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Architecture For People: The Latest Architecture and News

How the Renaissance Influenced Architecture

After a prolonged period known as the Middle-Ages, a growing desire to both study and mimic nature itself began to emerge, with an inclination to discover and explore the world. Between 1400-1600 A.D. Europe was to witness a significant revival of the fine arts, painting, sculpture, and Architecture. The ‘Renaissance’, meaning ‘rebirth’ in French typically refers to this period of European history, although most closely associated with Italy, countries including England and France went through many of the same cultural changes at varying timescales.

Prior to the dawn of the Renaissance, Europe was dominated by ornate and asymmetrical Gothic Architecture. Devoured by the plague, the continent lost approximately a third of its population, vastly changing society in terms of economic, social and religious effect. Contributing to Europe’s emergence into the Renaissance, the period ushered in a new era of architecture after a phase of Gothic art, with the rise of notions of ‘Humanism’. The idea of attaching much importance to the essence of individualism. The effect of Humanism included the emergence of the individual figure, greater realism and attention to detail, especially in depictions in art.

Wooden Model of Brunelleschis Dome . Image © Antonio QuattroneSanta Maria Novella, Florence . Image Courtesy of Commonists / WikiCommons CC BY-SA 4.0Royal Summer Palace, Prague / Paolo della Stella. Image Courtesy of Øyvind Holmstad / WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican / Principally Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini . Image Courtesy of Alvesgaspar / WikiCommons CC BY-SA 4.0+ 12

Francis Kéré: "I Draw on Paper, but I Prefer to Draw on the Ground"

"I Draw on Paper, but I Prefer to Draw on the Ground". This phrase caught my eye during Diébédo Francis Kéré's speech at the AAICO (Architecture and Art International Congress), which took place in Porto, Portugal from September 3 to 8, 2018. After being introduced by none other than Eduardo Souto de Moura, Kéré began his speech with the simplicity and humility that guides his work. His best-known works were built in remote places, where materials are scarce and the workforce is of the residents themselves, using local resources and techniques.

Examples of Patterns and Generative Codes on Socially-Organized Housing in Latin America

The series of articles developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andrés M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy and Ernesto Philibert-Petit researches the peculiarities of social housing in Latin America. This time, examples of strategies and planning in their construction are reviewed, such as the importance of collaborative social processes and the specific sequences of stages.

A Construction Strategy for Socially-Organized Housing in Latin America

The series of articles developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andrés M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy and Ernesto Philibert-Petit researches the peculiarities of social housing in Latin America. This time the authors explain a construction strategy through iterative design and the emergence of form.

Socially-Organized Housing in Latin America: The Experience of Christopher Alexander

The series of articles developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andrés M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy and Ernesto Philibert-Petit researches the peculiarities of social housing in Latin America. This time, the authors focus on the role of participation in design processes and in the construction of a healthy urban fabric based on the experience of Christopher Alexander.

Socially-Organized Housing: the Geometry of Control

Having explored the design that establishes 'emotional ownership' and the antipatrons of social housing, Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andrés M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy and Ernesto Philibert-Petit continue their series of articles on social housing in Latin America. This time, the proposal studies how control influences the urban form and the form of housing.

Anti-Patterns of Social Housing in Latin America

Continuing the series of articles developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andres M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy, and Ernesto Philibert-Petit, in this article we'll be exploring how observations on social housing in Latin American have been approached from an outdated and antagonistic point of view. Notions and errors committed in previous studies  - in some cases simply by inertia - are discussed in the Latin American context, and propose adaptable solutions focused on the long-term, urban roots of residents.

How To Promote Lifelong Learning, Productivity, And Meaningfulness In Architecture

With the aim of generating an architecture that incubates the wellbeing, self-realization, and fulfillment of its inhabitants to become the best version of themselves, CEBRA has launched an ambitious Research and Development Program (R&D) called WISE (Work, Innovation, Space and Education).

As explained by its creators, the purpose of WISE is "to bridge the ongoing and rapid change in the sectors of workspace and education to inform the design of buildings that stimulate learning and innovation. We are connecting ideas of the foremost thinkers of education and entrepreneurship, research and studies in sensory stimuli, cognitive psychology, and behaviorism with architecture."

We spoke with Carsten Primdahl, founding partner of CEBRA, and Klaudio Muca, R&D Architect at CEBRA, to better understand the approach and expected results of the program.

Socially-Organized Housing: Design That Establishes Emotional Ownership

Developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andrés M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy, and Ernesto Philibert-Petit, this series of articles offers here a set of evidence-based optimal practices for social housing, applicable in general situations. Varying examples are discussed in a Latin American context. Adaptive solutions work towards long-term sustainability and help to attach residents to their built environment. 

They propose, then, new insights in complexity science, and in particular the work of Christopher Alexander on how to successfully evolve urban form. By applying the conceptual tools of “Pattern Languages” and “Generative Codes”, these principles support previous solutions derived by others, which were never taken forward in a viable form. 

How to Design for Visual Comfort Using Natural Light

Architects are increasingly aware of our influence on the well-being and good health of the users of our projects. Natural lighting –and how it should be complemented with artificial lighting– is an essential factor to consider for the visual comfort of interior spaces. But, do we know how to handle it correctly?

These 13 Designs by IKEA Make Life Easier (and More Equitable) for Differently-Abled People

Architects' general ignorance about the needs and requirements of people with special needs is worrisome. Beyond complying with mandatory regulations (different in each country), the quality of life for different-abled people depends on specific and daily factors that go beyond a railing or a ramp, and are often left in the hands of professionals who have never dealt with such issues.

This Ables, a project developed by IKEA and the non-profit organizations Milbat and Access Israel, provides an excellent resource for how to create an equitable design in the smallest and simplest of details. From door handles that are can be opened with a forearm to a couch lift that enables users to sit down and get up easily, these 13 products are available to the general public on ThisAbles.com. Some products can even be 3D-printed independently.

See the video below for more details of the project.

Understanding The Human Body: Designing For People of All Shapes and Sizes

It's common sense: a good design is based on people and what they really need. As architects, are we deepening enough to give the correct answers to the requirements we face in each project?

Herman Miller is a great example of this understanding. Founded in 1905 by Dirk Jan De Pree, the American company produces equipment and furnishings for offices and housing, including a high level of research to understand the human body and the way we inhabit our daily spaces. These investigations, supported by usability testing and multidisciplinary work, results in a large number of furniture pieces and spatial designs that are now used by people around the world.

We had the opportunity to visit their headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan to understand how these studies have been carried out for several decades.

Social Architecture: The Misunderstanding That Led Ruy Ohtake To Improve Brazil’s Second Largest Favela

The story of the "Redondinhos" housing project in Heliópolis, São Paulo began with a misinterpreted quote by Ruy Ohtake. In 2003, a magazine published the following statement attributed to the prestigious architect and urban planner: "What I find most ugly in São Paulo is Heliopolis." After seeing the report, Ohtake clarified that his intention was to say that the ugliest in the city is the difference between rich and poor neighborhoods - "the difference between the Morumbi neighborhood and Heliopolis, the largest favela," he corrected.

The 9 Architecture Topics You Need To Know About in 2018

2017 is in the past. Nevertheless, the year has left us a series of lessons, new wisdom and better tools to help us face the challenges of 2018. What surprises will this year bring us?

We asked our editors at Plataforma Arquitectura (ArchDaily's Spanish arm) to make predictions based on what they've learnt in 2017, and to share with readers the topics they expect to be in the limelight in 2018.

Vila Matilde House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados

© Pedro Kok© Pedro Kok© Pedro Kok© Pedro Kok+ 58

São Paulo, Brazil