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Irina Vinnitskaya

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MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism Collaborates with AIA to Bring Research Solutions for Healthy Urban Futures

American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Advanced Urbanism have announced a research collaboration to support AIA efforts through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Decade of Design, a measure focused on improving the health of urban communities. As the global population continues to shift toward urban environments, urban conditions of the past century have become too outdated to address the increase in population and pollution. In order to advance the state of city liveability, professionals in the design and planning fields must reconsider how urban environments need to be designed to work optimally in regards to social, economic and health challenges. MIT's collaboration with the profession-based organization of the AIA allows the research of the school to reach the professional world for application and development.

MoMA: Applied Design

Design saturates every facet of our lives. As the new MoMA exhibition states: design is a fundamental tool in helping people respond to change. Applied Design, running from March 2nd to January 31st, focuses on the various means and methods by which we design and the product of those varied paths that lead to innovation.

3-D Printing ProtoHouse 1.0 and ProtoHouse 2.0 / Softkill Design

3-D printing technology has made immense leaps in the last few years as equipment and specialized programming has been refined to produced fully occupiable and usable spaces. In previous articles, ArchDaily has discussed the numerous advances in 3-D printing technology and their potential applications. 3d-printed dwellings on the moon made of sand via D-Shape, full-scale rooms via the KamerMaker and a personal printer for your kids called the MakerBot are just some speculative and experimental prototypes that have emerged from extensive research and development. The designers of the next experiment in 3-D printing is design group, Softkill Design, which includes Nicholette Chan, Gilles Retsin, Aaron Silver, and Sophia Tang within the Architectural Association School's Design Research Lab at the 'behavioral matter' studio of Robert Stuart-Smith. Last year Softkill Design completed ProtoHouse 1.0, a high-resolution prototype of a house printed at 1:33 scale. Research prototypes were generously supported by Materialise.

More details on the technology and images of ProtoHouse1.0 after the break.

Ten Points for Liveable Cities: Lessons from Singapore

Urban populations are expanding at an exponential rate as people are migrating to city centers where economic opportunities promise social mobility and access to education, health resources, and where employment is more abundant than in rural areas. Nations once considered in the "third world" are making leaps to accommodate growing populations with thoughtful considerations in designing these new urban capitals. Population trends have shifted considerable and have contributed to some of the densest urban cities never before seen in history. The rise in the classification of cities as "mega-cities" and the problems that such high population densities face speak to the fact that our cities have reached a saturation point that needs to addressing.

Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA of HOK Joins AIA in Sustainability and Health Initiative as a Resident Fellow

The AIA has appointed green-building leader Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, to a consulting position as a Resident Fellow. In this position, Lazarus will help guide and influence a program heavily based in sustainability and health as the AIA implements its ten-year pledge to the Decade of Design: Global Urban Solutions Challenge, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. The purpose of the commitment is to document, envision and implement solutions that leverage the design of urban environments through research, community participation, and design frameworks. It is a commitment based in the interest of public health with special attention to the use of natural, economic, and human resources.

More about Mary Ann Lazarus's work and future at the AIA after the break.

San Francisco's Zero Waste Successes

The "Pit" in San Francisco © Walter Parenteau
The "Pit" in San Francisco © Walter Parenteau

Approaching zero-waste is a matter of changing the way our culture thinks about use and reuse.  It's not an impossible task, and San Francisco is leading the march to establish a feasible means of enacting public policy, structuring programs and educating the public on what it means to be "zero-waste".  With a goal set for 2020, SF hopes to keep 100% of its waste out of landfills.  Mayor Ed Lee estimates that the leading waste management company "Recology" is diverting nearly 80% of trash from landfills to be recycled or turned into compost.  This begins with a public policy that sets a standard and gains traction as citizens embrace the goals of the city.  Support programs reinforce these guidelines that eventually become habits and a cultural response to treating our environment.

Read on after the break for more on San Francisco's road to "zero-waste".

Smart Solution for Compact Living: Tiny Apartments, High Design

How can a small 420 square foot apartment transform into eight comfortable rooms?  It takes smart design solutions that incorporates modulation and interior planning that conforms to everyday needs in an increasingly competitive environment of living space.  Founder of Treehugger.com, Graham Hill takes the viewer on a tour of his "Life Edited" apartment that provides a sustainable living solution to compact apartments in urban environments like New York City.  This apartment provides all the amenities necessary with some additional effort of converting rooms to fit everyday needs.  Interested in seeing this apartment transform into a living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining room and guest room? Join us after the break to find out.

