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7 Ways Architects Can Work Toward Carbon Neutral Buildings by 2030

09:30 - 21 April, 2017
7 Ways Architects Can Work Toward Carbon Neutral Buildings by 2030, Image composite by Micke Tong
Image composite by Micke Tong

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "7 Tactics for Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge and Beyond."

As the impacts of global climate change escalate, forward-thinking architecture firms have committed to being part of the solution. Increasingly, these firms are signing on to the 2030 Challenge and American Institute of Architects’ supporting initiative, AIA 2030 Commitment, which provide a framework to reduce fossil-fuel dependence and make all buildings, developments, and major renovations carbon neutral by 2030.

The 2030 Challenge has been adopted by 80 percent of the top 10 and 65 percent of the top 20 architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the United States, as well as many state and local government agencies. Among these are Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR), a New Orleans–based architecture and planning firm; HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm; and CTA Architects Engineers, an integrated design, engineering, and architecture firm with offices throughout the Western United States and Canada. Here, five professionals from EDR, HOK, and CTA share seven key tactics they’ve employed to move toward the 2030 target—and a sustainable future for the planet.

KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars

09:30 - 21 March, 2017
KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars, The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake
The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Life on Mars? Architects Lead the Way to Designing for Mars With Virtual Reality."

If an architecture firm is lucky, it can hit two birds with one stone on a single project—for example, prioritizing both historic preservation and energy efficiency. But a team at KieranTimberlake, based in Philadelphia, is aiming for four ambitious goals with its pro bono project, the Mars City Facility Ops Challenge.

Architects Fátima Olivieri, Efrie Friedlander, and Rolando Lopez teamed up with National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), NASA, and the Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) to create a virtual working city on Mars—one that might reap multiple rewards.

Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself

09:30 - 15 February, 2017
Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself, X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani
X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Haresh Lalvani on Biomimicry and Architecture That Designs Itself."

It’s the holy grail for any biomimicry design futurist: buildings and structures that use generative geometry to assemble and repair themselves, grow, and evolve all on their own. Buildings that grow like trees, assembling their matter through something like genomic instructions encoded in the material itself.

To get there, architecture alone won’t cut it. And as such, one designer, Haresh Lalvani, is among the most successful at researching this fundamental revision of architecture and fabrication. (Or is it “creation and evolution”?) He employs a wildly interdisciplinary range of tools to further this inquiry: biology; mathematics; computer science; and, most notably, art.

Xurf Curved Space, 2008. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani Xurf Ripples, 2007. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani This self-shaping example from 2009—with its variable openings—has implications for building facades, ceilings, and wall systems. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani A number code laser-cut into this GR FLORA series from 2012 established the self-shaping process. As Lalvani's team changed one number of the code, the perimeter edge increased in relation to the area of the surface, and it crumpled. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani +11

5 Techniques to Incorporate Solar Panels into Your Architecture Beautifully (Not as an Ugly Afterthought)

09:00 - 8 February, 2017

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "5 Ways to Design Solar Architecture Beautifully—Not as an Ugly Afterthought."

No one puts solar panels on their house because they’re sexy—at least, not yet.

Jon Gardzelewski, an architect and associate lecturer at the University of Wyoming in the Building Energy Research Group (UW-BERG), wants to change that. He believes the fact that solar panels are usually an afterthought to the design of a building is a big barrier to integrating them into a critical mass of houses and buildings.

4 Tips to Get Started With Virtual Reality in Architecture

09:30 - 22 December, 2016
4 Tips to Get Started With Virtual Reality in Architecture, Image from the <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/772156/exhibition-drawn-to-the-future'>"Drawn to the Future" exhibition</a> held at The Building Centre in London in 2015. Image © Agnese Sanvito
Image from the "Drawn to the Future" exhibition held at The Building Centre in London in 2015. Image © Agnese Sanvito

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication.

You are walking through an elegant house, admiring the large living-room windows, the paintings on the wall, and the spacious kitchen. Pendant lights cast a soft glow, the terrazzo flooring gleams beneath your feet, the furnishings feel inviting. Then you take off the virtual-reality goggles and resume your meeting.

This scenario is becoming increasingly common as more architects incorporate virtual reality (VR) into their practices. Along with its cousins—augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR)—virtual reality allows designers to push the boundaries of visualization, giving colleagues and clients new ways to experience and understand a building or space long before it is actually built. With VR, architects can transmit not just what a building will look like, but also what it will feel like.

