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Frank Gehry’s Online Masterclass: A Review By Architecture Students

09:30 - 22 January, 2018

You’ve probably seen the ads. Popping out from your Facebook newsfeed, the Masterclass sales pitch immediately attracts the eye: beautifully backlit wooden models and silky hand sketching emphasized by orchestral swells are accompanied by an adorable pirouette by the one and only Frank Gehry. The combination of Gehry’s status and slick production has managed to amass over 1.6 million views for the trailer on Youtube. Even in the company of courses taught by Martin Scorsese, Deadmau5, and Samuel L Jackson, the lone architect impressively lays claim to the eighth most popular teaser in the Masterclass series. The production value alone is almost a convincing argument for the $90 USD price, a detail that is quietly left out of the trailer.

The course has been reviewed by a critic, a practicing architect, and a curator—but what of its ostensible target audience, the architecture student? Has Masterclass managed to crack the online class conundrum with cinematography and celebrity?

Dear Employers: Do You Want an Architect or a Revit Monkey?

08:00 - 22 January, 2018
Dear Employers: Do You Want an Architect or a Revit Monkey?, © Alhelí Zanella Giurfa
© Alhelí Zanella Giurfa

We are seeking someone with a Bachelor of Architecture with two years of experience. Knowledge of Revit, Vray, Adobe and Microsoft. Knowledge of RNE and Municipal documentation. Immediate availability - Typical Architecture Job Listing.

Are newly graduated Architects "employable" people according to the requirements of the current market? And are these the right requirements?

Living Architecture 'Astrocyte' Questions Whether Buildings Can Think and Care

14:00 - 21 January, 2018
Living Architecture 'Astrocyte' Questions Whether Buildings Can Think and Care, © Philip Beesley
© Philip Beesley

'Astrocyte' is a living piece of architecture that could easily be mistaken for a piece of science fiction. Engaging with the senses for an immersive experience, artist and architect Philip Beesley’s aerial structure combines chemistry, artificial intelligence, and a responsive soundscape. ‘Astrocyte’, translates from Greek to the literal meaning of star and cell, appropriate for such a complex structure that can react with the viewers' movements with patterns of light, vibrations and surround sound. 

© Philip Beesley © Philip Beesley © Philip Beesley © Philip Beesley + 9

Architecture and the Bare Body: 15 Spaces for Healing, Relaxing and Bathing

12:00 - 21 January, 2018
Architecture and the Bare Body: 15 Spaces for Healing, Relaxing and Bathing, © Kevin Scott
© Kevin Scott

© David Romero-Uzeda © Vinicius Nunes © Clément Guillaume Cortesía de A2arquitectos + 16

Spas, swimming pools, and saunas are spaces to which we turn in search of positive experiences, especially healing and sanitation. What characterizes all of these spaces is a requirement to wear little clothing--or even none at all--meaning that these spaces have very different expectations regarding nudity, privacy, and the human body when compared to other forms of architecture. From the point of view of design, nudity requires specific spatial conditions, forcing architects to think carefully about details such as the opacity of materials and the dimensions of space. With this in mind, this week we present a selection of the 15 best images of healing spaces, captured by renowned photographers such as Kevin ScottClément Guillaume, and Marcello Mariana.

Photos Show the Light and the Dark in Zaha Hadid Architects' Vienna Library

09:30 - 21 January, 2018
© Edwin Seda
© Edwin Seda

In Zaha Hadid Architects' description of their Library and Learning Centre at the University of Economics Vienna, they describe the exterior of the building as "characterized by two elements of contrasting colors separated by a glass joint: shell and shadow." For that reason, the building was a perfect subject for architect and photographer Edwin Seda, who says he is fascinated by the effect light has on buildings. "Design is created to work with natural light but is never really in control of this aspect," says Seda. "This set of images therefore explores light as a medium for architectural transformation, a sort of fourth dimension, that only materializes once the building is complete and the seasons begin to change."

Seda's photoset captures the Library and Learning Centre throughout the course of a day: from the daytime when the building's light and dark elements are clearly distinguished; to sunset when one side of the building is closer to orange than the white or black planned by the architects; then to the evening, when the building's internal lights bring an entirely different dynamic to the building's composition. Read on to see the full set of images.

