Call for Entries: Valley of Life International Competition

17:38 - 8 February, 2016

Beylikdüzü Municipality has announced “Valley of Life International Competition” in Beylikdüzü district in Istanbul. The competition is searching innovative and sustainable ideas for the development of the valley in Beylikdüzü. Competitors are invited to develop visionary concepts that focus on the whole valley and on the focal points determined. These concept descriptions should include an operational idea for the area and a description of the ecological corridor with transportation connections, bicycle routes, services, functionalities etc.

reSITE 2016: 5th International Conference on a Hot Topic – “Cities in Migration”

20:21 - 4 February, 2016
reSITE Conference, Prague, Forum Karlin. Photo Dorota Velek
reSITE Conference, Prague, Forum Karlin. Photo Dorota Velek

On June 16-17, 2016, for the fifth consecutive year, Prague, Czech republic, will be hosting the largest concentration of the world’s top architects, urbanists, urban planners and landscape architects and economists. Visionaries, experts, mayors of major cities and representatives of outstanding civic initiatives will present innovative solutions and strategies for European and Western cities to come to terms successfully and painlessly with the influx of new residents. The professional conference will be complemented by a rich program for the public, taking place in Prague’s public space. reSITE will, yet again, bridge the gap between experts and ordinary citizens: their common

Sasaki’s "Forest City" Master Plan in Iskandar Malaysia Stretches Across 4 Islands

06:00 - 2 February, 2016
Rendered VIew. Image Courtesy of Sasaki Associates
Rendered VIew. Image Courtesy of Sasaki Associates

Located on four man-made islands in Iskandar Malaysia, “Forest City” is set to be South-East Asia’s largest, mixed use green development. Designed by Sasaki Associates, the master plan has an estimated investment of S$58.3 billion (US$40.9 billion) and is expected to bring around 220,000 jobs to the area. Located near the economic centers of Southeast Asia, the new Forest City is ideally placed to become a hub of commerce and culture. Designed to encourage live/work culture, it is composed of “financial institutions, high-tech research and development facilities, headquarter offices, and a variety of creative industries that establish an innovative and sustainable employment base for the region,” write the architects. Read more after the break.

Rendered VIew. Image Courtesy of Sasaki Associates Rendered VIew. Image Courtesy of Sasaki Associates Aerial Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Sasaki Associates Rendered VIew. Image Courtesy of Sasaki Associates +23

Dutch Designers Propose Ways of Transforming Decommissioned Oil Tankers Into Tiny Cities

04:00 - 1 February, 2016
©  Chris Collaris Design, Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker and Patrick van der Gronde / MISS3
© Chris Collaris Design, Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker and Patrick van der Gronde / MISS3

Four Dutch designers—Chris Collaris, Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker and Patrick van der Gronde—have envisioned a sustainable design of re-use for a discarded oil tanker in the Southern Gulf Region, which they have entitled The Black Gold. They believe that the oil tanker is the "perfect icon" for representing "the geographic, economic and cultural history of the Arabic oil states" – an icon which they predict will become more and more obsolete as the supply of crude oil is moved away from shipping and into pipe infrastructure.

Pavilion Made Out of Recycled Coat Hangers to Be Constructed on Governors Island

12:00 - 30 January, 2016
Hanger Barn. Image Courtesy of FIGMENT
Hanger Barn. Image Courtesy of FIGMENT

A design for a pavilion constructed out of recycled clothes hangers has been selected as the winner of the sixth annual City of Dreams Pavilion Competition. The temporary structure will be built on Governors Island and available to the public for summer 2016, pending final approval and fundraising. 

Hosted by FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY), the competition speculates on possible futures with solutions to the current strain on economic and natural resources. Designers are required to consider their materials from sourcing to disposal, or ideally, reuse, promoting sustainable thinking.

Over 100 design proposals were submitted, and the jury selected four finalists who were each given a month to further develop their designs in response to jury comments. See the winning design and the three finalists after the break.

Structures of Coastal Resilience Exhibition Opening

16:09 - 25 January, 2016

Please join us for the opening of Structures of Coastal Resilience: Designing for Climate Change!

