The Pros & Cons of Living With Google

’s New Campus / NBBJ. Image Courtesy of NBBJ

“Some days it feels like Google is taking over the world.” In an article for The Verge Sean Hollister investigates how Google now represents one tenth of , the city which hosts the company’s Californian headquarters. Having one of the world’s largest tech companies on their doorstep is a cause of concern for residents, some of whom are now referring to their home as Googleville. Having just bought the lease for a former military airport some city council members are seeing the expansionist move as a step too far – read the article in full here.

DawnTown – Architecture Ideas Competition: Alternative Mobilities

Recently, City of Mayor Tomas Regalado declared March as Miami Bike Month. And why shouldn’t it? Did you see the latest gathering this past Friday for Critical Mass? Hundreds of people, including celebrity cyclists and NBA megastars Dwyane Wade and Lebron James, were in attendance for a 13 mile trek around Miami. Cycling has become the latest “thing” in Miami. However, it could be more than just a monthly ride. Why not see cycling as a serious solution to the traffic congestion problems in and out of the city? Cities like Amsterdam and seem to think of it as a real solution. It doesn’t have to just be about bikes either, car sharing has become a major business as well and could also assist with making our streets safer. What if there was a place in Miami, built infrastructure that helped promote these solutions? Well there could be…..that’s where DawnTown needs your help.

DawnTown is officially launching their new architecture ideas competition for 2014, called Alternative Mobilities. The competition is open to professionals and students of architecture and other design fields to come up with a new type of transportation hub. One that acts as a generator for new ways to move around downtown in a more sustainable fashion. You can find out more, including competition brief and registration at the competition’s official website.

Waterfront Housing In a Post-Sandy World

Domino Sugar Site by SHoP Architects

Almost 400,000 New Yorkers live in floodplains, a number that should double by 2050 due to sea level rising. After Hurricane Sandy, the waterfront neighborhoods in which they live were dramatically re-envisioned, taking into account the heavy downpours and high winds that come with coastal storms. Is it possible to live safely while enjoying life at the water’s edge?

On March 17, the Center for Architecture will host a discussion with architects working on some of ’s major waterfront residential developments. Lisa Schwert (SHoP Architects), Oliver Schaper (Gensler), and Eran Chen (ODA) will be there discussing their projects.

More information and registration here.

Title: Waterfront Housing in a Post Sandy World
Website: http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=calendar&evtid=6904
Organizers: AIANY
From: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:00
Until: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:00
Venue: Center for Architecture
Address: 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012,

Rafael Viñoly’s Structural Experiment at Park Avenue Armory

Courtesy of Artvest Partners / Rafael Viñoly Architects

’s Park Avenue Armory, originally built in 1861 for the Seventh Regiment of the National Guard and restored by Herzog & de Meuron in 2007, is about to be temporarily taken over by Rafael Viñoly. On April 30th 2014 Artvest Partners will launch Spring Masters New York, “a fair for art produced between antiquity and the 20th century, which corresponds with Christie’s and Sotheby’s signature Impressionism and modern art auctions”. Viñoly’s hexagonal grid of exhibition rooms will fill the 55,000 square foot Drill Hall in an attempt to break with the monotony of the rectangular grid format.

Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted

© Tomas Riehle / Arturimages

In the early years of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Raimund Abraham was a role model – later on a friend. On the occasion of the Austrian government “Staatspreis” awarded to Raimund Abraham, held the speech of honor, and characterized him as one of the main representatives of the Austrian architectural approach of celebrating space.  

In his upcoming SCI-Arc lecture, Prix will explain Abraham’s influence on the early works of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU as well as references to the recent international and well-known buildings. How would visionaries like Abraham and Le Corbusier have developed and expressed themselves in today’s digital time? How would digital tools have influenced their designs?  

The lecture is free, with no RSVP required and broadcast live at www.sciarc.edu/live.

