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Racism and Cities with Mabel O. Wilson, Akira Drake Rodriguez, and Bryan Lee

The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina are joined by Mabel O. Wilson, Bryan Lee, and Akira Drake Rodriguez to discuss racism and cities, how the built environment can be an instigator of racism, protests, the tearing down confederate monuments, housing, blackness and whiteness, the key changes needed for a more equitable society, and more. Enjoy!

Visualizations as an Architectural Storytelling Tool

When we hear the term visualization, it’s likely that we picture a flashy render full of lights, people, dazzling finishes, and a sense of energy about the place that we are viewing. Aside from rendering a three-dimensional space, architects also need to develop their skills in the representation of intangible ideas that help drive the narrative behind their arguments. Instead of creating one-off concepts that are presented in a traditionally linear sequence, designers need to craft a story, structure their designs like a thesis, and consider how our presentations have the power to reveal the priorities of a project.

6 Movies That Use Architectural Visualizations to Tell Stories and Create Atmospheres

Representation of the real world is, without any doubt, in the genesis of cinema, an art originated from photography, by creating a sequence to convey the impression of movement to the viewer. In fact, the earliest known film recording is from 1895, picturing the arrival of a train at Ciolat station in France, a trivial event in the daily life of 19th-century European cities.

However, even though tangible reality plays a big role in cinema, one cannot ignore that the fascination caused by this art comes, to a great extent, from its capacity to create imaginary worlds, to activate mental spaces, and to unleash emotions. In this sense, the real world may often provide insufficient fuel, inspiration, or background for the directors' and screenwriters' storytelling, so the art direction and scenic design teams are required to create other intangible realities that serve as a basis for the narrative.

"Sin City". Screenshot of the movie "Blade Runner 2049". Screenshot of the movie "I, Robot". Screenshot of the movie "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker". Screenshot of the movie + 13

KPF Receives City Council Approval for 601 West Pender Street in Vancouver, Canada

The KPF-Designed 601 West Pender Street was granted approval by the Vancouver City Council. Located next to the city’s historic Rogers Building, the project generates an urban oasis within the city, replacing a six-story parking structure in the Central Business District.

Iulia Cistelecan, from the London School of Architecture, Wins the 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

Now in its fourteenth year, the 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has been awarded to Iulia Cistelecan, from the London School of Architecture, for her project “Life Between Shelters: Refugee camps of today becoming cities of tomorrow”.

BidiBidi Refugee Camp. Image © Nora Lorek Kutupalong Refugee Camp. Image © Roger Arnold Kutupalong Refugee Camp. Image © Mohammad Ponir Hossain Zaatari Refugee Camp. Image © Panayis Chrysovergis + 10

NCARB Reports Number of U.S. Architects Continues to Grow

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released its annual Survey of Architectural Registration Boards, which provides exclusive insight into data collected from the architectural licensing boards throughout the United States. Based on the new data, the number of architects licensed in the United States has increased over the last two years.

Early Call for Entries: A' Design Awards & Competition

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It's never too early to enter for a chance to showcase your work to a global audience; enter your design now for an A’ Design Award. The international competition was "born out of the desire to underline the best designs and well-designed products" of designers, architects, and innovators from all design fields. Among other design competitions and awards, the A' Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale with over 100 design categories.

Cloud of Luster Wedding Chapel / Tetsuya Matsumoto. Image Courtesy of A' Design Awards Phuket VIP Mercury Studio Office / Songhan Wu. Image Courtesy of A' Design Awards Sberbank Headquarters Atrium / Evolution Design. Image Courtesy of A' Design Awards Coast Whale Chapel / Jinyu Zhang. Image Courtesy of A' Design Awards + 18

How Do Architects and Industry Professionals Specify Materials and Products?

The choice of materials and products made by an architect during their design and specification process is key to defining how a project will look after its completion and over time, as it ages. Choosing materials that are not appropriate could result in projects with both aesthetic and functional issues.

This is what makes the specification stage so essential in achieving expected results. During this phase, the professional in charge of specification becomes an essential part of the team and needs to have sufficient knowledge of the materials and products available in their region. But do all architecture offices have the same specification processes? Is the same importance given to this stage of the project as to the initial design phase? How close is the architect’s relationship with the materials really?

An Online Exhibition Connects the Dots Between Performance and Architecture

Six months after the release of the namesake book during the latest installment of the biennial, PERFORMA has launched Bodybuilding, which features thirty-five architecture studios who engage with performativity.

