City As A Vision: Tribute to Michel Ragon

Architects Souk Mirage, 2013 © Architects. Image Courtesy of FRAC Centre

Architects have always questioned what the cities of the future will look like. In the 1960s and 70s, one of the most prominent advocates of this field of “futurology” within architecture was historian and critic Michel Ragon. In an upcoming exhibition entitled City As A Vision, the FRAC Centre pays tribute to Ragon by presenting both historical and prospective urban concepts by architects throughout the last fifty years.

Drawings from Famous Architects’ Formative Stages to be Exhibited in St. Louis

Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum

As a student of architecture, the formative years of study are a period of wild experimentation, bizarre use of materials, and most importantly, a time to make mistakes. Work from this period in the life of an architect rarely floats to the surface – unless you’re Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, that is. A treasure trove of early architectural drawings from the world’s leading architects has recently been unearthed from the private collection of former Architectural Association Chairman Alvin Boyarsky. The collection is slated to be shown at the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, as a part of the exhibition Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association from September 12th to January 4th, 2015.

Take a look at the complete set of architects and drawings for the exhibition after the break.

“Expansion and Conflict”: 13th International Docomomo Conference 2014

Courtesy of Docomomo International

How has the advancement of the Modern Movement design ethos, through geo-political expansion from the Western world, challenged the cultural foundation and aesthetic heritage of Asia?

The 13th International Docomomo Conference, hosted in Asia for the first time, seeks to explore the powerful complexities of expansion and conflict. Examining the effects of the expansion of a Eurocentric design philosophy into distinctly individual, pre-existing yet violently colonized cultures, the organization declares that “conflict is not necessarily a pejorative but…a challenge for the future.”

Spatial Relations Take Centre Stage in MoMA’s Newest Architectural Exhibition

Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium, Beijing. 2008. Image © Iwan Baan

What influence do art and space have on the contemporary architectural design process? MoMA‘s most recent on architecture and design Conceptions of Space strives to answer this question. Themed under the umbrella of spatial relations, Curator Pedro Gadanho ruminates on the subject in a broad and philosophical sense. The exhibition delves into the topic using an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating research from French philosopher Michel Foucault on the subject of the expanded field. The exhibition aims to explore the relationship between the development of space and its deep-seated roots in the creative arts.

Hello Wood 2014 Invites Student Teams to ‘Play With Balance’

© Tamás Bujnovszky

Set in the bucolic fields of Csórompuszta in the Hungarian countryside, the annual Hello Wood camp was recently back for its fifth year. Every year, students have one week to create wooden installations under the instruction of specially selected tutors, each of whom provide an outline idea of a project in response to a theme. This time around the challenge from the organizers was to “play with balance,” which generated ideas that investigated the balance between opposing concepts – but also generated a whole lot of play, too. See all 14 of the weird and wonderful results after the break.

Venice Biennale 2014: KAAN Architecten to Present “PLANTA”

Site. Image © Armin Linke 2012

This year at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, KAAN Architecten will present a Collateral Event featuring PLANTA – a partially subterranean space that will be dedicated to multidisciplinary artistic production and built within the confines of the “La Plana del Corb” quarry in Balaguer (Lleida, Spain) by 2016. Designed for Grupo and Fundació Sorigué, PLANTA is not only a building, but a concept; a concept in which is the “culmination of the desire to give back, to return through a balanced tension between art, institution, knowledge, ecology and manufacturing.”

2014 London Festival of Architecture Explores the Theme of “Capital”

The 2014 London Festival of Architecture opened this week, with over 200 running throughout the city in the month of June. This year’s theme is “Capital”, an intentionally ambiguous theme which allows an exploration of the culture, people, economy and built environment of London. Some of the key topics to be interrogated will be the housing crisis afflicting London and the recent boom in the construction of tall buildings.

Read on after the break for more on the festival and some of its headline events

Rio to Host TEDGlobal 2014

Courtesy of

The world is experiencing exponential growth and Rio de Janeiro, a true megalopolis of six million people, is a prime example. Thus, TEDGlobal 2014 has announced they will be “setting up shop” in Rio’s Copacabana Beach theater in the search to find “fresh thinking” in emerging geographies.

More than 40 speakers and performers have confirmed their attendance, each focusing on the “many facets of the Global South’s rise in influence and power” and relevant new stories from around the world.

Register here and continue after the break for complete list of confirmed speakers and Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes’ TED Talk “Four commandments of ”…

A Star-Studded Speaker Lineup for UIA’s World Congress 2014

In August of this year, the International Union of Architects (UIA) will once again host their World Congress, a triennial event that focuses on one critical topic in our architectural culture. Whereas the Tokyo 2011 Congress was focused on the future, this year’s congress in Durban will concentrate not on a different time but a different place: the “otherwhere”, or as they put it, the “anywhere-but-here”. The Congress will explore ideas about how connectivity might shape our experience and alter the course of our social progress.

