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Jose Luis Gabriel Cruz

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Australia Plans for Greener Cities by 2020

00:00 - 17 November, 2013
Australia Plans for Greener Cities by 2020, The Goods Line proposal. Image Courtesy of ASPECT Studios
The Goods Line proposal. Image Courtesy of ASPECT Studios

As cities continue to attract more people, naturally vegetated areas slowly wither, leaving little to no green spaces for city dwellers to escape to, no trees to purify the air and enhance the environment. Australia plans to change this. The 202020 Vision is a concerted effort from the government, academic and private sectors to create twenty percent green areas in Australia's urban centers by 2020. “Urban heat islands, poor air quality, lack of enjoyable urban community areas are all poor outcomes when green spaces aren't incorporated into new developments and large scale building projects.” Read about the 202020 initiative here, "More green spaces in urban areas, says new national initiative."

Winning Entry for New Pottery Museum in South Korea / PWFERRETTO + UTOP

01:00 - 17 November, 2013
Winning Entry for New Pottery Museum in South Korea / PWFERRETTO + UTOP, Courtesy of PWFERRETTO
Courtesy of PWFERRETTO

Seoul-based architectural firms, PWFERRETTO + UTOP, were recently selected winners of a competition commissioning a new pottery museum in the Goheung region of South Korea. The winning entry extends the museum experience throughout the 97,000 square meter site and is organized around four concepts, "genius loci, traditional village, landmark roof and nature journey."

SDA + Volvo Collaborate to Create Portable Car-Charging Pavilion

01:00 - 15 November, 2013
SDA + Volvo Collaborate to Create Portable Car-Charging Pavilion, Courtesy of SDA
Courtesy of SDA

After months of design refinement and engineering, Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), winners of the "Switch to Pure Volvo" architecture competition, have launched a free-standing mobile pavilion capable of harnessing solar energy to power the new Volvo V60, the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid car. The 'Pure Tension' Pavilion was birthed by SDA's extensive research on dynamic mesh relaxation, utilizing bendable, lightweight aluminum structures with flexible fabrics that can be stored in the trunk of the car and easily mounted within one hour, similar to a tent.

Architects & AIA Respond to Devastation in the Philippines, Call for Immediate Help

00:00 - 13 November, 2013
Architects & AIA Respond to Devastation in the Philippines, Call for Immediate Help, A man stands atop debris as residents salvage belongings from the ruins of their houses after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 10, 2013. Image Courtesy of Flickr user, mansunides
A man stands atop debris as residents salvage belongings from the ruins of their houses after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 10, 2013. Image Courtesy of Flickr user, mansunides

On Friday, one of the strongest storms ever to hit land left 660,000 Filipinos homeless, with countless more desperately needing basic supplies to survive. 

In the wake of catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity are calling for immediate help as survivors face severe shortages of food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

Both organizations will be aiding local volunteers to help rebuild in the coming days and weeks. Through speaking with local stakeholders and construction professionals, they are working to begin understanding the on-the-ground situation to prioritize rebuilding needs and help affected regions build back better and stronger. Relief and reconstruction, however, cannot happen without your support. Learn how you can send aid to typhoon victims today after the break. 

3xLP Winner of SKIN Digital Fabrication Competition

00:00 - 9 November, 2013
3xLP Winner of SKIN Digital Fabrication Competition, Courtesy of TEX-FAB
Courtesy of TEX-FAB

TEX-FAB Digital Fabrication Alliance’s 2013 international digital fabrication competition titled - SKIN is announcing the overall winner: 3xLP.

A total of 68 entries from across the globe representing 14 countries on 5 continents were narrowed down to 4 finalists and 4 honorable mentions in July by the First Round jury consisting of Phil Anzalone, Maria Mingallon, Gregg Pasquarelli, Randy Stratman, and Skylar Tibbits. The Second Round juried by James Carpenter, Neil Denari, Mic Patterson and William Zahner conferred and selected from the finalists 3xLP. All four finalists were exhibited at the ACADIA Adaptive Architecture Conference at the University of Waterloo in October, 2013.

WSJ Announces David Adjaye as 'Architecture Innovator' of 2013

00:00 - 8 November, 2013
WSJ Announces David Adjaye as 'Architecture Innovator' of 2013, Courtesy of Adjaye Associates
Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

The Wall Street Journal has announced David Adjaye as "Architecture Innovator" for 2013. The 47-year old Tanzanian-born and British-educated architect, whose current projects span from affordable housing apartments in Harlem to the African American History and Culture Museum in Washington D.C., "has the unique ability to speak to experiences and to people outside the norms of his profession," delivering his message across cultural boundaries.

