In this video, Wendover Productions asks some simple (if rarely asked) questions about cities: Why do they exist? What causes them to grow exponentially over time in the way they do? In answering these questions, the video suggests that, somewhat paradoxically, the creation and growth of cities is a natural phenomenon, bringing up some interesting implications regarding city planning in the future.
Since 1989, the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation has been in the vanguard of historic preservation practice and theory. The mission of the Fitch Foundation is to support professionals in the field of historic preservation, and to achieve this we provide mid-career grants to those working in preservation, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental planning, materials conservation, decorative arts, architectural design and history, and allied fields.
Are.na Grants is a new initiative to support research, writing, and other creative projects that are being developed and built on Are.na. For the first set of grants, we are especially interested in projects that address issues around the shifting nature of “knowledge work,” algorithmic governance, and networked learning, though proposals of all kinds are welcome.
Call for Papers: The International Journal of Environmental Science & Sustainable Development (ESSD)
The International Journal of Environmental Science & Sustainable Development (ESSD) is calling for papers for its third issue titled Environmental Sustainability: Methods for Green Energy Management.
Three M. Arch. candidates at Montana State University, Jonathan Chavez, Kimball Kaiser and Adam Shilling, won an Undergraduate Scholars Program research grant which they used to fund their design-build project: B.O.B., the Backyard Office Box. B.O.B. is a kit of parts which, when put together, create a 150-square-foot dwelling space. The design team, also known as Tr3s, wanted their project to be adaptable to a variety of sites and users. B.O.B. can function as an additional space to already existing projects or standalone as a temporary shelter.
“How shall we hew the sun / Split it and make blocks / To build a ruddy palace?” wondered Wallace Stevens in his 1918 poem Architecture for the Adoration of Beauty. Inspired by the verse, in his essay The Room, the Street and Human Agreement, Louis Kahn paraphrased “What slice of the sun enters your room?” The great architect also spent his entire career experimenting with those dual protagonists: light and shadow. Kahn’s obsession with light, and in particular the architectural control of it, influenced countless architects, including Peter Zumthor and Tadao Ando.
Kynthia Chamilothori shares that fascination. A 2014 Architectural Engineering graduate from the Technical University of Crete, where she received the Limmat Stiftung Excellence Award, and current PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Integrated Performance In Design (LIPID) in EPFL under the supervision of Prof. Marilyne Andersen and Dr. Jan Wienold, Chamilothori’s doctoral research project focuses on how the patterns of light and shadow shape the way we perceive architectural spaces. But, while Kahn and other architects throughout history have relied on little more than intuition, Chamilothori is using far more scientific methods, working with a tool that wasn’t available to the great masters: virtual reality. Through experiments in virtual and real environments, Chamilothori investigates the impact of facade and daylight patterns on the atmosphere of a space. Her PhD is supported by a grant awarded by the Velux Stiftung Foundation.
As architecture students head to their final year of BArch, half-crazy from years’ worth of scraped fingers, ghastly juries, sleepless nights, and a general lack of social life, they encounter the mighty problem of choosing a thesis topic. There are many subjects to choose from, but a personal interest in a particular subject is just one of the many factors that should influence this decision. Students need to ask themselves several other questions: Is the topic significant enough? Is it expansive enough? Is the project realistically doable?
The process can be daunting, for the decision has many consequences; sometimes, the choice of topic alone can mean the difference between the success and failure of a thesis. With so many factors to consider and deadlines closing in, students easily end up making decisions that they regret later. Here are eight tips to help you make an informed choice on the matter:
This article was originally published by Common Edge as "The Confused and Impoverished State of Architectural Research."
For a discipline that thinks of itself as learned, scholarly research eludes the architectural profession. This is a long standing problem. “Failure,” John Ruskin wrote in his 1848 introduction to The Seven Lamps of Architecture, “is less frequently attributable to either insufficiency of means or impatience of labor, than to a confused understanding of the thing actually to be done.”
Roughly 150 years later, Harry Nilsson—surely singing to architects—opined in his song, Joy that if you’re unable to find the answer to a question, you may not have a question worth asking (and probably don’t have a problem worth solving). In between Ruskin and rock and roll, is William Peña, the author of the architectural programming guide, Problem Seeking, who nearly a half-century ago wrote that “you can’t solve a problem unless you know what it is.”
Now a one-year program with student funding, the Design Research, Writing & Criticism MA program at NYC’s School of Visual Arts empowers professionals as researchers, writers and—above all—critical thinkers.
“Will I get a job with this degree?” It’s a question that would-be students around the world are having to engage with far more seriously these days. In a climate where graduates can often find themselves “under qualified” when entering a lopsided jobs market, the number of institutions and programs that can confidently point to proven track records are on the decline.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is pleased to announce the “Call for Proposals” for its CTBUH 2017 Student Research Competition – culminating with an award of $20,000 to be recognized at the CTBUH 2017 Conference to be held in Sydney, Australia, from October 30 to November 3, 2017. The funding for this competition has been made possible with the kind support of Underwriters Laboratories.
Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Dutch institute of architecture, design, and digital culture, announces an open call for three research fellows to work in residence from September 2017 to February 2018. Since its founding in 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has fostered research initiatives in the form of exhibitions, events, archival investigations and publications by a variety of practitioners, independent researchers, academics and curators.
Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge has published a book advocating for the revival of 19th-century architectural ideas to address the crippling energy use of modern skyscrapers. The Recovery of Natural Environments in Architecture proposes an end to the architectural fetish for glass, steel, and air conditioning, instead drawing inspiration from forgotten techniques in naturally ventilated buildings of the 1800s. The book is a culmination of 30 years’ research and design by Prof. Short and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge.
The Deborah J. Norden Fund, a program of The Architectural League of New York, was established in 1995 in memory of architect and arts administrator Deborah Norden. The Fund has supported a fascinating array of projects, from a study of the Cambodian modernist Vann Molyvann, to the social impact of new architecture and planning interventions in Medellin, Colombia, to the insertion of built form into fragile ecosystems in Australia, to the stereotomy of complex surfaces in French Baroque architecture.
The symposium and PhD Review focuses on the production and communication of knowledge about architecture and landscape architecture connected with design-related research projects. The call is directed towards theorists, practicing architects, landscape architects and to PhD students or early Post Docs of both disciplines.
Arnold W. Brunner Grant
Advanced study in any area of architectural investigation which will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching or practice of the art and science of architecture. The proposed investigation is to result in a publicly available written work, design project, research paper, or other form of presentation to be offered at the Center for Architecture.
The aim of the “Training” competition is to develop a design proposal for the sport facility typology, intended as a place where physical activity and/or sports entertainment can occur. Participants are asked to create innovative and unconventional projects on this theme, questioning the very basis of the notion of sport facility. After the recent closure of the European football cup and the Olympic games, you are asked to reinvent the way sports can be practiced, and how they can be used to entertain.
Van Alen Institute and West Palm Beach launched Shore to Core, a design and research competition to reimagine the West Palm Beach downtown and understand how cities impact wellbeing. In the design competition, two finalist teams will be selected to participate in a 3-month design process and receive $45,000 to develop their work. The research team will receive $40,000 to develop their work, $10,000 to implement their pilot study.
Architectural practice requires a degree of intimacy and insight into complex sets of forces. While building is architecture’s bread and butter, it’s not always the best format to make a statement. It’s sometimes not even the most appropriate language to respond to a brief. Volume spoke with Reinier de Graaf of OMA/AMO about how research and media can become a vessel for political agendas.