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Call for Proposals: Folly 2015

The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park invite emerging architects and designers to submit proposals for Folly, an annual design/build studio program during March and April 2015 leading to a public exhibition at Socrates opening in early May 2015.

From the Ground Up: China and the New Vertical City

By the end of 2015, one in three of the world’s tallest buildings will be in China. With its government planned cities, the Chinese policy often favors high-density development, and some of the most radical and experimental urban design ideas can be applied in China - take for example the recent joint winner of the Shenzhen Bay Super City competition, Cloud Citizen, which takes on a more integrated and interconnected approach to vertical cities. In this article on The Guardian, Nicola Davison investigates how at this critical time in the country’s development, architects and urban planners may choose to move away from previous urban models of isolated skyscrapers, towards a more humane environment that seeks to emulate nature and create diverse public spaces. Read the article in full here

The Interface of the Afterlife: Examining Cemeteries and Mausoleums in the 21st Century

The relationship between immortality and architecture is ancient one. Writing in The New Yorker, Alexandra Lange discusses the past and future of cemetery design in relation to a new exhibition on display in New York. Featuring a selection of 1300 individual mausoleum designs stored in Columbia University's archives, Lange notes how "patrons weren’t picky about originality. In the late nineteenth century, memorial companies might just bring back a shipment of angels from Carrara to be distributed among future clients." These "rural estates in miniature" eventually gave way to more contemporary designs which dabbled in Realism and Cubism. What will the people of today house their remains in? For Lange, "the design we take personal pleasure from everyday is now less likely to be architecture and more likely to be an interface." Read the article in full here.

Chipperfield's Musée des Beaux-Arts Nixed for Being too Costly

The French government has cancelled its £8 million contribution towards the £43 million Musée des Beaux-arts by David Chipperfield Architects, causing the Reims’ mayor to “shelve” the museum for being too costly. As reported by the Architects’ Journal, the funds will be reallocated towards the redevelopment of a recently closed sports complex. The museum, originally awarded to Chipperfield following an international competition, was intended to be built on an excavation area and display mediaeval relics. You can review the design, here

Drawing and Reinventing Landscape: A Conversation with Diana Balmori and Barry Bergdoll

On Wednesday, November 5, Diana Balmori will visit the Strand to chat about Drawing and Reinventing Landscape with the MoMA's architecture curator, Barry Bergdoll. Diana's book examines digital, analog and hybrid methods of representing landscape and places the contemporary landscape architecture within its fascinating historical context. This exclusive Strand chat will investigate crucial aspects of the design process. Join as these two experts discuss this important design topic at a moment of increasing global environmental change. More information here

City of Kyiv Launches 'Terra Dignitas' Revolution Memorial Competition

The City of Kyiv has launched an international design competition aiming to commemorate the lives lost in Ukraine's Maidan Revolution, both through a memorial to their memory and through implementing the ideals of the revolution in the urban space surrounding Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The competition, honed through months of public discussions and consultations, is being organized by the Kyiv City State Administration and Ukraine's Ministry of Culture. More details after the break.

Europe 40 Under 40 Winners Announced

Europe 40 Under 40 has announced its 40 architects selected for 2014.  Hosted by the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies, the annual awards program aims to select the next new talented generation of European architects.

Eight Ideas for the Future of Cities

In 2012, the TED Prize was awarded to an idea: The City2.0, a place to celebrate actions taken by citizens around the world to make their cities more livable, beautiful and sustainable. Now, on the newly relaunched TED City2.org website, you can find inspiring and informative talks on topics like housing, education and food, and how they relate to city life. Preview a sampling of these city centric talks, featuring eight ideas for the future of cities, here.

Six Keys to Designing Architecture that Terrorizes

Scaring people is an art, a lucrative art if done right; the haunted house industry makes $300 million a year in the US. Fast Company recently interviewed the designers behind some of the nation’s most notorious haunted houses to learn just how to design architecture that truly terrorizes. A hint: Set the stage; reclaim an existing, preferably already “haunted”, historic building, add fog, and always “scare people forward.” With this in mind, what famous building would you choose to transform into a terrifying haunted house? Let us know in the comment section below and read all of FastCo's design tips, here.

