Architecture, with all its practitioners, academics, and theorists, have long been exploring utopic ideas with hopes of turning them into something concrete for the sake of a better world. But as the world heads towards an even greater polarization than it currently has, the architecture practice found itself having to adapt to the current systems of the planet, constrained by its ever-growing conditions. Slowly, practitioners realized that utopia can not truly be seen as the ideal solution, and needed to be readapted or morphed with other concepts for it to actually work. DETAIL's latest monograph BIG. Architecture and Construction Details / BIG. Architektur und Baudetails, a rapport between BIG’s imaginative, unbuilt utopias and functional, built architecture, explores 20 projects from the firm's workshop.
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For the fresh architecture student, the “jury,” “review,” or “crit” is far from glorious—sounding more like a death knell than a customary critique session. The concept, as Kathryn Anthony explores in Design Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the Design Studio, goes as far back as the 1980s when the Ecole Nationale et Speciale des Beaux-Arts in Paris became the first art and architecture school to experiment with a format that would soon be adopted by architectural schools across the world. While some schools have taken steps to loosen traditional hierarchies, others continuing to reinforce them, much to the terror of fledgling first-year students who aren’t used to being “tried.”
So what can one really do to ease into this rather uncomfortable aspect of architectural education? Below is a fairly simple list of dos and don’ts that could go a long way in helping you out.
Once every two years architecture schools around the world are invited to submit their single, finest graduation project to the Archiprix International competition and exhibition. This year, the event selected Ahmedabad, in India, to exhibit the results. Here Arjen Oosterman, Editor-in-Chief of Volume, reviews the event and the work on display. You can read an interview with the Director of Archiprix, Henk van der Veen, here.
From its inception at the dawn of the millennium (2001), Archiprix International has proved to be an adventure with enormous ambition. To collect, once every two years, the very best graduation projects from architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design schools around the world is no small feat. To comprehensively exhibit this material is also a challenge, and to create a meaningful and productive event around the award session—giving center stage to the selected graduates and their projects—is a task akin to walking a tightrope. And yet, this is what they are achieving.
In Granary Square, located in London’s King’s Cross, there is a fragment of the poem Brill by Aidan Dunn set into the ground, which reads: “King’s Cross, dense with angels and histories. There are cities beneath your pavements, cities behind your skies.” Anchored by the converted granary building and a rejuvenated stretch of canal, Argent’s ongoing King’s Cross development is an appropriate setting for Building on the Built, an exhibition which presents the work of London-based practice Jonathan Tuckey Design.
"I cannot, in whole conscience, recommend architecture as a profession for girls. I know some women who have done well at it, but the obstacles are so great that it takes an exceptional girl to make a go of it. If she insisted on becoming an architect, I would try to dissuade her. If then, she was still determined, I would give her my blessing–she could be that exceptional one."
– Pietro Belluschi, FAIA from the 1955 New York Life Insurance Company brochure, “Should You Be an Architect?”
With great fanfare, in mid-October 2014 on the opening night of the 6th annual Architecture and Design Film Festival in Manhattan, Festival Director Kyle Bergman announced that the festival’s special focus this year was on women in architecture. “We’ve been wanting to feature women in architecture for a while now,” he told me, “and this year we finally have the films to make that happen,” referring to three new documentaries: Gray Matters (2014), Making Space: 5 Women Changing the Face of Architecture (2014) and Zaha Hadid: Who Dares Wins (2013).
Why do we make models? From sketch maquettes and detail tests to diagrammatic and presentation models, the discipline of physically crafting ideas to scale is fundamental to the architect's design process. For architect and educator Nick Dunn, architectural models ultimately "enable the designer to investigate, revise and further refine ideas in increasing detail until such a point that the project's design is sufficiently consolidated to be constructed." In Dunn's second edition of his practical guide and homage to the architectural model, the significance and versatility of this medium is expertly visualised and analysed in a collection of images, explanations, and case studies.
“Architecture is too complex to be solved by any one person.”
Richard Rogers is an architect who understands the significance of collaboration. As a man with an intense social mind and a thirst for fairness in architectural and urban design, Rogers’ substantial portfolio of completed and proposed buildings is driven by the Athenian citizen’s oath of “I shall leave this city not less but more beautiful than I found it.”
In honor of his success, London’s Royal Academy (RA) is currently playing host to a vast retrospective of Richard Rogers’ work, from his collaborations with Norman Foster and Renzo Piano, to the large-scale projects that define Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) today. The RA’s extensive exhibition has been condensed into a series of motifs that have defined his architectural work, punctuated by memorabilia which offer personal insights into how Rogers’ career has been shaped by the people he’s worked with and the projects that he has worked on.
Continue after the break for a selection of highlights from the exhibition.
The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. hosted A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living at UCLA’s Hammer Museum and Contemporary Architecture from Southern California (formerly known as A New Sculpturalism) at MOCA Geffen for the better part of this summer. These two exhibits, on view until September 8 and 16 respectively, give us insight into Los Angeles’ past and present architectural legacies. They take on fundamentally different challenges. One uncovers a prolific and primary history of a modernist architect, the other attempts to capture and catalogue an unwieldy and unstable present.
Read on after the break for reviews of both exhibitions...
The monograph 2G presents a new way of approaching Chilean architecture. In the wake of the interesting publications of Mathias Klotz (2G 26, 2003), Smiljan Radic (2G 44, 2007) and Cecilia Puga (2G 53, 2010), now comes that of Pezo von Ellrichshausen, a firm that has proven itself around the world for its consistently outstanding, contemporary works (you can see some examples here).