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UDM Student Awarded "WIA Emerging Professional Inspiration Award" for Community Outreach

“At some point, we all forgot that we belong to each other.” These powerful words helped land Samantha, an M.Arch. student at the University of Detroit Mercy and Fellow in the Challenge Detroit Urban Revitalization Program, the ninth annual WIA EP (Emerging Professional) Inspiration Award. Praising Samantha for her work behind the “Belong Here” guerrilla art campaign, the award was given to the student for demonstrating a “great capacity for leadership, an unwavering passion for the profession of architecture, and a willingness to contribute to society.” Learn more about the award, here

Tiny-House Villages: Safe Havens for the Homeless

As the need for smart housing solutions rises, so does the appeal of tiny-house villages, not just as shelter for the homeless, but as a possible look to the future of the housing sector. The new article, Are Tiny-House Villages The Solution To Homelessness? by Tim Murphy, takes a closer look into the positive and negative aspects of these controversial communities, as well as their social and political ramifications so far. Through interviews with residents of several tiny-house villages, Murphy investigates the current impacts they have had on the homeless populations within major American cities, and questions how the lifestyle will evolve in the future. Read the full article, here.

Irish Competition Searches for Conceptual Interpretations of WB Yeats Poem: "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"

In collaboration with The Model, Hazelwood Demesne Ltd, and Sligo City Council, the Institute of Technology Sligo has launched "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," an international architecture competition inspired by Yeats' eponymous poem of 1892. Part of Yeats2015, the competition prompts practitioners to propose an intervention for the Irish island of Innisfree, combining "Yeats' poetic vision and contemporary architectural ideas." Work may be submitted individually or as part of a team, and must be received by March 12. The winning design will be constructed on the island before June 13, in time for what would have been Yeats' 150th birthday. See more information about the competition and download the project brief here.

Redesigning Los Angeles For Long-Term Drought

With many of the world’s cities combating drought, it is apparent that channeling water away from populated areas with no intended use is not sustainable. Cities are depending on their “precious rain water” more than ever and, as Arid Lands Institute co-founder Hadley Arnold says, "the ace in our species pocket is the ability to innovate.” We need to “build cities like sponges,” starting with permeable hardscape, drought-tolerant landscaping and smarter plumbing. See what NPR has to say about issue of water treatment and Los Angeles, here.  

Six Design Trends Reshaping City Life

It is expected that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. However, as FastCoDesign points out, it is unlikely that cities will look the same as they do today. In a recent article, the company outlined six major design trends in 2015 that are shaping city life, including restaurants starting to double as living rooms, healthcare become a retail product and smarter transportation systems. Find out all six trends, here

Recommend a Project for The Buckminster Fuller Challenge

The Buckminster Fuller Institute announces the launch of the 2015 cycle of The Fuller Challenge through the public invitation to recommend a project that demonstrates a design strategy with significant potential to solve some of humanity’s most pressing problems. BFI is looking for visionary social and environmental solutions from across the globe for “socially responsible design’s highest award” and a cash prize of $100,000. To recommend a project that demonstrates excellence in comprehensive problem solving and anticipatory design, please enter the project name and contact information via this link: Recommend a project.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Indicates Consistent Growth

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for December 2014 has revealed little month-on-month change in indexes with the acknowledgement of a growing level of optimism. After falling back slightly in November 2014, the workload index has remained consistent at +29 (from +37 in November). Workload forecast balance figures have remained extremely positive, with practices reporting +50 in Northern Ireland and up to +75 in Scotland. Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with "optimistic" workload prospects heading into the next quarter. The percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed fell to 9% from 12%.

Call for Submissions: Archonic Magazine #2 "Disassemble"

Sydney-based collective Project Archonic is currently accepting submissions for Archonic Magazine, a quarterly publication exploring the nexus between architecture, art, and design. Themed "Disassemble" and prompting creatives to deconstruct, re-evaluate, and reconfigure their surroundings, the publication marks the second issue compiled by Project Archonic, and is expected to launch in March 2015. Learn more about the publication and view spreads from the previous issue after the break.

Call for Papers: STUDIO Magazine Investigates "Urban Pause"

STUDIO Architecture and Urban Magazine is calling for submissions for its ISSUE#8 publication: Pause. As the title suggests, the issue will look at the modern city’s propensity for change and movement by focusing on “the crystallization of a moment, a temporary stop out of time and space, where you can listen to the sound of silence.” The magazine is looking for a variety of different submissions, from essays to infographics, relating to any field of design. Interested contributors must send a 200-word abstract (in English) explaining their proposal. The deadline for this is February 25th. Final pieces chosen for the issue are to be submitted by March 20th, with an expected publication date in April. For full submission requirements, click here!

