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Jacques Herzog, Masterplanner of the Milan 2015 Expo, Thinks it will be a "Vanity Fair"

It seems Jacques Herzog is not particularly excited about the opening of the 2015 Expo in Milan later this year. In an interview with uncube magazine Herzog - one half of Herzog & de Meuron, the Expo's masterplanners - explains why they left the project in 2011, along with collaborators Stefano Boeri, William McDonough and Ricky Burdett. In their absence, he says, the Expo will now feature their plan "only as an urbanistic and formal pattern, not as an intellectual concept," and their plan to transform the event into "a radically new vision for a world exhibition" has been twisted so that the Expo "will be the same kind of vanity fair that we’ve seen in the past." Read the full interview here.

Open Call: Istanbul Community Market Ideas Competition

CTRL+SPACE has launched its Istanbul Community Market Ideas Competition. Seeking designs from students and professionals (developed individually or in teams of four or less), the competition challenges participants to create a site-specific, multi-functional market with a strong public element. Submissions are welcomed now until June 27 and winners will be announced on July 17, 2015. Three winning designs will receive monetary prizes from 500€ to 3500€, and five merit award recipients will also be selected. For more details or to register, visit ctrl-space.net.

Infographic Charts Rise of Muzharul Islam, Father of Bengali Modernism

Maruf Raihan, founder of Bangladeshi graphic design firm Studio Biporit has created an infographic tracing the career of Muzharul Islam, widely recognized as the Master Architect of South Asian Modernism. The timeline begins with Islam's birth in Murshidabad in 1923, spanning from his first major project— the Central Library at the University of Dhaka, in 1953— to his last, the World Bank Office in Dhaka in 1987. Also documented are his numerous academic and architectural milestones, including extensive international publication and exhibition. Highly legible and amply illustrated, the infographic concludes with an entry noting Islam's death in 2012, at the age of 88. The full-sized graphic can be viewed here.

How Supercomputers are Shaping the Future of our Cities

What possible use could architects have for a supercomputer? Well, of course it would be nice to produce that ultra-high-quality render in a matter of seconds rather than hours - but this post on the XSEDE blog recounts another use that is (arguably) much more important. XSEDE, an organization that helps researchers by providing them with access to supercomputers, has been working with a group from the University of Utah's Mechanical Engineering Department to simulate wind flow in cities, with the ultimate aim of providing architects and engineers with the tools to reduce wind tunneling effects, improve energy efficiency and lower pollution. Find out more about the research project here.

Help Fund Ittyblox's 3-D Printed Miniature Cities

Ever wanted your very own Flatiron Building to sit on your mantelpiece? What about a Guggenheim for your desk, or a block of London apartments for your side table? Ittyblox, a Dutch company based in Den Bosch, is determined to make this dream a reality, 3D printing 1:1000 models of iconic buildings and city blocks. The models are printed in full color and designed to slot into modular baseplates, which can be arranged into complete cityscape dioramas. Buildings currently in production hail from London, MiamiNew York, and Chicago, with a new building added each week. 

Building Trust to Host Live Build Workshop in Laos

This April, non-profit organization Building Trust will host a Live Build Workshop in Laos, in partnership with the local Free the Bears Fund rescue centre. Participants are invited to work with the Laotian local community and Free the Bears staff to construct a design a sustainable merchandise store. It is envisioned that the store will allow Free the Bears to sell merchandise that will in turn fund their ongoing bear conservation projects in Laos and beyond. 

Share Your Ideas for a Livable City with the Walking Visionaries Awards

Walk21 Vienna has launched its Walking Visionaries Awards, a challenge that invites people from around the globe to explore the many ways walking can be implemented into our daily lives to support sustainable and livable cities. Submit a solution now through April 30, 2015 for a chance to participate in the Walk21 Conference in Vienna, Austria in October 2015. 30 winners will receive a free ticket to the conference and given the chance to meet leading professionals and share their ideas with other visionaries through mediums such as lectures, round table discussions, and workshops. Additionally, the winners' solutions will be published in the conference documentation. Selected by both public opinion and a jury vote, winning submissions will be announced in June 2015. For more information or to submit an idea, visit walk21vienna.com.

