It begins with a fundamental premise: Buildings occupy only a fraction of land in cities. Just as important as physical structures, are the public spaces in between.
In many cities these spaces have long been disregarded. Today, however, we are witnessing bold experimentation and innovation coming forth from cities across the globe: cities re-using and re-imagining previously underused spaces in order to uplift communities and transform lives.
Demand for design services in the U.S. continues to increase, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reached its second highest level this year. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), September’s ABI score was 54.3, up from 53.8 in August. In contrast, the new projects inquiry index fell a few points from 63.0 in August to 58.6 in September.
RTKL, a global architecture and design practice, announced its HALO project will be featured as part of the TransformKC Exhibition (October 4th - 25th in Kansas City, Missouri), which seeks to illustrate what the future could look like for Kansas City transit and innovative rail projects. The HALO concept is a modular, five-foot panelized, glass-enclosed, sustainable walkway for bus passengers that will utilize new technology to capture kinetic energy expended from foot traffic - approximately 7 watts per tile per footstrike. More info here.
Last week, we noted how the American Institute of Architect's (AIA) participation with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), as well as it's many other initiatives, signify the organization's commitment to putting resiliency on the agenda. The following article, written by Brooks Rainwater, the Director of Public Policy at the AIA, outlines these efforts and emphasizes how architects are tackling today's most pressing global challenges.
Architects are increasingly demonstrating their ability to help solve large-scale problems in the areas of resilience and health. At the same time the continued ascendancy of social impact design has helped elevate the conversation and prescribed a needed emphasis on equity considerations, uplifting global populations, and the idea that design should be for and impact all people.
With more than 1,000 global leaders convened in New York last week for the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting it is an ideal time to ask the question, how does design fit into the global conversation?
In this article, which originally appeared on the AIArchitect, Sara Fernández Cendón discusses the opportunities and challenges for US architects who are taking advantage of Brazil's infrastructure development boom, particularly in the wake of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Until Brazil was selected to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016, only three countries had hosted both events back-to-back. Successful bids for either event are usually equal parts proof that the country already has what it takes and a promise that it will do whatever else necessary to make things run smoothly.
In Brazil’s case, the “promise” part has generated a handful of projects for architectural firms around the world; Populous is responsible for conceptual design a stadium in the city of Natal, for example. And some observers believe that World Cup building delays could generate a rush of last-minute opportunities for foreign construction professionals. But even if these two headline-grabbing events haven’t been fully planned and designed by foreigners new to Brazil, the country is evolving into an emerging market for American architects, built on its intense thirst for upgraded commercial and transit infrastructure.
The AIA President, Mickey Jacob, FAIA has just released the following statement on the US government's historic shutdown: “The design and construction industry is slowly recovering from one of the worst economic crises in modern history. The last thing we need is the self-inflicted wound that can potentially further damage the economy." To find out just how the shutdown could affect you, check out the AIA's FAQ page here.
Stanley Tigerman, an outspoken force on the Chicago architecture scene, was recently bestowed (much to his amazement) AIA Chicago's highest honour: the Lifetime Achievement Award. "I’ve done some damage to them and I’m aware of it. I’ve challenged them..." he explains to Meg Graham of Chicago Grid. "So that they then turn around in a way and turn the other cheek and give me this award does not go unnoticed by me. And I’m thrilled by it." You can find the full, wonderfully entertaining interview, in which he discusses the award, keeping up in a digital world, and getting older (without becoming "ridiculous"),here.
The AIA has decidedly found its latest buzz word: Resiliency.
Just this week at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, former-president Bill Clinton announced the American Institute of Architects' participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Commitment: an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation to provide 100 cities with "chief resilience offers," responsible for developing and financing new, resilient urban infrastructures. So far, over 500 cities have requested to participate; on December 3rd, the Rockefeller Foundation will announce the winning cities.
The AIA Home Design Trends Survey is out for the second quarter of 2013. Since early 2012, business conditions have steadily been trending upwards, and within the past year alone, residential architects have reported a recovery in nearly every residential construction sector. Taking into consideration the "strong levels of inquiries for new projects, the growing levels of project backlogs, and the uniformly strong readings from firms across all regions of the country," workloads for residential architects are predicted to stay strong for the next quarters and future market conditions will only improve.
