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Urban Design: The Latest Architecture and News

Austrian Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale to Focus on the Importance of "Free Space" in Urban Spaces

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage we present the proposal for the Austrian Pavilion. Below, the participants describe their contribution in their own words.

Cities are largely defined by their public spaces. It is here that a range of user expectations come together. The aim of urban design is to find a balance, to act with an eye to the future and cities are largely defined by their public spaces. It is here that a range of user expectations come together. The aim of urban design is to find a balance, to act with an eye to the future and to increase the attention given to public space. Public space is social space. And this is precisely why design is so important. In terms of architectural language, the quality of public space is defined by the balance between space and place, by convincing materials and by major urban design signals as much as by spontaneous and informal gestures. And, always, by high aesthetic aspirations.

Hamonic + Masson Architects Awarded Project in Imagine Angers Competition

France-based Hamonic + Masson Architects has been selected as one of the winners for the Imagine Angers Competition, which asked teams to propose innovative designs to be built on one of six different sites in the town of Angers, France. The winning teams were announced by the mayor of Angers at MIPIM, a real estate conference, held in Cannes. Other participating architects include Manuelle Gautrand, Steven Holl, Duncan Lewis, XTU, Sou FUJIMOTO and OXO architects.

Woods Bagot Rethinks Higher Education for the University of Melbourne

In partnership with Lendlease and the University of Melboure, Woods Bagot designed an architectural reflection of the university itself. Named the Carlton Connect Initiative, this masterplan will be a mixed-use precinct where not only university students and staff, but also international business professionals, researchers, and start-ups can come participate in idea exchange. In order to attract the best and brightest for the university, Woods Bagot is pursuing the highest standard of cutting-edge, sustainable design.

Dust to Dust: Redesigning Urban Life in Healthy Soils

How can the future design and configuration of cities promote greater sustainability in the conditions of urban life? Dust to Dust: Redesigning Urban Life in Healthy Soils is an urban design ideas competition, supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We invite ideas for urban designs, planning approaches, and concrete interventions that could be implemented in real-life situations. Successful designs will be exhibited to inform and inspire more sustainable future urban design and development, accounting for a close relationship between urban life and soil ecosystem services.

Dust to Dust will operate as a charrette, held at the Prince’s Foundation, London on 16-18

Vincent Callebaut Architectures Wins Public Vote for Millennial Vertical Forest Competition

For the "Imagine Angers" international design competition, Vincent Callebaut Architectures worked in collaboration with Bouygues Immobilier group to submit a proposal for the French city at the intersection of social and technological innovation, with a focus on ecology and hospitality. Named Arboricole, meaning “tree” and “cultivation,” this live-work-play environment gives back as much to the environment as it does its users. Although WY-TO prevailed in the competition, the Callebaut scheme succeeded in winning the public vote.

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures + 26

Inter-Generational Mixed Use Project Wins Imagine Angers Design Competition

International architecture competition, Imagine Angers, asked designers to create an innovative solution for one of six sites in Angers, France. Paris-based architecture firm WY-TO and Crespy & Aumont Architectes interlaced the natural landscape with a contemporary lifestyle for all ages in their winning design, Arborescence.

City of Los Angeles Appoints Inaugural Chief Design Officer

© <a href=‘'>Wikimedia user KennethHan</a>  licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>
© Wikimedia user KennethHan licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Recently, long-standing architecture critic for the LA Times Christopher Hawthorne announced that he was stepping down to take up the position of chief design officer for the City of Los Angeles in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration. According to Hawthorne, the role will involve raising “the quality of public architecture and urban design across the city — and the level of civic conversation about those subjects.” This dramatic shift from the question: what is the role of the critic and architecture criticism in shaping civic architecture?

UNStudio Founder Launches Startup for Shaping Human-Focused Smart Cities

Courtesy of UNStudio
Courtesy of UNStudio

A bounty of technological innovations in the 21st century have led to the theorization and implementation of so-called "Smart Cities," urban environments driven by data, and designed for efficiency. Although most smart technology focuses on infrastructure, a new tech startup named UNSense has been launched with adopts a human-centric approach, focusing on health and wellbeing.

Founded by Ben van Berkel, Principal Architect of Dutch firm UNStudio, and based in an Amsterdam innovation hub, UNSense aims to use technical interventions in the urban realm to improve people’s physical, mental and social health. As an independent, sister company of UNStudio, UNSense will specialize in sensor-driven technology for user-focused architecture – a "software" approach offering a counterpoint to the "hardware" of UNStudio.

