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As Roads Become High-Tech, Historic Toll Booths Might Need to Be Saved

09:30 - 20 April, 2017
As Roads Become High-Tech, Historic Toll Booths Might Need to Be Saved, Tollbooth in New Harmony, Indiana. Image via <a href='http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/highsm.04189/'>Library of Congress/LC-DIG-HIGHSM-04189</a>
Tollbooth in New Harmony, Indiana. Image via Library of Congress/LC-DIG-HIGHSM-04189

This article was originally published on Atlas Obscura as "The Case for Preserving the 20th Century Tollbooth."

Massachusetts is destroying its toll plazas. By the end of this year, every single one on the Massachusetts Turnpike will have been demolished. Drivers will still pay to use the road—they will zoom through the metal arches of electronic tolling infrastructure—but the routine of slowing down, stopping to grab a ticket, and waiting for the barrier to rise will be gone.

Massachusetts is being more aggressive than most places about sweeping away its old tolling infrastructure, but all across the country, from New York to FloridaTexas to California, road authorities are switching to all-electronic tolling. While it’s too soon to declare the tollbooth dead, it’s easy to imagine a future in which roads are unencumbered by boxy plazas and simple gates.

30 Sites Every Architect Should Visit in Mexico City

08:00 - 20 April, 2017
30 Sites Every Architect Should Visit in Mexico City , via Flickr user: © Kasper Christensen, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 2.0
via Flickr user: © Kasper Christensen, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 2.0

Though the idea of a vacation in Mexico usually brings to mind images of margaritas on white-sand beaches, it seems the country is slowly but surely gaining recognition in other aspects as well. Among the most populated urban cities in Latin America and the world – not to mention The New York Times' number one "Place to Go in 2016" – Mexico City offers a particular cultural diversity evident both in its traditions and in its architecture. Considering it's the main tourist, educational, cultural, economic and political center of Mexico, it makes sense that it's the perfect scenario for the social encounters of its multicultural inhabitants and tourists.

The sites of architectural interest alone are worth the visit, with prehispanic, classic, modern and contemporary examples ranging from Juan O'Gorman and Luis Barragán to Felix Candela and David Chipperfield. Add to that the fact that its gastronomic scene has garnered much praise and attention in recent years, and you've got a perfect combo. Below is a carefully curated list of 30 sites that every architect should know and visit.

Éric Lapierre Appointed as Chief Curator of 2019 Lisbon Architecture Triennale

13:30 - 19 April, 2017
Éric Lapierre Appointed as Chief Curator of 2019 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, The Palace of Sinel de Cordes in Lisbon (headquarters of the Triennale). Image © Abinadi Meza
The Palace of Sinel de Cordes in Lisbon (headquarters of the Triennale). Image © Abinadi Meza

The Trienal de Lisboa have today announced that a team of nine, led by Parisian architect Éric Lapierre, has been appointed as the curatorial team of the 5th edition of Lisbon Architecture Triennale which will be held from October to December 2019. Lapierre, who runs the Masters in Architecture & Experience at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marne-la-Vallée, Paris, will collaborate with philosopher Sébastien Marot, who is also a critic in architecture and landscape design. Other members of the curatorial team include Ambra Fabi, Giovanni Piovene, Mariabruna Fabrizi, Fosco Lucarelli, Laurent Esmilaire, Tristan Chadney, and Vasco Pinelo de Melo. A grand total of 48 proposals were submitted to the organization, comprising 155 participants from 16 countries.

What Will Thomas Heatherwick's "Vessel" At Hudson Yards Really Add to New York?

09:30 - 19 April, 2017
What Will Thomas Heatherwick's "Vessel" At Hudson Yards Really Add to New York?, The 150-foot-tall steel structure has been compared to a bedbug, a beehive, and a döner kebab. Its base is 50 feet wide and its upper span measures 150 feet. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie, Heatherwick Studio
The 150-foot-tall steel structure has been compared to a bedbug, a beehive, and a döner kebab. Its base is 50 feet wide and its upper span measures 150 feet. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie, Heatherwick Studio

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "What do New Yorkers get when privately-funded public art goes big?"

When Thomas Heatherwick—the nimble London-based designer known for work that defies easy categorization—unveiled his design for a new public landmark called Vessel at Hudson Yards to a crowd of reporters and New York City power players in September, questions abounded. What is it? What will it do to the neighborhood? And what does it say that Stephen Ross, the president and CEO of Related Companies, the primary developer of Hudson Yards, is financing the entire $250 million piece by himself?

