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Research: The Latest Architecture and News

Ulterior Motives: OMA/AMO's Reinier de Graaf on "Research," Europe and the 2014 Venice Biennale

The following interview with Reinier De Graaf was first published by Volume Magazine in their 48th issue, The Research Turn. You can read the Editorial of this issue, Research Horizons, here.

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.

Expanded Audiences and the “Second Building” – an Interview with CCA Director Mirko Zardini

Montréal’s CCA (Canadian Centre for Architecture), the international museum and research center which was founded by Phyllis Lambert in 1979 and is currently directed by Mirko Zardini, has launched a new iteration of its website. The organisation’s new online presence has been conceived as an active editorial project which aims for more than dissemination of information alone; rather, it will take positions and—being organised around several themes such as “The Planet is the Client,” “Origins of the Digital” and “Technology Sometimes Falls Short”—will reflect the CCA’s ongoing research interests.

This interview with Zardini has been conducted by Steffen Boddeker (currently Director of Communications at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation – GSAPP), who has worked with the CCA as a communications and online consultant overseeing its web presence since 2006.

Introducing Volume #48: The Research Turn

Volume #48: The Research Turn is comprised entirely of interviews and conversations. We wanted to learn from those who have been instrumental in shifting the boundaries and shaping today’s landscape of creative knowledge production. The issue also includes the catalogue for BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions by Malkit Shoshan, the Dutch contribution to the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Over the coming weeks Volume will share a curated selection of essays from this issue on ArchDaily. This represents the continuation of a partnership between two platforms with global agendas: in the case of ArchDaily to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools to architects across the world and, in the case of Volume, "to voice architecture any way, anywhere, anytime [by] represent[ing] the expansion of architectural territories and the new mandate for design."

Platform 8: An Index of Design & Research

Platform 8 catalogs a curated selection of work generated in the past year at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Alongside final products of design education, Platform 8 places particular emphasis on collecting and documenting the people and artifacts that shape research-driven design practices. Here, design is presented both as process and as a final product. Indexical structure, punctuated with a collection of portraits, presents a comprehensive picture of the school. Platform 8 shows the intention, direction, and passion seen and experienced every day at the GSD.

Call for Proposals: ARCASIA Travel Prize 2016

The ARCASIA Travel Prize in Architecture is the travel and research scholarship given annually to Young Architects of ARCASIA (40 years and under) and member of the institute of their country. The emphasis of the traveling scholarship is not only to promote research in the selected fields of study, but also to encourage cross border education as well as to foster cultural exchange between nations and institutes. Sponsored by NS Bluescope (Thailand), this year is the second year of the ARCASIA Travel Prize. For 2016, the ARCASIA Travel Prize aims to enable Young Architects to travel and to conduct design research in Thailand on the topic of humanitarian architecture.

Exhibition: Understanding Place: Seven Years Researching Dhaka, Bangladesh

UNDERSTANDING PLACE showcases selections from a seven-year long rich investigation that capture the essence of Dhaka’s extreme wet-dry climate flux in a totally immersive atmospheric experience. Lit by an 8’ tall rear projection screen of audio-video captured footage, a narrated mind-map floor animation, an illuminated wall of colorful photographs, and LED monitor slide-shows of student projects, the visitor is invited to meander through four zones identifying the architectural design process: observation, data collection, analysis, and proposals.

Take AD Magazine’s Women in Architecture Survey for Upcoming Special Edition

In August 1975, Architectural Design magazine published a special edition about Women in Architecture. At the time, director Monica Pidgeon sent letters to 100 architects asking what women can contribute to architecture that men can’t (and vice-versa), as well as the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the profession.

Now, 40 years later, a new version of the study aims to repeat Pidgeon’s initiative through an online survey with similar questions.

Call For Papers: New Architectures, Infrastructures and Services for Future Cities

Driving urban infrastructure modernization, improving citizen life by means of technology, sustainable innovation, wide band, Big Data… These are some of the subjects that will be discussed at the International Conference on City Sciences, that will take place at Santiago de Chile on the 16th and 17th of June.

