Michael Graves Appointed to Federal Post on Accessibility in the Built Environment

National
Friday, March 1, 2013
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Michael Graves. (Barry Johnson / Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

Michael Graves. (Barry Johnson / Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

President Obama’s second-term White House is still in transition, with Ray LaHood out and rumors of an NTSB replacement, Sally Jewell likely in as Secretary of Interior. Among the non-Cabinet-level appointments, the President appointed Michael Graves to a member of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, an agency “devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.” Graves, who uses a wheelchair after an illness-induced partial paralysis, has been a leader in promoting accessibility in architecture, recently designing prototype houses for wounded and disabled veterans.

This month, Graves will also be launching a new line of more than 300 products at retailer J.C. Penney, including kitchen appliances, candlesticks, and a toaster shaped like a piece of toast. The Indianapolis-born architect will return to his hometown on March 28 to give a lecture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and he recently spoke with the Indy Star about delivering papers for the publication as a child, architecture, and the new product line. An exhibition of Graves’ work, From Towers to Teakettles, is also on display at the Virginia Center for Architecture through March 31.

Architecture Billings Index Sees Strongest Gains Since November 2007

National
Wednesday, February 20, 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 showed renewed strength in January, with a jump to 54.2 from 51.2 in December (any score above 50 indicates positive growth). All four regions were in positive territory with the Midwest leading at 54.4, the long struggling West showing strength at 53.4, the South came in at 51.7, and the Northeast at 50.3. The Index posted the strongest gains since November 2007.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Gorlin, Arsham, and Pharrell on Art and Architecture

National
Monday, February 18, 2013
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Pharrell Williams recently sat down to interview architect Alexander Gorlin and artist/designer Daniel Arsham of Snarkitecture. They discussed their influences and creative processes. The conversation took place in Gorlin’s apartment in his eponymous building in Miami. As Pharrell noted, “We’re sitting in your idea right now… That’s deep.”

Report: NTSB Chair Front Runner For Next Secretary of Transportation.  Report: NTSB Chair Front Runner For Next Secretary of Transportation With Ray LaHood out as President Obama’s Secretary of Transportation, observers have been speculating on who might take the nation’s top transportation post. According to The Hill blog, the latest front-runner is standing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chair Deborah Hersman, replacing LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has said he wants to focus on his remaining time in office. Hersman has said she is not interested in the job, and according to the Hill, the NTSB responded in a statement, “Chairman Hersman’s full attention is focused on the important work of running the NTSB.”  [Via Planetizen.]

 

2013 SCUP Excellence Awards for Architecture, Planning, or Landscape Architecture

National
Friday, February 8, 2013
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scup_awards_01

SPONSORED CONTENT

The 2013 SCUP Excellence Awards for Architecture, Planning, or Landscape Architecture deadline is February 22. These awards recognize and honor institutions and consulting firms whose success and best practices demonstrate achievements through plans, buildings, additions, renovations, restorations, and landscapes. This is a juried program.

The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), which was established in 1965, is a community of senior, higher education leaders who are responsible for, or are involved in, the integration of planning on their campuses and for the professionals who support them.Award categories include:

• SCUP Excellence in Planning for a New Campus; Existing Campus; District or Campus Component
• SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture for General Design; Open Space Planning and Design
• SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture for a New Building; Building Additions, Renovation or Adaptive Reuse; Restoration or Preservation.

Get all the details at www.scup.org/awards or contact Betty Cobb: 734.764.2004, 734.395.0024, or betty.cobb@scup.org

Cooper Union’s Hejduk Award Goes To Morris/Sato Studio

National
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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(Via Vimeo)

Yoshiko Sato and Michael Morris. (Via Vimeo)

Cooper Union’s John Q. Hejduk Award for Architecture has been given to Michael Morris and Yoshiko Sato at the schools Founder’s Day ceremony. The two architect’s both attended Cooper Union graduating in 1989. In addition to teaching at Cooper, Columbia, Harvard and Parsons, the pair were well known for their design, lectures, and research for Dupont’s Corian products (including the design for Corian’s New York showroom) and collaboration with NASA’s Johnson Space Center on human habitability projects for future missions and life beyond earth. Morris accepted the award for himself and Sato who died last year and was given the award posthumously.