RIBA Council Member Calls for Overhaul of Presidential Elections

Ben Derbyshire, managing partner at HTA Design and a newly-elected member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Council, has called for a significant overhaul of the RIBA election process if the organization is to reverse "a long term decline in the fortunes of the profession, the role of architects in commerce and society, the influence of design in the quality of environment and on long term sustainability." Derbyshire, writing in his column for Building, argued that future RIBA presidents should only be drawn from the elected councillors if the RIBA is to avoid "the likelihood of successive Presidents failing to share agendas" - alongside five other proposals that he believes will strengthen the architectural profession. Read on after the break for more of his comments.

BIG and Morphosis Among Six Shortlisted for Des Moines’ Kum & Go Headquarters

Kum & Go has enlisted six internationally renowned practices to compete for design of its new $92 million headquarters planned for Des Moines, Iowa: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Morphosis, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Safdie Architects, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). The 24-hour convenience store chain plans to select an architect by mid-November. The 120,000-square-foot corporate office will be built on the north side of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, between 14th and 15th streets.

Developer Says Problems with Prefabricated Homes "Must Not Stop Innovation"

Developer Tom Bloxham has argued that problems with prefabricated homes or other unusual building techniques "must not stop innovation" in the UK housing sector. Bloxham, whose company Urban Splash was responsible for the Stirling Prize-nominated Park Hill regeneration and has worked with architects such as Norman Foster, FAT and Will Alsop, was speaking at an Archiboo event titled "Housebuilding is Ripe for Disruption." Discussing the problems that have befallen RSH+P's Oxley Woods project, he said "Whenever we innovate something inevitably goes wrong. There are risks and it is difficult. But somebody has to take these risks for the industry to move forward," reports the Architects' Journal.

Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to Design Colorado Springs' Olympic Museum

The US Olympic Museum committee has selected Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to design a $60 million museum in downtown Colorado Springs. The New York-based practice will collaborate with Anderson Mason Dale Architects of Denver and exhibit designer Gallagher & Associates to showcase the Olympic and Paralympic's history through exhibits and artifacts. Once complete by early 2018, the museum will include a hall of fame, theater, a 20,000-square-foot exhibit hall and retail space. Designs are expected to be released by mid-2015. 

Michael Rotondi to Receive Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence

Michael Rotondi, principle of Los Angeles-based RoTo Architecture and former student of Cal Poly Pomona, has been selected to receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from the College of Environmental Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Co-founder of SCI-Arc and long-time architectural educator at Arizona State University, Rotondi was selected for his “commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says Cal Poly Pomona professor Sarah Lorenzen.

Safdie Architects to Design Medal of Honor Museum in South Carolina

Following a national search, the National Medal of Honor Foundation has selected Safdie Architects to design its new museum and education center at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Safdie was selected for their “extensive experience with cultural projects and national monuments across the U.S. and abroad.” The National Medal of Honor Museum will bring the stories of the Medal of Honor recipients to life for visitors. 

AIA Report Finds Increasing Acceptance of Carbon Reduction Targets

The 2030 Progress Report for the American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s 2030 Commitment - a voluntary program for architects who want to commit their practice to advancing the AIA's goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030 - has found a significant increase in the number of projects that meet its current targets for a 60% reduction in carbon emissions, with over 400 buildings in the program meeting the goal. "There is some very encouraging data in this report that shows how architects are making measurable progress towards reducing the carbon emissions in their design projects," said AIA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. Read on after the break for more results of the report.

Bartlett Professor CJ Lim to Launch "Food City" Book at Ravensbourne

As part of the launch of his latest book, Food City, Professor CJ Lim of the Bartlett School of Architecture will present a lecture at Ravensbourne in Greenwich, London. Food City follows on from professor Lim's previous book, Smartcities and Eco-Warriors, exploring the role that food production and distribution has historically played in day-to-day life, and how we might once again reinstate it as an integral part of our cities through essays on 25 cities around the globe.

BBC Ranks Eight Greatest New Museums

According to the BBC, Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama City, Steven Holl’s Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, and BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør are among the top eight greatest museums recently completed. Do you agree? Let us know which recently completed museums tops your list in the comment section after the break and review the BBC’s complete selection here