It’s natural that Ross chose Heatherwick Studio to design his centerpiece, because the office’s creations stun. For the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, it extruded 60,000 clear acrylic tubes from a center space to create a fuzzy, crystalline object whose apparent fragility is as mesmerizing as it is clever. As the studio moves toward ever-larger and ever-more-public commissions, the people who will live with its work will need to seriously consider what it will mean for their neighborhoods and cities.

18 Cool Examples of Architecture for Kids

06:00 - 19 April, 2017

Designing for kids is certainly not child’s play. Whilst the design process is undertaken by adults, the end users are often children, such is the case in kindergarten, schools, and parks. Architects have a responsibility, therefore, to ensure that the built environment offers children the chance to play, explore, and learn in physical space, even in a digital age. With that in mind, here are 18 cool spaces designed especially for children – environments which may perhaps inspire the Fosters, Hadids, and Le Corbusiers of tomorrow.

Architecture Takes Center Stage With Google Earth Relaunch

10:00 - 18 April, 2017

Google Earth is no longer a clunky, data-intensive desktop or mobile application. As of today, one of the tech-giant's flagship (and unrivalled) products has been relaunched as a widely accessible web application for Google Chrome. This means that anyone can now access the full Google Earth product, free of charge, without having to install software or download mobile applications.

The Website Behind the "Post-Digital" Drawing Revolution

09:30 - 18 April, 2017
The Website Behind the "Post-Digital" Drawing Revolution, Depicting Spaces. Image Courtesy of Tom Grillo
Depicting Spaces. Image Courtesy of Tom Grillo

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Inside The Digital Platform Championing Post-Digital Drawing."

Digital technologies were supposed to kill the drawing. And in an obvious way they did, with CAD displacing hand draughtsmanship long ago. But drawing is more than mere delineation—measured construction drawings—or even the rendering, which has devolved into a mere marketing tool. Indeed, as Sam Jacob writes, it constitutes a fundamental “architectural act” that lies at the core of the discipline’s self-understanding.

Jacob describes a new “post-digital” mode of drawing that incorporates narrative cues, art historical allusions, and software-enabled collage techniques. It recalls Mies’s sparse one-point perspectives and de Chirico’s metaphysical paintings as well as the affected irreverence of Postmodernism. It’s a style popularized by blogs such as KoozA/rch, which was founded by architect Federica Sofia Zambeletti three years ago. We spoke to Zambeletti about the resurgence of architectural drawing and how the style could soon exhaust itself.

This sketch by the architect and noted yacht designer Lujac Desautel attempts a synthesis of Miesian space and David Hockney’s representational style. The drawing, along with many others of its type, was featured on KooZA/rch, a popular blog curated by designer Federica Sofia Zambeletti. Image Courtesy of Lujac Desautel / KOOZA:RCH Built In A Day, Creating Narratives of Horizontality Based On A Speculative Fiction. Image Courtesy of David Verbeek Mixed Realism Meets Flatness and Symbolism. Image Courtesy of Nowadays Office Evoking Memories, An architecture of Desire. Image Courtesy of Gustav Düsing & Max Hacke / KooZA/rch +14

Look Inside a Collection of Seoul-Based Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin and Felix Nybergh

04:00 - 18 April, 2017
Look Inside a Collection of Seoul-Based Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin and Felix Nybergh, UnSangDong Architects. Image © Marc Goodwin / Felix Nybergh
UnSangDong Architects. Image © Marc Goodwin / Felix Nybergh

Architectural photographer Marc Goodwin, in cooperation with Felix Nybergh, has recently completed the fourth collection of his "ultra-marathon of photoshoots" – this time in Seoul. Following Goodwin's unique insight into the spaces occupied by Nordic architectural offices (based in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki), his look at studios both large and small lived in by London-based practices, and his lens on a collection of Beijing-based studios, he and Nybergh have now turned their attention to the rich architectural scene of the South Korean capital.

Moonbalsso. Image © Marc Goodwin / Felix Nybergh Hyunjoon Yoo Architects. Image © Marc Goodwin / Felix Nybergh IROJE architects & planners. Image © Marc Goodwin / Felix Nybergh designcamp moonpark dmp. Image © Marc Goodwin / Felix Nybergh +30

AIA Pushes for Elimination of “Intern” Title for Young Architects

14:10 - 17 April, 2017
AIA Pushes for Elimination of “Intern” Title for Young Architects, © Jim Richards
© Jim Richards

For recent architecture school graduates setting off on their careers for the first time, being referred to by the traditional title of “intern” can feel a little trivializing – as a full-time employee with a completed degree and real responsibilities, the title does little to capture a new hire’s true role within the firm.

