All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions

Kim A. O'Connell

BROWSE ALL FROM THIS AUTHOR HERE

KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars

09:30 - 21 March, 2017
KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars, The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake
The virtual Mars City base. Image Courtesy of KieranTimberlake

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Life on Mars? Architects Lead the Way to Designing for Mars With Virtual Reality."

If an architecture firm is lucky, it can hit two birds with one stone on a single project—for example, prioritizing both historic preservation and energy efficiency. But a team at KieranTimberlake, based in Philadelphia, is aiming for four ambitious goals with its pro bono project, the Mars City Facility Ops Challenge.

Architects Fátima Olivieri, Efrie Friedlander, and Rolando Lopez teamed up with National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), NASA, and the Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) to create a virtual working city on Mars—one that might reap multiple rewards.

4 Tips to Get Started With Virtual Reality in Architecture

09:30 - 22 December, 2016
4 Tips to Get Started With Virtual Reality in Architecture, Image from the <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/772156/exhibition-drawn-to-the-future'>"Drawn to the Future" exhibition</a> held at The Building Centre in London in 2015. Image © Agnese Sanvito
Image from the "Drawn to the Future" exhibition held at The Building Centre in London in 2015. Image © Agnese Sanvito

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication.

You are walking through an elegant house, admiring the large living-room windows, the paintings on the wall, and the spacious kitchen. Pendant lights cast a soft glow, the terrazzo flooring gleams beneath your feet, the furnishings feel inviting. Then you take off the virtual-reality goggles and resume your meeting.

This scenario is becoming increasingly common as more architects incorporate virtual reality (VR) into their practices. Along with its cousins—augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR)—virtual reality allows designers to push the boundaries of visualization, giving colleagues and clients new ways to experience and understand a building or space long before it is actually built. With VR, architects can transmit not just what a building will look like, but also what it will feel like.

This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability

09:30 - 23 July, 2016
This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability, The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue
The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings: Why a Theater Company Chose Resurrection (Not Demolition)."

For a ruined Civil War-era warehouse in Brooklyn, there may have been no better organization than an avant-garde theater group to think creatively about its future.

Situated in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in the popular Dumbo neighborhood, the 1860 tobacco warehouse was crumbling and forgotten when St. Ann’s, a 36-year-old theater company that began life in another Brooklyn church, sought to renovate it for its first permanent home. Attaining energy efficiency in historic buildings is not just possible—it can be the most sustainable and aesthetic choice.

St. Ann’s, led by artistic director Susan Feldman, hired a building team that included Marvel Architects; BuroHappold Engineering; and Charcoalblue, a theater, lighting, and acoustics consultancy. The resulting 25,000-square-foot complex, St. Ann’s Warehouse, includes two versatile and changeable performance spaces, lobby and event areas, and a triangular garden (designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates).

How Minecraft is Inspiring the Next Generation of Young Architects

10:30 - 5 February, 2016
How Minecraft is Inspiring the Next Generation of Young Architects, Courtesy of BlockWorks
Courtesy of BlockWorks

For many architects, an obsession with design came at a very young age - often, an architectural career begins with toys such as wooden blocks or that old classic, LEGO. In recent years though, a new contender has emerged to inspire young architectural minds: Minecraft. In this article, originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Minecraft Architecture: What Architects Can Learn From a Video Game," Kim A O'Connell looks into the growing influence of Minecraft in architectural design and education, including the growing presence of the global "Blockworks" team.

Since it burst onto the gaming scene in 2009, Minecraft has become one of the world’s most popular video games—so much so that Microsoft bought the game and its parent company for a whopping $2.5 billion in 2014.

Today, the world-building platform has also garnered the attention of architects and designers. Could a video game actually change the way architecture is taught and practiced?

Built as an entry to the Planet Minecraft “Industrial Revolution” competition, the BlockWorks team was able to show their work process in the form of a Minecraft build. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks Built for the Planet Minecraft “Underwater Wonderland Contest,” the Faberzhe Palace blends fantasy and Slavic architectural styles. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks A Neverland-themed build. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks Asked by the Guardian newspaper “to build a modern vision of urban living in a clean and sustainable city in Minecraft,” BlockWorks created Climate Hope City using existing green technologies and prototypes for a sustainable design that is also achievable. Image Courtesy of BlockWorks + 6

Doctors in the Studio: The Right Medicine for Healthcare Architecture?

00:00 - 2 March, 2014
Doctors in the Studio: The Right Medicine for Healthcare Architecture?, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, designed by a joint venture between HDR + Corgan. HOK is responsible for the hospital’s furnishings and equipment, and has also been executing a study of the role of furnishings and artwork in inpatient care. Image Courtesy of HDR + Corgan
Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, designed by a joint venture between HDR + Corgan. HOK is responsible for the hospital’s furnishings and equipment, and has also been executing a study of the role of furnishings and artwork in inpatient care. Image Courtesy of HDR + Corgan

This article, written by Kim A. O'Connell, and first published on the AIA website as "Is there a Doctor in the Firm? (Or a Nurse in the Studio?)" discusses the growing overlap between architects and healthcare professionals, who collaborate or even learn both disciplines to design more effective healthcare architecture - relying on research more rigorously than ever before.

Since it opened last fall, a cardiac hospital in Bulgaria is already operating at full capacity and is among the most technologically advanced of its kind in Europe. Project delivery for the City Clinic in Sofia was remarkably fast—only a year from the time Dallas-based HKS Architects was hired until doctors began seeing patients. A former car dealership was renovated to create the 38,000-square-foot, 55-bed facility, helping to expedite matters.

The other major contributing factor may have been that, from its earliest beginnings, a physician played a leading role—from landing the project to identifying specific medical needs and seeing the design through to completion. It's a model that seems to be taking hold in architecture. More and more, architecture firms are bringing health professionals into their design studios to help them create the next generation of healthcare architecture.

Read on after the break to find out how this shift is producing better buildings for healthcare