As the world recognizes Earth Day 2019, the public discourse is increasingly dominated by citizen action across the world manifesting a widespread fear and frustration at a perceived lack of action by governments and officials to confront the issue forthrightly. From the Extinction Rebellion protests that have gripped London, to school student strikes across 125 countries, global cities are increasingly finding themselves on the front line of a battle to limit the effects of global warming.
“We Want to Enjoy the Work, Enjoy the Fight”: In Conversation with Qing Fei and Frank Fu of Renhe Architecture
Last year I was invited to teach design studio for the first time by Tsinghua University in Beijing, home to the top architecture school in China and one of the strongest in the world, according to the latest international ratings. There, I met husband-and-wife teaching practitioners Qing Fei and Frank Fu. As soon as I witnessed their unorthodox way of teaching by challenging students with rigorous questioning, I wanted to interview them. Their innovative approach did not fit my impression of how architecture is tackled in China. Fei and Fu are Tsinghua graduates; they moved to America in the late 1980s where they studied, worked, and researched both art and architecture for almost two decades. They opened their experimental practice after coming back to Beijing in 2005. Since then they produced urban masterplans, design guidelines for public spaces in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, and exhibited their work in galleries. We met before their class where they oversaw students’ designs for a new architecture school in place of the current one, articulating what works, what doesn’t, and how to make it a more exciting place to explore architectural possibilities. We discussed their teaching, the impossibility of solving a problem without questioning it first, why they see every one of their projects as a fight, and the importance of fun. They said, “Architecture is a game and we want to play it seriously.”
Now that it's time for the Easter Holidays, kids (and young-at-heart adults) will be busy searching for colorful eggs hidden here and there. As for you architecture lovers, illustrator Chanel Dehond took egg hunts to the next level and found a way to make the activity a bit more relatable.
Take a look at Dehond's eggceptional collection of illustrations, inspired by some of your favorite structures from all over the world.
If you come to think of it, the urban development of the world's largest cities is like playing a game of Tetris; No matter how condensed or crowded, for architects, there is always room for more. However, this act of 'structural stacking' often creates unique architectural compositions.
As a follow-up to his first photo-series, Singaporean photographer and visual artist Kevin Siyuan put together 'Corridors of Diversity', a short montage of communal corridors and HDB (Housing and Development Board) block facades, featuring the dynamic designs and forms of Singapore's densely built environment.
"We Designed an Exhibition that Presents the Bauhaus in all its Dazzling Diversity": Barbara Holzer Explains her Design for the New Bauhaus Museum
Located near the Neue Museum, the concrete structure was designed by German architect Prof. Heike Hanada. The architect followed the school’s minimalist approach, and developed a 5-storey cubic building, with a clearly defined geometric form and horizontal grooves all around the facade. The museum’s permanent exhibition, which was designed and curated by Barbara Holzer of Holzer Kobler Architekturen, houses the world’s oldest Bauhaus collection, bringing forth debates on contemporary design and showcasing the school’s most notable inventions.
In an exclusive interview with ArchDaily, Holzer explains the creative process of designing the exhibition space, and some of the challenges she faced while exhibiting Bauhaus' distinguished works.
A Close Look at UNStudio’s Dynamic Lines Shaping a New District in Hangzhou in a Video by #donotsettle
10 Years in the Making
When Raffles City was completed in the second half of 2017, it undoubtedly marked an important moment for UNStudio. This large-scale project (almost 400 000 sqm) formed the first presence of UNStudio in the ‘Middle Kingdom’. And they entered the large market with a bang. The 2 towers rise to 250 meters in height, gently weave, twist and turn to form a dynamic ensemble while incorporating a large-scale mall at its base. The project is located in Hangzhou, a city about 150 km from China’s financial center Shanghai. While Hangzhou isn’t that well known outside China, the city is one of the most prosperous on the mainland. Nowadays perhaps more famous by being the home of technology juggernaut Alibaba than the more idyllic west lake, Hangzhou is rapidly developing with new areas, districts and financial centers. Raffles City is a key point in one of those new districts. Located along the river, Qianjiang New Area is aiming high. Skyscraper after skyscraper rising out of the ground, the one bolder than the other. But no doubt that UNStudio’s dynamic lines shape the new face of Hangzhou.
