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Urban Design: The Latest Architecture and News

IKEA Explores Future Urban Living for the Many

05:00 - 4 June, 2019
IKEA Explores Future Urban Living for the Many, Infill Village Europe. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10
Infill Village Europe. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10

Some assembly required for this vision of future urban living. Known for simple, well-designed, flat-pack furniture, IKEA is proposing expanding their DIY-model to a much larger scale: entire city centers. Democratic Design Days is an annual event where IKEA introduces its upcoming brands and collaborations, this year featuring The Urban Village Project, a collaboration between SPACE10 and EFFEKT Architects. After two years of research, SPACE10 (IKEA’s global research and design lab) is releasing their vision to the public for a new way to design, build, and share our homes, neighborhoods, and cities.

Vertical Village Asia. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 Shared Courtyard View. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 A Sustainable Home View. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 Grow, Share, Eat. Image Made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10 + 30

Di - Generic Cities: Tokyo | Shanghai | Los Angeles

11:00 - 10 May, 2019
Di - Generic Cities: Tokyo | Shanghai | Los Angeles

BRIEF

If skylines around the world are looking too much the same, is this because the new and important buildings are done by the big names (designers) from far away and not by the locals or the opposite is true? Not only skyscrapers but, museums, civic center, concert halls, bridges, libraries, opera houses all give cities part of their identity.

The Complete City: Imagined - A Design Competition to Celebrate Portland, Maine

16:35 - 9 May, 2019
The Complete City: Imagined - A Design Competition to Celebrate Portland, Maine

In 2017, the Portland Society for Architecture (PSA) asked citizens and visitors to provide their vision of Portland on blank maps of the city. PSA distributed these maps as a tool to encourage civic engagement in defining Portland. The completed maps offer unique perspectives and insight into how the city might grow and flourish.

Why Technology Isn’t The Answer for Making Cities Smarter

07:00 - 7 May, 2019
Why Technology Isn’t The Answer for Making Cities Smarter, via KENTOH/ISTOCK
via KENTOH/ISTOCK

Innovation and technology are often presented as inextricably linked ideas. Yet, when it comes to solving today’s urban problems, technology does not always represent the best way forward.

Innovation instead should come from a thorough understanding of the city’s functions and processes, including its municipal government and other local organizations. Technology can help, yes, but cannot be used as a panacea.

10 Examples of Public Spaces from the Beaches to the Cities of Mexico

06:30 - 27 April, 2019

Parque Los Héroes / Francisco Pardo Arquitecto. Image © Jaime Navarro Cancha "La Doce" / All Arquitectura. Image © Zaickz Moz Monumento Emblematico al 150 Aniversario de la Batalla de Puebla / TEN Arquitectos. Image © Luis Gordoa Parque Lineal Ferrocarril de Cuernavaca / Gaeta-Springall arquitectos. Image © Arturo Arrieta + 12

Urban design is a branch of design intimately related to urban planning and landscape architecture; it focuses broadly on interpreting the form and public space with physical-aesthetic-functional criteria. Different experts in the field such as Jane Jacobs, Denise Scott Brown, Robert Venturi, Jaime Lerner, Jan Gehl, Kevin Lynch have devoted themselves to studying the needs of urban societies within the common spaces to give adequate responses to different contexts. These questions are renewed with new generations and the public space is transformed according to technological advances but what always remains is the sense of belonging of these sites that are only successful when users adopt them as own.

Dvorulitsa Project by Meganom Proposes Reinvesting in Cities' Peripheries to Improve Urban Environments

05:15 - 26 April, 2019
Dvorulitsa Project by Meganom Proposes Reinvesting in Cities' Peripheries to Improve Urban Environments, After. Image © Dvorulitsa
After. Image © Dvorulitsa

Superpark. Image © Meganom After. Image © Dvorulitsa After. Image © Dvorulitsa © Dvorulitsa + 16

Amidst efforts to revitalize and improve urban centers, the peripheral areas of cities are often ignored or forgotten. The intense focus on the downtown core means, in terms of land use, that only a relatively small area receives the majority of designers’ attention. "Dvorulitsa" (literally "Yardstreet" in Russian) is an urban development strategy proposed by Russian architecture firm Meganom, aiming to shift that focus. Taking the idea of the “superpark” from the 2013 study, "Archaeology of the Periphery," the yardstreet project presents an alternative method of viewing the periphery of a post-soviet city.

