Exhibition: TALL DC / New Monumentalism

Since it was enacted by Congress, the Height of Buildings Act of 1910 has restricted how tall buildings can be designed in the District of Columbia.

TALL DC: New Monumentalism features student work from the Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture and Planning (CUA) that provocatively explores what Washington could look like in the absence of this law.

Working within CUA’s Emerging Technologies and Media graduate concentration, students analyzed two of Washington’s most recognizable structures, the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument, and questioned the definition of “monument” in the contemporary context of global commercial markets, residential migration, and iconic skylines.

Three distinct proposals for a mixed-use ‘skyscraper’ were created for the Department of Commerce site located near the National Mall. Using radically different design strategies, each concept offers a creative and controversial idea for building a TALL DC.

More information can be found here.

Title: Exhibition: TALL DC / New Monumentalism
Website: http://aiadac.com/sigal-gallery/tall-dc
Organizers: Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning
From: Thu, 22 May 2014 
Until: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 
Venue: District Architecture Center
Address: 421 7th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004,

Competing Utopias: An Experimental Installation of Cold War Modern Design from East and West in One Context

Poster Design: David Hartwell, 2014

Competing Utopias is a design collision that should never happen. But somehow, in , in 2014, twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it will.

This installation is a ‘mash-up’ in the most provocative sense of that word. Its force comes from the collision of two design cultures that have been kept apart but have been visually connected in ways yet unexamined. What’s proposed is an experimental installation that presents Cold War modern design from East and West in one context.

Competing Utopias is organized by two Los Angeles institutions: the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences and the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War, each a different type of museum. The Neutra House is an iconic Los Angeles mid-century modern house museum, designed by Austrian born American architect Richard Neutra. The Wende Museum is the largest archive of Cold War artifacts in the world. Both ‘institutions’ originated in German speaking Europe, both subsequently landed in Los Angeles. Their collections embody two forks of a Cold War history.

Title: Competing Utopias: An Experimental Installation of Cold War Modern Design from East and West in One Context
Website: http://neutra-vdl.org/site/competing_utopias.asp?514201404423
From: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 
Until: Sun, 14 Sep 2014
Venue: Neutra VDL Research House
Address: 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039,

Architecture in the USA Today – In Infographics

Schools and students of architecture are overwhelmingly focused in the North East. At the other end of the scale are the states of the Gulf Coast. Image Courtesy of

As part of their ongoing ACSA Atlas Project, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) has just released a new set of infographics, showcasing a range of statistics relevant to both architecture students and professionals alike. The 10 images cover a range of issues, including: demographic concerns such as race and gender, economic concerns such as salaries and employment futures, and the number of architects and students in each state. Read on after the break for the full set.

Wynwood Gateway Park Competition

Metro 1 has partnered with to present an international ideas, design and build competition for a true urban park in the heart of the burgeoning Wynwood Arts District in , Florida. The winning design team will have their idea and proposal built as well as a cash prize of $10,000.

Public space is a big problem in many Miami neighborhoods, specifically Wynwood. Currently, Wynwood has very limited public space. No dynamic urban neighborhood is complete without a variety of public and green spaces to engage the community. This competition seeks to help remedy this problem by asking designers to present a creative and unique concept for this ideally located Wynwood site that will be appropriate for the space and location.

For more information, please go to the competition’s official website.

Light Matters: Richard Kelly, The Unsung Master Behind Modern Architecture’s Greatest Buildings

Seagram Building, New York.

Richard Kelly illuminated some of the twentieth century’s most iconic buildings: the Glass House, Seagram Building and Kimbell Art Museum, to name a few. His design strategy was surprisingly simple, but extremely successful.

for architecture has been and still often is dominated by an engineering viewpoint, resigned to determining sufficient illuminance levels for a safe and efficient working environment. With a background in stage , Kelly introduced a scenographic perspective for architectural . His point of view might look self-evident to today’s architectural community, but it was revolutionary for his time and has strongly influenced modern architecture.

Read more about Richard Kelly’s remarkable, and unsung, contribution to architecutre, after the break.

Reanimate the Ruins International Design Competition

Once the fourth largest city in America, Michigan’s primary Metropolis, Detroit has recently filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States.  Among the many reasons for Detroit’s decline, two stand out: an undiversified economic model, reliant on the production and sale of automobiles, and an unprecedented degree of . Currently more than 77% of jobs in the metropolitan area reside more than ten miles from the city center, making Detroit the most job-sprawled city in the US and stretching city services beyond capacity.  Detroit’s deterioration is just as much about urban decline as it is about industrial decline.  Detroit is located in the Midwest portion of the United States and is part of a larger band of cities known as the Rust Belt which have gone through a process of decline over the past decades.

