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5 Ways Computational Design Will Change the Way You Work

09:30 - 15 April, 2016
5 Ways Computational Design Will Change the Way You Work, Adapted from an image © hanss via Shutterstock
Adapted from an image © hanss via Shutterstock

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter.

These days, nearly every architect uses a computer. Whether it’s for 3D modeling, documentation or even creating a program spreadsheet, computers are well entrenched within the profession. Architects now need to know almost as much about software as they do about structures, building codes, and design.

As our tools become more powerful and sophisticated, we need to evolve and develop our working methods in order to stay competitive. I’ve written previously about how architects should learn to code. A lot of the problems we need to solve don’t fall within the capabilities of off-the-shelf software. We need to tweak and customize our tools to work the way we work. Creating our own tools and software is one way to do this.

That said, the reality is that not everyone has the time or the inclination to learn how to code. It’s time-consuming and you’ve got projects to run, show drawings to review, and buildings to design. Fortunately there are new tools available that deliver the power of programming without the need for all that typing.

Enter computational design and visual programming.

Stone Sculptures Reveal Monumental Architecture at a Micro Scale

04:00 - 15 April, 2016
Stone Sculptures Reveal Monumental Architecture at a Micro Scale, One of Simmonds' miniature spaces carved from stone (Corona). Image © Matthew Simmonds
One of Simmonds' miniature spaces carved from stone (Corona). Image © Matthew Simmonds

Matthew Simmonds, an art historian and architectural stone carver based in Copenhagen, is known as the creator of exceptionally beautiful miniature spaces hewn from stone – a number of which have been previously featured on ArchDaily. Drawing on the formal language and philosophy of architecture, his work "explores themes of positive and negative form, the significance of light and darkness and the relationship between nature and human endeavour." Here he shares four recent projects: Ringrone (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 61cm tall), Corona (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 30cm tall), Ararat: Study II (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 20cm tall), and Tetraconch (Limestone, 2015, 31cm tall).

Ringrone (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 61cm tall). Image © Matthew Simmonds Ararat: Study II (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 20cm tall). Image © Matthew Simmonds Ringrone (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 61cm tall). Image © Matthew Simmonds Ringrone (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 61cm tall). Image © Matthew Simmonds +16

How Coworking and Coliving are Redefining Space as a Service

10:00 - 14 April, 2016
How Coworking and Coliving are Redefining Space as a Service, Common area in the WeWork space in London. Image © WeWork
Common area in the WeWork space in London. Image © WeWork

In this article originally published by Archipreneur as "Space as a Service: Business Models that Change How We Live and Work," Lidija Grozdanic looks into the recent proliferation of coworking services - as well as the new kid on the block, coliving - to discuss how the sharing economy is redefining physical space as a highly lucrative part of the service industry.

Some of the most innovative and profitable companies in the world base their business models on commercializing untapped resources. Facebook has relied on its users to generate content and data for years, and organizations are starting to realize the value of gathering, processing, storing and taking action on big data.

In the AEC industry, some companies are discovering the hidden potential of excess energy that is generated by buildings, while others are looking to utilize large roof surfaces of mega-malls and supermarkets for harvesting solar energy. Airbnb has turned underused living units into assets, and allows people to generate additional income by renting out their homes to travelers.

The traditional notions of "private" and "public" space are eroding under the influence of a sharing economy and technological advancement. Space is being recognized as a profitable commodity in itself.

MVRDV Partners with Traumhaus to Reinvent Affordable Living in the Suburbs

09:00 - 14 April, 2016
MVRDV Partners with Traumhaus to Reinvent Affordable Living in the Suburbs, Courtesy of MVRDV
Courtesy of MVRDV

MVRDV and Traumhaus, a producer of low-cost, high-quality homes based on standardized elements, have teamed up to develop a 27,000 square meter project redeveloping former US Army barracks in Mannheim, Germany.

Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV +16

Here's How Dubai Plans to Become the Design Capital of the Middle East

09:30 - 13 April, 2016
Here's How Dubai Plans to Become the Design Capital of the Middle East, London-based architecture firm Foster + Partners has designed a central community space for the district, due to be completed in 2018. Image Courtesy of Dubai Design Week
London-based architecture firm Foster + Partners has designed a central community space for the district, due to be completed in 2018. Image Courtesy of Dubai Design Week

In recent years, it's been no secret that Dubai has been attempting to diversify its industries, as the city moves on from being an oil-based economy. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Dubai: Making a Creative Capital from Scratch," Ali Morris investigates how the city is building its own design district to rival London or New York - and doing so despite starting from almost nothing.

In cities where a faded industrial area exists, a creative community often follows. It’s a well-established cycle of urban regeneration that has played out in Berlin, London, and New York. Attracted by cheap rent and large, empty spaces, the creatives come, building up areas with independent cafés and stores before inevitably being priced out of the market by the very gentrification they helped to bring about.

So what happens in a city so young that it doesn’t have a dilapidated area for the creatives to occupy? When the city in question is Dubai, which was still just a desert fishing settlement until around the 1960s, you build it from scratch, of course. With the second part of a three-phase build unveiled last year, Dubai Design District (known as d3) is a sprawling 15.5-million-square-foot (1.4 million square meter) development located in a desert plot on the eastern edge of the city. Circled by multilane highways and located between downtown Dubai and a wildlife reserve, d3 has been masterminded as a framework from which to grow and sustain a new design ecosystem.

Ali Al-Sammarraie assembled his "Detritus Wall" installation using refuse cardboard and wood. Image Courtesy of Dubai Design Week The Dubai Design District (d3) is planned as a creative neighborhood within reach of the city’s downtown. Image Courtesy of Dubai Design Week One of the installations constructed by local designers for the inaugural Dubai Design Week in 2015, "Yaroof" by Aljoud Lootah references the traditional form of fishing in the area. Nylon ropes strung on octagonal frames also call to mind arabesque motifs. Image Courtesy of Dubai Design Week The installation "Earth Hives" by Emirati artist and designer Latifa Saeed and Syrian-born designer Talin Hazbar reexplores the legacy of terra-cotta craft in the UAE. Image Courtesy of Dubai Design Week +8

Reflections on Zaha Hadid: A Compilation of Introductory Remarks

08:00 - 13 April, 2016

Zaha Hadid’s prolific, admired, and influential body of work led to hundreds of invitations to lecture around the world. Through her contemporaries’ heartfelt introductions, we can appreciate her groundbreaking architectural approach in a world which often appeared to be one step behind her ideas and enthusiasm.

Daniel Libeskind Unveils Design for The Kurdistan Museum in Erbil, Iraq

12:00 - 12 April, 2016
Daniel Libeskind Unveils Design for The Kurdistan Museum in Erbil, Iraq, Courtesy of Hayes Davidson
Courtesy of Hayes Davidson

Daniel Libeskind has unveiled plans for The Kurdistan Museum in Erbil, Iraq. With the building, Studio Libeskind seeks to create “the first major center in the Kurdistan Region for the history and culture of the Kurdish people.” The project was developed as a collaboration between the Kurdistan Regional Government (the KRG) and client representative RWF World. The 150,000 square-foot museum will feature exhibition spaces for both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a lecture theatre, state-of-the-art multimedia educational resources, an extensive digital archive of Kurdish historical assets, as well as community center and landscaped outdoor spaces for public use.

Courtesy of Hayes Davidson Courtesy of Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Crystal +11

7 Outstanding Examples of Cultural Heritage in 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

09:30 - 12 April, 2016
7 Outstanding Examples of Cultural Heritage in 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

Using photogrammetry to capture and model existing buildings is a fantastic way to share cultural treasures with the world, and with VR features cropping up everywhere even enables us to give people virtual tours of a site of cultural significance from thousands of miles away. But beyond that, capturing a model of a building is also a great way to digitally preserve that structure at a given point in time - this technique is even being used by Harvard and Oxford to protect structures placed at risk by the ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq.

