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Two Architects Selected to Receive the 2015 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, and Thomas Luebke, FAIA, to receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, recognizing their excellence for architectural advocacy and achievement. This year’s award recipients will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. Learn more about the winners, after the break. 

Last Call: Architects Summoned to Envision Public Space for Moscow’s Kristall City

Architects interested in proposing ideas for a new public space in Kristall City, a former territory of legendary Moscow distillery, have until Tuesday (February 24) to submit applications. Organized by KRAYS development and the CENTER Agency of Strategic Development, the competition is calling on all architects and designers to consider three sites to host the cities premier public space. The newly developed area aims to “share the future look of the quarter” and establish a “new type of public space made out of form industrial city territories. Learn more and apply, here

Defensive Architecture Creates Unlivable Cities

To many, the harsh turns the modern city has taken are not apparent. We see benches and bus stops that masquerade as shelters, but Guardian writer Alex Andreou's sudden plunge into homelessness opened his eyes to the hostile realities of these and other structures. In "Anti-Homeless spikes: 'Sleeping rough opened my eyes to the city's barbed cruelty'," he sheds some light on misconceptions about homelessness and explains the unfortunate trend of designing unlivable architecture to deter those affected.

Spotlight: Louis Kahn

Louis Kahn, (February 20th 1901 - March 17th 1974) was born Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky in Pärnu, in what is now Estonia. His family emigrated to Philadelphia when he was just a child, where Kahn would remain for the rest of his life, completing many of his later works there. Though he did not arrive at his distinctive style until his early 50s, and despite his death at the age of just 73, Kahn became known for combining Modernism with the weight and dignity of ancient monuments, and in a span of just two decades came to be considered by many as part of the pantheon of modernist architects which included Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe.

Pro Bono Architecture and Designing for the Public Interest

Speaking of the public image of the architect, Stephanie Garlock laments that it is often akin to "Ayn Rand's Howard Roark— arrogant, individualistic, and committed to the genius of artistic vision above all." In a feature piece for the March/April edition of Harvard Magazine, Garlock explores the potential for architects to affect wider social change and move "[b]eyond 'Design for Design's Sake'."

2015 Pritzker Prize to be Announced March 23rd

We’ve just learned that the Pritzker Prize will be announced on Monday, March 23rd at 10am EDT. This prize — architecture’s most prestigious — has been awarded annually since 1979. Past winners include Philip JohnsonZaha HadidRem KoolhaasOscar NiemeyerNorman Foster and Toyo Ito (full list). You can see ArchDaily’s coverage of the prize here. Stay tuned for the latest updates on this year’s winner. Who do you think deserves to win?

Which Architect Could Restore The Glasgow School Of Art?

With the Charles Rennie Mackintosh retrospective opening today at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London Rowan Moore, writing for The Guardian, asks "which architect could restore Mackintosh's masterpiece [in Glasgow]?" The Glasgow School of Art, parts of which were devastated by fire in May of last year, is in the process of selecting a restoration architect from a shortlist of five. Yet for Moore "there are examples of clumsiness and stodginess in some of the past projects of those included that should be allowed nowhere near the School of Art."

Co-Housing Movement Sweeps through Europe

In the Spanish suburb of Alfafar, conditions were looking grim as economic hardships plunged over 40% of its residents into unemployment and left significant portions of its housing vacant. In response, a group of young architects have developed a co-housing plan for the area to accommodate its shifting needs, enabling residents to exchange and share space as needed. Using the existing buildings as the framework, the line between public and private will evolve over time with changing conditions, following in the footsteps of other European countries that have successfully employed similar undertakings. Read more about Alfafar's co-housing plan, here.

Symposium: Model Making In The Digital Age

An upcoming conference at the University of Manchester will tackle the idea of Model Making In The Digital Age. Based on the premise that the world of architecture is dominated by digital tools today more than ever, from design and manufacturing to the ways in which we visualise complex spaces and structures physically and virtually, this symposium seeks to shed new light on the practice of model making and its uses.

