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Jennifer Whelan

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AIRBNB Pavilion Coming to the Venice

During this year's Architecture Biennale in Venice, homes rented through AIRBnB (although not the company itself) will host an independently curated pavilion. AIRBnB is a six-year old platform through which home owners can rent out rooms, apartments, and entire houses, allowing "the fortress of the family and the individual" to be infiltrated. The pavilion will take advantage of this "infiltration" and how it reveals "the house, the home and today's life." To learn more, follow @airbnbpavilion on instagram and twitter.

Architecture for Humanity Toronto Launches Lecture Series: "Incremental Strategies for Vertical Neighborhoods"

According to the most recent national census in Canada, almost half of Toronto residents are immigrants, one-third of whom arrived in the past ten years. To allow the city to adapt to this surging flow of immigrants, Architecture for Humanity Toronto (AFHTO) has called upon students and professionals from various backgrounds to rethink Toronto's urban fabric - and, in particular, its high-rise developments - by establishing a series of lectures and workshops entitled "Incremental Strategies for Vertical Neighborhoods."

At the inaugural event a few weeks ago, Filipe Balestra of Urban Nouveau* was invited to speak about his work and contribute to a design charrette inspired by the City of Toronto's Tower Renewal program. For more on Balestra and the event, keep reading after the break.

TYIN tegnestue Releases Downloadable Guide to Design/Build in Underprivileged Areas

TYIN tegnestue architects are known for their small-scale built projects in underprivileged areas around the world, but you might not know just how open this firm is about sharing their work. If you head to their website, many of their past projects are available for download in the form of photographs, sketches, drawings, models, and more. They believe that by sharing their knowledge, they are encouraging students and young architects to learn by building. The architecture co-operative has even created the "TYIN Architect's Toolbox," a downloadable guide to working on design-builds in places of need. For more information on the guide, keep reading after the break.

Courtesy of TYIN tegnestue Architects Courtesy of TYIN tegnestue Architects Courtesy of TYIN tegnestue Architects Courtesy of TYIN tegnestue Architects + 7

The Atlanta BeltLine: From Student Thesis to Community Mobilizer

An abandoned twenty-two mile stretch of derelict railroad and industrial sites used to be a thorn in the Atlanta community's side. But with one student's thesis proposal to redevelop these areas into a sustainable network connecting 45 mixed-use neighborhoods, public concern has since turned into excitement. To learn more about the ambitious project, head over to The Atlantic Cities here.

What Makes a City a City?

You probably use the word 'city' on a daily basis, but if put on the spot - could you give it a concise definition? Under the rule of Henry VIII, the title of city was given to virtually any settlement in the United Kingdom with a diocesan cathedral. Obviously, times have changed. For Robert Bevan's thoughts on the title's past and present meaning, read his article on The Guardian here.

Study Shows Green Office Buildings Don't Make Happier Workers

Have you ever wondered if you would be happier working in a LEED building? Wonder no more - a new study says no. Although the findings indicate employees are generally satisfied with working in green-certified buildings, they are no happier than they would be in a non-LEED building. The study, which contradicts previous findings, was conducted by Sergio Altomonte from the Department for Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham and Stefano Schiavon from the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California Berkeley.

To arrive at this conclusion, data was collected through a web-based survey tool by the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at the University of California Berkeley. In total, 65 LEED and 79 non-LEED buildings were selected to participate in the study. Building occupants were surveyed and asked to rate their satisfaction on a 7-point scale of 17 indoor environmental quality parameters, including amount of light, furniture adjustability, air quality, temperature, and sound privacy.

Parlour Fights Gender Inequality in Architecture with Comprehensive Guidelines

As the fastidious debate about why women leave the architecture profession rages on, Parlour has proactively released a set of guides - which they have been working on since 2011 - "to promote more equitable working conditions within the industry."

In Australia, architecture graduates are split equally between the genders, but only 20% of registered architects are female - a statistic which resonates in other countries. In the United states, for example, women make up over 40% of architecture students, but only 23% of the profession. This disparity has proven difficult to explain because all too often women and men are lumped into uniform categories, all with the same wants and needs. Fortunately, Parlour's research team took a more comprehensive approach to the creation of their guides, understanding that "there is no one reason for women's significant under representation in architecture and no one solution." Each of the guides explained, after the break.

Lost Opportunity? Norman Foster's New York Public Library Renovation

As we mentioned a few days ago, Norman Foster's controversial New York Public Library renovation was axed before the most current proposal was even revealed. While book worms rejoice over the victory, others are disappointed about the lost opportunity. To read about what could have been, head on over to New York Magazine and read Justin Davidson's thoughts here.

"Every Building is a Social Critique" - Polshek Describes His Oeuvre in Latest Book

While architects don't always see the connection between politics, social constructs, and architecture, James Stewart Polshek considers the three indivisible. In an interview on Metropolis Magazine about his newly released book Build, Memory, he describes how this belief launched his career 65 years ago. To learn more about Polshek's approach to architecture and the publication, click here.

Toomath's Legacy: Defining Modern New Zealand Architecture

"What makes us New Zealanders different from, say, Australians?" William Toomath, the late modernist architect, asked himself this question at the onset of his career. In this article published by the Australian Design Review, Jack Davies takes a look at Toomath's work and how he helped define New Zealand architecture. To keep reading, click here.

Artist Fills Paris' Negative Space with Whimsical Illustrations

When you're surrounded by buildings on all sides, what do you see? In his SkyArt series, French artist Lamadieu Thomas gives us his answer. He takes claustrophobia-inducing photographs of urban landscapes through a fish-eye lens, framing the sky with rooftops and filling the negative space with playful illustrations. Thomas describes his whimsical approach to art as an attempt to show "what we can construct with a boundless imagination" and "a different perception of urban architecture and the everyday environment around us." To see more from the collection, continue after the break.

© Lamadieu Thomas © Lamadieu Thomas © Lamadieu Thomas © Lamadieu Thomas + 10

Jacobs and Moses' Famous Feud to Be Dramatized in Opera

Yes, you read right - the 1960s urban planning battle between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses will be the central story line for a new opera. Although the premiere is a long way off, its creators promise to bring New York City and the drama to life through song and an elaborate, animated, three-dimensional set. To find out more about the developing project, head on over to Fast Co-Design.

Reinier de Graaf, Ma Yansong to Speak at Biennale's Greenhouse Talk

Greenhouse Talks, an auxiliary public lecture series to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, will take place on Thursday, June 5th and Friday, June 6th between 9:00 and 11:00am. During each session, an international panel of professionals - including the founder of MAD Architects, Ma Yansong, and the director of AMO, Reinier de Graaf - will discuss a topic pertaining to Rem Koolhaas' chosen theme for the Biennale: Fundamentals. The first day of discourse will focus on the future of the architectural profession, investigating the potential influence of the market crisis and the intersection of architecture with other disciplines. The second will reflect on the representation of architecture, considering the Western practice of exhibiting architecture projects in museums, institutes, and biennial events and what this practice's adoption might mean for the East. For the full list of panel members and event details, read on after the break.

From "Cube Farm" to Fun: The Five Office Designs of the 20th Century

From being isolated in a cubicle to having a ping pong table at your disposal, the way we approach work and office design has drastically evolved over the past decade. The Wall Street Journal has identified five office designs that have defined the 20th century, going over the pros and cons of each one - including the collaborative typology that exists in the offices of Google. To learn more, continue reading here.

Remembering Ron Thom's Subtle Mark on the Canadian Landscape

“You don’t need big and flashy starchitecture to make a statement; the most powerful architecture is often that which blends into the landscape and reveals itself slowly.” In this article on Monocle, written by Nelly Gocheva, the late Canadian architect Ron Thom is remembered for just this reason. To learn more about Thom's architectural approach and works, including his masterplan for Trent University, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, read the article here.

Ban, Kimmelman, Others Speak at "Cities for Tomorrow"

On April 21st, ArchDaily tweeted about watching keynote speaker Shigeru Ban kick of the Cities for Tomorrow conference in New York. In his first appearance since winning the Pritzker Prize, he addressed how we should approach urban planning and development today with architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. To watch videos - of Ban as well as speakers such as Vishaan Chakrabati, Shaun Donovan, and Janette Sadik-Kahn discussing the future of our cities - click here.

Can Design Compel Communities to Relocate After Natural Disaster?

If you lived in a region repeatedly devastated by storms, would common sense be enough to make you leave your memories behind? Two of the ten proposals for the Rebuild by Design competition (which included proposals from OMA and BIG) tackle this issue, providing designs that compel communities to move to safety. To learn more about this sensitive and increasingly relevant social and political issue, known as "Managed Retreat," check out James Russell's article on The Atlantic Cities.

A History of Women in Architecture

In this article published by the National Women's History Museum, Despina Stratigakos delivers a fresh perspective on the current phenomenon of women leaving the architecture profession. Starting with Architect Barbie and jumping back to the likes of Julia Morgan, the successes and struggles of pioneering female architects are chronicled, offering women pursuing architecture careers today a firm understanding of their roots. Read the article here.