Developing Adaptable Housing for the Elderly, Also a Path to Sustainability

In recent years there has been a lot of talk in the United States about our aging population in terms of social security funds and medicare. We have asked how we should deal with the impending problem that our elderly will outnumber the population that can take of them. While speculations for a solution have generally settled within the realm of the economy, urban planners and architects are asking a different set of questions and looking for solutions regarding how we design. It is important to note, that while most of the discussion has been framed about the aging "baby-boomer" generation, Jack Rowe, speaking at the symposium for Designing Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging Population in Washington, DC, pointed out that this concern is a conservative estimate of the bigger problem in our "demographic transformation". In fact, the trend is far more expansive; medical advancements and a longer life expectancy mean that for the next few generations each aging population is expected to outlive its parents and will exceed the population of its children. This makes the issue at hand a more over-arching concern, or as Rowe later states, an issue that all members of society must face.

This is why we must think about architecture and urban planning in terms of adaptability for the aging, as we have already starting thinking about it in terms of handicapped accessibility.  More after the break.

Lebbeus Woods Tribute by Steven Holl and Sanford Kwinter // 32BNY Videopolemic Re-launch

32BNY is collaborating with Spirit of Space is relaunching a website in a corner of the internet structured as a videopolemic to explore architectural discourse in a revolutionary way. The first video in the series is a tribute to Lebbeus Woods who passed away late last year. Woods was an aggressive philosophical thinker of architecture and space. He launched worldy ideas into his architecture through imaginative leaps - exploring politics, society, ethics and the human condition as it pertained to architectural space in the form of vivid and dynamic drawings. His work has inspired his contemporaries to think outside of the physical space of architecture. Steven Holl and Sanford Kwinter discuss some of his ideas and philosophies through his quotes and inspirations. The video serves as a reminder, and to some a guide, as to how to build upon the philosophy of architecture beyond the physical.

More on the video after the break.

East River Blueway Plan / WXY Studio: New York City's Plan for Flood Barrier Along East River

The City of New York has long awaited renovations to the East River Greenway; squeezed between the FDR Drive to the west and the river to East, there are a few scattered public parks connected by a path that has been weathered and torn apart over the years.  The proposed Blueway is a coordinated collaboration between Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Community Boards 3 and 6, State Assembly  Member Brian Kavanaugh and architecture and urban design firm WXY along that takes suggestions from the general public to develop a scheme that works within the framework of the existing Greenway and provides specific sites of waterfront access, development of wetlands and connectivity to the city and its waterways.  The stretch along the greenway that is the focus of the scheme developed by WXY runs from Midtown East at 38th street to the Brooklyn Bridge.    

NY State's Governor Cuomo's Solution for Ravaged Homes in NYC's Coastal Region

© Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen
© Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen

After months of debate, the United States Congress has passed a bill that will allocate $51 billion to Hurricane Sandy relief helping the thousands who lost their homes and businesses to the devastating storm last October. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $400 million of the aid will be used to fund New York's buyout program, an initiative to help address the damaged homes and coastline. The program is two-fold; in part it will help reimburse the property damage caused by the storm, but the initiative has a larger goal, which is to address the nature of coastal flooding and create a barrier that would mitigate the damage created to the coast by storm surges in the future. Since the storm, there have been many suggestions as to how to prepare for the type of damage brought on by Hurricane Sandy of 2012 and Hurricane Irene of 2011. These suggestions range from flood gates to barrier reefs. Cuomo's buyout program, as reported by the Architect's Newspaper Blog, hopes to encourage residents along vulnerable flood zones to sell their land to the city for the development of a natural coast that would absorb the impact of strong winds and storm surges.

Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.

Outside In: The Architecture of Smith and Williams; Wayne Williams (1919–2007) and Whitney Smith (1911–2002), Smith and Williams Community Facilities Planners office (South Pasadena, Calif.), 1958; Photograph by Jocelyn Gibbs, 2012
Outside In: The Architecture of Smith and Williams; Wayne Williams (1919–2007) and Whitney Smith (1911–2002), Smith and Williams Community Facilities Planners office (South Pasadena, Calif.), 1958; Photograph by Jocelyn Gibbs, 2012

The Getty Trust is partnering with Pacific Standard Time to present 11 individual exhibitions throughout LA's museums that will explore the history and heritage of the city's modern architecture and its influential designers. As musician, photographer and architectural blogger Moby boasts that "LA has the most diverse architecture of any city on the planet". Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA will explore this diversity that covers post World War II architecture through today through specific points of view ranging in architectural style, influence and decade. The exhibitions, which will run from April through July 2013, are a follow-up to last year's Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA, 1945-1980. The focus of the exhibitions will range in scale and cover the monumental and everyday architectural moments that make LA unique. Exhibitions will present iconic modernist homes and cultural landmarks as well as coffee shops, car washes, and the freeways in addition to the un-built architectural fantasies of modernism and post-modernism.

