Quick Clicks> Scanning, Aedas, Retro, Epic Growth

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Thursday, February 24, 2011
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Mayor Bloomberg demonstrates how to scan QR codes on building permits. Photo: Edward Reed/flickr.

Vox populi. Complaining just got easier for neighborhood watchdogs in NYC. This week Mayor Bloomberg announced that building permits posted at construction sites will soon have QR (Quick Response) codes that can be scanned by smart phones. A wave of the wrist will bring up all the particulars of the construction site online and allow passers-by to report anything amiss or just find out more about project. More details about digitization of the buildings department on the mayor’s website.

Gardens grows. The Architect’s Journal reports that Aedas, Glenn Howells, and Jestico + Whiles have been selected to design the replacement for Robin Hood Gardens housing complex in east London. The plan for the £500 million development includes the demolition of the early 1970s buildings designed by Alison and Peter Smithson.

Midlife crisis. Owners of mid-century modern homes in Massachusetts are retrofitting aging residences designed by TAC and other firms, equipping them for the future and saving them from the wrecking ball in the process, writes Kathleen Burge in the Boston Globe.

Before and after, epic version. Web Urbanist presents the rise of the modern metropolis through a series of eye-popping images. (Shenzen, China wins for most dramatic transformation, while New York 1954 and New York 2009 look eerily similar.)

Quick Clicks> Desert, 3D, Rendered, Drafted

Daily Clicks
Thursday, February 17, 2011
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Palm Springs Visitors Center (Tramway Gas Station) by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers, 1965. Photo courtesy Thom Watson/flickr

Design, desert-style. Palm Springs Modernism Week kicks off today, running through February 27, a sunny celebration of mid-century architecture and design. Find a map of all the sites included in the event at MyDesert.com.

Just press print. The Cooper Hewitt acquires a MakerBot, the open source 3D printer for crafty prototyping, reports the museum’s blog.

Consuming matters. This week Rob Walker signed off from his “Consumed” column in The New York Times Magazine–and just as he was turning his gimlet eye to architectural matters! In case you missed it, here’s his recent article about the mysterious populations of architectural renderings.

Drafted. Mattel‘s new “Architect Barbie” comes complete with black-framed glasses, a model townhouse, and a (pink) blueprint holder, reports Arch Record. Part of the “Barbie I Can Be” line, one hopes Ms. Architect is smart enough to avoid the new “Sweet Talkin’ Ken.”

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Quick Click> Islands, Dykes, Riverside, Stateside

Daily Clicks
Friday, February 11, 2011
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View of New York Harbor, 1999, from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, courtesy Design Observer.

Double Dutch. First Manhattan, now Governor’s Island–the Dutch just can’t get enough of New York Harbor. Adriaan Geuze of West 8 talks with author Brian Davis about West 8′s proposal for a new public park on “the island next to the island at the center of the world,” via Design Observer.

No more Jersey Shore? Speaking of the Dutch, oceanography professor Malcolm Brown told WYNC that residents of the New York-New Jersey area should brush up on their dyke-building skills, warning that higher sea levels may come sooner than we think, via Transportation Nation

City Center. Planetizen pointed us to a fascinating post on Per Square Mile about Cahokia, a pre-Columbian settlement on the Mississippi, which, until Philadelphia surpassed it ca. 1800, was the largest city in North America.

Start Spreading the News. New York: If you can make there…well, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll make it in Moscow. For whatever it’s worth, New York now ranks as the most affordable of the four cities that the world’s wealthiest citizens are likely to call home. New York beats out Moscow–yes, Moscow–as well as Hong Kong and London. The Real Deal quotes a study conducted by Savills PLC, an affiliate of Stribling.

Quick Clicks> Barrios, Shopping Atlantic, Blah, Egypt

Daily Clicks
Thursday, February 10, 2011
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A section of the barrios in Bogata from Harry Murzyn and David Varon.

Barrios with Altitude. A poetic study of the organically evolving perimeter of Bogotá, via Lebbeus Woods.

Atlantic Aspirations. Forest City Ratner is still on the hunt for Atlantic Yards funding, but has sweetened the deal by tapping SHoP–who is already spiffing up the stadium and public plaza–to design B2, the first apartment building in the complex, says The Observer.

Sterile Street. Blair Kamin calls out developer Joe Sitt for obliterating “bracing history” in exchange for “bland consistency” on State Street, in The Chicago Times.

Impromptu Planning. In Egypt, protesters have organized a mini-city in Tahir Square, complete with urban planners. Listen to an NPR audio clip or read the related transcript.

AAF Says Brava to Burden with Keystone Award

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
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Last weekend in Washington, D.C. the American Architecture Foundation (AAF) presented New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden with its 2011 Keystone Award. The annual accolade is bestowed upon an individual or organization from outside the architectural discipline for exemplary leadership in design, specifically design efforts focused on improving lives and transforming communities.

Burden, who has served as chair of the City Planning Commission and director of the Department of City Planning since 2002, recently returned from travels abroad, and AN caught up with her just before the awards ceremony to hear what she thinks New York can learn from cities like Barcelona and other street smarts.

Read More

Quick Clicks> He′s Back, Pay Up, On Fire, Sale!

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Friday, January 28, 2011
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Rahm Emanuel is on track for election. (Courtesy chicagoforrahm.com)

Rahm Emanuel is on track for election. (Courtesy chicagoforrahm.com)

On Track. The mayor of Chicago holds sway in a big way. That’s why we’re keeping an eye on the ballot, and, as of today, Rahm Emanuel is back in business, reports The Chicago Tribune. Emanuel has stated that one of his first priorities is to expand Chicago Transportation Authority’s Red Line.

Street price. Speaking of getting around town, a new coalition called the Sustainable Transportation Campaign is reviving the idea of congestion pricing for New York City, reports Andrea Bernstein at Transportation Nation.

Change of Hearth. Curling up by a roaring fire sounds idyllic on a snowy day, but do the realities of a fireplace outweigh the romance? We’re still debating the subject following this piece in The New York Times.

Bookmark it. MoMA’s Design Store book sale is in full swing, says Curbed NY. Architecture and design classics and new releases over 50% off! Visit the stores in New York or online.

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desigNYC Announces 2011 Matches

East
Friday, January 21, 2011
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Robin Key Landscape Architects at Serviam Gardens (Courtesy DesigNYC)

Robin Key Landscape Architects with Serviam Gardens (Courtesy DesigNYC)

DesigNYC, an organization that pairs nonprofits with designers, has announced its matches for the coming year. The teams applied individually for consideration last fall and were selected by a jury drawn from desigNYC’s leadership (a high-powered group of New York-based architects, designers and thinkers–check out the list here).

Yesterday the new crop of designers, who offer their services pro bono, met their designated nonprofits and designNYC advisors at a kick-off event at the Art Director’s Club in Manhattan.

Read more after the jump.

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