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RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows UK’s Confidence Is Rising Exponentially

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for October showed that confidence is very high among UK architects, with the workload index up rising substantially to +37 from +29 in September - the second highest ever workload forecast balance figure. This positive figure was spread right across the country with the most optimistic reports coming from Scotland, with a workload index figures of +80, and Wales, which reported a figure of +28. In addition, the percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed was down "considerably" to 12% - the lowest since the survey began in January 2009.

In Honor of Michael Graves, The Architectural League Revisits 200 Years of Drawing

With their "Past as Prologue" symposium - a day of lectures celebrating fifty years of Michael Graves' career - approaching tomorrow, the Architectural League of New York is taking a look back at one of its seminal exhibitions which heavily featured Graves' work. When "200 Years of American Architectural Drawing" launched in 1977, New York Times critic Ada Louise Huxtable said "By any definition... a major show," adding "here is architecture as it comes straight from the mind and the eye and the heart, before the spoilers get to it." In memory of the show, the Architectural League has published a selection of essays and images from the accompanying book, including the work of Graves, Peter Eisenman, John Hejduk and Richard Meier.

New Republic Honors Great Thinker Louis Kahn

New Republic has presented a list of 100 great thinkers from the past 100 years. The list, as the magazine puts it, honors “people we believe have made the greatest intellectual contributions to the fields and causes that this magazine holds dear.” One of these fields is architecture, and New Republic’s honoree for that category is the illustrious Louis Kahn. Kahn is famous for projects such as the Kimbell Museum and the Salk Institute. His work displays what architecture critic Sarah Williams Goldhagen describes as a “cognitively rich, metaphorically complex, multi-sensorial approach.” Curious to see who else made the list? See the full roster here!

Will The Traditional Museum Survive?

The question of whether the traditional museum survive in the digital age has been bounced around since the dawn of digital art and archiving. In an article for The Independent, Christopher Beanland examines the issue of a global "museum boom" (especially in China where a new one opens every day), and how this is having an undoubtedly positive impact on people's quality of life. For Beanland, it's curious that "we don't splash out on council houses or universities or hospitals any more – but we do build museums and galleries." Perhaps it's because they are "a reliquary for our collective memories" and "a triumph of our collective will" or, in most cases, because they employ excellent PR and branding strategies. He notes that "despite being swamped by possessions, we've changed our views towards those things. In the second half of the 20th century, people defined themselves by what they had. But today people increasingly define themselves by what they do."

2014 World Bamboo Design Competition

Architects, students and designers worldwide are being summoned to propose innovative design solutions centered around bamboo that explores the material's future potential. The competition, organized by World Bamboo and Damyang-Gun, hopes to “discover fresh ideas related to domestic and foreign industrialization of bamboo.” Architecture is one of three divisions in the competition. Winners will receive up to $10,000 in awards. Submissions are due November 30, 2014. You can learn more about the 2014 World Bamboo Design Competition, here

Danish Embassy and University of Manchester Present "The Liveable City"

Imagine the ideal city—one where residents are happy, healthy, financially secure, and living in a community that is both beautiful and safe. How do we bring our own neighborhoods up to that standard? The Liveable City, a series of (free!) seminars and events starting this week at the University of Manchester, can offer a few answers. A collaboration between the University, the Danish Embassy in the UK, and RIBA North West, The Liveable City is an exploration in urban design and planning. It invites architects, businesses, and the general public to participate in dialogue that seeks to improve the quality of life in cities in the United Kingdom and in Denmark. The schedule of events runs from November 20th to the 27th, and will take place in the Benzie Building of the Manchester School of Architecture. See more details after the break!

Call for Entries: Design the Barack Obama Presidential Library

Calling all architects and students, the Chicago Architectural Club (CAC) wants to see your ideas for The Barack Obama Presidential Library. The recent media coverage surrounding the announced library, drawing bids from New York, Honolulu, and Chicago, once again initiates the desire for speculations and projections. As the fourteenth of its kind, this civic institution will not only function to house a collection of artifacts and documents relating to the president’s life but will also provide an educational infrastructure and framework for outreach and community programs. Thus, in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), this year’s Chicago Prize Competition is calling for speculative proposals for the Barack Obama Presidential Library to initiate a debate in order to rethink and redefine this particular building typology.

Shigeru Ban Included Among Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers

Shigeru Ban has been included in Foreign Policy Magazine's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014, dubbing this year's Pritzker Prize Laureate as "architecture's first responder." The annual list recognizes the 100 people whose ideas and actions have had the greatest impact on the outcome of world events, and this year 'disruption' is the buzzword; acknowledging a tumultuous year, the list focuses on the people who, for better or worse, "smashed the world as we know it."

