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Open for Submissions: Unbuilt Visions 2014

Unbuilt Visions promotes critical debate about architecture and design by acknowledging excellence in unbuilt projects. This annual competition provides an opportunity to engage with architecture, urbanism, interiors, and designed objects at the conceptual stage by recognizing work that offers a critical contribution to worldwide architectural discourse.

Final Call for 2015 Bauwelt Award Applicants

Final Call! All entries for the 2015 Bauwelt Award must be submitted by September 30th. The award (consisting of 5 awards at 5000 Euros each) is applicable for all architects and landscape architects’ "First Works" projects - any work realized by independent responsibility and completed after September 30, 2011. In addition to the prize, award-winners will be published in an exhibition at the BAU 2015 on the Munich fairgrounds starting January. An Advancement Award grant is also available, prized at 5,000 Euros, to fund an interdisciplinary research, exhibition or installation project that has yet to be completed. Visit the official website to learn more about the competition and how to apply.

d3 Housing Tomorrow 2015

Exploration of contextual, cultural, and life cycle flows offers a critical lens for visualizing new housing strategies for living in the future. The d3 Housing Tomorrow competition invites architects, designers, engineers, and students to collectively explore, document, analyze, transform, and deploy innovative approaches to residential urbanism, architecture, interiors, and designed objects. 

Are You a Card-Carrying Member of the Urban Elite? Find Out With "Cards Against Urbanity"

Architects have been known to dabble in product design, but what about board game design? A team of Washington, D.C.-based architects, urban planners, and designers have come together to create a game with a comedic (yet somewhat serious) take on the nuances of city living. Cards Against Urbanity, a parody on the wildly successful Cards Against Humanity, is simultaneously a critical and satirical game designed to open a dialogue about the development of cities among those who influence them.

David Adjaye to Receive Du Bois Medal at Harvard

On September 30, Mohsen Mostafavi will present David Adjaye with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, Harvard University’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies, at the Hutchins Center Honors. Since 2000, the Du Bois Medal has been awarded to individuals from across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African-American history and culture. Adjaye is one of nine luminaries receiving this year’s award, including Oprah Winfrey and the late Maya Angelou. More information about the ceremony can be found here.

RISE Competition Seeks Ideas to Combat Sea Level Rise in Vancouver

How will sea level rise affect Metro Vancouver and what can we do about it? Take a look at the #RISEIDEAS competition from SFU Public Square – an open ideas competition with a Grand Prize of $35,000 to find innovative ways to address sea level rise. Form a team of one to four people, submit your idea online, and you could take home the cash, rub shoulders with experts at the October 19 public exhibition day, and win free event tickets. The deadline for competition submissions is October 6, 2014. Check out the website for all the details.

The Woman Architect Who Specialises In Mosques

As part of CNN's Leading Women series, Sheena McKenzie explores the work of Turkish architect Zeynep Fadillioglu - perhaps the first female architect to design a mosque, now on her third. In buildings where men and women are traditionally separated for worship, and women are often given a smaller space, Fadillioglu "purposely placed the women's section in one of the most beautiful parts of the light-flooded dome" in Istanbul's Sakirin Mosque. McKenzie concludes that although "Fadillioglu might have made a name for herself designing mosques, you don't needn't be religious to admire their beauty."

Berlage Master Class: “Architecture without Architects…Architects without Architecture?

The Berlage is pleased to announce that internationally acclaimed architect Ben van Berkel, cofounder and principal architect of UN Studio, is leading a design master class in November 2014 entitled “Architecture without Architects.. Architects without Architecture?”

Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?

In an excellent essay for the Architectural Review, Charlotte Skene Catling deftly ties together a number of recent debates in the field of morality in architecture, from the false accusations aimed at Zaha Hadid by critic Martin Fuller to recent debates over whether architects have any responsibility to tackle poverty, an ostensibly political issue. Taking aim at one article in particular - in which Dan Hancox argues that architects such as Urban Think Tank who engage in humanitarian work are often 'fetishizing poverty' - Catling dissects the work of many of those in the field to find that they in fact do vital work to connect the top-down and bottom-up approaches that would otherwise never meet in the middle. Or, as Urban Think Tank's Alfredo Brillembourg says, in opposition to the horizontal city of the 19th century or the vertical city of the 20th, "the 21st century must be for the diagonal city, one that cuts across social divisions." Click here to read the article in full.

Three New Towers on the Cards for City of London

Just days after revealing that the Pinnacle has finally been scrapped, the City of London's Head of Design Gwyn Richards has told BD that three new skyscrapers are soon to be submitted for planning on nearby sites. Though Richards did not reveal the architects of the three towers, he singled out one of the plans as "a very considered response from an architect I have the utmost respect for," adding "I have worked very closely with him and there’s a mutual respect. It’s a good example of cooperation between architect and planner to come up with a building that hopefully the public will see the value in."

Paul Goldberger on the High Line

This past Sunday, New York celebrated the opening of the High Line’s final section. More playful and untamed than its counterparts, the elevated park’s northernmost segment seems to have pleased the critics. As Paul Goldberger explained, the High Line at the Rail Yards is “stunningly refreshing” and “gives you an altogether new, relaxed, low-key way of being on the High Line.” You can read Goldberger’s take on the new portion of the High Line here on Vanity Fair. 

goCstudio Launches New Kickstarter to Fund Floating Sauna in Seattle

Seattle based firm goCstudio have designed a wood-fired floating sauna, a project resonant with the culture of the Pacific Northwest. Aiming to begin construction in spring of 2015 and open in summer, the firm has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the building of their first model. Easily transportable and accessible by kayak, the floating sauna fits within the dimensions of a standard size trailer. Providing a space of refuge and revitalization, along with a uniquely interactive way to experience the landscape of Seattle, the project, named "wa_sauna", requires $43,000 to become a reality. Learn more about the project and how you can help at the firm's Kickstarter page, here. More images after the break.

US Launches $1 Billion National Disaster Resilience Competition

Building on the model set forth by Rebuild by Design, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Rockefeller Foundation have announced a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition. The two-phase competition invites communities affected by natural disasters to compete for funds that will help them recover from prior disasters and improve their ability to withstand future threats. See if your community complies with the competition rules here.

FuturArc Prize and Green Leadership Award Contest 2015 Now Open

FuturArc, a bimonthly journal that promotes the enhancement of sustainable architecture in Asia, have launched their annual contest to generate ideas for innovative and sustainable design. The contest is split into two, with the FuturArc Prize and the FuturArc Green Leadership Award rewarding sustainable design in both unbuilt and built projects. Read on after the break to find out more about both competitions.

Deborah Berke Tapped to Design Cummins' Indianapolis Headquarters

New York-based Deborah Berke Partners has been selected to design a $30 million headquarters for Indiana-based diesel engine manufacture Cummins. Planned for downtown Indianapolis on the former four-acre site of Market Square Arena, the project will provide office space for up to 400 employees, as well as ground-floor retail, parking and public green space. Berke was chosen over SHoP Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. 

Narrowminded + BOM Propose New Central Bus Station for Marrakech

As part of an international competition, Narrowminded Architects teamed up with BOM Architects to identify and solve central functional deficiencies in a proposal for a new Marrakech Central Bus Terminal. Together, the architects found that obsolete infrastructure, unclear orientation, hazardous traffic density, rampant pollution, and confusing overlaps between vehicular and pedestrian flow were all contributing factors in the inefficiencies and hindered advancement of the terminal. Thus, with the intent to create a timeless environment that could flourish in Marrakech's future morphological developments, the proposal adopted a strategy to thoroughly address each individual issue.

SCI-Arc Appoints Hernan Diaz Alonso as New Director

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) has appointed Hernan Diaz Alonso as the Los Angeles architecture school’s new Director beginning September 2015. Alonso, principal of Xefirotarch and educator widely credited for spearheading the transition of SCI-Arc to digital technologies, will succeed architect Eric Owen Moss who has served as the school’s director since 2002. Continue after the break to watch Alonso’s “New Director Presentation” and preview a selection of his work.

Are Property Developers "Ruining Our Cities"?

Alongside a number of recent articles that explore the rise of the urban property developer and the subsequent "threat" to the built environment, Oliver Wainwright of The Guardian explores at length how developers are "exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities." In discussion with Peter Rees, former Chief Planning Officer for the City of London and responsible for the financial district's monuments of today, Wainwright discusses the lack of accountability of the vast majority of urban developers. While local councils attempt to secure the next iconic development for their area many planners, authorities and developers are locked in a battle over the built fabric of our cities. Read the article in full here.