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Iwan Baan in Conversation with Jonathan Glancey

Iwan Baan was twelve years old when he received his first camera and, "within a week, [he] had traded it in for a better one." He is one of the most well-known and highly sought after architectural photographers in the world, recognised for shooting cities from above and for always highlighting people (occupation) in his images. In a short interview with Jonathan Glancey Baan is the first to state that he "doesn't know much about architecture" — something which has not inhibited his ability to produce some of the most successful photographs of the built world, and how we design, construct and occupy it.

Elevating Erie: Ideas Competition for a Biodiverse Boulevard

The creation of the Erie Canal was a paradigm shift for American progress in the 19th century, leveraging hundreds of miles of canal networks capable of generating cities out of swamps and ushering in a new era of exchange. Over a century later, what was the Erie Canal through Central New York has been capped over with urban development and sprawl. We are now presented with the opportunity to reposition Erie as the vehicle for a globally relevant, ecologically turbocharged urban corridor. The Elevating Erie ideas competition seeks proposals that consider our current global biodiversity challenges in urbanized regions by developing solutions specific to the Erie Canalway Trail along Erie Boulevard East connecting DeWitt to Syracuse. Elevating Erie encourage entries from diverse disciplines to provide ideas that will:

Spotlight: Zaha Hadid

Pritzker prize-winning architect, fashion designer and artist Zaha Hadid (born 31 October 1950) has become one of the most recognizable faces of our field. Revered and denounced with equal aplomb for the sensuous curved forms for which she has become known, Hadid rose to prominence not solely through parametricism but by designing spaces to occupy geometries in new ways. Today, her work continues to push boundaries both creative and technological, and her fearless media presence has cemented her place in society as a woman who needs just one name: Zaha.

Dallas Architecture Forum Presents Kevin McClurkan

Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization for everyone interested in learning about and improving the architecture, design, landscape and urban fabric of the North Texas region is pleased to continue its 2015-16 Lecture Season with the outstanding architect Kevin McClurkan, Management Partner of Ennead Architects of New York City. McClurkan's many major projects include the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock; the Newseum adjacent to the US Capitol in Washington, DC; and The Standard hotel on the High Line Park in New York City. He will speak on Tuesday, November 3 at 7 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium

Debate: Vanity Publishing

The design media is little more than a sycophantic, vapid and naval gazing extension of the PR industry. Our monographs, magazines and museums feed a cycle of shallow celebratory hysterics with little to no investigative or critical practice. Awards programmes lurch between jacking off the already engorged egos of starchitects or chasing the virginal myth of untainted emerging designers preying simultaneously on the young's insecurity and the old's fear of death in the name of profit for disconnected share holders. Cosy relationships between judges and judged, editors and edited amount to mild corruption - unsubscribe now.

Call for Submissions: Localizing Coordinates

The story of the African built environment is often told through historical perspectives of colonization and political crises, emphasizing the difficulties that African people have faced. Economic perspectives such as poverty, development and globalization also create stereotypes of the continent. Often missing from these are the transformations in space that result from daily and repeated use. These transformations emerge from ideas exchanged between people and their movements through their neighborhoods, cities, regions and countries. The quality of spaces that we may find will paint a complex picture of Africa.

Debate: Consultation Con

Community consultation is meaningless vacuous tick-box bullshit. It has become a decoy that developers deploy to shove unwanted projects down the throats of an unconsenting public. Its cringeworthy language of community empowerment is just thinly veiled power moves and lazy spin. The profession, the public, and the built environment would be better off without it.

Consultation Con is one in a series of debates rugby tackling six fundamental issues facing contemporary practice with a playful and combative format designed to ferment open and critical discussion. Framed by theatrically provocative opening gambits, a series of free debates will turn conventional consensus on its head.

Conference: 'Research on Display: The Architecture Exhibition as Model for Knowledge Production'

The Jaap Bakema Study Centre's second annual conference, entitled Research on Display: The Architecture Exhibition as Model for Knowledge Production, will begin next month in Delft and Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Featuring presentations and discussions from members of universities around the world—including Ghent, Valencia, London, Warsaw, Paris, Michigan, Yale, Oslo and Zürich—the two-day programme seeks to examine what it means to curate architectural research.

Debate: Quit Architecture Now

We all assume that to quit architecture is to fail. Yet the vast majority of those who stick it out are sucked into a world of disempowered subservience to big business. Becoming an architect squanders the creativity and energy of those who are attracted to study architecture in the first place, robbing society and the individual of their potential. There is a better way. We should all quit architecture before it's too late.