Is architecture a period or a comma? Are built forms hermetic bodies or catalysts for action? PERFORMA curator Charles Aubin and architect Carlos Mínguez Carrascor, published Bodybuilding: Architecture and Performance, during the most recent installment of the PERFORMA 19 biennial in New York City last November. Noticing a lack of a comprehensive, multigenerational survey on the subject, the duo’s interest in investigating the ways architects engage with performance goes as far back as a symposium they co-organized at the Performa 17 Hub in 2017. The book, which features essays by Mabel O. Wilson and Bryony Roberts, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, and Victoria Bugge Øye, seeded the fundamental approaches now deeply rooted in the online exhibition: the impact of movement on systematic urbanization, the body’s relationship to buildings and monuments, and architecture’s role in action, be it physical or sociopolitical.

Bodybuilding Bodybuilding, OMA, Prada Transformer, Seoul, 2009 Bodybuilding, Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley, ReActor, 2016. Photograph by Richard Barnes Bodybuilding, Bryony Roberts And Mabel O. Wilson, Marching On, Dancers, Marcus Garvey Park, 2017. Photograph By Jenica Heintzelman + 14

Aerial Imagery Depicts Iconic Modern and Contemporary Architecture in a New Perspective

In architecture and urbanism, both proximity and distance from a certain object of study, whether on a building scale or urban scale, are frequent strategies that help us better visualize details and also have a broader overall perception, both essential for understanding the object in question. Changing the point of view allows different perceptions of the same place. By moving from the ground level, or from the eye-level, which we are accustomed to in everyday life, to the aerial point of view, we can establish connections similar to those achieved through site plans, location plans, and urban plans.

Palace of Sports / Félix Candela. Image: © Daily Overview Löyly / Avanto Architects. Image by @joelmiikka shared with @dailyoverview Jewish Museum Berlin / Daniel Libenskind. Image: © Daily Overview Superkilen / Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex. Image: © Daily Overview + 25

7 Design Guidelines for a Safe Post COVID-19 Transition

In order to ensure a proper transition into post COVID-19, architects, public health experts, and engineers are generating design guidelines to provide people with new secure, and efficient resources. Finding a balance between optimizing operations and keeping people safe, the strategies tackle the built environment that surrounds us, from restaurants and outdoor dining, to streets, offices, and retail.

Addressed to city officials, owners, and employers, the tools developed help to reopen the world, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, promoting social distancing standards, and enhancing wellbeing. Discover in this article a roundup of design guidelines securing a safe post coronavirus transition.

MAD Reveals the Shenzhen Bay Culture Park Masterplan

MAD Architects has unveiled its design for the Shenzhen Bay Culture Park along the waterfront in Shenzhen, China. The masterplan puts in place a 51,000 square meters cultural complex that includes the Creative Design Hall, the Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum, and a vast public green space.

© Proloog © Proloog © Proloog © Proloog + 20

Herzog & de Meuron's M+ Museum Photographed Through the Lens of Kris Provoost

Photographer Kris Provoost has captured new images of Herzog & de Meuron's M+ Museum in Hong Kong. Focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and moving image, M+ will be the centerpiece of the West Kowloon Cultural District, and a key venue in creating interdisciplinary exchange between the visual arts and the performing arts in Asia.

© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost + 43

Systems to Design a Smart and Contactless Home

© Luis Gallardo Courtesy of RES4 © Paul Finkel © Charles Hosa + 15

Smart homes, the Internet of Things, and contactless technology have become an indelible part of the architecture and interior design industries, with automated lighting, smart HVAC units, and speakers like Alexa or Google Home becoming a principal part of the modern upper middle class home. As new devices and competing systems are continually released, we list some of the most popular home technologies developed by Lutron, alongside tips for how to integrate and choose among them.

