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Keep Talking Kanye: An Architect's Defense of Kanye West

I may be in the minority among my peers, but I want Kanye West to keep talking. Despite the many who despise, disparage or dismiss him—unwilling or unable to properly digest what he’s saying, consuming bite-sized quotes and late-night parodies instead of engaging him in intellectual discourse—I want him to keep talking.

As a black man and an architect (one of about 2,000 in this country who can claim membership to both those groups), I am particularly cognizant of the Truman Show wall that exists between architects and recognition, and between black architects and acceptance. West's recent interview with Zane Lowe administered reflections on design, architecture and the creative process in a dosage too high for most to swallow. I am tripping over myself with fear and excitement at the prospect of having such a powerful mouthpiece for a generation of black architects and designers who share his frustration and connect with his message.

Why? Because when Kanye West talks, people listen.

Young Architect of the Year Award Shortlist Announced

This week the shortlist for this year's Young Architect of the Year Award (YAYA) was announced. The YAYA, organized by BD and now in its 15th year, has become a high-profile springboard for many practices led by architects under 40.

For the first time, this year the award is open to architects from outside the UK, allowing any practice based in the EU a chance to apply. The shortlist reflects this new opportunity, featuring practices from Belgium and Spain among the list of five.

The 2013 YAYA Shortlist includes:

Carrera's farmhouse barn / Arnau Vergés Tejero

Courtesy of Arnau Estudi d’Arquitectura Courtesy of Arnau Estudi d’Arquitectura Courtesy of Arnau Estudi d’Arquitectura Courtesy of Arnau Estudi d’Arquitectura

La Pedrera Block House / G + Gualano Arquitectos

Courtesy of Marcelo Gualano Courtesy of Marcelo Gualano Courtesy of Marcelo Gualano Courtesy of Marcelo Gualano

Think Space announces 2013/14 Cycle Theme: MONEY / First Competition on the Cycle: TERRITORIES

After two successful cycles, Zagreb Society of Architects organized the 3rd edition of the international series of concept based architectural competitions entitled 'Think Space'. So far, the program hosted a number of established architects and curators and it continues to re-think space in the 2013|2014 season.

The new theme Think SpaceMONEY [The Echo of Nothing] was devised by Ethel Baraona Pohl and César Reyes Nájera of dpr-barcelona; architects, writers, editors, publishers, bloggers and guest curators of the third cycle.

Throughout the new season of competitions and papers, Think Space will be looking for pioneering works at the intersection of architecture, sociology, economics, programming and marketing that radically challenge the fundamental spatial, social and urban relation based on capitalism. The competitions and Call for Papers will focus on territories, environment, culture and society through MONEY lenses, as observed by architects and other visual artists and professionals.

More information on the first of competitions, Territories, after the break.

Barbecue in the woods / Santiago Viale, Daniella Beviglia

  • Architects: Santiago Viale, Daniella Beviglia
  • Location: Córdoba, Córdoba Province, Argentina
  • Collaborators: Marcelo Beviglia, Edgar Ermoli, Margarita Cornejo, Clara Delfino. Damian Durando y Cecilia Gaisan
  • Project Area: 95.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photography: Lescano + Beviglia

© Lescano + Beviglia © Lescano + Beviglia © Lescano + Beviglia © Lescano + Beviglia

Metalsa / Brooks + Scarpa Architects

  • Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Architects
  • Location: Monterrey IT Cluster, Parque de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
  • Area: 55000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Architects

Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Architects Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Architects Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Architects Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Architects

O. Fournier Winery / Bórmida & Yanzón

  • Architects: Bórmida & Yanzón
  • Location: La Consulta, Mendoza Province, Argentina
  • Project Architects: Eliana Bórmida, Mario Yanzón
  • Project Area: 12000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photography: García & Betancourt

© García & Betancourt © García & Betancourt © García & Betancourt © García & Betancourt

2013 MASterworks Awards

To celebrate excellence in architecture and urban design in New York City, the Municipal Art Society has announced the winners of this year’s MASterworks Awards. Starting with “Best New Building,” Steven Holl was awarded for his Campbell Sports Center in Manhattan. See who else was honored, after the break.

