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.

Winning “Cellular Complexity” Installation Design Twists the Limits of Architecture

Newsletter, West
Monday, June 24, 2013
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Rendering and model of Cellular Complexity. (Courtesy Julia Koerner, Marie Boltenstern, and Kais Al-Rawi)

Rendering and model of Cellular Complexity. (Courtesy Julia Koerner, Marie Boltenstern, and Kais Al-Rawi)

AIA Los Angeles has announced that UCLA SUPRASTUDIO lecturer Julia Koerner’s proposal Cellular Complexity is the winning entry for the 11th annual 2×8 Student Exhibition, a scholarship organization that has showcased projects of over 150 students from more than 15 architecture and design schools in California. This year’s winning scheme, in collaboration with Paris-based architect Marie Boltenstern and architect Kais Al-Rawi, presents a parametric pavilion of twisting planes that transitions in porosity from one end to the other. According to the AIA|LA, the jury appreciated the design concept’s creativity and edginess. The installation and exhibition of student work is expected to be complete by February 2014.

More images after the jump.

“Sky Reflector Net” Installed at Lower Manhattan’s Fulton Center

East, Newsletter
Monday, June 24, 2013
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Construction of the Sky Reflector-Net at the Fulton Center. (Patrick Cashin / Courtesy MTA)

Construction of the Sky Reflector-Net at the Fulton Center. (Patrick Cashin / Courtesy MTA)

Next year, when construction wraps up at the Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan, commuters will be gazing up, rather than around, at the station’s new artistic centerpiece—a curved, 79-foot-high reflective aluminum diamond web encased in a stainless-steel tracery. The showstopper will send ambient daylight into the mezzanines, passageways, and possibly even the platforms to help passengers orient themselves in the transportation hub.

At $2.1 million, Sky Reflector-Net, an artist/architect/engineer collaboration between James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA), Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, is an integrated work created for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Arts for Transit and Urban Design and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Construction (MTACC). It is the largest such work that the MTA has ever commissioned. Sky Reflector-Net seamlessly incorporates both functional and aesthetic goals. The piece was recently installed within the transit center building designed by Grimshaw Architects and Arup.

Continue reading after the jump.

Frank Gehry’s Ice Blocks Chilling Out Inside Chicago’s Inland Steel Building

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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Frank Gehry's new sculpture in the Inland Steel Building lobby. (Lynn Becker)

Frank Gehry’s new sculpture in the Inland Steel Building lobby. (Lynn Becker)

Follow the Architecture Chicago Plus blog as Lynn Becker raises an eyebrow at the new sculpture that quietly popped up in the lobby of downtown Chicago’s celebrated Inland Steel Building.

The 1957 SOM icon seems to have acquired a consortium of ice hunks, courtesy Frank Gehry. Ostensibly a formal counterpoint to the elegant energy of Richard Lippold’s Radiant I, the original lobby art, Gehry’s glass agglomeration (fabricated by the John Lewis Glass Studio of Oakland, California) frames Radiant I and responds to its angularity with carved blobs. It’s admittedly atypical in the setting of the modernist masterpiece, but doesn’t overpower the space or the original artwork.

Product > Finds from the Floor at NeoCon 2013

Midwest, Newsletter, Product
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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Cliffy 6000 from SIXINCH.

Cliffy 6000 from SIXINCH.

Nearly 42,000 architects, interior designers, facilities planners, furniture dealers, and distributors converged on NeoCon, the A&D industry’s largest exhibition of office, residential, health care, hospitality, institutional, and government design products. Held from June 10–12, the show included education components and keynote presentations from Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG; Michael Vanderbyl, principal of Vanderbyl Design; Holly Hunt, president & CEO of Holly Hunt; and Lauren Rottet, interior architect and founder of Rottet Studio. AN was present to cover a handful of educational seminars and sessions (see our live tweets from Ingels’s presentation on our Twitter feed), and we scoured the showrooms in search of 2013’s new product trends. Following are a few we saw at the show.

Check out AN’s top picks after the jump.

Q+A> Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, SFMOMA Architecture & Design Curator

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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Rendering of Snohetta's SFMOMA expansion currently under construction (left) and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher (right).

Rendering of Snohetta’s SFMOMA expansion currently under construction (left) and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher (right).

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher was recently named the head of the department of architecture and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), filling a position vacated by Henry Urbach more than two years ago. Fletcher just completed a assessment of the museum’s architecture and design collection, and, most recently, she co-curated the exhibition Lebbeus Woods, Architect. She sat down with AN editors Nicole Anderson and Alan G. Brake to discuss her plans for the department.

The Architect’s Newspaper: What direction do you plan to take the architecture and design department?

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher: The collection just turned 25 and so I think it was important that my colleague Joseph Becker and I, along with Henry Urbach, really undertook a collection analysis and are trying to draw on the identity and strengths of the collection: the experimental and conceptual architecture, the iconic chairs that capture every 20th century design movement, and then the Bay Area collection.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Unveils Ten Proposals to Restore Waterfront Warehouses

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Team Six's Proposal for Empire Stores coffee warehouses (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Team Six’s Proposal for Empire Stores coffee warehouses (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Proposals galore! Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) is moving full speed ahead with its plans to develop parcels of its 1.3-mile waterfront expanse. In September, the Park released a Request for Proposals seeking a developer to restore and makeover the crumbling Empire Stores warehouses into a lively mixed-use development consisting of office, commercial, and retail space, while also preserving the integrity of the massive historic structure.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> The Comprehensive New York Design Week 2013 Roundup

East, Newsletter, Product
Monday, June 10, 2013
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The Low Collection by 13&9 Design

The Low Collection by 13&9 Design.

New York’s inaugural design week, held from May 10 through 21, was a comprehensive, two-week celebration of all things design across Manhattan island, as well as parts of Brooklyn. Showcasing the latest from industry stalwarts to emerging and independent designers—local, domestic, and international—AN culled its top picks of New York Design Week products from the ICFF show floor, Wanted Design exhibitions, showroom launches, and all events in between. 

The Low Collection
13&9 Design
The multidisciplinary Austrian design studio debuted at Wanted Design with a collection of furniture, wearable fashion and accessories, a cinematic video, and a music album. With the Low Collection (pictured above), Corian is formed into several seating styles that combine with storage vessels, all at ground level. Suitable for outdoors, furniture heights can be modified to generate a unique landscape.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Michael Graves On His J.C. Penney Collection

National, Newsletter, Product
Monday, June 10, 2013
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Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

At J.C. Penney’s recent rebranding launch party, AN spoke with architect and product designer Michael Graves about his new collection for the company and some career highlights. He even offers advice for aspiring architects and designers and talks about some current design work.

How did designing a collection for JCPenney come about?

I’ve known some of the people at Penney’s since my Target days, so when this opportunity came around we were looking for a way to slow down our commitment to Target at that time. When Penney’s offered what they did to us, we grabbed it in a second. It was such a good deal in terms of having a shop within a store.

For me, that’s the game changer. If we were close friends and you told me you had to do some shopping for a relative or something like that, I’d tell you to go to our shop in Penney’s. It’s all there and that’s what excites me.

Continue reading after the jump.

MIT Media Lab Enlists 6,500 Silkworms to 3D Print a Dome Pavilion

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

A new pavilion created by the Mediated Matter research group at MIT’s Media Lab explores the intersection between material technology, computation, and biological and digital fabrication on an architectural scale. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to create a 3D cocoon out of a single, 1 km thread, a team of researchers led by architect Neri Oxman created a fibrous, CNC-fabricated scaffold made from 26 polygonal panels and laid out in silk thread. They then let loose 6,500 silkworms onto the frame to fill in the gaps and reinforce the structure.

Watch the worms at work in a video after the jump.

French Architect’s Restaurant Designs Creates A Pixelated Green Facade

Newsletter, Other
Monday, June 3, 2013
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(Courtesy Stephane Malka Architecture)

(Courtesy Stephane Malka Architecture)

Whoever said that one needs to leave the city to experience nature hasn’t seen French architect Stephane Malka’s striking facade proposal for the Parisian restaurant EP7, an unusual site that is sure to stand out in the urban setting of the city. Amidst a city of man-made concrete and glass structures could rise a building essentially comprised of an organically growing “forest.

Continue reading after the jump.

Six Outstanding Libraries Honored by the AIA and American Library Association

National, Newsletter
Monday, June 3, 2013
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South Mountain Community Library. (Bill Timmerman / Mark Boisclair)

South Mountain Community Library. (Bill Timmerman / Mark Boisclair)

As cities across the country struggle to bring new life to aging athenaeums and cash-strapped local libraries, the AIA has honored six outstanding examples of library design in this year’s AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. In the past we have seen a Walmart transformed into a library, a controversial starchitect renovation in New York, and an interactive, LED light-show—now take a look at these honored projects. From democratic design in the nation’s capital to a stunning Beaux-Arts restoration in St. Louis and high-tech solutions in North Carolina, this year’s winning projects present a range of answers to the challenges facing our fading repositories.

View the winners after the jump.

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