Rail Picking Up Steam in the East and Midwest.  (Bruce Fingerhood/Flickr) According to the New York Times, Amtrak is gaining riders in the northeast corridor thanks in part to arduous airport security procedures and frequent airline delays. Amtrak also beats airline shuttles in on-time arrivals and proximity to major business centers. In Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority is counting 16 months of ridership increases for both rail and bus lines. The rail system has seen 51 consecutive months of ridership growth, including a 6.2 percent jump over the last six months. Last year the CTA carried 523 million riders. [Photo: Bruce Fingerhood/Flickr]

 

EVENT> Collaboration: A Conference on The Art and Science of Facades, July 26-27 in SF

National
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
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Snohetta's "Barcode" office building proposal for Oslo. (Courtesy Snohetta)

Snøhetta's "Barcode" office building proposal for Oslo. (Courtesy Snøhetta)

Collaboration: The Art and Science of Facades

Symposium: Thursday, July 26, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco

Workshops: Friday, July 27, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
California College of the Arts, San Francisco

This week in San Francisco architects and engineers at the forefront of facade design and fabrication will gather to present their latest work and research. Sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper and Enclos, the first-day line-up for Collaboration: The Art and Science of Facades includes Craig Dykers of Snohetta as the keynote speaker along with presentation by leaders at SOM,  Thornton Thomasetti, Firestone Building Products, IwamotoScott, Future Cities Lab, Gensler, Kreysler & Associates, Gehry Technologies, Buro Happold and more. On the second day, participants receive hands-on practical instruction through workshops with industry leaders.

Those attending both days will receive 16 AIA Continuing Education credits.
One day left to register! For registration click here.

Can’t make it out West this week? Check out the next call for papers: AN‘s Facades + Innovation Conference, October 10-12, Chicago. Download PDF.

Spreading the Placemaking, 80 Projects Funded by National Endowment for the Arts

National, Newsletter
Monday, July 23, 2012
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A yarnbombed statue, Bombshells Flea. (Courtesy of ArtWorks)

A yarn-bombed statue, Bombshells Flea. (Courtesy ArtWorks)

The National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) announced the recipients for this year’s round of Our Town grants—a $5 million investment in creative placemaking all over the United States. Combining grants from 2011, the program has invested over $10 million in projects in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

This year, 80 applicants were chosen from a pool of 317 entries, which were all assigned to one of three panels: Arts Engagement-projects mainly focused on artistic production, Cultural Planning and Design-projects to build local support systems and spaces necessary for creative placemaking, and Non-metro and Tribal Communities-projects based in small communities not adjacent to metropolitan areas.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architectural Billings Index Continues Slump With Third Month in the Red

National
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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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 Architectural Billings Index (ABI) for June remained in negative territory for the third month in a row. Last month AIA chief economist Kermit Baker expressed concern that the summertime doldrums might mirror a 2011 trend when the ABI lulled after an initially healthy first quarter. Now it looks as though the index is doing just that. “While not all firms are experiencing negative conditions, a large share is still coping with a sluggish and erratic marketplace,” Baker said in a statement. All of the regions of the country and all industry sectors remained in negative territory with the overall index barely budging from May’s 45.8, with June registering at 45.9 (any score below 50 reflects a decrease).

Continue reading after the jump.

Frank Gehry Goes Contextual in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward

National, Newsletter
Friday, July 13, 2012
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(Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right.)

(Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right.)

Make It Right, Brad Pitt’s development of contemporary, LEED Platinum homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward—an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina and still far from recovered—has a new addition: Frank Gehry. Gehry’s new duplex on the site was completed this week. The surprisingly simple design (especially considering some of the expressive homes in the development) features a waterproof solar canopy, a roof terrace and six covered porches. Still one could argue that Gehry’s stilt-raised design, with its fiber cement siding (that looks like local clapboard siding), metal roofs and focus on outdoor space, is one of the most contextual of the bunch.

Tex-Fab Competition Proposals Harness “Research Through Fabrication”

National
Thursday, July 12, 2012
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"Latent Methods" explores the possibilities of shingles. (Courtesy of Tex-Fab)

"Latent Methods" explores the possibilities of shingles. (Courtesy of Tex-Fab)

While a winner has not yet been selected, Tex-Fab’s new APPLIED: Research Through Fabrication competition has already produced interesting results as four semi-finalists emerge. The competition solicited proposals that best displayed “research through computational fabrication.” The four proposals selected in the first round of adjudication address acoustics, structure, construction, material, and surface effects, each using on digital modeling and fabrication techniques. The proposals, described in more detail below, will be shown at ACADIA 2012 this October at the Synthetic Digital Ecologies conference, hosted at the California College of the Arts.