Cognizant of this discrepancy, the AIA is now taking steps to eliminate the use of ‘intern,’ a term grandfathered in from the days of architectural apprenticeships and more linear paths through the architectural profession.

How to Pronounce the Names of 22 Notable Architects

09:30 - 17 April, 2017
How to Pronounce the Names of 22 Notable Architects

There’s no doubt that one of the best things about architecture is its universality. Wherever you come from, whatever you do, however you speak, architecture has somehow touched your life. However, when one unexpectedly has to pronounce a foreign architect’s name... things can get a little tricky. This is especially the case when mispronunciation could end up making you look less knowledgeable than you really are. (If you're really unlucky, it could end up making you look stupid in front of your children and the whole world.)

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 22 architects with names that are a little difficult to pronounce, and paired them with a recording in which their names are said impeccably. Listen and repeat as many times as it takes to get it right, and you’ll be prepared for any intellectual architectural conversation that comes your way. 

Should Airbnb Help Save This High-Tech Gem?

09:30 - 14 April, 2017
Should Airbnb Help Save This High-Tech Gem?, The Columbus Occupational Health Association could be an ideal candidate for a partnership between Airbnb and Columbus, Indiana. Image Courtesy of H3
The Columbus Occupational Health Association could be an ideal candidate for a partnership between Airbnb and Columbus, Indiana. Image Courtesy of H3

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "Why Airbnb should help save an architectural icon."

If I had to guess, I would say that it has been forty years since Columbus, Indiana, was the hot topic of cocktail conversations at design-related get-togethers in New York City. In those days, it was the supercharged patronage of industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his relationships with designers like Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard that spurred a wave of innovative and provocative architecture in the small Midwestern town. Columbus, with a population of 45,000, has a Robert Venturi fire station, a John Johansen school, a park by Michael Van Valkenburgh, and several buildings by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, including the younger’s iconic Miller House.

Six of the Best Spatial Installations at Salone del Mobile 2017

07:30 - 14 April, 2017
Six of the Best Spatial Installations at Salone del Mobile 2017, nendo. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
nendo. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

With the 2017 Salone del Mobile now behind us, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared a collection of photographs from Milan Design Week. From housing prototypes to immersive "digital installations", the annual design show—which is often touted to be the fourth largest of any kind in the world—this year brought together a wide range of practitioners and design companies. In Milan, unusual collaborations are the order of the day.

SO-IL. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu COS × Studio Swine. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu SO-IL. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu DS+R. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu +58

8 Lessons On Succeeding as a Firm, From the Business Mind Behind BIG

09:30 - 13 April, 2017
8 Lessons On Succeeding as a Firm, From the Business Mind Behind BIG, CEO and Partner Sheela Maini Søgaard in the studio at BIG. Image © Magnus Møller
CEO and Partner Sheela Maini Søgaard in the studio at BIG. Image © Magnus Møller

This article by Sheela Maini Søgaard, partner and CEO of BIG, was originally published by DesignIntelligence as "BIG Lessons: Eight Key Points That We Focus(ed) on in Our Growth Process."

When I joined BIG–Bjarke Ingels Group in 2008, we had one office, one partner, and 45 employees. Eight years later we have 12 partners and more than 400 employees in Copenhagen, New York, and London. As we continue to expand our reach, projects, and staff I have awarded myself the luxury of looking back and distilling what has made a difference so far. These are my top eight lessons for having secured the successful growth of BIG over the past eight years.

Why Moscow's Massacre of Mass Housing Is a Huge Mistake

09:30 - 12 April, 2017
Why Moscow's Massacre of Mass Housing Is a Huge Mistake, © Max Avdeev
© Max Avdeev

The Moscow government has just launched the biggest demolition program in the city’s history. Its goal is to get rid of 8,000 5-story residential buildings constructed in the Soviet era—it is probably the biggest program of erasure of modernist architectural heritage in world history. The main assumptions of the plan, as well as the press comments following it, show that we have forgotten what modernism was about, and what the real values of this architecture are.

A few years ago I published an essay titled Belyayevo Forever, dedicated to the preservation of generic modernist architecture. I focused on Moscow’s microrayons—vast, state-funded housing estates built in the Soviet era. In the essay, I explained the spatial and cultural values these prefabricated landscapes had. I also speculated about how one would go about preserving architecture that completely lacks uniqueness. The essay ended with a provocative statement: we should put Belyayevo—the most generic of all Soviet estates—on the UNESCO heritage list.

