Today’s News - Wednesday, May 2, 2018
● Donovan, author of "Designing the Compassionate City: Creating Places Where People Thrive," considers how design decisions "play an important role in framing the range of experiences that people enjoy, endure or miss out on - compassionate design emphasizes little design over big design."
● Farrelly bemoans that much of Australia's heritage "is disappearing in front of our eyes. Yes, we're the tomorrow people, but we'll be better tomorrow people if we're also, deeply, hereditary folk - developers and especially our governments need to grasp this, immediately, while there's still something left to save."
● O'Sullivan parses efforts in Venice to control the flood of tourists: "gates" requiring a local transit pass "is taking crowd management to the extreme - getting the wrong sort of international attention at a time when it is struggling to maintain its viability as a real city, rather than a floating museum."
● Endreny parses his research into how much money trees save in megacities using i-Tree Tools software: "Trees' benefits come out to a median value of $967,000 per square kilometer of tree cover."
● Menking explores what's going on at Eliasson and Behmann's new art and architecture office, Studio Other Spaces: "This is perhaps a vehicle to combine his dramatic public art with a pragmatic social program. This desire by designers and artists to also be architects has a long lineage - we may start to see more of these professional distinctions erode."
● Wainwright minces no words re: OMA's mixed-use Blox project in Copenhagen: it's "a provocative attempt to condense the thrilling energy of a city into a single structure - but the result is a gloomy glass monolith," and "the least Danish venue imaginable for the Danish Architecture Centre" ("It is an intentional critique of Danish urbanism. The city has become too calm and beautified," sayeth van Loon).
● On a brighter (flightier) note: Cornwall, U.K.'s "abandoned and bat-infested" 1779 Bodmin Jail to be transformed into a hotel and tourist attraction by Twelve Architects (bats will be re-housed in a "bat bungalow"; no word of what will become of reported ghosts).
● There are variations of RAMSA's 15 Central Park West popping up all over Manhattan - all designed by RAMSA: "Developers hope each will have the specific appeal - and graciousness - that became 15 CPW's hallmark."
● Betsky visits Casa Barragán in Mexico City: "I can think of no single architect working today who is capable of such architecture. Does that mean it cannot be done? I certainly hope not."
● Moore talks to Farrell and McNamara (one "a rock person," the other "a bog person"): "all hail the new queens" of the Venice Biennale: Their appointment "as curators is striking - but no one who knows their work should be surprised"; they explain their Biennale theme "Freespace" - and he highlights three of Grafton's best.
● Chayka profiles BIG's Bjarke Ingels, the "brand builder": "Equal parts charismatic, obnoxious, and obsequious - his signature blend of aggressive salesmanship and techno-utopianism is set to define the built environment that the rest of us will have to inhabit over the coming decades."
● Klimoski's great Q&A with Eyal Weizman of Turner Prize nominee Forensic Architecture: "Work such as ours has a very important political meaning now, considering the populist-right movement that is rising. The idea of calling everything fake news is slowing down the potential for evidence-based work."
● Denny talks to architects who, "armed with data, are seeing the workplace like never before" - but "finding the best ways to support workers remains a moving target" (and "not all are crunching numbers in search of an answer").
● Engelen parses her systematic review "Is activity-based working impacting health, work performance and perceptions?" that finds "there is consensus that ABW is good for interaction, work performance and control, but unfavorable for concentration and privacy. The good, the bad, the undecided, and recommendations."
● Consigli explains how the construction industry can resolve its ever-worsening labor shortage: "The industry must draw its next generation of workers, female and male, from the ranks of tech and STEM students. Here are some ways."
● An impressive list of winners in the Architectural League's 2018 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers + dates for lectures & exhibition: "Objective" theme challenged entrants to consider: "How do we define or understand architecture in a post-truth world?" (great presentation).
● Iowa Women in Architecture and the Rockville, Maryland-based ACE Mentor Program are the winners of the AIA 2018 Diversity Recognition Program.
