Michael Graves Appointed to Federal Post on Accessibility in the Built Environment

National
Friday, March 1, 2013
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Michael Graves. (Barry Johnson / Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

Michael Graves. (Barry Johnson / Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

President Obama’s second-term White House is still in transition, with Ray LaHood out and rumors of an NTSB replacement, Sally Jewell likely in as Secretary of Interior. Among the non-Cabinet-level appointments, the President appointed Michael Graves to a member of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, an agency “devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.” Graves, who uses a wheelchair after an illness-induced partial paralysis, has been a leader in promoting accessibility in architecture, recently designing prototype houses for wounded and disabled veterans.

This month, Graves will also be launching a new line of more than 300 products at retailer J.C. Penney, including kitchen appliances, candlesticks, and a toaster shaped like a piece of toast. The Indianapolis-born architect will return to his hometown on March 28 to give a lecture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and he recently spoke with the Indy Star about delivering papers for the publication as a child, architecture, and the new product line. An exhibition of Graves’ work, From Towers to Teakettles, is also on display at the Virginia Center for Architecture through March 31.

City College’s Spitzer School of Architecture to Broadcast Lectures Online

Dean's List, East
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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Louis Kahn's National Assembly building in Bangladesh. (William Curtis)

Louis Kahn’s National Assembly building in Bangladesh. (William Curtis)

One of the most important components of any architecture school is its semester-long lecture series. It’s a chance for schools to bring in voices from outside their building and communicate to students a broad range of approaches and ideas percolating in the culture and profession. Many schools send out posters of these lectures to other schools across the country to announce their programing and these are posted on hallway walls for all to see even if they are thousands of miles away on another coast.

But now City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture has taken the next step and is simulcasting its lectures live online for the public to view. Old lectures will be archived and viewable any time. This semester City College is focusing its lectures on Rethinking Kahn and have scheduled a distinguished line up of Louis Kahn scholars including Stanislaus von Moos this Thursday, February 28 speaking on Kahn’s urban projects. On March 7, Ken Frampton will be speaking on monumentality in Kahn’s work. March 21 will feature Gina Pollara who will lecture on New York’s FDR Memorial on Roosevelt Island and its construction. After that Robert Twombley and William J.R. Curtis will lecture. On the Friday after William Curtis’ lecture, there will be a discussion between William Curtis and George Ranalli and Rethinking Kahn.

Act Fast! Early Bird Registration for Facades+PERFORMANCE Ends on March 1

East
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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Registration for AN‘s Facades+PERFORMANCE conference is now open with a limited-time Early Bird pricing offer that expires on March 1. The conference is taking place in New York City on April 11 and 12 and will feature presentations and workshops from leaders in the industry who will analyze, discuss, and dispute the development, implementation, and maintenance of high-performance building enclosures. Noted architect Christoph Ingenhoven will be delivering the keynote address. Make sure to reserve your spot today before Facades+PERFORMANCE sells out!

The City That Never Was: Learning from the Spanish Housing Bubble

International
Monday, February 25, 2013
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Conditions outside of Madrid. (Jennifer E. Cooper)

Conditions outside of Madrid. (Jennifer E. Cooper)

Described as “crime scene photos,” stark images of Spain’s housing bubble landscapes depict a grim reality. But instead of a somber discourse on the evils of political corruption and real estate speculation, the Architectural League’s symposium this past Friday, The City That Never Was, looked forward and, as Iñaki Abalos aptly asked, wondered if we, “can turn shit into gold.”

Building on their research and design studios at the University of Pennsylvania, Chris Marcinkoski and Javier Arpa, the moderators, explored the future of urbanism through the lens of Spain’s economic crisis and its resulting desolate urban form. Framing the historical context of boom and bust cycles, they reveal that the Spanish situation is only unique in scale and intensity. It exists as part of a larger commodification of urbanism all over the world resulting in similar conditions in an ever simplified placeless urbanism.

Continue reading after the jump.

Notes from The Innovative Metropolis: Fostering Economic Competitiveness Through Sustainable Urban Design

International
Friday, February 22, 2013
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brookings_washu_01

Left to right: Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow & Director, Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, The Brookings Institution; Oliver Schulze, Principal of Schulze + Grassov (Copenhagen); Chandra Brown, president of United Streetcar (Portland); and Jonathan Solomon, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Syracuse University (Hong Kong). (Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks)

Covering ground from Sao Paulo to Copenhagen, a set of multi-disciplinary discussions were convened in Washington, DC yesterday by the Brookings Institution and the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis, to explore the synergies between urban design, policy, and finance required to realize innovation in the way we construct our environment. The discussions focused on global case studies relative to urban mobility, technology, and environmental adaptation, against the backdrop of global urbanization and climate change.

While lessons were gleamed, it was clear that what was needed was “not one urbanism,” as Dean Moshen Mostafavi of the Harvard GSD put it, but “Urbanisms,” tuned to the “logic” of a given geography, climate, and culture. While existing within larger ecologies that, as Valente Souza of Mexico City asserted, may contain “their own solutions,” cites are, as Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution emphasized “complex economic systems” and any sustainable initiatives must address consumer demands. As Alex Washburn, Chief Urban designer for New York City summarized, “all change is driven by desire.”

Watch videos of the proceedings of “The Innovative Metropolis” on the Brookings Institution website.