These Architectural Playscapes Provide Therapy for Children with Autism

09:30 - 17 December, 2016
© Sean Ahlquist, University of Michigan
© Sean Ahlquist, University of Michigan

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Architecture for Autism Could Be a Breakthrough for Kids With ASD."

Good architects have always designed with tactile sensations in mind, from the rich wood grain on a bannister, to the thick, shaggy carpet at a daycare center. It’s an effective way to engage all the senses, connecting the eye, hand, and mind in ways that create richer environments.

But one architecture professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is working on a tactile architecture-for-autism environment that does much more than offer visitors a pleasing and diverse haptic experience: It’s a form of therapy for kids like 7-year-old daughter Ara, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

From Dead Space to Public Place: How Improving Alleys Can Help Make Better Cities

09:30 - 15 December, 2016
From Dead Space to Public Place: How Improving Alleys Can Help Make Better Cities

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Reincarnated Architecture: Through Green Alleys, Dead Space Can Live Anew."

How Toyo Ito is Embarking on a "New Career Epoch" With Small-Scale Community Architecture

09:30 - 18 November, 2016
How Toyo Ito is Embarking on a "New Career Epoch" With Small-Scale Community Architecture, Steel Hut, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture in Omishima, Japan. Image © Daici Ano
Steel Hut, Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture in Omishima, Japan. Image © Daici Ano

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Toyo Ito’s Next Architectural Feat: Revitalizing Omishima Island in Japan."

Last year, as construction at his National Taichung Theater in Taiwan was winding down, Toyo Ito found himself at a crossroads.

A 10-year project in the making, the gargantuan cultural beacon is made of biomorphically curved concrete walls that wind together like a knot of arteries, creating an otherworldly experience for arts patrons. It’s every bit the landmark project you’d expect from 2013’s Pritzker Prize Laureate, but its rapidly approaching completion triggered a vital question: Where to go from here?

How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation

09:30 - 1 November, 2016
How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation, A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup
A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "A Video Game Is Overtaking Post-Occupancy Evaluation in Architecture."

Evaluating the user performance of a particular building design is obviously a good way for clients and architects to gauge whether their design was successful—or could have been better.

There’s even an entire academic discipline called post-occupancy evaluation (POE) devoted to this concept, and Arup is tapping into it with a network of 22 industry partners using the Building Use Studies (BUS) methodology. Too few designers tap into POE, but with gamified simulations done before projects are built, that could change.

8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner

09:30 - 11 October, 2016
8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner, Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/unrosarinoenvietnam/3783205881'>Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This article was originally published on Redshift as "Go Your Own Way: 8 Tips for a Sole-Practitioner Architect to Build Credibility."

If you’re a sole-practitioner architect, you’ve probably already thought long and hard about the pros and cons of working solo, and don’t feel the burning desire to work in a bustling office environment with large-scale projects and constant collaboration. There are plenty of upsides to running your own practice. “I have it pretty good as a sole practitioner,” says Portland, Oregon architect Celeste Lewis. “I love the flexibility it provides with having a child, parents who are ill, and my passion for being involved in the community.”

But along with the benefits come challenges. One of the biggest is proving you’re worth your salt in a competitive marketplace alongside larger, bigger-reputation firms. Here are eight tips to help sole practitioners—who make up nearly 25 percent of AIA-member firms—build credibility.

The Sociology of Coliving: How WeLive Creates a "Third Place"

09:30 - 22 September, 2016
The Sociology of Coliving: How WeLive Creates a "Third Place", Courtesy of WeLive
Courtesy of WeLive

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication (formerly known as Line//Shape//Space), under the title "Live, Work, Play: WeLive’s Live-Work Spaces Reveal a 'Third Place.'"

According to urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, people need three types of places to live fulfilled, connected lives: Their “first place” (home) for private respite; their “second place” (work) for economic engagement; and their “third place,” a more amorphous arena used for reaffirming social bonds and community identities.

This third place can be a barbershop, neighborhood bar, community center, or even a public square. The desire for these three separate spheres drives how human environments are designed at a bedrock level, but increasing urbanism—as well as geographic and economic mobility—are collapsing these multiple spaces into one. The result is a new hybrid building type: a live-work multiunit dwelling that is home, office, and clubhouse.

