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Art Jameel Announces New Multidisciplinary Art Center in Saudi Arabia

16:00 - 4 February, 2018
Art Jameel Announces New Multidisciplinary Art Center in Saudi Arabia, Courtesy of Art Jameel
Courtesy of Art Jameel

Thanks to Art Jameel, a Middle Eastern non-profit arts organization, a new arts district is taking shape in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Since the crowning of Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has shifted focus from oil to arts and technology. The new multidisciplinary art center, named Hayy, is a 17,000 square meter step in the right direction.

Top Global Destinations On The Rise According to TripAdvisor

08:00 - 4 February, 2018
Top Global Destinations On The Rise According to TripAdvisor, © <a href=''> Pixabay user auntmasako </a> licensed under <a href=''>CC0</a>
© Pixabay user auntmasako licensed under CC0

TripAdvisor announced the World’s Top Destinations “on the rise” according to the 2018 Travelers’ Choice awards. According to TripAdvisor, the winning cities are based on millions of comments posted on the site each year. They also look for cities with an increase in search traffic and user interest to make reservations. 

This years list includes ten cities. Keep reading to find out which ten cities were chosen by TripAdvisor world travelers:

The Politics of Vacancy: The History, and Future, of Toronto's Condo Euphoria

09:30 - 2 February, 2018
The Politics of Vacancy: The History, and Future, of Toronto's Condo Euphoria, © Manuel Alvarez Diestro
© Manuel Alvarez Diestro

The City of Toronto has a long, fraught relationship with development and vacancy. The map of the initial Toronto Purchase of 1787 between the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the British Crown, which would later establish the colonial territory that became Toronto, conceives of the landscape as a single, clearly defined vacant lot anxious for development. Or, as artist Luis Jacob better described it, “signifying nothing but an empty page waiting to be inscribed at will.” Over two-hundred years later, as housing availability, prices, and rental shortages drive vertical condominium developments in the city, the politics of the vacant lot have never felt so palpable.

The first condominiums appeared in Toronto during the late 1960s as a solution to a crisis of affordable housing. By 1981, the newspaper The Globe and Mail would prophetically report that "vacant lots all over downtown Toronto are sprouting condominiums of late.” The Globe would further lament that "no sooner has one of the glamorous edifices begun to climb the Toronto skyline than the sold out sign is posted, and the next development announced.” After a 30% drop in prices during the 1990s, the early 2000s saw the expansion of Toronto’s “condo euphoria” with sites zoned across the Greater Toronto Area from CityPlace to College Park. Now, these towering edifices—captured here by photographer Manuel Alvarez Diestro—have become icons of both the city’s downtown identity as well as capital-driven development.

© Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro + 24

Architecture On Screen: Illustrated Plans From 6 Award-Winning Films of 2017

09:30 - 31 January, 2018

Why does a film garner critical acclaim? Is it captivating performances from its actors? Stunning tableaus and cinematic moments? Or, could it be the intricate sets where tales of drama, laughter, love, and loss play out? 

Following her stunning watercolor prints of last year’s Oscar nominees and the Netflix sensation Stranger Things, architect and illustrator Boryana Ilieva provides a glimpse into the elaborate sets of 6 stand-out films from 2017. With the Golden Globes broadcasted earlier this month and the Academy Awards only a few weeks away, the homes in these award-winning motion pictures deserve as many accolades as the Hollywood stars who inhabit them.

© Boryana Ilieva © Boryana Ilieva © Boryana Ilieva © Boryana Ilieva + 9

These Delicate Illustrations Turn Images of Urban Density into Art

09:30 - 27 January, 2018
The Layered City. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea
The Layered City. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea

Trained in Architecture, Urban Design, and Theory, Alina Sonea illustrates the complex and often paradoxical nature of the cities we inhabit. The Feldkirch-based artist and architect has, since 2013, completed a series of detailed illustrations that employ graphic yet delicate black lines to render dense images of fantastical metropolises.

Density. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea ArchiTEXTURES - The Renaissance. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea Feldkirch. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea Illusions. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea + 9

What Is the Best Camera (and Camera Equipment) for Architectural Photography?

09:30 - 25 January, 2018

A great photograph is often as important as a great building—sometimes even more. From the pages of glossy magazines to the galleries of digital publications and online portfolios, high-quality photography is crucial for contemporary architects. Yet the array of camera options, equipment, accessories, and technical jargon (aperture, ISO, shutter-speed, etc.) can be dizzying, if not intimidating. So what happens when the camera in your iPhone is no longer enough? 