Read on for more about the themes of the 25th World Conference and the Keynote Speakers…

Reinier de Graaf, Ma Yansong to Speak at Biennale’s Greenhouse Talk

Recent work from panel members. Image Courtesy of Greenhouse Talks

Greenhouse Talks, an auxiliary public lecture series to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, will take place on Thursday, June 5th and Friday, June 6th between 9:00 and 11:00am. During each session, an international panel of professionals – including the founder of MAD Architects, Ma Yansong, and the director of AMO, Reinier de Graaf – will discuss a topic pertaining to Rem Koolhaas‘ chosen theme for the Biennale: Fundamentals. The first day of discourse will focus on the future of the architectural profession, investigating the potential influence of the market crisis and the intersection of architecture with other disciplines. The second will reflect on the representation of architecture, considering the Western practice of exhibiting architecture projects in museums, institutes, and biennial and what this practice’s adoption might mean for the East. For the full list of panel members and event details, read on after the break.

Contextualism: Dead or Alive?

Courtesy of School of Architecture

In a symposium to be held this week at the Manchester School of Architecture, Contextualism: Dead or Alive? will explore the importance of contextualism in contemporary architecture. Five key speakers will be featured, presenting papers discussing context both in its purest theoretical form and how it might be addressed in practice. From debating the significance of building traditions (Jonathan Foyle) to how Mecanoo, who recently completed the Library of Birmingham, have approached contextualism in the UK (Ernst ter Horst), the symposium will endeavor to uncover the ties between architecture and the wider urban realm.

MEXTRÓPOLI: The First International Festival of Architecture & the City

Building upon its 15 years of experience, the Arquine Conference presents MEXTRÓPOLI, a festival that will position as an epicenter of architecture and a leader in creative transformation.

MEXTRÓPOLI is a critical project that will encourage and promote culture, urban regeneration, and the artistic heritage of city.

MEXTRÓPOLI will host over 30 academic, cultural and tourist activities, held principally in the historic center of the city.

MEXTRÓPOLI invites the public to connect to the city in six different ways:

2013 PARK(ing) Day Map


View PARK(ing) Day 2013 Ponce in a larger map

Today, September 20th, citizens, artists and activists have transformed hundreds of metered parking spaces worldwide into temporary public places with mission to call attention to the need for more open space. Since the establishment of PARK(ing) Day in 2005, by the San Francisco art and design studio Rebar, PARK(ing) Day has quickly become an international phenomenon. In 2011, close to 1000 parks were created in 162 , 35 countries and 6 continents.

Whether you are a participator or an observer this year, be sure to check out the official PARK(ing) Day Map and see what may be happening in your area of town. Learn how to map your park here.

Watch TEDCity2.0: Dream me. Build me. Make me real.

Live Stream

Calling all urban innovators, organizers, stewards and builders: Today, September 20th, from 9am to 5pm EST, curators Chris Anderson, John Cary and Courtney Martin will kick off TEDCity2.0: Dream me. Build me. Make me real. The day-long event, which will be live-streamed for free, will share stories of urban ingenuity and interdependence from across the globe, while featuring an unexpected mix of over 20 speakers, including walkability expert , world renowned architectural photographer Iwan Baan, and several 2012 City 2.0 Award winners. View the event program for more details.

20 Architects Design a Dolls’ House for KIDS

Inside Out House. Image © Coffey Architects

Inspired by the dolls’ house that Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire in 1922, twenty British practices are each designing a contemporary dolls’ house in aid of the disabled childrens’ charity KIDS. Each version will sit on a 750mm square plinth to be exhibited during this year’s London Design Festival (14th – 21st September, 2013) before being auctioned. Each design must contain “a unique feature to make life easier for a child who is disabled.”

UBM Future Cities’ Interview with Jan Gehl Streams Live Tomorrow

Renowned architect, urban design consultant, and founding partner of Gehl Architects, Jan Gehl will participate in a 30-minute audio interview on August 14 with UBM’s Future . During the program, and in advance of his keynote at the upcoming Future of Cities Forum, Gehl will discuss building cities for people, the importance of public spaces that promote public life, and how to design cars out of our future cities. Listeners can stream the conversation live and directly ask Gehl questions via a live chat discussion here

Never Built: Los Angeles

Frank Lloyd Wright, Huntington Hartford Athletic Club, 1947 (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)

After years of extensive research that unearthed countless untold stories and hundreds of beautiful unbuilt designs, curators Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin will be celebrating the opening of their highly anticipated Never Built: Los Angeles - today at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles.

City Works: Provocations for Chicago’s Urban Future

Drawing Detail of “Free Water District” by UrbanLab: Free-Water-District: A shared megastructure-scaled public/private land/water partnership to revitalize the post-industrial landscape of the Great Lakes region.

City Works: Provocations for Chicago’s Urban Future, an that debuted last year at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice (2012), has returned to the city of its origin. Currently on display though September 29th at the City of ’ Expo 72 Gallery, the exhibition re-envisions a series of typical Chicagoan urban environments in an effort to examine alternative ways in which architecture can engage the city.