Title: Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted
Website: http://www.sciarc.edu/lectures.php?date=2014-03-05
Organizers: SCI-Arc
From: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:00
Until: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:00
Venue: W.M. Keck Lecture Hall
Address: 960 East 3rd Street, , CA 90013, USA

Crowdfunding in Architecture: Game Changer or PR Game?

The design for the 17 John Cotel in Manhattan. Image Courtesy of Prodigy Network

Building off of the success of their crowdfunded BD Bacatá building in Colombia, the real estate group Prodigy Network has announced a plan to bring this same funding method to New York, with an apartment hotel in Manhattan named 17 John.

The project, a glassy rooftop extension to the existing art deco building at 17 John Street, has much in common with Prodigy Network’s past projects: the same funding method as their skyscraper in Bogotá as well as the same designer, Winka Dubbeldam, head of the practice Archi-Techtonics. Dubbeldam also previously helped them to crowdsource ideas for the future development of Bogotá in the “My Ideal City” project.

However, when applied to the USA, this funding paradigm – which is so promising in – becomes twisted beyond recognition. Upon close inspection, 17 John more resembles the standard developer’s model than anything else – and the claims of ethical superiority begin to melt away.

Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive

The School of Visual Arts MFA Design Criticism invites you to join them for a two-week intensive to research and write about design. Participants will be introduced to a range of techniques for constructing compelling narratives about images, objects,and spaces. You will experiment with different research methods, writing formats, and complete several projects across media, including a collaboratively produced publication.

Along with working closely with leading writers, editors, curators, and researchers, each participant will have their own workstation in D-Crit studio at Chelsea district in NY. A series of seminars, lectures, workshops, one-on-one consultations, along with visit to design collections, archives, libraries, design and architecture studios, will be part of the daily activities.

Application are due April 1, through the event’s official website.

Title: Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive
Website: http://dcrit.sva.edu/intensive/
From: Mon, 02 Jun 2014
Until: Fri, 13 Jun 2014
Venue: , NY
Address: 209 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010,

Symposium: Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation

What unites contemporary design? What is the through line that connects designers between continents and across decades? This spring, The MA program in Design Studies at Parsons The New School for Design presents a two-day symposium that will bring together a rare interdisciplinary group of professionals and academics to explore narratives surrounding the field of design, and attempt to answer these questions. The conference, Narratives and Design Studies: A Task of Translation, will be held March 7 – 8.

This is the conference’s second year. In 2013, it was one of the first events held by the then-new MA in Design Studies. It brought together an international roster of scholars, practitioners, and entrepreneurs who considered how design shapes specific experiences and embodies fundamental assumptions about our relationship to the world and each other.

For more information, please click here.

Call for Proposals: PXSTL Community Program Grants

Courtesy of Freecell Architecture

Back in September 2013, we told you about PXSTL. Organized by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, challenged US artists, architects and designers to propose a small-scale intervention for a vacant lot in the St. Louis Grand Center cultural district that could possibly spark large-scale urban transformation. Freecell Architecture was announced as the winner of the competition, with their proposal “Lots”.

Today, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts announced an open call for community program proposals that respond to “Lots”. The structure will be open from May 9 to October 5, 2014, during which several curated events will be taking place. Up to $1,500 will be granted to individuals, community groups or organizations whose proposals help in engaging the community exchange at the site. For more information regarding criteria, site, and submission guidelines, please click here.

Exhibition: Beyond the Supersquare

Livia Corona (b. Mexico, 1975; based in ) / From the series: “Two Million Homes for Mexico / 47,547 Homes for Mexico Ixtapaluca, 2007 / Archival Chromogenic Print / 30 x 40 inches / Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Agustina Ferreyra, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Beyond the Supersquare brings together a select group of contemporary artists whose insightful work addresses the remnants of the Modern Movement in Latin America and the Caribbean. While the exhibition will address how Modernism defined a number of decisive aspects related to contemporary architecture, urbanism, and art in Latin America, this exhibition will also examine the larger political and social underpinnings of these cultural and environmental developments.

