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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.

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This Instagram Celebrates a Unique Style of Architectural Illustration

08:00 - 3 July, 2018
via Zean Macfarlane (@zeanmacfarlane)
via Zean Macfarlane (@zeanmacfarlane)

Instagram and social media are fundamentally changing the way we design in the 21st century. There is an inspirational component to the content we see and cite on the internet, but beyond the pretty pictures lies an opportunity for growth and learning. Zean Macfarlane (@zeanmacfarlane) has found his niche on Instagram somewhere in the middle. The "daily architecture" posts feature process sketches, articulated elevations, and graphic design; but the fun doesn't stop there.

Macfarlane's account also includes a link to tutorial ebooks where you can learn his unique graphic style and begin to apply the effects and techniques into your own drawings. The entire grid of posts acts as a digital artboard, rich with playful forms and careful composition. See for yourself why he has amassed a following of nearly 50k people.

 You can see more of Zean's work after the break. 

Chicago Architecture Foundation's New Home, the Chicago Architecture Center, to Open in Late August

14:00 - 30 June, 2018
Chicago Architecture Foundation's New Home, the Chicago Architecture Center, to Open in Late August, Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation
Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) has announced the opening date for their new home, the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC). Set to open August 31 of this year, the CAC will be the "home to everything architecture in Chicago." The 20,000-square-foot structure is located at 111 East Wacker Drive, just above the dock for the River Cruise offered by the CAF.

Lynn Osmond, the CAF's president and CEO, said of the new Center, "We can't wait for people to visit and experience how Chicago architects have influenced the world through their innovation and vision. We've engineered a stimulating and immersive space where visitors can have fun discovering Chicago's groundbreaking architecture and appreciate its profound impact on the world."

Designed by Chicago-based firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), the CAC will feature custom spaces designed for education, tour orientation, and other public programs, as well as a store and interactive exhibits.

Read on for more about the Chicago Architecture Center and its unique design experience.

Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation + 7

This Crowdsourced and Crowdfunded Pavilion in Ukraine Embodies the Collaborative Spirit

04:00 - 30 June, 2018
This Crowdsourced and Crowdfunded Pavilion in Ukraine Embodies the Collaborative Spirit, © Alexandr Burlaka
© Alexandr Burlaka

In Dnipro, Ukraine, sits a unique multi-purpose pavilion rich with historical roots and design influence. Stage is a collaborative project between architects from Ukraine, Poland, Denmark and Italy, crowdsourced and crowdfunded by the citizens of Dnipro. The site for the pavilion has been centered around community involvement throughout the complex history of Dnipro, but it has laid unused for over 70 years.

Stage is an emanation of the rich and vibrant culture and was built to accommodate the needs of dozens of artists, poets, painters and musicians, who previously relied on various spaces scattered around the city. Their "collective creative energy" was used to reactivate the lost community space. Stage was recently awarded Special Mention in the 2018 European Prize for Urban Public Space.

© Alexandr Burlaka
© Alexandr Burlaka

Read on for more about Stage and the collaborative effort that made this initiative possible.

This Genetic Algorithm Predicts the Rise of Skyscrapers in Urban Areas

16:30 - 26 June, 2018

The growth and expansion of metropolitan areas has been evident over the past decade. Buildings are getting taller, and urban areas are getting larger. What if there was a way to predict this growth and expansion?

A new study by Spanish researchers from the University of A Coruna has discovered that the increase of skyscrapers in a city reflects the pattern “of certain self-organized biological systems,” as reported by ScienceDaily. The study uses "genetic evolutionary algorithms" to predict urban growth, looking specifically at Tokyo's Minato Ward. Architect Ivan Pazos, the lead author of the new study, explained the science behind the algorithm: "We operate within evolutionary computation, a branch of artificial intelligence and machine learning that uses the basic rules of genetics and Darwin’s natural selection logic to make predictions."

Read on for more about the study and what it could mean for the possibility of estimating vertical urban development.

What is the American Dream Home in 2018?

