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Applying Material Innovation: Does Architecture Have What It Takes?

There is a slide I like to show at the beginning of the architecture courses I teach that provides an overview of the last hundred years or so in design and technology. In the left column, a car from the beginning of the 20th Century (a Ford Model T) is poised over a contemporary car (a Tesla). The middle column contains a similar juxtaposition, showing a WWI-era biplane and a modern-day stealth fighter (an F-117A). In the right column, Walter Gropius’s 1926 Bauhaus Dessau building is seen next to an up-to-date urban mixed-use building. The punch line, of course, is that the two buildings—separated by roughly 100 years—look basically the same, whereas the cars and planes separated by the same timespan seem worlds apart. What is the reason for this?

Gardens, Parks, and Boulevards: Mapping Green Spaces Via Satellite

There are a plethora of benefits associated with urban green spaces, namely pollution control, temperature regulation, and biodiversity--all of which ultimately add to the quality of life of city dwellers. Like other urban common areas used for sports and recreational activities, green spaces have a direct impact on the health and well being of the residents who use them.

Bern, Switzerland. © Daily Overview Brussels, Belgium. © Daily Overview Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, USA. © Daily Overview Brasilia, Brazil. © Daily Overview + 16

"Bodies of Water": PSA Announces the Theme for the 13th Shanghai Biennale

Power Station of Art (PSA) has announced the curatorial team and theme for the 13th Shanghai Biennale, proposed by its Chief Curator, the architect and writer Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation).

Rebelarchitette Releases a New Public Women Architects World Map

Rebelarchitette has created a new tool that aims to detox architecture from inequalities, an interactive public world map showcasing 732 outstanding women architects from all over the world.

© rebelarchitette web © rebelarchitette web © rebelarchitette web © rebelarchitette web + 12

Herzog & de Meuron's New Toronto Tower Set to Become Canada's Tallest Skyscraper

Herzog & de Meuron have created a new design for a supertall skyscraper in Toronto. If built as planned, the project would rise to 1,063 feet and become the tallest residential building in Canada. Working together with project architect Quadrangle, the team was commissioned by Dutch real estate development companies Kroonenberg Geoep and ProWinko to design the new landmark for Toronto.

Why It’s Effective To Wrap Architecture In Zinc

A lightweight material par excellence, Zinc is a non-ferrous metal that provides an effective solution for coating buildings exposed to adverse weather condition while simultaneously delivering a creative response to the requirements of the program and the users of the project.

When in contact with humidity, Zinc panels generate a self-protecting layer that isolates heat from indoor spaces during the summer. Rain and snow, slide easily over its surfaces, and its modular panels can wrap curved shapes or be perforated according to the architectural design, and combined in facades and/or ceilings through different shades, brightness, and colors.

Legacy ER Allen / 5G Studio Collaborative. Manufactured by MetalTech-USA. Image © Michael Moran/OTTO The House on the Cliff / GilBartolome Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image © Jesús Granada The Alchemist / Reid Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image Cortesía de elZinc Stade De Soccer de Montréal / Saucier + Perrotte architectes + Hughes Condon Marler Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image © Olivier Blouin + 19

How AR and VR Will Enhance the Future of the Sports Arena Experience

Throughout history, people from all walks of life with little in common have found ways to unite in neighborhood parks and filled stadiums to put those differences aside for the sake of the sports they love. Sports, and sports fandom, is a source of global unity, and perhaps fewer events in the world can generate such a wide range of emotions quite like a live match.

Edgar Jerins: Photographing the Locked-Down City of New York

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

New York City: locked down, empty. It was heartbreaking, of course, but it was also beautiful. For artist Edgar Jerins, that revelation was something of a surprise. Who knew this bustling, chaotic, dirty, vibrant, profane, amazing city could look so … gorgeous when stripped of people and activity? For years, Jerins rode the subway to his studio near Times Square. When news of the spreading pandemic first surfaced—more as a vague, undefined threat, initially—he fled out of fear to the bus, and then, after the severity of the event became apparent and the lockdown began, he borrowed his daughter’s bicycle.

“In The 1990s, We All Became Free”: In Conversation with Jiakun Liu of Jiakun Architects

Jiakun Liu was born in 1956 in Chengdu, China. Architecture was not his first choice to pursue at school, as he originally wanted to be an artist. He heard that architecture had something to do with drawing, so he applied to Chongqing Institute of Architecture and Engineering, not fully understanding what his role as an architect would be. After his graduation in 1982, Liu worked at the Chengdu Architectural Design Academy for two years, the experience he did not enjoy. So, he set out on a self-searching journey that lasted for over a decade, spending time in Tibet and Xinjiang in West China where he practiced meditation, painting, and writing, producing several works of fiction, while officially working at the Literature Academy as a writer. 

© Jiuakin Architects. Luyeyuan Ston Sculpture Art Museum © Jiuakin Architects. Luyeyuan Ston Sculpture Art Museum © Archi Exist. Novartis Shanghai Campus C6 © JKADS. West Village + 73

Rockwell Group Releases Design Strategies for Outside Dining post COVID-19

David Rockwell and his team at Rockwell Group proposed an open streets initiative, a template for outdoor dining, in order to help bars and restaurants reopen post-pandemic. The design strategies illustrate practical solutions to make everyone feel safe.

London Design Biennale and Chatham House Announce Initiative to Design for Crisis

The London Design Biennale and Chatham House announced a new call for designers to address issues of crisis around the world. Called Design Resonance in an Age of Crisis, the initiative aims for radical design solutions to critical problems across four key areas: Health, Environment, Society and Work. The announcement follows the news that the Biennale has been postponed until 2021.