See the proposals after the jump.

James Turrell Captures a Slice of the Vast Texas Sky with Twilight Epiphany Pavilion

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
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(Courtesy Rice University)

(Courtesy Rice University)

For many, work by American artist James Turrell is instantly recognizable. Using light and basic geometric forms as the material of his compositions, Turrell subtly alters space and perception for visitors, creating weight and depth through visual experience that evokes meditation and contemplation.

Turrell’s work is at its height when gazing skyward. Multiple iterations of his Skyspace series have appeared around the world framing a dramatic slice of the heavens in his pristine geometry. The work is, essentially, a skylight: an opening above a room or pavilion for viewing the sky above, but to reduce the work to its function would disregard the transformative power of a simple yet moving experience. In each installation, a confined aperture begins to decontextualize the sky, featuring the color and texture of what is seen as an element of the art.

Continue reading after the jump.

Happy Fourth from the Editors!

National
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
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From coast to coast, we editors at The Architect’s Newspaper hope you have a fun and safe Independence Day! We’ll be out of the office on the Fourth, but here’s an innovative take on fireworks for your enjoyment, a birds-eye perspective taken from a camera attached to balloons right in the middle of the action. [Via Boing Boing.]

Review> IIDA Explores the Client-Designer Relationship in “What Clients Want”

National
Monday, July 2, 2012
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What Clients Want.

What Clients Want.

At NeoCon this year, IIDA (International Interior Design Association) presented copies of What Clients Want, the first-ever study of the client/designer relationship told from the point of view of the client, written and edited by Melissa Feldman, IIDA’s executive vice president. IIDA CEO Cheryl Durst called it “a groundbreaking account of how some C-suite executives have been able to alter their companies’ destinations through design [by] firms who got inside their corporate DNA and pushed them to be better.”

Durst is referring to companies like Autodesk, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Cowboys Stadium, and Facebook, which enlisted the services of Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander of Studio O+A, a husband and wife duo who have designed interiors for a roster of “techie brands” like Aol, eBay, Microsoft, and PayPal. In 2008, O+A was commissioned to consolidate Facebook’s spread of ten office buildings in Palo Alto, California, and merge them into Hewlett Packard’s former HQ. Studio O+A credits the extensive research they conduct on potential clients prior to any design work for landing the gig.

Continue reading after the jump.

Michael Graves, Steven Holl Named Academicians of the National Academy

East, National, Shft+Alt+Del
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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The National Academy on 5th Avenue in New York. (Courtesy National Academy)

The National Academy on 5th Avenue in New York. (Courtesy National Academy)

On June 28th, the academicians of the National Academy welcomed 23 newly elected members, recognized for their contribution to American art and architecture. This year, the nominees included artists working in video, photography, and installation, further reinforcing the National Academy’s mission of promoting art across America.  The roster of over 2,000 academicians includes famous pioneers of early American art such as Thomas Cole and seminal architects such as Philip Johnson.

Fukuoka hotel by Michael Graves. (courtesy National Academy)

This year’s inductees include visual artists such as Cindy Sherman and Bruce Nauman and architects Steven Holl and Michael Graves. Chosen annually by their peers, the elected members contributed representative work to the Academy’s permanent collection of over 7,000 artworks, architectural drawings, photographs, and models.

Busted Up: Billings Index Plunges Amid Global Economic Uncertainty

National
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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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)

“It’s like déjà vu all over again,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker said of the steep springtime drop reflected in May’s Architectural Billings Index (ABI). Baker was referring to the trend from 2011, when design activity took a substantial hit after an initially healthy first quarter. “But we don’t want to have a repeat of last year,” he added referring to the sluggish numbers that continued to shadow the profession through the fall. The new numbers were the worst since October and, Baker said, reflect trends in the larger economy.

Continue reading after the jump.

Mayor’s Challenge Seeks the Next Big Idea for City Life

National
Monday, June 18, 2012
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With nine million dollars total in prizes up for grabs, The Mayor’s Challenge simply asks for innovations in city life, a subject that’s been a growing concern for countless architects, planners, and governments worldwide. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the competition last week calling for individual designers and teams to address urban challenges from sustainability to citizen empowerment. “Every day, mayors around America are tackling increasingly complex problems with fewer and fewer resources,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Our cities are uniquely positioned to inspire and foster the innovation, creativity, and solutions needed to improve people’s lives and move America forward.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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