Through drawings, photography, sculpture, installation, and video, Beyond the Supersquare presents a series of responses to the aggressive rise of Latin America’s urban centers and the ways in which they have evolved since the mid-twentieth century.

For more information on this exhibition, please click here.

Title: Exhibition: Beyond the Supersquare
Website: http://www.bronxmuseum.org/exhibitions/beyond-the-supersquare
Organizers: The Bronx Museum of the Arts
From: Thu, 01 May 2014 
Until: Sun, 11 Jan 2015 
Venue: The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456,

Emerging Visions Portfolio Competition 2014

The Chicago Architectural Club, with the support of AIA Chicago and the Graham Foundation, today announced the launch of the 2014 Emerging Visions portfolio competition. This competition seeks to provide a forum for young designers to be recognized and to share their visions, inventions and ideas. The award promotes significant architectural endeavors by young architects, designers and new practices yet to be acknowledged.

Prominent architects Elva Rubio and Dan Wheeler founded the Emerging Visions portfolio competition in 1998 in an effort to draw attention to the significant design contributions of rising talents based in . Previous winners include: Michael Wilkinson (1998), Jeanne Gang & Mark Schendel (2000), Sarah Dunn & Martin Felsen (2003), Tristan d’Estree Sterk (2005), Karla Sierralta & Brian Strawn (2007) Iker Gil (2010).

Entry information, including a complete set of rules, can be found at http://chicagoarchitecturalclub.org/. Entries are due by 10pm CST, March 09, 2014. Winners of the 2014 Emerging Visions will present their work at an event at Chicago Architecture Foundation on March 13, 2014 and have their work exhibited at the 2014 AIA National Convention from June 26-28, 2014.

REX Unveils Details of Five Manhattan West Development

450 West 33rd Street / Rendering of building with completed renovations

Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX, together with Brookfield Properties unveiled today the $200 Million redevelopment of 450 West 33rd Street in . The 1.8 million-square-foot building will be integrated into the Manhattan West Development.

The architectural firm designed the redevelopment of Five Manhattan West, including a new pleated glass façade which will create floor‐to‐ceiling windows on every floor, maximizing daylight penetration while reducing solar gain through geometric ‘self‐shading.’ The interior program includes a redesigned lobby, upgraded and expanded elevators, and enhanced HVAC and other mechanical systems. New retail storefronts will provide a welcoming streetscape. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2016.

More details on the project after the break.

DDes Conference: Projective Views on Urban Metabolism

In the last two decades, the concept of urban metabolism, aiming to grasp the continuous processes of energy, material and population exchange within and between cities and their extensive hinterlands, has been subject of both extensive empirical research and, increasingly, critical discussion within the social and natural sciences. However, these interdisciplinary challenges have not yet been met with a synthetic response from the design disciplines.

The goals of this one-day conference are, through the lens of urban metabolism, to: generally reassess the planetary rescaling of contemporary urbanization processes; unpack the transformation of spatial forms and structures and subsequently, the emergence of new operative territories for design; explore the agency of design in confronting these challenges.

The conference is free and open to the public. For more information and complete schedule please click here.

Title: DDes Conference: Projective Views on Urban Metabolism
Website: http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/#/events/ddes-conference-projective-views-on-urban-metabolism.html
Organizers: Harvard University GSD
From: Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:00
Until: Fri, 07 Feb 2014 12:30
Venue: Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, Harvard University
Address: 48 Quincy Street, Harvard University, , MA 02138,

Mario Botta: Architecture and Memory

Mario Botta: Architecture and Memory is an exhibition spanning the 50-year career of internationally acclaimed architect , the designer of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art building and one of the century’s most fundamental contributors to postmodern architecture. 