Santiago Calatrava Reveals New Details About Dubai Observation Tower

12:37 - 11 April, 2016
Santiago Calatrava Reveals New Details About Dubai Observation Tower, Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava
Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

New images and information has been released regarding Santiago Calatrava's competition-winning design for Dubai's new "landmark" observation tower. Planned for a site in Dubai Creek Harbor, near the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, the tower was inspired by the "natural forms of the lily and evokes the shape of a minaret, a distinctive architectural feature in Islamic culture."

"The building’s design is inspired by the Islamic tradition, evoking the same history that brought the world the Alhambra and the Mosque of Cordoba. These architectural marvels combine elegance and beauty with math and geometry," commented Calatrava. "The design of the tower of Dubai Creek Harbor is rooted in classical art and the culture of Dubai itself."

Interview with Peter Eisenman: "I Am Not Convinced That I Have a Style"

10:00 - 11 April, 2016
Interview with Peter Eisenman: "I Am Not Convinced That I Have a Style", The City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Image © Eisenman Architects
The City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Image © Eisenman Architects

As one of the most revered and often reviled architects of the latter part of the 20th century, Peter Eisenman has courted controversy throughout his 50-year career, often attempting to distance himself from the work of his contemporaries and standing in firm opposition to popular trends. In this interview, Eisenman elaborates on his beliefs about architecture and the new direction he has taken in recent years – while simultaneously pulling no punches when discussing the work of others, including Rem Koolhaas, Richard Meier, and even his younger self.

The interview is a shortened version of the latest of three interviews with Peter Eisenman (from October 2003, June 2009, and February 2016) that comprise the upcoming book by Vladimir Belogolovsky “Conversations with Peter Eisenman.” The book, published by Berlin-based DOM Publishers will be presented during the opening days at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in late May this year.

The City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Image © Eisenman Architects The City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Image © Eisenman Architects The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany. Image © Eisenman Architects The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany. Image © Vladimir Belogolovsky +39

How Gallaudet University Has Reimagined Architecture for the Deaf

09:30 - 10 April, 2016

The majority of our built environment is designed for people who hear, with little regard for how the hearing-impaired navigate a space. But what would a space look like if it were designed for the deaf? This video from Vox and Curbed focuses on Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts institution for the deaf, and the ways the campus is tailored to the needs of its students. By analyzing what they refer to as “Deaf Space,” the university has been able to pinpoint techniques that not only make communication and wayfinding simpler for the deaf, but to produce spaces that function more effectively and comfortably for everyone. For more on the university and how its members are impacting the architecture world, read the full article over at Curbed here.

Watch Over 50 Architecture Documentaries Via This YouTube Channel

08:00 - 9 April, 2016

Over the past 20 years, many of the most renowned European cultural institutions - including ARTE France, Les Films d’Ici, the Louvre, the Ministry of Culture and Communication Department of Architecture and Heritage, Centre Pompidou, City of Architecture and Heritage, Musée d'Orsay and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe - have come together to produce more than 50 architecture documentaries devoted to the most significant achievements of architecture, its beginnings, and the latest creations of the great architects of today. Now, these videos are accessible to the public via the YouTube Channel ACB (Art and Culture Bureau).

Each documentary is approximately 26 minutes long, and focuses on the genesis and impact of a single building that has played a role in the evolution of architecture. Narration is in English, and many of the videos of newer buildings feature interviews with the architects themselves. Check out some of the videos below, or find the entire list here.

Kengo Kuma Uses Carbon Fiber Strands to Protect Building from Earthquakes

16:00 - 8 April, 2016
Kengo Kuma Uses Carbon Fiber Strands to Protect Building from Earthquakes, © Takumi Ota
© Takumi Ota

Japan-based Komatsu Seiten Fabric Laboratory has created a new thermoplastic carbon fiber composite called CABKOMA Strand Rod. The Strand Rod is a carbon fiber composite which is covered in both synthetic and inorganic fibers and finished with a thermoplastic resin. The material has been used on the exterior of Komatsu Seiten’s head office.

AD Readers Debate: RIP Zaha Hadid

10:30 - 8 April, 2016
AD Readers Debate: RIP Zaha Hadid, © Steve Double
© Steve Double

Of course, the top story in recent weeks has been the sudden death of Dame Zaha Hadid, who passed away last week in Miami. At just 65 years of age, and at the height of her powers as an architect, the news of Hadid’s passing was a shock to many and unsurprisingly was met with grief from many of our readers. Read on to see what tributes those readers left, along with opinions on other stories from recent weeks.