Rick Bell Resigns as AIANY's Executive Director

As reported by the Architect's Newspaper, AIANY and The Center for Architecture have released a joint statement announcing the resignation of Executive Director of the AIANY Rick Bell, effective immediately. Bell helped to lead the AIA's New York Chapter to a period of success, with significant growth during his tenure. The statement explains:

Register Now for Life of an Architect's 4th Annual Playhouse Competition

Bob Borson of Life of an Architect has announced the 2015 Architect Playhouse Competition, now in its fourth year. The competition is free to join, open to everyone, and assists the Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), an organization that helps abused and neglected children. Organized and funded by Borson, it asks participants to design a playhouse that embodies originality, creativity, and can be constructed for $5000 or less. The winners (between two and five entries) will have their designs built and displayed at the Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses, where they will be raffled to benefit the nonprofit organization. Registration is open now and designs must be submitted by April 20th. Winners will be announced May 4th. Check out last year's winners after the break, and visit here to register.

Open Call: Concordia Lighthouse Competition

On January 13 2012, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia struck an underwater reef and capsized off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, resulting in 32 deaths. In response to the disaster, matterbetter has announced the Concordia Lighthouse Competition, which invites teams of architects, students, engineers, and designers to "redefine a contemporary lighthouse typology."

Jan Gehl: “Architects Know Very Little About People”

Danish urban planner and committed pedometer user Jan Gehl is an expert in creating “cities for people.” Following a recent talk he gave on sustainable cities in Basel, Gehl sat down with Tages Wocke to discuss what makes a city desirable and livable. “We found people’s behavior depends on what you invite them to do,” says Gehl. “The more streets you have, the more traffic you get. A more attractive public realm will be used by more people.” Read the full interview and see why Gehl thinks social and psychological sciences should be taught in architecture school, here

Upcoming Montreal Lecture: Brendan MacFarlane

This year's second installment of Index Design's Master Classe series will feature architect Brendan MacFarlane on March 24, 2015, from 6:00 to 8:00PM in Montreal. MacFarlane, co-founder of the internationally-acclaimed design firm Jakob + MacFarlane, will discuss his iconic and award-winning work, and his pursuit of creating architecture that "leaves nobody indifferent." To purchase tickets and for more information, visit masterclasses.index-design.ca.

Is a 24-Hour Studio Culture a Good Thing in Universities?

Update: We have now published our follow-up post featuring a collection of responses from readers. Read it here.

"Data Across Scales: Reshaping Design" at Harvard GSD

On April 17, Harvard GSD will host this year's annual interdisciplinary Doctoral Conference, "Data Across Scales: Reshaping Design." The conference invites design reachers and practitioners to examine the role and potential of data in design. Particularly apt for the technology-centric times of present, "Data Across Scales" focuses on the proliferation of information technologies within personal and professional contexts.

Artefacts Under Attack: What Has Been Damaged And To What Extent?

In an article for the Financial Times (FT), writer and historian Simon Schama examines world conflict zones and the efforts to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable architectural and cultural sites. If history is a measure, then Schama's study of William “Basher” Dowsing - an Englishman who, in the winter of 1643, "made it his personal mission to obliterate as much as he possibly could of sacred art in the churches and colleges of East Anglia" in the name of religion - is pertinent now more than ever.

James Corner Field Operations Chosen to Design Miami “Underline”

High Line co-designer, James Corner Field Operations has been selected to design the proposed 10-mile “Underline” in Miami. Chosen by a local jury from 19 submitted entries, JCFO has been asked to envision a bicycle route and linear park that will replace the threadbare M-Path under the Metrorail tracks from Dadeland to the Miami River. The project has yet to achieve funding, but it is hoped that JCFO’s plan will spark more investor interest. 

Open Call: Inside 2015

Inside 2015 invites students and young professionals to submit a collection of their "inside" work comprised of up to three digital images. By submitting your work, we invite you to share your voice with the collective intelligence of a community of visual thinkers. The competition is open to all design disciplines including architects, interior designers, furniture designers, digital fabricators, graphic designers, lighting designers, product designers or any other creative field that creates for the inside. The competition is free to all entrants. Learn more, here

Head in the Clouds with SOILED's 5th Issue

Self-described as "a periodical of architectural stories that [makes] a mess of the built environment and the politics of space," SOILED zine's 5th issue has been released, abounding with tales of the aerial. Entitled Cloudscrapers, the issue is the second in a series of limited-edition, locally produced publications by CARTOGRAM Architecture.