Featured are sketches, architectural models and photographs exemplifying Botta’s use of geometric shapes that juxtapose lightness and weight. The exhibition runs January 31, 2014 through July 25, 2014.

Title: Mario Botta: Architecture and Memory
Website: http://www.bechtler.org/Collection/Mario-botta
Organizers: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
From: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 
Until: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 
Venue: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Address: 420 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202,

Architecture & Design Film Festival Debuts in Los Angeles

In celebration of its 5th anniversary, the Architecture & Design Film Festival will make its debut, presenting 30 feature-length and short films from eight countries that explore the human elements of art, fashion, architecture, and design in our everyday lives. In addition, the festival will offer panel discussions, Q&As with filmmakers, a pop-up bookshop by Hennessey + Ingalls and more that are all open to the public! 

For complete information on the films showcased, tickets, and speakers, please click here.

Title: Architecture & Design Film Festival Debuts in Los Angeles
Website: http://www.adfilmfest.com/portal/la2014
From: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 
Until: Sun, 16 Mar 2014 
Venue: The Los Angeles Theatre Center
Address: 514 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013,

Eliciting Environments | Actuating Response

Current computational, sensing and fabrication technologies provide new opportunities for architects and designers to embed intelligence and responsive behavior directly into architectural matter. Such design tactics not only elicit new sensibilities and socio-aesthetic desires, but also instrumentalize new understandings of hierarchies, networks and organization of building systems controls. Responsive technologies play a critical role in advancing the evolving relationships between humans, constructed environments, administrative controls and natural systems. Systems that mitigate human-machine-environment interaction are evolving to encompass more complex methods of collecting and managing data that can produce subtle differences in feedback and response. 

From surveillance strategies to user-initiated interaction and hackable surfaces to locally controlled responsiveness within design processes, the computerization of our environment provokes a series of critical questions about technology and design-thinking. New technologies directly affect design methodologies and thus design education. ELICITING ENVIRONMENTS | ACTUATING RESPONSE will engage the practitioners who are defining future possibilities for sensory intelligence in architectural design, to present, discuss and speculate on the role and potential for actuated responsiveness in imminent built environments.

For more event details please click here. For workshop registration please click here.

Title: Eliciting Environments | Actuating Response
Website: http://elicitingenvironments.org/
Organizers: Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture
From: Fri, 07 Feb 2014 
Until: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 
Venue: Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture
Address: College of Fine Arts, , 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213,

TEX-FAB Skin: Digital Assemblies

TEX-FAB extends its reach to , this year adding the University of Texas School of Architecture as a member organization. In doing so, the UT SOA is supporting the largest and most complete event to date with Michel Rojkind as our Keynote lecture with 6 speakers and 4 moderators. Moderators will delve into techniques to highlight the differences between working methods, while within the workshops, session leaders will further develop those topics as functional methods for the production of design solutions.

As an intensely focused symposium which expands the workshop offerings from Grasshopper, Revit to Processing and newer productive methods, the scope and range is truly substantial. In addition the UT SOA will concurrently exhibit the SKIN competition fabricated winner and entries. SKIN is generously supported by the A. Zahner Co. in the fabrication of 3xLP by Christopher Romano and Nick Bruscia.

For more information and registration, please click here.

Title: TEX-FAB Skin: Digital Assemblies
Website: http://www.tex-fab.net/event/tf5/
Organizers: TEX-FAB
From: Wed, 19 Feb 2014
Until: Sun, 23 Feb 2014
Venue: UT School of Architecture
Address: 310 Inner Campus Drive, The University of at Austin, Austin, TX 78705, USA

VIDEO: “If You Build It” Trailer

If You Build It is a documentary following the story of high school students in Windsor, a small and downtrodden rural town in Bertie County, North Carolina. In this setting, architects Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller started Project H, an educational initiative designed to not only improve the education of these disadvantaged young people, but also to reach out to the wider community and make real change.

Read on for more about Project H and the If You Build It