abandoning plans for a museum in the Finnish capital after a proposal for funding was rejected by the Helsinki City Council, 53-32.
“We are disappointed that the Helsinki City Council has decided not to allocate funds for the proposed Guggenheim Helsinki museum, in effect bringing this project to a close,” Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, told the Helsinki Times.
Of the four homes designed by Richard Neutra for the Case Study Houses program, post-war thought experiments commissioned by Arts & Architecture, only one was ever realized. In the imaginary village of the program's many unbuilt homes, next to #6, the Omega house, stands #13, named Alpha. Archilogic’s 3D model gives us a unique chance to experience this innovative concept home.
Each of Neutra’s projects was designed for a family of five, and each reveals his psychoanalytic approach to architecture, in which the house itself is an intimate part of family relationships, as important as the personalities involved. (Neutra was personally acquainted with Freud, and a committed follower of birth trauma theorist Otto Rank.) Underlining this Freudian view, his imaginary clients are not just neighbours—they are related; Mrs Alpha being sister to Mrs Omega.
In the latest edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team speak to Moshe Safdie – the Israeli-Canadian architect whose "signature geometric style of lavish curves and green space has made the self-styled Modernist an influential voice" in the profession. The conversation, broadcast from Safdie's Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore, reflects on his life and work – including Montréal's Habitat 67.
http://www.archdaily.com/800490/moshe-safdie-architects-have-a-deep-social-responsibilityAD Editorial Team
Imagine the waters surrounding the Statue of Liberty were filled up with land. That you could walk right up to Lady Liberty herself, following a path from Manhattan’s Battery Park. Believe it or not, in 1911, this could have been.
Earlier this year, the Rem Koolhaas-led firm OMA launched a redesign of its website. If you haven't already popped over to see more than three decades worth of cutting-edge, provocative architecture projects, you'll have a good reason to now: downloadable excerpts from six of the office's highly acclaimed books and magazines.
http://www.archdaily.com/800142/17-excerpts-from-oma-publications-to-read-and-downloadAD Editorial Team
Previously we had a look at some of the strange habits of top architects. From drinking on the job to polyphasic sleeping, it turns out famous architects are a bunch of weirdos. But what about the rest of us? It’s not just the famous architects who are weirdos—it’s simply impossible to spend such long periods of time on the job without picking up a few strange habits along the way. Whether it’s the way we work, the way we interact with buildings, or things that don’t even seem odd until a non-architect points them out, those in architecture have some pretty strange habits.
Driven by the hyper-density of the city-state from which they operate, WOHA have emerged as Singapore's quintessential architects. Combining a locally-specific approach to climate control and spatial planning with an international approach to form and materials, their work holds lessons that can be instructive to architects in all climates. In this interview, the latest in his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks to WOHA founders Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell about their environmental approach and the future of our global cities.
This week the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale—Reporting From the Front—will close. Six months have passed and hundreds of thousands of architects, urbanists, designers and tourists have perused both the National Participations (of which more were represented this year than ever before) and the central exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena – the first South American to direct the most prestigious event on the architectural calendar. ArchDaily has compiled our most extensive coverage of the event and, as the 15th incarnation of Biennale shuts its gates for the last time, our collection of articles, interviews and publication excerpts remains permanently accessible.
http://www.archdaily.com/800063/2016-venice-architecture-biennale-reporting-from-the-front-6-months-in-5-minutesAD Editorial Team
18 June 2015: Denmark has a new right wing government. A couple of months later, despite student protests in front of city hall, the new government declares a decision to cut 8.7 billion Danish kroner (over $1.2 billion US) from education in Denmark, effectively cutting nearly 30 million kroner (around $4 million US) from the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK).
The result? 31 employees have been laid off this month; the student body is to be reduced by 30% over the coming years; 4 masters courses in architecture are being discontinued within the next 4 years; and 6 bachelor programs, 7 special programs and one entire institute in the Design School are being terminated. Teaching is being refocused towards technology and the professional sphere, but will this really improve the prospects of fresh architecture graduates, as they claim? Is it more important to challenge, or to adapt?
El País reports that the project will cost €30 million and will "provide a large atrium to access the building’s south façade." This "will lead to an exhibition space on the first story," while also making the park and surrounding site more pedestrian friendly.
Today we live in a rapidly aging society. The shift in the population pyramid means that traditional healthcare systems need to be reimagined in order to efficiently support an increasing senior population. This added pressure on healthcare is significant--the number of older adults in the US alone requiring long-term healthcare support is set to increase from 15 million to 27 million by 2050. By partnering with designers, healthcare providers can create valuable responses to address these growing needs.
One building typology that expresses this designer-provider partnership are centers for healthy living (CHL). CHLs help to bridge the gap between the senior living and healthcare sectors, and go beyond simple clinic or exercise spaces. Taking a more holistic approach, they seek to become accessible destinations for programs that nurture wellness while providing a sense of place and community.
In a new downloadable report, Perkins Eastman have explored this typology in great depth by investigating existing CHLs. Through spatial and market research, case studies and user surveys, their findings identify strategies for improving upon the CHL model in the future. Read on for our summary of their discoveries.