08:00 - 25 June, 2018
What is the American Dream Home in 2018?, © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Markham-suburbs_aerial-edit2.jpg'>Wikimedia user Sting</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/'>CC BY-SA 2.5</a>
© Wikimedia user Sting licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

A recent survey done by Chicago-based digital marketing firm Digital Third Coast asked 2,000 current or prospective homeowners for their feedback on their realistic dream house, along with their opinions on homeownership in general. Commissioned by an Illinois fireplace company, Northshore Fireplace, the survey presented respondents with a list of multiple choice questions, as well as open response questions to come up with an in-depth analysis of the 'American Dream Home of 2018.' The survey was done via the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform and included people from all across the country and different age groups. The main qualifying criteria for respondents was that they either owned a home currently or were looking to purchase a new home within the next 5 years.

Findings from the survey include ideal exterior and interior styles, most desired luxury, most popular words used to describe a dream home, average square footage, and much more. Based on the survey data, you can even compare design and finance ideas of GenX and Millenial homeowners to that of the Baby Boomers generation.

Read on for the detailed infographic that displays the resulting criteria for the 'American Dream Home of 2018.'

How to Use Downloadable Plan Sets to Attract New Clients (Without the "Cookie Cutter" Stigma)

08:00 - 21 June, 2018
How to Use Downloadable Plan Sets to Attract New Clients (Without the "Cookie Cutter" Stigma), Creative commons
Creative commons

There has been a recent trend to monetize design businesses online. Outside the world of architecture, digital marketing is growing exponentially, and every day more and more companies are taking advantage of the benefits that come from curating an online presence.

The traditional architectural business model is largely dominated by the fees associated with design and construction. The actual structure of the billing is perhaps another argument to have all on its own, but relying on this type of income has been (and likely will continue to be) an efficient and successful model for the majority in the design industry. But what if there was another market to leverage to supply your design business with passive, additional income?

There has long been an understandable stigma associated with spec-house plan sets. Most spec plans lack any response to site, personalization, and even quality design. There is a relatively saturated market for these spec-type plan sets, but the untapped potential lies in this model's intersection with architectural practice.

Here are three ways you can begin to reverse the stigma associated with selling plan sets online while providing your design business with an additional revenue stream.

Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises?

06:00 - 19 June, 2018
Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises?

The downtown skyline of a city is perhaps its most symbolic feature. The iconic cityscapes that we know and love are typically formed by skyscrapers, but much of the surrounding context is made up of other high-rise buildings. Yes, there is a difference between a skyscraper and a high-rise. Research company Emporis defines a high-rise as a building at least 35 meters (115 feet) or 12 stories tall. These high-rise buildings play a major role in the more sprawled urban context of larger cities today.

Read on for Emporis' list of the 20 cities in the world with the most high-rises. You might be surprised by which cities made the cut.

Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises? © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sajeewashaluka'>Wikimedia user Sajeewashaluka </a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/22240293@N05'>Flickr user Francisco Diaz</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/people/88503995@N02'>Flickr user Younguk Kim</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> + 27

NCARB Reports Number of Architects Up 10% Compared to a Decade Ago

16:00 - 18 June, 2018
NCARB Reports Number of Architects Up 10% Compared to a Decade Ago, © <a href=https://www.flickr.com/photos/eager/5347925719'>Flickr user Forgemind ArchiMedia</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user Forgemind ArchiMedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has recently released new data surveying the number of licensed architects in the United States. Conducted annually by NCARB, the 2017 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards provides exclusive insight into data from the architectural licensing boards of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. At first glance, the numbers reflect promising growth for the architecture profession. The number of architects licensed in the U.S. rose to 113,554, according to the survey, which is a 3% increase from 2016 and a 10% increase from the numbers reported a decade ago.

Even more impressive, when you compare the increase in registered architects to the U.S. population, the number of architects licensed has risen over 10% since 2008; while the total U.S. population has risen 8%, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That equates to roughly 1 architect for every 2,900 people in the country. To put this into perspective, a medium-sized architecture firm of 50 people would theoretically have the potential to directly impact 145,000 people in the U.S.

Based on these statistics, one might assume that more architects naturally means more architecture, thus more influence from the profession in general. But that might not be the case. Read on for more data from NCARB's report and what it could mean for the profession as a whole.

