On April 17, Harvard GSD will host this year’s annual interdisciplinary Doctoral Conference, “Data Across Scales: Reshaping Design.” The conference invites design reachers and practitioners to examine the role and potential of data in design. Particularly apt for the technology-centric times of present, “Data Across Scales” focuses on the proliferation of information technologies within personal and professional contexts.
“We produce, share, collect, archive, use and misuse, consciously or unconsciously an immense amount of data,” reads a statement on the conference’s website, “This burst of data production and collection has already had a profound impact on the way we organize ourselves as a community.”
The extreme climatic conditions of the North introduce a design paradox for architects. The fragile environmental conditions require incisive designs that respond to irregular loading from strong winds, heavy snowfalls, avalanche risk zones, and extreme cold. The studio investigated a prototypical design: a unit with sleeping and cooking space for up to eight people, on a mountain site in Slovenia. The talk (on Friday, February 13th) serves as an opening for the exhibition on this project, curated by Spela Videcnik, John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Housing and Urban Development, with Rok Oman, featuring the work of her Fall 2014 studio, displayed on the Experiments Wall (in Gund Hall). Construction of the shelter is planned for summer 2015.
A new exhibition at the Harvard Graduate School of Design by Iñaki Ábalos and Renata Sentkiewicz (Ábalos+Sentkiewicz) will explore Dualisms in architecture: the notion that most historic architecture takes its “composite tension from two theoretically incompatible morphological organisations that correspond to different disciplines or languages.” Suggesting that these organisations can possess elements of “compatibility and incompatibility” simultaneously, the appearance of “a kind of hybrid ‘Frankenstein’s monster’” is characterized by dualism in architecture. For the curators, Dualisms act not only performatively, but also in a creative and composite way. “They are, at once, constraints and formative opportunities.”
National libraries, often monumental in scale and “dominated by nationalistic ambitions and overwhelming architectural details,” will be the subject of a new exhibition opening later this month at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries seeks to examine why national libraries are amongst the most symbolic icons of modern day countries. Amidst the global milieu of the “rapid digitisation of print,” this exhibition aims to shed light on why nations are “vehemently investing resources in the construction of buildings that will project their cultural legacy and house the most precious treasures of their written history.”
The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce the third edition of the Wheelwright Prize, an open international competition that awards $100,000 to a talented early-career architect to support travel-based research. The 2015 Wheelwright Prize will begin accepting applications online on January 5; the deadline for submissions is January 30. This annual prize is dedicated to fostering new forms of architectural research informed by cross-cultural engagement.
Harvard Art Museums have released this time-lapse video of their recently completed four-year renovation and expansion project carried out by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Payette. Filmed from June 2010 – November 2014, the video shows the amount of work that went into renovating, expanding and uniting the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum under the same roof. Watch as snow falls (and then melts) on the construction site in the full video above and learn more about the project here.
Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas’ earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”
During his recent trip to Chile, organized by the Harvard David Rockefeller Center For Latin American Studies, we caught up with the Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), Mohsen Mostafavi, to see what challenges he thinks are facing the future of architecture education and to learn more about his work on ecological urbanism.
“[Architecture is] both a singular discipline, but at the same time it needs to be a collaborative discipline. It’s at once focusing on disciplinary knowledge but at the same time trans-disciplinary practicing; therefore it means that architectural education has to find new venues for collaboration,” he said.
“I think the GSD is very well-positioned to address key societal issues today because first, we’re a very multidisciplinary school in the sense that we believe strongly both in the focus of individual disciplines like architecture, but also on the inter-relationship between architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and urban design. ”
Watch the full interview above to see what else Mostafavi had to say about architecture school, the role of architecture in society and ecological urbanism.
Each year, a select group of prominent artists and architects is elected into the National Academy. As a National Academy Academician, distinguished practitioners are recognized for their “exceptional creative work and contribution to the arts.” This year’s inductees include: Ida Applebroog, Peter Bohlin, Jane Dickson, Preston Scott Cohen, Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss, Eric Owen Moss, Antoine Predock, Martin Puryear, Charles Renfro, Edward Ruscha, and Joan Semmel.