Family House R / LABOR13

Courtesy of LABOR13
Courtesy of LABOR13
  • Architects: LABOR13
  • Location: Prague, Czech Republic
  • Architect In Charge: Martin Vomastek, Jakub Vrtiška
  • Area: 136.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of LABOR13

Courtesy of LABOR13 Courtesy of LABOR13 Courtesy of LABOR13 Courtesy of LABOR13

New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects

© Adam Mørk
© Adam Mørk

© Adam Mørk © Adam Mørk © Adam Mørk © Adam Mørk

Gehry Confirms His Return to LA's Grand Avenue Project

The Los Angeles Times' Christopher Hawthorne may have hoped for (and indeed hinted at the possibility) of Frank Gehry's return to the Grand Avenue Project, the long-awaited plan to develop the stretch of land east of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but now the speculation has finally become fact. Speaking last week at a panel discussion meant to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Disney Hall, Gehry finally put the rumors to rest.

More details, after the break. 

Casa AR / Lucio Muniain et al

  • Architects: Lucio Muniain et al
  • Location: Avenida Valle Verde, Club de Golf Bellavista, Ciudad López Mateos, State of Mexico, Mexico
  • Collaborators: Lucio Muniain, Marielle Rivero, Mario Hernández y Luis Valdez.
  • Engineering: Ing. Hugo Miranda
  • Area: 875.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Onnis Luque

© Onnis Luque © Onnis Luque © Onnis Luque © Onnis Luque

House in Shimomaruko / atelier HAKO architects

Courtesy of atelier HAKO architects
Courtesy of atelier HAKO architects
  • Architects: atelier HAKO architects
  • Location: Shimomaruko Station, 3 Chome-7 Shimomaruko, Ota, Tokyo, Japan
  • Architects In Charge: Yukinobu Nanashima, Tomomi Sano
  • Structural Engineer: Shin’itsu Hiraoka / Hiraoka Structural Engineers
  • Project Manager: Zaus Co.,ltd
  • Area: 63.03 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of atelier HAKO architects

Courtesy of atelier HAKO architects Courtesy of atelier HAKO architects Courtesy of atelier HAKO architects Courtesy of atelier HAKO architects

Mountain Moon / Chin Architects

  • Architects: Chin Architects
  • Location: 116, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wenshan District, Lane 13, Bǎoyí Road, 3號3樓 Taipei Municipal Library Mu-Cha Branch
  • Design Team: I-Ju Chin, Hung-I Lin, Hung-Nan Chu, Mu-Chen Chan, Shen-Hung Chiang, Hsin-Ping Cho, Chun-Chun Yang, Fei-Chun Ying
  • Building Contractor: Pacific Construction Co., LTD
  • Area: 3053.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Jeffrey Cheng

© Jeffrey Cheng © Jeffrey Cheng © Jeffrey Cheng © Jeffrey Cheng

25hours Hotel Vienna / BWM Architekten

© Rupert Steiner
© Rupert Steiner
  • Architects: BWM Architekten
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Area: 12900.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Rupert Steiner

© Rupert Steiner © Rupert Steiner © Rupert Steiner © Rupert Steiner

ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany

ACME has won an international competition for the design of the new headquarters of the Sächsische AufbauBank in Leipzig, Germany. Chosen from submissions by 20 architectural practices (including Zaha Hadid and Sauerbruch Hutton), ACME's design was referred to by the jury as "an innovative and [...] a visionary solution, which is manifested in a striking, distinctive appearance. Especially noteworthy is the symbiotic unity of building and open space design." 

Reviving Beijing's Hutongs with Micro Installations

The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright documents the current trend of micro-scale installations spurring new life into the historic hutongs of Beijing and gaining support from the local communities, eager to reject the economic pressures of destroying/rebuilding. The local government’s endorsement, however, comes as a surprise - especially considering its fervent impetus to raze these areas just a few years ago. Read the full article here: Designers Use 'Urban Acupuncture' to Revive Beijing's Historic Hutongs.