© Edwin Seda © Edwin Seda © Edwin Seda © Edwin Seda + 9

8 (New) Energy Efficient Materials Architects Should Know

08:00 - 21 January, 2018
8 (New) Energy Efficient Materials Architects Should Know

Whether architects are trying to meet the Architecture 2030 Challenge or pursuing their own mission to save energy, they have an opportunity to design buildings that can limit carbon emissions and be resilient against changing climate conditions.

To help architects meet their goals, a new wave of chemistry and material science is bringing innovative materials and building systems to the marketplace. From advanced insulation foams to multiwall cladding, this next generation of high-performing materials will help accelerate energy-efficient design.

Learn more about some of the high performing materials of today and tomorrow.

Protection and Preservation Policies are Fundamental for the Rescue of Abandoned Architecture in Argentina

16:00 - 20 January, 2018
Protection and Preservation Policies are Fundamental for the Rescue of Abandoned Architecture in Argentina, Tourist Inn at A. del Valle and Parador in San Pedro. Image via Agustina Basile
Tourist Inn at A. del Valle and Parador in San Pedro. Image via Agustina Basile

It is difficult to forget about the demolition of Clorindo Testa’s Commissariat of Santo Pipó and with it, the demolition of part of the Argentine architecture.

With the objective of addressing issues related to the rescue and protection of the forgotten and deteriorated buildings, the MMM3 (Modern Movement in Missions) of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (UNaM) held an exhibition on October 31 in the locality of A. Del Valle.

The exhibition is part of the 60th anniversary of other works of the architect in the Argentine northeast: the Tourist Paradores, three buildings located in A. del Valle, San Ignacio and San Pedro product of the architects Boris Davinovic, Augusto Gaido, Francisco Rossi and Clorindo Testa. 

Gender Neutral Playground Inspires Creativity and Intellectual Development by Combining Art and Architecture

14:00 - 20 January, 2018
Gender Neutral Playground Inspires Creativity and Intellectual Development by Combining Art and Architecture, Courtesy of Luckey Climbers
Courtesy of Luckey Climbers

Having trained at Yale School of Architecture, Spencer Luckey decided to pursue a slightly alternate career designing vertical climbing structures to let children’s imaginations run free. Luckey Climbers are part jungle gym, part work of art that rise up off the ground with undulating platforms sprouting out, creating an abstract space to inspire creativity and intellectual development.

Inside the Rock 'n' Roll Life of Mexican Architect Michel Rojkind

09:30 - 20 January, 2018

Today, Michel Rojkind is widely known as one of Mexico's most successful, and at times flamboyant, architects of the 21st century. But in spite of his success, his path to architecture was never straightforward; before founding Rojkind Arquitectos, he spent over a decade as a drummer in pop-rock band Aleks Syntek y La Gente Normal, an experience which he actually credits with sparking his interest in architecture. An article released this week by Surface Magazine offers an extensive profile of Rojkind, from his childhood, through his days as a drummer, to the difficulties he experienced on his architectural work--including the disastrous opening of Mexico City's Cineteca Nacional in 2014. Read some excerpts from Surface Magazine's article after the break.

The Renovation of Louis Kahn's Yale University Art Center: A Significant Moment for Architectural Preservation

09:30 - 19 January, 2018
The Renovation of Louis Kahn's Yale University Art Center: A Significant Moment for Architectural Preservation, © Elizabeth Felicella, courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery
© Elizabeth Felicella, courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "How the Restoration of Louis Kahn’s Yale Art Gallery Helped Kickstart Modern Preservation."

I have a distinct memory from my days as an architecture student at the University of California Berkeley in the late ‘80s. During an architectural survey class taught by Spiro Kostof, Louis I Kahn’s Yale University Art Gallery popped up in the slideshow. “Nice building,” I thought, “but what’s with those windows?”

Fifteen years later at Polshek Partnership (now Ennead Architects), I would become the project architect for the construction phase overseeing the rehabilitation of that classic building—the most challenging aspect of which was to replace “those windows.” I came to understand, intimately, how the double-paned window wall had failed almost as soon as construction was complete. Condensation accumulated between the panes, creating the foggy effect that marred my first impression of this groundbreaking building.

Spotlight: Thom Mayne

08:00 - 19 January, 2018
Spotlight: Thom Mayne, Emerson College Los Angeles. Image © Iwan Baan
Emerson College Los Angeles. Image © Iwan Baan

The principal architect of LA firm MorphosisThom Mayne (born January 19, 1944) was the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize and the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, and is known for his experimental architectural forms, often applying them to significant institutional buildings such as the New York's Cooper Union building, the Emerson College in Los Angeles and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters.

