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Who Will Design Our Smart Cities? (Hint: Not Architects)

01:00 - 9 March, 2014
Who Will Design Our Smart Cities? (Hint: Not Architects), The New City of Songdo in South Korea. Image Courtesy of Cisco
The New City of Songdo in South Korea. Image Courtesy of Cisco

Originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Big Data, Big Questions", this article by Alex Marshall examines what is arguably the most important aspect of smart city design: not how they will be created, but who will create them. He finds that, though an apparently new phenomenon, smart cities are just like their forebears in that they are built primarily by political will, not microprocessors.

Not long ago, I bought a beetle-shaped piece of silicone and metal that slips into my pocket and keeps track of how much I walk. Called a Fitbit One, it’s essentially a glorified pedometer. The device’s shell is jammed with hard- and software that lets it talk to my computer and iPhone. It sends me attaboys! on its tiny screen and, most importantly, the gadget talks with my spouse’s Fitbit, which allows us to compete with each other.

The Fitbit is not on anyone’s list of smart-city phenomena, but I would argue for including it, because it’s changing my relationship with the streets I walk in New York City. It also illustrates the pervasiveness of smart technology, and its limitations. For all its coolness—and it is cool—my device is doing something digitally that had already been done well mechanically, and at a lower price. A lot of the smart-cities technology is like this—it’s changing how we do things, but often not what we do.

Read on for more about the changes brought about - or not brought about - by smart cities after the break

Building Carmen Martín Gaite / Estudio Beldarrain

01:00 - 9 March, 2014
Building Carmen Martín Gaite / Estudio Beldarrain, © Francisco Berreteaga
© Francisco Berreteaga

© Francisco Berreteaga © Francisco Berreteaga © Francisco Berreteaga © Francisco Berreteaga +28

Police Headquarters in Logroño / Matos-Castillo Arquitectos

01:00 - 9 March, 2014
Police Headquarters in Logroño / Matos-Castillo Arquitectos, © Hisao Suzuki
© Hisao Suzuki

© Hisao Suzuki © Hisao Suzuki © Hisao Suzuki © Hisao Suzuki +18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Calle Serradero, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
  • Architects in Charge

    Alberto Martínez Castillo, Beatriz Matos Castaño
  • Area

    7858.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

UC Davis Selects SO-IL to Design New Art Museum

00:00 - 9 March, 2014
UC Davis Selects SO-IL to Design New Art Museum, Courtesy of SO-IL
Courtesy of SO-IL

UPDATE: SO-IL has broken ground on UC Davis' new campus art museum. Completion is slated for 2016. 

The University of California, Davis has selected emerging New York-based practice SO-IL to design a new campus’ art museum, which is envisioned to be a “regional center of experimentation, participation and learning.” SO-IL, selected from three finalists following an intensive five-month design competition, will collaborate with San Francisco-based Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and national construction firm Whiting-Turner to complete the project. 

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi believes the winning design has turned the traditional notion of museum design inside out, as SO-IL’s concept will engage visitors with a sequence of interconnected interior and exterior spaces that are defined by curved glass walls and capped with a 50,000 square foot steel canopy. At night, the “Grand Canopy” will illuminate from within, establishing a new focal point for the campus and beckoning drivers along Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.

Calatrava's World Trade Center Transit Hub Fails to Impress

00:00 - 9 March, 2014
Calatrava's World Trade Center Transit Hub Fails to Impress, © Santiago Calatrava, LLC
© Santiago Calatrava, LLC

“How can a $3.94 billion building be made to look cheap?” A small part of Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been opened to the public, and the critics aren’t impressed. According to the New York Times’ article by David Dunlap, the buildings "chunky fixtures" and "rough workmanship" "detract from what is meant to be breathtaking grandeur." Read more, here.

Designs Unveiled for London's Natural History Museum Urban Redevelopment

01:00 - 9 March, 2014
Designs Unveiled for London's Natural History Museum Urban Redevelopment, Team 1. Image Courtesy of Natural History Museum
Team 1. Image Courtesy of Natural History Museum

Following the news last year that five teams had been shortlisted to redesign and reimagine the grounds of London's iconic Natural History Museum (NHM), five anonymous concept images have been unveiled. The brief called for proposals to "reshape the Museum’s grounds and reinvigorate its public setting" with an aim to creating "an innovative exterior setting that matches Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade I listed building and the award-winning Darwin Centre for architectural excellence, whilst also improving access and engaging visitors."

Read on to see the competing teams, including individual concept images from BIG, Stanton Williams and Feilden Clegg Bradley.

