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Rodrigo Nino: In Defense of Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding

The 17John Building in New York. Image Courtesy of Prodigy Network
The 17John Building in New York. Image Courtesy of Prodigy Network

As both crowdsourcing and crowdfunding gather momentum in the architecture world, they also gather criticism. The crowdsourcing design website Arcbazar, for example, has recently attracted critics who label it as “the worst thing to happen to architecture since the internet started.” A few months ago, I myself strongly criticized the 17John apartment-hotel in New York for stretching the definition of "crowdfunding" to the point where it lost validity, essentially becoming a meaningless buzzword.

In response to this criticism, I spoke to Rodrigo Nino, the founder of Prodigy Network, the company behind 17 John, who offered to counter my argument. Read on after the break for his take on the benefits of tapping into the 'wisdom of crowds.'

Richard Serra First Artist to Win Architectural League President’s Medal

Richard Serra has been announced as the first artist to win the Architectural League of New York President’s Medal. Serra, an American sculptor known for his large-scale sheet metal installations, was honored for “contributions his work makes to the way we think about space, viewer and object, site, and materiality, concerns relevant to both architects and the artist.”

BCN - NYC Urban Bridge 2014

Throughout 2014, three major New York institutions – the AIA New York Chapter | Center for Architecture, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College – will be hosting exhibitions and programs that will celebrate Catalan architecture in New York City. These events serve as the foundation for “Barcelona-New York City Urban Bridge 2014: A Year of Catalan Architecture in New York.”

The Trust Declares Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion a “National Treasure”

Philip Johnson’s “iconic” New York State Pavilion has been listed as a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This designation, which was announced today at the 1964-65 World’s Fair’s 50th anniversary celebration in Queens, declares the pavilion a “historically, culturally and architecturally important site” and will help raise awareness and funding for its preservation. It is now one of just 44 national sites bearing this recognition.

“In the last 50 years, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has grown from the site of the World’s Fair to the home of the World’s Park,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “As we celebrate this anniversary, it is just as important that we look to the next 50 years and plan for the Park’s future. I would like to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for honoring the New York State Pavilion as a ‘National Treasure’. This designation will highlight the importance of the Pavilion as a national icon, and help us to continue the conversation about how it can best serve Queens’ residents.”

Tour Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion Tomorrow

For the first time in decades, Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion will open to the public tomorrow (April 22) in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, “the Pavilion represents a pivotal time in American history when the allure of putting a man on the moon inspired renowned architect Philip Johnson to create this emblem for Space Age enthusiasm,” described Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

FDNY Marine 9 Barracks / Sage and Coombe

  • Architects: Sage and Coombe
  • Location: Staten Island, NY, USA
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Paul Warchol

© Paul Warchol © Paul Warchol © Paul Warchol © Paul Warchol

Tod Williams Devastated Over Folk Art Museum's Fate

Tod Williams has broke his silence in his first interview since the Museum of Modern Art announced their decision to raze the former Folk Art Museum, expressing devastation that the building will be “reduced to a memory.”

“Yes, all buildings one day will turn to dust, but this building could have been reused,” Tod Williams. “Unfortunately, the imagination and the will were not there.”

Though MoMA has promised to preserve the building’s iconic copper-bronze facade, Williams is concerned it will forever stay in storage. 

Proposals are being suggested on how to resurrect the facade, as the New York Times reported, including a concept from Nina Libeskind, chief operating officer of Studio Daniel Libeskind, and AIA New York executive director Fredric M. Bell that will be presented to MoMA next week. However, Williams expressed disinterest at the idea of installing fragments of the building elsewhere. 

AMLGM Proposes to Top New York Transportation Hubs with Sprawling Tower

Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles of AMLGM have envisioned a new residential tower typology for New York that can connect and transform unused space surrounding various transportation hubs into a dense, mixed-use housing tower. 

The proposal, dubbed Urban Alloy, which won first in Metropolis’ Living Cities Residential Tower Competition and received honorable mention in Evolo Skyscrapers 2014, is capable of responding to a number of unique spacial and environmental situations, providing a new way for the city to grow "organically" and provide adequate housing for the expanding population. 

Read on for the architect's description...

Conference: Cities for Tomorrow

Building resilient and sustainable urban centers. That's going to be the main issue that over 30 speakers will be addressing at the Cities for Tomorrow Conference next Tuesday, April 22 at TheTimesCenter, NY. The event, hosted by NY Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, will feature Shigeru Ban's first public appearance since winning the Pritzker Architecture Prize. His presentation will be on the eve of the conference, on Monday, April 21. Although the reception is invitation-only, we will be live-tweeting the presentation.

Fort Greene Pavilion / O’Neill McVoy Architects

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

AD Classics: New York State Pavilion / Philip Johnson

It is rare to find an architectural project whose history makes such strange bedfellows as the New York State Pavilion: a master architect and millions of exhibition patrons, roller skaters and rock stars, stray cats and Iron Man [1]. For three hours on April 22, in honor of the fifty year anniversary of the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the city of Queens will open the long shuttered gates to Philip Johnson’s most futuristic work. 

the Tent of Tomorrow during the fair. Imagevia People for the Pavillion website © Will Ellis © Marco Catini © Will Ellis

Preparations Begin to Demolish the American Folk Art Museum

Preparations have commenced to demolish Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects’ American Folk Art Museum in New York. Despite international backlash from preservationists, architects and critics, the neighboring Museum of Modern Art will raze the 12-year-old structure in an effort to make way for an expansion designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro. According to recent reports, scaffolding has arrived at the site and will soon be erected in front of the museum’s distinct, copper-bronze facade. More on the controversy, here. 

Launch: PROJECT's Latest Issue

The editors of PROJECT invite you to celebrate the release of Issue Three at common room, 465 Grand St., New York, NY, this Wednesday, April 9 from 7pm to 9pm. PROJECT investigates the possibilities for developing a a critical position in contemporary architecture. Publishing both visual and written work, the goal of PROJECT is to provide a platform for disseminating ideas. 

Barclays Center to be Topped with Massive Green Roof

Developers Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) and Greenland Group have decided to realize SHoP Architects’ original plan to top Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with a 130,000 square foot green roof. Though the design was first disregarded due to budget cuts, the developers have deemed it necessary to enhance the marketability the Atlantic Yards’ three residential towers - the first is currently underway - and dampen the noise from loud concerts. Little details have been released about the green roof’s design, however rumor has it that it might not be open to the public as it was originally intended. 

SOM Chosen to Design New Learning Facility for Barnard College

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has been chosen to design a new teaching and learning facility for Barnard College - Columbia University’s world-renowned liberal arts college for women. The selection committee chose SOM after deeming them the best candidate in three categories: “a history of creative and innovative architecture,” a proven recorded on similar academic projects, and “an internal commitment to woman’s leadership reflected by women holding key roles in the firm.”

Inside the Cool Offices of Manhattan's Tech Companies

With an emphasis on collaborative environments, relaxing atmospheres, and quirky branding, it's always interesting to take a peek into the offices of tech companies, often found in the sprawling, multi-colored campuses of Silicon Valley. But how does this particular brand of interior design transfer to the more cramped spaces of a Manhattan office block? This video by Internet Week NY takes us behind the scenes at Tumblr, About.com and Fueled Collective to find out.

Definitions Series: Risk, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture

Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, Stephen Phillips and Eva Franch i Gilabert will be discussing on the “institutionalization” of “experimentation” and cultural politics and power of taking risks.