Emerson College Los Angeles. Image © Iwan Baan Perot Museum. Image © Iwan Baan Cooper Union Building. Image © Iwan Baan Bill & Melinda Gates Hall. Image © Roland Halbe + 16

5 Innovative Business Models for Young Architectural Practices

09:30 - 18 January, 2018
5 Innovative Business Models for Young Architectural Practices, The <a href='https://www.archdaily.com/782154/look-inside-a-selection-of-danish-finnish-norwegian-and-swedish-architecture-offices-photographed-by-marc-goodwin'>office of 3XN in Copenhagen, Denmark</a>. Image © Marc Goodwin
The office of 3XN in Copenhagen, Denmark. Image © Marc Goodwin

The architecture profession is in a perpetual debate concerning the myriad issues that impact how we practice and how that work can and should impact the world around us. As the chair of the AIA’s Young Architects Forum, I am keenly aware of the problems facing the next generation of practice leaders: inefficient practice models that lead to overworked, underpaid, and highly unsatisfied staff. We hear repeatedly that a seismic shift in the way firms operate is necessary to successfully move the profession forward and retain talent.

In October, the AIA held their first ever Practice Innovation Lab, looking to develop new practice models to raise the value of architects and the services that they provide to their clients with the goal of sparking a new debate that could challenge the status quo in firm management.Ten teams of six were formed with the intent of creating 10 new innovative practice models which would be pitched, “Shark Tank” style, after a daylong hackathon. Attendees then voted on the best practice model for the People’s Choice Award. Among the 10 pitches, there were five major themes to come out of the Practice Innovation Lab, which are discussed in more detail below:

Run, Jump, Hide and Slide on ELEMENTAL's Newly Designed Urban Children's Game

06:00 - 18 January, 2018
Run, Jump, Hide and Slide on ELEMENTAL's Newly Designed Urban Children's Game, La Serpentina en el Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, Chile. Image Cortesía de ELEMENTAL
La Serpentina en el Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, Chile. Image Cortesía de ELEMENTAL

A new children’s urban playground has captured the attention and energy of children of all ages in the center of Valparaíso’s Cultural Park (Chile). The metallic structure is 40 meters long and has a colorful undulating path where children can run, jump, hide and slide.

La Serpentina is one of the public space projects designed by ELEMENTAL (Alejandro Aravena). It was built for Somos Choapa in Chile and is currently in Valparaíso as part of the XX Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism of Chile.

La Serpentina follows a similar design to the equipment at the Bicentenary Children’s Park (2012) in Santiago. La Serpentina is one of two interventions entered by Somos Choapa in the Biennial. The second project is a prototype with a series of touch screens installed in the main area of the Cultural Park of Valparaíso, accounting for over 100 concrete initiatives of the project.

Neat and Tidy or Messy and Cluttered: Which Inspires More Creativity?

08:00 - 17 January, 2018
Neat and Tidy or Messy and Cluttered: Which Inspires More Creativity?, © ArchDaily | Eduardo Souza & Matheus Pereira
© ArchDaily | Eduardo Souza & Matheus Pereira

While architects are known for promoting sleek, clutter-free spaces, we have to ask: is this the best way to inspire creativity? Personal preference certainly plays a large part in how you respond to a stark table-tops with nary a stray pencil--maybe this is your nirvana. Or perhaps it’s theoretically preferable but once you have to sit down and work, you find yourself uninspired.

Author Tim Harford researched and compiled a number of examples for his book Messy in which “creativity, responsiveness, [and] resilience” were “integral to the disorder, confusion and disarray.” Do you agree? Or perhaps more importantly, what are you surrounded by when you’re in the zone and at your creative peak?

Was the AIA's Failure to Give its Twenty-Five Year Award In 2018 a Snub to Postmodernism?

09:30 - 16 January, 2018
Was the AIA's Failure to Give its Twenty-Five Year Award In 2018 a Snub to Postmodernism?, Michael Graves' Team Disney Building. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenjavier/3600380204'>Flickr user lorenjavier</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
Michael Graves' Team Disney Building. Image © Flickr user lorenjavier licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Did the AIA Take a Pass on Postmodernism?"