Creating A 'Domesday Book' Of Post-War Tower Blocks

The Edinburgh College of Art have announced that they will be creating a ‘Domesday Book’ catalogue of every multistory post-war housing project in the UK. The project - called Tower Blocks - Our Blocks! - will contain over 3,500 publicly accessible photographs from the 1980s, documented "at a time when post-1945 high-rise housing is continuously under threat threat across the [UK]." All images will be made searchable in a digital archive.

Open Call: Fentress Global Challenge

The Fentress Global Challenge is an international design competition created to engage students worldwide in the exploration of future design possibilities in public architecture. This year the annual competition is challenging students to imagine "The Airport of the Future."

Architecture of Independence - African Modernism

From February 20 the Vitra Design Museum will host "Architecture of Independence - African Modernism," an exhibition curated by architect and author Manuel Herz. Featuring numerous photographic contributions by Iwan Baan, "Architecture of Independence" explores the experimental and futuristic architecture produced in 1960s Central and Sub-Saharan Africa during the region's period of newfound independence.

Call for Submissions: Planetary Urbanism - Critique of the Present

The ARCH+ Magazine for Architecture and Urbanism has launched the international competition ”PLANETARY URBANISM – CRITIQUE OF THE PRESENT in the medium of information design." The competition is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will take place in the context of the UN-Habitat Conference 2016, where the results will be presented. Project partner of the exhibition is the M:AI, Museum for Architecture and the Art of Engineering, NRW. Consulted by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Learn more, here.

"Sculpting the Architectural Mind" at Pratt Institute

On March 6 and 7, New York's Pratt Institute will host "Sculpting the Architectural Mind," a conference exploring the connection between "Neuroscience and the Education of an Architect."

Exhibition of Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Opens at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn

The Museum of Estonian Architecture opens its new season with an exhibition of the latest recipients of the Alvar Aalto Medal, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos. Exhibition “The Window and the Mirror” opens at the museum today (Friday, February 13), providing visitors a first-hand experience of the works of the internationally acclaimed architects Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano. In 2014 Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos won the architecture competition of the Arvo Pärt Centre to be built in Estonia by 2018.

Villeroy & Boch Announces North American Designer Bathroom Challenge Winner

Villeroy & Boch has chosen the winner of its first-ever North American Designer Bathroom Challenge. Saoli Chu of BuiltIn Studio in Manhattan was selected by an expert panel of judges for her innovative and luxurious Home Retreat design, which featured Villeroy & Boch’s Memento washbasins, Aveo bathtub and Subway wall-mounted toilet.  

Carmody Groarke To Design UK Pavilion For Mexico's 2015 Guadalajara Book Fair

The British Council recently announced that London-based practice Carmody Groarke have been selected to design the UK pavilion at the 2015 Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) in Guadalajara, Mexico. The organisers of the international event, which is the largest literary festival in the Spanish speaking world, have chosen the UK to be this year's "Guest of Honour" as part of a bilateral initiative launched to "build, strengthen and celebrate the growing connections" between the two countries.

Harvard GSD Talk and Exhibition "Housing in Extreme Environments: Alpine Shelter" Opens Tomorrow

The extreme climatic conditions of the North introduce a design paradox for architects. The fragile environmental conditions require incisive designs that respond to irregular loading from strong winds, heavy snowfalls, avalanche risk zones, and extreme cold. The studio investigated a prototypical design: a unit with sleeping and cooking space for up to eight people, on a mountain site in Slovenia. The talk (on Friday, February 13th) serves as an opening for the exhibition on this project, curated by Spela Videcnik, John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Housing and Urban Development, with Rok Oman, featuring the work of her Fall 2014 studio, displayed on the Experiments Wall (in Gund Hall). Construction of the shelter is planned for summer 2015.