Colloquium to Revisit the Building of Tadao Ando’s Pulitzer Foundation in St. Louis

Midwest
Thursday, February 7, 2013
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The Pulitzer Foundation by Tadao Ando. (Courtesy Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts)

The Pulitzer Foundation by Tadao Ando. (Courtesy Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts)

Tadao Ando’s architecture strives for perfection, with glass-smooth concrete walls nearly as reflective as mirrors, ideal proportion and geometry creating a sacred sense of space, and design details that reveal no part of a building is too small for consideration. In fact, as one story goes, Ando requested that a foot-thick concrete wall at his Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis be rebuilt multiple times since it didn’t meet his strict standards.

The Pulitzer, one of only a handful of buildings the Japanese architect has completed in the United States and the first in the US intended for public use, opened in 2001, demurely set behind a concrete wall in the city’s Grand Center neighborhood. This Friday and Saturday (February 8 and 9), the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and Washington University in St. Louis are hosting the free Building Pulitzer colloquium looking back at the four-year construction period of Ando’s Pulitzer Foundation.

Continue reading after the jump.

EVENT> Exploring The Connection Between Paris and Los Angeles

West
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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Inside the Schindler House, site of the first "Dialogue". (www.visitwesthollywood.com)

Inside the Schindler House, site of the first “Dialogue.” (www.visitwesthollywood.com)

Starting Wednesday, January 30, LA’s MAK Center and arts promoter ForYourArt will begin hosting Dialogues: Art/Architecture, Paris/Los Angeles, a series of events bringing together architects and artists from those two cities. Events include four discussions at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, an exhibition of drawings and models at ForYourArt in Miracle Mile, and the launch of a  publication compiling participants’ work and discussion.

More details after the jump.

EVENT> January 24: New Practices Finale with The Living + Google

East, Newsletter
Thursday, January 17, 2013
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TheLiving-LivingLight(1)

Framed:Interfaces, Narratives, and the Convergence of Architectural and Internet Technologies
Thursday, January 24
6:00pm-8:00pm
AIA New Practices New York
29 Ninth Avenue/Axor NYC Showroom

The Living, which sounds like an indie band but is actually one of the 2012 AIA New Practices New York winners, will conclude this year’s New Practices conversation series with a bang.

The firm has gained recognition for developing futuristic forms through new technologies and prototyping, and for “Framed: Interfaces, Narratives, and the Convergence of Architectural and Internet Technologies” The Living’s David Benjamin, who also directs the Living Architecture Lab at Columbia’s GSAPP, will sit down with Jonathan Lee, a designer at Google UXI, that company’s design think tank. Following what promises to be a lively presentation and conversation, a reception will celebrate the conclusion of the New Practices series.

The January 24 event, which is co-hosted by The Architect’s Newspaper, will be held at Axor’s NYC showroom. Free of charge with AIA CES credits provided. RSVP here.

Thursday> Ed Potakar’s Art and Music in New York

East
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
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soundwall_01

Stop by New York’s John Houshmand Showroom on Thursday, January 17 from 6:00 to 9:00p.m. to take in some art and music, part of the Soundwall exhibition. Ed Potakar’s sound sculptures, audio architecture, and handcrafted musical instruments will be on display with a special performance at 7:30p.m. More info here.

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Friday> AN Talks with Snøhetta’s Craig Dykers at the Center for Architecture

East
Thursday, January 10, 2013
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Craig Dykers.

Craig Dykers.

Join AN this Friday, January 11 at the Center for Architecture for the next Cocktails & Conversations discussion between AN‘s Editor-in-Chief William Menking and Snøhetta principal Craig Dykers. The program pairs a leading architect with a critic, journalist, or curator for an evening of conversation. Bartender Toby Cecchini will be preparing special cocktails inspired by the unique architecture of Snøhetta. We’re guessing it might be called the Fjord with a shot of Blue Curacao and big, craggy mountains of ice.

AIA Chicago to Honor Farr Associates, Valerio Dewalt Train, Lynn Becker, More

Midwest
Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Farr Associates

Farr Associates

AIA Chicago announced their 2012 awards, to be officially presented tomorrow at the chapter’s annual meeting.

Firm of the year goes to Farr Associates, whose sustainable design credentials include seven LEED Platinum projects, two net-zero-energy buildings and three LEED-Neighborhood Developments. Farr was the first firm in the world to rack up three LEED Platinum projects. The New York Times’ Keith Schneider once called them “The most prominent of the city’s growing cadre of ecologically sensitive architects.” Eco-urbanists are in good company these days, and it seems a timely choice by AIA to highlight a firm so actively involved in the hard work of implementing smart growth and sustainable design.

More after the jump.

Tuesday! Discuss Downtown LA’s Resurgence at the A+D Museum

West
Monday, November 12, 2012
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Student rendering of a re-thought MOCA, from Grand Illusion. (USC)

Student rendering of a re-thought MOCA, from Grand Illusion. (USC)

As we’ve reported quite a bit, downtown LA is seeing a formidable resurgence. An equally formidable panel will meet at LA’s A+D Museum on Tuesday to debate the phenomenon, looking at the architectural development of Grand Avenue, adaptive reuse in the historic corridor, hip emergence and clean tech in the arts district, and so on.

Panelists include architect Michael Maltzan; AN West Coast Editor Sam Lubell; KCRW’s Frances Anderton; Ayahlushim Getachew, Senior Vice President at Thomas Properties Group; Bob Hale, Principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios;  and Carol Schatz, President and CEO of Downtown Center Business Improvement District and the Central City Association. The event will also include a signing of Anderton’s illuminating new book on Grand Avenue, Grand Illusion. 

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