People perceive architecture in different ways. “Style” is often an easy classification, traditional or modern. Popular residential work is often categorized dismissively by architects as “vernacular.” The branding of the product of the profession, an oeuvre of work embodied in buildings and their meaning in our culture as celebrated by the American Institute of Architects, has many levels of recognition, from local AIA Chapter Awards, to national Awards.

No AIA Award has more meaning or lustre inside the profession than the “Twenty-five Year Award” for buildings that have “stood the test of time.” The award has been given continuously for the last 56 years. This year, the Design Jury chosen to select a seminal building has opted not to give an award to anything, any building 25-35 years old.

Fact Check: Which of These Architecture Rumors are Actually True?

09:30 - 15 January, 2018
Fact Check: Which of These Architecture Rumors are Actually True?

Fact-checking website Snopes (also known as the internet's first fact-checking website) has now been debunking Urban Legends and setting the record straight when it comes to "questionable" and/or fantastic stories for 23 years. In its two decades of operation, it has amassed not only thousands of well-researched explanations to perplexing myths but has also garnered the praise of news outlets like The New York Times, CNN, and Forbes. So what can Snopes tell us about our dear profession? Get your facts right with our list of dubious (and some not-so-dubious) claims about architecture, buildings, and city design.

10 (More) Houses and Their Inhabitants: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 14 January, 2018
10 (More) Houses and Their Inhabitants: The Best Photos of the Week, © João Morgado
© João Morgado

© Peter Bennetts © NAARO © Alejandro Peral © APERTOZERO + 11

The appearance of people in architectural photography is rare. When they do show up, people are usually added to help the viewer better understand the size and design elements of a building. However, in recent times, several photographers have warmed to the idea of capturing houses with their inhabitants, showing the people who live there and how they inhabit the spaces. After the success of our previous round-up of people photographed with their houses, this week we bring you 10 more houses captured by renowned photographers such as Hiroyuki OkiPeter Bennetts, and Ricardo Oliveira Alves

How the Portrayal of Houses in Cinema Shows Uncomfortable Truths About Hollywood's Relationship to Race

09:30 - 13 January, 2018
How the Portrayal of Houses in Cinema Shows Uncomfortable Truths About Hollywood's Relationship to Race, The Stately Oaks Plantation House in Jonesboro, Georgia, is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Tara, the fictional plantation house from Gone With the Wind. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stately_Oaks.jpg'>Wikimedia user Maksim Sundukov</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
The Stately Oaks Plantation House in Jonesboro, Georgia, is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Tara, the fictional plantation house from Gone With the Wind. Image © Wikimedia user Maksim Sundukov licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

This short excerpt is from Places Journal's article "Prop and Property: The house in American cinema, from the plantation to Chavez Ravine," which in turn was adapted from John David Rhodes' book Spectacle of Property. The article, which investigates the many layers of property inherent in the production and viewing of movies, investigates in particular the films Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird, revealing how their themes of race and property are made even more complex by the practicalities of Hollywood filmmaking.

Perhaps the most mysterious and desired feature of housing is the privacy of property, and especially the property of and in the house. Property, however, is fungible and alienable. Whatever is promised by the house is radically susceptible to violation, displacement, and loss. Often the experience of property’s violation or redefinition involves an unwelcome reminder that the house is not a very private place after all. Partly we know this: we have all spent time in living rooms, on porches, or in other spaces of the house in which it is nearly impossible to say where the public ends and the private begins. But when property’s inherent instability is experienced vividly—whether in “real life” or in representation—we are forced to confront the tenuous relationship between public and private, as well as the tenuousness of all property relations as such.

Postmodern Post-Mortem: Why We Need To Stop Using Architecture's Most Misunderstood Word

09:30 - 11 January, 2018
© Giacomo Pala
© Giacomo Pala

We were hoping for it to happen in the early 2000s. We saw it coming with the opening of the exhibition “Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970 – 1990” at the V&A in London in 2011. But now, after recent discussions on the umpteenth supposed “postmodern revival,” it is finally sure: the word “postmodernism” is back and it’s here to stay. But as clear as it is that the word “postmodernism” is once again fashionable, it is not really clear what we mean when using it. Indeed, this word has been used to imply every possible meaning: architects have used it to describe fashionable and “cute” designs, some critics have used it to categorize everything that is colorful, while some theorists have been using it to affirm that, because of this concept, architecture has surrendered to technology or form, becoming nothing more than a caricature of its own presupposed moral values.