Why Wolf Prix Is Pushing For New Methods of Robotic Construction

09:30 - 16 August, 2016
Why Wolf Prix Is Pushing For New Methods of Robotic Construction, View of "The Cloud" inside the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen, China. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au
View of "The Cloud" inside the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen, China. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Wolf Prix on Robotic Construction and the Safe Side of Adventurous Architecture."

In response to a conservative and sometimes fragmented building industry, some architects believe that improving and automating the construction process calls for a two-front war: first, using experimental materials and components, and second, assembling them in experimental ways. Extra-innovative examples include self-directed insect-like robots that huddle together to form the shape of a building and materials that snap into place in response to temperature or kinetic energy.

The automation battle has already been fought (and won) in other industries. With whirring gears and hissing pneumatics, rows and rows of Ford-ist mechanical robot arms make cars, aircraft, and submarines in a cascade of soldering sparks. So why shouldn’t robotic construction become commonplace for buildings, too?

Stanley Tigerman on Learning from Mies, The Younger Generation and "Designing Bridges to Burn"

11:30 - 9 August, 2016
Stanley Tigerman on Learning from Mies, The Younger Generation and "Designing Bridges to Burn", Instant City project model, 1966. Image Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects
Instant City project model, 1966. Image Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Inside My Design Mind: Salt-of-the-Earth Lessons From Architect Stanley Tigerman."

It’s no secret Stanley Tigerman has made a few enemies in his career. Chicago’s pugnacious 85-year-old architecture star and elder statesman, who received a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects in October, is known perhaps as much for his brand of gloves-off honesty as his buildings. In a 2013 interview with Chicago magazine, he summed up the redesign of the city’s Ludwig Mies van der Rohe–designed IBM tower as “shit.”

But there’s a socially minded, nurturing side of Tigerman—designer of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Pacific Garden Mission—that is sometimes lost in the offhand bravado of his public-facing comments. As a member of the Chicago Seven (which protested the predominance of modernism) and a provocateur who has organized seminal forums about architecture’s future, Tigerman is more than just tough talk.

Here, the architect, educator, and curator reveals a generous and expansive mind, praising the uncompromising will of his role model Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and explaining where he finds and nourishes inspiration. He speaks fondly of architecture’s next generation, to whom he offers this advice: Go slow. Don’t copy. Stand firm. Work hard.

This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability

09:30 - 23 July, 2016
This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability, The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue
The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings: Why a Theater Company Chose Resurrection (Not Demolition)."

For a ruined Civil War-era warehouse in Brooklyn, there may have been no better organization than an avant-garde theater group to think creatively about its future.

Situated in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in the popular Dumbo neighborhood, the 1860 tobacco warehouse was crumbling and forgotten when St. Ann’s, a 36-year-old theater company that began life in another Brooklyn church, sought to renovate it for its first permanent home. Attaining energy efficiency in historic buildings is not just possible—it can be the most sustainable and aesthetic choice.

St. Ann’s, led by artistic director Susan Feldman, hired a building team that included Marvel ArchitectsBuroHappold Engineering; and Charcoalblue, a theater, lighting, and acoustics consultancy. The resulting 25,000-square-foot complex, St. Ann’s Warehouse, includes two versatile and changeable performance spaces, lobby and event areas, and a triangular garden (designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates).

Why Technology Isn't a One-Step Solution for Future Hotel Design

09:30 - 13 July, 2016
Why Technology Isn't a One-Step Solution for Future Hotel Design, Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel digital wall. Image Courtesy of Renaissance
Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel digital wall. Image Courtesy of Renaissance

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Service With a Smile: Why Hotels of the Future Are High-Touch, Not High-Tech."

Although it opened in 2011, YOTEL New York feels like it belongs in 2084, the same year the science-fiction film Total Recall is set. Quintessentially futuristic, the original cult classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger features robotic police officers, instant manicures, hovering cars, implanted memories, and skin-embedded cellphones. Its protagonist, Douglas Quaid, is a construction worker obsessed with vacationing on Mars.

One could easily imagine Quaid staying at a Martian outpost of YOTEL, a “minimal-service” hotel modeled after Japanese capsule hotels, which provide a large number of extremely small modular guest rooms for travelers willing to forgo all the services of a conventional hotel in exchange for convenient, affordable accommodations. These kinds of automated-service hotels may be a trend into the 2020s, but are they really hotels of the future?

