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Is It Time For Architects to Unionize?

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Unions are a trend among college-educated young people, the New York Times reports. They seek solidarity—collective leverage—to bring about desired changes that are being resisted. While Amazon and Starbucks get the headlines, younger architects are also organizing. Doing so is urged on by The Architecture Lobby, a group that leans Democratic Socialist. The Manhattan-based firm SHoP was a recent, ultimately unsuccessful target of a group of its employees and a sponsoring trade union.

© UNStudiovia Common Edgevia Common Edgevia Common Edge+ 6

Making Buildings Bird-Friendly with Safety Glass

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Avian hazard – and that's hazard to birds rather than some Hitchcockian hazard to you – is an increasing concern for architects and developers. You may not have thought about it much, but build a tall glass building and sooner rather than later an unwitting bird is going to fly right into it. And then more and often with fatal consequences.

Innovative Ceramic Surfaces for a Healthy Return to Movie Theaters

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In the context of the pandemic, where several businesses were forced to close temporarily, movie theaters across the world were among the most affected. Fast forward more than two years later, and the lingering effects of COVID-19 are still present, marking a turning point in the traditional cinema experience. But even as attendance is still not close to pre-pandemic levels, certain segments of moviegoers are enjoying the benefits of the giant screen, comfortable seats, massive speaker systems and theater snacks.

Creating Contemporary Interiors with Archicad's Object Library

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A guide on on how to create contemporary interiors with Archicad's improved Object Library.

Neuroarchitecture: How Your Brain Responds to Different Spaces

Amazon Spheres in Seattle / NBBJ. Photo © Bruce Damonte Architectural Photographer
Amazon Spheres in Seattle / NBBJ. Photo © Bruce Damonte Architectural Photographer

Have you ever heard of neuroarchitecture? What would spaces look like if architects designed buildings based on the emotions, healing and happiness of the user? Hospitals that help with patient recovery, schools that encourage creativity, work environments that make you more focused…

This is neuroarchitecture: designing efficient environments based not only on technical parameters of legislation, ergonomics and environmental comfort, but also on subjective indices such as emotion, happiness and well-being.

Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy. Photo by Blackcat, via Wikimedia. License CC BY-SA 3.0Amazon Spheres in Seattle / NBBJ. Photo © Bruce Damonte Architectural PhotographerSalk Institute / Louis Kahn. Photo © Liao YushengWaterfront Botanical Gardens / Perkins and Will. Photo © James Steinkamp Photography+ 7

Squire & Partners, SAWA and Buro Happold: Design, Engineering and Local Resources Come Together for the Agri-Tech Center in Cambodia

In these fast-paced and constantly evolving times, architecture has been adapting to new building technologies and complexities to serve today’s world needs. Teams of experts from all areas, architecture, engineering, construction, and a long list of professionals, come together to bring these solutions to our built environment. At ArchDaily we have been highlighting these actors in the architecture we curate and publish every day, but we often come across other types of projects, in which we spot different needs, and ways of building in certain places and communities, that equally require a highly qualified team, specific local techniques, and knowledge that are worth sharing. 

In this edition of the ArchDaily Professionals Video Interviews, we talked to Tim Gledstone, partner in Squire & Partners, Edward Dale-Harris founder of SAWA (Socially Active Workshop Architecture), and Matthew Duckett, Senior Structural Engineer in engineering and infrastructure firm Buro Happold. The three experts came together to design and build the community Agriculture Technology Center in Krong Samraong, Cambodia for the Green Shoots Foundation.

Courtesy of Squire & Partners + SAWACourtesy of Squire & Partners + SAWACourtesy of Squire & Partners + SAWACourtesy of Squire & Partners + SAWA+ 9

Towards Sustainable and Affordable Housing: Is 3D Printing the Future or the Present?

In recent years, the construction industry has faced unprecedented challenges. A lack of skilled workers is driving up costs of labor, there is a global housing shortage, and the effects of climate change around the world are clearer than ever. Therefore, questioning traditional construction methods and pushing the limits of innovation has become a top priority, forcing the industry to implement new technologies as they get on board the digital transformation era. There is one innovation, however, that looks particularly promising: 3D construction printing. Although relatively recent, the technology has already been successfully tested in numerous structures, houses and apartment buildings, reshaping residential construction as we know it. Hence, 3D printing could very well be a viable alternative for more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective mass housing solutions in the near future, positively impacting people’s lives and contributing to greener, healthier cities.

Kitchen Cabinet: 20 Projects in Brazilian Houses and Apartments

Apartamento Moóca / Oficina Coletiva Arquitetos + Casa Sopro. Photo: © Nathalie Artaxo
Apartamento Moóca / Oficina Coletiva Arquitetos + Casa Sopro. Photo: © Nathalie Artaxo

No matter what your kitchen type is, one thing is for sure: the need for cabinets. Designing a project that is functional and can incorporate all the equipment, food and ingredients can be a difficult task depending on the available area. Often, along with countertops and other coverings, cabinets are responsible for setting the tone of this environment, revealing the importance of a good design.

