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The American-Inspired Russian Architecture

Boris Iofan’s winning proposal for Palace of the Soviets. Image Courtesy of Arkadi Mordvinov, Vyacheslav K. Oltarzhevsky/Tchoban Foundation
Boris Iofan’s winning proposal for Palace of the Soviets. Image Courtesy of Arkadi Mordvinov, Vyacheslav K. Oltarzhevsky/Tchoban Foundation

From the famous Kitchen Debate between Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon to the popularity of Henry Ford within the USSR, the hundreds of factories designed by Detroit engineer Albert Kahn for Soviet Russia, and skyscrapers erected in Moscow, the Cold War had a peculiar side to it, that is the Russian fascination with American culture and technology.

Spotlight: Kisho Kurokawa

Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo. Image © <a href=''>Wikimedia user Jordy Meow</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo. Image © Wikimedia user Jordy Meow licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Kisho Kurokawa (April 8th 1934 – October 12th 2007) was one of Japan's leading architects of the 20th century, perhaps most well-known as one of the founders of the Metabolist movement of the 1960s. Throughout the course of his career, Kurokawa advocated a philosophical approach to understanding architecture that was manifest in his completed projects throughout his life.

Nagoya City Art Museum. Image © <a href=''>Wikimedia user Chris 73</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Toshiba-IHI Pavilion at the 1970 Osaka Expo. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user m-louis</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Van Gogh Museum Exposition Wing, Amsterdam. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user kmaschke</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo. Image © <a href=''>Wikimedia user Jordy Meow</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> + 8

Spotlight: Jean Prouvé

One of Jean Prouvé's Demountable Houses on display. Image Courtesy of Forward
One of Jean Prouvé's Demountable Houses on display. Image Courtesy of Forward

A figure whose work blurred the line between the mathematical and the aesthetic, French industrial designer, architect, and engineer Jean Prouvé (8 April 1901 – 23 March 1984) is perhaps best remembered for his solid yet nimble furniture designs, as well as his role in the nascent pre-fabricated housing movement. His prowess in metal fabrication inspired the Structural Expressionist movement and helped to usher in the careers of British High-Tech architects Richard Rogers and Norman Foster.

An Intermittent Breath of Fresh Air: Declining Emissions in Cities Soon on the Rise After Coronavirus

From Wuhan to New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus is moving from east to west and leaving a staggering number of corpses behind. We read of alarming reports, contradictory news, and reminded every day that we live in unprecedented and difficult times. One good news, however: emissions in cities are on the decline, and nature is running its regenerative course. But how long will this last?

5 Expert Tips to Help you Coordinate Building Performance While you are Working Remotely

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In the past, sustainability initiatives were coordinated by a few key sustainability-focused professionals in the office. These team members would take charge and corral the rest of the project collaborators in conference calls, emails chains, and boardroom meetings making sure building performance targets were discussed, decided, pursued, and implemented.

Present circumstance makes this process, which was not too efficient, very challenging to begin with. With that in mind, here are some tips from cove.tool and AEC leaders that have mastered remote work and the best ways to coordinate building performance while stuck at home.

Pioneers: 6 Practices Bringing AI into Architecture

In this article, we tap into how AI could be augmenting, changing design processes, and how architects and other professionals are responding and incorporating these technological advancements into their design work. What kind of innovation can AI bring to this industry, and what has been experimented with so far? This selection of projects can help form an opinion on the architectural application of AI.

Spotlight: Léon Krier

One of the most boldly dissenting voices of our time, architectural and urban theorist Léon Krier (born 7 April 1946) has throughout his career rejected the commonly accepted practices of Modernist Urbanism, and helped to shape the ideals of the New Urbanism movement. Through his publications and city designs, Krier has changed the discourse of what makes a city successful and returned importance to the concept of community.

Free Webinars to Dive into Software, Materials & Architecture

If quarantine has brought something positive into the lives of many people around the world, it is the opportunity to change up our daily routines and dive into new activities that we did not have time or energy for beforehand. Learning and delving into topics that interest us or that are related to our work is one of them.

Many organizations and companies linked to the world of architecture and construction are enhancing their digital presence through webinars (or 'online seminars') that provide an in-depth look into their tools and products, allowing them to maintain their connection with the people who want and need them. We invite you to review a list of free seminars in which you could participate in the coming weeks. Hopefully, you will find one that suits your latest project!

Curtains as Room Dividers: Towards a Fluid and Adaptable Architecture

Over the past few decades, interior spaces have become increasingly open and versatile. From the thick walls and multiple subdivisions of Palladian villas, for example, to today's free-standing and multi-functional plans, architecture attempts to combat obsolescence by providing consistently efficient environments for everyday life, considering both present and future use. And while Palladio's old villas can still accommodate a wide variety of functions and lifestyles, re-adapting their use without changing an inch of their original design, today, flexibility seems to be the recipe for extending the useful life of buildings as far as possible.

How, then, can we design spaces neutral and flexible enough to adapt to the evolving human being, while still accomplishing the needs that each person requires today? An ancient element could help redefine the way we conceive and inhabit space: curtains.

Emperor Qianmen Hotel / asap. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud Ready-made Apartment / azab. Image © Luis Diaz Diaz PURE / Sílvia Rocio + Mariana Póvoa + esse studio. Image © Francisco Nogueira JL Madeira Office / Metro Arquitetos Associados. Image © Ilana Bessler + 48

Call for Entries: Design a Tree House Module in the French Countryside

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YAC - Young Architects Competitions and Dartagnans launch Tree House Module, a competition of ideas aiming to design and realize a tree house system to sit amidst the oneiric French castles of Vibrac, Mothe Chandeniers, and Ebaupinay. A cash prize of € 15,000 (and the realization of the first-ranking project) will be awarded to the winners selected by an outstanding jury panel including Espen Surnevik, Matthew Johnson (DS+R), Giulio Rigoni (BIG), Tue Hesselberg Foged (Effekt Architects), Peter Pichler, and Patrick Lüth (Snøhetta).

© YAC © YAC © YAC © YAC + 11

Cross Ventilation, the Chimney Effect and Other Concepts of Natural Ventilation

Sarah Kubitschek Hospital Salvador / João Filgueiras Lima. Image © Nelson Kon
Sarah Kubitschek Hospital Salvador / João Filgueiras Lima. Image © Nelson Kon

Nothing is more rational than using the wind, a natural, free, renewable and healthy resource, to improve the thermal comfort of our projects. The awareness of the finiteness of the resources and the demand for the reduction in the energy consumption has removed air-conditioning systems as the protagonist of any project. Architects and engineers are turning to this more passive system to improve thermal comfort. It is evident that there are extreme climates in which there is no escape, or else the use of artificial systems, but in a large part of the terrestrial surface it is possible to provide a pleasant flow of air through the environments by means of passive systems, especially if the actions are considered during the project stage.

This is a highly complex theme, but we have approached some of the concepts exemplifying them with built projects. A series of ventilation systems can help in the projects: natural cross ventilation, natural induced ventilation, chimney effect and evaporative cooling, which combined with the correct use of constructive elements allows improvement in thermal comfort and decrease in energy consumption.

On Finding Motivation to Keep Practice Architecture and Age Significance When Getting Hired

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 answer questions from listeners about finding a job when you're much older than your classmates, graduating from school without work experience, leaving architecture at the end of a Master's program, taking the CSE, and transferring schools because of IPAL. If you have any questions call or text the hotline at 213-222-6950.

House - Concepts

“A House is a place (…) as physical as a set of feelings. (…) a home is a relation between materiality and mastery and imaginative processes, where the physical location and materiality and the feelings and ideas are united and influence each other, instead of being separated and distinct. (…) a house is a process of creation and comprehension of ways of living and belonging. A house is lived, as well as imagined. The meaning of house and the way it materially manifests itself, it´s something that is created and recreated in an unceasingly way through every day domestic tasks, which are themselves connected to the spacial imaginary of the house”1

The sentence above is the starting-point of the current reflection, in an exercise that will mark meaningfully my approach to the way of projecting houses.

Tips for Design Studio Teaching in the Age of COVID-19

Since the recent COVID-19 quarantine restrictions were enforced, social media has been filled with images of employees working from home, students transitioning to home-school learning, and friends and family socializing via Skype calls and Zoom meetings. With the outpouring of tips for how to work from home, and how to keep a regular routine during these certain times, many people are questioning how to create a long term plan for online studio design instruction.

This article aims to provide some practical tips to schools and students around the globe based on our experience with online design studio teaching in our Master program at Tsinghua University’s School of Architecture since February.

Infectious Disease Mitigation: 9 Healthcare Facilities Designed by MASS

Addressing contextual severe healthcare problems, like the outbreak of infectious diseases or maternal mortality, MASS has helped in setting design strategies to mitigate and reduce critical medical concerns. With some projects operational, and others in the pipeline, the facilities imagined, tackle a wide range of complications.

Butaro Hospital. Image © Iwan Baan Kasungu Maternity Waiting Village, Malawi . Image © Iwan Baan Munini District Hospital. Image Courtesy of MASS Design Group Redemption Hospital Caldwell. Image Courtesy of MASS Design Group + 20

ArchDaily China's 2020 Building of the Year Awards are Now Open for Nominations

As we successfully launched our 12th Building of the Year (BOTY) award earlier this year, we want to thank you for being part of our community for over 10 years. Together we have been growing and contributing to the architectural scene, aiming for a better world.

ArchDaily China is 5 years old this year. We have been introducing Chinese architecture to the world and bringing global architecture to our readers in China. We are an open platform that benefits global audiences, making the industry more inclusive and equal. While our database, mission, and focus develop, some traditions stay with us over the years, such as our flagship award series – the Building of the Year Awards. Now, we are proud to announce that BOTY's 4th Chinese edition celebrating the best architecture in the country, as chosen by you, the reader.

By nominating and voting, you form part of an interdependent, impartial, distributed network of jurors and peers that has consistently helped us celebrate architecture of every scale, purpose, and condition, from large and small countries, and architects of all profiles. Over the coming weeks, your votes will result in 600 Chinese projects filtered down to just 10 best projects in China.

Read below for more details on how to submit, and thank you for helping us continue to democratize architectural excellence across the world.

Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips

Contrary to what we might believe, hearing loss is not always congenital, but could sooner or later happen to any of us. According to the WHO, almost a third of people over 65 suffer from debilitating hearing loss. Yet from a certain perspective, hearing loss could be considered more of a 'difference' than a 'disability'. Although the spatial demands of people with hearing disabilities are not as noticeable as spaces for the blind or for those who experience reduced mobility, the reduction of hearing capacity does entail a particular way of experiencing the environment. Is it possible to enhance this experience through interior design?

Microsoft New England Research & Development Center / Sasaki. Image © John Horner McDonald’s HQ Workplace / Studio O+A + IA Interior Architects. Image © Garrett Rowland Artek HQ Helsinki / SevilPeach. Image © Tuomas Uusheimo Photography Locomobile Lofts / Studio IDE. Image © Renae Lillie + 7

8 Tips for Designing Residential Kitchens

When designing residential spaces, be it a new construction or a renovation, the kitchen is a space that tends to be one of the most complex. Not only does it need to serve a very specific function, but it also needs several pieces of furniture, household appliances, and the ability to adapt to electrical and plumbing considerations. Kitchens often also serve as an hub for social interactions and family gatherings, so it is critical that the space can provide a degree of flexibility.

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