1. ArchDaily
  2. Opinion

Opinion: The Latest Architecture and News

Emergency Architecture: How Temporary Should It Be?

Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, war, economic and social conflicts, pandemics. The number of refugees in the world is setting records year after year. Immediate and temporary solutions, produced in batches in response to crises, mark the difference between doing what is possible and doing what should be done, always doing a lot with what's at hand. But how temporary is emergency architecture? Is it more permanent than we think?

We want to offer our readers the possibility to openly express their opinions and experience on the matter. If we were aware of the difficulty of coping with major losses, that result in the temporary becoming "permanent", would it change the way we design emergency architecture? Would we demand a higher quality emergency architecture? Would we propose other types of solutions?

We invite our readers to fill out the following form and share their ideas on this topic -- the opinions will be collected and processed by our team to form a future article.

In Praise of Drawing: A Case for the Underrated Craft

© Jim Keen
© Jim Keen

I was part of the last generation of architectural students who didn't use computers (we’re only talking the early 1990’s here; there was electricity, color TV’s, rockets, just no renderings.) In my final year at college I miscalculated how long it would take me to finish my thesis project. As the deadline approached, I realized it was too late for me to match my fellow students’ presentations. At the time Zaha Hadid, and her deconstructivist paintings, set the style for architectural illustration. That meant many student projects being rendered in oil paints on large canvases.

How Can We Fix the Architecture Crit? First, Ask for Evidence

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "To Fix Architecture, Fix the Design Crit."

In architecture, the act of formally critiquing design is ubiquitous. The crit, as its called, is almost a rite of passage. And while the format of this practice is universal, its objective, goals and ultimate purpose are unfixed, beyond a broad and often vague imperative to make a given design better. This is a problem, because it leaves a foundation of the profession to take the form of whatever discussion happens to arise between a designer and a critic. If the expectation of empirical evidence for design decisions were introduced as the basis of a design crit, the cumulative effects of this change could improve the credibility of the entire discipline.

Is Religious Architecture Still Relevant?

Some of the greatest architectural works throughout history have been the result of religion, driven by the need to construct spaces where humanity could be one step closer to a higher power. With more people choosing a secular lifestyle than ever before, are the effects that these buildings convey—timelessness, awe, silence and devotion, what Louis Kahn called the “immeasurable” and Le Corbusier called the “ineffable”—no longer relevant?

With the Vatican’s proposal for the 2018 Venice Biennale, described as “a sort of pilgrimage that is not only religious but also secular,” it is clear that the role of "religious" spaces is changing from the iconography of organized religion to ambiguous spaces that reflect the idea of "spirituality" as a whole.

So what does this mean? Is there still a key role for spirituality in architecture? Is it possible to create spaces for those of different faiths and those without faith at all? And what makes a space "spiritual" in the first place?

What It’s Like to be an Architect who Doesn’t Design Buildings

There's an old, weary tune that people sing to caution against being an architect: the long years of academic training, the studio work that takes away from sleep, and the small job market in which too many people are vying for the same positions. When you finally get going, the work is trying as well. Many spend months or even years working on the computer and doing models before seeing any of the designs become concrete. If you're talking about the grind, architects know this well enough from their training, and this time of ceaseless endeavor in the workplace only adds to that despair.

Which is why more and more architects are branching out. Better hours, more interesting opportunities, and a chance to do more than just build models. Furthermore, the skills you learn as an architect, such as being sensitive to space, and being able to grasp the cultural and societal demands of a place, can be put to use in rather interesting ways. Here, 3 editors at ArchDaily talk about being an architect, why they stopped designing buildings, and what they do in their work now.