Though most architecture firms have benefited from a steady upturn in the economy over the past few years, architect salaries remain low. According to U.S. Census Bureau, architecture firms have experienced a 11 percent increase in revenue from 2011 to 2012. However, as reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the average total compensation for architecture positions—including base salary, overtime, bonuses, and incentive compensation—has increased only slightly over 1 percent per year between 2011 and 2013. This is barely more than the average increase in compensation between 2008 and 2011 when the construction sector was still in steep decline.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has selected five educational and cultural facilities for this year’s CAE Educational Facility Design Awards. The award honors educational facilities that the jury believes should serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client's mission, goals and educational program while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.
The 2013 CAE Educational Facility Design Award winners are:
With slower than expected activity in the nonresidential construction sector in the first half of the year, the projections for growth in spending have been scaled back. Led by the hotel and retail project categories, the commercial sector looks largely unchanged, but a noteworthy drop in demand for institutional projects has caused participants in the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast , a survey of the United State’s leading construction forecasters, to reduce projections for spending to a 2.3% increase in 2013, with next year’s projections raised to 7.6%.
On July 9th, 30,000 prison inmates across California took part in a hunger strike to show solidarity with those incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison, a 'Solitary Housing Unit' in which prisoners are incarcerated - some supposedly for years at a time - in solitary confinement.
Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and its founder Raphael Sperry have made it their mission to make sure that architects are not complicit in designing prisons, even going so far as to form a petition asking the AIA to forbid members from designing execution chambers, 'supermax' prison facilities or solitary confinement facilities, as part of their statement that “members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors.”
At ArchDaily we have already questioned whether it may actually be beneficial for architects to design prisons, rather than allowing them to be designed by less-trained people who could end up designing a space that is even less humane. Now, an article on Blouin Art Info seems to take a similar position: rather than retreating from the business of prison design altogether, architects should try to encourage prison design that facilitates rehabilitation rather than emphasizing punishment.
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) remained positive again in June after the first decline in ten months in April. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 51.6, down from a mark of 52.9 in May. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, up sharply from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.
Key ABI highlights and details on the construction industries remaining threats after the break...
Showcasing the “best of healthcare building design and healthcare design-oriented research,” the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) has unveiled the 2013 recipients of the AIA National Healthcare Design Awards program. Each project is said to exhibit conceptual strengths that solve aesthetic, civic, urban, and social concerns as well as the requisite functional and sustainability concerns of a hospital. See them all, after the break.
"It's not where you start in life, it's where you end up and all the places you went in between." - United States General Colin L. Powell
For the closing keynote speaker of the stimulating, three-day “Building Leaders” convention in Colorado, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected one of America’s most admired public figures to share wisdom and insight to becoming a great leader.
General Colin L. Powell, a first-generation American born from Jamaican immigrants in 1937, is the epitome of the American dream. Starting life in the South Bronx, Powell paved his way to becoming a highly respected, four-star general in the United States Army and the first African American to serve as Secretary of State. A natural storyteller, Powell effortlessly captivated the audience of architects with a series of experiences and lessons he had learned throughout his lifetime of service.
General Colin Powell’s top ten lessons of leadership after the break...
“When you build a beautiful building, people love it. And the most sustainable building in the world is the one that’s loved.” - Cameron Sinclair, Co-founder of Architecture for Humanity
Cameron Sinclair is a man who sustains his passion for helping improve the world, one project at a time, by tapping into the skilled enthusiasm of like-minded architects from all over the globe. Since co-founding of his non-profit organization with Kate Stohr in 1999, Sinclair and his interdisciplinary teams of citizen architects have provided shelter for more than two million people worldwide.
Under his leadership, Architecture for Humanity’s infectious mantra has inspired thousands to join its cause every year, allowing the organization to expand at an unbelievable rate and become the exemplar of public interest design. Considering this, it is no surprise that Sinclair was selected to be the keynote speaker on day two of the 2013 AIA National Convention.
As his speech continued the momentum of yesterday’s inaugural presentation, in which TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie shared his success story of “doing well by doing good,” Sinclair urged architects to hold close the true value of their profession.
Learn what Cameron Sinclair believes to be the true value of architects after the break.