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Plane Site

Richard Meier On Color in Architecture and His Only Black Building

06:00 - 17 January, 2018

Get a better understanding of Richard Meier in PLANE-SITE’s latest short film in their series, Time-Space-Existence. The series focuses on the principles behind each architect they feature. Known for his pristine white, geometric buildings, Meier talks about architectural context, timelessness, universal color, and his only black building.

Kengo Kuma Explains How His Architectural Style was Formed by Financial Crisis

09:30 - 24 December, 2017

Japan's renowned architect Kengo Kuma is the latest to feature in PLANE—SITE's video series Time-Space-Existence, exploring the inner workings of his Tokyo office and how the Japanese financial crisis of the early 1990s shaped his firm.

© Mitsumasa Fujitsuka © Mitsumasa Fujitsuka © Mitsumasa Fujitsuka © Takeshi YAMAGISHI + 11

Contemporary Concert Halls Have Become Multi-Functional Catalysts for Urban Change

09:30 - 3 December, 2017
Contemporary Concert Halls Have Become Multi-Functional Catalysts for Urban Change, Left and bottom-right: Harpa Concert Hall, image Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects; top-right: Philharmonie de Paris, image © Danica O Kus
Left and bottom-right: Harpa Concert Hall, image Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects; top-right: Philharmonie de Paris, image © Danica O Kus

In their video series for the November 2017 World Architecture Festival, PLANE—SITE delves into contemporary concert hall design. The four films highlight major themes in today’s musical architecture through an interactive, multimedia panel. Using Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Wroclaw’s National Forum of Music, and the Philharmonie de Paris as examples, the videos show how contemporary concert halls are more technological and multifunctional than ever before, demonstrating how architecture redefines the modern-day musical performance experience.

The series acted as a starting point for a conversation between the WAF audience and panelists, moderated by PLANE—SITE’s Andres Ramirez. Panelists included Michel Cova of dUCKS scéno, Tateo Nakajima of Arup, and Jacob Kurek of Henning Larsen.

Tatiana Bilbao: Creating Spaces with Relevance Means "Enhancing Someone's Life"

09:30 - 25 November, 2017

In the second film from this year's series of PLANE—SITE's Time-Space-Existence videos, Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao shares her philosophy of how architecture should be designed with the user’s experience in mind, rather than for standalone aesthetic qualities. In the video she discusses how architects should to some extent let go of their artistic intentions for a more practical approach to serve the needs of people, discussing how architecture has become detached from its key purpose over the last fifty years due to the influence of capitalism.

© Rory Gardiner © Jaime Navarro © Jaime Navarro © Jaime Navarro + 12

Arata Isozaki on "Ma," the Japanese Concept of In-Between Space

08:30 - 5 November, 2017

Take a peek into Japanese architect and theorist Arata Isozaki’s studio in the first of PLANE—SITE’s new video series, Time-Space-Existence. In this inaugural film, Isozaki discusses the Japanese concept of the space and time that exists in-between things, called "ma." Especially inspiring is Isozaki’s refusal to be stuck in one architectural style, as he describes how each of his designs is a specific solution born out of the project’s context.

Giving People Agency in Public Space: The Artwork of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

08:00 - 2 November, 2017
Giving People Agency in Public Space: The Artwork of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, © Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
© Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

In the past, cities were often constructed in the likeness the public--the built environment reflected citizens and local culture. It is questionable whether this can be said of the modern world. Much construction today is a product of capitalism, generating buildings and areas in which local people have no attachment or sense of agency over. Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer believes this to be a fundamental crisis within our cities, and he is committed to reestablishing the relationship and representation of people within urban space. His work is examined in a new short film by PLANE-SITE, titled Public Interruptions.

A building today does not represent a citizen, a building today represents capital.

Aerial Futures: Leading Edge Symposium

10:18 - 13 October, 2017
Aerial Futures: Leading Edge Symposium, Thene Building, LAX. Image © Flickr user Sam valadi licensed under CC BY 2.0
Thene Building, LAX. Image © Flickr user Sam valadi licensed under CC BY 2.0

Aerial Futures: Leading Edge is lively, provocative and interdisciplinary symposium examining the architecture, technologies and cultures of the contemporary airport. Curated by PLANE—SITE and free to attend, this two-day event understands the airport as a choreographed topography of hypermobility, information and cultures, defining how we travel, trade and connect with each other. It marks the threshold between land and sky, as well as sovereign territories. The airport — what the philosopher Giorgio Agamben describes as a ‘zone of exception’ where the ordinary rules no longer apply — is where the definitive issues of the 21st century play out.