To ensure emerging practitioners and professionals alike take the perfect shot, Eric Reinholdt summarizes at length the photography equipment used in his own practice in this two-part video from 2016. The first instalment on the architect, writer, and photographer's channel 30X40 Workshop makes it clear that his preference is a digital SLR camera. The 20+ megapixel image quality as well as range of larger aperture lenses with added versatility are crucial features for large format printing and digital publishing. Canon and Nikon are among the suggested brands as they are established with a large offering of products. And, are expected to provide additional upgrade paths as new equipment is released. 

What Makes The Barbican The Perfect Setting for Music Videos?

06:00 - 22 January, 2018

Musicians of all ages and genres feature the Barbican in their music videos. Youtuber Phil Gyford’s playlist “The Barbican in Music Videos” compiles songs from artists including British rapper Skepta, UK rock band Coldplay, the infamous electronic musician Moby, and guitarist James Morrison. Even modern pop artist Dua Lipa strut her stuff through the Barbican while singing her song, “Blow Your Mind (Mwah).”

But what makes the Barbican the perfect set for a professional music video? Perhaps artists were attracted to its remarkable Brutalist style. Maybe the architecture was used for it’s historical or political significance.

Fact Check: Which of These Architecture Rumors are Actually True?

09:30 - 15 January, 2018
Fact Check: Which of These Architecture Rumors are Actually True?

Fact-checking website Snopes (also known as the internet's first fact-checking website) has now been debunking Urban Legends and setting the record straight when it comes to "questionable" and/or fantastic stories for 23 years. In its two decades of operation, it has amassed not only thousands of well-researched explanations to perplexing myths but has also garnered the praise of news outlets like The New York Times, CNN, and Forbes. So what can Snopes tell us about our dear profession? Get your facts right with our list of dubious (and some not-so-dubious) claims about architecture, buildings, and city design.

How to Survive Your Very First Critique in Architecture School

09:30 - 8 January, 2018
How to Survive Your Very First Critique in Architecture School, © Andrea Vasquez
© Andrea Vasquez

For the fresh architecture student, the “jury,” “review,” or “crit” is far from glorious—sounding more like a death knell than a customary critique session. The concept, as Kathryn Anthony explores in Design Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the Design Studio, goes as far back as the 1980s when the Ecole Nationale et Speciale des Beaux-Arts in Paris became the first art and architecture school to experiment with a format that would soon be adopted by architectural schools across the world. While some schools have taken steps to loosen traditional hierarchies, others continuing to reinforce them, much to the terror of fledgling first-year students who aren’t used to being “tried.”

So what can one really do to ease into this rather uncomfortable aspect of architectural education? Below is a fairly simple list of dos and don’ts that could go a long way in helping you out.

Photos Capture the Luxurious Life Inside Herzog & de Meuron's Beirut Terraces

09:30 - 7 January, 2018
© Bahaa Ghoussainy
© Bahaa Ghoussainy

In the rapidly burgeoning city of Beirut, the post-war building boom is far from over. Much like its middle-eastern neighbors, it boasts of a plump share of designer architecture—as critic Oliver Wainwright refers to it, “a diverse shopping list”. It is here that the Beirut Terraces, a residential complex designed by Herzog & De Meuron, rises up to 119 meters, occupying a prominent place in the city’s skyline. In this collection of photographs by Bahaa Ghoussainy, one sees the Beirut Terraces from within, getting a glimpse of both the interior, as well as the multiple, unique views offered from inside the building.

© Bahaa Ghoussainy © Bahaa Ghoussainy © Bahaa Ghoussainy © Bahaa Ghoussainy + 29

Renzo Piano: "Creativity is Only Possible When You Share Creativity"

09:30 - 6 January, 2018

If you are missing the capacity to create emotion, then it doesn’t work, it’s not enough.
– Renzo Piano

In this in-depth biographical video by the Louisiana ChannelRenzo Piano talks about his earliest influences, why traveling is essential, the pleasures of drawing, what creativity really means, how “computers are a bit stupid,” the way “beauty can change the world,” and more.

Galicia Publishes a Guide to Colors and Materials Of Its Traditional Architecture

12:00 - 16 December, 2017
Galicia Publishes a Guide to Colors and Materials Of Its Traditional Architecture, La Guardia Municipality in Pontevedra, Spain. Image © José Luis Cernadas Iglesias [Flickr], licensed brand CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
La Guardia Municipality in Pontevedra, Spain. Image © José Luis Cernadas Iglesias [Flickr], licensed brand CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Last October 23, in the small Galician city of Ares (Spain), the "Guide of colors and materials" was publicly presented, with which the administration of the Galician community - in collaboration with the Galicia College of Architects (COAG) - aims to establish aesthetic criteria and recommendations in the search for a better image and urban quality of Galician populations. 