Boa Vista House / Gabriel Pozzobom. Photo: © Alexandre RauppCasa Maria Rosa / VAGA. Photo: © Carolina LacazApartamento HD / Escala Arquitetura. Photo: © MCA EstúdioPNR Apartment / Metamoorfose Studio. Photo: © Maíra Acayaba+ 25

Planners Must Now “Anticipate the Unanticipated”

“The planning practices of the past are inadequate for today’s challenges,” said David Rouse, ASLA, a landscape architect and planner, at the American Planning Association‘s National Planning Conference in San Diego. Rapid technological change, socio-economic inequities, natural resource depletion, and climate change are forcing planning and design professionals to adapt. “How can the practice of planning evolve to be more sustainable and equitable?”

Imagine Austin Growth Concept Map / City of Austin. Image Courtesy of The DirtASLA 2021 Professional Analysis and Planning Honor Award. Parsons Island Conservation and Regeneration Plan. Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, United States. Mahan Rykiel Associates. Image Courtesy of The DirtPlacetype plan / City of Aurora, Colorado. Image Courtesy of The DirtHarold Simmons Park, Dallas, Texas / Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.. Image Courtesy of The Dirt+ 4

Flooring Finesse with a Personal Touch: Beauflor's Customisable Designs

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In case you missed the memo: customisation of furniture and furnishings is one of the most significant developments in the interiors industry today. I don’t exaggerate when I say that every conversation I engage in with design brands includes a discussion around the notion of customisation – so much so that my internal thesaurus is replete with synonyms for the word, since this usually leads to me writing it a lot.

Let the Light In: The Lightness of Translucent Baths and Sinks

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Cortesia de antoniolupi
Cortesia de antoniolupi

Located somewhere between opacity and transparency, translucent surfaces allow rays of light to partially pass through them, creating a "blurred" aspect to what is seen on the other side. This is an effect widely used in art, as in the works of the Icelandic–Danish artist Olafur Eliason, for example, who works with optical illusions through light and colorful and transparent surfaces. But it is also admired by contemporary architects, such as the Japanese office SANAA, or European offices such as Barozzi / Veiga or Lacaton & Vassal, among many others.

In buildings, when using translucent surfaces with materials such as polycarbonate or glass, elements become visually lighter and highlight interiors or even the building's structure, without intruding on inhabitants' privacy. Chairs, lamps, pots: there are several everyday objects that use translucency for aesthetics and lightness. In the bathroom, however, this is not so common. Usually made of porcelain, the traditional pieces used in this space are opaque and at times are not so flexible to allow for a designer's vision.

From Display Windows to Open Spaces: Different Solutions for Stores' Showcases

Creating a showcase is more than just displaying products, just as designing a store goes beyond a showcase. Both charges reinforce the concept of a collection, attract customers and improve a brand’s image. It is no coincidence that many architects work in the Visual Merchandising area along with graphic and interior designers, retailers, and stylists, to design a spatial experience that generates a unique narrative and brings greater customer engagement to the store.

KOLON SPORT Hannam Store / studio fragment. Image: © Kim DonggyuItsu São Paulo Store / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image: © Pedro KokLoja Ryzí / Pistache Ganache. Image: © FelcoMon Parnasse Flower Shop / Canobardin. Image: © Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)+ 20

How Cannabis Legalization Has Changed Cities in the United States

The topic of cannabis can be rather taboo in some instances, as countries around the world have differing views on the legalization of marijuana products based on their cultural and religious beliefs. In the United States specifically, it’s been a long contended issue that each state has, for now, been left to decide on how they want to handle. Each year, more and more states (now totaling 18 and the District of Columbia out of 50), have legalized the recreational sale and use of a limited amount of cannabis, but it remains illegal on a federal level.

Cannabis tax revenue generated more than two billion dollars across legalized states in the last year alone and is expected to grow to nearly 12 billion dollars by 2030, exceeding tax revenues collected from the sale of alcohol, according to bond strategists at Barclays. For the states that do tax the sale of cannabis products, there have already been significant benefits that have helped further develop cities and smaller towns, making the streets safer, and increased funding for new municipal projects, local businesses, subsidies for low-income renters, improvements to public school systems, water and sewer line upgrades, and other significant infrastructure projects.

Ceramic Flooring That Can Be Installed 8 Times Faster Than Conventional Tiling

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Flooring can either make or break a space. With the proper design, it can enhance a room’s design, mark a good first impression and positively impact user experience. However, because floors must withstand damaging conditions such as exposure to moisture and heat, constant foot traffic and heavy furniture movement, it is only natural for them to degrade over time. As a result, renovating floors is crucial to maintain interiors in a good state, especially those with a lot of use.

