Iconic, Not Ionic: Gehry Weighs in On Dictators and Design

Eavesdroplet, International
Monday, July 22, 2013
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Frank Gehry. (Montage by AN)

Frank Gehry. (Montage by AN)

In recent interview with the journal Foreign Policy, Frank Gehry held forth on how architecture and democracy don’t really go together. Just too many opinions, you see. “I think the best thing is to have a benevolent dictator—who has taste!” said Gehry. “It’s really hard to get consensus, to have a tastemaker. There is no Robert Moses anymore.” Why was Gehry on FP’s radar in the first place? We’re guessing it was Hillary Clinton’s Gehry name-check in one of her outgoing speeches as Secretary of State. Riffing on how institutions of the future must be dynamic rather than static, the stateswomen stated, “We need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Gehry than formal Greek.”

Architects have no work? Let them eat cake!

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

The planners of the AIA New York Chapter 2014 International Architecture and Design Summit have selected a pretty unusual conference venue: the Chateau of Versailles. Given the still sorry state of the economy, the choice left us scratching our head (under our powdered wig). Perhaps Rick Bell will point out the lessons in urban agriculture to be found in the Petit Trianon? Summit participants can display their work on easels in the Galeries Batailles, which will be handy if they want to do a little painting later en plein air. Apres tout, Giverny is less than an hour away by automobile, a bit longer by carriage though. Potential attendees are warned that the Plaza Anthénée will be closed for renovations. Sacrebleu!

Slow Boil.  Slow Boil The designers at New York-based Atopia Innovation, must have been stewing over the past year. Although the gag order imposed on all participating architects and designers by London’s Olympic Organizing Committee (a.k.a. LOCOG) was lifted in January, Atopia only stepped forward in late June to say that the Olympic Cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick and used in the 2012 opening ceremonies seems to have been directly inspired by studies Atopia delivered to LOCOG between 2006 and 2008. Check out the sketchbook that seems to prove the point at atopiainnovation.com. (Photo: Courtesy Thomas Heatherwick)

 

The Shortlist> Top Five Competitions of the Week

National
Thursday, July 18, 2013
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Activate Union Station Design & Planning Competition (Courtesy MetroPlanning.org)

Activate Union Station Design Contest (Courtesy MetroPlanning.org)

Are you eager to put your architectural design skills to the test?  Here are some exciting upcoming competitions that will be sure to present you with the type of challenge you’ve been waiting for. AN‘s editors have combed through our online listing of architecture and design competitions to bring you five of the most interesting competitions happening right now. If you’d like your competition to be included in the listing, please submit it here.

Activate Union Station. While Chicago’s Union Station is an iconic building and an important transport center, it has much more potential. The Metropolitan Planning Council’s Fifth Annual Placemaking Contest is awarding cash prizes of $5,000 to the top temporary ideas that transform three specific sites within the space into a gathering place for West Loop residents and an attraction for tourists. Two winners will have the opportunity to implement their designs for 10 days this summer, between August 24 and September 3, 2013.

Submission Deadline: July 24, 2013.

Continue reading after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Cooper Union’s President Emeritus Responds

East
Monday, July 1, 2013
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Cooper Union's Engineering Building designed by Morphosis. (Drew Dies / Flickr)

Cooper Union’s Engineering Building designed by Morphosis. (Drew Dies / Flickr)

[ Editor's Note: The following comment appeared on AN's website in response to the editorial, “Cooper Union’s Tragic Compromises,” which cited a report in the New York Times, titled “How Errors in Investing Cost a College Its Legacy.” The selection ran as a letter to the editor that ran in print edition, AN08_06.05.2013. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

The article on Cooper Union, “How Errors in Investing Cost a College Its Legacy,” like many others in response to the college’s decision to charge tuition, discusses selected aspects of its financial history, leaves out crucial elements, and offers misleading and outright incorrect details.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Part Two of AN’s Discussion with Eco-Architect Ken Yeang

National
Friday, June 28, 2013
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(Courtesy Ken Yeang)

(Courtesy Ken Yeang)

This is second of a two part interview of Ken Yeang one of the earliest thinkers and designers in the field of sustainable architecture. The interview was conducted by Mic Patterson of Enclos who will be introducing Yeang at The Architect’s Newspaper’s Facades+PERFORMANCE conference on July 11 in San Francisco.

Mic Patterson: Your work clearly demonstrates that concepts of bioclimatic design are readily scalable from the residence to the skyscraper to the urban environment. How do the considerations of bioclimatic design apply at the scale of building subassembly or the the building skin?

Ken Yeang: At the sub-assembly level, we have developed devices such as the ‘raincheck’ wall being a glazing façade system that lets in ventilation but keeps out rain. Another device we are working on is a ‘solar chimney’ that uses a double-glazed glass-shaft to naturally ventilate internal spaces.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Reprogramming the City at the Boston Society of Architects Space

East
Friday, June 28, 2013
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(Courtesy Boston Society of Architects Space)

(Courtesy Boston Society of Architects Space)

Reprogramming the City
Boston Society of Architects Space
290 Congress Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA
Through September 29

BSA Space presents a mixed-media exhibition, Reprogramming the City, curated by urban designer Scott Burnham. The works on display—videos, photographs, media stations, renderings, models—explore how the built environments of cities around the world are being retrofitted to accommodate new urban inhabitants and visitors. The exhibit also includes examples of urban infrastructure and systems that are being reimagined to reinvent a more functional urban landscape. There are 40 innovative examples from London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and Boston that seek to develop new ways of urban design from within the city.

