On the Right Track?

Other
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
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(newtonxl/Flickr)

Yesterday afternoon in Denver, Colorado, President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law. The process of doling out the spoils begins, as we wait, and hope, for the desired economic recovery. One piece of good news for urbanites and green transportation advocates, the bill includes $8 billion for high-speed rail, according to Politico. Read More

Stimulus and Sandwiches

East
Monday, February 16, 2009
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The second of the “Not Business as Usual” lunchtime conversation series last Wednesday at the Center for Architecture in New York had quite a turnout, including laid off designers, freelancers, and managers of struggling firms. Everyone was looking for ideas in these turbulent economic times. Read More

Big Turbine Keep On Turnin’

Other
Thursday, January 15, 2009
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Touchstone Architecture/Columbia River Crossing

Everyone seems to be talking about infrastructure and green jobs, which are expected to be a big part of any Federal stimulus package. One tension, however, is that a lot of infrastructure projects, especially highways, are anything but green. Here’s one plan that attempts to reconcile this discrepancy, a wind turbine-equipped bridge planned for Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Read More

The Downturn of the McMansion?

Other
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
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 <bobs>/flickr

Amid the anxiety, speculation, and real hardship caused by the ongoing economic downturn, the provocative thesis of this Washington Post article stands out, which, if correct, could hold a silver lining for architects. Reporter Elizabeth Razzi interviews housing historian Virginia McAlester about how previous periods of economic declines shaped consumer demand for housing. The answer is simple and somewhat obvious: the demand for small houses rises. Her predictions for this cycle are less so. Read More

Not So Fast, Seaport Edition

East Coast, Other
Friday, December 19, 2008
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GGPs Seaport plans far from sunk. (Courtesy SHOP Architects)

SHoP's Seaport plans far from sunk. (Courtesy GGP)

The news that General Growth Properties–which is on the verge of bankruptcy due to a massive debt-load related to its acquisition of the Rouse Company in 2004–put three historic properties up for sale has led some observers to speculate that development plans for one of them–New York’s South Street Seaport–have hit the dustbin. Not so, AN has learned.

Read More

Strike Two? Not So Fast

Other
Thursday, December 18, 2008
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The Vanderbillt Yards await transformation. (Courtesy threecee/Flickr)

The Vanderbilt Yards await transformation. (Courtesy threecee/Flickr)

First Laurie Olin, now Frank Gehry. That was the news earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal reported that the Santa Monica-based architect had laid off “more than two dozen” staffers involved with Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project. What followed was a string of cheers predicting the troubled Brooklyn mega-development’s demise. After all, how could it go on without its signature architect?

While considering this question, I kept thinking of a comment made by Kermit Baker yesterday, during an interview about the abysmal November billings index. Given what’s going on elsewhere in the industry, the termination of a handful of architects may not signal the doomsday scenario the project’s critics would like, and instead may be one more credit-related payroll pause like many others around the nation: Read More

Hope for Housing (Update: And Carrión)

Other
Sunday, December 14, 2008
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President-elect Barack Obama named Shaun Donovan, chair of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD bio), to serve as his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The announcement came during his weekly web-address:

Read More

Miami Vices

Other
Friday, December 12, 2008
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The trading floor.

The trading floor.

Designer and AN friend Ken Saylor, of saylor+sirola, reports from Art|Basel|Miami Beach:

For the seventh year in a row, the international art world descended upon Miami Beach to instantly transform the city into a galaxy of cultural production, salesmanship, and hopefully, with this year’s delicate economy, elite consumption. If you add cars, champagne, mojitos, and cigars, provided by the current corporate sponsors, one’s experience of Art|Basel|Miami Beach was a decadently over-the-top trip to the beach.

With 24 auxiliary fairs attaching themselves to the main event, it is impossible to see everything, although everyone runs around the city in frantic abandon—entourages in tow—to openings, parties, parties, and, yes, more parties. Read More

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Landscapers Short On Green, Too

Other
Monday, October 6, 2008
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stella.errante/Courtesy Flickr

stella.errante/Courtesy Flickr

We’ve been tracking the AIA Architecture Billings Index ever since it took a dive last spring. But what about the rest of the design industry? Well, the American Society of Landscape Architects released its quarterly survey of member firms, and the numbers are no better than their brick-and-mortar friends.

In fact, the numbers are even worse, with only 16 percent of firms experiencing growth in their billings and 43 percent having stable or rising inquiries. Read More

Jitters? AIA to the Rescue

Other
Friday, October 3, 2008
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As the economic crisis continues to reverberate across the globe, everyone is feeling uneasy. Architects are particularly susceptible because the downturn stems from the housing collapse, which has crept into most ever sector of the construction industry.

Not to worry (too much). Last week, the AIA launched Navigating the Economy, a special webpage aimed at, well, helping architects navigate the economy during this time of uncertainty. Read More

Filed Under: ,

Looking for Work?

Other
Thursday, September 25, 2008
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Will design for food. <i>Courtesy the National Archive</i>

Will design for food. Courtesy the National Archive

As you already know, things aren’t going so well for architects right now, economically speaking. We got word earlier today that a certain three-letter firm laid off more than 100 employees in recent weeks, and smaller firms have been shedding staff as well. But there is hope yet. Should you be fired, that is.

Read More

The Economy & You, Humble Architect

Other
Thursday, September 18, 2008
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Meier, in better times. iCourtesty Cornell/i

Meier, in better times. Courtesy Cornell

There’s been a lot of questions about how the so-called credit crisis might impact the architecture and design industries. We’ve been tracking this for months, but so far no one has exactly admitted to apocalypse. Until now.

At a Vanity Fair party on Monday–the day the Dow dropped 504 points–man about town Richard Meier had some dour words for the Observer:

Read More

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