Notes from The Innovative Metropolis: Fostering Economic Competitiveness Through Sustainable Urban Design

International
Friday, February 22, 2013
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brookings_washu_01

Left to right: Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow & Director, Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, The Brookings Institution; Oliver Schulze, Principal of Schulze + Grassov (Copenhagen); Chandra Brown, president of United Streetcar (Portland); and Jonathan Solomon, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Syracuse University (Hong Kong). (Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks)

Covering ground from Sao Paulo to Copenhagen, a set of multi-disciplinary discussions were convened in Washington, DC yesterday by the Brookings Institution and the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis, to explore the synergies between urban design, policy, and finance required to realize innovation in the way we construct our environment. The discussions focused on global case studies relative to urban mobility, technology, and environmental adaptation, against the backdrop of global urbanization and climate change.

While lessons were gleamed, it was clear that what was needed was “not one urbanism,” as Dean Moshen Mostafavi of the Harvard GSD put it, but “Urbanisms,” tuned to the “logic” of a given geography, climate, and culture. While existing within larger ecologies that, as Valente Souza of Mexico City asserted, may contain “their own solutions,” cites are, as Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution emphasized “complex economic systems” and any sustainable initiatives must address consumer demands. As Alex Washburn, Chief Urban designer for New York City summarized, “all change is driven by desire.”

Watch videos of the proceedings of “The Innovative Metropolis” on the Brookings Institution website.

AIA Awards 2013 Latrobe Prize to Research Study on Global Urbanization

International, Other
Thursday, February 21, 2013
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AIA College of Fellows Awards 2013 Latrobe Prize for “The City of 7 Billion.” (Courtesy Plan B Architecture & Urbanism)

AIA College of Fellows Awards 2013 Latrobe Prize for “The City of 7 Billion.” (Courtesy Plan B Architecture & Urbanism)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows announced today that it will award the 2013 Latrobe Prize of $100,000 to the proposal, “The City of 7 Billion.” This ambitious research study will explore how population growth and resource consumption, on a global scale, affects the built and natural environment looking “at the world as a single urban entity.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Japanese Architect Sou Fujimoto Selected to Design 2013 Serpentine Pavilion

International, Newsletter
Thursday, February 14, 2013
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Rendering of Sou Fujimoto's 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. (Courtesy Sou Fujimoto)

Rendering of Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. (Courtesy Sou Fujimoto)

London’s Serpentine Art Gallery has just announced that it has chosen Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto to design its annual summer garden pavilion in 2013. This much sought after commission has been designed in the past by Zaha Hadid (2000), Oscar Niemeyer (2003), Rem Koolhaas/Cecil Balmond/Arup (2006), Frank Gehry (2008), SANAA (2009), and last year by Hertzog & de Meuron with Ai Wei Wei. The Koolhaas inflatable bubble pavilion was the site of constant discussions led by Hans Ulrich Obrist but most are simpler cafes of pure pleasure (the main gallery was originally a tea house) and whimsy like last year’s installation which was made of smoky smelling cork with a pond on its roof which usually had ducks serenely floating in the water.

More about Sou Fujimoto’s design after the jump.

Renowned architectural photographer Gabriele Basilico dies.  Renowned architectural photographer Gabriele Basilico dies Gabriele Basilico, one of the most important European documentary photographers working today, has died. Born in Milan in 1944, Basilico trained as an architect before taking to the camera, documenting the changing landscape of Europe, postwar Beirut, and many other regions. According to the Garlerie Anne Barrault, which represents him, he participated in the Venice Biennale and won a Golden Lion, was exhibited widely in museums and galleries, and won numerous awards for his work capturing contemporary urban conditions. His recent work has focused on urban transformations. He was 69.

 

INABA Creates a Cylindrical Beacon For A Norwegian Concert Hall

Fabrikator, International
Friday, February 8, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
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Fabrikator
inaba_skylight_13

Cutaways in the cylinder reveal the LED lighting scheme. (Courtesy Ivan Brodey)

INABA’s inverted chandelier comprises a steel frame clad with aluminum tubes and activated by LEDs.

Both simple in its geometry and intriguing in its illumination, a massive new lighting installation in Stavanger, Norway, aims to activate the lobby of a concert hall and create a welcoming civic gesture. Designed by New York-based INABA, the cylindrical structure responds to its setting in a variety of ways. Cutaways in the cylinder reveal views out for visitors inside the concert hall and also reveal slices of the dynamic LED lighting inside the structure to people outside the concert hall on the plaza.

Jeffrey Inaba, principal of INABA, calls the installation Skylight, and refers to it as an “inverted chandelier.” The light is reflected within the rings, rather than out. The outside is coated in glossy white to reflect the warmer daylight and ambient light in the building. The design of Skylight is meant to function as a recognizable figure for the building, which was designed by Oslo-based Ratio Arkitekter.

Continue reading after the jump.