News from Nowhere: Zürich Laboratory

The Korean artists, MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho have teamed up with the design collective, Urban-Think Tank, based at ETH Zürich, to launch the newest version of the ongoing project, “News from Nowhere.” Past versions have appeared in documenta (13) in Kassel and the Sullivan Galleries of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 2013. The “News from Nowhere: Zürich Laboratory” establishes an interdisciplinary and participatory platform to discuss the urgent social, political and economic issues. Located in the Migros Museum for Gegenwartskunst, the “News from Nowhere” exhibition brings together artists, architects, designers, scientists, and documentarians in order to discuss issues facing contemporary society. 

Open Call: EXHIB-IT! Florim Architectural Installation in Milan

Florim has launched a competition to design a temporary architectural installation that showcases images from relevant architectural works built with ceramics. This event will take place during the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition in the very centre of Milan and the competition is open to designers, architects and creative communities worldwide. Learn more about the competition after the break.

Studio Dror Designs Steel Sculpture for New Zealand Winery

Studio Dror has been commissioned by Brancott Estate in New Zealand to design a steel sculpture inspired by the winery's history. The result, "a flat matrix of CorTen steel" that "stretches open to become a nine-meter-tall volume of aggregated triangulations." Named "Under/standing," the installation was inspired by the winemaking process. It will be built in 2016. 

Summer School: Critical Concrete 2016

In 2015 Critical Concrete was founded with the ambition of promoting a new model: the refurbishment of abandoned places for social housing and cultural initiatives through summer camp programs centered around sustainable architecture and art in context. In this sense, we want to conceptually reconnect the artist to the amateur and foster the sharing of skills and knowledge between experienced practitioners and surrounding communities, material reuse and sustainable, ecological constructions.

Prototyping the Future

Digital design and fabrication have combined with ubiquitous computing and globalization to change the field of architecture. At California College of the Arts in San Francisco, faculty and students in the Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, and Master of Advanced Architectural Design programs team up with companies, agencies, and community groups to make architecture that addresses the challenges and opportunities of economic growth, climate change, and technological disruption.

MVRDV Transfer Early Work to the Archives of Rotterdam's Nieuwe Instituut

Rotterdam-based practice MVRDV have begun a transfer of their early work, spanning fifteen years from 1993 to 2008, to Het Nieuwe Instituut — the central architecture archive of The Netherlands. This collection, which will eventually be made available to the public, will be in the institute's first primarily digital donation (approximately eight terabytes of data) and consisting of material from 400 of the practice's 680 total projects, including the Villa VPRO, the Silodam in Amsterdam, and the Markthal Rotterdam, as well as unrealised projects such as Meta City Datatown, Pig City, and 3D City Cube.

Event: Come To The Table With Chicago Educators

Come to the Table is an installation made of reconfigurable elements that serve as a platform for dialogue. The construct is a framework to engage local architects, artists and thinkers in questioning What is the State of the Art of Architecture Today? Confirmed Panelists include Penelope Dean (Associate Professor, UIC), Vedran Mimica (Associate Dean, IIT)
and Ben Nicholson (Professor, SAIC).


Spotlight: Paulo Mendes da Rocha

"All space must be attached to a value, to a public dimension. There is no private space. The only private space that you can imagine is the human mind." - Paulo Mendes da Rocha, May 26, 2004

Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil's greatest architects and urbanists. Born in Vitória, Espírito Santo in 1928, Mendes da Rocha won the 2006 Pritzker Prize, and is one of the most representative architects of the Brazilian Paulista School, also known as "Paulista Brutalism" that utilizes more geometric lines, rougher finishes and bulkier massing than other Brazilian Modernists such as Oscar Niemeyer.

Lecture: Hamonic+Masson & Associés in Shanghai

As part of the CA Group’s lecture series, “Architour”, co-founder of Hamonic+Masson & Associés, Jean-Christophe Masson, will give a lecture at 15:30 on October 30th at the Ablues Design Exhibition Auditorium in Shanghai. For 2013 through 2015, “Architour” has as its theme “New Force of Architecture – Leading Young Architects”: each year, the CA Group will select nine young, global leaders in architecture (four from Asia and five from the West) to lecture on topics that cross typologies and disciplines, from architectural design, urban planning to interior design. Sou Fujimoto, Hirata Akihisa, Christian Kerez and Thomas Heatherwick were the series’ first speakers.