Mirrors in Architecture: Possibilities of Reflected Space

Mirror Garden / ARCHSTUDIO. Image © Ning Wang
Mirror Garden / ARCHSTUDIO. Image © Ning Wang

KAP-House / ONG&ONG Pte Ltd. Image © Derek Swalwell Si estas paredes hablasen / Serrano + Baquero Arquitectos. Image © Fernando Alda PH José Mármol / Estudio Yama. Image © Javier Agustin Rojas The Mirror Window / Kosaku Matsumoto. Image © Nobutada Omote + 39

Humans have used mirrors since as early as 600 BCE, employing highly polished obsidian as a basic reflective surface. Over time, people began to use small pieces of gold, silver, and aluminum in a similar manner, both for their reflective properties and for decoration. By the 1st century CE, people had started using glass to make mirrors, but it was only during the European Renaissance that Venetian manufacturers began making mirrors by applying metallic backings to glass sheets, remaining the most common general method of mirror manufacturing today. Since then, mirrors have continued to play both a decorative and functional role in architecture, serving a clean, modern aesthetic despite its ancient origins. Below, we investigate how mirrors are made, provide a brief history of mirrors in architecture, and offer several tips for architects looking to use mirrors in their designs.

From Visual Arts to Rendering: The Relevance of Atmospheres in Architectural Visualization

[Render] Mancunian Tower (Tim Groom Architects). Image Cortesía de Darcstudio
[Render] Mancunian Tower (Tim Groom Architects). Image Cortesía de Darcstudio

[Painting] Landscape with the Temptations of Saint Anthony (1635-1638), Claude Lorrain. Image © Claude Lorrain [Wikimedia] under public domain © Alex Roman [Photography] The Ghost Streets of Shanghai. Image © Cody Ellingham "Urban Below" . Image © Han Wu & Studio 35mm (Hamid Khalili - University of Melbourne) + 5

Techniques in visualization have evolved significantly over the years, providing increasingly accurate depictions that give architects a realistic view of their work before the foundation is even laid. For architects and the people they work with, the goal of a visualization is to illustrate the qualities and characteristics of a three-dimensional space that has yet to be built or is in the process of being constructed, by using hand or computer drawn images, videos, and even virtual reality platforms. All of these tools serve as a way of bringing an idea to life, whether for clients or judges in an architectural competition.  

AIA Releases Design Strategies for Safer Schools post COVID-19

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has just released strategies, illustrations, and 3D design models in order to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools. In an effort to assist education officials with reopening schools during the pandemic, the design guidelines are part of the AIA’s initiative “Reopening America: Strategies for Safer Buildings”.

U+I Submits Plans for 1500 Homes, Part of the OMA-Designed Morden Wharf Mixed-Use Neighborhood

Regeneration specialist U+I has submitted plans for Morden Wharf, comprising 1,500 new homes, employment spaces, and a landscaped park along 275m of the River Thames. Located on Greenwich Peninsula in London, the mixed-use scheme designed by OMA includes more than six acres of high-quality public realm, 12 high quality, and tenure-blind residential buildings, as well as commercial, retail and community spaces.

Hachem Designs Hotel Among Lavender Fields in Australia

Hachem Architects have designed a new $65 million hotel within a lavender farm in Australia's Yarra Valley. Design as a boutique retreat, the project will also include a facility for infusing lavender into gin. Dubbed Voco, its horseshoe layout is focused towards the Valley’s views and wraps itself around a private courtyard. The design was made to capture the imagination of a new generation of travelers.

Courtesy of Hachem Architects Courtesy of Hachem Architects Courtesy of Hachem Architects Courtesy of Hachem Architects + 9

Communicating Ideas by Previewing Reality

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The exchange of ideas and concepts is a major part of any large modern building project. Architects, investors, general contractors and sub-contractors all use different tools to form both mental and modeled images of what the end result will look like. When some parties rely on renders or fly-throughs and others use 2D drawings, it can lead to communication difficulties. Reynaers discovered that by bringing together collaborators from different disciplines in its Avalon, the fog of misunderstandings evaporates and difficult decisions can be made on the spot.

Submit Your Local Website for a Potential Partnership with ArchDaily

We at ArchDaily have a great passion for building and broadening the worldwide architecture community and supporting architects from every corner on our Planet. Unfortunately, sometimes there are obstacles on our way, such as lack of communication, language barriers, or simple uncertainty of some peers from our community about the value of their potential contribution to the architecture scene. And here is where we need help from you, our readers — active, crucial elements of the ecosystem we are all building together. Joining forces, we will be able to give the necessary reassurance to the ones that have been unfairly overlooked and let them know that we can't wait to hear their voices, opinions, and ideas.

We call for you to let us know about your favorite architecture publications with local focus -- whether they are created by you or you just think they are worth checking out -- for a potential Content Exchange Partnership with ArchDaily. This will help us create a strong network of local architecture communities, so we can all learn from each other and spread the word about the little steps on our way to a better world, internationally. 

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