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Niall Patrick Walsh

Niall served as Senior Editor at ArchDaily.

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OMA Unveil Major Education Masterplan in Dubai

OMA / Iyad Alsaka have unveiled their design for a major educational masterplan in Dubai. Designed for the Government of Dubai Knowledge Fund, on a site located in the centre of Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), the scheme aims to be the world’s largest free zone dedicated to higher education.

Is it Time for Architects to Unionize? The UK Says Yes

In late October, the Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright reported that the United Kingdom’s first architecture union had been formed. The Section of Architecture Workers (UVW-SAW) is a section of the United Voices of the World, a new model of grassroots trade union that supports the expansion of union ideals to professions and sectors which traditionally did not have such representation. The launch of the union, and the reasons behind it, serve as the latest episode in long-running concern over the working conditions faced by architects in the UK and across the world.

Why Africa is the Future of Megacities

In a discourse about the future of cities, one could be forgiven for limiting their geographical scope to innovations in Europe, the United States, and increasingly, China and Southeast Asia. After all, Shenzhen is about to once again host the world’s only Biennale dedicated exclusively to urbanization, while smart, responsive architecture manifests in visions for cities such as Toronto and London, and tech giants such as Microsoft and Siemens. However, despite our preoccupation with the problems and opportunities of urbanization in the ‘Global North’, and the architectural innovations they herald, there is merit in expanding our horizons – and not just towards Mars. By the end of the century, none of the world’s largest 20 cities will be in China, Europe, or the Americas. Africa, meanwhile, will host 13 out of 20, including the top 3.

What is the Future of Concrete in Architecture?

Concrete is the second-most used material on earth. It is also the second-largest emitter of CO2, with cement manufacturing accounting for 5 to 7 percent of annual emissions. The continued popularity of concrete as a material of choice in the design and construction industry, coupled with increasing unease of the environmental consequences, has put concrete firmly in the spotlight of innovation and experimentation. As a result, designers, architects, and researchers around the world are generating multiple visions for what the future of concrete in architecture could look like.

What is the Future of the Gas Station?

For decades, the gas station has been a staple of both urban and rural landscapes. As the 20th century saw the democratization of automobiles, the gas station became arguably one of the most generic, universal architectural typologies. Today in the USA alone, there are 130,000 gas stations serving 268 million cars. However, as populations move to condensed, urban areas with ever-improving public transit systems, and as the internal combustion engine evolves into electric alternatives, it is time to either redesign or retire the gas station.

Hangzhou Inventronics Electric Vehicle Charging Station / GLA. Image © shiromio studioFuel Station + McDonalds / Khmaladze Architects. Image © Giorgi KhmaladzeSolar Car Port: Renewable Energy to Charge Your E-Car. Image © MDT-TexFirst Prize: Nu Oil / Felix Yang and Thomas Noussis. Image Courtesy of Combo Competitions+ 15

Carlo Ratti Discusses Architectural Innovation and the Shenzhen Biennale

Carlo Ratti can be considered one of the great architectural innovators of our time. The founder of Carlo Ratti Associati, and Director at the MIT Senseable City Lab, Ratti champions the power of new technologies to transform both how we live, and how we design. The act of “convergence” is central to Ratti’s architectural outlook, whether it be the convergence of bits and atoms, or natural and artificial, or human and technology. Moreover, he believes that this convergence can reframe the design process, and engage citizens in discussions on what kind of city they want to live in.

2015, CRA Cloud Cast. Image © Carlo Ratti Associati2008, CRA Digital Water Pavilion . Image © Claudio Bonicco2015, CRA Cloud Cast. Image © Pietro Leoni2008, CRA Digital Water Pavilion . Image © Ramak Fazel+ 12

We Need DIY Activist Architecture to Fight Climate Change

Architecture is inherently linked to policy, politics, and power. With responsibility for the design and perception of the built environment, architects have a distinct role in shaping the human urban experience. As the world confronts issues of climate change, forced migration, and affordable housing, architects are increasingly putting themselves on the front line of the debate, using a variety of tools and avenues to clamor for change, and indeed design for it. However, while many official avenues exist for architects to advocate for social and environmental reform, there is an under-theorized method of resistance, a ‘road less traveled’ for social progress beyond officialdom.

30 Workspaces for the World’s Biggest Tech Companies

For technology companies, image is everything. Whether it be the latest iPhone, the newest Slack interface, or the latest Uber app update, these multimillion-dollar giants strive daily to keep the user engaged, and to keep their image young, current, and cutting edge. Invariably, this need to be noticed transcends the digital screen, and manifests in the architecture of the offices where this innovation takes place.

Across the world, from Dublin to Tel Aviv to Tokyo, the workspaces of the world's largest tech companies are redefining how offices are designed, aided by leading architects such as Foster + Partners, Snøhetta, and Gehry Partners. While our recent article on solutions for flexible home offices reflects on strategic functionality and individual expression, the 30 workspaces below dedicate themselves to collaboration and inspiration through a play on scales, color, shapes, and unexpected fixtures.

Google Campus Dublin / Camenzind Evolution + Henry J. Lyons Architects. Image © Peter WurmliAirbnb CX Hub / Bora Architects. Image © Jeremy BittermanSlack Asia Pacific Headquarters / Breathe Architecture. Image © Peter ClarkeSamsung Seocho / KPF. Image © Jae Seong Lee+ 31

20 TED Talks on how Architecture can Change the World

Since its founding in 1984 by architect Richard Saul Wurman, TED has been a powerful force in the fields of technology, entertainment, design, and beyond. Architects are among the millions of people around the world who frequently tune into TED's “ideas worth spreading” including talks by architects such as Bjarke Ingels and Jeanne Gang. With over 2500 talks to choose from, we have followed on from our previous lists to provide you with 20 talks to help you work better as an architect.

Jonathan Mizzi on the Future of Tiny Architecture

London/Malta-based Mizzi Studio, led by founder Jonathan Mizzi, are at the forefront of the growing trend of micro-architecture. As exemplified by their recent commission for the design of nine kiosks across London’s Royal Parks, the firm has a passion for the fusion of craft and technology, and in particular, the large, invisible forces of economy, sustainability, and psychology that converge on such small spaces and structures.

The Royal Parks Kiosks - Ritz Corner. Image © Luke HayesThe Royal Parks Kiosks - Ritz Corner. Image © Luke HayesThe Serpentine Coffee House. Image © Luke HayesThe Serpentine Coffee House. Image © Luke Hayes+ 14

4 Unique Coworking Typologies, from Churches to Shipping Containers

An established trend in the creative world and beyond, coworking is predicated on the idea that sharing space can offer both financial and productivity benefits. As demonstrated by Bjarke Ingels’ heavy involvement in WeWork, and the vibrant, dynamic workspaces created by Second Home, architecture and design play a heavy role in the effective design of coworking spaces.