"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design

10:30 - 3 March, 2016
"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

For a number of years now, Smart Cities and Big Data have been heralded as the future of urban design, taking advantage of our connected, technological world to make informed decisions on urban design and policy. But how can we make sure that we're collecting the best data? In this story, originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "'Array' of Possibilities: Chicago’s New Wireless Sensor Networks to Create an Urban Internet of Things," Matt Alderton looks at a new initiative in Chicago to collect and publish data in a more comprehensive way than ever before.

If it hasn’t already, your daily routine will soon undergo a massive makeover.

For starters, when your alarm clock goes off, it will tell your coffeemaker to start brewing your morning joe. Then, when you’re on the way to work, your car will detect heavy traffic and send a text message to your boss, letting her know you’ll be late. When you arrive, you’ll print out the agenda for today’s staff meeting, at which point your printer will check how much ink it has left and automatically order its own replacement cartridges.

At lunch, you’ll think about dinner and use your smartphone to start the roast that’s waiting in your slow cooker at home. And when you come home a few hours later, your house will know you’re near, automatically turning on the lights, the heat, and the TV—channel changed to the evening news—prior to your arrival. It will be marvelous, and you’ll owe it all to the Internet of Things (IoT).

5 Ways Architects Are Redefining Craftsmanship For a Postdigital Age

10:30 - 11 February, 2016
5 Ways Architects Are Redefining Craftsmanship For a Postdigital Age, La Voûte de LeFevre sculpture. Image Courtesy of Matter Design
La Voûte de LeFevre sculpture. Image Courtesy of Matter Design

Craftsmanship is one of those topics which it seems almost everyone has a strong opinion. But while many lament the fact that traditional craft practices have been in decline since the industrial revolution, today a new generation of architects and designers have set about redefining and updating the notion of craft to include the most modern design and fabrication techniques around. In this article, originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "5 Ways Architects and Postdigital Artisans Are Modernizing Craftsmanship," Jeff Link explores some of the traits that connect these pioneers to the craftsmen and women of a bygone era.

Craftsmanship in the digital age is hard to define. For some, craftsmanship evokes a purity of style, a preference for the handmade over the machine. For others, it recalls the Craftsman architecture of early-20th-century homes: overhung gabled rooflines, wide sheltered porches, detailed handiwork, and an ineffable Norman Rockwell sense of bygone Americana.

But regardless of one’s intuitive understanding of the term, the notion of craftmanship is evolving. Increasingly, the age-old knowledge of woodcarvers, masons, and other craftspeople is embedded in an intelligent design process using geometric computer models and machine fabrication to develop new crafts and architectural métiers—from gravity-defying furniture assemblies to complex workflows for robotic automatons. These innovations have helped place architects alongside craftsmen at the center of a revival in “maker” culture, which, for example, is in vivid display in handmade marketplaces such as Folksy and Etsy.

So what exactly is digital craft? And what does it look like in the work of top designers? Here, innovative architects identify five things postdigital artisans are doing to transform craftsmanship.

How Minecraft is Inspiring the Next Generation of Young Architects

10:30 - 5 February, 2016
How Minecraft is Inspiring the Next Generation of Young Architects, Courtesy of BlockWorks
Courtesy of BlockWorks

For many architects, an obsession with design came at a very young age - often, an architectural career begins with toys such as wooden blocks or that old classic, LEGO. In recent years though, a new contender has emerged to inspire young architectural minds: Minecraft. In this article, originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Minecraft Architecture: What Architects Can Learn From a Video Game," Kim A O'Connell looks into the growing influence of Minecraft in architectural design and education, including the growing presence of the global "Blockworks" team.

Since it burst onto the gaming scene in 2009, Minecraft has become one of the world’s most popular video games—so much so that Microsoft bought the game and its parent company for a whopping $2.5 billion in 2014.

Today, the world-building platform has also garnered the attention of architects and designers. Could a video game actually change the way architecture is taught and practiced?

Built as an entry to the Planet Minecraft “Industrial Revolution” competition, the BlockWorks team was able to show their work process in the form of a Minecraft build. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks Built for the Planet Minecraft “Underwater Wonderland Contest,” the Faberzhe Palace blends fantasy and Slavic architectural styles. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks A Neverland-themed build. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks Asked by the Guardian newspaper “to build a modern vision of urban living in a clean and sustainable city in Minecraft,” BlockWorks created Climate Hope City using existing green technologies and prototypes for a sustainable design that is also achievable. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks +6