Camilla Ghisleni

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Sacred Spaces: What Can Cemeteries Teach Us About Our History and Society?

Cemetery in Guangzhou, China. Photograph by @nk7, found on @fromwhereidroneCimetière parisien de Pantin, Paris, France. Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery: @geomnimapprosCementerio de Nuestra Señora de la Almudena, Madrid, Spain. Created by @overview Source imagery: @maxartechnologies Panteón Civil San Nicolás Tolentino, Mexico City. Drone by @dronerobert + 7

Memento mori is an ancient Latin expression that means "remember that you are mortal." The Roman people used it not to represent a fatalistic approach to death but rather as a way of valuing life.

A few centuries later, as we arrive at our current context and the world reaches the terrifying figure of 2 million deaths as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, memento mori is more relevant than ever.

Ko Panyi: A Floating Village in Thailand

When we talk about cities or their lesser variations – villages, towns, communities –, we are used to evoking stereotyped scenarios that relate to streets, cars, buildings, and we often end up forgetting that there are plenty of other surprisingly unique patterns.

Many people study the cities and wonder about the exact moment when they were invented, given that they are open, unfinished works in progress. Some assume that their origin was due to the need for protection, which caused humans to quit nomadic lifestyles and settle as groups in a specific land to increase their chances of survival.  

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Imagem wikimdeia commons @Ken EckertLicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Imagem wikimdeia commons @Александр ПопрыгинLicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. Imagem wikimdeia commons @Deror AviDrone photo courtesy of @jordhammond. + 8

What is Biomimetic Architecture?

The Living, based in New York, in collaboration with Ecovative Design, a company that produces mycelium bricks to replace plastic, built a 13-meter high tower in the courtyard of MoMA. Image © Andrew NunesJean Nouvel and OXO Architects design mixed-use complex inspired by the shape of a mountain. Image via Compagnie de PhalsbourgFrank Lloyd Wright's Johnson Wax Headquarters features columns that expand as they rise, similar to water lilies floating on the water's surface. Image © Wikipedia. Licensed under Public DomainBeijing National Aquatics Center / PTW Arquitectos. Image © David Gray/Reuters /Landov+ 8

In 1941, Swiss engineer George de Mestral was coming back from a hunting trip with his dog when he noticed that some seeds kept sticking to his clothes and his dog's fur. He observed that they contained several "hooks" that caught on anything with a loop, and from studying this plant, seven years later, he invented the hook and loop fastener, which he named Velcro.

9 Cities with Medieval Plans Seen from Above

Moscow, Russia. Image created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @maxartechnologiesGruissan, France. Image created by @overview, source imagery: @maxartechnologies.Cologne, Germany. Image created by @dailyoverview, source imagery: @maxartechnologiesPrague, Czech Republic. Image created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies+ 10

In his book Breve Historia del Urbanismo (Brief History of Urbanism), Fernando Chueca Goitia states that the medieval city appeared at the beginning of the 11th century and flourished only between the 12th and 13th centuries. According to the author, this growth was closely linked to the development of commerce that allowed permanent occupations, resulting in a city no longer composed mainly of travelers. In other words, the bourgeoisie was formed thanks to the most diverse activities - craftsmen, tradesmen, blacksmiths, longshoremen - which stimulated the development of the medieval city.

Brazilian Interiors: 8 Projects with Flexible Furniture

When designing in times of quick and constant transformations, one must keep a close eye on the surge of new demands, and one must design spaces that embrace such mutability.

Flexible furniture is a reflection of this contemporary behavior because they can be moved around easily, they have great adaptability, and because they can perform different functions in a single piece. These pieces enable several different layouts, being able to adjust their shape according to specific requirements and changes, which helps optimizing interiors.

Consolação Apartment / Canoa Arquitetura. Image @Rafaela NettoHigienópolis Apartment / Teresa Mascaro. Image @Pedro MascaroAndradas Apartment / OCRE arquitetura. Image @Cristiano BauceViadutos Apartment / Vão. Image @Rafaela Netto+ 9

We have selected eight Brazilian projects that combine versatility and flexibility in furniture design.

What is Vernacular Architecture?

Vernacular architecture can be defined as a type of local or regional construction, using traditional materials and resources from the area where the building is located. Consequently, this architecture is closely related to its context and is aware of the specific geographic features and cultural aspects of its surroundings, being strongly influenced by them. For this reason, they are unique to different places in the world, becoming even a means of reaffirming an identity.

Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali. Image © Wikimedia user Ruud Zwart licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 NLWarka Village, Cameroon. © WarkaWater, via CicloVivoTulou Dwellings, China. © Flickr user Slices of Light licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Rwanda - Building Interior. Image © Larsen Payá+ 9

Brazilian Interiors: Projects with Interior Gardens

During times of isolation, many people have been talking about the importance of greenery in indoor spaces as a way to nourish our vital relationship with nature. These touches of green can contribute to the well-being and emotional comfort of users, whether in homes or commercial spaces.

Besides this psychological connection, a well-designed indoor garden can also help to purify the air and provide thermal comfort to the environment. 

Legal Practice Center / Unileão / Lins Arquitetos Associados. Image © Joana FrançaMipibu House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image © Nelson KonSibipirunas House / Studio Otto Felix. Image © Denilson Machado – MCA EstúdioIT’S Biofilia Office / IT'S Informov. Image © Alexandre Oliveira – Jafo Fotografia+ 11