Freedom of Panorama: The Internet Copyright Law that Should Have Architects Up in Arms

10:30 - 7 April, 2016
Freedom of Panorama: The Internet Copyright Law that Should Have Architects Up in Arms, Dubai Skyline, including at its center the Burj Khalifa by SOM. Image © Naufal MQ via Shutterstock.com
Dubai Skyline, including at its center the Burj Khalifa by SOM. Image © Naufal MQ via Shutterstock.com

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Sweden ruled against Wikimedia Sverige in a landmark case over “Freedom of Panorama,” a ruling which The Wikimedia Foundation has “respectfully disagreed with” in a blog post. The Swedish Supreme Court’s ruling, in short, states that Wikimedia Sverige is not entitled to host photographs of copyrighted works of art on its website Offentligkonst.se, which provides maps, descriptions and images of artworks placed in public spaces in Sweden.

The concept of freedom of panorama describes a provision in copyright law which extends the right to take and to disseminate photographs of copyrighted works provided those photographs were taken in public spaces. Most people who own a camera (in other words, most people) have probably given very little thought to their freedom of panorama, or any restrictions that may have been placed upon it. But the reality of this little-known copyright-related oddity is something that many people, and architects especially, should find very concerning indeed.

AD Classics: Neuschwanstein Castle / Eduard Riedel

04:00 - 7 April, 2016
AD Classics: Neuschwanstein Castle / Eduard Riedel, Courtesy of Shutterstock user Naumenko Aleksandr
Courtesy of Shutterstock user Naumenko Aleksandr

Looming over the small Bavarian town of Hohenschwangau are the turrets and towers of one of the world’s most famous “fairytale” castles. Schloß Neuschwanstein, or “New Swan Stone Castle,” was the fantastical creation of King Ludwig II – a monarch who dreamed of creating for himself an ideal medieval palace, nestled in the Alps. Though designed to represent a 13th-century Romanesque castle[1], Neuschwanstein was a thoroughly 19th-century project, constructed using industrial methods and filled with modern comforts and conveniences; indeed, without the technological advancements of the time, Ludwig could never have escaped into his medieval fantasy.[2]

Courtesy of Flickr user Julian Knutzen Courtesy of Flickr user Janis Courtesy of United States Library of Congress Courtesy of United States Library of Congress +13

OMA Reveals Plans to Redevelop Washington DC's RFK Stadium Campus

12:35 - 6 April, 2016
OMA Reveals Plans to Redevelop Washington DC's RFK Stadium Campus, "Stitch" Layout. Image © Robota
"Stitch" Layout. Image © Robota

Two conceptual plans designed by OMA have been unveiled for the redevelopment of Washington DC's 190-acre Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Stadium-Armory Campus site. Released by Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, the phased design concepts aim to "leverage the District's waterfront, provide neighborhood serving amenities and connect the current site with increased and sustainable green space, flexible recreational fields and natural access to pedestrian-friendly paths."

12 Projects that Explain Landscape Urbanism and How It's Changing the Face of Cities

08:00 - 6 April, 2016
12 Projects that Explain Landscape Urbanism and How It's Changing the Face of Cities

In his new book Landscape as Urbanism, Charles Waldheim, the John E. Irving Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, argues that in order to understand the twenty-first century metropolis, “a traditional understanding of the city as an extrapolation of architectural models and metaphors is no longer viable given the prevalence of larger forces or flows. These include ruptures or breaks in architectonic logic of traditional urban form as compelled by ecological, infrastructural, or economic change.”

In other words, spatial constructions in urban environments should no longer be attached to intractable functions or intent on isolation, but should instead integrate into the fabric of the city. These types of projects must be flexible to the inevitable changes in functionality and purpose that are byproducts of economic change and evolutions in land-use intentions. The dozen projects featured here are exemplary of such practices, both in how they adapt to past interventions and in how they move beyond the notion of a static future for urban conditions that are perpetually in flux.