Unbelievabubble! Inflatable Mania Overcomes USC Students

Dean's List, West
Friday, March 30, 2012
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Students check out one of the three installations.

Students examine "Sheer Pressure" from inside and out. (Pouya Goshayeshi)

In the interest of getting students to build physical things, three years ago, USC introduced Top Fuel, a week-long design-build workshop accompanied by lectures, exhibitions, and panels. This year’s workshop, “Filters Funnels Flows,” wrapped up earlier this week. It focused on pneumatic (aka inflatable) structures, teaching students about the “inseparable relation between form and performance of pneumatic systems.” Indeed, produce the wrong form here (or material, or structure) and the piece doesn’t inflate. Students also explored lighting, temperature, and other environmental issues.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Disco Inferno At UCLA Creates Amorphous Oddities

Dean's List, West
Friday, March 30, 2012
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(Gustavo Martinez)

In a city obsessed with spectacle, it seems only fitting that graduate architecture students at UCLA would investigate the subject in one of its most literal forms. The students (including the author of this blog post) have designed objects, known collectively as Space Oddities, or Variations on the Disco Ball, for a 10-week technology and construction seminar led by professor Jasson Payne. The pieces, morphed from their disco ball origins, are now neither spherical nor symmetrical. Hung in a darkened gallery, they cast a dizzying array of reflections, shapes, shadows, and forms across the room.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York Urbanism Times

East
Friday, March 30, 2012
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Speedbumps and stop signs make way for the proposed "Holly Whyte Way" (Courtesy NYCDOT via The Observer)

Speedbumps and stop signs make way for the proposed "Holly Whyte Way"--aka, Sixth-and-a-half-Avenue. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

Today’s New York Times is packed with urbanism stories, with three articles and two Op-ed pieces that made it to print. First, there’s Speaker Christine Quinn‘s exemption for Related Properties’ Hudson Yards project from the Living Wage bill. Then there are rumblings from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer‘s office that he isn’t pleased that NYU “seems to be backpedaling” on their 2.2 million square foot proposal. A source says the university may be able to get by on 1.5 million square feet.  “When you propose a plan you know will overwhelm the existing community, you lose credibility with architects, planners and land-use experts, and you lose the heart and soul of a community,” the BP told the paper. But wait there’s more…

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Shift_Design’s Philly Shake Shack Green Wall

Fabrikator
Friday, March 30, 2012
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Ivy climbs custom steel panels that conceal the food stand's construction site (Shift_Design)

A temporary installation spruces up the burger stand’s site ahead of its summer opening

Two years ago, Mario Gentile founded Phildelphia-based Shift_Design after being laid off from Peter Marino Architects. With an infant son in tow, he began to design and manufacture a range of systems for outdoor garden environments. The company was part of the GoodCompany incubation program for socially responsible products and will complete a green roof, living wall, and rainwater harvesting system at the Urban Outfitters headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in September. They are also working with Philadelphia’s Water Department to design new stormwater-collecting planters. Though functional and environmentally minded, the group’s work has a lighthearted appeal for urban environments—something that’s apparent in its newly completed installation at the construction site of Danny Meyer’s first Philadelphia Shake Shack, scheduled to open this summer.

Continue reading after the jump.

Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction 2012

International, Newsletter
Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Urban Remediation and Civic Infrastructure Hub, São Paulo, Brazil

Urban Remediation and Civic Infrastructure Hub, São Paulo, Brazil

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in Zurich, Switzerland has announced the winners of its 2012 Global Holcim Awards and the Holcim Innovation Prizes. Regional prize winners (15 for Global Awards and 53 for Innovation Prizes) were examined, and from them 3 Global Awards and 3 Innovation Prizes were handed out to projects that address environmental performance, social responsibility, and economic efficiency.

Each of the winning projects are innovative, future-oriented, and usually have a social or cultural component as a key part of their program.  This year’s jury for the Global Awards was headed by TEN Arquitectos’ Enrique Norton and included critic Aaron Betsky and architect Mario Botta. The Innovation Prize Jury was led by architect Harry Gugger and included economists and engineers.

Check out all the winners after the jump.

