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Urban Design: The Latest Architecture and News

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

00:00 - 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 Dominant ideologies have been replaced by a problem-solving attitude, increased economic pressure and an urgent quest for evidence.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?

From China to Colombia, 5 Cities That Made Their Streets Safer With Urban Design

06:00 - 8 September, 2018
From China to Colombia, 5 Cities That Made Their Streets Safer With Urban Design, Joel Carlos Borges Street, in São Paulo, was transformed overnight to improve road safety, including enlarging the pedestrian area.
Joel Carlos Borges Street, in São Paulo, was transformed overnight to improve road safety, including enlarging the pedestrian area.

In 2015, the world community pledged to decrease half the number of deaths and grave injuries caused by traffic accidents by 2020. However, more than 3,200 deaths caused by collisions occur every day, and with the growing number of vehicles, that number can triple by 2030. 

Florian Marquet Proposes Modular Living Spaces with Full Autonomous Mobility

16:00 - 21 August, 2018
Florian Marquet Proposes Modular Living Spaces with Full Autonomous Mobility, the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet
the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet

Florian Marquet, an architect based in Shanghai, recently released a proposal to rethink urban life through autonomous mobile living spaces. Dubbed 'the org’, his project aims to reconsider the housing market's status quo and provide a more balanced model for urban living across ages. The modular system would respond to user needs with a range of programs, from green farming and kitchen units to flexible work areas and sleeping quarters. Made for easy fabrication, the units could be ordered instantly via an app.

the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet + 10

Urban Design and Research of Nantou Old Town + Architectural Design of UABB Venue / URBANUS

22:00 - 18 August, 2018
Factory Zone Vego Plaza. Image © Chao Zhang
Factory Zone Vego Plaza. Image © Chao Zhang

UABB Birdview. Image © Chao Zhang Baode Square B3 Surrounding Street. Image © Chao Zhang Factory Zone Vego Plaza. Image © Qingshan Wu Factory Zone After Renovation. Image © Chao Zhang + 51

  • Architects

  • Location

    Nantou Old Town, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  • Category

  • Urban Design Stage - Lead Architect

    Yan Meng
  • Urban Design Stage - Project Manager

    Yilin Lin
  • Urban Design Stage - Design Team

    Congyi Li, Kan Liu, Xuejuan Zhang, Wendy Wu | Yanfeng Wang | (Internship) Lin Tian, Na Zheng, Yifan Wang, Siying Han
  • Site Area

    282,637 ㎡
  • Floor Area

    34,070 ㎡
  • Landscape Area

    65,788 ㎡
  • Façade Renovation Area

    25,700 ㎡
  • Client

    Nanshan District Government, Shenzhen Design Union
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

How the Parc de la Villette Kickstarted a New Era for Urban Design

09:30 - 10 August, 2018
How the Parc de la Villette Kickstarted a New Era for Urban Design,  © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/LaVillette100911.jpg'> Creative Commons User Jean-Marie Hullot</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en/'>CC BY 3.0</a>
© Creative Commons User Jean-Marie Hullot licensed under CC BY 3.0

 © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Do_pedalar_e_da_ciência.jpg'> Creative Commons User Alix Ferreira</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>  © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Parc_de_La_Villette_%40_Paris_%2828926264776%29.jpg'> Creative Commons User Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>  © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Folie_N8_%40_La_Villette_%40_Paris_%2833893431256%29.jpg'> Creative Commons User Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>  © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Canal_%40_La_Villette_%40_Paris_%2833091237904%29.jpg'> Creative Commons User Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> + 11

What does the Parisian park look like? For many, the answer to that question comes in the form of a painting: Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, in which the well-dressed bourgeoisie leisurely enjoy a natural oasis on a verdant island within their industrializing city.

Mind the Gap: Minimizing Data Loss Between GIS and BIM

09:30 - 6 August, 2018
Mind the Gap: Minimizing Data Loss Between GIS and BIM, via Wikimedia. ImageDom Luis Bridge / Porto, Portugal
via Wikimedia. ImageDom Luis Bridge / Porto, Portugal

An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.

The reality is, when you move data between phases of, say, the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework. 

Transforming the Parking Garages of Today Into the Housing of Tomorrow

14:00 - 5 August, 2018
Transforming the Parking Garages of Today Into the Housing of Tomorrow, © Gensler via LA Times
© Gensler via LA Times

Are you in the market for a new home? If so, you may want to consider looking at a former parking garage, because they just might be the next place where developers are looking to build. In the United States alone, there are more than 500 million parking spots for 326 million citizens, covering approximately 2,500 square miles of land. Despite the push for a "car-free" future, more of these structures keep springing up across the country. If cities are building parking garages to support the need for the cars of today, how might we rethink their design so they can outfit the autonomous vehicle ambitions of tomorrow?