@MikeBloomberg: #SocialMedia is Complicated! SMH

East
Monday, March 26, 2012
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Demonstrators at the Design Commission Meeting mobilized on their Save Coney Island Facebook page.

Demonstrators at the Design Commission mobilized on their Save Coney Island Facebook page. (Stoelker/AN)

Mayor Bloomberg was in Singapore last Wednesday to accept the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize for sustainable planning, but it was the mayor’s comments on social media got the most play in The New York Times and the New York Post.

“I think this whole world has become a culture of ‘me now,’ rather than for my kids later on,” he was quoted as saying. “Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments. We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day, and it’s very hard for people to stand up and say, ‘No, no. This is what we’re going to do’ when there’s constant criticism and an election process.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Design Looks Up with Bluarch’s Cloud Installation

Fabrikator
Friday, March 23, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

The ceiling-mounted installation in made of 144,000 poplar pieces assembled by hand (Bluarch)

A geometric ceiling installation creates an organic, light-diffusing shape in a new Port Washington restaurant

New York-based architecture and interiors firm Bluarch has become known for innovative designs that have people looking up. The group has created ceiling installations for residences, restaurants, and retail locations across the world. One of their latest projects is close to home, at Innuendo restaurant and bar in Port Washington. Located on Main Street, the restaurant’s seamless storefront reveals a cloudlike ceiling installation with integrated lighting designed to create an ever-changing atmosphere.

Continue reading after the jump.

OHNY: Open Studios Husdon Square, Saturday, March 31

East
Thursday, March 22, 2012
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There are perhaps three–maybe four–design hubs in New York City. These hubs are places with high concentrations of architects and allied designers who are attracted by relatively large, light-filled spaces and the camaraderie of like-minded designers next door. These hubs are know mostly in the “cool” borough of Brooklyn (The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Dumbo and Red Hook), but the originally and still most “designer” dense is near Hudson Square, on Varick Street between Houston to Canal. Last month The Architect’s Newspaper collaborated with Open House New York (ohny.org) and had a hugely successful Saturday afternoon in Dumbo where over 35 architects opened there offices to the public.

Now we are doing second Open Studio on Varick Street, and the public will have the opportunity to visit some of the most high profile and active architects offices in the city. The event will take place on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m., and you can make a reservation to attend the day at OHNY’s website. The day will conclude with a drinks event at a local spot for all those participating in Open Studios.

Come by and say hello.

 

Manufacturing in the Future Happens on the Construction Site

Newsletter, West
Thursday, March 22, 2012
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In our recent story about architectural manufacturing in Southern California we alluded to LA-based curtain wall specialists Enclos‘ dream of manufacturing on-site through semi trailers that contain mini-factories inside. The assembly line trailers, known as “Cassette Wall Assembly Mobile Facilities,” would pull into the site and open up via hinges, rollers or adjustable panels. They could solve the problem of shipping glass curtain wall pieces long distances by putting all production onsite. “Auto-assemble robotic technology,” along with conveyer belts, suction cups (to move the glass), silicone pumps (for glazing), and of course human elbow grease could produce units quickly, accurately and, in many cases, in custom fashion. Here’s a video of that process. Welcome to the future, people.

ON VIEW> CARLO SCARPA: THE ARCHITECT AT WORK

East, East Coast
Thursday, March 22, 2012
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Palazzetto Site Plan. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Palazzetto Site Plan. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Carlo Scarpa: The Architect at Work
The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery
The Cooper Union
7 E. 7th Street
Through April 21
A collection of hand drawings and photographs of work by renowned postwar Italian architect Carlo Scarpa is on view for the first time in New York.  The exhibition depicts the conception and realization of two major works, the renowned Villa Ottolenghi (Bardolino, Verona, 1974–79) and the Il Palazzetto series of imagined interventions in a 17th-century villa (Monselice, Padua, 1969–78). Scarpa is renowned for his poetic expression of space through the use of materials and ornamentation, and visitors to the gallery will witness the architect’s development of spatial ideas through 22 original hand drawings of Villa Ottolenghi and 11 of Villa Il Palazzetto. Reproductions of historical photos taken of the Villa Ottolenghi before it was completed as well as recent and historical photos of Scarpa’s work at Villa Il Palazzetto are included, along with reproductions of his drawings for the Museo di Castelvecchio and the Museo Nazionale dell Arti del XXI secolo.