Whether we agree with such commentaries or not, there is one thing that we still need to discuss: what does “postmodern” mean? And, even more urgently: what could it mean today? After all, if we have to deal once again with one of the most misinterpreted and contradictory words ever introduced in our field, we should at least discuss what it means, before using it.

How Drones Can Be Used in Architecture (And How To Use Them Without Breaking the Law)

09:30 - 10 January, 2018
How Drones Can Be Used in Architecture (And How To Use Them Without Breaking the Law), © <a href='https://unsplash.com/photos/DiTiYQx0mh4'>Dose Media on Unsplash</a>
© Dose Media on Unsplash

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "How Drones Can Be Used in Architecture."

Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, are gaining in popularity not only among the general public and consumers, but also among professionals working in the AEC industry. We’ve seen ambitious predictions for the use of drones on construction sites, as transportation vehicles and marketing tools.

While this new technology, like 3D printing and robotic fabrication in general, promises to revolutionize the architectural profession, it is useful to know to what extent its practical application can affect the way archipreneurs work. It seems that, for now, drones have great potentials when it comes to several aspects of the profession.

Will Automation Affect Architects?

08:00 - 10 January, 2018
Will Automation Affect Architects?, © Nicolás Valencia, using image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/masakiishitani/4065681012/'>Flickr user masakiishitani</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
© Nicolás Valencia, using image © Flickr user masakiishitani licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

According to The Economist, 47% of the work done by humans will have been replaced by robots by 2037, even those traditionally associated with university education. While the World Economic Forum estimates that between 2015 and 2020, 7.1 million jobs will be lost around the world, as "artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and other socio-economic factors replace the need for human employees." 

It's not science fiction: the MIT Technology Review warns that the current debate over raising the minimum wage for fast food employees in the United States would accelerate their own automation. On the other hand, Silicon Valley personalities and millionaires like Elon Musk and Richard Branson warned that the impact of automation will force the creation of a universal basic income to compensate not only the massive unemployment that would generate these new technologies but also the hyper-concentration of the global wealth.

One advocate of this idea is the British economist Guy Standing who wrote at the Davos Forum that it "would be a sensible precaution against the possibility of mass displacement by robotization and artificial intelligence," but will automation affect architects? Will we really be replaced by robots? 

Edible Architecture Formed from Chocolate Using 3D Printed Moulds

14:00 - 9 January, 2018
Edible Architecture Formed from Chocolate Using 3D Printed Moulds, © Universal Favourite
© Universal Favourite

Universal Favourite have developed a range of modular chocolates Complementary that are formed in 3D printed moulds to satisfy any architect with a sweet tooth. The architectural forms have been developed to establish a connection between the two pieces to be eaten as one, complementing one and other.

© Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite © Universal Favourite + 22

7 Myths in Architectural Detailing that Are Changing in the Digital Age

09:30 - 9 January, 2018
7 Myths in Architectural Detailing that Are Changing in the Digital Age

The recent availability of automated design and production techniques is changing the development of building details. With parametric and algorithmic design methods and the use of digital fabrication, new abilities are required from architects for the design of details, at the same time as new players are beginning to take part in their development.

Although not always given the necessary attention, architectural details are of extreme importance for many aspects of a building. They can define its theoretical expression and technical character, and impact its production process, its assembly method and even its ecological footprint. Contemporary architecture shows a new interest in detailing, which should not be confused with a return to the appreciation of artisanal work.[1] This new interest is related to the recent re-involvement of the architect with the physical making of buildings, as a result of the use of digital technologies.[2] The new “digital master builder” [3] counts on file-to-factory processes, in which the morphology of construction details is directly related to the knowledge of the available production processes.

CF Møller’s Nature Park is Designed to Flood to Save the Nearby Town

14:00 - 8 January, 2018
CF Møller’s Nature Park is Designed to Flood to Save the Nearby Town, Courtesy of CF Møller
Courtesy of CF Møller

CF Møller’s Storkeengen (Stork Meadow) is a landscape solution, bringing the town of Randers closer to the longest river in Denmark, the Gudenå River to prevent the threat of flooding. The storm protection uses the wetland meadows as an attractive nature park to handle the raised stormwater level, whilst a recreational pathway increases accessibility with the nature areas across the river.