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Jenny Donovan: Designing the compassionate city to overcome built-in biases and help us live better: ...biases that are figuratively and sometimes literally set in stone...the result of design decisions...play an important role in framing the range of experiences that people enjoy, endure or miss out on...compassionate design emphasises little design over big design...Creating places that are a canvas for self-expression and that allow people to contribute to the public realm help develop skills and a sense of achievement.- The Conversation (Australia)
Elizabeth Farrelly: Developers and government are destroying our sacred stories: Our story-steeped ground is disappearing in front of our eyes...heritage is much more than just artifacts. Heritage is our collective unconscious...sustaining our emotional and spiritual wellbeing...Yes, we’re the tomorrow people, but we’ll be better tomorrow people...if we’re also, deeply, hereditary folk...developers and especially our governments need to grasp this, immediately, while there’s still something left to save.- Sydney Morning Herald
Feargus O'Sullivan: Venice Erects Gates Against a Flood of Tourists: Don’t have a local transit pass? Then you’re not coming through: ...this is taking crowd management to the extreme...as public relations go, the gate experiment is still pretty poor. No one wants to be trapped in a congested labyrinth, no matter how beautiful its surroundings are...Venice is also getting the wrong sort of international attention at a time when it is struggling to maintain its viability as a real city, rather than a floating museum.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Theodore Endreny: Here's How Much Money Trees Save in Megacities: Trees’ benefits come out to a median value of $967,000 per square kilometer of tree cover, researchers estimate: My research team has calculated just how much a tree matters for many urban areas, particularly megacities...For every dollar invested in planting, cities see an average $2.25 return on their investment each year...tree benefits software i-Tree Tools...can simulate how a tree’s structure - such as height, canopy size, and leaf area - affects the services it provides.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
William Menking: A visit with Olafur Eliasson’s art and architecture workshop, Studio Other Spaces: Directed by Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann, [it] is a natural outgrowth of the large-scale public sculptures and installations...This new architecture office is perhaps a vehicle to combine his dramatic public art with a pragmatic social program. This desire by designers and artists to also be architects has a long lineage...today we see it with artists like James Wines of SITE or industrial designers like Pentagram and Thomas Heatherwick...we may start to see more of these professional distinctions erode.- The Architect's Newspaper
Oliver Wainwright: Urban jumble: the building that wants to upset the calm of Copenhagen: OMA’s Blox project stacks a museum, offices, gym, restaurant and housing in a provocative attempt to condense the thrilling energy of a city into a single structure - but the result is a gloomy glass monolith: ...exudes the off-putting sense of a generic corporate office block...no sign that there is anything remotely public going on inside...“It is an intentional critique of Danish urbanism...The city has become too calm and beautified"...the least Danish venue imaginable for the Danish Architecture Centre...There are some powerful moments...Hopefully, the combination of DAC and Bloxhub will be...a useful platform to get urban issues on the political agenda, but... -- Kent Martinussen/DAC; Rem Koolhaas/Ellen van Loon/Office for Metropolitan Architecture [images]- Guardian (UK)
Twelve Architects to turn the ruins of Bodmin Jail into a hotel: An abandoned and bat-infested 18th century prison in Cornwall, England, is being turned into a hotel and tourist attraction...and to re-home the bats that have been roosting in its ruined walls in a bespoke bat-house...will see the Grade-II listed building restored...With its gruesome past, the jail is unsurprisingly rumoured to be haunted - although lead architect Hannah Baker said she hasn't had any spectral sightings... -- John Call (1779) [images]- Dezeen
Why Copies of 15 Central Park West Are Taking Over Manhattan: Robert Stern’s triumph of real estate capitalism has inspired half a dozen imitations now hitting the market - all designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects: Developers hope each will have the specific appeal that became 15 CPW’s hallmark: all the graciousness and convenience of a prewar co-op without any of the hassle...everything works...The multiple versions ...are a conservative version of something new.”- Bloomberg News
