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Collin Abdallah

A recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture, Collin is currently living and working in Austin, TX.


Zhu Pei Named Dean of School of Architecture at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing

The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, China, has tapped award-winning Chinese architect Zhu Pei as its next dean of the School of Architecture. Zhu Pei founded his firm Studio Zhu-Pei in 2005 known for its cutting-edge integration of cultural roots and contemporary innovation in design. Zhu Pei has taught at Harvard GSD and Columbia University GSAPP, two of the leading graduate programs in the world.

Proposed Tourist Hub by Progress, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, and Cushman & Wakefield Utilizes the Forces of Nature to Promote a "Natural City"

A consortium comprising Progress, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT and Cushman & Wakefield recently reached the final stage of a design competition to create a tourist center in Russia in part of the embankment named after Admiral Serebryakov in the city of Novorossiysk. The proposal provides the required hospitality spaces but also features unique facilities, such as a wine museum, a fish market and an "artificial island", all serving as new centers of attraction for residents and visitors of the city. The foundation of the design concept is based on three components: "the idea of a natural city, the unification of the three forces of nature and the characteristic appearance of Novorossiysk as a port city."

The Most Important New Tool for Architects: Instagram

In the current iteration of our digital age, Instagram is king in the social media. Boasting 1 billion (yes, with a "b") active monthly users, if you are a business and not on Instagram, you are missing out.

Given the visual nature of the platform, architects and designers have flocked to the platform, using it to market their work, promote new ideas, and even pull in commissions. Other aggregator accounts use the platform to find and foster new talent, creating an entirely digital architectural community that is open to all.

What Are the Best Lenses for Architectural Photography? (Including Mobile)

In a world rapidly transitioning toward primarily digital content creation, more and more people are beginning to experiment with various digital media. There is undoubtedly an intimate relationship between architecture and photography, and many architects enjoy experimenting with taking pictures, both of their own work and of their surrounding environment. But how do you know if you have the right gear needed to start off on the right foot? And more importantly, how can you get the most out of your equipment?

In honor of World Photography Day this month, we have put together a helpful guide to get started with lenses for architectural photography. This guide will specifically highlight the best lenses (for both DSLR and mobile) to use for your shots and why.

A Guide to Drone Photography/Cinematography for Architecture

Drone photography has been one of the biggest advancements in aerial photography and cinematography. Drones began making a huge impact on filmmaking in the early 2000s, but vast advancements in aerial and camera technology have dramatically increased the use of and demand for aerial footage in nearly every industry focused on digital content.

The construction industry has begun implementing drones on construction sites as a way to get a birdseye view of a project, capture the finished building from a unique perspective and even be used in the actual construction of the building itself. But when it comes to architectural photography and cinematography, we are just beginning to scratch the surface.

Read on for ArchDaily's Guide to Drone Photography/Cinematography.

The SOM Foundation Announces New Research Prize Focusing on "Humanizing High Density"

People are moving into urban centers at an unprecedented rate. According to the United Nations, the world's urban population has increased from 751 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018. By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people are expected to reside in urban areas. In response to this rapid urban growth, designers are challenged to create sustainable and resilient spaces that accommodate complex human needs, both necessary and desired.

World-renowned architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) invites educators and students from across the U.S. to engage in the 2018 SOM Foundation Research Prize: "Humanizing High Density." The SOM Foundation Research Prize is awarded to a faculty-led interdisciplinary design research proposal "with the potential to advance the practice of architecture, structures, urban design and related design disciplines."

This New Multicultural Center by AIX Arkitekter Begs the Question: What Makes Good Community Design?

There has been a lot of focus recently on community engagement in architecture. Some building by some architect is designed to be the next 'community hub,' but what does it take to deliver on the design intent?

In order to promote a community atmosphere, a design must engage a large and variable audience, while also offering something unique. This new design from AIX Arkitekter intends to create a new multicultural center called "The "Meeting Point" in Täby, Sweden. The center combines unique sports and cultural activities, at the heart of an existing ecological infrastructure, to promote community opportunities and engagement.

"The Meeting Point" center utilizes both indoor and outdoor activities. This dynamic also translates throughout the design language of the building through transparency and landscape elements. The intersecting masses cause various activity spaces to overlap, promoting happenstance interactions between both people and program.

© AIX Arkitekter© AIX Arkitekter© AIX Arkitekter© AIX Arkitekter+ 15

4 Steps That Will Help Set You Up for Success in Architecture School

The beginning of the fall semester is quickly approaching, and prospective architecture students are gearing up for the beginning of their future careers. While the next step may seem daunting, the first year of your architecture education helps set the pace for the remaining four to five years. So it's important to get started on the right foot.

