OB Houses / Seijo Peon Arquitectos

© Tamara Uribe Manzanilla

Architects Office: Seijo Peon Arquitectos
Location: , Yucatán, Mexico
Architect: Juan Carlos Seijo Encalada
Team: Claudina Peon, Gabriela Arcila, Federico Sauri
Area: 1062.55 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Tamara Uribe Manzanilla

Courtesy of Studio Alfirevic
Courtesy of Studio Alfirevic

Operalab Theatre Pavilion Competition Entry / Studio Alfirevic

Designed by Studio Alfirevic…, their proposal for the Operalab Theatre Pavilion competition represents ‘live’ theater, in which different performances and experiments take place in the field of art. The suggested position of the pavilion is in the fringe area

Folkwang Library / Max Dudler

© Stefan Müller

Architects: Max Dudler Architekt
Location: ,
Project Manager: Alexander Bonte
Client: Duisburg branch of the Building and Real Estate Management Authority
Area: 5,603 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Stefan Müller

Adamsville Regional Health Center / Stanley Beaman & Sears

© Jonathan Hillyer

Architects: Stanley Beaman & Sears
Location: , Georgia, United States
Area: 34,000 sq ft
Photographs: Jonathan Hillyer

Lucky Shophouse / CHANG Architects

© Invy & Eric Ng

Architects: CHANG Architects
Structural Engineer: City-Tech Associates
Landscape : Greenscape Pte Ltd
Year: 2012
Photographs: Invy & Eric Ng , Albert Lim K.S.

Architectural Photographer Balthazar Korab dies at 86

USAFA Cadet Chapel / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill ©

On January 15, 2013, illustrious architect and photographer Balthazar Korab (1926-2013) lost his prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. Although he managed to keep a low profile throughout most of his life, Korab was one of the most prolific and celebrated architectural photographers of midcentury modernism. 

School of Music and Arts / LTFB Studio

© Cosmin Dragomir

Architects: LTFB Studio
Location: ,
Architects In Charge: Lucian Luta, Liviu Fabian
Project Manager: S.C. VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers
Structure: Ductil Tech
Acoustic: Radu Pana, Marius Smighelschi
Constructor: Cam Construct Engineering
Year: 2012
Photographs: Cosmin Dragomir

12th and Alder / GBD Architects

© Josh Partee

Architects: GBD Architects
Location: , Oregon, United States
Design Team: Agustin Enriquez, Jesse Emory, Craig Norman, Matt Fitzgerald, Marcus Lima
Client: Lease Crutcher Lewis
Area: 20,000 sq ft
Photographs: Josh Partee

Proposals Unveiled for Kent State’s new Architecture College

WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal; Courtesy University

Yesterday, the shortlisted teams for Kent State University’s new, $40 million College of Architecture and Environmental Design pitched their designs to the Kent community. From “simple and functional to splendidly provocative”, these proposals offer a range of innovative solutions that will satisfy Kent’s mission to create a modern campus that provides an outstanding academic experience and enriches the greater community of Kent, .

The four finalists, which were selected from 37 international teams, were challenged to design a 122,000 square foot, sustainable exemplar that unites Kent State’s architecture program under one roof, while inspiring interdisciplinary collaboration within flexible learning spaces along the University’s new esplanade.

Get a sneak peak of each proposal after the break.

La Tallera / Frida Escobedo

© Rafael Gamo

Architect: Frida Escobedo
Location: , Morelos,
Proyect Team: Rodolfo Díaz Cervantes, Adiranne Montemayor, Adrián Moreau, Daniela Barrera
Proyect Year: 2010
Photography: Rafael Gamo

Printing 3D Buildings: Five tenets of a new kind of architecture / Neri Oxman

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As a designer, architect, artist and founder of the Mediated Matter group at MIT’s Media LabNeri Oxman has dedicated her career to exploring how digital design and fabrication technologies can mediate between matter and environment to radically evolve the way we design and construct our built world. In this article, which was first published by CNN, Oxman discusses the future of buildings with five tenets of a new kind of architecture. 

