All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Ad Discussion

Ad Discussion: The Latest Architecture and News

Who Should Win the 2016 Pritzker Prize?

10:15 - 14 December, 2015
Who Should Win the 2016 Pritzker Prize?

The Pritzker Prize has announced that it will be revealing its 2016 laureate on the 13th of January, starting what is sure to be a month of intense speculation about who the next winner of architecture's most prestigious prize might be. Will the jury honor an influential member of the old guard, as they did this March when they gave the award to the late Frei Otto? Or will they recognize a young architect who has made a big splash? Will they reward virtuoso spatial design, or will they acknowledge the role of social impact, as they did in awarding the prize to Shigeru Ban in 2014? And will the award go to an individual or to two or more architects working together, as it did in 2010 when SANAA scooped the prize?

We want to hear from our readers - not just about who probably will win the prize, but about who should win the prize and why. Read on to cast your vote in our poll, and let us know in the comments whose name you'd like to hear announced on January 13th.

Starting Your Own Practice: The Challenges and Rewards, According to ArchDaily Readers

11:20 - 1 December, 2015
Starting Your Own Practice: The Challenges and Rewards, According to ArchDaily Readers, Office of SelgasCano. Image © Iwan Baan
Office of SelgasCano. Image © Iwan Baan

Architecture is in some ways a paradoxical profession. On one hand, it projects a popular image of the lone, creative genius, taking control over all aspects of a building project and forming them to their creative ideals. But in reality, most projects take a huge team of people, all working together to produce a building which usually represents the creative input of not only many different people, but many professions too.

One way to find a balance between these two extremes is to take more creative control over the decisions of the group - in other words, to start your own practice, guided by your creative input alone. But is that goal worth the difficulty it might take to get there? This was the question we had in mind when we asked our readers to let us know the pros and cons of starting your own firm last month. Interestingly, not a single commenter left any response about the joys of working for someone else, and the consensus was firmly that running your own practice is preferable - provided you can deal with the significant problems of doing so. Read on to find out what they had to say.

What Do You Wish You Had Learned in Architecture School?

08:00 - 30 November, 2015
What Do You Wish You Had Learned in Architecture School?, © AstroStar via Shutterstock
© AstroStar via Shutterstock

In the early days of the architectural profession, teaching and practice were neatly aligned: the elements of the various styles could be taught and put into practice in the field. However in the 20th century, while the business of construction was becoming increasingly technocratic, architectural theory became equally pluralistic and esoteric. Ever since, the dichotomy between architectural education and practice has been a controversial subject. Many in the business say that education fails to prepare students for the real world, while some academics equally contend that architecture schools have given up too much ground to technical considerations, and no longer teach enough important theory.

In the 21st century, that dichotomy is increasingly being bridged by the internet, offering a convenient alternative to universities and practices where architects can teach themselves. With that in mind, we wanted to open a discussion up to our readers: what are the things you wish you learned in school but never had the chance? Was there an element of history and theory that is vital to your understanding of architecture that you only learned after graduation? Or perhaps a technical consideration that you had to learn the hard way?

What Are the Benefits of Starting Your Own Architecture Firm Over Joining an Existing One?

07:00 - 2 November, 2015
What Are the Benefits of Starting Your Own Architecture Firm Over Joining an Existing One?, The office of SelgasCano. Image © Iwan Baan
The office of SelgasCano. Image © Iwan Baan

For many architects, owning their own firm is the dream which drives their career. In a field such as architecture, the idea of having the freedom to seek out the projects you most want to do and the creative freedom to make the final decision on a design sounds like the ideal way to work. And yet, ask any successful firm founder and they'll probably tell you that owning your own architecture business doesn't live up to such a romantic notion, and takes a lot of hard (non-design) work to be successful. In the recession of recent years, many found this out the hard way, becoming self-employed out of necessity and having to get creative about how exactly they make their money.

150 Weird Words That Only Architects Use

09:30 - 19 October, 2015
150 Weird Words That Only Architects Use, © Smokedsalmon via Shutterstock
© Smokedsalmon via Shutterstock

For most students of architecture, the first few years of learning involve a demanding crash course in architectural jargon. From learning terms as obscure as "gestalt" to redefining your understanding of ideas as simple as "space," learning the architectural lexicon is one of the most mind-bending processes involved in becoming a designer.