Amidst the ruins of Detroit stands the Packard Motor Plant.  This 40-acre site once represented the height of the American Industrial Era; boasting 15 factory buildings and 36,000 employees producing luxury vehicles.  It now stands gutted and vandalized, as a symbol of Detroit’s staggering collapse.  However, due to its strategic location only four miles from the city center, the Packard holds immense potential to address and combat the sprawl which contributed to Detroit’s downturn.

Parallel Projections invites you to participate in this open, international design competition; Reanimate The Ruins! Participants are charged to investigate and propose a new dynamic and adaptive urban node on the site of the Packard. For more information please go to the competition’s official website.

Rodrigo Nino: In Defense of Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding

The 17John Building in . Image Courtesy of

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.’

City-County Building Plaza Design Competition

The City-County Building Plaza Design Competition is seeking a final conceptual design that would be implemented on an existing 1.94 acre open space on the City-County Building Property also known as the City-County Building Plaza (CCB Plaza).

The design team whose winning design is selected will receive $15,000 (2nd Place – $7,500; 3rd Place – $2,500) and will then be the preferred professional services provider for a full engineering/design contract (upon obtaining available funding) with the -Marion County Building Authority (IMCBA). Complete information can be found on the competition’s official website.

McMansions: The Ultimate Symbol of American Inequality

© Flickr CC User Doug Downen

In this fascinating post for Salon, Thomas Frank holds nothing back on the topic of so-called “McMansions“. Charting their history from the 1980s to today, he reveals the economics and government policies which made them possible, concluding that they are not just a symptom of the inequality in modern US society, but the very cause of it: “Everything we do seems designed to make this thing possible… This stupendous, staring banality is the final outcome for which we have sacrificed everything else.” You can read the full article here.

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.

Speakers for Tuesday’s conference include Vishaan Chakrabati, Shaun Donovan, and Rick Fedrizzi. For more information on the conference, including a complete list of speakers, please click here.

Title: Conference: Cities for Tomorrow
Website: http://www.nytcitiesfortomorrow.com/
Organizers: The New York Times
From: Mon, 21 Apr 2014 
Until: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 
Venue: TheTimesCenter
Address: 242 West 41st Street, , NY 10036,

Christoph Gielen’s “Ciphers”: Aerial Views of American Sprawl

Courtesy of Jovis Verlag

From the Publisher. Christoph Gielen’s aerial views offer a look at America’s most aberrant and unusual forms in ways we usually don’t get to see them: from far above the ground—a vantage point that reveals both the intricate geometry as well as the idiosyncratic allure of these developments. Here, encountering becomes an aesthetic experience that at the same time leaves us with a sense of foreboding, of seeing the “writing on the wall”. At once fascinating and profoundly unsettling, these photographs detail the potential ramifications of unchecked urbanization. When these settlements were developed, neither distance from work place nor gasoline prices much mattered in determining the locations of new constructions. These places are relics from an era that was entirely defined by a belief in unlimited growth, of bigger is better. The startling extent of those practices, and their inherent wastefulness, come to light in Gielen’s pictures—as if looking at a microcosm of non-sustainability through a giant magnifier.

Contributing essays by Johann Frederik Hartle, Galina Tachieva, Srdjan Jovanic Weiss, Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris contextualize Gielen’s work by focusing on a range of aspects, from aesthetics to climate change and futurology. They also examine why taking a closer look at these places is particularly crucial at this juncture, when we are faced with a new wave of building booms in developing nations such as in China.

Lecture: ‘What Mammals Want’, by Jeanne Gang

© Sally Ryan Photography

, founder of Studio Gang, will be hosting a public lecture at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on Monday, April 28, 2014. The lecture, named ‘What Mammals Want’, will start at 5:15pm and seating is first-come, first-served.

Title: Lecture: ‘What Mammals Want’, by Jeanne Gang
From: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 17:15
Until: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:30
Venue: Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
Address: 915 East 60th Street, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637,

Exhibition: Bowlarama: California Bowling Architecture, 1954-1964

Holiday Bowl / © Jack Laxer

Text by Isaac Wilhelm:

“Patrons of the A+D Architecture and Design Museum Los Angeles may want to consider wearing comfortable socks to view the new exhibit Bowlarama: California Bowling Architecture 1954-1964, on display from April 11, 2014, through May 11, 2014. Providing a deeper appreciation for the family heirloom bowling trophy on the fire mantle, the exhibit showcases the architecture of bowling in the 1950s. The retro design style and obsession with the sport of bowling at this time generated a desire for architecturally intriguing bowling centers. 

