Minding Design: Neuroscience, Design Education and the Imagination

via , the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

We are primarily biological beings whose senses and neural systems have developed over millions of years. And, although we now spend over ninety percent of our lives inside buildings, we understand very little about how the built environment shapes our thoughts, emotions and well-being. Breakthroughs in neuroscience help us to understand the many ways our buildings determine our interactions with the world around us. This expanded understanding can help us design in a way that supports our minds, our bodies and our social and cultural evolution.

The symposium, Minding Design: Neuroscience, Design Education, and the Imagination, a collaborative effort between the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, brings together renowned architects Juhani Pallasmaa and Steven Holl with scientists Iain McGilchrist and to explore the implications of these advances on the education of those who design our built world.

Lavance Shade Screen / Benjamin Hall & Michael Lavance

Courtesy of & Michael Lavance

The Lavance Shade Screen, a project designed and built by Benjamin Hall & Michael Lavance, was created out of appreciation for the desert climate and its harsh effects on specific materials. This inspiration and architectural concept led to this unique and regionally specific approach in providing much needed shade to a custom residential outdoor barbecue and bar near the downtown of Scottsdale, . More images and architects’ description after the break.

3 American Cities: Future Forecasting

© Wikimedia Commons / Jonik

The AIA recently published a reprint from the National Associates Committee journal Forward by author Wellington Reiter, FAIA. The hot topic essay goes into great detail discussing how three U.S. cities – Detroit, , and – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior.  While in times past these cities have flourished, and grew on the assumption that the trend would continue inevitably, they are sharp reminders of the consequences of naivety in regards to long term sustainability. More after the break.

Phantom Developments of the Southwest

© Wikimedia.org / Gobeirne

During the housing boom in and the surrounding , enormous swaths of land were graded and prepared for endless subdivisions as far as the eye could see. Following the burst of the housing market and prolonged recession, these unfinished construction sites have sat vacant – remnants of unbridled optimism in the Valley of the Sun. A recent article on NPR.org discusses some of the alternative visions for re-appropriating these phantom lots that propagate the greater Phoenix area. Various methods of breathing new life into these chasms left behind include rezoning the numerous residential lots for mixed-use, or tearing up the infrastructure and letting nature take back control. For those unfamiliar with the rapid pace of development that was taking place prior to the recession, Maricopa, a small town just south of Phoenix was approving over 600 residential home permits per month. With an inventory of over 16,000 dedicated to residential homes, the measures that are required to remediate the impact of such an ambitious plan need to be ingenious.

While the Southwest has suffered from the housing bust significantly more than many other states, it will undoubtedly always remain a destination for its unequaled sunny days, warm weather and amazing desert landscape.

See this article on similar circumstances in the Rust Belt region.

Photographs: Wikimedia.org User: Gobeirne
References: www.NPR.org, www.philly.com

Exhibit: Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century

Frank Lloyd Wright at West, 1955. Courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of , Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, studio and architectural campus in Scottsdale, Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum presents Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century. The exhibit will explore Wright and his relevance today through a survey of more than 40 projects shown through rarely seen drawings, models, furniture, films and photographs.

The Arizona exhibit will be open to the public from December 18th, 2011 to April 29th, 2012 at the Steele Gallery in the Phoenix Art Museum.

Tucson-based Architects Line and Space Wins 2011 AIA-Arizona Architectural Firm of the Year Award

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge – © Mike Torrey

Architecture firm Line and Space, has been selected as the 2011 Architectural Firm of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award recognizes a firm that has produced distinguished architecture for over ten years, has made significant contributions to the profession and the community, and has transcended local boundaries in making these contributions. Awarded by an out of state jury comprised of architects, the honor was given to at the Institute’s Celebrate Architecture Awards Gala held in Phoenix on October 22.

AIAS FORUM 2011 To Be Held In Sunny Phoenix Arizona

© AIAS

The annual AIAS FORUM meeting for 2011 will take a break from the snow of the past two years (2009 Minnesota, 2010 Toronto) and be held in sunny downtown Phoenix, Arizona. FORUM is the annual meeting of the AIAS and the premier global gathering of architecture and design students. The conference provides students with the opportunity to learn about important issues facing architectural education and the profession, to meet students, educators, and professionals with common interests, and to interact with some of today’s leading architects through keynote addresses, tours, workshops and seminars, last years was attended by over 1,000 young and ambitious architecture students and AIAS members. This years Keynote Speakers will be Jeffrey Inaba, founder of C-Lab and former project manager with Rem Koolhaas and OMA, Brad Lancaster, author of www.harvestingrainwater.com, and University of Californa, San Diego architect and professor Teddy Cruz.

Musical Instrument Museum / RSP Architects

© Bill Timmerman

Architect: RSP Architects
Location: ,
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 190,000SqFt
Client: Musical Instrument Museum
Design Team: RSP Architects with Rich Varda, FAIA
General Contractor: Ryan Construction
Engineer: Meyer, Borgman and Johnson
Photography: Bill Timmerman

   

AIA Phoenix Metro Home Tour

Cedar Street Residence by © Bill Timmerman

If you are in the Phoenix area this weekend be sure to take in the AIA Phoenix Metro Home Tour tomorrow from 10am to 5pm. The tour will feature seven designs within the Phoenix area that vary in scale and range from contemporary to traditional styles, so there is omething for everyone. Included within this year’s tour is colab studio’s Cedar Street Residence which has been featured here on ArchDaily. After the home tour you may be inspired to take a look at some of the other great architecture in the city. Check out our Architecture City Guide Phoenix for ideas.

Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time or at any on the homes on the day of the tour. A portion of each ticket sold will be given to the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SAARC).

Yuma Heritage Library / Studio Ma

© Bill Timmerman

Architect: Studio Ma, Inc.
Design Team: Christiana Moss, Dan Hoffman, Christopher Alt, Tim Keil, Robert Des Rosiers, Brad Pfahler, Malene Valberg, Stinne Storm
Location: Yuma,
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 21,000SqFt
Project Cost: $3.5M
Client: Yuma County Free Library District
Program Manager: Pinnacle One
Contractor: Brignall Construction
Library Consultant: Michaels Associates Design Consultants
MEP Engineer: Kunka Engineering
Structural Engineer: Rudow + Berry
Electrical Engineer: Woodward Engineering
Lighting Consultant: Roger Smith Lighting Design
Photography: Bill Timmerman

   

GEORGE / Studio Ma

© Bill Timmerman

Architect: Studio Ma, Inc.
Design Team: Christiana Moss, Dan Hoffman, Christopher Alt, Robert Des Rosiers, Brad Pfahler
Location: , Arizona
Contractor: Wespac Construction
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 19,200SqFt
Project Cost: $3.5M
Client: 12th & Missouri, LLC
Civil Engineer: Erie & Associates
Structural Engineer: Rudow + Berry
Mechanical Engineer: Associated Mechanical Engineers
Electrical Engineer: Woodward Engineering
Landscape Architect: Levinson Studio
Soil Consultant: Speedie & Associates
Lighting Consultant: Roger Smith Lighting Design
Photography: Bill Timmerman Photography

   

PRD 845 / Studio Ma

© Michael Weschler Photography

Architect: Studio Ma, Inc.
Design Team: Christiana Moss, Dan Hoffman, Christopher Alt, Robert Des Rosiers, Jonah Busick, Brad Pfahler
Location: ,
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 24,000SqFt
Project Cost: $3.5M
Contractor: UrbanEdge Builders
Client: Greenroof Development Company LLC
Civil Engineer: Evans, Kuhn & Associates
Structural Engineer: Rudow + Berry
Soil Consultant: Foree & Vann
Mechanical Engineer: Associated Mechanical Engineers
Electrical Engineer: Woodward Engineering
Landscape Architect: Levinson Studio
Photography: Michael Weschler Photography

   

Paolo Soleri’s Bridge Design Collection: Connecting Metaphor

© Foundation

“Of all things that are man-made, bridges are, with dams, the most “structural,” single-minded, and imposing. As connectors at a breaking point, they have a heroic force that is aided by a challenging structuralism. As a strand of continuity in a non-continuum, the bridge is full of implied meanings. It is the opposite of devisiveness, separation, isolation, irretrievability, loss, segregation, abandonment. To bridge is as cogent in the psychic realm as it is in the physical world. The bridge is a symbol of confidence and trust. It is a communications medium as much as a connector.”

-, 1970, from “The Sketchbooks of ”, published by MIT Press, 1971

Essence of the Desert House / AU Design Studio

© Amit Upadhye

Architect: AU Design Studio, LLC – Amit Upadhye
Project Team: Amit Upadhye, Trevor Pentecost, Jeremy Smith, Ryu Ikegai
Location: ,
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 6,000SqFt
Structural Engineer: A.E. & Associates
Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: Otterbein Engineering
Electrical Engineer: Tuly Engineering
Contractor: First Choice
Photography: Amit Upadhye

   

Lake Residence / Architekton

© Bill Timmerman, Architekton, CameraWerks

Architect: Architekton
Location: ,
Project Year: 2008
Contractor: 180 Degrees
Structural Engineer: Brickey Design Associates
Mechanical Engineer: Applied Engineering
Electrical Engineer: ASF Consulting
Lighting Design: Darryl Gregg
Landscape Architect: Debra Burnette
Photography: Bill TimmermanArchitekton, CameraWerks

   

Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti : The City in the Image of Man

© www.arcosanti.org

70 miles north of Phoenix, in central Arizona lies an experimental town created by Paolo Soleri, intended to house 5,000 people. Arcosanti is the study of the concept of , which combines architecture and ecology. The intensions of this community is to form a gestalt that houses the relations and interactions that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment.

[OVER]fill / Architekton

©

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Flip a Strip competition challenged designers around the country to re-imagine the suburban strip mall as an urban typology, proposing an alternative to the ubiquitous developments which have emerged as an economic response to a rapidly outward expanding residential market and the availability of inexpensive land.

Camelback Ranch Spring Training Facility / HKS

© Blake Marvin

Architect: HKS, Inc.
Location: Glendale,
General Contractor: M.A. Mortenson
Project Area: 118,000 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Blake Marvin, , Inc