This challenge is clearly a universal experience as well: when we asked our readers last month to suggest their picks for the "weirdest words that only architects use," we were inundated with suggestions - including 100 comments on the post itself and over 400 comments on our first Facebook post. Perhaps even more striking, though, was the fact that in all of these comments, there was remarkably little overlap in the words and phrases people were suggesting. The huge variety allowed us to select a list of 150 words - just a fraction of the total suggested.

ArchDaily Readers on the Role of Crowdfunding in Architecture

08:30 - 3 October, 2015
ArchDaily Readers on the Role of Crowdfunding in Architecture, Courtesy of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Courtesy of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Over time, people have found many different ways to fund the construction of a building. Museums for example have long benefited from the support of deep-pocketed patrons, with The Broad Museum, a permanent public home for the renowned contemporary art collection of philanthropists Edythe and Eli Broad, being the newest example in a long history of such practices. However in our ever-more-connected world - and against a backdrop of reduced government support for creative endeavors - the onus of funding seems to be shifting once again, away from the individual and towards the crowd.

As crowdfunding makes strides in all realms of innovative enterprise, including architecture, we wanted to hear from our readers about what they thought of this new opportunity for a publicly held stake in what has historically been the realm of singular, well-heeled organizations in the form of the state or private capital. Writing about the history and current trajectories of public funding, alongside a more pointed discussion of BIG’s Kickstarter for “the world’s first steam ring generator,” we posed the question: does public funding have a place in architecture, and if so, is there a line that should be drawn?

Read on for some of the best replies.

What Are the Weirdest Words That Only Architects Use?

06:00 - 22 September, 2015
What Are the Weirdest Words That Only Architects Use?, © Smokedsalmon via Shutterstock
© Smokedsalmon via Shutterstock

It's no secret that the unique specificities of the architectural profession can lead to a lot of jargon. In fact for many non-experts, the opaque nature of architectural language can be one of the most significant barriers to taking part in a discussion about their local environment. But why this juxtaposition between regular and professional speech? If we wish to make the architecture profession less homogenous, shouldn't we conceptualize a new way of talking about architecture? That's why we want to hear from our readers: which words do architects use too much? And what are the wider effects of this language, both inside and outside of the architecture profession?

What Role Does Crowdfunding Have in Architecture?

08:00 - 24 August, 2015
What Role Does Crowdfunding Have in Architecture?, The Pedestal at the Statue of Liberty is an early example of an architecture crowdfunding campaign. Image © Flickr CC user Joao Carlos Medau
The Pedestal at the Statue of Liberty is an early example of an architecture crowdfunding campaign. Image © Flickr CC user Joao Carlos Medau

In 1885, with only $3,000 in the bank, the "American Committee" in charge of building a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty ceased work, after both president Grover Cleveland and the US Congress declined to provide funds for the project. The project was saved by a certain Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, who used his newspaper to spark a $100,000 fundraising campaign with the promise that everyone who donated would have their name printed the paper.

The base of the Statue of Liberty is perhaps the first ever example of crowdfunding in architecture as we might recognize it today, with a popular media campaign and some form of minor reward. But in recent years, crowdfunding has taken on a whole new complexion. Last week, we asked our readers to tell us their thoughts about a specific example of crowdfunding in architecture: BIG's attempt to raise funds for the prototyping of the steam ring generator on their waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen. But there are many more examples of fundraising in architecture, and each of them deserves attention.

Architectural Expertise vs The Public Vote: ArchDaily Readers Respond

09:30 - 20 August, 2015
Architectural Expertise vs The Public Vote: ArchDaily Readers Respond, UN Studio won the competition to design the theatre in Den Bosch in July. Image © ViewPoint
UN Studio won the competition to design the theatre in Den Bosch in July. Image © ViewPoint

Recently, staff at ArchDaily spotted an interesting trend: thanks to the opportunities afforded by the internet, the results of many architectural competitions and other proposals have been opened up to public opinion like never before. Whether via competitions that post all of their entries online for public viewing such as the Guggenheim Helsinki or Battersea Bridge competitions, designer Karim Rashid's informal poll of his Facebook followers to pick their favorite facade for his design, or a competition that is actually decided by public vote such as Den Bosch's city center theater, it has never been easier for members of the public to make their opinions known about the future of their cities. Even this morning, the US World War I Centennial Commission published the finalists in the competition for the redesign of the National World War I Memorial, actively soliciting public feedback on the proposals.