On March 1, 1967, João Batista Vilanova Artigas, Brazilian modernist architect, proffered at the College of Architecture and Urbanism of Sao Paulo University an inaugural lesson that marks his return to the university after the exile imposed by the Brazilian military coup. This lesson became one of the most influential concept to the next generation of Brazilian architects and we share here the entire speech.
One of the most important factors when designing is the specific climate of the site, this can represent a difficulty when dealing with extreme climates and it is necessary to use insulating materials that adapt to changing conditions. However, when talking about Mexico and its privileged climate, this becomes an advantage for architects, allowing the creation of microclimates and spaces that fade into the transition of what is the inside and the outside.
Amer Ismail, architect-turned-artist based in London, has developed a spectacular set of intricate “Globe Drawings” of cities around the world. Beginning in 2016, Ismail developed these 5-point-perspective drawings with heavy inspiration from artist Stephen Wiltshire. Having spent many years drawings architecture, including time at Foster+Partners, Ismail tasked himself with developing a series that encompassed his “interest for architecture, city planning, travel, drawings, and Star Wars.”
It is often claimed that “there is nothing more outdated than science fiction.” Indeed, history is awash with speculation on future ways of living, as futurists imagine how advancements in technology, trends, and social norms could alter how we live, and what we live in. The period between 1958 and 1963 could be described as “The Golden Age of American Futurism” where technological milestones such as the founding of NASA coincided with cultural icons such as The Jetsons. Some of this era’s wildest ideas centered on how the houses of the future would look.
At the start, train cars stand ready with cement and bales of fibers. A machine processes the mixture layer by layer into panels of the desired size and thickness. However, some specific production knowledge must be considered in the manufacture of the building material. Marco Ziethen, Swisspearl’s head of production technology, explains us the fabrication process of fiber cement.
In their day-to-day work, architects face a lot of distractions and challenges: managing clients, collaborators and contractors; keeping up to date with the latest software and technologies; drafting planning applications and paperwork; and if you're lucky, even getting to design some things in between. Originally published by ArchSmarter, this post offers 21 tips on how to maximize your productivity and minimize unnecessary work.
Project schedules are getting shorter and shorter. Building types are getting more complex. We already work hard but there are only so many hours in the day. As architects, we need to work smarter, not harder. How can we maximize our effectiveness and our efficiency? How can we manage the increasing flow of information? How can we design better, faster?
Here are 21 ways you can work smarter, not harder:
Last week, we asked our social media followers, "What does public architecture mean to you?" These thoughts are intrinsic to the architectural debate and come into play in various types of projects, especially in those related to the planning of common-use spaces in cities.
The Tchoban Foundation - Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin shared with us this article about the exhibition Siza: Unseen and Unknown curated by architect António Choupina together with Dr. h. c. Kristin Feireiss. According to them, "this exhibition was conceived as a family show, not in the sense of an architectural dynasty but rather as a lyrical collection of drawings from the architect’s private surroundings". The selected drawings are from the Siza family’s own collection and include sketches from known and less well-known projects, as well as architectural fantasies.
Álvaro Siza was born in 1933, on the same year that the Bauhaus closed its doors. He is perhaps the last living modernist or, at the very least, the most significant voice to carry out the unfinished modernist project all the way into the 21st century.
Siza: Unseen and Unknown showcases this continuity through 100 sketches, as well as its unavoidable contradictions. These drawings are from his most personal archive, in addition to small collections of close friends and family. Hence, they focus not only on the professional legacy but also on the familial one, where Maria Antónia Siza (1940-1973) takes centre stage. His wife will draw him, he will draw her and the loving embrace of the human body will be transversal to architecture, art, life.
If there is any consistent factor in his work, says Pritzker-winning architect Tadao Ando, then it is the pursuit of light. Ando’s complex choreography of light fascinates most when the viewer experiences the sensitive transitions within his architecture. Sometimes walls wait calmly for the moment to reveal striking shadow patterns, and other times water reflections animate unobtrusively solid surfaces. His combination of traditional Japanese architecture with a vocabulary of modernism has contributed greatly to critical regionalism. While he is concerned with individual solutions that have a respect for local sites and contexts Ando’s famous buildings – such as the Church of the Light, Koshino House or the Water Temple – link the notion of regional identity with a modern imagining of space, material and light. Shoji walls with diffuse light are reinterpreted in the context of another culture, for instance, filtered through the lens of Rome’s ancient Pantheon, where daylight floods through an oculus. Ando’s masterly imagination culminates in planning spatial sequences of light and dark like he envisioned for the Fondation d’Art Contemporain François Pinault in Paris.