On-Site Office Trailers: Invisible Architecture of the Urban Environment; On-site Office Trailer, 2012; CLUI Photo Archive, 2012 © The Center for Land Use Interpretation Pasadena 1940 Forward: Residential Architecture of the Recent Past; John Gougeon; The exterior and bell tower at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, Pasadena, California; © Copyright, Pasadena Presbyterian Church Outside In: The Architecture of Smith and Williams; Wayne Williams (1919–2007) and Whitney Smith (1911–2002), 3.Shoreline House for Orange County Home Show, Costa Mesa, California, 1957; Photograph by Jocelyn Gibbs, 2012 of a drawing by Al Spencer © Regents of the University of California Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990; Julius Shulman (American, 1910–2009) Department of Water and Power Building Corner with Fountains, 1965 © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute + 12

Follow us after the break for the eleven exhibitions that will be part of PST's event.

2013 MoMA PS1 YAP Finalist: My Hair is at MoMA PS1 / TempAgency: Kutonotuk & mcdowellespinosa

2013 PS1 YAP Finalist: TempAgency
2013 PS1 YAP Finalist: TempAgency

"My Hair is at MoMA PS1" is exactly what it sounds like. TempAgency, composed of architecture firms Kutonotuk and mcdowellespinosa have designed an installation that uses human hair from hair salons and barbershops as architecture. The finalist for 2013 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program has found inspiration in the material waste to develop a project of cultural and design significance. Join us after the break for more images.

George Square Controversy

George Square Competition Entry / John McAslan + Partners
George Square Competition Entry / John McAslan + Partners

There has been some controversy over the past few months for the George Square redesign in Glasgow, Scotland since we last announced the six shortlisted architecture firms in December. Following the submission and assessment by a jury in January, the project went through an upheaval when Labour leader of the Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson announced that the submitted designs would be scrapped in favor of a "facelift" for the square. Numerous reports on the Herald Scotland present conflicting arguments for the turn of events and the abrupt change in plans have left the council, jury, design firms and the public in discontent. It is unclear what the status of the project is today, but for the moment it is on hold as the council discusses ways in which to proceed.

Follow us after the break for more.

Projected Increase for Nonresidential Construction in 2013

AIA Construction Consensus Forecast
AIA Construction Consensus Forecast

Late last month the AIA released a report indicating that nonresidential construction is projected to increase by approximately 5% this year. While the recovery of both residential and nonresidential construction markets continues to grow slowly, the indication that it is steadily increasing marks a sense of security or stability that owners are beginning to identify in the economy. In the commercial / industrial sectors, hotels are seeing the largest projected growth at 15.7%, with retail and office buildings hovering between a 7 to 8% growth rate. In the institutional sector, construction growth is projected to be highest in health care facilities, which is expected to rise by 4.4%, while public safety spending is expected to decline in 2013.

More on the report after the break.

Registration now open for 2013 AIA National Convention

It's that time of year again: the 2013 AIA National Convention is gearing up to provide architects with the latest technological, conceptual and design innovations over the course of a three-day conference in Denver, Colorado. This year's theme: Building Leaders, is an opportunity for architects to see leading achievements in the profession as well as build upon their own knowledge.

University-driven Urban Economies Proposer, based on Brookings Institution Report

Think the best way to promote the economic and creative development of a city is to build stadiums and and shopping malls? Think again. In a recent article in the New York Times, Steve Lohr reveals the findings of a study from the Brookings Institution that looks into where and why specific cities emerge as hubs of creativity and innovation. By studying the patent filings of the United States' 370 metropolitan areas, the study revealed that cities with the most innovation were centers of education and research. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont.; Rochester, Minnesota; Corvallis, Oregon; and Boulder, Colorado topped the list as the "output of innovation. Lohr suggests that this data can help promote policies that encourage urban development for economic feedback.

More after the break.

Architectural League Announces 2013 Winners of Emerging Voices Award

Kukje Art Gallery, Seoul (South Korea) / SO-IL, credit: Iwan Baan
Kukje Art Gallery, Seoul (South Korea) / SO-IL, credit: Iwan Baan

Emerging Voices is an award developed by the Architecture League of New York that annually selects eight practitioners in a juried portfolio selection. Award recipients are selected from the disciplines of architecture, landscape design and urbanism and display the sensibility of the profession in light of the larger issues related to the built environment. This year's selection includes: SO-IL, PRODUCTORA, Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects, MASS Design Group, graciastudio , dland studio, DIGSAU, and cao | perrot Studio.

Details after the break.