On September 30, Mohsen Mostafavi will present David Adjaye with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, Harvard University’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies, at the Hutchins Center Honors. Since 2000, the Du Bois Medal has been awarded to individuals from across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African-American history and culture. Adjaye is one of nine luminaries receiving this year’s award, including Oprah Winfrey and the late Maya Angelou. More information about the ceremony can be found here.
The following is a re-print from the newly relaunched Harvard Design Magazine. The new approach to the 17-year-old publication is the vision of recently appointed editor in chief Jennifer Sigler and associate editor Leah Whitman- Salkin, in collaboration with creative director Jiminie Ha (With Projects, Inc.). “Do You Read Me?” invites “reading” across disciplinary boundaries, and stakes out an expanded arena for architecture and design dialogue. In her Editor’s Note, Sigler explores “When Walls Are Doors.” Read on to find out how you can win a subscription to HDM.
My favorite book as a child was called Story Number 2. Written by the absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco, it tells the tale of the logical Josette and her enigmatic father, who gives her a lesson in “the real meaning of words”:
“The ceiling is called floor. The floor is called ceiling. The wall is called a door,” Papa explains matter-of-factly.
“A chair is a window. The window is a penholder. A pillow is a piece of bread. Bread is a bedside rug.”
Fumihiko Maki, the Pritzker Prize laureate and 67th AIA Gold Medalist, turns 86 today. Widely considered to be one of Japan’s most distinguished living architects, Maki practices a unique style of Modernism that reflects his Japanese origin. Toshiko Mori has praised Maki’s ability to create “ineffable atmospheres” using a simple palette of various types of metal, concrete, and glass. His consistent integration and adoption of new methods of construction as part of his design language contribute to his personal quest to create “unforgettable scenes.”
Learning doesn’t necessarily need to be formal – or expensive for that matter. Thanks to the Internet and some generous benefactors, you can further your education for free from the comfort of your own home. Top schools such as MIT and Harvard University are affiliated with free online learning resources, allowing people from all over the globe to connect and audit courses at their own pace. In some cases, these services even provide self-educators with proof for having completed courses. Keep reading after the break to check out our round-up of four free online learning resources.
The Holcim Foundation has announced the global jury for the 2015 Holcim Awards, its triennial prize which encourages architects, planners, engineers, project owners and students to share their projects and visions that “go beyond conventional notions of sustainable construction.”
The 2015 prize is the Holcim Foundation’s fourth cycle, and this year will feature a total prize fund of $2 million – a significant increase on their 2012 prize fund of $300,000. To oversee the awards, they have recruited independent experts of international stature, including the Deans of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and ETH Zurich, and Alejandro Aravena of Chilean practice Elemental.
Read on after the break for the full list of jurors and more on the prize
For small firms, design competitions can often feel like a Catch22 - enter and lose precious time and resources (usually for nothing) or avoid them – at the risk of losing out on the “big break.” Now a new class at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design takes on just this quandary, as well as the many other practical, theoretical, and moral implications of architectural competitions for the profession. Learn more at this article at the Harvard Gazette.
“We encounter similarities and difference, but what we encounter more than anything else is how intensely all these seemingly stable elements are evolving in time. Sometimes with acceleration, sometimes with moments of stagnation, but actually they are constantly changing. So what seemed to be a look at the repertoire is actually turning into a look at how nothing is stable.” – Rem Koolhaas
The Harvard GSD has released a video from the Fall 2013 study abroad studio in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The students who relocated to Rotterdam for last year’s fall semester worked on the “Elements of Architecture” exhibition that will open in the Central Pavilion during the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy. Watch Rem and the students reflect on their research, after the break…
Barcelona architect Jose Ahedo of Studio Ahedo has been selected over seven finalists and 200 applicants to receive the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s $100,000 Wheelwright Prize. The travel grant, now in its second year, was awarded to Ahedo for his proposal Domesticated Grounds: Design and Domesticity Within Animal Farming Systems, which focuses on the innumerable environmental and social challenges related to animal farming.
The jury lauded Ahedo’s proposal for “its integrated approach to a broad range of issues, and for his clarity in identifying architecture and design’s potential to shape more sustainable models of production for a global mega-industry.”