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Monday, November 22, 2010
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Artist Creates Amazing Breathing Wall From Trash Bags

Other
Friday, November 19, 2010
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One Hundred and Eight installation (Courtesy Nils Völker)

One Hundred and Eight installation (Courtesy Nils Völker)


Artist Nils Völker has created a breathing wall comprised of trash bags and cooling fans. One Hundred and Eight selectively inflates a grid of, you guessed it, 108 bags to create a strikingly simple yet poetic result.  The softness of the trash bags rising and falling is really something to see. The installation can also interact with the viewer, sensing a person’s presence before the wall.  From the artist:

Although each plastic bag is mounted stationary the sequences of inflation and deflation create the impression of lively and moving creatures which waft slowly around like a shoal. But as soon a viewer comes close it instantly reacts by drawing back and tentatively following the movements of the observer. As long as he remains in a certain area in front of the installation it dynamically reacts to the viewers motion. As soon it does no longer detect someone close it reorganizes itself after a while and gently restarts wobbling around.

Can you imagine this idea translated to the scale of architecture? Cloud-like hallways – or even full facades – might actively follow passers by with a gently inflating and deflating rhythm. [ Via Today and Tomorrow. ]

Watch the video after the jump.

International Code Council Calls For 30% More Efficient Buildings

Other
Monday, November 15, 2010
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Thermal heat loss graphic shows a building's energy inefficiency.

While the country has been obsessed mid-term elections, local and state building code officials passed another less conspicuous but equally important vote that will reportedly result in 30 percent more efficient buildings than those built to current standards.  During the International Code Council’s (ICC) final action hearings held in Charlotte, North Carolina last month, building officials supported revisions to the commercial section of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), one of the model building codes published by the ICC that establish minimum energy efficiency standards for new construction of residential and commercial buildings.

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The Meier Menorah

Other
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
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From left to right, the candleholders represent the biblical expulsions from Egypt (the obelisk); Roman Palestine (Hadrian's victory column); France (1310); England (1290); the Spanish Inquisition (1492); the emancipation of Jews in Vienna (1890); pogroms in Russia (c. 1900); and the concentration camps in Germany during WWII.

Starchitect Richard Meier is now in the Judaica business, sort of. He recently designed a limited edition menorah and series of mezuzahs for The Jewish Museum in New York. The menorah is based on the Meier Lamp, a piece that was originally commissioned by the Israel Museum in 1985. And just in time for Hanukkah (which begins December 1st), this limited edition menorah can be purchased through The Jewish Museum Shop.

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China Talks

Other
Friday, October 29, 2010
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From left, the panelists Ilana Judah, Wang Degang, Mesh Chen Dongliang, moderator Julie Iovine, Trespa's Todd Kimmel

It was a panel I couldn’t refuse: To moderate a talk with two architects from China about sustainability.  Not that it’s a topic with which I am very familiar, but I would guess that even architects working there find much about the Chinese approach to environmental issues a mystery. I do know that the country has a $375 billion dollar construction industry devouring resources and that, at least ten years ago, a new coal-fired plant was being built every ten days. But things are changing fast and the chance to talk to Wang Degang who has his own 20-person firm in Nanjing and with Mesh Chen Dongliang who has been working for the past six years at Arquitectonica’s Shanghai office about their impressions was quite an opportunity.

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Satellite Collages Bring Together Variegated Landscapes

Other
Friday, October 22, 2010
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A satellite collage by artist Jenny Odell (Courtesy Jenny Odell)

A satellite collage by artist Jenny Odell (Courtesy Jenny Odell)

Artist Jenny Odell has created a six-print series of collages comprised of cut-outs from Google satellite imagery that show the great variety present in the built and natural landscapes.  By repeating the same typological elements, Odell’s collections offer astounding simplicity and beauty.  Prints are available for sale on the artists’s web site. Via Lost at E Minor.

More after the jump.

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Calatrava's Arch Towers Over Dallas

Other
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas under construction.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas under construction (Diana Darling)

Construction continues at Santiago Calatrava‘s bold Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas after it’s signature arch was topped off in June.  The cable-stayed bridge is one of three planned as part of the Trinity River Corridor Project, which aims to redevelop the Trinity River and its floodplains, improving traffic flow, increasing parkland, and providing flood protection for the region.

More after the jump.

A&D Film Festival Reeled Them In

Other
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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Ant Farm in Action (Courtesy Kyle Bergman)

In spite of the glorious weather, the inaugural Architecture and Design Film Festival was a smash hit with dozens of the 40+ films shown over last weekend sold out in advance, and the notables on five accompanying panels actually sticking around for the films and conversation that ran at the Tribeca Cinemas last weekend, among them Cooper Hewitt’s Bill Moggeridge, the Times’ Pilar Vilades, and AIA’s Rick Bell.

Read more after the jump.

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Artist Scratches A Building's Surface To Reveal Murals

Other
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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Scratched mural on a building facade in Moscow (Alexandre Farto)

Scratched mural on a building facade in Moscow (Alexandre Farto)

Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, sculpts architecture.  Using mallets, picks, and jackhammers, Vhils chips away layers of plaster to create large murals in relief.  His series of wall etchings called Scratching the Surface appears around the world from Moscow to Italy to the United States.  Via Today and Tomorrow.

See more after the jump.

Head Crane Inspector Headed to Prison

East Coast, Other
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
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Delayo in court. (Courtesy NY Post)

James Delayo, once the head of the Department of Building’s crane inspectors until he was arrested two years ago for accepting bribes on the job, was sentenced to two to six years in prison today for his $10,000 take. According to the Times, Delayo apologized to the city, as well as his fellow crane inspectors, who “don’t deserve the bad publicity I brought them.” The judge called the crime “an extraordinary betrayal of public trust,” especially in light of the spate of crane accidents, some lethal, that preceded the city investigation that led to Delayo’s arrest. Though as Curbed points out, Delayo was not actually the biggest crook at the department.

Now Playing: Every Corner of New York

East Coast, Other
Thursday, June 3, 2010
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Our friends over at Urban Omnibus created this delightful video entitled “Archipelago,” a sort of cinematic corollary to the current New New York show at the site’s mothership, the Architectural League. Billed as “a day in the life of five New York neighborhoods: Hunts Point, Jamaica, Mariner’s Harbor, Downtown Brooklyn, and Chelsea,” the video really is amazing for how it so succinctly captures the mind-boggling diversity of the city, revealing both the familiar and obscure to even the most stalwart local in a way so seamless that the city, for once, seems truly bound together despite all its disparity. The soundtrack alone, from Mr. Softee in the Bronx to freestyling on Staten Island to the constant sirens, is irresistible. It’s the fastest eleven-and-a-half minutes you’ll watch for some time. Almost as fast as the city it chronicles.

The Problem With Architecture Web Sites

Other
Thursday, March 25, 2010
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Zaha Hadid's web site is a good example..

Ok, we promise this is our last link to AN contributor Alissa Walker’s Fast Company posts for a while. But this one is definitely worth it. The other day  she focused on a subject we’ve been pondering for a long time: how despite their design expertise, most architects’ sites aren’t very good. Many, she points out, overuse gimmicks and make finding information and projects way too difficult. Sites for Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas’ OMA, she says, are all completely Flash-reliant (a no-no in the new i-Phone, i-Pad world) and “use label-less maps, wordless grids, sketches and other graphic devices with rollovers as navigation, with no easy way to locate or share projects.” One site that we at AN find particularly confusing is that of Lorcan O’Herlihy (one of our favorite architects, by the way), which puts projects into a grid that resembles the Periodic Table of the elements. Sure, it looks great, but.. Well, you get the idea.

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