Modernism and socialism formed the powerful spacio-political tandem of the 20th century that shaped much of the urban and rural environments of Central and Eastern Europe, including Estonia and its capital Tallinn. Those environments are still there - like fossils of paradigms, one declared dead, the other exiled. Today we consider them as nothing more than a collection of somewhat interesting material substances or formal oddities - after all, we would rather like to believe this era is not relevant to us today. But is there more to those fossils that we’re not examining?
The architects and researchers that were brought together by the Tallinn Architecture Biennale raised interesting discussion and questions that showed how much intertwined history (in this case, the 1960s to the 1980s) and historical ideas are still with us today, especially in a world where freedom might be just as illusional as it was back then.
Foster + Partners has unveiled a scheme that aims to transform London’s railways into cycling freeways. The seemingly plausible proposal, which was designed with the help of landscape firm Exterior Architectureand transportation consultant Space Syntax, would connect more than six million residents to an elevated network of car-free bicycle paths built above London’s existing railway lines if approved.
"SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city," said Norman Foster, who is both a regular cyclist and the president of Britain's National Byway Trust. "By using the corridors above the suburban railways, we could create a world-class network of safe, car free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters."
As part of their coverage of the Global Agenda Council on Design and Innovation, Grasp Magazine interviewed Joi Ito, director of MIT's Media Lab. He voices his opinion that current strategies for masterplanning do not work, as designers struggle to reliably "predict and cause a future to occur" (a better approach is to enable and empower innovation on a grass-roots level); that designers need to find the right balance between intuition and data; and that new technologies should not just improve existing systems, but preferably overhaul them entirely. You can read the full article here.
Francesco Veenstra, one of six partners at the Dutch practice Mecanoo and Lead Architect on a number of major projects in the United Kingdom, recently spoke to Mies. UK about the practice's approach to design and their unique take on sustainability. Having recently completed a major public building in Birmingham (which was put to the vote and won the AJ's 2013 Building of the Year), and with more in the pipeline, the practice's international outlook is growing. How has the practice's design methodology and core ideas influenced this success? Read more after the break.
In this interview with Grasp Magazine Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, explains his belief that in order to develop solutions to the complex problems found in cities, the only successful approach is from the bottom-up. In order to make this possible, he says, we need to democratize the design process by encouraging and empowering more people to engage in design, by operating with 'codes' rather than 'blueprints' which invite further contribution. Platforms like Kickstarter are one way that this process is already in motion. You can read the full article here.
Architectural photographer Victor Enrich has shared with ArchDaily a series of 88 images — one for every key in the classical piano — exploring the various formal possibilities of the NH Deutscher Kaiser Hotel in Munich, Germany. "I found it beautiful," says Enrich, "to connect two distinct artistic disciplines such as photography and computer graphics with the piano." See further illustrations and read a full description of his thought process following the break.
http://www.archdaily.com/463163/photographer-victor-enrich-reshapes-an-existing-hotel-88-timesJose Luis Gabriel Cruz