Farewell Ray: LaHood Leaving Post as Transportation Secretary

National
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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Ray LaHood. (Courtesy USDOT Fast Lane Blog)

Ray LaHood. (Courtesy USDOT Fast Lane Blog)

Last month, Ray LaHood made an off-the-cuff remark at a post-inaugural party that he would be “sticking around for a while” as President Obama’s Secretary of Transportation, but last week LaHood made his final decision to step down from the position after four years on the job.  The Republican made a name for himself in urbanist circles for his support of High Speed Rail, efficient urban transportation policies, and safety pushes, most notably his efforts to curb distracted driving. Reflecting on his tenure at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), LaHood remarked in a letter to DOT employees across the country,

“Our achievements are significant. We have put safety front and center with the Distracted Driving Initiative and a rule to combat pilot fatigue that was decades in the making. We have made great progress in improving the safety of our transit systems, pipelines, and highways, and in reducing roadway fatalities to historic lows. We have strengthened consumer protections with new regulations on buses, trucks, and airlines.”

In an exit interview with the Huffington Post, LaHood said, “We are behind on high-speed rail,” but remained optimistic that the topic will still maintain a top spot his successor’s agenda: “As long as President Obama is in the White House, whoever sits in this chair will have high-speed rail as one of their top priorities.” LaHood will continue in his role as Secretary until his successor is found.

President Obama to Nominate REI CEO to Lead Interior Department

National
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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REI CEO Sally Jewell. (Courtesy REI)

REI CEO Sally Jewell. (Courtesy REI)

President Obama is expected to nominate Sally Jewell, the President and Chief Executive Officer of national outdoor retailer REI, to succeed Secretary Ken Salazar as the head of the Interior Department.

Jewell, a former engineer for Mobil Oil and commercial banker, has run the $1.8 billion company for over a decade and has established herself as a strong advocate for land conservation. The Washington Post reported reported that she is one of the founding board members of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and serves on the board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

The Department of the Interior manages and protects the country’s lands, water, wildlife, and energy resources, along with relations with tribal nations. As extreme weather patterns put climate change front and center of the policy debates in Washington DC, the Secretary of the Interior will take on an increasingly critical role this term.

Boxman Studios Continues Push To Pop-Up Shipping Containers

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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Google Village at TED Long Beach. (Courtesy Boxman Studios)

Google Village at TED Long Beach. (Courtesy Boxman Studios)

Boxman Studios, the company that pioneered the shipping-containers-turned-housing trend back in 2008, is now embarking on a whole new shipping container revolution. As part of their sustainable building efforts they are adapting decommissioned containers to enhance already complete buildings and even stand alone as pop-up shops, venues, restaurants, transit stations and more.

Continue reading after the jump.

Comment> David Katz on Architecture as Art

National
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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The Orange Cube by Jakob Macfarlane. (Via Arch Daily)

The Orange Cube by Jakob Macfarlane. (Via Arch Daily)

Modern art as we know it has run its course. The visual giants of the last century such as painting, sculpture, and movies have greatly diminished in cultural importance. For the sake of my argument and to aid a simpler perspective and understanding, I’m combining modern art and contemporary art as one. I’m defining the modern art movement as starting somewhere around 1890. I believe the movement ended around 1990, and interestingly enough, this incidentally coincides with the ascent of architecture and the new digital technologies that are  propelling it forward.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Roof Gardens, Waterfront Parks & Small-Scale Manufacturing: Five Vie for Rudy Bruner Award

National
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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Congo Street Initiative, Dallas. (Courtesy Rudy Bruner Awards)

Congo Street Initiative, Dallas. (Courtesy Rudy Bruner Awards)

Among U.S. prizes for architecture and urban planning, the Rudy Bruner Award is unique in providing funds for programming and development of projects that support placemaking and social health. This year’s finalists range from housing and rehabilitation facilities to job training initiatives to new public spaces from across the country. The Gold Medal winner will receive $50,000, while Silver Medals winners each receive $10,000.  Read More

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Emeco Sinks Restoration Hardware’s Battleship: Navy Chair Dispute Settled

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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Emeco's Navy Chair. (Courtesy Emeco, Montage by AN)

Emeco’s Navy Chair. (Courtesy Emeco, Montage by AN)

During World War II, the U.S. Government asked Wilton Carlyle Dinges, founder of the Hanover, PA-based Electrical Machine and Equipment Company (now Emeco) to design a lightweight chair rugged enough to “withstand water, salt air and sailors.” That design became known as the Navy Chair (or the Model 1006 for purists) and today has become a staple of industrial-chic design. Now you can add “copycats” to that list after a legal dispute, involving a nearly-identical chair from Restoration Hardware called the “Naval Chair,” has been settled.

Continue reading after the jump.

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