Hollywood Freeway Park Gains Allies in High Places

West
Thursday, March 29, 2012
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LA’s proposed 44-acre Hollywood Central Park, which would be set atop the capped 101 Freeway between Santa Monica and Hollywood boulevards, made new friends in Washington last week, according to the LA Daily News. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood met with local congressman Adam Schiff and Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP), a non-profit formed in 2008 to raise funds for the park. LaHood expressed interest in the project, and provided insights on its development and possible benefits. He also offered to have members of his staff contribute to its planning process.

Continue reading after the jump.

Laurie Olin Ties it Up

National
Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Laurie Olin expounds on the virtues of the bow tie.

Laurie Olin expounds on the virtues of the bow tie.

In an amusing aside, landscape architect Laurie Olin discussed his bow ties on the firm’s blog today. Olin briefly described the style of landscape architects. “Well, there are probably as many styles of dress for landscape architects as there are regions of the world for them to practice in,” he said. And he argued that there is a time and a place for the bow tie. “There are of course clients for whom you wear blue jeans, and events where that’s completely inappropriate.”

Ties in general, he added, are one of the last frontiers in attire for masculine elan. “I think that because there are so few details in men’s clothing and so little ornament, that ties have become uniquely important. It’s one of the last gasps of flair and color for men. Humans respond to color, and it signals various things. It signals that, ‘I’m a wild and crazy guy’ or ‘I’m alive’ or ‘I’m sensible.’”

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ONE Lab: Summer Session on Future Cities 2012

Dean's List, East
Thursday, March 29, 2012
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The Future Brooklyn Navy Yards Home of ONE Lab. (Courtesy Terraform ONE)

The Future Brooklyn Navy Yards Home of ONE Lab. (Courtesy Terraform ONE)

ONE Lab, New York School for Design + Science is a non-profit research and education collaborative that plans to begin year-round programming when the historic renovation of Building 128 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is complete in 2014. This innovative, interdisciplinary school currently operates out of the Metropolitan Exchange, a professional cooperative at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  The co-chairs, Maria Aiolova and Mitchell Joachim of urban ecology thinktank Terreform ONE, seek to promote “research and education at the intersection of design and science.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> The Hectic New York of the 1920s

East
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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For your afternoon enjoyment, check out this silent film from 1921 we spotted at the Urbanophile called Manhatta. The short film by Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler documents city life in Lower Manhattan during a typical day, from the arrival of a ferry at the Battery Maritime Building to construction of skyscrapers to a Manhattan sunset. Our favorite scenes, however, are the chaotic streets (“Where the city’s ceaseless crowd moves on, the live long day.”) filled with people, cars, buggies, trolleys, elevated rail lines, and bikes all moving in the same shared space. Take a look.

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Archi-Spring Has Sprung: AN Takes in Three Events Across New York

East
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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The model of the winning AIDS Memorial by studio a+i.

The model of the winning AIDS Memorial by studio a+i at the Center for Architecture (AN/Stoelker)

It was a busy archi-spring night last night. The Municipal Arts Society held their debate on NYU’s 2031 expansion plan, the AIDS Memorial exhibit opened at the Center for Architecture, and Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century opened at the newly re-dubbed Walker Tower on West 18th Street. Read on for highlights of the MAS debate and to view few photos from the Center and Walker Tower…

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Addressing Water Scarcity at A+D

West
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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Tom Kosbau's winning vision for the Drylands Design Competition uses the LA River as a fertile agrarian center.

Tom Kosbau's winning vision for the Drylands Design Competition uses the LA River as a fertile agrarian center.

Last Thursday, we visited the opening of the A+D Museum’s new show, Drylands Design. While politicians squabble about oil and other resources, the show drives home the point that water is the reserve that will become the most fraught in the future as populations increase and climate change worsens. The Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University culled the exhibit from the winners of their Drylands Design Competition, which encouraged architects, engineers, and urban designers to respond to the challenges of coming water scarcity.

Continue reading after the jump.

Parking Increasingly Passé in Downtown Chicago Towers.  Parking Increasingly Passé in Downtown Chicago Towers Crain’s has an encouraging report on the drop in demand for parking spaces in Chicago’s downtown residential buildings. At Lakeshore East, which includes Studio Gang’s Aqua tower, only 40% of renters are leasing parking spaces. The developers had forecast a 55% demand. As a result many buildings are dropping the price for spaces. Other factors including buildings with on-site car sharing and secure bicycle storage areas are also likely cutting demand for parking spaces. As a result, some developers are rethinking how much parking to include in new projects, which would mean smaller podiums and more active street life, something any city would want.

 

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