The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012 has highlighted the vulnerability of urban coastal areas to the effects of catastrophic storms and climate change. Coastal communities must adapt planning strategies to mitigate the risk posed by these natural hazards.

Structures of Coastal Resilience (SCR) matches the latest science with urban and landscape design to propose actionable solutions for buffering against storms. Structures of Coastal Resilience (SCR) is a Rockefeller Foundation-supported project dedicated to studying and proposing resilient designs for urban coastal

Call for Proposals: The 2016 Fuller Challenge

07:00 - 25 January, 2016

The Buckminster Fuller Institue (BFI) has issued the Call for Proposals for the 2016 Fuller Challenge. Known as “socially-responsible design’s highest award,” the Fuller Challenge invites designers, architects, planners, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, activists, and students worldwide to submit original solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems.

A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of the winning project. In addition to the grand prize, BFI will provide further resources for finalists, semi-finalists and select entrants through its Catalyst Program.

Call for Ideas: MORPH.O.POLIS

18:31 - 24 January, 2016

The Architecture Committee of Coalition Climat Montreal invites designers, professionals and students in planning to reflect on the future of Montreal and its "Morph.o.polis" transformation.
The competition is part of the "marathon créatif" activities of the public consultation conducted by the OCPM (Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal) whose objective is to identify "concrete, ambitious, achievable initiatives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in Montreal. "

The theme this year is: RECONVERT MONTREAL.

Teams should produce a proposal for the conversion of an existing building or structure in Montrealer in the form of a project, system or constructive strategy.

William McDonough Unveils ICEhouse™, The Next Step in the Circular Economy

08:00 - 23 January, 2016
© Bertram Radelow, courtesy of William McDonough + Partners
© Bertram Radelow, courtesy of William McDonough + Partners

Designer William McDonough has unveiled the next step in cradle-to-cradle manufacturing: The Innovation for the Circular Economy house (ICEhouse) in Davos, Switzerland. The ICEhouse aims to show the “positive design framework described in the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, and the reuse of resources implicit in the circular economy."

The house was used as a place of gathering and discussion for the World Economic Forum annual meeting. After being used for the week, the building will be disassembled and reconstructed elsewhere.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Eco-Tourism, and Blackadore Caye: Has Green Building Jumped the Shark?

09:30 - 12 January, 2016
Blackadore Caye, a luxury eco-tourism resort proposed for Leonardo DiCaprio's island off of the coast of Belize. Image © McLennan Design via The New York Times
Blackadore Caye, a luxury eco-tourism resort proposed for Leonardo DiCaprio's island off of the coast of Belize. Image © McLennan Design via The New York Times

In early April 2015, the New York Times reported on Leonardo DiCaprio’s recent purchase of Blackadore Caye, a small island off the coast of Belize that has faced significant environmental degradation and erosion. A patron of several environmental projects, DiCaprio is partnering with Paul Scialla, CEO of the Delos real estate and wellness platform, to create an eco-resort intended to serve as the latest model of cutting-edge, environmentally-responsible tourism development. The development plans include a row of floating guest suites built over the water, 48 private villas (ringing in at $5-15 million), human health and anti-aging wellness programs, and a conservation area. The project is advertised as meeting the ambitious green building standards of the Living Building Challenge and the WELL Building Standard®.

Many Times readers in the comments section sardonically noted that the private jets and the shipment of building materials and daily resources for island development come with large environmental and social price tags that far outweigh the conservation efforts associated with the resort. On the other hand, a few commentators pointed out that the development will employ local labor and save the island from complete degradation. The discussion surrounding the pros and cons of “eco-tourism” development is not a new one, and not one that is easily settled.

But beyond the (important) discussion of the impacts of eco-tourism, the development raises questions about the emergence of alternative green building market standards, which ostensibly aim to transform the building industry by setting measurable targets for the environmental and social effects of the places we live and work.

This Conceptual Design Reinvents Power Plants as Mixed-Use Megastructures

09:30 - 10 January, 2016
© Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi
© Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi

What if a power plant could also be a home, an office, or even a park? That is the question behind Cypher CO2ling Plant, a conceptual design developed by Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi. Power plants are a ubiquitous and inevitable byproduct of modern lifestyles, but they are typically located in remote areas, far from where the power is actually needed, due to their unsightly appearance and the emissions associated with combustion-fueled energy generation. Cypher CO2ling Plant proposes an alternative scenario that utilizes the infrastructure of the power plant’s cooling towers to support mixed-use development, while also mitigating the less desirable aspects of energy generation.

© Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi © Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi © Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi © Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi +12

Where Housing is Headed in 2016 (According to RIBA)

06:00 - 24 December, 2015
White on White by Gianni Botsford Architects. Image Courtesy of RIBA
White on White by Gianni Botsford Architects. Image Courtesy of RIBA

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) has released a report forecasting the greatest design trends in housing in the UK for 2016, based off a survey of 250 RIBA charted practices that are currently active in the housing design market. Noticeable trends include an increase in sustainable, energy conservation measures such as sustainable materials, improved insulation and water conservation/recycling; large extensions and bigger homes; housing designed for aging relatives/occupants; and flexible open-plans for family gathering.

Arup Releases Report Envisioning a Greener Madrid

06:00 - 14 December, 2015
Courtesy of Arup
Courtesy of Arup

Arup’s Foresight + Research + Innovation, Madrid Sustainability and Master Planning, and Landscape Architecture teams have released Madrid + Natural, a series of guidelines to address climate change within the city.

The forward-thinking report to seeks to provide “multiple nature-based solutions to regulate Madrid’s urban environment and respond to problems like pollution, increased heavy storm events, drought, periods of abnormally hot temperatures, and local biodiversity loss.”

River stream restoration. Image Courtesy of Arup Urban farming. Image Courtesy of Arup Sustainable roofs. Image Courtesy of Arup Microclimates. Image Courtesy of Arup +8

Tomás Saraceno Unveils Air-Filled Sculptures at COP21 That Will Travel the World

14:00 - 12 December, 2015
Courtesy of Studio Tomas Saraceno
Courtesy of Studio Tomas Saraceno

As part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, Tomás Saraceno has revealed a sculptural installation, “Aerocene - Around the world to change the world," at the Grand Palais and Palais de Tokyo. The project features a series of air-filled sculptures that float without burning fossil fuels or using engines, solar panels or batteries.

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Announces 2015 Product Innovator Award Recipients

16:00 - 6 December, 2015
Accoya Wood. Image Courtesy of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Accoya Wood. Image Courtesy of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

The Cradle to Cradle Innovation Institute (C2CPII) has announced the winners of its 2015 Product Innovator Awards. Focusing on leaders in industries that are designing with upcycling and closed-circuit lifespans in mind, the award recognizes innovation in the practice of sustainable, circular-economy design. See the winners after the break.

Perkins+Will Unveil Master Plan for Antalya, Turkey

06:00 - 24 November, 2015
Courtesy of Perkins+Will
Courtesy of Perkins+Will

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel have announced their support for Perkins+Will’s sustainable master plan for Antalya, Turkey. The master plan will revitalize and preserve the Bogacay Creek Basin area of Antalya, improving its quality as a major tourist city along the Turkish Riviera.

Courtesy of Perkins+Will Courtesy of Perkins+Will Courtesy of Perkins+Will Courtesy of Perkins+Will +13

Is "Advocacy" the Most Influential Instrument in the Architect's Toolbox?

04:00 - 24 November, 2015
Millau Viaduct, France / Foster + Partners. Image via Foster + Partners
Millau Viaduct, France / Foster + Partners. Image via Foster + Partners

If Lord Foster—perhaps one of the greatest architects of our time—feels as though he has "no power as an architect, none whatsoever," people tend to take notice. His support, thoughts and opinions, he tells The Observer's Rowan Moore, are his most influential tools: "advocacy, he says, is the only power an architect ever has." Their conversation, held ahead of the Urban Age Global Debates which are currently taking place in London, also touches upon the importance of infrastructure, the social role of the architect, and the growing—if not undervalued—urgency to readdress sustainability within the profession.

TED Talk: Norman Foster on Green Architecture

08:00 - 21 November, 2015

“As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown. The green agenda is probably the most important agenda and issue of the day […] all the projects which have, in some way, been inspired by that agenda are about a celebratory lifestyle, in a way celebrating the places and spaces which determine the quality of life.”