Smart Everyday Nighttime Design Aims to Use Light as a Means to Build Better Communities

06:00 - 28 September, 2017

Working out of a UNESCO world heritage site in Cartagena, Colombia, Smart Everyday Nighttime Design is a research project that aims to use light as a means to build better communities. The project, spearheaded by Arup’s Lighting team with urban-lighting leader Leni Schwendinger, seeks to address nighttime activation of Getsemaní’s streets and public spaces in a bid to improve safety, stimulate the night time economy and engage with the local communities and events.

This documentary, produced by PLANE—SITE, presents the project’s findings and explains the research process and the resulting prototype. The team had two main ambitions:

Getsemani -a UNESCO world-heritage district in Cartagena (Colombia): Citizen portrait. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE Architect students from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano demonstrate sketch lantern on site. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE The universal lanterns were fabricated byiGuzzini, technical project partner,and then localized by theneighborhoodcommunity. This one has been designed by a workshop attendee to feature the Mariamulata bird, an important symbol of Caribbean identity. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE The workshop participants created localized lantern "sketches" with everyday colors of Cartagena. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE + 11

How Architects in Chicago Are Making New History

10:20 - 26 September, 2017

"We are at a moment of great cultural transition," Jorge Otero-Pailos argues. "The kinds of objects that we look to to provide some sort of continuity in that transformation is often times architecture, [...] one of the most stable objects in culture." This short film, in which an number of participants of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial reflect on their work and those of others, tackles the theme conceived by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark LeeMake New History.

In "Horizontal City," 24 Architects Reconsider Architectural Interiors at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

10:20 - 25 September, 2017

Horizontal City is one of two collective exhibitions (the other being Vertical City) at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. 24 architects were tasked by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee to "reconsider the status of the architectural interior" by referencing a photograph of a canonical interior from any time period.

Their challenge was in considering the forms and ways that their selection "might extrapolate out from the cropped photographic frame into a spatial and lifestyle construction across a larger, horizontal site" – in this case, a field of plinths, the size and positioning of which is a direct reference to the footprint of Mies van der Rohe's 1947 plan for the IIT Campus in Chicago.

"Strong Relationships Between Engineers and Architects": SOM at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

13:30 - 21 September, 2017

An engineer should design a structure that an architect would be ashamed to cover up.

In this video produced by PLANE—SITE and Spirit of Space for ArchDaily, two of SOM’s great minds take us through the firm’s most recent exhibition, "SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture]," currently on display in conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Focusing on the intersection between engineering and architecture, the exhibition reveals the design process behind some of the firm’s greatest achievements through a range of sketches, models, sculptures and visuals.

Curators Johnston Marklee Introduce the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, "Make New History"

10:15 - 15 September, 2017

As the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial prepares to open its doors, curators Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee) introduce Make New History – the theme of the second edition of North America's largest architecture and design exhibition.

Understanding the trace of history is more important than ever. Maybe now it's a good time to take stock and reevaluate to see what architecture could do better, and there are certain issues that other disciplines address better than architecture itself.

USC Architecture Students and MADWORKSHOP Collaborate to Combat LA’s Homeless Epidemic

09:30 - 6 August, 2017
USC Architecture Students and MADWORKSHOP Collaborate to Combat LA’s Homeless Epidemic, Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP
Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP

Aggravated by limited upward mobility and a dire housing crisis, LA County’s homeless population has shot up 23 percent to nearly 58,000 in the past year alone, according The Los Angeles Times. Their increased visibility recently guilted voters into passing (by a two-thirds majority) a sales tax increase (Measure H) and a $1.2 billion bond initiative (Measure HHH) to provide housing and amenities. With the city now better financially equipped to tackle the problem, a new issue arises: what to build?

Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP © Brandon Friend-Solis Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP + 10

Johnston Marklee Explain What Matters For This Year's Chicago Architecture Biennial

06:00 - 19 July, 2017

Two months before the much-anticipated opening of the Chicago Architecture Biennal, this video collaboration between Berlin-based PLANE–SITE and Chicago-based Spirit of Space offers an insight into what is to come this fall. The first video of the series delves into the core message that curators Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston of Johnston Marklee have established as the groundwork for contributions from over 100 international participants. One of the youngest biennials in the architectural scene, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is only in its second edition and is still defining the unique and independent traits that will help it stand out from other similar events.