Aaron Betsky: No architect today is capable of buildings like Luis Barragán's: If you are going to make real architecture today it better be damn real. In a world of instant images whose truth you can never ascertain, delicate structures just won't do. You need something that will convince and persuade, stand and deliver...But how? A recent visit to...Casa Barragán [in Mexico City], reminded me of the power of pieces over whole, effect over means...I can think of no single architect working today who is capable of such architecture. Does that mean it cannot be done? I certainly hope not.- Dezeen
Rowan Moore: Architecture Biennale 2018: all hail the new queens of Venice: The appointment of Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara as curators...is striking - but no one who knows their work should be surprised: Theirs was a striking appointment for what is the world’s greatest exhibition and celebration of architecture...They are neither celebrities nor notable theorists. They are well-respected architects who, determinedly, consistently and over a long period of time, do their stuff. But what stuff. -- Grafton Architects [images]- Observer (UK)
Kyle Chayka: The Brand Builder: ...Bjarke Ingels is designing the future: ...new wave of architecture is curved, warped, and fractured...the vocabulary is the same around the world...As both symptom and cause of this blandly ubiquitous urbanism, we have in part Ingels to thank...Equal parts charismatic, obnoxious, and obsequious...his signature blend of aggressive salesmanship and techno-utopianism is set to define the built environment that the rest of us will have to inhabit over the coming decades...buildings that are specific without being local, existing within cities but not of them...emblematic of an age in which every building must be a signature unto itself...BIG is as much a brand as an architectural practice, devoted less to building timeless structures than to associating itself with the newest and latest. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- The New Republic
Alex Klimoski: Interview with Forensic Architecture Founder Eyal Weizman: The group recreates conflict sites using data and architectural rendering software: You have a degree in architecture...Do you consider what you do architecture? "Yes. But for us, architecture is a place we depart from...work such as ours has a very important political meaning now, considering the populist-right movement that is rising...The idea of calling everything fake news is slowing down the potential for evidence-based work."- Architectural Record
Phillip Denny: Architects, Armed with Data, Are Seeing the Workplace Like Never Before: Today’s designers are taking an increasingly sophisticated approach to workplace design, using sensors, internet-connected furniture and fixtures, and data analytics to study offices in real time: ...concentrating on the relationship between work environments and employee efficiency. As the nature of work continues to evolve, finding the best ways to support workers remains a moving target...But not all architects are crunching numbers in search of an answer. -- Studio O+A/Tech x Interiors; Uli Blum/Arjun Kaicker/Analytics and Insight/Zaha Hadid Architects; Scott Sadler/Steelcase; Jeffrey Inaba/Inaba Williams; Humanscale/OfficeIQ- Metropolis Magazine
Lina Engelen: The evidence is in on activity based working: Many (some unproven) claims have been made about the benefits of agile/activity based working (ABW) on workers’ health and work performance, but the jury is no longer out: In a recently published systematic review, we report that there is consensus that ABW is good for interaction, work performance and control, but unfavourable for concentration and privacy...What does the evidence say? The good. The bad. The undecided...Recommendations.- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Anthony Consigli: Construction Is Booming Now but Without New Workers and Tech Its Future Is Uncertain: The industry must draw its next generation of workers, female and male, from the ranks of tech and STEM students: Here are some ways. Advance STEM jobs and education. Attract more women to the field. Encourage craftsmanship training...impending labor shortage is actually an opportunity to grow and develop the workforce.- Entrepreneur magazine
The Architectural League of New York announces winners of the 2018 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers and sets dates for lectures & exhibition: ...theme for the portfolio competition, Objective, challenged entrants to consider objectivity today...How do we define or understand architecture in a post-truth world? -- Anya Sirota/Akoaki (Detroit); Bryony Roberts/Bryony Roberts Studio (Princeton); Gabriel Cuélla/Athar Mufreh/Cadaster (Brooklyn); Coryn Kempster/Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster (Buffalo); Alison Von Glinow/Lap Chi Kwong/Kwong Von Glinow (Chicago); Dan Spiegel/SAW // Spiegel Aihara Workshop (San Francisco) [mages]- Architectural League of New York
AIA Announces 2018 Diversity Recognition Program Winners: This year's two winners are the Iowa Women in Architecture (iaWia) and the Rockville, Maryland–based Architecture, Construction, Engineering/ACE Mentor Program.- Architect Magazine
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