Squandered Land: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

City Terrain, National
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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(Courtesy Peter Murray)

(Courtesy Peter Murray)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

When the author Bill Bryson moved back to the US from England he wrote a goodbye book entitled Notes from a Small Island. I was frequently reminded of Bryson’s analysis as I rode through Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. By comparison to these great open spaces England is neat and manicured, with everything in its place.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Final Turn: Architect Tom Kundig Designs a Minimal Funerary Urn

National
Friday, May 17, 2013
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The Final Turn (Kevin Scott)

The Final Turn. (Kevin Scott)

While few items should garner as much respect as those of which hold the memories of our loved ones, high-design has long had an aversion to memorialization. Seattle-based architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects and artist Greg Lundgren hope to change that with their new funerary urn, “The Final Turn,” for Lundgren Monuments. With this object, Kundig brings the rough materiality and crisp design that he has become known for with his acclaimed houses to create a timeless vessel.

“The Final Turn” is composed of two halves of an eight-inch sphere, handcrafted from blackened steel or bronze. The two halves are threaded together, but are noticeably offset when they meet. “While the sphere implies perfection and eternity, the offset nature of the urn is inspired by the people left behind—the people whose lives are thrown off-kilter by the passing of their loved one,” Kundig said in a statement. “The perfect world is no longer perfect for those who remain—something is amiss.” The top half contains a compartment to house mementos, while the bottom half provides a receptacle for remains.

Architect Gia Wolff Wins First Harvard Wheelwright Prize

Wheelwright Prize winner, Gia Wolff. (Courtesy Gia Wolff)

Wheelwright Prize winner, Gia Wolff. (Courtesy Gia Wolff)

Yesterday, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design officially announced the winner of the first Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 traveling fellowship aimed at cultivating new forms of architectural research through cultural exchange. The jury awarded the fellowship to Gia Wolff, a Harvard graduate and Brooklyn-based architect, for her original proposal Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats. The young architect and professor, who currently leads her own practice, uniquely explored the cultural significance and design of the traditional parade float, which frequently transforms cities and brings people together during carnival festivals all throughout the world. The competition generated 231 submissions from 45 countries

Continue reading after the jump.

The Shortlist> Top Five Competitions of the Week

National
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
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REMODELISTA CONSIDERED DESIGN AWARDS. SYMI LANTERNS. (COURTESY REMODELISTA)

(COURTESY REMODELISTA)

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.

Remodelista & Gardenista Considered Design Awards. Remodelista is inviting its dedicated readers to submit their successful personal design endeavors for its first Design Awards. All kitchen, dining, bedroom, bath, and office projects are welcome for submission. For outdoor enthusiasts, Gardenista is searching for projects in five other categories. Judges will select up to five finalists in each category and then readers will vote for their favorites. Winners will be featured in a post and will receive a hand-wrought iron Symi Lantern in black matte finish with a hand-stitched leather handle from Casamidy.

Submission Deadline: June 14, 2013

More competitions after the jump.

Filed Under: ,

Cooper-Hewitt Announces 14th Annual National Design Awards Winners

East, National, Newsletter
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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Studio Gang Architects won in the architecture category. (Steve Hall / Courtesy Cooper-Hewitt)

Studio Gang Architects won in the architecture category. This is their design for a Lincoln Park Zoo pavilion in Chicago. (Steve Hall / Courtesy Cooper-Hewitt)

Acting director Caroline Baumann of The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has announced the winners of the 2013 National Design Awards. The 14th annual Awards program continues the practice of acknowledging excellence and innovation across an array of disciplines. This year’s winners will be recognized during a gala dinner on Thursday, October 17 at New York’s Pier 60 in conjunction with National Design Week, where they will be presented with trophies created by The Corning Museum of Glass.

View all the winners after the jump.

Kroloff Leaves Full-Time Post at Cranbrook

Midwest, National
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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SMITHGROUP'S ADDITION ALONGSIDE SAARINEN'S ORIGINAL MUSEUM. JIM HAEFNER

SMITHGROUP’S ADDITION ALONGSIDE SAARINEN’S ORIGINAL MUSEUM. JIM HAEFNER

Reed Kroloff will leave his full-time position as director of Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum for a part-time role, the academy announced Tuesday. In his stead, Cranbrook Trustee and Academy Governor Allan Rothfeder will serve as a special advisor to assist Cranbrook President Dominic DiMarco during the transition period.