Blueprints Printing: The Architect’s Time Machine

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a time machine - to skip ahead into a future when technology has solved all of our problems, or perhaps to go back to a simpler time when we didn’t have to deal with the complications that modern technology brings? However, in the wise words of Archibald, the animated architect: “Architecture is not a final destination in time; it is a journey through life.”  As architects and builders, we are constantly imagining and designing for the future, while attempting to deal with reality as it exists in the present. 

Examining China's "Edifice Complex"

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Dinny McMahon and Yang Jie visit Shenyang - a "chilly industrial town" in north eastern China which was once the country's capital (circa 1600). The city will soon be home to what's being dubbed the 'Pearl of the North', "a 111-floor office tower that will, briefly, be the seventh-largest in the world, dwarfing One World Trade Center." The tower, designed by Atkins, is "symptomatic of China’s edifice complex," McMahon notes - and the city is "just getting started." Read the article in full here.

St. Peter's Seminary: 'La Tourette' With "Scottish Inspirations"

In an article for The Guardian, Rowan Moore explores the state and future of the Grade A listed Brutalist Seminary of St. Peter, "where the influence of Le Corbusier’s monastery of La Tourette combines with [...] Scottish inspirations." Although the building is often seen as wholly unique in the canon of religious buildings, it is still comprised of traditional elements - "cloister, chapel, refectory, cells - but rearranged over multiple levels in unexpected ways, alternately enclosing and opening up to its surroundings."

Shelter Global Launches Dencity Competition 2015

Shelter is pleased to invite architects, planners, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations from all over the world to take part in the first annual Dencity Competition. Rapid world growth and urbanization is not allowing cities to adapt and provide for their inhabitants. Towns are quickly growing into cities, and some of the densest places in the world are comprised of makeshift homes, otherwise referred to as slums. Furthermore, already overcrowded cities have to absorb people leaving their rural hometown in hope of job opportunities. There are currently over 1 billion slum dwellers in the world. This number is expected to reach 2 billion by the year 2030. Now, more than ever, we need to play a central role in the development of substandard neighborhoods. Slums effect much more than just housing; they affect almost all living conditions and communities as a whole.

Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light

In the wake of her selection as the recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award for 2015, Hélène Binet's work will be exhibited at the Woodbury University Hollywood (WUHO) Gallery in Los Angeles, California. The exhibition, entitled Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light, will be open from February 28, 2015 to March 29, 2015, showcasing the highlights of the artist's career as a renowned architectural photographer. The exhibition will be initiated with an opening reception and award ceremony on February 28, 2015 to honor Binet for her achievements. 

Artplace Offering Grants for Cultural Installations

Artplace America is offering up to $3 million in funding to an applicant non-governmental organization (NGO) in six different regions of the US as a part of its Community Development Investments program. Artplace will select these six organizations based on their interest in “sustainably incorporating arts and cultural strategies into the organizations work.” If selected, NGOs will work with financial advisement teams, as well as creative consultants to make the best use of the grant money. To see if your organization is eligible, click here!

Knight Cities Challenge Selects 126 Finalists

Last week, the Knight Foundation announced the 126 finalists for its Knight Cities Challenge. This Challenge was an open call for ideas on how to invigorate the 26 US communities that receive funding from the Foundation. Over 7,000 submissions were received, with ideas ranging from the installation of street arcades to the transformation of vacant city lots. The Knight Foundation chose submissions from each of the 26 communities, selecting those that best encouraged community engagement, provided economic opportunity, and made the city a more attractive place to be. See the full list of finalists, here!

"Narratives of History, Climate, Culture and Place" Abound in David Adjaye Retrospective

Starting January 29th, Munich's Haus der Kunst will host "Form, Heft, Material," a major retrospective of the work of British architect David Adjaye. Co-curated by Okwui Enwezor and Zoe Ryan, the exhibition's broad catalogue reflects Adjaye's diverse career and portfolio, including architectural projects alongside material experiments, research, and furniture design. Through sketches, models, prints, drawings, 1:1 building fragments, film, and text, "Form, Heft, Material" foregrounds Adjaye's work against the rich geographical and social context that frames his design approach.

Allies and Morrison to Masterplan New City District in Oman

The competition to masterplan MuscatOman’s new district, Al-Irfan, is over. Organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), five teams were chosen to submit proposals for the development project. Of those five, international firm Allies and Morrison has been selected to oversee the design process. The firm will be working in with the Oman Tourism Development Company SAOC (Omran) to develop a site of over 7.4 million square meters into a thriving urban center that will provide business and residential opportunities for the people of Oman.