Architecture studios are notorious for long nights, intensive model-making and desks overflowing with trace paper and parti diagrams. But there is one important aspect of studio life that is too often neglected: the student-professor relationship.

Read on for the four steps to start investing in this unique relationship to set yourself up for success.

The Prolific Career of an Early Bauhaus Innovator: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

The Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy was one of the most influential thinkers, designers and art educators of the first half of the twentieth century. His experimentation with light, space and form generated international attention. Among those impressed by Moholy-Nagy's work was Walter Gropius, German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who made Moholy-Nagy one of the youngest instructors in the history of the Bauhaus. In his time at the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy utilized multi-disciplinary art practices to revolutionize abstract artistic media.

But who was the man?

4 Principles of Designing with Indigenous Communities

Indigenous co-design—a more specific form of the general concept of co-design in which an architect collaborates with a stakeholder community—is a collaborative design process between architects and the Indigenous community as the client. The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) recently released a unique resource aimed at designers, clients, funders and policymakers looking for a guide in Indigenous co-design.

Four Case Studies Exemplifying Best Practices in Architectural Co-design and Building with First Nations builds on the success of the RAIC International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium held in May 2017. The four case studies set out to explore best practices in Indigenous co-design in the context of three First Nations and one Inuit community in Canada, with one case study selected from each of the four asset classes: "schools, community and cultural centers, administration and business centers, and housing."

Quilakwa Center - First Nation Splatsin te Secwepemc, British Columbia - Norman Goddard, Principal, Norman Goddard Architecture Ltd. & Civic Design; Kevin Halchuk, President, KH Designs; Peter Sperlich, Owner, Canadian Pride Log and Timber Products and Sperlich Construction Inc., and Graham Go, Project Manager. Image © Sperlich Log Construction IncEmily C. General Elementary Schools - Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario - Brian Porter, MMMC Architects, Brantford, Ontario. Image © www.mmmc.on.caIL Thomas Elementary School - Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario - Brian Porter, MMMC Architects, Brantford, Ontario. Image © Two Row ArchitectEmily C. General Elementary Schools - Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario - Brian Porter, MMMC Architects, Brantford, Ontario. Image © www.mmmc.on.ca+ 13

This Proposed Music Center Honors the Unique Birthplace of Polish Composer Frédéric Chopin

Located in a small village in Poland, this proposed music center honors the birthplace of famous Polish composer and pianist, Frédéric Chopin. Designed by ELEMENT as a part of an international competition, the Chopin Music Center captures the picturesque landscape of endless forests through "leisure and relaxation."

The Center integrates with the park through window views of Frédéric Chopin's birth house and the surrounding landscape. The proposed international music center utilizes a combination of natural materials and glazing to create a seamless connection with its site. The existing park can be reached by pathways and bridges near the building, prompting visitors to experience the outdoor area.


These Alabama Architecture Students are Designing and Building Low-Cost Homes for Rural America

© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley

Rural Studio, a student-centered design/build program at Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction, has announced a collaboration with the mortgage loan company Fannie Mae to support the school’s 20K Initiative. This initiative continues to contribute to the development of "beautiful, healthy and resilient houses that afford financially vulnerable homeowners the ability to live in dignity, security and well within their means."

As a means to address the shortage of affordable housing in the U.S., the research produced from this collaboration with Fannie Mae is being shared with educational institutions industry groups. Auburn University is also providing funding for the initiative through a grant to "further strengthen the collaboration with Fannie Mae, as well as support the development of additional stakeholder collaborations."

© Timothy Hursley© Timothy Hursley© Timothy HursleyCourtesy of Auburn University Rural Studio+ 7

Jeanne Gang Cut the Wage Gap at Studio Gang and Is Challenging Others to Follow Suit

Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang has long been an advocate for change within the architecture field. Her studio's designs push boundaries all over the world, but Gang has recently used her firm to transform architectural practice in a different way—attacking the gender wage gap.

In a recent article from Fast Company, Gang writes about "discrimination and prejudice" throughout the US, but more specifically in the field of architecture.

Read on for more about how she closed the gender wage gap at her firm and is calling on other architecture firms to do the same.

New Pavilion in Rotterdam's Leuvehaven Port Brings High-Tech Design to a Historical Context

A new public pavilion from MoedersheimMoonen Architects is set to be built in the old 'Leuvehaven' port in Rotterdam. Located near the Erasmus Bridge, the pavilion intends to bring new life to the historic port of Rotterdam. The municipality of Rotterdam is also set to invest in a bustling residential climate, with this new pavilion housing multiple programs that will contribute to a "lively" and "greener" Maritime District.