SketchUp 2014 Incorporates BIM Capabilities

00:00 - 9 March, 2014
SketchUp 2014 Incorporates BIM Capabilities, Courtesy of Trimble
Courtesy of Trimble

Trimble Buildings Group have recently released SketchUp 2014, the latest version of its 3D modelling platform for architects, engineers, design and construction professionals. With "more than 30 million unique activations in the past year", SketchUp is claimed to be the most widely used 3D modeling software in the world today. The latest incarnation of the simple tool features a new 3D Warehouse and some interesting integrations into the world of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Film Theatre of Catalonia / Mateo Arquitectura

01:00 - 9 March, 2014
Film Theatre of Catalonia  / Mateo Arquitectura, © Adrià Goula
© Adrià Goula

© Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula +30

  • Architects

  • Location

    Catalonia, Spain
  • Architect in Charge

    Josep Lluís Mateo
  • Area

    7515.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

Campus Repsol / Rafael de La-Hoz

01:00 - 9 March, 2014
Campus Repsol / Rafael de La-Hoz, © Filippo Poli
© Filippo Poli

© Filippo Poli © Filippo Poli © Filippo Poli © Filippo Poli +49

  • Architects

  • Location

    Calle de Méndez Álvaro, 50, 28045 Madrid, Spain
  • Area

    123000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

OMA's Latest Prada Catwalk: A Stage Punctuated with Geometric Pockets

00:00 - 9 March, 2014
OMA's Latest Prada Catwalk: A Stage Punctuated with Geometric Pockets, © Agostino Osio / OMA
© Agostino Osio / OMA

For the last decade, OMA / AMO have collaborated with Prada to design their conceptually daring catwalks. We have images of the latest, designed for Milan's Fashion Week, just after the break. For more on this collaboration, you should check out OMA's website as well as Wallpaper's awesome article on how these catwalk collaborations have evolved throughout the years. 

The workshop behind the scenes / Eriksen Skajaa Architects

01:00 - 9 March, 2014
The workshop behind the scenes  / Eriksen Skajaa Architects, © Rasmus Norlander
© Rasmus Norlander

© Rasmus Norlander © Rasmus Norlander © Rasmus Norlander © Rasmus Norlander +15

VIDEO: The Story of Kankwazi, MASS's First Female Master Mason

00:00 - 8 March, 2014

In honor of International Women's Day, MASS Design Group has released the latest in their video series “Beyond the Building,” a visual exploration of the ways architecture impacts lives around the world (see the first in the series here).

The Eileen Gray Movie: E1027, Insidious Chauvinism, and "The Price of Desire"

00:00 - 8 March, 2014

In a public interview, director Mary McGuckian speaks with Shane O'Toole of DoCoMoMo Ireland about her soon-to-be-released film, "The Price of Desire," a biopic about the influential Irish modernist Eileen Gray - narrated from the perspective of Le Corbusier, no less. McGuckian explains how the film and the extensive research behind it went far beyond the usual remit of a biopic. Indeed, not only did it spawn an accompanying documentary ("Gray Matters", directed by Marco Orsini) and book, it even played a pivotal role in the restoration of E1027, Gray's seminal house design, to a point where it was possible to film on location.

NÜBA Restaurant - Club / Emmanuel Picault + Ludwig Godefroy + Nicolas Sisto

01:00 - 8 March, 2014
NÜBA Restaurant - Club  / Emmanuel Picault  + Ludwig Godefroy  + Nicolas Sisto , Courtesy of Nicolas Sisto
Courtesy of Nicolas Sisto

Courtesy of Nicolas Sisto Courtesy of Nicolas Sisto Courtesy of Nicolas Sisto Courtesy of Nicolas Sisto +37

Familistere Guise / h2o architectes

01:00 - 8 March, 2014
Familistere Guise / h2o architectes, © Stéphane Chalmeau
© Stéphane Chalmeau

© Stéphane Chalmeau © Stéphane Chalmeau © Stéphane Chalmeau © Stéphane Chalmeau +31

Exhibition: Where Architects Live

00:00 - 8 March, 2014
Exhibition: Where Architects Live, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas' Home / © Aki Furudate
Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas' Home / © Aki Furudate

A few days ago we showed you some great photos inside the homes of eight famous architects. "Where Architects Live", will be held at Pavilion 9 at the Rho Milan Fairgrounds as part of the Salone del Mobile in Milano.

Milan Expo 2015: Tsinghua University with Studio Link-Arc to Design China Pavilion

01:00 - 8 March, 2014
© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc

Tsinghua University, alongside New York-based Studio Link-Arc, has been announced as winners of a competition to design the Chinese Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Expanding on the Expo’s overarching theme, “Feeding the Planet - Energy for Life,” the pavilion’s “Land of Hope” is centered on the idea that “hope can be realized when nature and the city exist in harmony.” 

AD Round Up: Women Architects Part II

00:00 - 8 March, 2014
AD Round Up: Women Architects Part II, Paramount Alma / Plasma Studio. Image © Hertha Hurnaus
Paramount Alma / Plasma Studio. Image © Hertha Hurnaus

In honor of International Women's Day, we've once again rounded up some stunning architecture designed by female architects (In case you missed Part 1, featuring work by Zaha Hadid, Jeanne Gang, and more, click here).