 

Minnesotans Driving Less, Taking Transit a lot More.  Minnesotans Driving Less, Taking Transit a lot More Nationally the number of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) has been declining in recent years. Transit ridership has also held steady or been climbing slightly. Minnesota seems to be a dramatic example of this new transportation reality, according to figures from the Minnesota Department of Transportation as reported on Minnpost.com. They cite a 40% increase in transit ridership from 2004 to 2011, and a small but significant decline in VMTs 2011 from their 2007 peak. Road congestion has also been easing slightly. High gas prices, an increasing preference for walkable neighborhoods, and teenagers postponing getting their licenses are all cited as contributing factors. It all adds up to further evidence that political rhetoric around gas prices, transportation, and energy policy needs to catch up to the reality on the ground.

 

Urban Intervention Finalists Imagine Seattle Center 2.0

West
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
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"Seattle Jelly Bean" by team PRAUD.

How can technology and science revolutionize and restore our public spaces—particularly those disconnected and decaying districts that remain after colossal events such as the Olympics, biennials, and world’s fairs? These immense programs have shaped many an urban core, for better or for worse, from the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 to the 2004 Athens Olympics.

As part of the Seattle Next Fifty, the 50th anniversary of the Seattle 1962 World’s Fair Century 21 Exposition, the Howard S. Wright Design Ideas Competition for Public Space challenged global designers, architects, and urban planners to re-imagine the 9 acre Seattle Center site that was part of the larger 74-acre campus, which hosted the original 1962 fair.

Continue reading after the jump.

Billings Remains in the Black Four Months in a Row

National
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS.

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS.

With the moody Architectural Billings Index landing in positive territory for the fourth straight month in February, the architectural community might begin to exhale a sigh of relief. Project inquiries alone saw its highest spike since 2007, up from 61.2 to 63.4 (anything over 50 indicates an increase in billings).

Continue reading after the jump.

Facing Threats BMW Guggenheim Lab Swerves Away from Berlin.  Facing Threats BMW Guggenheim Lab Swerves Away from Berlin While the commercialization of museums raises eyebrows in some circles in America, in Germany such criticism is much more forceful and threatening. Activist groups have derailed the planned May 24th opening in Berlin of the BMW Guggenheim lab, according to Bloomberg News. They  argued that the mobile lab–which debuted in New York and is traveling the globe, all bankrolled by the German luxury carmaker–would accelerate the gentrification of the Kreuzberg district. The Guggenheim has faced criticism for its sponsors and activities many times before, so this episode is not likely to spur much institutional reflection. According to the report, the Museum is currently shopping for a new host city.

 

On View> Architecture in the Expanded Field

West
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
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(Courtesy CCA Wattis Institute)

(Courtesy CCA Wattis Institute)

Architecture in the Expanded Field
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
1111 8th St., San Francisco
Through April 7

Theorist and critic Rosalind Krauss’s 1979 text “Sculpture in the Expanded Field” attempts to identify the scope of sculpture in a time when artists were redefining its traditional limits to include considerations of architecture, landscape, and space. The Wattis attempts a similar redefinition of the field of architecture; installations explore material, spatial, and perceptual concerns with emerging experimental technologies outside the limits of traditional architectural practice. A full-scale installation within and outside of the gallery transports visitors into the immersive environment, while a surface component presents the mapped expanded field of architectural installation.

Ped Plaza Hit-and-Run.  Silver Lake's soiled pedestrian plaza. (Sarah Dryden) Well that didn’t take long. Less than a month after opening it’s first pedestrian plaza carved out of underused road space in Silver Lake, a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles careened into massive planters meant to protect the plaza just before 5 a.m., spewing dirt across Rios Clementi Hale’s polka dotted plaza. Resident Sarah Dryden (whose car was also smashed up) snapped a photo of the mess. No one was hurt, but the city is now looking for more robust bollard options to keep the plaza safe from motorists. (Via Curbed LA.)

 

More Eyes on Rudolph’s Threatened Orange County Government Center.  More Eyes on Rudolph's Threatened Orange County Government Center Recently AN put a spotlight on Rudolph’s threatened Orange County Government Center, through photos and reporting, and many others are coming to defense of this challenging and bewitching building. The World Monuments Fund declared the building a culturally significant site, and a local group is protesting the planned demolition. Bloomberg’s James S. Russell just visited, declaring it, “insistently attention-grabbing in photos, the building reveals a surprising delicacy in person. Rudolph’s complicated shape-making domesticates the building’s institutional scale.”  Will prominent architects from around the country rally to around Rudolph’s singular creation? Time is running out.

 

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