The Shortlist> Top Five Competitions of the Week

National
Thursday, June 27, 2013
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Splash

Are you eager to put your architectural design skills to the test?  Here are some exciting upcoming competitions that will be sure to present you with the type of challenge you’ve been waiting for. AN‘s editors have combed through our online listing of architecture and design competitions to bring you five of the most interesting competitions happening right now. If you’d like your competition to be included in the listing, please submit it here.

Skin Digital Fabrication Competition. TEX-FAB has launched the 2013 SKIN Competition. The international, two-stage digital fabrication competition invites architect, designers, and researchers to rethink the building envelope and boldly explore performative qualities of a facade. Participants are free to select any context of their choosing, real or virtual, at any scale and on any building type. In phase one of the competition four winners will be awarded a $1,000 stipend used towards the development of their design. The winning proposal will be built at scale with fabrication sponsorship by Zahner Co, will win $1,000  and will be exhibited in Austin, Texas for the TEX-FAB 5 event in February 2014.

Registration Deadline: June 30, 2013
Submission Deadline: June 30, 2013

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Eco-Architect Ken Yeang, Facades+PERFORMANCE Conference Keynote

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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(Courtesy Ken Yeang)

(Courtesy Ken Yeang)

Ken Yeang is an architect and was an early theorist of green architecture. In England, where he was educated at the AA (completing a diploma under Peter Cook) and Cambridge where he earned a PhD in ecological planning and design, Yeang is celebrated as a founder of the sustainable architecture movement. In 1995 he published his major theoretical work Designing with Nature that evolved out his Cambridge thesis and it is one of the first texts on ecological architecture. At the The Architect’s Newspaper’s Facades+PERFORMANCE conference on July 11, Yeang will lecture in the US for the first time at the University of California San Francisco in Mission Bay. Yeang recently answered a series of questions posed by Mic Patterson of Enclos who will introduce him in San Francisco. Here is part one of the interview, the second half will appear tomorrow on the AN Blog.

Mic Patterson Your early theoretical work, and ultimately your built work, anticipated the sustainable development that is finally beginning to emerge at a broader scale: climatic design, green walls and vertical gardens, sky courts, biomimicry, solar geometry as a form generator. Why has the adoption of these concepts by the building community been so slow? How do you see these themes developing into the future?

Ken Yeang. I am not sure why our concepts and ideas on green design have been slow to gain traction by the building industry and by our community of professionals. It may be because public adoption of new ideas first require champions by important figures like politicians and leaders in the profession and industry.

Continue reading after the jump.

(Very) Bike Friendly Streets.  (Very) Bike Friendly Streets It’s summer time! And you know what that means, bikes! Many (very) enthusiastic cyclists followed up National Bike Month by (very) carefully covering their bike seats and stripping down for the World Naked Bike Ride! (NSFW) Yes, on June 8 cyclists all around the country rode completely or partially naked through the streets of their respective metropolises. In San Francisco they braved a recent ban on public nudity. In Los Angeles they cruised through the hipster zones of Silver Lake and Echo Park, and in Portland they even had a naked marching band to cheer them on. If that’s not an argument for bike friendly streets, we don’t know what is.

 

San Francisco Facades+ Performance: Day 1 Speaker Highlights

West
Thursday, June 20, 2013
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(Rendering courtesy Ken Yeang)

(Rendering courtesy Ken Yeang)

San Francisco Facades+ PERFORMANCE is only three weeks away! Connect with other architects, fabricators, developers, consultants, and other design professionals and earn up to 8 AIA LU credits per day at the conference, presented by AN and Enclos, July 11 to 12, 2013. Invaluable information, networking opportunities, and hands-on workshops are on the lineup for this year’s two-day event.

The symposium on Day 1 involves exciting presentations and discussion-based panels. Here are just a few of the speaker highlights on the agenda for Facades+.

Claire Maxfield, Director of Atelier Ten, in conjunction with Jeffrey Vaglio of Enclos, will offer introductory remarks on Day 1. Her expertise includes facade optimization and water systems.

More info on the symposium speakers after the jump.

The Shortlist> Top Five Competitions of the Week

National
Thursday, June 20, 2013
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Designing Recovery Competition (AIA)

Designing Recovery Competition (AIA)

Are you eager to put your architectural design skills to the test?  Here are some exciting upcoming competitions that will be sure to present you with the type of challenge you’ve been waiting for. AN‘s editors have combed through our online listing of architecture and design competitions to bring you five of the most interesting competitions happening right now. If you’d like your competition to be included in the listing, please submit it here.

Designing Recovery. AIA, Architecture for Humanity, Make It Right Foundation, and the St. Bernard Project are sponsoring a residential design competition that will substantially impact the lives of families who have been affected by disaster. The competition solicits high quality, affordable housing designs to reduce damaged caused by natural disasters. Three cities (Queens, NY; Joplin, MO; and New Orleans, LA) have been chosen as the settings for the competition. $10,000 will be awarded to one design for each location, and the goal is to utilize as many entries as possible to construct affordable housing.

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2013.

Continue reading after the jump.

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