A few hours ago one of the most influential figures in computing, product design, and in a way architecture, passed away.
Back in the 70s and 80s Steve Jobs played a key role in personal computing as the founder of Apple, bringing technology to the masses. I won’t go into details here, as I think that this ad featured on the Wall Street Journal back in 1981 pretty much explains it: “Putting real computer power in the hands of the individual is already improving the way people work, think, learn and communicate and spend their leisure hours”. I knew about his death via a notification on my iPhone, and I’m writing this on my iPad. None of these devices are what we define as “computers”, none of them are wired to what we call a “local network”.
As for product design, the “i” factor is pretty well known, and has been recognized by design masters such as Dieter Rams. In this field, his legacy will last forever.
“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” — Steve Jobs
But back to our field, Steve Jobs was a patron of architecture. Jobs worked with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, one of the most renowned US architecture firms, to develop state of the art retail stores across the world. In these iconic projects they took glass, one of the most essential materials in architecture, to the next level.
HAO (Holm Architecture Office), along with five other New York design offices, have been invited to participate in the re-design of the Coleman Oval Skate Park and the master planning of the Coleman Oval Park. The competition is sponsored by Architecture for Humanity.
The Coleman Oval Park, situated partly under the Manhattan Bridge, has long suffered from lack of exposure, little upkeep, and the “off the beaten path” factor. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Serie Architects has been awarded first prize by the competition Technical Committee for the Wuxi Xishan Civic Centre in China. Serie saw off strong competition from a high-powered international shortlist which included NihonSekkei, GMP Architekten, AS Architecture-Studio, and Arte Charpentier.
The scheme is oriented around a large public plaza which is intended to form the centre of public life and expression within the Civic Centre. This unadorned open space hosts public gatherings and events, government displays and temporary exhibitions. The importance of symmetry within the composition of the plan is expressed in the strong axial relationship to the main entrance. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Taiwan Tower, designed by STL Architects…, will act as a monumental building that will frame the new center and provide the entire city with a renewed and iconic identity, such as Eiffel Tower in Paris or The Sydney
Architects: Estudio BaBo
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Project Team: Francisco Kocourek, Francesc Planas Penadés, Marit Haugen Stabell
Collaborators: Marcos Buceta, Marco Fumagalli
Construction: DAC S.A.
Structure: Ing. Carlos Calissano
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 265 sqm
Photographs: Curro Palacios Taberner
We first brought you this project when OFIS won the design competition back in 2008. Here it is now under construction. For the renderings and further information check out our previous post.
More construction photos after the break.
Architect: OFIS arhitekti
Location: Paris, France
Project leaders: Rok Oman & Špela Videčnik
Design Team: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik, Robert Janez, katja aljaz, Andrej Gregoric, Javier Carrera
Structural Engineering: INTEGRALE 4; Bruno PERSON
Mechanical, Electrical engineering & economy: Cabinet MTC; Cyril GANVERT
Photographs: Robert Janez
Architect: EXiT architetti associati
Location: Oderzo, Treviso, Italy
Project Team: Francesco Loschi (Project Manager), Giuseppe Pagano, Paolo Panetto
Structural Project: Alberto Soligo
Technical Plant Design: Mauro Benozzi
Text: EXiT architetti associati
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 1200 sqm
Photographs: Silvia Longhi
The design by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabiao is the winning scheme from an international competition that included the offices of Enric Miralles/Benedetta Tagliabue, Brochet Lajus Pueyo, Bernard Tschumi and Jean-Michel Willmotte.
Stay tuned for the full interview!
Photos by FG+SG Fernando Guerra and Sergio Guerra.
1. Architects are not leaders
In fact, we wait to follow. Architecture is a service profession. Clients hire us to help implement their vision, if we’re lucky. Or, they hire us because of a legal obligation to have a licensed professional seal a set of drawings, when we aren’t lucky. We don’t define the needs of the community; in fact, we usually don’t even recognize them on our own. We need a patron to guide us. Until then, we wait, for instructions.
2. Architects are not relevant
We are losing (or have already lost) our position in the public conscience. Don’t believe me? Just ask a stranger what an Architect does. They’ll have no idea, or worse, they’ll think Architecture is for someone else; someone with more disposable income; someone with more elite taste; someone more urbane; someone with different priorities; someone else; but not them. We have systematically put ourselves and our profession into the margins of society.
This en-route experience, a three city touring seminar on digital fabrication, draws a diverse group of design participants from afar for a full schedule of exchanges with leading practitioners, practices, fabrication labs… all while exposed to European transit infrastructure: trains planes & even a few mountain roads.
LaN Flight EUROPE marks LaN’s fifth initiative on-the-fly and their first in EUROPE. LaN is looking to attract a geographically diverse group of students & professionals with various design backgrounds. LaN FLIGHT 2011 EU is co-piloted by LaN Monika Wittig & Co-de-iT Andrea Graziano. The cities on the tour include Innsbruck, Stuttgart and Barcelona. For more details on the event, visit their website here.
Architect: MACK Architect(s)
Location: Fuschl, Austria
Project Team: Mark Mack, Matt Bean
Associate Architect: Christian Panek, Panek Architekten, Salzburg
Builder: Christian Unterberger, Bsu Bauservice Unterberger
Client: Zooom Productions
Project Area: 520 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of MACK Architect(s)