The building will replace three existing pavilions, providing a new perspective for visitors to the Leuvehaven. Much of the structure and foundation from the existing buildings are reused in the new design, promoting sustainability, honoring the present conditions of the site, and bringing high-tech design elements to the historical context.

The various programs for the Pavilion will include "the Port Information Point of the Port of Rotterdam, two publicly accessible workshops from the Maritime Museum Rotterdam and two catering establishments with terraces by the water," with the surrounding exteriors space also to be renewed in phases.

Render. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen ArchitectsRender. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen ArchitectsRender. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen ArchitectsRender. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen Architects+ 11

This Public Transit Series Celebrates Moscow's Contemporary Metro Stations

Beautifully integrating graphic design and architecture, the newest release from Blue Crow Media's transit series recognizes a selection of the most unique public transit stations in Moscow. Moscow Metro Architecture & Design, the second installment in the series, was curated by architectural historian Nikolai Vassiliev with photography by Alexei Narodizkii. It features the most unique and influential examples of architecture and decoration across what is widely considered to be "the most impressive network of stations in the world."

© Alexei Narodizkii for Blue Crow Media© Alexei Narodizkii for Blue Crow Media© Alexei Narodizkii for Blue Crow Media© Alexei Narodizkii for Blue Crow Media+ 10

MIT Students Team With Nonprofit to Flip a Prison Into an Agricultural Community Center

Group Project, a student group from MIT, is helping GrowingChange, a non-profit that works with previously incarcerated youth, to transform an old North Carolina prison into an agricultural community center. GrowingChange looks to take advantage of the small, decommissioned prisons scattered throughout the state's landscape. They see these sites as "places where communities can work together to provide clinical support, education, and vocational training as a means to divert youth from the criminal justice" system.

Read on for more about how prison flipping intends to "counter a legacy of incarceration."

Prison buildings are inherently inward facing. A new porch next to the community kitchen reclaims outdoor space for eating and lounging. Additional porches will be used throughout the site to encourage a more outward facing campus vibe. Image Courtesy of Group ProjectThe upper platform offers a larger and higher space with views over the whole site. Operable wire mesh barriers within the large square openings provide safety while still allowing each of the walls to be used for rappelling. Image Courtesy of Group ProjectA colorful illustration showing different type of planting throughout the Growing Change campus. These plantings are organized to create a range of spaces—from an intimate and enclosed space for bonfires to the grand entrance leading to the exhibition space. Edible gardens are also planned throughout the campus. Image Courtesy of Group ProjectLarge glass openings connect the exterior courtyard to the Kitchen—the heart of the campus—and invite visitors inside to watch chefs prepare healthy food, using ingredients grown on the GrowingChange campus. Image Courtesy of Group Project+ 9

MoMA to Host Exhibit Celebrating the Radical Brutalist Architecture of Socialist Yugoslavia

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is set to open a new exhibition exploring the architecture of the former country of Yugoslavia. Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 will be the first exhibition in the United States to honor the peculiar architecture of the former socialist nation.

More than 400 drawings, models, photographs, and film reels culled from an array of municipal archives, family-held collections, and museums across the region will be presented to an international audience for the first time. Toward a Concrete Utopia will feature works by many of Yugoslavia's leading architects. It will explore "large-scale urbanization, technological experimentation and its application in everyday life, consumerism, monuments and memorialization, and the global reach of Yugoslav architecture."

Read on for more about the exhibition and Yugoslav brutalism.

 Svetlana Kana Radević. Podgorica Hotel. 1964–67. Podgorica, Montenegro. Exterior view of the balconies. Photo: Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016odrag Živković and Đorđe Zloković. Monument to the Battle of the Sutjeska. 1965–71, Tjentište, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016 Vjenceslav Richter. Yugoslav Pavilion at Expo 58. 1958. Brussels, Belgium. Archive of YugoslaviaAndrija Mutnjaković. National and University Library of Kosovo. 1971–82. Prishtina, Kosovo. Exterior view. Photo: Valentin Jeck, commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, 2016+ 15

CTBUH Announces the Initial List of Speakers for the 2018 Middle East Conference on "Polycentric Cities"

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has named the initial list of speakers for the 2018 Middle East Conference, Polycentric Cities: The Future of Vertical Urbanism. The list features men and women from some of the most influential businesses in the industry, such as HOK, Safdie Architects, Kohn Pederson Fox, Gensler, Perkins+Will, SOM and many more.

The conference will highlight a wide array of subjects and disciplines related to the conference theme, as well as other hot topics in the industry, including smart technologies, modular construction, 3D-printing buildings, net-zero skyscrapers and much more.

Read on for more about Polycentric Cities and the initial list of speakers.