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Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space by Keller Easterling

01:00 - 30 November, 2014
Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space by Keller Easterling, Image courtesy of Verso Books.
Image courtesy of Verso Books.

The following is an excerpt from Keller Easterling's latest publication, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space, which explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world. Easterling is a professor at Yale School of Architecture

The road between Nairobi and Mombasa is lined with, and virtually lit by, advertisements for the mobile phone companies that have entered the region—all promising new freedoms and economic opportunities. With their images of Masai tribesman in native dress phoning from a remote wilderness, the ads employ an essential trope of leap-frogging—the desire for a perfect collapse between technology and nature, tradition and modernity. The billboards express the enthusiasm of a world turned upside down in which not the developed but the developing world has their hands around a majority of the world’s cell phones.

Over the last 150 years, the ocean floor has been laid with thousands of miles of submarine cable of all types for telegraph, telephone, and fiber-optic infrastructure. In the nineteenth century, it took only thirty years for the British cable-laying companies to string the world with telegraph cable, and a little over a decade from the late 1980s to the late 1990s for most of the world to be connected to fiber-optic cable. Yet until recently, East Africa, one of the most populous areas of the world, had no fiber- optic submarine cable link and less than 1 percent of the world’s broadband capacity. A country like Kenya had to rely for its broadband on expensive satellite technology acquired in the 1970s that cost twenty to forty times its equivalent in the developed world. Before 2009, one Mbps (megabit per second) of bandwidth could cost as much as 7,500 US dollars per month against the world average of $200. The monthly cost of putting twenty-five agents on the phone was $17,000 a month instead of the $600–900 that it would cost in other developed countries.(1)

Preschool of Aknaibich / BC architects + MAMOTH

01:00 - 30 November, 2014
Preschool of Aknaibich / BC architects  + MAMOTH, © Frank Stabel
© Frank Stabel

© Frank Stabel © Frank Stabel © Frank Stabel © Thomas Joos +34

Energeticon Alsdorf / Heinrich Böll Architekt + Atelier Brückner

01:00 - 30 November, 2014
Energeticon Alsdorf / Heinrich Böll Architekt + Atelier Brückner, © Thomas Mayer
© Thomas Mayer

© Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer +23

Shop 03 / i29 interior architects

01:00 - 30 November, 2014
Shop 03 / i29 interior architects, © Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers

© Ewout Huibers © Ewout Huibers © Ewout Huibers © Ewout Huibers +18

OFIS Arhitekti Designs Cantilevered Cultural Space for Arvo Pärt Center

01:00 - 30 November, 2014
OFIS Arhitekti Designs Cantilevered Cultural Space for Arvo Pärt Center, Courtesy of OFIS Arhitekti
Courtesy of OFIS Arhitekti

Awarded Special Mention "for its original concept and daring in thinking beyond the set bounds," OFIS Arhitekti's proposal for the Arvo Pärt Center, "MEIE AED" (Our Garden), is a combination of a pine tree, tree house, traditional house, nest, observatory, and floating bridge. A cultural center that incorporates a multitude of programs including concert space, archives, creative space, and a chapel, the building was conceived to converse closely with its forested natural surroundings.

Courtesy of OFIS Arhitekti Courtesy of OFIS Arhitekti Courtesy of OFIS Arhitekti Courtesy of OFIS Arhitekti +37

Video: Olafur Eliasson Discusses the Authorship of Reality in "Riverbed" Exhibition

00:00 - 30 November, 2014

"There are no real things. This is it. We are living in models and that's how it will always be and has always been... Who has authorship of reality? Who is then real?"

In this new video from Louisiana Channel, Olafur Eliasson meditates on the deeply philosophical questions posed by his provocative exhibition, RiverbedDiscussing themes such as the currency of trust, the authorship of reality through choice of perception, and the intricate relationships between museum, art, artist, and viewer, Eliasson sits within his own artificial landscape and recounts the deep inquiries that drive his work. Describing his views on the complexity of trust in the foundational value of the museum as an institution, Eliasson argues for the empowerment of the public. "If an audience feels trusted," he states, "then they dare to get involved."