Matter Design Studio has partnered with CEMEX Global R&D to challenge the relationship between the mass of materials and the physical effort of contemporary construction practices, exploring the movement and assembly of heavy objects on a real scale, manufactured using advanced computing. The objective of Walking Assembly is to eliminate the crane from the constructive equation, transferring the effort from people to objects, freeing them to play with the mass.
The passion for cinema and TV shows, combined with that for scenography and architecture, led Italian architect Riccardo Masiero to play with the different spaces and dimensions of the elements that make movies in order to create "MAKE IT ISO!", a series of drawings portraying famous movies and TV icons such as Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks, Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Shining and UP in an architectural way.
These illustrations represent iconic scenes of TV and cinema through the isometric illustration method, giving an overall picture of the construction of the scene, as well as providing a different point of view to the observer.
Keep reading to see the full "MAKE IT ISO!" series and the author explaining his work.
New technology in digital building, particularly Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems, are changing the way that we design and build wooden structures. Their high level of precision allows us to design perfect assembles--without screws or visible metalwork--resulting in structures that are durable, easy-to-build, and extremely well-organized. We spoke with the experts at Timber to better understand the process of building a wooden structure and to compile a list of key tips in designing one.
Graphic designers Eurydyka Kata & Rafał Szczawiński from re:design have shared with us some of their most recent designs celebrating Bauhaus' 100th Anniversary. Inspiration for these posters was taken directly from Bauhaus' most iconic designs. "For this poster, we researched some of the most famous designs from the Bauhaus school: furniture, toys, appliances, and recreated them isometrically. Both the drawing style and colors are inspired by Bauhaus art and style. This was great fun to work on and we're glad we could pay tribute to one of the most important institutions in the history of design."
For almost a millennium, Notre-Dame Cathedral has stood proudly on Paris’ central Île de la Cité, a symbol of the city’s history, culture, and romanticism. On Monday, April 15th, 2019, thousands who lined the banks of the Seine and millions more across the world watched on in a mixture of disbelief, heartbreak, and helplessness as the Gothic masterpiece burned before their eyes.
The fire has fortunately not claimed any lives but has robbed the landmark of its 19th-century spire, roof, and potentially priceless stained glass windows and interior ornamentation and artwork. At the time of writing, it appears that the main structure of Notre-Dame Cathedral has been saved and preserved, owed to the efforts of 500 firefighters deployed to the disaster.
Although James Blish’s “Cities in Flight” was not the first attempt to combine architecture and anti-gravity technology, it was in this book series that we can see it prevailing on an urban scale. Throughout its evolution, architecture has crawled out of caves, settled on grounds, climbed on pilotis, floated on water, stood high, and even danced. Now many argue that it is high time for it to move forward and assume some of its multi-directional and forthcoming probabilities.
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 and long-format conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and more personal discussions. Honesty and humor are used to cover a wide array of subjects: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or simply explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is available for free on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and all other podcast directories.
On this episode of The Midnight Charette podcast, hosts David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet discuss the factors to consider when choosing an undergraduate architecture school. The two cover everything from program curricula to group dynamics, accreditation, faculty leadership, school reputation, student work and portfolios, course diversity, 5th year, job opportunities after graduating and more. The Midnight Charette also recently interviewed several educators and academic leaders on architecture education and their own work.
The first architecture Biennial since Georgia’s independence was held in Tbilisi in October 2018, with an ambitious and diverse programme of exhibitions, installations and events. The Biennial transformed a vast microdistrict into an architectural playground, highlighting the particularities of the existing urban fabric as much as the temporary installations.
Continuing the series of articles developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andres M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy, and Ernesto Philibert-Petit, in this article we'll be exploring how observations on social housing in Latin American have been approached from an outdated and antagonistic point of view. Notions and errors committed in previous studies - in some cases simply by inertia - are discussed in the Latin American context, and propose adaptable solutions focused on the long-term, urban roots of residents.