Design Your Summer! UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is Now Accepting Applications

Sponsored Article
Design Your Summer! UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is Now Accepting Applications, © David Schmitz
© David Schmitz

How do designers think? How do they visually communicate complex ideas? What strategies do they employ to make a positive impact on the built environment? How does design change the way people see and experience the world?

How Zena Howard Uses Design to Help Cities Heal

07:00 - 1 March, 2019
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Image© Brad Feinknopf
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Image© Brad Feinknopf

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Game Changers: Architect Zena Howard is Using Design as Urban Healing." Metropolis' annual Game Changers series highlights those in design who are pushing the field forward.

Transforming urban centers can be slow going when the process is rooted in community engagement. But within the next five to ten years, historically African-American neighborhoods in Charlotte and Greenville, North Carolina; Miami; Vancouver; and Los Angeles will experience major change, thanks to architect Zena Howard, who leads Perkins+Will’s cultural practice in North Carolina.

Designing Change

01:00 - 26 February, 2019
Designing Change

Over the timespan of just one generation the planet’s pace of urbanization has dramatically increased. Through these dynamics and its resulting environmental threats, new challenges have emerged that deeply question the validity of the post-war planning paradigms. Dominant ideologies have been replaced by a problem-solving attitude, increased economic pressure and an urgent quest for evidence. What impact does this have on the work of the urban designer and planner, and how can the profession prepare for the future?

Designing Change tries to answer these and many other questions through in-depth conversations with 12 leading practitioners in the field. Conceived as an

White Arkitekter Transforms a Swedish Square with 65 Meter Bench

13:00 - 14 February, 2019
White Arkitekter Transforms a Swedish Square with 65 Meter Bench, Forumtorget Sofa. Image © Måns Berg
Forumtorget Sofa. Image © Måns Berg

Design practice White Arkitekter has created a 65 meter-long ‘sofa’ for Forumtorget Square in Uppsala, Sweden. Designed to provide space for rest and social interaction, the linear outdoor seating is the centerpiece of wider improvements to the large square. The project aims to attract more visitors to Forumtorget and its surrounding shopping area by building on the area’s character as a gathering place.

Forumtorget Sofa. Image © Måns Berg Forumtorget Sofa. Image © Måns Berg Forumtorget Sofa. Image © Måns Berg Forumtorget Sofa. Image © Måns Berg + 16

Months Before Opening Day, the Promised - and Sold - High-Tech Utopia of Hudson Yards is Still Just a Dream

07:00 - 13 February, 2019
Months Before Opening Day, the Promised - and Sold - High-Tech Utopia of Hudson Yards is Still Just a Dream, The Hudson Yards Development. Image © Mark Wickens
The Hudson Yards Development. Image © Mark Wickens

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Hudson Yards Promised a High-Tech Neighborhood — It was a Greater Challenge Than Expected."

There’s something striking about the command center of America’s largest private real estate development, Hudson Yards, in that it’s actually pretty boring. The room—technically known as the Energy Control Center, or ECC for short—contains two long desks crammed with desktop computers, a few TV monitors plastered to the wall, and a corkboard lined with employee badges. The ceiling is paneled; the lighting, fluorescent. However, New York’s Hudson Yards was once billed as the country’s first “quantified community”: A network of sensors would collect data on air quality, noise levels, temperature, and pedestrian traffic. This would create a feedback loop for the developers, helping them monitor and improve quality of life. So where is the NASA-like mission control? Data collection and advanced infrastructure will still drive parts of Hudson Yards’ operations, but not (yet) as first advertised.