2014 "Piran Days of Architecture" Explores the Complexities of Vision

"What is the role of the architect as a visionary; can the architect (or should the architect) assume the position of social or urban orchestrator? Can architecture’s presence in a technocracy promote a vision outside of its intentions?" - Professor Paul Robinson

MAD and 3XN Among Six Competing for "Porsche Design Tower" in Frankfurt

Porsche Design has narrowed down a list of 20 participating teams to six shortlisted firms for an invited competition to design a new luxury residential tower in Frankfurt, Germany. The project, which will be Porsche Design’s debut in European real estate, will include up to 200 apartments, ranging from “Porsche Design suites” to two-story townhouses and luxury penthouses. The teams moving on to the competition’s second round, include: 3XN (Copenhagen), Stefano Boeri Architetti (Italy), MAD (China), Delugan Meissl (Austria), Neutelings Riedijk (Rotterdam) and Neil M. Denari (Los Angeles). 

Spotlight: Rem Koolhaas

The celebrated architect Remment (Rem) Koolhaas, the 2000 Pritzker Prize laureate and curator of the 2014 Venice Biennale, began his architectural education at the Architectural Association in London in 1968, eventually founding OMA (Office of Metropolitan Architecture) with one of his former professors, Elia Zenghelis (along with Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp).

Four Practices Shortlisted for Tucson's January 8th Memorial

The January 8th Memorial Foundation has selected four finalists out of the 60 practices and artists, both national and international, who submitted applications to create a permanent memorial and master plan concept for the El Presidio Park in Tucson, Arizona. The permanent memorial would commemorate the January 8, 2011, mass shooting that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, killed six people and injured 12 others. The memorial is also intended to honor the spirit of the Tucson community in its responses to the tragedy and to inspire future generations to work together on community issues. The four finalists are:

Open Call: jumpthegap Seeks Ideas for "Bathroom of the Future"

Encouraging young designers and architects to create and design innovative, sustainable solutions for the bathroom, the sixth edition of the international design contest jumpthegap, organized by Roca and the Barcelona Design Centre (BCD), has been launched at the Roca London Gallery with a presentation from the contest’s UK judge Tom Dyckhoff. An ideal platform for new generations to show their talent and visions for the bathroom of the future, jumpthegap is aimed at young professionals and students of architecture and design under 35. Registration closes February 2015. The jury, which will be led by MAD principle Ma Yansong, is expected to announce the winner in October 2015. 

Open for Submissions: Re-Imagining Toronto's "Winter Stations"

RAW Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio have launched Winter Stations, an open international design competition challenging artists, designers, architects and landscape architects re-imagine the life guard stands on Toronto's waterfront as "temporary wintertime installations" that "inject color, movement, humor and more into the landscape.” The theme is “Warmth,” and there is no limit to the size of the installation, but the jurors will take durability and constructibility into account. The selected installations will be built in February 2015. Registration is now open and submissions are due December 5, 2014 with winners announced in early January 2015. All the details can be found, here

Dichotomy Journal Plays the Odds: Open Call for Submissions on Taking Architectural Risks

University of Detroit Mercy's Dichotomy Journal has issued an open call for submissions to its 21st edition on the theme of "Odds," inviting discussion on projects that "defy the status quo and aim for greater fortune." Risk takers rejoice: Dichotomy 21 will shine a spotlight on architectural anomalies and the "implications of defying the odds and embracing the strange." The journal aims to stimulate a new discourse on extraordinary and unconventional designs that push the architectural envelope. Submissions are invited to discuss ideas defying the odds in design, architecture, urbanism and community development.

Eduardo Souto de Moura Tapped for Mixed-Use Condo Project in DC

Eastbanc has tapped Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura to transform a former "Four Seasons gas station" site into a mixed-use condo. According to a report on the Georgetowner, the developer has asked residents to have "an open mind" for the design, which, as Urban Turf points out, is likely to stand out in the historic Washington D.C. district. Little details have been released. “We are considering all options, from condo to rental to hotel,” Eastbanc President Anthony Lanier stated. “It’s early in the design phase.”

Typological to Evolutionary: A New Theory of Cities

Why do cities exist and how will they grow and change? As more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities it is becoming increasingly important for urban designers and planners to seek answers to these questions. This article by Laura Bliss from City Lab presents the “science of cities,” and the ways in which the urban-planning world is moving away from traditional methods of simply putting cities into categories, in favor of a more evolutionary theory. Benefiting from the vast amounts of data available today on statistics such as crime and voting patterns across cities, researchers have worked to establish the quantifiable characteristics of urban areas as a whole, and recent studies in this area reveal how the shapes of cities themselves could be connected to internal economic and social processes. Learn more about these radical developments in the full article from City Lab.

The Race to Save Architecture in Myanmar's Biggest City

Preservationists are in a race to document and preserve some of Yangon’s most admired cultural icons. Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon is experiencing an all to familiar story: rapid development taking precedence over preservation. As the National Geographic reports, “Hulking monoliths of concrete and blue-plated glass are replacing fine old residential and government buildings…Although much has already been lost, many architecturally or esthetically significant structures have hung on. The question now is  how long they will last.” Read the complete story, here