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The Long(ish) Read: Walter Benjamin Unpacking his Library

Welcome to The Long(ish) Read: a new AD feature which uncovers texts written by notable essayists which resonate with contemporary architecture, interior architecture, urbanism or landscape design. In this essay, written in 1931, Walter Benjamin narrates the process of unpacking his library. All in boxes, he takes the reader through elements of his book collection: the memories attached to them, the importance he placed on the act of 'collecting' and the process of accumulation, and how objects like books inhabit a space.

Lecture & Panel Discussion: "Building Paradise in California"

Lecture, presentation and panel discussion on the newly published book “Building Paradise in California” about the role that David and Mary Gamble played in creating their winter home and garden with the famed Greene brothers.

SUTD Housing and Sports / LOOK Architects + Surbana International Consultants

  • Consultants : LOOK Architects, Surbana International Consultants
  • Location: Singapore
  • Managing Director: Look Boon Gee
  • Director: Ng Sor Hiang
  • Associate: Lee Liting
  • Team Members : Chow Khoon Toong, Widyanto Hartono Thenearto, Anton Siura, Doan Quang Vinh, Jeff Lau Jeh Farn, Karno Widjaja
  • Area: 46865.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Courtesy of LOOK Architects

Courtesy of LOOK Architects Courtesy of LOOK Architects Courtesy of LOOK Architects Courtesy of LOOK Architects

Housecut / Starpilots

© Satoshi Asakawa © Satoshi Asakawa © Satoshi Asakawa © Satoshi Asakawa

DETAIL Special: Hermann Kaufmann IZM

From the publisher. Illwerke Zentrum Montafon - Next-generation Wooden Construction

The evolution of the largest wood-hybrid construction to date 

The federal state of Vorarlberg holds a distinguished position in wooden construction. The sole renewable building material has given rise to an active and innovative scene here, where tradespeople, planners and industrial enterprises build upon their possibilities and develop their field together.In this dynamic environment, Hermann Kaufmann is one of the key protagonists and has been working with his team to push the material to its limits for decades.

Renderpeople Releases 3D Models "Rosy" and "Dennis" for Free Use

Renderpeople, a company that produces 3D-models of people ready to be rendered in any program, has released two of their models for free, to demonstrate the effectiveness of their product. “Rosy” and “Dennis” are now available through their website, and can be used in any 3D-modeling and rendering software. Unlike other, free sites like SKALGUBBAR and Escalalatina which offer PNG images of people for use with Photoshop, Renderpeople offers detailed, life-like 3D models which can be placed directly into the modeled environments in question.

Seabury Hall Creative Arts Center / Flansburgh Architects

© Matthew Millman © Matthew Millman © Matthew Millman © Matthew Millman

Isaac Asimov on How Creativity Happens

Innovation, rebellion or “the next big thing” – whatever you call it, it seems architects and designers are eternally on the hunt for the idea that will put them on the map: the original thought that is fully and unarguably theirs. In this essay by Isaac Asimov, written in 1959 but only recently published on Technology Review, the scientist and writer poses the question: how do people get new ideas? Though originally written to provoke scientists and engineers working on defense systems, the thoughts and contributions serve as a gentle reminder to all creative classes, of the role of collaboration, play and failure in the design process.

"La Línea Borrosa" Proposes a Shared Space at the US-Mexico Border

In 1971, Friendship Park was created at the western coast of the US-Mexico border, a small strip of land where the United States and Mexico were separated by just a single chain-link fence to offer friends and family in San Diego and Tijuana a place to meet and spend time together. The park was a small acknowledgement of the effect of border politics on human lives; all the same, border politics made a dramatic comeback in 2009, when the US created a second fence, severely limiting access to the park. Eight kilometers (5 miles) to the East, pedestrians wishing to cross the border are funneled alongside twenty lanes of traffic, over a bridge with high fences on either side.

These less-than-ideal conditions led Patrick Cordelle, a bachelor's student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to design "La Línea Borrosa" (The Blurred Line), a combined pedestrian border crossing and shared national recreation space for the Tijuana-San Diego coastline.

Detail of the Spiral Pier's outer skin. Image Courtesy of Patrick Cordelle Roof plan of the Spiral Pier. Image Courtesy of Patrick Cordelle Interior perspective of the Spiral Pier. Image Courtesy of Patrick Cordelle Courtesy of Patrick Cordelle

Crowdfunding Campaign Begins for Homeless Shelter Pods

After winning the 6th annual Space for New Visions competition by FAKRO last month, James Furzer of Spatial Design Architects has begun a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo for his project, “Homes for the Homeless”. The project proposes a series of modular pods which attach to existing buildings, providing a safe space for a night’s rest for the homeless. Extending beyond mere habitation, James Furzer hopes to change the way that the public sees the homeless – of which there are over 750 on any given night in London alone.

Tapas Bar 4 Latas / Pepe Gascon + Víctor Sala

  • Architects: Pepe Gascon , Víctor Sala
  • Location: Carrer de Londres, 99, 08036 Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • Architects in Charge: Pepe Gascón, Víctor Sala Bori
  • Area: 83.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: José Hevia

© José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia

Hornbill House / Biome Environmental Solutions

© Vivek Muthuramalingam © Vivek Muthuramalingam © Vivek Muthuramalingam © Vivek Muthuramalingam

Teach Your Children to Think Like an Architect with Imagination Playground 3D Builder

It's no secret that most architects who are also parents want their children to follow in their footsteps. But how can we encourage our children to think like architects – critically, spatially and creatively? For parents in Manhattan, for the past five years Rockwell Group's Imagination Playground has provided an answer. The educational play system consists of large-scale blocks of varying sizes and uses, allowing children to build whatever they can imagine – without the long hours and deadlines. Now, with the release of Imagination Playground 3D Builder, the creative platform is now available digitally, for free.

Brad Pitt: "I Get This Well of Pride" Over Make It Right's New Orleans Work

The Float House / Morphosis, Make It Right. Image © Iwan Baan
The Float House / Morphosis, Make It Right. Image © Iwan Baan

Ten years ago this month, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf coast of the US, hitting New Orleans the hardest. Two years after the wake of this destruction, after seeing the city's lack of rebuilding progress firsthand, Hollywood star and architecture enthusiast Brad Pitt launched Make It Right, a project set to build 150 houses designed by 20 internationally renowned architects.

Over the past eight years, Make It Right has not only helped to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans—the area struck the hardest by the disaster—but has also began to spread its work to Missouri, Montana, and New Jersey, with more projects coming soon. While the non-profit organization has had success in its endeavors, it has simultaneously faced a great deal of criticism.

In a recent interview with NOLA, Pitt discusses some of these criticisms, reflecting on the growth of the organization, and the changes it has made. Find out about Pitt’s evolving perspective, after the break.

Frank Gehry-designed duplex. Image © Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right Duplex house. Image Courtesy of Atelier Hitoshi Abe Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans. Image © Irina Vinnitskaya Flow House. Image Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners

Joseph Phelps Vineyards / BCV Architects

  • Architects: BCV Architects
  • Location: 200 Taplin Road, Saint Helena, CA 94574, USA
  • Architect in Charge: Hans Baldauf, AIA LEED AP
  • Project Architect / Project Manager: J David Whitfield, AIA, LEED AP
  • Job Captain: Dennis O'Kelly
  • Area: 1579.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Bruce Damonte Photography

© Bruce Damonte Photography © Bruce Damonte Photography © Bruce Damonte Photography © Bruce Damonte Photography