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Megan Schires

I entered the professional world of architecture in 2016 after finishing my M.Arch at Iowa State University. My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Design in Architecture with a minor in Housing Studies from the University of Minnesota. Throughout my academic career my focus has been on the human factor in design and I'm particularly interested in how the built environment affects the people who inhabit it and vice versa. I love to travel and try to make as many pilgrimages as I can to architectural landmarks all over the world!

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Is Integrating Building Performance Difficult at Your Firm?

04:00 - 22 August, 2019
Is Integrating Building Performance Difficult at Your Firm?, © Cooper Carry
© Cooper Carry

In a study recently published by AIA, less than 13% of architectural firms have incorporated building performance as part of their practice. With buildings contributing 40% of total carbon emissions leading to climate change, just 25 projects are roughly equivalent to planting 1 million trees each year. In addition to that, teams that are able to showcase data-driven and performance-driven decision-making and feature an energy analysis in every pursuit are able to increase fees and generate more revenue. Although integrating building performance sounds like a no-brainer, it proves to be difficult at many firms, because in addition to the practical changes, it requires a culture shift. That culture shift can only happen if the tools are easy to use, accurate, and mesh well with current workflows. Right now is the perfect time to tackle these culture changes due to a few reasons:

Our Favorite Indoor-Outdoor-Inspired Homes

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Our Favorite Indoor-Outdoor-Inspired Homes

Another year, another crop of homes featuring fresh, contemporary architecture, striking décor, and seamless transitions between inside and outside spaces. Peruse our picks below to find the inspiration you need to make indoor-outdoor living part of your next home design.

Our Favorite Indoor-Outdoor-Inspired Homes Our Favorite Indoor-Outdoor-Inspired Homes Our Favorite Indoor-Outdoor-Inspired Homes Our Favorite Indoor-Outdoor-Inspired Homes + 12

Top 20 A' Design Award Winners

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Top 20 A' Design Award Winners, Courtesy of A' Design Awards
Courtesy of A' Design Awards

The A’ Design Award is an international award whose aim is to provide designers, architects, and innovators from all architecture and design fields with a competitive platform to showcase their work and products to a global audience. Among the design world's many awards, the A' Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale and breadth; from 2018-2019, over 2,000 individual designs from 106 countries received awards in 98 different design disciplines. This year's edition is now open for entries; designers can register their submissions here.

Courtesy of A' Design Awards Courtesy of A' Design Awards Courtesy of A' Design Awards Courtesy of A' Design Awards + 21

SAGA Space Architects Design Simulated Mars Habitat in Israeli Desert

06:00 - 30 June, 2019

In the Negev Desert of Israel, SAGA Space Architects are collaborating with D-MARS to build a Mars Lab Habitat that will simulate the conditions of living in a confined space on the hazardous surface of the red planet. The laboratory structure they’ve designed is an addition to D-MARS' existing Mars simulation habitat and will be part of a larger experiment. This habitat will serve as a prototype for a longer mission scheduled for 2020.

Exterior. Image © Edi Cliff Ent Interior. Image © Edi Cliff Ent Structure. Image © Edi Cliff Ent Algae ceiling. Image © Edi Cliff Ent + 21

Ian McHarg's Legacy Spurs "Design With Nature Now" Initiative 50 Years Later

10:00 - 29 June, 2019
Ian McHarg's Legacy Spurs "Design With Nature Now" Initiative 50 Years Later, McHarg promoting his book in 1969. Image Courtesy of the Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania
McHarg promoting his book in 1969. Image Courtesy of the Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania

Fifty years have passed since the publication of influential landscape architect Ian McHarg’s book, Design With Nature in 1969. Throughout the United States, an environmental movement was taking place, into the center of which McHarg’s book was thrust. The 1970s and ‘80s were a time of much landmark legislation surrounding ecological concerns, and McHarg argued that landscape architecture alone was able to integrate all the disparate fields involved.

