Although architecture itself is universal, the day-to-day practice still varies across the world, influenced by a wide range of factors, from the professional requirements and responsibilities of an architect, the local environment, history and building customs, to local priorities and challenges. In a hyper-connected world, where architecture seems to become more uniform, how do local contexts and characteristics shape the built environment? This article taps into the commonalities and the variations within the architecture profession.
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Wood is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile building materials there is. Treated lumber, boards, composites, or rustic hardwood, have structural and visual qualities that attract architects and clients searching for a wide range of possible applications and designs. Logs are one of the oldest ways of using this material since they require very little treatment and processing after the tree is cut and are the most natural form of lumber.
Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti, author of The Territory of Architecture (1966), believed that architecture had its origin when mankind placed the first stone on the ground. Recognizing a place is the first step towards an architectural project, whether intentionally or not. Understanding the project's location and its context is the basis for many design choices and is, therefore, a key aspect in the field of architecture.
Solar radiation is one of the most important criteria in architectural projects, as it impacts several decisions ranging from the orientation of the building on the site to the choice of windows and doors. Therefore, to ensure the quality of lighting and visual comfort in building interiors, it is crucial to study the sun path and the quantity of sunlight in each given space.
In recent years, several movements in Brazil and around the world have contributed significantly to society by emphasizing the need to occupy public spaces in the cities to claim quality and freedom of use for the community. The Ocupe Estelita movement in Recife, Brazil, for example, confronted the growing real estate speculation in the region and challenged the aggressive commercial urban planning on the banks of the Capibaribe River. Based on cases like this one, professor, critic, and curator Guilherme Wisnik, in an interview with Fora, addressed the issue of public space as a place of conflict.
While in a lot of countries around the world, the construction, architecture, engineering, and urban planning sectors, are still reserved for men, initiatives that empower women in these fields are surfacing everywhere around the globe. Playing a huge role in the integration of female power into these disciplines, these movements take on many forms such as organizations, websites, platforms, etc. working with professionals, artisans, and workers.
“Successful, vibrant, happy cities arise out of the visions of many, not the powerful few.” - Jane Jacobs.
Lina Bo Bardi, one of the most important architects of Brazilian architecture, was selected as the recipient of the Special Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in memoriam of the Venice Biennale 2021 (also known as the Biennale Architettura 2021), which will open to the public on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021.
Ancestral, but overshadowed by other technologies that have emerged over time, the rammed-earth walls are again gaining prominence in Brazil for being a low-impact, sustainable and economical solution. Known in Portuguese as taipa, it is a rudimentary construction system that compresses the earth into wooden boxes until it reaches an ideal density that allows a resistant and long-lasting structure.
Architectural education has always been fundamentally influenced by whichever styles are popular at a given time, but that relationship flows in the opposite direction as well. All styles must originate somewhere, after all, and revolutionary schools throughout centuries past have functioned as the influencers and generators of their own architectural movements. These schools, progressive in their times, are often founded by discontented experimental minds, looking for something not previously nor currently offered in architectural output or education. Instead, they forge their own way and bring their students along with them. As those students graduate and continue on to practice or become teachers themselves, the school’s influence spreads and a new movement is born.
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