This virtual pong game at NYU aims to restore social interaction to gaming and activate an abandoned storefront

(Courtesy Urban Matter Inc.)

(Courtesy Urban Matter Inc.)

While abandoned storefronts normally signal dereliction, Brooklyn-based design studio Urban Matter Inc. is using them to recreate the ’80s arcade experience prior to personal gaming consoles—at least on the pilot test level. The Play Array pop-up storefront activation is a larger-than-life virtual pong game made of a 6-by-8-pixel grid.

Continue reading after the jump.

Alaska’s “Dr. Seuss House” is a real-life manifestation of the revered storyteller’s Whoville

Architecture, West
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
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(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

A rambling, gravity-defying structure in Willow, Alaska has drawn a bevy of curious onlookers, who have dubbed it “the Dr. Seuss house.” The structure was built in the aftermath of a forest fire once the trees had regrown, obscuring the owner’s view of nearby Mount McKinley and the Denali National Park.

COntinue reading after the jump.

AN Video> Take an exclusive look inside The Beekman, one of the world’s first skyscrapers

5 Beekman. (The Architect's Newspaper)

5 Beekman. (The Architect’s Newspaper)

A few blocks south of City Hall in Manhattan is 5 Beekman—one of New York City’s most intriguing historic landmarks. Behind the building’s brick facade is an ornate, nine-story, glass-pyramid-topped atrium that has been off limits for more than a decade. The Architect’s Newspaper took a behind-the-scenes tour of the building with the architect who is bringing it back to life as a boutique hotel.

Watch the video after the jump.

After long wait, Philadelphia’s bikeshare fleet hits the streets

Philly's new bikeshare system. (Courtesy Facebook.com/rideindego)

Philly’s new bikeshare system. (Courtesy Facebook.com/rideindego)

Philadelphia has become the latest American city to offer a bikeshare system with the introduction of Indego. On Thursday, Mayor Nutter celebrated the long-awaited launch by pedaling around town on one of the system’s first 600 bikes. The program will expand significantly over the next two years.

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Video> Michael Adlerstein & John Gering on retrofitting the United Nations Secretariat Building

The United Nations Headquarters site in Manhattan (seen here in 1985) covers approximately sixteen acres from 42nd to 48th Streets between First Avenue and the East River. Among the buildings on the premises are the marble-framed 39-storey Secretariat (to the left); the General Assembly building topped with a shallow dome; the Dag Hammarskjöld Library (to the left of the Secretariat); and the building housing the Council Chambers and Conference Rooms which lies on the river's edge. (UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata.)

The United Nations Headquarters site in Manhattan (seen here in 1985) covers approximately sixteen acres from 42nd to 48th Streets between First Avenue and the East River. (UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata.)

In addition to being AN‘s Midwest Editor, I was the special media correspondent for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2014, interviewing tall building designers, developers, and other experts at the skyscraper think tank’s Shanghai conference, and its annual CTBUH Awards ceremony in Chicago.

Watch the video after the jump.

Snarkitecture created this ethereal light-filled cave to calm visitors at Milan Design Week

(Courtesy COS / Snarkitecture)

(Courtesy COS / Snarkitecture)

No, you haven’t stepped inside a dream world made of suspended toilet paper tissues. You are, however, inside an ethereal installation crafted by New York–based design studio Snarkitecture and created for the 2015 Salone del Mobile taking place this week in Milan.

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Furniture with its own Mind: Researchers at MIT Create Self-Assembling Chair

Design, Technology
Monday, April 6, 2015
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(Courtesy MIT Self-Assembly Lab)

(Courtesy MIT Self-Assembly Lab)

Scientists at MIT dream of autonomous assembly lines that are free of machinery, human intervention, or fossil fuel expenditure—and still run 24/7.

Continue reading after the jump.

Above Average pokes fun at kale-fueled gentrification with “Settlers of Brooklyn”

Development, East, Urbanism
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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    In "Settlers of Brooklyn," players compete to "colonize" the outer boroughs. (Above Average)

In “Settlers of Brooklyn,” players compete to “colonize” the outer boroughs. (Above Average)

The comedy geniuses at digital network Above Average have released a glorious sendup of gentrification in New York City’s outer boroughs. “Settlers of Brooklyn” (pronounced Brook-LAWN) promises hours of good old-fashioned board-game fun for the next generation of power brokers: millennials.

Continue reading after the jump.

San Francisco never looked as grand as in this nighttime time lapse video

Architecture, Skyscrapers, West
Monday, March 30, 2015
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Still from Gotham City SF.

Still from Gotham City SF.

This black-and-white time-lapse video by Toby Harriman shows San Francisco at its most dramatic. The skyline emerges quietly from its famous fog as the city and its bridges twinkle in the distance—including Leo Villareal’s Bay Lights installation. As the music builds, Gotham City SF picks up pace, showing dramatic angles at high speeds completely appropriate for an action thriller. You’d have to watch to really understand.

Watch the video after the jump.

Fly through Zaha Hadid’s sand dune-inspired headquarters with this flashy new video rendering

Screengrab from animation.

Screengrab from animation.

In December, we told you about Zaha Hadid‘s plan to build a sand-dune inspired, net-zero, headquarters in the United Arab Emirates for Bee’ah, a waste management company based in the Middle East. Now there’s more.

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AN’s own Susan Kramer appears in New York Times video on Union Square

East, Media
Monday, March 23, 2015
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Union Square in New York City. (Wikimedia Commons)

Union Square in New York City. (Wikimedia Commons)

In the latest installment of its by “Block by Block” video series, the New York Times explored Manhattan’s thriving Union Square neighborhood. The video kicks off with AN‘s very own Susan Kramer, who is a long time resident of the area.

Watch the video after the jump.

Shanghai Talks> Christopher Drew, director of sustainability for Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

AN's Midwest Editor (right) interviews Christopher Drew of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects in Shanghai. (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

AN’s Midwest Editor (right) interviews Christopher Drew of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects in Shanghai. (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

Last September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Christopher Drew, director of sustainability for Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

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