In the future we will print 3D bone tissue, grow living breathing chairs and construct buildings by hatching swarms of tiny robots. The future is closer than we think; in fact, versions of it are already present in our midst.

At the core of these visions lies the desire to potentiate our bodies and the things around us with an intelligence that will deepen the relationship between the objects we use and which we inhabit, and our environment: a Material Ecology.

A new model of the world has emerged over the past few decades: the World-as- Organism. This new model inspires a desire to instill intelligence into objects, buildings and cities. It is a model that stands in contrast to the paradigm of the Industrial Revolution, or the World-as-Machine.

While I believe that the new model will eventually become the new paradigm, it coexists for the time being with the old model: our minds are already at home with this new view of the world, but we still employ the building practices and design traditions that we inherited from the industrial era.

For instance, today’s buildings are made up of modular parts and components that are mass-produced and interchangeable. A furniture piece can easily be replaced by a ready-to-assemble kit of parts while a damaged tooth-root or bone can be replaced by the design of a titanium implant.

This model actually works in the same way that a machine does, where transposable parts make a whole. Awesome design machines have been created in this spirit such as composite cars, planes and steel buildings (Le Corbusier’s homage to modern industry by shaping Villa Savoye’s driveway using the exact turning radius of a 1927 Citroen comes to mind.)

But are these complex machines a true reflection of how Nature works? I do not think so. The new sensibility that views the world as an organism challenges us in completely new ways to propose innovative ways of making things. The World-as-Organism implies a continuous living system where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, and parts can grow into other parts. To paraphrase Goethe: “All is Leaf.”

In this spirit, I attempt to characterize this shift by sketching a design credo in five tenets.

1. Growth over Assembly

In contrast to industrial production and the logic of assembly lines, Nature grows things. Think of your own bones and their smooth transition from solid to spongy tissue, from bone into tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Or consider the tree. It is made of a root system that transforms into a trunk that in turn unfolds into branches and leaves, flowers and fruit all by way of differentiating its cells and prescribing different functions to each entity: roots and trunk are structural support, leaves convert light into sugar, fruits give birth. We are learning from trees how to grow buildings.

We are considering the next generation of printers no longer just 3D, but 4D – in other words, in the future we will be able to print objects that will respond to their users, adapt to their environment and even grow over time after they have been printed.

2. Integration over Segregation

The typical facade of a building, like the typical body armor, is made up of discrete parts fulfilling distinct functions. Stiff materials provide a protective shell, soft materials provide comfort and insulation, and – in buildings – transparent materials provide connection to the environment. In contrast, human skin utilizes more or less constant material constituents for both barrier functions (small pores, thick skin on our backs) and filtering functions (large pores, thin skin on our face).

Barrier and filtering functions are integrated into a single material system that can at any point respond and adapt to its environment. Why should a building’s skin be different? We are now considering ways of printing breathable building skins whose pores also contract and expand in relation to the environment.

3. Heterogeneity over Homogeneity

Industrial products are typically made up of a single material property or an assembly of several materials. Cars are made of sheet metal, airplanes of composites, and buildings of concrete and steel. In contrast, homogeneity is something you will never find in the natural world. Take the bone again. It is made up of calcium that varies its distribution according to the load exerted upon it. Inspired by the bone, we are exploring ways to control the spatial distribution of building materials, like concrete, to find intelligent form.

4. Difference over Repetition

Industrial products generated out of the machines that make them consist of repeatable parts with identical properties. In Nature, however, repetition exists only through variation and difference, and every cellular unit is unique: it is due to the bone’s variation of cellular organization that we can conceive of its repeatable elements. Comprehending difference enables us to design repetitive systems – like bone tissue – that can vary their properties according to environmental constraints. As a consequence of this new approach we will be able to design behavior rather than form.

5. Material is the New Software

Our ability to design and fabricate intelligent materials and objects will no longer depend on patching materials with electronics, but rather on our ability to turn material itself into software. Animal hair, a primary source of insulation, provides for a good example.

It responds to low temperatures by causing the hair to stand up, forming a heat-trapping layer above the skin. This sensing function is localized, distributed, and controlled by muscular tissue. It inspires us to embed material with distributed intelligence rather than attach it to an on-off switch.