With that in mind, we asked our readers to share their thoughts on this empowerment of the public. Does allowing ordinary people to vote on such matters represent a radical new architectural democracy, or does it undermine the expertise of the architect? The responses we got were interesting and very varied - find out what people had to say after the break.

The BIG Steam-Ring Kickstarter: Is There a Limit to What Should Be Crowdfunded?

09:30 - 19 August, 2015

Update: The Kickstarter campaign launched by BIG to fund the development of their steam ring generator reached its goal of $15,000 in less than a week after it was launched. As of today (24th August) the campaign total stands just short of $25,000, with 19 days still to go.

BIG has launched a Kickstarter campaign, aiming to fund the ongoing research and prototyping of the "steam ring generator" designed to crown the firm's Waste-to-Energy power plant in Copenhagen. The campaign was announced on Friday and picked up a lot of steam (pun intended) in the design press - but at ArchDaily we were hesitant to publish news of the campaign because, in short, it led us into a minefield of questions about the role of invention, public engagement, and money in architecture.

Of course, BIG are far from the first to attempt to crowdfund an architectural project. Previous projects however have generally focused on otherwise-unfundable proposals for the public good, barely-sane moonshots or complex investment structures which depending on your viewpoint may or may not even count as crowdfunding. BIG are perhaps the first example of an established architectural firm attempting to crowdfund the design of a project that is already half-built, causing some people - ArchDaily staff included - to ask: "Why wasn't this money included in the project's budget?"

Are "Public Votes" in Architecture a Bad Thing?

09:30 - 6 August, 2015
UNStudio’s design for a theatre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands was selected in July thanks to support from 57% of the public voters. Image © UNStudio
UNStudio’s design for a theatre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands was selected in July thanks to support from 57% of the public voters. Image © UNStudio

For decades, one of the most pressing questions surrounding architecture and urban planning has been "who gets to decide what is built?" Various systems have been tried, but one of the most popular strategies to emerge in recent years has been "The Public Vote." Thanks to the new possibilities afforded by the internet, it's becoming increasingly common to display all the entries to competitions to the public, as in the Guggenheim Helsinki competition, and even to have the public vote for their favorite, as in the recent competition to design Den Bosch's city centre theatre, or even Karim Rashid's informal poll of his Facebook followers to choose a facade for one of his designs. In some ways these approaches seem like the perfect response to years of complaints that decisions are made behind closed doors, away from the people who they affect.

The Best Software Tutorials on the Web (According to ArchDaily Readers)

10:30 - 22 June, 2015
The Best Software Tutorials on the Web (According to ArchDaily Readers), via Shutterstock. © Max Griboedov
via Shutterstock. © Max Griboedov

In a world where architects can use computers to produce representations of designs with new levels of accuracy and artistry, software fluency is becoming increasingly necessary. With that in mind, last month we asked our readers to help us develop a comprehensive list of tutorials. After studying the comments and scouring the internet for more sources, we have developed this improved list, which we hope will help you to discover new work techniques and better ways to apply different programs.

Of course, it's unlikely that any list of internet resources will ever be complete, so we're hoping to continually update this list with the web's best learning resources. If there are any tutorials sites we've missed which you found helpful, let us know in the comments!

Architecture Software Tutorials: Which Are The Best Out There?

10:30 - 18 May, 2015
Architecture Software Tutorials: Which Are The Best Out There?, © Faberr Ink via Shutterstock
© Faberr Ink via Shutterstock

In contemporary architecture practice, proficiency in an ever-widening array of architecture software is becoming increasingly important. For almost every job in the field, it is no longer enough to bring a skilled mind and a pencil; different jobs may require different levels of expertise and different types of software, but one thing that seems universally accepted is that some level of involvement with software is now a requirement.

