Exhibition / Open to the Public: Civic Space Now

This summer, the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture Foundation will present Open to the Public: Civic Space Now, an exhibition exploring why people gravitate to (or avoid) civic spaces – the places between buildings where people can assemble. Curated by Thomas Mellins and designed by Athletics, the exhibition opens Thursday, June 12, 6:00 PM and runs through Saturday, September 6 in the main galleries at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place.

Open to the Public: Civic Space Now will be complemented by an international, day-long symposium on Saturday, May 14 that will also develop the ideas of other concurrent exhibitions at the Center for Architecture. For more information, please click here.

Title: Exhibition / Open to the Public: Civic Space Now
Website: http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=upcoming&expid=277
Organizers: AIANY
From: Thu, 12 Jun 2014 
Until: Sat, 06 Sep 2014 
Venue: Center For Architecture
Address: 536 LaGuardia Place, , NY 10012,

Conference: Social Housing in Spain

© EmphasizeLLC

Social Housing in Spain is intended to be the first of a series of international programs by the Housing Committee, highlighting exemplary housing design around the world. For the first program of the series,  have invited three leading architects from Spain who are currently teaching in the tri-state area: Carmen Espegel, Iñaqui Carnicero, and María Hurtado de Mendoza. The panelists will present and comment upon innovative projects that follow the country’s strong social commitment to housing.

The first decade of the XXI century was a landmark of quality and diversity in social housing in Spain.During those years, Spain built more collective housing than the production of England, France, and Germany combined. Approximately 4 million of units were built between 2000 and 2008. The municipal housing companies promoted, by means of open design competitions, a large number of significant works that championed research to new ways of living, hybrid typologies, construction systems linked to prefabrication and industrialization methods, and towards finding new explorations of shared space for new communities. The right to housing is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution. Publicly protected housing in Spain represents a peculiarity compared to social housing models in other EU countries, in that it is housing provided almost entirely for owner-occupation.

Title: Conference: Social Housing in Spain
Website: http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=calendar&evtid=7055
Organizers: AIANY Housing Committee
From: Thu, 29 May 2014 18:00
Until: Thu, 29 May 2014 20:00
Venue: Center For Architecture
Address: 536 LaGuardia Place, , NY 10012, USA

Exhibition: World’s Fairs / Lost Utopias

© 2014 Jade Doskow New York 1964 World’s Fair, “Peace Through Understanding,” New York State Pavilion, Winter

In celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Onishi Project and Kipton Cronkite are pleased to present World’s Fairs: Lost Utopias, the debut exhibition of Jade Doskow’s groundbreaking 7-year photography project. The exhibition will also include a 1968 triptych by Robert Rauschenberg and a dynamic group show—featuring Alexandra Posen, Greg Haberny, Naomi Reis, and Mark Freedman— inspired by the cultural zeitgeist that surrounded this event.

Jade Doskow’s large-scale color photographs illustrate utopian iconic architecture and art remaining after the close of 1960’s world’s fairs, and the arbitrary nature of what has been preserved, discarded, or repurposed on these sites. In the cities represented here, New York dominates, in celebration of the 50-year anniversary. The crowning glory that still remains is the New York State Pavilion, an unusual, dynamic carousel-like structure designed by .

Title: Exhibition: World’s Fairs / Lost Utopias
From: Wed, 28 May 2014 
Until: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 
Venue: Onishi
Address: 521 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001, USA

Request for Proposals: The Energetic City / Connectivity in the Public Realm

The Design Trust for Public Space announces The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm, a new request for proposals to redefine public space.

The Energetic City is an initiative to seed and develop new forms of connectivity among the diverse people, systems, and built, natural and digital environment of . This public call invites proposals for research, design and planning projects to improve the experience of urban life by connecting people through ‘great’ design informed by the needs and aspirations of community users.

This year the Design Trust places a special emphasis of opening the project call to individuals, in addition to community groups and public agencies. We will offer seed funding so the projects can begin immediately. Projects may include the production of a clearly defined deliverable—a design prototype, pilot intervention, beta app, publication, video, or public artwork, among other possible formats—or be structured as the research, planning, or public outreach stage of a potentially larger project, where the process will inform the ultimate deliverable.

The kick-off event will take place on Monday May 19, from 7-9 pm, at BRIC House, 647 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. For more information, please click here.

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 DawnTown 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, has recently filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States.  Among the many reasons for ’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 the most job-sprawled city in the US and stretching city services beyond capacity.  ’s deterioration is just as much about urban decline as it is about industrial decline.   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 Prodigy Network

As both crowdsourcing and crowdfunding gather momentum in the architecture world, they also gather criticism. The 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 sprawl 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 sprawl 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 , , IL 60637, USA

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: California Bowling Architecture, 1954-1964
Website: https://aplusd.org/exhibitions-future/bowlarama
From: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 
Until: Sun, 11 May 2014 
Venue:
Address: 6032 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, 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., New York, NY, this Wednesday, April 9 from 7pm to 9pm. investigates the possibilities for developing a a critical position in contemporary architecture. Publishing both visual and written work, the goal of 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,