Contemporary architectural practice, and in particular the design of high-performance facades, is as much about mastering technology as it is about grappling with aesthetics and function. Attendees at next month’s facades+ Chicago conference will have an opportunity to explore cutting-edge digital design tools during a series of hands-on technology workshops. The tech workshops, which take place on the second day of the conference, follow a day-long symposium featuring keynotes and roundtable discussions by AEC industry leaders. “If on day 1 you’re being exposed to advancements in building methods, on day 2 you can learn the technology and techniques that are behind those applications,” said Mode Lab’s Ronnie Parsons. “It’s taking the next step from someone who’s in the audience to being a participant. Not just a participant who’s watching and engaged, but one who is actively involved in shaping what happens tomorrow.” Read More
Allan Wexler: Breaking Ground
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
31 Mercer Street, New York
Through May 3, 2014
The current Allan Wexler exhibit, Breaking Ground, at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts proves again how important is the work of architects who confine their production to the gallery. In the new exhibit, Wexler explores mankind’s first interventions into landscape with a series of photo-based images and sculpture. Wexler first builds models of his imagined landscapes out of plaster and museum board before photographing them and digitally manipulating and printing them. The Architect’s Newspaper will celebrate Wexler’s extraordinary forty five year career with a special reception at the Feldman gallery Tuesday, April, 29th from 6:00–8:00p.m.
Joshua Prince-Ramus, principal at REX, has a bone to pick with modernism and its legacy. “For the last 100 years, architecture’s been involved in a silly tension between form and function,” he said. While high modernism privileged function over form, some of today’s top designers argue that architecture is about aesthetics and not much else. REX has a different take: architecture, the firm claims, is both function and form. “We really believe that architecture can do things. It’s not just a representational art form,” said Prince-Ramus. “We talk about performance. Aesthetics are part of performance [as is function.]”
So much of design work today is solitary. It involves sitting in front of a computer—crunching data, building renderings, and running evaluations on digital models. But that’s not the full picture. AEC professionals rely on personal connections to identify projects, connect with clients, and learn new skills. Whether a business meeting or a chat over cocktails, face-to-face interactions still matter.
As most AEC professionals know, technology can be either a help or a hindrance when it comes to the design of high-performance building envelopes. Software programs like Grasshopper and Autodesk Vasari offer powerful tools for generating, modeling, and analyzing facades. But there’s a catch. Without a firm grasp of the programs’ capabilities, users can lose data, overlook important features, or otherwise negate the advantages inherent to digital design. Read More
Michael Loverich of Bittertang Farms, a firm recently announced as an inclusion in AIA New York’s New Practices New York exhibition, will be discussing his practice in a lecture affiliated with the upcoming show. The firm, or rather the farm’s unconventional name is reflected in projects that tend to stray into the realms of the organic and the sensory. Loverich partnered with Antonio Torres to form Bittertang, which has offices in New York and Southern Mexico. Entitled “Make It Squeel!!!!,” Loverich’s talk will be held on April 16th at 5:30 in the Häfele Showroom.
Register for the event, click here.
Innovations in building envelope design typically take one of two forms. The first concerns the materials themselves, and the application of developments in the science of glass, metal, concrete, wood, and plastics to architecture. The second has to do with how the facade mediates between the building interior and the environment.
In a world of extreme weather events and rapid sociological change, architects must invent new ways to marry flexibility, resilience, and sustainability in facade design.
Architect Gordon Gill has one simple rule for facade design: seek performance first, and beauty will follow. Gill, who will give the opening keynote address at next month’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York, is a founding partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, a firm known for pushing the boundaries of what architecture is and does. Gill and his team start by “establishing a language of architecture that’s based in the performance of a building,” he said. “We’re trying to understand the role of the building in the environment it’s being built in, then shape the building in order to benefit it the best way. Once we take that approach, the facades play a pretty rich role in either absorbing or reflecting the environment.”
The New York Times is hosting a series of seminars at this weekend’s Architectural Digest Home Design Show. As part of the program AN‘s very own Bill Menking will be joined by Mark Hutker of Hutker Architects, Dan Lobitz of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Karen Stonely of SPAN Architecture to discuss evolutions in contemporary domestic architecture. The quartet will take the stage at Pier 94 on Saturday, March 22 at 3:00p.m. for an hour-long discussion. See you there!
Calling all landscape architects and urban designers. Are you heading to Boston for the 2013 American Society of Landscape Architects Conference? I am. On Saturday, November 16, I’ll be reviewing projects and portfolios during a “Meet the Editors” event, alongside colleagues from a variety of shelter, design, and garden publications. There are still a few open spots, so sign-up or just drop by and introduce yourself. I hope to see you there. Also, check out this year’s ASLA award winners designed by students and professionals. Great work!
AN and Enclos’ Facades+ PERFORMANCE is only one week away! Register today to join hundreds of like-minded professionals from across the AEC industry as they converge on Chicago from October 24th-25th to discuss the most exciting breakthroughs in high-performance building enclosures. The response has been overwhelming and there are just a few seats remaining, so don’t miss your chance to be part of this groundbreaking event!
Be there for hands-on technology workshops and in-depth discussions of the tools and techniques that are forcing a paradigm shift in the way high-performance architecture is conceived and constructed. Form lasting professional connections with leading innovators from across the industry through our unbeatable networking opportunities. Set new standards for performance in your professional practice. The future of architecture begins at Facades+, so sign up today before the clock runs out!