While software has opened a huge range of capabilities for architects, it also presents a challenge: universities have taken wildly different approaches to the teaching of software, with some offering classes and access to experts while others prefer to teach design theory and expect students to pick up software skills in their own time. New architecture graduates therefore already face a divide in skills - and that's not to mention the many, many architects who went to school before AutoCAD was even an industry standard, and have spent the past decades keeping up with new tools.

The internet has therefore been a huge democratizing effect in this regard, offering tutorials, often for free, to anyone with a connection - as long as you know where to look. That's why ArchDaily wants your help to create a directory of the internet's best architecture tutorial websites. Find out how to help (and see our own short list to get you started) after the break.

The Computer vs The Hand In Architectural Drawing: ArchDaily Readers Respond

10:30 - 5 May, 2015
The Computer vs The Hand In Architectural Drawing: ArchDaily Readers Respond, Designs for Truro Cathedral, 1878 Artist: William Burges. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Designs for Truro Cathedral, 1878 Artist: William Burges. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In the architecture world, there are a handful of persistent debates that arise time and time again: the challenges of being a woman in the field of architecture is one of them, for example; the problems of a culture of long hours and hard work is another. But one of the most enduring arguments in architecture - especially in the academic sphere - is the battle between hand drawing and computer aided design. Both schools have their famous proponents: Michael Graves, for example, was known as a huge talent with a pencil and paper, and came to the defense of drawing in articles for the New York Times, among others. Patrik Schumacher, on the other hand, is famous for his commitment to the capabilities of the computer.

To advance this heated conversation, two weeks ago we reached out to our readers to provide their thoughts on this topic in an attempt to get a broad cross-section of opinions from architects from all walks of life. Read some of the best responses after the break.

What Is The Role Of Hand Drawing In Today's Architecture?

09:00 - 20 April, 2015
What Is The Role Of Hand Drawing In Today's Architecture?, Competitions such as the RIBA Journal's "Eye Line" contest celebrate the importance of drawing. Image © Tom Noonan
Competitions such as the RIBA Journal's "Eye Line" contest celebrate the importance of drawing. Image © Tom Noonan

Update: We have now published our follow-up article of readers' responses - see it here.

For and Against All-Nighter Culture: ArchDaily Readers Respond

10:30 - 7 April, 2015
For and Against All-Nighter Culture: ArchDaily Readers Respond, Forrest Jessee’s Sleep Suit. Image © Forrest Jessee
Forrest Jessee’s Sleep Suit. Image © Forrest Jessee

Nearly three weeks ago, the editors at ArchDaily reached out to our readers to help us investigate one of the most difficult challenges of architecture education: what do students and teachers think of the 24-hour studio culture that has come to pervade the architecture profession? As we mentioned in our original post, the idea that all-nighters are simply an unavoidable part of an education in architecture has come under fire recently, with some schools attempting to combat them by closing their studios overnight. Is this the right approach to reducing the hours that students are (over)working? If not, what should be done instead? Perhaps there are some people that still think a 24-hour culture can be beneficial to young architects?

The response we got to our question was astonishing, with 141 comments on the article itself and over 100 more on our Facebook post. From this discussion, two overriding themes emerged: firstly, many commenters seemed to believe that architecture students have too much work in the first place; secondly, there was almost complete consensus that closing the studios achieves nothing but moving the problem of all-nighters from the studio to students' homes. For the sake of brevity we've chosen not to include the many responses that mention these themes ideas in this post, but for anyone interested in seeing the evidence of these opinions, we encourage you to visit the original article.

As for the remainder of the comments, we've rounded up some of the most interesting contributions. Find out what 15 commenters had to say about the 24-hour studio culture - taking in arguments for and against it as well as discussing its wider consequences and ways to avoid it - after the break.

Is a 24-Hour Studio Culture a Good Thing in Universities?

16:30 - 19 March, 2015
Is a 24-Hour Studio Culture a Good Thing in Universities?, Are inventions such as Forrest Jessee's Sleep Suit symptomatic of a cultural problem in the studio?. Image © Forrest Jessee
Are inventions such as Forrest Jessee's Sleep Suit symptomatic of a cultural problem in the studio?. Image © Forrest Jessee

Update: We have now published our follow-up post featuring a collection of responses from readers. Read it here.