Continue reading after the jump.

Main Street USA: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

National
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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psp_update_01

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

Cycling through the small towns of Idaho and Montana provides useful lessons for the English visitor about the growth of settlements in the US and allows interesting comparisons with the development of urban structure in Britain.

While we in the UK have high streets, they are a very different sort of place to main streets. English settlements often developed around market squares, their structure defined by the relationship between the church and the ‘big house’ occupied by the feudal landlord as well as topographical features and land ownership.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Bruner Foundation Announces Winners of the 2013 Gold and Silver Medals for Urban Excellence

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
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Gold Medal Winner, Inspiration Kitchens (Courtesy of Inspiration Corporation/Steve Hall, Hendrich Blessing)

Gold Medal Winner, Inspiration Kitchens (Courtesy of Inspiration Corporation/Steve Hall, Hendrich Blessing)

The Bruner Foundation Inc. has named the 2013 Gold and Silver Medalists of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA). For twenty-five years, the foundation has celebrated urban projects that stand out for their “contributions to the social, economic, and communal vitality of our nation’s cities” with this biennial award. A panel of six urbanists—including such experts as Cathy Simon, design principal at Perkins + Will, and Mayor Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City—selected the four Silver Medalists, and the recipient of the $50,000 Gold Medal, Inspiration Kitchens in Chicago. Read More

Obama Selects Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx As Next DOT Secretary

National
Monday, April 29, 2013
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Mayor Anthony Foxx (Courtesy City of Charlotte)

Mayor Anthony Foxx. (Courtesy City of Charlotte)

White House officials revealed on Sunday that Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx will be named President Barack Obama’s next Secretary of the Department of Transportation, replacing outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Foxx rose to prominence last year when his city hosted the Democratic National Convention, and has garnered continued attention for his efforts to tackle Charlotte’s transportation challenges, from expanding the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, to extending the city’s light-rail system, and brining street cars to the city-center.

The 42-year old Mayor was first elected in 2009, then re-elected in 2011 with 70 percent of the vote. Earlier this month Foxx announced that he would be leaving office at the end of the year to spend more time with his family, though now it appears those plans have changed. If his nomination is confirmed, Foxx will assume his position July 4th.

The Shortlist> Top Five Competitions of the Week

National
Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Competition site in Downtown Detroit. (Courtesy Opportunity Detroit)

Competition site in Downtown Detroit. (Courtesy Opportunity Detroit)

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.

Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site. Opportunity Detroit is on the hunt for innovative, creative, and inspired designs for a new building that will be built on the historic Hudson’s site, one of the most beloved locations in downtown Detroit. The goal is to change the city’s image and to promote it as a positive place where anyone may live, work, play and invest. The competition, sponsored by Rock Ventures, will award a first prize of $15,000, a second prize of $5,000 and third prize of $2,500. Take action and submit a new vision for the iconic site.

Registration Deadline: April 30, 2013
Submission Deadline: May 31, 2013

Continue reading after the jump.

A Surprise Design Wedding: Herman Miller Acquires Maharam

National
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
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Palio by Alexander Girard, 1964. (Courtesy Maharam)

Palio by Alexander Girard, 1964. (Courtesy Maharam)

Herman Miller is acquiring the renowned textile firm, Maharam, bringing together two of America’s most design-centric companies. Founded in 1902 in New York, Maharam has gained a reputation in recent decades for commissioning textile designs by leading contemporary designers like Hella Jongerius, Tord Boontje, and Paul Smith, and reissuing classic designs by Verner Panton, Gio Ponti, Alexander Girard, and many others. Led by Michael and Stephen Maraham, the company has cultivated a strong connection to the design community and developed products guided by the taste and vision of the brothers. According to a release by Herman Miller, both Maharam brothers will stay involved in the company for at least the next two years. Senior executives with the company will also stay in place.

Continue reading after the jump.

Filed Under: ,

Architecture Billings Index Fluctuates Downward, But Still Positive

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

The Architecture Billings Index has reported a slight fluctuation in design activity over the past few months, recording a score of 51.9 for March, a 3 point decrease from February’s mark of 54.9. Any score above 50 indicates positive growth. All four regions were in positive territory with the Northeast leading at 54.6, the Midwest at 53.9, the South not far behind at 53.6, and the West finishing with a 51.9.

Continue reading after the jump.

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