Science Says Beautiful Architecture Makes Us Happy and Healthy

We all know exercise and being in close proximity to nature boosts our happiness and overall heath. However, the impact of the "environmental aesthetics" of our cities has never been studied, until now. 

A new study suggests that beautiful architecture is considered just as "scenic" and beneficial to our health and psyche as "greenery."

Global Design Competition for a Nature Park & Pedestrian Bridge in Mumbai

UPDATE: The submission deadline has been changed to February 7th, 2016.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is looking for multi-disciplinary design teams that are capable of designing and delivering a technically demanding and environmentally sensitive makeover in the heart of India’s Financial Capital, Mumbai. There are no competition fees to be paid and all submissions will be exclusively done through the competition portal. Five shortlisted entries from the first stage will each receive Rs. 5,00,000 and the eventual winner will receive Rs. 50,00,000 as part of a contract.

CANactions Launches Open Call for STUDIO #2

CANactions School, the first school for urban studies in Ukraine, has launched an international call for applicants for
STUDIO #2: “Tackling the Future of Ukrainian (Post)industrial Cities." The seminar will take place from February to May 2016.

Call for Submissions: CityLife Project

The Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW office wants to create more affordable, connected and livable cities and it wants your help. The CityLife Project competition presents the opportunity for three organisations or research teams to partner with the UDIA NSW on research projects in exchange for cash and promotional opportunities worth up to $145,000 AUD each.

Apply Now: Safdie Architects Announces 2015 Research Fellowship

Safdie Architects’ 2015 Research Fellowship will center on the theme of “dense urbanism,” and the ways in which the field of architecture can rethink its approach to vital issues such as materiality, construction, environmental conditions, and the demographic realities of rapidly growing populations. This year, Moshe Safdie and his team invite exceptional individuals to attack the challenges of the contemporary urban landscape head-on by proposing new tools and solutions to create a better functioning and humane city. Accepted candidates will spend one year in residence at Safdie Architects’ Boston office, during which they will receive support from the practice and have access to the firm’s resources and consultants.

TailorCrete Seeks to Revolutionize Concrete Fabrication

Concrete construction has been an important part of architectural practice since the Roman Empire. Extremely malleable, fluid concrete is capable of being poured into almost any conceivable form. In theory, this makes it an ideal building material. In practice, however, creating complex forms out of concrete is extremely inefficient. Pouring on sight requires formwork that is painstakingly made by hand, and precast concrete is usually limited by orthogonal molds. Concrete has become restricted to a few simple forms that are easy and cheap to produce when, in many cases, a building would benefit from concrete casting that is optimized for its structural and economical needs. How do we make such optimization feasible? This is the question that the EU sponsored TailorCrete has attempted to answer. A research consortium lasting for four years, TailorCrete is exploring new technologies that could make non-standard concrete structures commonplace.

The Psychology of Urban Planning

Courtesy of Entasis
Courtesy of Entasis

Walkability, density, and mixed-use have become key terms in the conversation about designing our cities to promote healthy lifestyles. In an interview with behavioral psychologist, Dr. James Sallis of the University of California San Diego in The Globe and Mail, Sallis discusses how his research reveals key design elements that encourage physical activity. In the 20th century, the automobile and new ideals in urban planning radically changed the way in which cities were structured. Residential and commercial areas were divided and highways were built to criss-cross between them. Suburban sprawl rescued city dwellers from dense urban environments that had gained a reputation for being polluted and dangerous. In recent decades, planners, policy makers and environmentalists have noted how these seemingly healthy expansions have had an adverse affect on our personal health and the health of our built environment. Today, the conversation is heavily structured around how welcoming density, diversity and physical activity can help ameliorate the negative affects that decades of mid-century planning have had on health. Sallis describes how much of a psychological feat it is to change the adverse habits that have developed over the years and how design, in particular, can help encourage the change.