Beauty Beyond Utility

Beauty is not Number 6 in the credo outlined above. It is the spirit that infuses life into everything.

By this I mean that there is more to printing bones or folding cars than the endorsement of sustainable design. Making things more efficient, faster and cheaper in time is not entirely the point here. Indeed, in most cases the search for utmost beauty will translate into creations of utmost efficiency, revealing the order of Nature.

I propose that learning from Nature, as understood by Leonardo Da Vinci (“… because in her [Nature’s] inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous”), will yield efficiency and sustainability as by-products. It is not a matter of surrendering truth to beauty in design: more often than not we find that they are inextricably linked.

Yes, there is more to the future than printing buildings or growing chairs. Rather, the future lies in questioning what an inhabitable structure is. When we consider printing concrete with variable density as in bones, we do not mean to do this simply to reproduce the same old buildings.

These technologies will enable us to create buildings that are entirely different than the ones that we inhabit today: buildings that will respond to all our physical, animal needs, and also to our spiritual needs. In other words, the aim of printing buildings is not a matter of pouring “new wine into old wineskins” but rather of re-conceiving the entire quest for creating habitat and expressing form.

New technologies will come of age, as has always been the case throughout history. 3D- printing will give way to 4D-printing and it, in turn, will be replaced by synthetic growth, and so on. To me, what will endure beyond the -of-the-day is the paradigm of the World-as-Organism. There is nothing new under the sun, stated Ecclesiasts.

Ancient civilizations also perceived the world as an organism. Yet there is newness under the sun: rather than mimicking Nature, we can now actually design Nature.

Written by Neri Oxman.

For more on the subject, check out How 3D Printing Will Change Our World (Part 1) and (Part 2).

Social Center / Víctor García Martínez Arquitecto

© Diego Opazo

Architects: Víctor García Martínez Arquitecto
Location: Rafelbunyol, Valencia,
Architects Contributors: Daniel Martin Fuentes, Marta Sinisterra Olavarrieta, Cristina Tudela Marco
Area: 930.75 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Diego Opazo

Video: Kenneth Grange, Designer Profile

Esteemed industrial designer is the unsung hero of the design world. His food mixers for Kenwood and cameras for Kodak are found in nearly every house in the country, and all Londoners will have taken a ride in the black taxi-cabs that he designed in 1997. Crane.tv catches up with Grange at the opening of his first retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum and finds out why, even at 82 years old, he will never stop designing. Making Britain Modern runs until 30 October 2011,

Courtesy of Dina Hadi
Courtesy of Dina Hadi

Beirut Multi Art Use (MAU) Project Proposal / Dina Hadi

Designed by architect Dina Hadi…, the proposal for the Beirut Multi Art Use project represents a total art mass from the city with different rhythms and patterns. It becomes a live scene from local artists that is captured into

A47 Mobile Art Library / PRODUCTORA

© Luis Gallardo

Architects Office: PRODUCTORA
Location: City, México
Design Team: Carlos Bedoya, Victor Jaime, Wonne Ickx, Abel Perles
Collaborators: Guillermina Ceci, Lucrecia Sodo, Uriel Piña, Iván Villegas, Charlotte Martinot
Client: Alumnos 47
Area: 20.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photography: Luis Gallardo

Twofold House / BKK Architects

© Shannon McGrath

Architects: BKK Architects
Location: , Australia
Design Team: Tim Black, Julian Kosloff, Simon Knott, Michael Roper, Rory Hyde
Area: 638 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Shannon McGrath

Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Inc. & Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research
Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Inc. & Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research

Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza Winning Proposal / Synthesis Design + Architecture Inc. & Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research

Synthesis Design + Architecture Inc. and Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research Co. Ltd… have been awarded first place in the invited international design competition for the Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza. Their scheme, entitled “Urban Canyon”, embodies the

Briones House / RP Arquitectos

RP Arquitectos © Victor Benitez

Architects: RP Arquitectos
Location: , Veracruz,
Architect In Charge: Rafael Pardo Ramos
Structure Engineering: Gonzalo Zaldo Martinez
Project Area: 600 sqm
Photographs: RP Arquitectos © Victor Benitez