© Max Avdeev © Max Avdeev © Max Avdeev © Max Avdeev +13

Copenhagen's Latest Piece of Cycle Infrastructure Is a "Stupid, Stupid Bridge"

09:30 - 11 April, 2017
Copenhagen's Latest Piece of Cycle Infrastructure Is a "Stupid, Stupid Bridge", © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/newsoresund/30488229724/'>Flickr user newsoresund</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user newsoresund licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article was originally published on the blog of Copenhagenize Design Co, titled "Copenhagen's Fantastic & Stupid Bicycle Bridge Inderhavnsbro."

It's no secret that Copenhagen continues to invest massively in bicycle infrastructure like no other city on the planet. The network is already comprehensive and effective but the City continues to add important links, especially over the harbor and the canals. One of the more recent additions is the Inner Harbor Bridge—Inderhavnsbroen in Danish—that spans Copenhagen Harbor at a key, strategic and iconic point. It links the city center at the end of the postcard picture perfect Nyhavn with the Christianshavn neighborhood and the southern neighborhoods beyond. It is one of a series of 17 new bridges or underpasses for bicycle traffic that have been added to the City's transport network in the past few years.

The Inner Harbour Bridge was riddled with problems and was extremely delayed, as you can read here. Now, however, it's been open since July 2016. Let me be clear: I'm thrilled that we have a new, modern link over the harbor to accommodate bicycle traffic and pedestrians. I am over the moon that the number of cyclists crossing daily exceeds all projected numbers. The City estimated that between 3,000–7,000 cyclists would use the bridge but the latest numbers are 16,000. It's a massive success. But sometimes you can see the forest for the trees. I'm sorry, but Inderhavnsbro is a stupid, stupid bridge.

How to use a Scrum Board to Maximize Personal and Team Productivity

09:30 - 10 April, 2017
How to use a Scrum Board to Maximize Personal and Team Productivity, via Isabella Baranyk
via Isabella Baranyk

If you're reading this, you likely work in the design world, and as a result you may have heard of Scrum. It’s a design method originally introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in the 1980s to describe a process for product development, and later formalized for software development by Jeff Sutherland in 1995. It relies on the organization of a team and its tasks around the principles of focus and flexibility: focus on a singular task within a given time period, and flexibility in response to changing client demand, user feedback, and design challenges. Scrum keeps a project on schedule with the Sprint, where the entire team is working towards one important milestone within set dates, and continuously communicating potential impediments to hitting the deadline.

Watch the Cryptic Trailer for New Bjarke Ingels' Documentary, BIG TIME

07:00 - 10 April, 2017
Watch the Cryptic Trailer for New Bjarke Ingels' Documentary, BIG TIME, Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG

There is something unsettling about this trailer – something uncomfortable. On the surface it’s as optimistic as any other film about Bjarke Ingels, the architectural protege and principal of BIG, of which there have been many. He is incandescently youthful, remarkably young when tallied to the level of his repute and success, and perhaps the last of the world-building, world conquering 'media darlings' of the 20th and 21st Centuries. He is, many would argue, an unstoppable force.

Santiago Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences Through the Lens of Photographer Sebastian Weiss

09:30 - 9 April, 2017
Santiago Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences Through the Lens of Photographer Sebastian Weiss, © Sebastian Weiss Photography
© Sebastian Weiss Photography

As a young boy, Santiago Calatrava's fascination with light in his native Valencia fueled his determination to draw, design, and eventually build. His Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences) is a perfect example of the influence of the Valencian sun on the architect's work. The seven cultural buildings define a formal vocabulary all their own, with a dynamism between blanched curves and rhythmic visual patterns. So bright it almost glows on clear days, the materiality of the structures emphasizes the ability of light to outline the spatial relationships between Calatrava's shapes, and shift them as the sun moves through the sky.

In his most recent photo series, Sebastian Weiss has captured the tendency of the shapes of the City of Arts and Sciences to "complement each other and even merge to a harmonic unity," as the photographer himself puts it. The photos were originally featured on his Instagram, @le_blanc, and develop a new way of looking at the oft-photographed tourist spot. His images imagine the complex as a pulsating "light-space installation" of equally systematic and creature-like forms in constant conversation with one another. The series gives the sense of looking at different sections of a particularly beautiful beast—its ribs, underbelly, horns, etc.—captured within the complex's shallow pools.

© Sebastian Weiss Photography © Sebastian Weiss Photography © Sebastian Weiss Photography © Sebastian Weiss Photography +17