The series from PLANE–SITE and Spirit of Space will unravel some of the Biennial's main themes, and delve into its program, reporting on such projects as the reinterpretations for Howells & Hood’s 1925 Tribune Tower; 3D responses to historical images of building interiors; a labyrinth of galleries that will host larger installations; and some of the biennial's anchor sites across the city of Chicago.

ReSITE 2017’s “The In/Visible City” Conference Unveils the Infrastructural Heart of Urbanism

09:30 - 15 July, 2017
ReSITE 2017’s “The In/Visible City” Conference Unveils the Infrastructural Heart of Urbanism, © PLANE—SITE
© PLANE—SITE

Now in its sixth year in its home city of Prague, reSITE is a conference that has consistently taken a broad view of urban issues, bringing together the largest concentration of the world’s top architects, urbanists, urban planners, landscape architects, and economists under umbrella topics such as Cities in Migration (2016), The Sharing City (2015), and Cities and Landscapes of the New Economy (2014). However, when it comes to events like this, such broad-ranging ambition can be a double-edged sword, flattening and obscuring the nitty gritty details of complex issues. Perhaps reflecting a concern that cities and the challenges they face be seen in full, reSITE 2017’s chosen theme was In/Visible City.

That particular lens reflects a shift in recent years for events such as this to bring into focus that which has typically remained firmly out of view: infrastructure. An allusion to the technical was manifest in the conference’s visual identity: a human heart, with pipe-like arteries and vegetation growing in between the cracks. The heart is to the body like infrastructure is to the city – but just as the body is much more than its circulatory system, the infrastructure cities depend upon is not limited to the obvious, billion-dollar construction projects that make headlines. Urban infrastructure spans all scales and numerous disciplines, ranging from design details to the small print in city policy. In/visible City brought forth the invisible features that give shape to the visible city demonstrating that cultural vitality, social fabric and citizen participation are infrastructural as well.

What can Latin America Learn From WOHA's Green Skyscrapers?

16:00 - 22 April, 2017

WOHA's first exhibition in Latin America, Garden City Mega City: WOHA's Urban Ecosystems presents over two decades of WOHA's international designs. With its inauguration at the Museum of the City of Mexico during the MEXTRÓPOLI International Festival of Architecture and City, the exhibition proposes the introduction of biodiversity and lively public spaces into vertical, climate-sensitive highrises within megalopolises.

The exhibition features sixteen intricate architectural models, an immersive video installation and large-scale drawings and images that show WOHA's proposals for vertical communities in the tropical megacities. PLANE-SITE documented the exhibition's opening along with the points of view of various MEXTRÓPOLI contributors and city officials.

Considering the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow

04:00 - 19 January, 2017
Considering the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow, Courtesy of Aerial Futures
Courtesy of Aerial Futures

Aerial Futures, Grounded Visions: Shaping the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow was a two-day symposium held in October 2016 as part of the European Cultural Center's collateral event at the 2016 Venice Biennale. It encouraged discussion about the future of air travel from the perspectives of architecture, design, technology, culture and user experience. The event featured presentations and discussions by the likes of airport architect Curtis FentressNelly Ben YahounDonald Albrecht, Director of the Museum of the City of New York; Anna Gasco, post-doctoral researcher at the ETH-Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore; Jonathan Ledgard, co-founder of the Droneport Project; and Ashok Raiji, Principal at Arup New York.

Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures + 4

Real Takes on Real(ly Successful) Housing Experiments

09:30 - 13 December, 2016
Real Takes on Real(ly Successful) Housing Experiments

The challenges associated with the provision of adequate and affordable housing around the world demand that architects respond with original solutions that challenge traditional building forms, typologies and methods of delivery.

In recognition of this demand, last month’s World Architecture Festival in Berlin chose housing as its thematic focus. The festival made headlines with Patrik Schumacher’s inflammatory keynote speech that called for cities to be turned over entirely to market forces, scrapping social housing and privatizing all public space. The controversy that followed belied the diversity of the discourse on housing at the Festival and the presentation of innovative architectural responses to housing challenges.