Beijing-based architect Zhang Ke was educated first at China’s leading school, Tsinghua University, going on to later graduate from Harvard’s GSD in 1998. The former equipped him with technical know-how, while the latter encouraged him to question the essential elements of the profession, such as why we build. After working for three years in Boston and New York, Ke returned to Beijing to open his practice in 2001.
Interview: The Latest Architecture and News
What is architecture if it does not understand its context? Architecture is shaped and curated by the area it lives in, showcasing the culture it embodies. The more of this identity it embodies, the more meaningful (and sometimes prominent) it becomes.
December of 2018 was a month of prosperity for Lebanese architecture: Hashim Sarkis was announced curator of the 2020 Venice Biennale and Lebanese-born Amale Andraos and partner Dan Wood of WORKac were selected to build the Beirut Museum of Art. The museum, a dynamic assembly of contoured geometries (not entirely unlike their work at Miami's Museum Garage) located in the heart of Beirut City, will house permanent and temporary exhibitions across 12,000 square meters. WORKac's winning scheme was chosen for its ability to “reveal the cultural possibilities of integrating art, architecture, and landscape within a dense urban setting and as a means to re-imagine how we can live, learn and share together.”
One of the immediate impressions that I formed of the Beijing-based architect and Tsinghua University Professor Li Xiaodong (b. 1963) is his reassuring self-confidence. Following our interview, Professor Li asked me a question of his own - would I like to teach at his school? “I never taught in my life,” I replied. He quickly countered, “I know. You can teach. Yes or no?” If I have learned anything about life, it is that when opportunities come you should grab them first and think later. "If he is so confident in me, why shouldn’t I trust him?” I reasoned.
"Architecture Will Change Completely in the Next Ten Years": Fran Silvestre of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
Spanish architect Fran Silvestre is well known for his portfolio of nuanced, clean, and decidedly modern works. Each project is as stunning as the next, the type of home that shows up in Bond films and populates the Pinterest boards of aspiring homeowners.
Alejandro Aravena Shares the Foundational Philosophies at the Core of His Socially Conscious Practice
Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena shares the fundamentals of his design philosophy in a documented interview titled “To Design is to Prefer.” The Pritzker Prize winner founded his practice in 2001, committed to exploring socially conscious design practices. His firm, Elemental, first gained international recognition for its work creating social housing projects in Chile, but its portfolio continues to expand to include work from museums, universities, transportation, and urban infrastructure.
This video highlights the mental process behind Aravena’s personal practices and insights into Elemental’s unique approach to design. The interview begins discussing Aravena’s introduction to architecture as a teen and how architecture, a rather obscure phenomenon to the young Aravena, became his passion. Throughout the film, Aravena flips to the pages of his sketchbooks, illustrating the raw hand of the architect.
In Conversation With Marc Neveu, Executive Editor of the Journal of Architectural Education, On Practice, Pedagogy, And Diversity
For young creatives, curious explorers, or simply multitaskers, The Midnight Charette's weekly podcasts provide a provocative and entertaining take on design and architectural discourse. Hosted by David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, the segments aim to explore ideas beyond everyday conversation and engage with a multitude of individuals in the design field.
In their recent discussion featuring Marc Neveu, the Executive Editor of the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) and head of the Architecture Program at Arizona State University (ASU), the duo covers a broad range of topics related to professional practice and architectural pedagogies.
This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "SHoP's Chris Sharples on Urban Architecture, Digital Fabrication, and the Public Realm."
Twin brothers Chris and Bill Sharples are two of the founding partners of SHoP Architects, a New York-based firm established 20 years ago to bring together diverse expertise in designing buildings and environments that improve the quality of public life.
The firm’s style is difficult to define, but a connective thread throughout SHoP’s portfolio is a design philosophy rooted in constraints. From digital models to next-generation fabrication and delivery techniques, technology is at the center of the firm’s movement toward an iterative approach that, as Chris Sharples says, “is beginning to blur the line between architecture and manufacturing.”
"Making Problems is More Fun; Solving Problems is Too Easy": Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
It is so refreshing to hear the words: “We do everything differently. We think differently. We are still not a part of any system or any group.” In the following excerpt of my recent conversation with Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio at their busy New York studio we discussed conventions that so many architects accept and embrace, and how to tear them apart in order to reinvent architecture yet again. In New York the founding partners of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro have shown us exactly that with their popular High Line park, original redevelopment of the Lincoln Center, sculpture-like Columbia University Medical Center in Washington Heights, and The Shed with its movable “turtle shell” that’s taking shape in the Hudson Yards to address the evolving needs of artists because what art will look like in the future is an open question.
In this video from the Louisiana Museum, Anne Lacaton from the award-winning practice Lacaton & Vassal describes the importance of building upon existing conditions to create new architecture. She shares the firm's approach to architecture, which is to "never withdraw, always add" and their focus on generosity of space, care of the users, and utilization of existing natural resources to create a more affordable architecture.