Courtesy of UNStudio Courtesy of UNStudio CitySense. Image Courtesy of UNStudio Solar Brick. Image Courtesy of UNStudio + 5

AURA Summer Academy / Istanbul: Past, Present, Future

Architecture and Urbanism Research Academy (AURA) Istanbul would like to invite you to join its inspiring Summer Academy, "Istanbul: Past, Present, and Future".

Call for Entries: LILA - Landezine International Landscape Award 2018

Landezine is calling all offices practicing landscape architecture to submit entries for the third edition of LILA – Landezine International Landscape Award by March 31st, 2018. This year, we have 4 categories and 7 awards.

Open Call: Building Brooklyn Awards 2108

The Building Brooklyn Awards is the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce's annual architectural competition celebrating the best built and renovation projects in the borough for the prior year, with substantial completion by December 31.

In its 18th year, the competition is open to only projects within Brooklyn, NY and applications may be self-nominated or nominated by another entity. The annual award ceremony is held every July. Nomination forms can be accessed at

Call for Entries: Hyperlocal - Rebuilding Mumbai Within

Mumbai stands as the wealthiest city in India and is well-known for its diverse culture and is considered a melting pot of several cultures and communities. Traffic congestion remains a major apprehension despite the progress in technological fields concerning public transportation. With a present population of over 21 million, the city generates more than 17 million trips in a day. Majority of Mumbaikars depend on local trains and buses as their means of egress.

Call for Submissions / 2018 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design

UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is now accepting applications for the 2018 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design! The Summer [IN]STITUTE gives participants the opportunity to test their enthusiasm for the material and culture of architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable city planning. The Institute is geared towards post-baccalaureate participants with no previous experience in design, or experienced designers who wish to explore an aspect of environmental design outside of their primary discipline.

Collection Meters Look to Help Curb LA's Homelessness Epidemic With Spare Change

Homelessness is a pressing issue faced by many cities across the globe. But, could the logistics of parking potentially assist in alleviating this epidemic by supporting community-based initiatives?

In Los Angeles County, where an estimated 58,000 people are homeless, city and county officials recently released six meters designed in collaboration between community advocacy organization the Flintridge Centre and the office of City Council member Jose Huizar to collect charitable contributions as opposed to parking fairs.

Run, Jump, Hide and Slide on ELEMENTAL's Newly Designed Urban Children's Game

A new children’s urban playground has captured the attention and energy of children of all ages in the center of Valparaíso’s Cultural Park (Chile). The metallic structure is 40 meters long and has a colorful undulating path where children can run, jump, hide and slide.

La Serpentina is one of the public space projects designed by ELEMENTAL (Alejandro Aravena). It was built for Somos Choapa in Chile and is currently in Valparaíso as part of the XX Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism of Chile.

La Serpentina follows a similar design to the equipment at the Bicentenary Children’s Park (2012) in Santiago. La Serpentina is one of two interventions entered by Somos Choapa in the Biennial. The second project is a prototype with a series of touch screens installed in the main area of the Cultural Park of Valparaíso, accounting for over 100 concrete initiatives of the project.

Richard Meier & Partners International Projects To Look For In 2018

The new year is almost here, and Richard Meier & Partners has four international projects that will be coming to fruition. These new multi-use building designs play with light, transparency, and volume as well as respond to their varying urban context.

COBE Designs New Visitor Center And LERVIG Brewery For Stavanger

Soon the people of Stavanger, Norway will get to see the LERVIG beer brewing process at the new 11,000 square meter visitor center and brewery designed by Danish architects COBE. An iconic focal point on what was once an industrial pier, the building will offer many new amenities to central Stavanger. The brewery will be encircled by public spaces such as a harbour bath and Norway’s first west-coast ‘street-food’ market, complete with a green roof above. From these periphery spaces, guests will be able to view the brew tanks and fermentation process happening in the heart of the building.

Visionary Master Plan Wins Smart City Prize At World Architecture Festival

Due to rapid population and economic growth, Indonesia is facing issues such as land subsidence and rising sea levels. To combat these problems and more, SHAU Architects created a master plan for the Jakarta Jaya Foundation focused on large-scale land reclamation to integrate green space. By addressing impending challenges, SHAU Architects proposal, Jakarta Jaya: the Green Manhattan, won a Smart Cities prize at the World Architecture Festival 2017.