"Past, Present, Future": Leading Dutch and Italian Designers on Being an Architect Yesterday, Today, and Beyond

09:30 - 13 June, 2018

Architecture is always evolving. The practice and business of architecture are undoubtedly evolving alongside the more obvious technological advances, but what we often forget is that there are no new ideas. When it comes to design, what we see manifested in our daily lives is the result of evolution. And at the root of that design evolution is inspiration.

A new initiative from Gianpiero Venturini and his firm Itinerant Office titled Past, Present, Future aims to open a research path based on the analysis of successful practices in the 21st Century while ultimately providing a new form of inspiration for the next generations of architects and designers. The documentary series begins with a select group of 11 international architects, including Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV, Mario Cucinella, and Simone Sfriso, co-founder of TAMassociati. Each architect is featured in three video interviews in which they reveal the methodology behind their designs, the themes and approaches within their architectural practice, and the predictions they have for architecture in the near and distant future.

9 Homes With Indoor/Outdoor Spaces for All the Summer Vibes

08:00 - 12 June, 2018
Tropical Box House / WHBC Architects. Image © Kent Soh
Tropical Box House / WHBC Architects. Image © Kent Soh

For many, summer brings a sharp increase in time spent outdoors. Whether that be a dip in the pool after a long day at work or a casual stroll to the office, the summer months are best enjoyed outside. Admittedly, there are times when the summer heat can be too intense, and A/C is needed, but why not enjoy the great outdoors while you're at it?

Architecture provides the unique opportunity to meld the comfort of the indoors with the experience of being outdoors. Selected from our project archives, these nine houses offer the perfect combination of indoor/outdoor spaces ripe for summer living.

Winners of 2018 VEX Competition Reimagine Vernacular Architecture and Design

06:00 - 1 June, 2018
Winners of 2018 VEX Competition Reimagine Vernacular Architecture and Design

The Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) has announced the winners of the 2018 VEX: Agitated Vernacular Competition. This year’s ASA International Design Competition aimed to "upend the typical associations of vernacular architecture and design," what vernacular should or should not be. The goal was to re-think vernacular as something that can "assume performative roles and possess generative potentials."

The winning designs challenge the notion that vernacular design is opposed to modernity, thus it is "static and unimprovable," and opposed to technology. Selected from over 230 applications from nearly 30 countries worldwide, the six winning projects are from The Netherlands, India, China, Poland, and Thailand.

Juhani Pallasmaa: "Architecture Is a Mediation Between the World and Our Minds"

08:00 - 31 May, 2018

Juhani Pallasmaa Interview: Art and Architecture from Louisiana Channel on Vimeo.

In this video from the Louisiana Channel, Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa expounds on his view of the importance of art and architecture. In order to begin to understand this relationship, Pallasmaa stresses the importance of literature and self-construction, along with understanding the history and culture of a place.

Final Winning Design Concepts Released for Resilience by Design's Bay Area Challenge

08:00 - 23 May, 2018
Final Winning Design Concepts Released for Resilience by Design's Bay Area Challenge

One year after the launch of Resilient by Design's Bay Area Challenge, led by TLS Landscape has presented the final nine design concepts. The Bay Area Challenge launched with a call to action to "bring together local residents, community organizations, public officials and local, national, and international experts to develop innovative solutions that will strengthen our region's resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding, and earthquakes." The idea formulated as a “blueprint for resilience” that can be replicated and utilized locally and globally. Other urban challenges will also be addressed, including housing, transport, health and economic disparity as a means of not just protecting the current regions, but strengthening them.

The elite, collaborative teams include world-renowned designers like BIG, Mithun and HASSELL+.

Read on for more about each of the final design concepts.