Commonly open 24 hours a day in the 1950s, bowling centers incorporated features such as fine restaurants, cocktail lounges, and live entertainment. The projects of this exhibit are not about the sport of bowling or the centers, but rather the culture that emerged. Do not contemplate how many lanes are in the exhibit’s bowling centers, but instead imagine the blonde beauty sitting at the cocktail bar sipping on a martini during the local men’s league championship tournament.”

Title: Exhibition: Bowlarama: Bowling Architecture, 1954-1964
Website: https://aplusd.org/exhibitions-future/bowlarama
From: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 
Until: Sun, 11 May 2014 
Venue: Architecture and Design Museum
Address: 6032 Wilshire Boulevard, , CA 90036, USA

Launch: PROJECT’s Latest Issue

The editors of PROJECT invite you to celebrate the release of Issue Three at common room, 465 Grand St., , 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.

Issue Three of PROJECT features contributions from common room & Kim Förster, Reinier de Graaf (OMA/AMO), Neil Denari, Edward Eigen, Formless Finder, Adam Fure, John May, Magnus Nilsson, Valerio Olgiati Architect, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Lola Sheppard (Lateral Office), Jill Stoner, Tom Wiscombe and more. Refreshments will be served, and issues of PROJECT will be available for sale.

Title: Launch: PROJECT’s Latest Issue
Website: http://projectjournal.org/
From: Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:00
Until: Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:00
Address: 465 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002,

Exhibition: Urban Enactments, the Work of Andrés Jaque

Never Never Land House / © Miguel de Guzmán

Starting this week,The Princeton University School of Architecture will hold until May 14 a retrospective exhibition on the work of Andrés Jaque and his architectural practice Office for Poitical Innovation. It includes their production since 2000, including several projects we’ve published in the past like the Plasencia Clergy House, Sweet Parliament Home, Escaravox and the Never Never Land House.

In the last 10 years the Office for Political Innovation has explored the question: ‘What happens to architectural practices when common notions of the urban (as something confined in cities) are replaced by others in which the urban is contained in urban enactments (ordinary interactions in which politics are produced)?’

More after the break.

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

L.A. Architects at Venice Beach, 1980. Left to right: Frederick Fisher, Robert Mangurian, Eric Owen Moss, Coy Howard, Craig Hodgetts, Thom Mayne, and Frank Gehry. Photo by Ave Pildas

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.

The event will take place at the Storefront for Art and Architecture April 8, at 7pm. This event is open to all. If you are a Storefront member and would like to reserve a seat, please email membership@storefrontnews.org. If you would like to reserve a seat by becoming a Storefront member, click here.

This event will be streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/storefront-tv.

Title: Definitions Series: Risk, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture
Organizers:
From: Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:00
Until: Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:00
Venue: Storefront for Art and Architecture
Address: 97 Kenmare Street, , NY 10012,

ACADIA 2014 Call for Submissions

UPDATE: Deadline for submissions extended to April 14, 2014!

Submissions are invited for the 2014 ACADIA ‘DESIGN AGENCY’ conference at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California on October 20-25, 2014. Architects, designers, fabricators, engineers, media artists, technologists, software developers, hackers, researchers, students and educators and others in related fields of inquiry are invited to submit proposals.

The conference theme is intended to highlight experimental research and projects that exhibit and explore new paradigms of computing in architecture. The theme is a purposeful instigation of work that looks at re-defining the term “Agency” through the lens of computational design strategies such as simulation, fabrication, robotics, and novel integrations from science and the media arts.

For more information, including the specific themes and topics, please go to the event’s official website.

Symposium: Interpretations / Critical Shifts

Critical Shifts is a one-day, student-organized symposium dedicated to exploring the ongoing transformations of critical practice in architecture. The event brings together a diverse group of practitioners in order to investigate how their work (which often combines the activities and approaches of curation, editing, writing, design, teaching, and research) can begin to trace a nuanced map of the fieldʼs current critical terrain.

Critical Shifts will be held at Studio-X NYC in downtown Manhattan on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 from 1-6pm and confirmed guests include Aaron Levy, Adam Bandler, Cynthia Davidson, Felicity D. Scott, Justin McGuirk, Ligia Nobre, Marina Otero Verzier, Mark Wasiuta, Mark Wigley, Matteo Ghidoni, and Tina Di Carlo.

More information can be found here.

Title: Symposium: Interpretations / Critical Shifts
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/234124760109047/
Organizers: Columbia University GSAPP
From: Sat, 05 Apr 2014 
Until: Sat, 05 Apr 2014 
Venue: Studio-X
Address: 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014,