AD Classics: Parc Andre Citroen / Alain Provost

16:30 - 28 January, 2019
AD Classics: Parc Andre Citroen / Alain Provost, via Wikimedia
via Wikimedia

Redeveloping Shoreditch With Responsive Cohesion

06:00 - 27 January, 2019
Redeveloping Shoreditch With Responsive Cohesion, Courtesy of Douglas and King Architects
Courtesy of Douglas and King Architects

Douglas and King Architects master plan to reinvigorate Shoreditch takes on a complex dual challenge. Broadly, there is the challenge at the core of any masterplanning project: creating a set of elements that flow together seamlessly with one another and their overall context. But more specifically, the project grapples with a tight triangular site and an already-lively urban context.

DAS Transform Qianmen's Urban Composition into a Lively Axonometric Mural

10:00 - 12 January, 2019
DAS Transform Qianmen's Urban Composition into a Lively Axonometric Mural, Courtesy of Drawing Architecture Studio (DAS)
Courtesy of Drawing Architecture Studio (DAS)

Artistic expression is often undisciplined. Sometimes, the riot of colors and explosion of lines and forms help unleash a 2D illustration out of its medium, which is precisely what Drawing Architecture Studio (DAS) managed to create in Ucommune’s new branch in Dajiang Hutong, Beijing.

In late 2018, Li Han, co-founder of Drawing Architecture Studio, won the 2018 Drawing Prize for her digital drawing of The Samsara of Building No.42 on Dirty Street, which also illustrates a visual narrative of the city of Beijing and its residential chronology throughout the 21st century. This year, DAS took Qianmen area, co-working brand Ucommune’s location as a subject, transforming its road network, architecture, and urban composition into a dynamic, meticulously detailed panorama titled Under the Zhengyangmen.

Why Public Spaces are the Safest Investment for Secure Cities

08:00 - 2 December, 2018
Why Public Spaces are the Safest Investment for Secure Cities, © Rodrigo Tagle
© Rodrigo Tagle

Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque + 20

Architecture is powerful, and like nuclear energy, it all depends on how it is used. While it can create uninhabitable municipalities, it can also create safer cities that improve quality of life.

In various examples, urban design has provided a response to deteriorated or abandoned public spaces. It has shown that distribution and lighting are essential, but that it is also necessary to consider who will be using the space and how to make it an environment that generates community.

Call for Submissions - Ground Up Journal Issue 08: HOME

06:12 - 21 November, 2018
Call for Submissions - Ground Up Journal Issue 08: HOME, Ground Up Journal Issue 08: HOME
Ground Up Journal Issue 08: HOME

Ground Up, the journal of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley, Issue 08 seeks entries that address the idea of HOME.

2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries Open

15:42 - 27 September, 2018
2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries Open, 2017 Rudy Bruner Award Medalists (Photo Credits on RBA Website)
2017 Rudy Bruner Award Medalists (Photo Credits on RBA Website)

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) celebrates transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to our nation’s cities. Winners offer creative placemaking solutions that transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design and planning and showcase innovative thinking about American cities. One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 will be awarded. 

Urbanism that Forgot the Urban: John Portman's Legacy in Detroit

09:30 - 12 September, 2018
Urbanism that Forgot the Urban: John Portman's Legacy in Detroit, John Portman's Renaissance Centre in Detroit. Image via Wikimedia
John Portman's Renaissance Centre in Detroit. Image via Wikimedia

This article was originally published on Common Edge as "Will Detroit ever Fully Recover from John Portman's Renaissance Center?"

Last week I wrote about the anti-urban legacy of architect and developer John Portman. I think it’s worth going into a bit more detail about these projects, since we seem to have learned so little from their failures.

Let’s start with Detroit. The Renaissance Center was one of his largest and most celebrated projects. But this sprawling complex of seven-interconnected skyscrapers poses some difficult questions for urban planners today: can downtown Detroit ever fully recover from this mammoth and ill considered development? And, more importantly, why haven’t other cities learned from its clear and stark lessons?