While selecting a new material to replace the old surface, building owners, architects and designers must consider many key factors, such as comfort, durability and aesthetics. But when it comes to buildings where daily functions are carried out and thus cannot be closed for long periods of time – like supermarkets, offices and restaurants –, speed of installation often becomes the top priority. Ultimately, as the old saying goes, “time is money.”

Three Fairs Weave Into One: Techtextil, Texprocess and Heimtextil

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Today there are enormous application possibilities when it comes to textile technology, and as new developments emerge within the sector, this number will continue to grow. A current example from the world of architecture neatly demonstrates the improvements that can be realised in relation to the quality of air, work and life in general if one is prepared to explore alternative ways of doing things. The project involves a recently developed curtain-type textile facade that can not only reduce a building's solar cooling load by up to 78%, but can even gather nitrogen oxide particles from the air and convert them in an environmentally friendly way by means of a special coating.

Descending Window: The Window That Disappears Into The Floor

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At the touch of a button, the entire window front magically sinks into the ground, merging the interior with the exterior. This is the effect of the air-lux descending window, which acts not just as a glass front, but a highlight all year round that blends the indoors with the outdoors. So much so, that the descending window was awarded the German Design Award 2020 in the category "Excellent Product Design - Building and Elements".

How to Add Real-World Context to Design Scenes with Site Context

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Enscape's latest software release, version 3.3, includes the Site Context feature which lets you add real-world context to your design scenes by utilizing OpenStreetMap data.  

Burnt Cement vs Porcelain Tile: Resignifying Aesthetics in Architecture

The concept of aesthetics goes back to the Greek civilization and refers to perception through the senses. Despite being a philosophical concept, in architecture, aesthetics is used to translate architectural ideologies and concepts from the set of constructive elements, forms and materials, being intrinsically linked to the physical shape of a building and, therefore, bound to a social, economic and political context. In addition to a discussion of tastes, architectural aesthetics is a source of historical reading and analysis.

via Shutterstock. Image By Diego MariottiniSesc Pompeia. Image © Romullo Fontenelle / FlagranteHAYDON Nanjing Store / DOMANI. Image © Minjie Wang© Photo by @danilo.alvesd on Unsplash+ 5

How the Renaissance Influenced Architecture

After a prolonged period known as the Middle-Ages, a growing desire to both study and mimic nature itself began to emerge, with an inclination to discover and explore the world. Between 1400-1600 A.D. Europe was to witness a significant revival of the fine arts, painting, sculpture, and Architecture. The ‘Renaissance’, meaning ‘rebirth’ in French typically refers to this period of European history, although most closely associated with Italy, countries including England and France went through many of the same cultural changes at varying timescales.

Prior to the dawn of the Renaissance, Europe was dominated by ornate and asymmetrical Gothic Architecture. Devoured by the plague, the continent lost approximately a third of its population, vastly changing society in terms of economic, social and religious effect. Contributing to Europe’s emergence into the Renaissance, the period ushered in a new era of architecture after a phase of Gothic art, with the rise of notions of ‘Humanism’. The idea of attaching much importance to the essence of individualism. The effect of Humanism included the emergence of the individual figure, greater realism and attention to detail, especially in depictions in art.

Wooden Model of Brunelleschis Dome . Image © Antonio QuattroneSanta Maria Novella, Florence . Image Courtesy of Commonists / WikiCommons CC BY-SA 4.0Royal Summer Palace, Prague / Paolo della Stella. Image Courtesy of Øyvind Holmstad / WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican / Principally Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini . Image Courtesy of Alvesgaspar / WikiCommons CC BY-SA 4.0+ 12

A’Design Award and Competition: Meet the 2021-2022 Winners

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“Good design deserves great recognition”. This statement encapsulates the A'Design Award and Competition, an award for designers, innovators and companies that wish to stand out and attract the attention of the media, editors and buyers. These aspects are especially important in the world of design, where millions of products and projects are launched, and often end up being swallowed up and not receiving due recognition. To address this, every year projects are submitted to the A' Design Award with a focus on innovation, technology, design and creativity. It offers a chance for recognition, with the valuable curatorship of a renowned jury and the possibility of a successful international launch. The A'Design Award contains a series of public relations, advertising and marketing services to celebrate the success of its winners. In addition, and unlike other design awards, it is completely free of charge.

The Second Studio Podcast: Interview with Joe Fletcher

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina are joined by Joe Fletcher, Architectural Photographer to discuss his transition from painting to photography; his experience with a formalized education in photography; how an architectural photographer can influence architects and architecture; his process; the distillation of architecture through photography; why photogenic buildings are not always comfortable to be in; and more.

© Joe Fletcher© Joe Fletcher© Joe Fletcher© Joe Fletcher+ 18

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