The Latest 99% Invisible Podcast Will Have You on the “Edge of Your Seat”

00:00 - 30 November, 2014
The Latest 99% Invisible Podcast Will Have You on the “Edge of Your Seat”, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chairs. Image © Flickr user James Davies
Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chairs. Image © Flickr user James Davies

“A Chair is a difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” – Mies van der Rohe

In his latest 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars takes listeners to the edge of their seats (literally), as he tackles one of design’s unique challenges: the chair. From Van der Rohe to Gehry, Hadid, Libeskind and Corbusier, “if they’ve designed a big building, chances are they’ve designed a thing on which to sit,” begins Mars. Yet the complexity of chair design comes from the fact that a chair “disappears when in use...Chairs need to look fantastic when empty, and remain invisible (and comfortable) while in use,” states Mars. And with numerous recent studies showing the negative impacts of sitting too much, innovative chair design is now more important than ever.  

Listen to the full podcast and check out some well-known chairs designed by architects after the break. 

Detail in Contemporary Staircase Design

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
Detail in Contemporary Staircase Design, Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing
Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing

If a building could be thought of as the architect’s manifesto to construction, then the staircase can be seen as the designer’s autograph – a signature flourish that can embody the entire statement of design for a building in a singular structure. Staircases can be flamboyant or understated in design, from refined to rustic in their construction and traditional to unconventional in the materials from which they are built. Whatever their direction, all of the staircases in this collection make an announcement about the building, whether they are intended to subtly blend in with their surroundings or to attract attention and inspire.

This book is a collection of 39 of the most exceptional staircase designs produced across the world over the last ten years. Detail in Contemporary Staircase Design features photographs of the finished staircases alongside technical drawings, illustrating the design and construction of outstanding projects ranging from intricate domestic creations to imaginative public and commercial features and dramatic artistic statements. Each building in this book is conceived by an architect whose all-encompassing vision drives and informs the configuration of each structure, provides a concept that gives direction to the building’s appearance and solutions to each design problem. Every featured staircase should therefore be seen as the distillation of each designer’s approach, encapsulating the motivation and direction of the entire building design. The staircase can be considered as a microcosm of the building.

Meet Archibald, a Cartoon Architect Who Never Gets His Way

01:00 - 29 November, 2014

"Hey dad, when can I become an architect?" says Archie, son of eternally-frustrated architect Archibald, an animated architect  who rarely wins an argument. "Architecture is not a final destination in time, it's a journey through life," Archibald says. His son's response: "Great! I love traveling! When can I buy the tickets?"

"arch." is a weekly online cartoon series by Mike Hermans, an Antwerp-based architect-cartoonist, that follows Archibald through the struggles architects know all-too-well: uncooperative models, angry clients, and periodic encounters with Tarzan, the jungle king. Archibald is a self-professed "visionary and romantic dreamer," while his business partner Gerald is the anti-creative in a constant struggle to ground Archibald's ideas in reality (hint: it doesn't go well). In "arch." study models have lives of their own, resisting modifications by the architect in favour of their own changes while meddlesome interns and junior architects attempt their own project modifications. Frank Gehry even makes a cameo appearance. 

Watch the mini-series in full after the break

Farshid Moussavi on Style, Function, and Physical Space

00:00 - 29 November, 2014
Farshid Moussavi on Style, Function, and Physical Space , © Farshid Moussavi Architecture
© Farshid Moussavi Architecture

In an era in which architectural style is constantly recycled and reinterpreted, how do we know which ideas are original and which characteristics reveal deeper functions? In a recent article by Rowan Moore from The Guardian, architect Farshid Moussavi discusses fashion, function, and physical space as they relate to the concepts of her latest book The Functions of Style, which examines style in architecture beyond external appearance with a belief that style is rooted in a building's organizational ideas. Consequently, says Moore, each of Moussavi’s works are unique and do not rely on repeating trademark artistic moves. To learn more about how Moussavi’s philosophy is embodied in her most recent works, along with her belief in the power of physical space in a virtual world, read the full article on The Observer here

Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d'Architecture Guiraud-Manenc Design Sculptural Tourism Office in France

00:00 - 29 November, 2014
Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d'Architecture Guiraud-Manenc Design Sculptural Tourism Office in France, © Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d’Architecture Guiraud-Manenc
© Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d’Architecture Guiraud-Manenc

French firm Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d'Architecture Guiraud-Manenc has earned second place for a competition to design the new tourism office for "Les Pays de Fontenay le Compte France." Designed to encourage tourism in South Vendée, the design merges a contemporary style with a consideration for the historic and artistic identity of the area.

© Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d’Architecture Guiraud-Manenc © Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d’Architecture Guiraud-Manenc Section Master Plan +7

Lottersberger House / Estudio Irigoyen, Navarro Arquitectos

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
Lottersberger House / Estudio Irigoyen, Navarro Arquitectos, © Federico Cairoli
© Federico Cairoli

© Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli +27

Dar Mim / Septembre Architecture

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
© Sophia Baraket
© Sophia Baraket
  • Architects

  • Location

    Hammamet, Tunisia
  • Project Manager

    Memila Belkaid
  • Assistant Architects

    Emilia Jansson, Sami Aloulou, Dounia Hamdouch, Lina lagerstrom,
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Sophia Baraket © Sophia Baraket © Sophia Baraket © Sophia Baraket +21

House in Hampstead / Cullinan Studio

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
House in Hampstead / Cullinan Studio, © Paul Raftery
© Paul Raftery

© Paul Raftery © Paul Raftery © Paul Raftery © Paul Raftery +19

  • Architects

  • Location

    Hampstead, London NW3, United Kingdom
  • Project Architect

    Kevin Goh
  • Project Director

    Carol Costello
  • Area

    100.0 sqm
  • Photographs

The 9 Most Controversial Buildings of All Time

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
The 9 Most Controversial Buildings of All Time

It is now just over a year since the unveiling of Zaha Hadid's Al-Wakrah Stadium in Doha, Qatar, and in the intervening twelve months, it seems like the building has never been out of the news. Most recently, remarks made by Hadid concerning the deaths of construction workers under Qatar’s questionable working conditions created a media firestorm of legal proportions. Hadid’s stadium has been widely mocked for its ‘biological’ appearance, not to mention the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for which the stadium will be built, has encountered a storm of controversy all of its own.

The criticism surrounding Al Wakrah has prompted us to look far and wide for the world’s most debated buildings. Could Al Wakrah be the most controversial building of all time? Check out ArchDaily’s roundup of nine contenders after the break.

Find out which buildings top our controversial list after the break

LAVA Reinvents the Youth Hostel With Sport Oriented Design in Bayreuth

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
LAVA Reinvents the Youth Hostel With Sport Oriented Design in Bayreuth , Courtesy of LAVA
Courtesy of LAVA

Berlin-based Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) has designed a 180-room hostel for the Bavarian Youth Hostel Association in Bayreuth, Germany. Designed for the sociable Generation Y traveler, the hostel offers an abundance of flexible public spaces featuring bright colours and soaring windows overlooking the Bavarian landscape. Touted by the firm as a "yardstick for the sports hostel of the future," the futuristic building includes modular furniture and universal step-free access throughout all facilities, grounds, and sports fields. Circulation for the design centres on a Y-shaped plan designed to maximize natural light light while providing ample opportunities for athletic engagement.

Find out more about Bayreuth's futuristic Youth Hostel after the break 

A view of the modular bedroom units. Image Courtesy of LAVA Courtesy of LAVA Courtesy of LAVA The central atrium will unite the building's three wings. Image Courtesy of LAVA +16

Loft B / Tomas Ghisellini Architects

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
Loft B / Tomas Ghisellini Architects, Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architects
Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architects

Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architects Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architects Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architects Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architects +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
  • Area

    270.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architects

Clovelly House / Rolf Ockert Design

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
Clovelly House / Rolf Ockert Design, © Sharrin Rees
© Sharrin Rees

© Sharrin Rees © Sharrin Rees © Sharrin Rees © Sharrin Rees +34