Courtesy of London Design Biennale Courtesy of London Design Biennale Courtesy of London Design Biennale Courtesy of London Design Biennale + 5

Solar Lighting for An Affordable, Sustainable Future

While first developed as a practical power source during the 1950s, solar systems were too expensive for mainstream use until the 1970s. Starting from their early use to power Cold War era military satellites, silicon photovoltaic solar cells achieved their first commercial success in places where electricity was not available, such as lighthouses and off-shore oil rigs. 

Tips for Using Rainwater in Architectural Projects

The total amount of water on our planet has, theoretically, stayed the same since earth's formation. It's possible that the glass of water you drank earlier contains particles that once ran down the Ganges River, passed through the digestive system of a dinosaur, or even cooled a nuclear reactor. Of course, before it quenched your thirst, this water evaporated and fell as rain millions of times. Water can be polluted or misused, but never created or destroyed. According to a UNESCO study, it is estimated that the Earth contains about 1386 million cubic kilometers of water. However, 97.5% of this amount is saline water and only 2.5% is fresh water. Of this fresh water, most (68.7%) takes the form of permanent ice and snow in Antarctica, the Arctic, and in mountainous regions. Another 29.9% exists as groundwater. Ultimately, only 0.26% of the total amount of fresh water on Earth is available in lakes, reservoirs, and watersheds, where it is easily accessible for the world's economic and vital needs. With the population steadily increasing, especially in urban areas, several countries have already had severe problems with providing the necessary amount of drinking water to their populations.

Tactical Urbanism: Reimagining Our Cities post-Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the way we live our lives. Significant and long-lasting repercussions will be felt across society and industry, many of which are sure to influence the way we approach the design of our buildings and cities. Over the past few weeks, the Urban Design team at Foster + Partners has been exploring how recent and fast moving developments in urban planning – instigated and encouraged by the current crisis – will affect and shape the future of London and others worldwide.

The crowded, unsanitary condition of London’s slums during the 1830s led to regular outbreaks of cholera during the nineteenth century – a particularly severe episode occurred in 1854, originating in Broad Street, Soho.. Image © The Print Collector / Alamy Stock Photo. London is a remarkably green city, with over 800 square kilometres of green space. [Map produced by Foster + Partners, using data from GLA Open Data]. Unfortunately, only 26 per cent of this green space is available to and accessible by the public; 36 per cent is private residential gardens. [Map produced by Foster + Partners, using data from GLA Open Data]. Located off Hackford Road, where the artist Vincent van Gogh lived for a short period, the Van Gogh Walk was conceived as a space where nearby residents and schoolchildren – many of whom do not have the luxury of a garden – can enjoy nature and the outdoors.. Image © Jonathan Harbourne / Alamy Stock Photo. + 13

How Are Construction Materials Produced and How Does This Contribute to the Climate Crisis? Our Readers Answered

How does architecture contribute to the current climate crisis? 

We invited our readers to weigh in on this issue and were overwhelmed by the number of responses that we got. After reading through and compiling the replies from industry professionals, architectural students, and architecture aficionados, we were struck by a common theme: there are few resources when it comes to researching how materials and products used in construction are sourced and produced

KPF Receives Planning Consent to Transform Former Chelsea Police Station into Social and Community Facility

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) has just received planning consent for Lucan Place in Chelsea, a mixed-use project that provides new homes, nursery, and specialist educational accommodation. The project, a redevelopment of the site of the former Chelsea Police Station, will generate a total of 31 new homes, as well as social and community functions.

Stefano Boeri Designs the Tirana Riverside Neighborhood, Tackling post COVID-19 Needs

Stefano Boeri Architetti has unveiled its recent scheme for Tirana Riverside, in the Albanian capital. Tackling post-COVID 19 needs, the imagined neighbourhood, a first of its kind in Europe, is a technologically-advanced, green and sustainable novelty, designed in agreement with the Government and the City Authorities.

NOMA Releases Public Statement on Racial Injustice

Kimberly Dowdell, 2019-2020 NOMA National President, recently issued a statement on behalf of the National Organization of Minority Architects on the nature of NOMA's advocacy and mission. Her words follow protests seeking justice for the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd in the United States.

Beat Guhl: "We Allow Architects to Build Fluid, Uninterrupted, and Digitized Spaces"

We spoke with Beat Guhl, CEO of Sky-Frame, during the Swiss Bau fair – one of the largest events in the materials industry. Sky-Frame produces frameless sliding window systems; vital components to achieve an effective and efficient transparency in architectural projects. The company is constantly pushing for technical innovation and works closely with architects to help achieve fluid spatial concepts.

Inspiring Architectural Projects for Bicycles

Nowadays bicycles are not only used for sports or as a recreational activity, as more and more people are choosing bicycles as their main means of transportation.

Architecture plays a fundamental role in promoting the use of bicycles, as a properly equipped city with safe bicycle lanes, plentiful bicycle parking spots, and open areas to ride freely will encourage people to use their cars much less.

© Russ Flatt © Sergey Kuznetsov © Iwan Baan © Jesús Granada + 32

Stephanie Ribeiro on how "Architecture Must Recognize the Debate Around Race and Gender"

My decision to study architecture was a naive one, made after having taken several vocational tests I found on Google. When I found out it was one of the toughest courses in Brazilian public universities, I thought about giving up. But I was already hooked by the history of architecture and its social role.

However, nothing is perfect. Architecture and Urban Planning is one of the most elite courses in the most renowned Brazilian universities, something that is reflected outside of the classroom as well. The architects went on to serve the rich, casting aside the needs of the cities and the poor.

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