Lacaton & Vassal have gained worldwide acclaim for their transformative social housing work. They were awarded the Grand Prix national de l'architecture in 2008, the Heinrich Tessenow Medal in 2016, and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2018, to name a few. Their projects such as the 23 Semi-collective Housing Units in Trignac, France, and Ourcq Jaures Student & Social Housing display a dedication to social responsibility in architecture. In Anne Lacaton's interview, she describes how they mine the richness of existing architecture and the surroundings to create beautiful and affordable designs. Interpreting history as "an addition of layers," she articulates their stance against the idea of tabula rasa and the importance of utilizing the found beauty of existing environments: "We don't see [the existing conditions] as a constraint, we see it as a chance."
Since moving to New York in 2010, BIG founder Bjarke Ingels has built an impressive portfolio, from developed projects such as VIA 57 West and The Eleventh to propositions such as West 29th Street and The Spiral.
In a new interview with Louisiana Channel, Ingels steps back from the pragmatism of individual projects, and instead reflects on his view of New York, from multiculturalism and inequality to regeneration and skyscrapers.
In his book The Right to the City (1968), Henri Lefebvre talks about ending the creation of spaces managed by the logic of profit, to launch a plan of "self-managed territory" that does not leave aside the "historical heritage," nor allow the decomposition of space, but instead works for the restitution of urban centers as places of creation.
Globalization has produced cities without limits whose focus has been on the immediate benefit, directly attacking the preservation of cultural heritage, among other things.
Sergey Skuratov, founder of Sergey Skuratov Architects, an award-winning Russian practice (2008 Architect of the Year), is known for his sleek and well-composed portfolio. Projects such as Copper House, Art House, and House on Mosfilmovskaya Street demonstrate his sensitivity to materiality and ability to retain his vision from concept to reality. Over the last two decades Skuratov has succeeded in producing a whole strata of world-class architecture in Moscow, far more than any other local practitioner. His projects, predominantly residential and office complexes, have remained attractive and versatile without ever veering into conservatism.
The guiding principles and priorities that drive the professional practice of architecture are the subject of abundant philosophical ideas and entrenched opinions—but how can we understand the current state of the profession without sweeping generalizations? Towards that goal, OfficeUS (the experimental institution born from the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale) has published a book examining the realities of today’s architectural workplace culture based, like countless works of cultural studies across many academic disciplines, on the documents produced by that culture. Specifically, the OfficeUS publication compiles information from office manuals and workplace handbooks spanning the last century of architectural practice to offer a practical but insightful portrait of how architects organize, run, and view their own profession.
In a new interview with Metropolis Magazine, OfficeUS Manual editors Eva Franch i Gilabert, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, and Jacob Reidel explain their motivations for the project as well as their perspective on what this unique approach reveals about the culture of today’s architectural practice.
In the ten years since our site was launched, ArchDaily has grown into the world’s most visited architecture website; it is now a project with greater reach and scale than the site’s founders could ever have anticipated. Thanks to our readers, contributors and leadership, the initial iteration of the site (based in Chile and known as Plataforma Arquitectura) has evolved into a global architecture media network that includes the English site you’re reading right now as well as region and language-specific sister sites in Brazil, China, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
The story of ArchDaily's growth is one of the many topics covered in a new 114-minute interview with ArchDaily’s co-founder David Basulto on this week’s episode of the Midnight Charette podcast. Hosted by David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, the podcast features weekly discussions on design issues of the day and interviews with figures in the architecture community. In their talk with Basulto, the conversation wanders from the story of our company and some behind-the-scenes trivia about how our site works (did you know our custom content management system is named after the biblical Tower of Babel’s designer?) to insights on how architects will shape our future cities and the ways that data collection and analysis could shape the designs of tomorrow.
As identity-based politics continues to grow in influence, we may do well to examine the effect it has on the way we think about and design our cities. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Rem Koolhaas discusses these changes - and how they mark an evolution from the generic city concept he introduced in S,M,L, XL.
How do we want to live? Should we lean towards a turbulent metropolitan life with an all-inclusive advantage, or should we favor the composed suburban life with sufficient services? What if architects and urbanists were able to implement some of these all-inclusive services into disregarded areas of the suburbs? In the latest installment of PLANE—SITE’s short video series of the Time-Space-Existence exhibition, Louise Braverman Architect, a New York-based firm, explores the utopic and dynamic vision of the future of suburbs, and how Hyperloop technology could breathe a new life into these often overlooked places.
Celebrated for their unique, lively, and intimate take on architecture, in their films Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine break with the traditional representation of architecture, choosing instead to follow people living inside buildings, focusing on them instead of capturing empty structures. In a new video, Louisiana Channel interviews the Italian filmmaker and architect Ila Bêka, in which he discusses the rhythm of everyday life within contemporary architecture projects, and their importance in triggering emotions.
We felt that the movement inside architecture is very important to understand how the architecture works.
– Ila Bêka
In this video from the Louisiana Channel, Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa expounds on his view of the importance of art and architecture. In order to begin to understand this relationship, Pallasmaa stresses the importance of literature and self-construction, along with understanding the history and culture of a place.