Ole Bouman, Jeffrey Johnson, Li Xiangning to Curate Shenzhen Biennale

International
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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Ole Bouman (left), Li Xiangning (center), Jeffrey Johnson (right).

Ole Bouman (left), Li Xiangning (center), Jeffrey Johnson (right).

It has just been announced that the Shenzen Biennale will be jointly curated by former NAi head Ole Bouman who will serve as Creative Director and American Jeffrey Johnson and Chinese scholar Li Xiangning, who will act as Academic Directors. The theme of the biennale which opens in December 2013 will be urbanization “outside the mainstream” and will take place in multiple sites around the region.

Bouman will be responsible for curating the exhibition, “focusing on forward-looking design practices, and large-scale works” while Li Xiangning and New York-based Jeffrey Johnson will be responsible for a curatorial review and theoretical research. The last Shenzen Biennale (2011) was curated by Terence Riley and was one of the most interesting architecture exhibitions of the year.

 

Extreme Architecture: Antarctic Research Station Is A Real Life Walking City

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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(Courtesy Hugh Broughton Architects)

(Courtesy Hugh Broughton Architects)

The Halley VI Antarctic Research Station designed by British practice Hugh Broughton Architects will be officially opened today. The product of eight years of research and design for extreme climates, the architects claim it is a “laboratory and living accommodation capable of withstanding extreme winter weather, of being raised sufficiently to stay above meters of annual snowfall, and of being relocated inland periodically to avoid being stranded on an iceberg as the floating ice shelf moves towards the sea.”

Continue reading after the jump.

A Panoramic View of London From the Top of The Shard

International
Friday, February 1, 2013
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London viewed from the top of the Shard. (Courtesy The Guardian)

London viewed from the top of the Shard. (Courtesy The Guardian)

It’s been a good year for breathtaking views of cities around the world so far. Today the observation deck at the top of Renzo Piano’s Shard Tower in London opened to the public after London Mayor Boris Johnson cut the ribbon on the 800-foot-high platform. To celebrate, The Guardian has launched an interactive panorama of London taken from the top of the Shard, some 1,150 feet above the city streets, complete with the wooshing sound you very well might hear if you were actually perched atop the tower. The panorama also features stories and statistics about buildings and places throughout the city as you pan and zoom for the rest of the evening.

The New In Crowd: Architectural League’s 2013 Emerging Voices Announced

East, International
Friday, February 1, 2013
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(Luis Garcia)

Reflecting the various currents of contemporary architecture and urbanism, the Architectural League of New York has announced its line-up for the 2013 Emerging Voices lecture series. The series showcases notable talent from across North America and is selected through a portfolio competition that emphasizes built work. The program has had a remarkable track record at identifying important architects. Past Emerging Voices have included Steven Holl, Morphosis, Jeanne Gang, and SHoP among many other boldface archinames.

Check out all the winners after the jump.

Libeskind U: Prof. Daniel Libeskind Teaching Online Course on Ideal Cities

International
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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Right now you can log on to Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany’s Leuphana Digital School and participate in online courses being led by none other than Daniel Libeskind. Professor Libeskind, on the faculty at Leuphana since 2007, is collaborating with other professors and a team of tutors to guide students on the “Ideal City of the 21st Century.” The university conceived of the project as a “cost- and barrier-free academic course for collaborative web-based learning.” Online students will participate in six team assignments through the end of April. Their goal: to design an ideal city and invite others to experience it through digital visualization.

Enrollment is on-going so students can enter for any of the assignments and even arrange for college credit with home institutions. Students are asked to upload text, diagrams, photographs, and videos as the project progresses. Video lectures will also be presented by Libeskind and participating faculty. In the end, a winning team will be announced and all material could eventually be published. We’ll be sure to report on the outcome of the project once it’s complete.

Take An Aerial Tour of Dubai From the Top of the Burj Khalifa

International
Monday, January 28, 2013
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Dubai as seen from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai as seen from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

Scrap your afternoon plans and take an amazing aerial tour of Dubai, instead. Photographer Gerald Donovan has created an interactive panorama of the city as seen from the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa for the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award. The view was taken from the top of the tower, some 2,722 feet above the street, reached by climbing nearly 660 feet through the Burj Khalifa’s enormous spire. Users can pan around and zoom in to observe the surrounding cityscape with amazing detail. To achieve the stunning effect, Donovan stitched 70 photographs together, each a whopping 80 megapixels, to create a single 2.5 gigapixel panorama. [Via The Telegraph.]

Watch a video of the panoramic view after the jump.

Koolhaas Reveals More About the 14th Venice Biennale

International
Friday, January 25, 2013
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Rem Koolhaas.

Rem Koolhaas.

The 14th installment of the Venice Architecture Biennale, to be spearheaded by Rem Koolhaas, will be called Fundamentals, the architect announced today at a press conference today. “Fundamentals will be a Biennale about architecture, not architects,” Koolhaas said in a statement. “After several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories – on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years.” The Biennale will take place from June 7 through November 23, 2014.

View Koolhaas’ full statement after the jump.

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