The Estuary Commons: People, Place, and Path Forward - All Bay Collective. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design The Estuary Commons: People, Place, and Path Forward - All Bay Collective. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design Islais-Creek - Hyper Creek - BIG + ONE + Sherwood. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design Islais-Creek - Hyper Creek - BIG + ONE + Sherwood. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design + 46

Monetizing Your Architecture Practice Online: 4 Ways to Generate New Revenue Streams

09:30 - 21 May, 2018
Monetizing Your Architecture Practice Online: 4 Ways to Generate New Revenue Streams, © <a href='https://unsplash.com/photos/vSchPA-YA_A'>Unsplash user freddy marriage</a>
© Unsplash user freddy marriage

Architecture's reliance on digital tools is rapidly advancing. Building Information Modeling (BIM) and augmented and virtual reality are quickly becoming the industry standard, along with more and more design businesses putting more effort and money into creating a stronger online presence. Because of this recent shift in focus, many firms have also begun experimenting with digital marketing strategies.

Content creation is at the heart of any successful online business, so what does that look like in the field of architecture? These 4 examples of content could help you begin to monetize your designs and/or practice online. By no means are these 4 examples the only means to grow a design business, but all 4 take advantage of the present trajectory of architectural practice, leveraging the possibilities of an increasingly digital world.

What Are the Tallest Buildings Ever Demolished?

10:30 - 19 May, 2018
10 Tallest Demolished Buildings. Image Courtesy of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
10 Tallest Demolished Buildings. Image Courtesy of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has recently released a new research study titled "Tallest Demolished Buildings" that examines 100 of the tallest buildings ever to have been dismantled by their owners. The report confirms that, if JPMorgan Chase continues with their plans, SOM's 270 Park Avenue in New York City would become the tallest building ever conventionally demolished, as well as the first over 200 meters in height.

The study showed that in most cases, the buildings were torn down to make way for newer high-rises, as was the case for the current tallest building ever to be demolished, the Singer Building in New York City. The Singer Building stood 187 meters and 41 stories tall until it was torn down in 1968 to make way for One Liberty Plaza.

Listen and Learn: 6 Entrepreneurial Audiobooks to Help You Plan Your Future While You Work

09:30 - 18 May, 2018
Listen and Learn: 6 Entrepreneurial Audiobooks to Help You Plan Your Future While You Work

The way we consume long-form content has transformed drastically in recent years. More and more parts of our everyday lives are now transitioning to new digital mediums to save us time.

If you are the type of person who enjoys plugging into a good hard rock or soft jazz playlist while hammering out those 10 sheets of section details, why not simultaneously gain some knowledge about self-motivation or the latest business tactics? These 6 audiobooks could be just what you need to hear to fuel your inner entrepreneur.

A' Design Award Announces 2018 Winners

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A' Design Award Announces 2018 Winners, Solar Egg Public Sauna by Futurniture and Bigert & Bergström - Golden A' Design Award Winner for Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category in 2018. Image Courtesy of A' Design Award & Competition
Solar Egg Public Sauna by Futurniture and Bigert & Bergström - Golden A' Design Award Winner for Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category in 2018. Image Courtesy of A' Design Award & Competition

A’ Design Award & Competition, the world’s largest and most diffuse international design awards, has announced results of their 2017–2018 design awards, featuring 1,962 Winners from 100 countries in 99 different design disciplines. Entries were evaluated by an internationally influential jury panel composed of established scholars, prominent press members, creative design professionals and experienced entrepreneurs who carefully analyzed each entry.

These BIG-Inspired Posters Highlight the Evolving “Syntax” in Architecture

08:00 - 13 May, 2018
Courtesy of Giuseppe Gallo via Mirabilia
Courtesy of Giuseppe Gallo via Mirabilia

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has a knack for combatting a variety of complex issues via its step-by-step approach, yielding a design that seems almost inevitable. Ingels has labeled his design strategy as a form of “architectural alchemy." This combines multiple programs or “ingredients” that on their own, would simply be seen as “normal." But in aggregate, you get more out of the mix than you would keeping them separate. The result of this looks something like a waste-to-energy plant topped by a ski-slope, or a parabolic skyscraper with a Copenhagen-style courtyard.

Inspired by BIG’s “will to find new solutions for environmental, social, economic and technological problems”, artist Giuseppe Gallo has designed these 9 posters that evaluate BIG’s unique use of syntax.

More on syntax in architecture and how you can get your own copies of the posters after the break.