The Importance of Communication and Context in Enrique Sobejano's Work

08:30 - 28 June, 2019
The Importance of Communication and Context in Enrique Sobejano's Work, Espacio Andaluz de Creación Contemporánea. Image © Roland Halbe
Espacio Andaluz de Creación Contemporánea. Image © Roland Halbe

Past, Present, Future is an interview project by Itinerant Office, asking acclaimed architects to share their perspectives on the constantly evolving world of architecture. Each interview is split into three video segments: Past, Present, and Future, in which interviewees discuss their thoughts and experiences of architecture through each of those lenses. The first episode of the project featured 11 architects from Italy and the Netherlands and Episode II is comprised of interviews with 13 architects from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.

Konigshof rendering. Image Courtesy of Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Montblanc exterior view. Image Courtesy of Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Espacio Andaluz de Creación Contemporánea. Image © Roland Halbe Arvo Part Centre. Image © Roland Halbe + 41

Urban Agency Designs a "Student Castle" in Ireland

04:00 - 26 June, 2019
Urban Agency Designs a "Student Castle" in Ireland, © Urban Agency
© Urban Agency

In their new student housing project, Walshe's Yard, Urban Agency has placed incredible importance on blending the building into its context while also providing a high quality of living for students. Located in Carlow, Ireland, the building is situated on the threshold between the looser urban periphery and the denser historic center of the town. The 3800 square meter project will include 125 bedspaces arranged into 32 “student houses” of either 3, 6, or 8 students, plus graduate studios on the top floor.

© Urban Agency © Urban Agency © Urban Agency © Urban Agency + 16

Explore Boullée's Unrealized World Through Film "Lux in Tenebris"

04:00 - 25 June, 2019

Etienne-Louis Boullée, though regarded as one of the most visionary and influential architects in French neoclassicism, saw none of his most extraordinary designs come to life. Throughout the late 1700s Boullée taught, theorized, and practiced architecture in a characteristic style consisting of geometric forms on an enormous scale, an excision of unnecessary ornamentation, and repetition of columns and other similar elements.

SCALA Architecture Playing Cards Highlight a Collection of Contemporary Architecture

06:00 - 22 June, 2019
SCALA Architecture Playing Cards Highlight a Collection of Contemporary Architecture, SCALA Architecture Playing Cards Second Edition. Image © Arquitectura a Contrapelo
SCALA Architecture Playing Cards Second Edition. Image © Arquitectura a Contrapelo

Now is your chance to build a house of cards from cards of houses with the Kickstarter campaign for the updated second edition of SCALA Architecture Playing Cards. "Arquitectura a Contrapelo", an architecture and design team based in Seville, Spain, are hoping to release a sequel to their previous successful deck of architecture-themed cards. The new edition keeps the collection current with additions of the most relevant contemporary architecture, as well as providing some upgrades and improvements from the previous deck.

Saint-Gobain Announces Winners of International Student Design Competition

10:00 - 15 June, 2019
Saint-Gobain Announces Winners of International Student Design Competition, "Co.Living" - Exterior view. Image Courtesy of Saint-Gobain
"Co.Living" - Exterior view. Image Courtesy of Saint-Gobain

Competing in this year’s 15th annual Multi Comfort Student Contest, Saint-Gobain had over 2,200 students from 199 universities worldwide. The final was narrowed down to 60 competing teams from 34 countries, all of whom traveled to Milan to present their designs to an international panel of experts from the Municipality of Milan. This year’s brief was to design a project to rehabilitate and reconnect the urban area around Crescenzago subway station in Milan in line with the city’s #milano2030 development plan. The competition also focuses on Saint-Gobain’s concept of Multi Comfort: thermal, visual, and acoustic comfort, as well as good indoor air quality.

"Urban Villa" - Exterior view. Image Courtesy of Saint-Gobain "Induction" - Exterior view. Image Courtesy of Saint-Gobain "Diversity in Regularity" - 3D Model. Image Courtesy of Saint-Gobain "Social Canopy" - Exterior view. Image Courtesy of Saint-Gobain + 21

Continuity and Sensitivity Drive the Designs of Ricardo Bak Gordon

06:30 - 14 June, 2019
Continuity and Sensitivity Drive the Designs of Ricardo Bak Gordon, House in Boliqueime. Image Courtesy of bak gordon arquitectos
House in Boliqueime. Image Courtesy of bak gordon arquitectos

Past, Present, Future is an interview project by Itinerant Office, asking acclaimed architects to share their perspectives on the constantly evolving world of architecture. Each interview is split into three video segments: Past, Present, and Future, in which interviewees discuss their thoughts and experiences of architecture through each of those lenses. The first episode of the project featured 11 architects from Italy and the Netherlands and Episode II is comprised of interviews with 13 architects from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.

House in Boliqueime. Image Courtesy of bak gordon arquitectos FUTURE: Teatro Romano. Image Courtesy of bak gordon arquitectos Casa na Costa do Castelo. Image Courtesy of bak gordon arquitectos School Romanshorn. Image Courtesy of bak gordon arquitectos + 24

Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Helps Visualize Design Concepts

04:00 - 6 June, 2019
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Helps Visualize Design Concepts, © Alessandro Luporino
© Alessandro Luporino

Drawing as an architectural tool serves not only as a means of communication, but through drawing we can also gain a deeper understanding of the subject. To this purpose, Alessandro Luporino has created the Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture. The series of beautiful and evocative illustrations serve as companions for the book “Dictionary of Architecture,” by Nikolaus Pevsner, John Fleming, and Hugh Honor.

© Alessandro Luporino © Alessandro Luporino © Alessandro Luporino © Alessandro Luporino + 43

IKEA Explores Future Urban Living for the Many

05:00 - 4 June, 2019
IKEA Explores Future Urban Living for the Many, Infill Village Europe. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10
Infill Village Europe. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10

Some assembly required for this vision of future urban living. Known for simple, well-designed, flat-pack furniture, IKEA is proposing expanding their DIY-model to a much larger scale: entire city centers. Democratic Design Days is an annual event where IKEA introduces its upcoming brands and collaborations, this year featuring The Urban Village Project, a collaboration between SPACE10 and EFFEKT Architects. After two years of research, SPACE10 (IKEA’s global research and design lab) is releasing their vision to the public for a new way to design, build, and share our homes, neighborhoods, and cities.

Vertical Village Asia. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 Shared Courtyard View. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 A Sustainable Home View. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 Grow, Share, Eat. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 + 30

Material Artistry Meets Modern Forms with SO-IL

04:00 - 3 June, 2019
Material Artistry Meets Modern Forms with SO-IL, CTF Museum under construction within the existing KPF development. Image Courtesy of SO-IL
CTF Museum under construction within the existing KPF development. Image Courtesy of SO-IL

As a firm which has already won major awards, worked on culturally significant projects on a large scale, and generally achieved substantial success and recognition in just over 10 years, SO-IL seem to straddle a line between being an “emerging” and an “established” practice. Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu founded SO-IL (Solid Objectives-Idenburg Liu) in 2008 and have since gained a reputation for modern, clean-lined designs, but often with a unique material twist.

MINI LIVING - Breathe, SO-IL. Image Courtesy of SO-IL Kukje Gallery. Image © Iwan Baan Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, SO-IL. Image © Iwan Baan The 30-foot-tall glass tubes in the CTF facade. Image Courtesy of SO-IL + 5

John Pawson on Making Calm, Simple Spaces

10:00 - 1 June, 2019

This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Click here to learn more about the annual event.

It took a few years and multiple failed career attempts for renowned minimalist designer John Pawson to truly enter the world of architecture. Though he’d cultivated an interest in design from a young age, he’d initially shied away due to his beliefs that he needed to be good at math and that design was an innate skill rather than something that could be taught.