Mexico & Swizterland in Tug-of-War Over Luis Barragán Archive

00:00 - 6 November, 2013
Mexico & Swizterland in Tug-of-War Over Luis Barragán Archive, Gilardi House. Image © Flickr user, Elena_mch
Gilardi House. Image © Flickr user, Elena_mch

Mexico, Switzerland and their constituent art collectors are in a tug-of-war over the coveted professional archive of late, famed hero Luis Barragán - considered one of Mexico's greatest architects. After his death, the heads of the Swiss furniture company, Vitra, bought a collection of Barragán's personal designs and images, leaving those in Mexico puzzled as to why the archive ever left the country from which his work is rooted. "It would be as if the ‘rights’ for Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Kahn were held and managed from another country, ruling over their work and limiting access to the American public." Read the full article here, "Tug of War Stretches Architect’s Legacy".

Ennead Awarded for "Leading Innovation" in FAR ROC Design Competition

01:00 - 6 November, 2013
Ennead Awarded for "Leading Innovation" in FAR ROC Design Competition, Aerial View: The strategy is to increase the density and intensity of both the ecological and urban characteristics of the site, maximizing the potential benefit of each. Image Courtesy of Ennead Lab
Aerial View: The strategy is to increase the density and intensity of both the ecological and urban characteristics of the site, maximizing the potential benefit of each. Image Courtesy of Ennead Lab

Ennead Architects / Ennead Lab was recognized for Leading Innovation in Resilient Waterfront Development and named runner-up in the "For a Resilient Rockaway" (FAR ROC) design competition. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and its affiliates made the announcement on Wednesday at the Arverne East site in the Rockaways. Titled "Fostering Resilient Ecological Development" (F.R.E.D.), Ennead’s submission creates a solution that is not only practical but also replicable for low-lying coastal communities up and down the Atlantic seaboard.

"Fangda Business Headquarters" Winning Entry / Huasen Architects

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
"Fangda Business Headquarters" Winning Entry / Huasen Architects  , Courtesy of Huasen Architects
Courtesy of Huasen Architects

Huasen Architects (HSA) have been announced winners of the Fangda Headquarters competition. The winning proposal, located in Shenzhen, China, reshapes the existing site into a 300,000 sqm vortex of retail, office, entertainment and recreation spaces, stemming off a high-tech research and technical development hub. Competition requirements called for the integration of a bus terminal predicated on government officials’ calculations that 55% of users would arrive by bus.

Puzzle-Piece Homes, A Solution for Rapidly Growing Populations

00:00 - 4 November, 2013
Puzzle-Piece Homes, A Solution for Rapidly Growing Populations, Courtesy of ECOnnect
Courtesy of ECOnnect

By now, we have all heard the mantra. In twenty years time, the world's cities will have grown from three to five billion people, forty percent of these urban dwellers will be living at or below the poverty line facing the constant threat of homelessness - scary statistics and even scarier implications.

ECOnnect, a Holland-based design firm, envisions a solution for these future housing shortages, one that could build a one-million-inhabitant city per week for the next twenty years for $10,000 per family. Peter Stoutjesdijk, architect at ECOnnect, created the concept after widespread devastation in Haiti caused by a massive earthquake left of hundreds of thousands of people homeless depending on tents for temporary relief.

Mountains of Construction Debris Accumulate Outside Chinese Cities

00:00 - 29 October, 2013
Mountains of Construction Debris Accumulate Outside Chinese Cities, © Aly Song / Reuters
© Aly Song / Reuters

Chinese city-dwellers are waking to find eight stories of construction debris outside of their homes. Over two billion tons of waste, outside Beijing and other major cities, is a result of a booming construction industry. "There's no systematic way to deal with [the garbage]," says Wilson W.S. Lu, architecture professor at the University of Hong Kong, "The illegal dumping is everywhere." Recycling efforts have just begun, but local activists believe it will require a radical paradigm shift in the way Chinese residents reclaim material. Read the full New York Times article, "China's Mountains of Construction Rubble."

The Case For Tall Wood Buildings

00:00 - 28 October, 2013
The Case For Tall Wood Buildings, Courtesy of Michael Green Architecture
Courtesy of Michael Green Architecture

Michael Green is calling for a drastic paradigm shift in the way we build. Forget steel, straw, concrete and shipping containers; use wood to erect urban skyscrapers. In a 240 page report - complete with diagrams, plans, renders and even typical wooden curtain wall details - Green outlines a new way of designing and constructing tall buildings using mass timber, all the while addressing common misconceptions of fire safety, structure, sustainability, cost and climate concerns.

Straight Lines or Curves, Which Do We Prefer?

00:00 - 27 October, 2013
Straight Lines or Curves, Which Do We Prefer? , © Flickr user, Simon & Vicki
© Flickr user, Simon & Vicki

Do we prefer straight lines or curves? According to Eric Jaffe's article on Fast Co.Design, it seems we subconsciously prefer the latter. Our brains, he claims, have evolved to perceive potential threat in sharp edges. "Square watches, pointy couches, and the like activate the amygdala. The part of the brain that processes fear." Thus, our feelings, buying habits and favorite buildings are subject to our affection of curves. Investigate for yourself and make sure to read the full article here, “Why Our Brains Love Curvy Architecture.

Solar Decathlon 2013: Team Alberta Designs Modular Home for Remote Locations

01:00 - 23 October, 2013
Solar Decathlon 2013: Team Alberta Designs Modular Home for Remote Locations, Render. Image Courtesy of Team Alberta Solar Decathlon 2013
Render. Image Courtesy of Team Alberta Solar Decathlon 2013

Text description provided by the architects. Borealis, Team Alberta’s entry to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, addresses the housing needs of professionals working in remote locations. This modular house was designed in consideration of severe housing shortages and high housing costs driven by booming industries in northern Canada. Named after the iconic Northern Lights and lush Boreal forest, Borealis is designed to be sustainable and ecologically sensitive.

Solar Decathlon 2013: SCI-Arc & Caltech Create California-style, Zero Net Energy Bungalow

01:00 - 22 October, 2013
Solar Decathlon 2013: SCI-Arc & Caltech Create California-style, Zero Net Energy Bungalow, © Paolo Tadoc / SCI-Arc
© Paolo Tadoc / SCI-Arc

DALE, short for Dynamic Augmented Living Environment, is this year's U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon entry for the SCI-Arc/Caltech team. Made of two movable, prefabricated modules that open to allow the outdoors in, DALE celebrates the active California lifestyle through its dynamic architecture.

DALE learns from two classic California precedents: the super-sized suburban tract home and the compact, sufficient bungalow; amending one and expanding on the other to become a new Southern California typology. At 600 square feet, it is a micro house with an unprecedented flexible interior that results in the program of a house three times the size.

100 Urban Trends: A Glossary of Ideas

00:00 - 21 October, 2013
100 Urban Trends: A Glossary of Ideas, Courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab
Courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab

The BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile think-tank focused on the study of urban life, has returned to New York City for its homecoming exhibition currently on view at the Guggenheim Museum till January 5, 2014. After two years of research and touring Berlin and Mumbai, the lab aims to present major urban themes in art, architecture, education, science, sustainability and technology."100 Urban Trends: A Glossary of Ideas" is a compilation of definitions of the most pressing issues in urban centers today, contextualized to reflect how different cities interpret them. Architects, planners and students take note: From street facades to bailouts, gentrification to trash mapping, this resource archives years of discussion into one user-friendly interface. Explore the glossary, here.

Solar Decathlon 2013: Stanford University Places Fifth Overall, Ties First in Affordability

01:00 - 20 October, 2013
Solar Decathlon 2013: Stanford University Places Fifth Overall, Ties First in Affordability, Courtesy of Start.Home - Solar Decathlon Team Stanford
Courtesy of Start.Home - Solar Decathlon Team Stanford

Stanford University's Start.Home has won fifth place overall and tied for first place in affordability in the 2013 Solar Decathlon. Read the team’s description to learn more:

For the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, Stanford University designed the Start.Home to provide energy efficiency at the push of a button to a new generation of environmentally conscious occupants. With modular architecture and advanced controls to optimize each component, the house aims to spark a revolution by lowering the entry barrier for an ultra-efficient house and making sustainability trendy, social, and affordable.

Solar Decathlon 2013: Stevens Institute of Technology Places Second in Architecture, Fourth Overall

01:00 - 19 October, 2013
Courtesy of  Jason Flakes / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
Courtesy of Jason Flakes / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Text description provided by the architects. This "L-shaped" energy smart house by the Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT), dubbed Ecohabit, won second place in the architecture category and fourth overall in this year's Solar Decathlon competition. The L-concept divides the house into two modules, "wet" and "dry". Read the team's description to learn why: