Event> Oct 11-12: AN’s Facades & Fabrication Conference…And Look Who’s Coming!

Midwest
Monday, October 8, 2012
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Evolute, a Collaboration conference workshop leader, consulted on Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park designed by Zaha Hadid, to open in Seoul in 2013.

Evolute, a Collaboration conference workshop leader, consulted on Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park designed by Zaha Hadid, to open in Seoul in 2013.

Chicago’s collective IQ, no doubt already impressive, may rise a few points even higher this Thursday and Friday. The city is hosting a gathering of international thinkers and innovators who specialize in the tools that enable the creation of some of the world’s most high-tech and visually arresting building skins. The conference, Collaboration: The Art and Science of Building Facades, is sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper and Enclos.

On Thursday, the conference features a high-powered line-up of speakers on Thursday, including Fernando Romero of FREE as the keynote. Then on Friday, the conference turns practical with a series of hands-on workshops that will lead participants through the very latest tools, programs, and applications. For example, Florin Isvoranu of Austria-based firm Evolute, which has collaborating with Zaha Hadid, Asymptote and others, will host a workshop on parametrically driven optimization of freeform facades, a topic that even has industry experts signing up to learn something new.

From students to seasoned veterans, those currently attending include staffers from firms like Sapa, Thornton Tomasetti, Interface, Cannon Design, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architcture, Perkins + Will, NBBJ, SOM, and KieranTimberlake, with roles ranging from engineer to BIM manager, market analyst to company president. PhD candidates, MArchs, and undergrads are flocking in from area universities and colleges including The School of the Art Institute, IIT, and Cranbrook Academy, as well as a hefty contingent of 12 students and three profs from the University of South Dakota State University‘s new Department of Architecture (DoArch).

Collaboration is the industry conference you can’t afford to miss. There’s still time to sign up! Registration details here.

Event> DLECTRICITY Lights Up Detroit

Midwest
Friday, October 5, 2012
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DLECTRICITY begins today and runs through Saturday. (Courtesy DLECTRICITY.)

DLECTRICITY begins today and runs through Saturday. (Courtesy DLECTRICITY.)

Not long after the Detroit Design Festival, Detroit’s design enthusiasts have another event to celebrate: DLECTRICITY begins today and runs through Saturday.

The “contemporary light art festival” features 35 local, national, and international artists who will illuminate historic structures in Midtown Detroit. Buildings including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, and the Detroit Public Library will become canvases for 3D video mapping, laser displays, and light sculptures.

Click here for a full schedule and map of the events.

PROFILE> Alphonso Peluso puts Revit into Parametric Overdrive

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
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Museo Soumaya by FREE to be a case study in Revit Parametric Facades workshop.

Museo Soumaya by FREE to be a case study in Revit Parametric Facades workshop.

Alphonso Peluso, Director of Digital Architecture + Fabrication at the Illinois Institute of Technology, is on a mission to max out Revit. His workshop, “Revit Parametric Facade Design,” on October 12 offers participants a hands-on lab for exploring how the program can help produce the most complex building skins. “It’s a unique opportunity to experiment in one session with all the different tools Revit has for creating parametric facades,” said Peluso. The event is part of Collaboration: The Art and Science of Building Facades, the Chicago edition of the Architect’s Newspaper‘s conference taking place October 11 and 12.

Using a series of tutorials Peluso will begin by looking at basic curtain wall creation through deploying system families and also making custom parametric families. Next up: mining the Conceptual Massing interface that yields complex parametric facade forms. Then on to pattern, from basic to advanced and responsive. Finally, Revit’s Adaptive Component families will be explored for the creation of  “one off ” building components. “The participant will walk away with the knowledge of which tool is most appropriate for the different types of facades they are designing,” said Peluso.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Cermak is Next: New CTA Stop Primes Chicago’s South Loop

Midwest
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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Rendering of the CTA's new Green Line station. (Courtesy CTA)

Rendering of the CTA’s new Green Line station. (Courtesy CTA)

The CTA is abuzz with new projects these days, having successfully avoided fare hikes during dire budget negotiations this summer. Now another $65 million investment will deliver the new Cermak / McCormick Place El Station Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised early this year, as well as new library, school and three-story building rehab for the South Loop.

New renderings presented by the Mayor on Friday show the new Green Line stop, which will be designed by Carol Ross Barney, principal at Ross Barney Architects. It’s a sleek tunnel shape, reminiscent of Rem Koolhaas’ IIT Green Line stop.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minnesota Taps HKS for New Vikings Stadium

Midwest
Monday, October 1, 2012
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An image from HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, submitted as part of its proposal for the new Vikings stadium contract. (Courtesy HKS Sports & Entertainment Group)

An image from HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, submitted as part of its proposal for the new Vikings stadium contract. (Courtesy HKS Sports & Entertainment Group)

Twin Cities sports fans may be most excited about Sunday’s victory on the field, but a twinge of that satisfaction could be due to the team’s new stadium. Minnesota’s Sports Facilities Authority chose HKS architects to design a new home for the NFL’s Vikings.

HKS also designed Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Cowboys Stadium in their home base of Dallas—two of the most high-profile NFL construction projects in recent memory. A decision on the lead contractor for the project has yet to come down, but news of the $975 million stadium’s designer is the latest announcement in a long and at-times contentious political process that subsidizes professional sports in Minneapolis.

Face-painted fans turned out to city council meetings as the deal cleared hurdles. With respected stadium architects on board, supporters may anticipate validation for their use of public funds. Those opposed maintain only time will tell, no matter the designer.

Profile> Evolute workshop on Parametric Optimization with Florian Isvoranu, October 12

Midwest
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
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Evolute-designed "KREOD" pavilion in London. Photo: Kin Ho

Evolute-designed “KREOD” pavilion in London. Photo: Kin Ho

The Austrian company Evolute itself began with an evolution: in 2008 a research group on industrial design and geometric modeling at Vienna University of Technology founded a business. The goal? Deploy mathematicians, engineers, and architects to create tools that facilitate the design and optimization of highly complex geometric forms.

In the October 12 workshop “Parametrically Driven Optimization for Freeform Facades” Florin Isvoranu, an architect who now leads Evolute’s outreach efforts, will focus on optimization of complex geometry envelopes for efficient and cost effective fabrication. Working in Rhino 4, EvoluteTools PRO 2.0, and Monkey Script Editor, Isvoranu will move step by step from design to optimization to detailing to generating fabrication information, and how to parametrically link these steps into an integrated workflow.  The day-long event is part of Collaboration: The Art and Science of Building Facades, the Chicago edition of The Architect’s Newspaper‘s popular conference taking place October 11-12.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bloomingdale Trail Plans Come Into Focus With New Renderings

Midwest
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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Proposed view of Milwaukee Avenue Bridge and Overlook Stair. (Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates)

Proposed view of Milwaukee Avenue Bridge and Overlook Stair. (Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates)

Last night, updated plans for Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail were presented at a public meeting—the public session’s last chance to comment on the design before final plans are presented this December. The trail is an elevated linear park designed by a team including Collins Engineers, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Frances Whitehead on a former rail viaduct running through Chicago.

AN contributor and sustainable transit enthusiast Steven Vance attended the meeting at the Humboldt Park Field House, recapping the event on the GRID Chicago blog. Among the details confirmed at the meeting, construction is set to begin summer 2013. While the trail will open for bikers and pedestrians in Fall 2014, landscaping and art installations will continue into 2015.

View a slideshow of new images after the jump.

Save Prentice Coalition Delivers Petition to Chicago Mayor’s Office

Midwest
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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Typical bed tower floor plan at the Prentice Women's Hospital. (Courtesy G. Goldberg + Associates)

Typical bed tower floor plan at the Prentice Women’s Hospital. (Courtesy G. Goldberg + Associates)

The ongoing saga of Bertrand Goldberg’s Old Prentice Women’s Hospital continues, with members of the Save Prentice coalition delivering a petition with more than 3,500 signatures Monday to the offices of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Brendan Reilly, and the Landmarks Commission.

They include Pritzker-winning architects as well as preservationists and ordinary citizens from Chicago and beyond. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks said earlier this month it would take up the issue before the end of their fall session, possibly as early as October 4. Emanuel, Reilly, and the Commission could grant landmark status to the iconic 1975 structure but have so far remained neutral on the issue.

Forest Retreat: Studio Gang Groundbreaking in Kalamazoo

Midwest
Monday, September 24, 2012
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The Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College will break ground in October. (Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)

The Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College will break ground in October. (Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)

Studio Gang, which recently kicked off the first solo exhibition of their work at the Art Institute of Chicago, will celebrate another opening event next month: the architects’ Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College will ceremoniously break ground October 9.

Gently curving wood walls demarcate a 10,000-square-foot space for social justice leadership development in the woods. The structure uses local white cedar, engaging its environment while transparent façade elements honor the building’s goal to facilitate conversation. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the project will source sustainably harvested wood for its low-impact, highly insulating structure.

Continue reading after the jump.

Profile> Marc Teer Explores Facade Patterning Techniques, October 12

Midwest
Friday, September 21, 2012
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Marc Teer

Marc Teer

Marc Teer, an instructor at IITfounded the site Black Spectacles in 2010 to create a friendly forum where architects and designers could learn the latest software online, from 3ds Max to RhinoScript and everything in between. In a day-long workshop on Friday, October 12, Teer will zero in on programs that enable the design and patterning of facades. The event is part of Collaboration: The Art and Science of Building Facades, the Chicago edition of the Architect’s Newspaper‘s popular conference taking place October 11-12.

Facade Patterning: Translation from Grasshopper into Revit will investigate interoperability between Grasshopper and Revit and explore the array of evocatively named tools that make this translation possible: Geometry Gym, Hummingbird, Chameleon & Import, OpenNurbs to Revit. “On the one hand you have Grasshopper, which provides architects with an unlimited architectural vocabulary, and on the other, you have Revit which is arguably the most powerful design development and documentation tool. The problem is these two tools don’t work well together out of the box,” said Teer. Read More

Eavesdrop> Keep In Touch, BK!.  Blair Kamin. We’ve poked fun at Blair Kamin numerous times, from his nerdy-sexy picture next to his byline to our disparate views on PoMo design. Despite all that, his contribution as an architectural critic and historian is quite profound and very important for the Midwest. Kamin’s announcement that he’s taking a leave of absence from the Chicago Tribune for a fellowship at Harvard made us panicky. Newspapers are trimming staff faster than design firms during the recession. We just hope that with or without Kamin, the Tribune recognizes the value of his work and keeps that legacy alive.

 

Detroit Design Festival Kicks Off Today

Midwest
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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Detroit, on the water. (Image courtesy Bernt Rostad via Flickr.)

Detroit, on the water. (Image courtesy Bernt Rostad via Flickr.)

The Detroit Design Festival kicks off today, celebrating the city’s resilient design community with five days of events, installations, lectures and workshops.

“It is a call to action for the community,” reads the festival’s webpage, “to improve quality of life in and around Detroit.”

Among the sights this week is an inflatable structure named Spacebuster first designed for New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture. It will take up residence outside Mies’ Lafayette Park Friday.

A full schedule of the events, which take place through Sunday, is available here. The kick-off party is tonight at 6:00 p.m. at 3011 W. Grand Blvd.

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