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How the NMAAHC Carves Out a "Space of Resistance" on the National Mall

09:30 - 4 January, 2017
How the NMAAHC Carves Out a "Space of Resistance" on the National Mall, © Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC
© Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

This article, originally titled "The Space of Resistance," was originally published on Lance Hosey's Huffington Post blog. It is part of a four-part series about the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The city can be a powerful form of political myth, and Washington, DC, is the premier example.

Political myths dramatize historical events for ideological purposes, in order to strengthen the authority of the status quo. For example, America’s Founding Fathers often are portrayed as motivated only by a virtuous desire for universal freedom and equality, a simplistic depiction that ignores the complex socioeconomic forces behind the Revolution. The National Mall, its buildings, and its monuments, are America’s foundation myth writ large in stone and space. Manfredo Tafuri called the image of the District of Columbia “a timeless, indisputable, completely ‘positive’ Olympus” whose creation “presupposed great optimism and was thoroughly opposed to any polemical doubt.”

In this sense, the city as political myth is ripe for protest, and the National Mall has been the site of many of the most important protests in American history. Most often, these events consist only of people gathering for demonstration. Sometimes, however, they involve building.

12 Projects Announced as Winners of 2016 AIA Education Facility Design Awards

14:10 - 9 September, 2016
12 Projects Announced as Winners of 2016 AIA Education Facility Design Awards

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of the 2016 CAE Education Facility Design Awards, which honor educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

This year's theme was “Visioning and Re-Visioning," which focused on "the ways in which pedagogical innovation and cutting-edge design impact and influence each other." The AIA also notes that education facility design may now be more important than ever, as recent studies have indicated that a positive learning environment can affect a child’s academic progress over a year by as much as 25%.

Find out which projects received awards, after the break.

2013 Great Places Award Winners Announced

00:00 - 10 June, 2013
2013 Great Places Award Winners Announced, Northerly Island /  Studio Gang Architects + SmithGroupJJR
Northerly Island / Studio Gang Architects + SmithGroupJJR

Seven exemplary projects in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and urban design have been named winners of the 2013 Great Places Awards and were honored during the 44th annual conference of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) earlier this month. The EDRA Great Places Awards recognizes professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design and pay special attention to the relationship between physical form and human activity or experience.

The winners after the break...

AIA Selects the 2012 COTE Top Ten Green Projects

13:00 - 24 April, 2012
University of Minnesota Duluth – Bagley Classroom Building / Salmela Architect © Paul Crosby
University of Minnesota Duluth – Bagley Classroom Building / Salmela Architect © Paul Crosby

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions. Now in its 16th year, the COTE Top Ten Green Projects program is one of the profession’s best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence.

The highlighted projects are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They have made a positive contribution to their communities, improved comfort for building occupants and reduced environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

All the projects will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition, next month in Washington, D.C. Continue after the break to review the top ten green projects.