This document is composed of fourteen volumes and its publication was made possible by a laborious process in which, for a year, architects, historians, and graduates of Fine Arts, had analyzed more than 3,800 buildings in rural, urban and peri-urban areas, as well as in industrial properties in the four Galician provinces.

Critical Round-Up: The Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel

09:30 - 21 November, 2017
Critical Round-Up: The Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi’s much-awaited “universal museum,” the Louvre Abu Dhabi designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, was opened to the public. After several years of delays and problems including accusations of worker rights violations, revisions in economic strategies, and regional turmoil, the completion of the museum is a feat in itself. Critics, supporters, naysayers, artists, economists, and human rights agencies, have all closely followed its shaky progress, but now that it’s finally open, reviews of the building are steadily pouring in.

Read on to find out how critics have responded to Nouvel’s work so far.

© Marc Domage © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe + 9

Playful Animation Tells the Story of Humankind’s Quest for a Perfect City

08:00 - 18 November, 2017

Cities are universes in themselves; furiously spawning, spewing, hissing through time and space. They are cudgeled, raked, plastered, worshipped, fought over, set on fire; they are slippery wombs that cradle wars, victories, blood and brilliant storms. The built environment has always been indicative of its inhabitants’ fears, desires, and ideals. As such, it is one of the earliest, most powerful forms of human expression. For World Cities Day 2017, the new BBC Designed section of the BBC Culture website commissioned motion graphics designer Al Boardman to create The Perfect City, an animated video covering a brief history of humankind’s quest for the "ideal" and the "perfect" in urban design. With a voiceover and script by renowned architecture critic and writer Jonathan Glancey, the video is a remarkable 2-minute overview of some prominent examples in city planning, both old and new, successful and unsuccessful.

How to Use “Structured Procrastination” to Get the Best Out of Your Bad Habits

09:30 - 13 November, 2017
How to Use “Structured Procrastination” to Get the Best Out of Your Bad Habits, © Andrea Vasquez
© Andrea Vasquez

In a hilarious TED talk by world-famous blogger Tim Urban, the procrastinating brain is explained using three squiggly characters: Rational Decision Maker, Instant Gratification Monkey, and Panic Monster. For most of us who procrastinate without fail, the Monkey dominates while the Decision Maker suffers. Panic Monster enters the moment a deadline looms dangerously close—and that’s when all the actual work is done, amid much grumbling, self-loathing and lofty promises of never procrastinating again. But of course, we fail to keep our promises and the wheel keeps turning!

While the internet is full of lists and guides on how to stop procrastinating, for quite a lot of people, those somehow just don’t help at all. And while deadlines, as Urban points out, work for some in terms of getting the work done sooner or later, “long-term procrastination” affects those who must set their own deadlines—think business owners, PhD students, or freelancers. So, how do you get yourself to stop? You don’t! What you need to master is John Perry’s concept of “structured procrastination”—the same concept that Piers Steel earlier explained as “productive procrastination.” Read on for some advice gleaned from pro-procrastination literature.

Travel to Russia (and New Heights) From The Comfort Of Your Own Home

08:00 - 11 November, 2017

Drones help us see architecture in new ways. Explore Moscow, Georgia, St. Petersberg, and Russian supertall skyscraper Lakhta Center through Timelab’s lense. With the help of drones, Timelab Production’s vimeo profile showcases a wide variety of professional video content. Travel to new places (and new heights) from the comfort of your own home by watching the videos below.

Shanghai 2117 Imagines Vertical Forest Architecture for Future Mars Colonization

08:00 - 28 October, 2017
Shanghai 2117 Imagines Vertical Forest Architecture for Future Mars Colonization, Courtesy of SUSAS 2017
Courtesy of SUSAS 2017

Can architecture and design reverse climate change? Architect and founding partner of Stefano Boeri Architetti (SBA), Stefano Boeri believes it can. Boeri’s Vertical Forest, a project which marries the natural and urban spheres through biodiversity and reforestation, has already come to fruition in Milan, is currently under construction in Beijing, and soon to be constructed in Shanghai. (Watch the video to learn more about Boeri’s Vertical Forest projects.)

Frank Lloyd Wright Upholds Egotist Reputation in Interview

08:00 - 9 October, 2017

Early on in my career I had to decide between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change.

Frank Lloyd Wright is the household name of architects in the United States, with stories of his ego as widespread as his prolific work. Watching Frank Lloyd Wright at 83 years old is not your typical history lesson. The interview aired on NBC Chicago in 1958 and captures Frank Lloyd Wright telling stories to Hugh Downs about his education, early career with Louis Sullivan, an inspiration for Taliesin and Taliesin West and his own innovations in architecture (let's just say this question didn't get a humble response).