A Thousand Drops of Light in Madison Square Park

East
Monday, November 29, 2010
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Scattered Light installation by Jim Campbell (Photo by James Ewing courtesy Madison Square Park Conservancy)

Scattered Light installation by Jim Campbell (Photo by James Ewing courtesy Madison Square Park Conservancy)

Upon first stumbling across this massive array of 2,000 LED lights encased in standard light bulbs in Madison Square Park a few weeks ago, I thought holiday decoration had come a little early to the Flatiron’s front yard, but as shadowed figures began moving across the field of light, it became apparent that this installation by artist Jim Campbell was something special.

More info and a couple videos after the jump.

Remembering Louis Sullivan, Seed-Germ Savant

Midwest
Monday, November 29, 2010
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Louis Sullivan set out to invent an architecture of democracy. (Courtesy Whitecap Films)

There’s been no shortage of worthy architectural documentaries in recent years, but you’ll want to make room on your DVD rack for the latest look at a major American figure: Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture. Recently given its New York premiere courtesy of the good people at Docomomo New York/Tri-State, this touching and tragic film offers a portrait of the man who perhaps more than anyone aspired to create an American style of architecture, yet was left behind by a nation on the cusp of a century that Sullivan himself did much to define. Read More

Biennale Finale

International
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
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This is the last Venice Architecture Biennale post for 2010–I promise! The organization that oversees all the Venetian biennales (art, film, music etc.), la Biennale di Venezia, sent us a press release with the numbers from the just concluded architecture exhibition. It claims that 170,000 people visited the event, a 31% increase over the last architecture exhibit in 2008  (which had 129,323 attendees). It should be pointed out however that the older and more established art biennale had 375,702 attendees in 2009. The exhibition included the participation of 53 Countries and 20 Collateral events sponsored by international institutions and organizations and located in various venues in and around Venice. Read More

Urban Planning as a Psychoactive Drug

National
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
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Manhattan and Central Park (Courtesy jmac1963 / flickr)

Manhattan and Central Park (Courtesy jmac1963 / flickr)

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta points out a University of Michigan, Ann Arbor study suggesting that city dwellers harbor more stress than their suburban counterparts, but says access to parks could be the cure. Researchers have found that spending time in parks or park-like settings can help reduce cognitive effort and promote relaxation.

While that may seem obvious, check out the rest…

Getting Ready For The Big One

West
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
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Earthquake damage in Haiti.

It sounds like a summer blockbuster, but it’s actually one of the most important symposia this year. Imminent Danger: Earthquake Disaster and Risk Reduction In U.S. Cities. It’s being held on December 1 at UCLA, and features engineers, physicists, geologists, architects, and public officials getting together to discuss how to best prepare for the inevitable ground shaking disasters that will hit our cities in the near future. Thanks (unfortunately) to recent quakes in Haiti, Chile, and China, the group has a lot of new input to discuss. “Every time there’s a large seismic event we learn more,” said Gensler principal Rob Jernigan, who is one of the event participants. He adds that the conference is also a way for  architects, engineers and other experts to come up with innovative earthquake-proof buildings that don’t look like large bunkers: “We have to design for lateral movements without making giant, clumsy joints. We can develop a level of refinement,” he said.

Models of Ruin Show Eerie States Of Abandonment

Other
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
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After Effects model (Courtesy Daniele Del Nero)

After Effects model (Courtesy Daniele Del Nero)

The cult of decay is an enthralling topic.  This inevitability of time serves as the inspiration of Italian artist Daniele Del Nero‘s new project “After Effects” consisting of a series of model houses in advanced states of decay.  Del Nero covered the models in flour and mold which then grew to nearly consume the models.  These eerie miniatures appear strangely similar to plant-strewn ruins of many ailing rustbelt cities that have captivated public imagination as cities continue to wrestle with abandonment and revitalization. [ Via designboom. ]

Take a look at a few of the models after the jump.

Note to Planners: Think Twice Before Banishing My Porsche

National
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
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Rick Harrison's extremely rapid personal transport. (Courtesy newgeography)

Last week we brought you the news that your commute might not be as bad as you thought it was. Which is good, considering how much Americans love their cars. Now, the good folks at newgeography explore what might happen if we tax suburbanites for owning and driving vehicles. In this witty piece, author and neighborhood designer Rick Harrison explores the outcome if a majority of Americans are forced to quit their “addiction” to cars. Read More

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LACMA Puts Kibosh On New Building

West
Monday, November 22, 2010
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May Company Building

We’ve just learned via the LA Times that construction-happy LACMA has suspended all future projects until they’ve raised another $100 million. The news comes on the heels of a mixed finance review from Moody’s Investors Service, which downgraded its ratings outlook from “stable” to “negative.” The museum has so far raised about $320 million for its construction program, and its construction bonds kept their A2 rating. The suspension means an official halt to SPF:A Architects’ LACMA West Project, which includes the renovation of the 1939 May Company building on Wilshire and Fairfax into new gallery spaces. That project was originally scheduled for completion this year. It also puts a longer hold on renovation projects on LACMA’s east end, which were to be the third phase of LACMA’s campus transformation.

The Latest From Gwynne Pugh

West
Monday, November 22, 2010
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The logo for Pugh's new firm

We recently ran into Gwynne Pugh, former principal at Pugh + Scarpa (now Brooks + Scarpa), who earlier this fall left his longtime job (22 years to be exact) to start his own firm, Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio. It seems that he’s already quite busy working as an urban design consultant. Pugh, who sees himself as an intermediary between cities and developers, is consulting with agencies in the cities of San Diego, Carson, and Long Beach. He’s also teaming up with Bridge Housing on an affordable housing project in Santa Monica and working with Coca Cola to review its sustainability scheme for its bottling plant in Downey. Pugh is also president of the planners’ division of the  League of California Cities. “It’s been a great opportunity for me to focus on some of these issues I care about,” said Pugh, who right now is working with three employees, and plans to move to a new office in Playa Vista in the beginning of next year.

Hudson Square Pushes to Reclaim Pedestrian Space

East, East Coast
Monday, November 22, 2010
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Street scene in  Hudson Square (Courtesy Hudson Square Connection)

Street scene in Hudson Square (Courtesy Hudson Square Connection)

A major transformation of the once-industrial Hudson Square neighborhood in Lower Manhattan aims to bring pedestrian vitality to streets originally designed for delivery trucks servicing printing houses.  Crain’s reports that Hudson Square Connections, the local business improvement district, has selected a design group led by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects from a pool of 23 respondents to create a new streetscape to improve the area’s image.

More on the plan to balance the area’s changing demographics.

Celebrating Sustainability at Chicago's Art Institute

Midwest
Monday, November 22, 2010
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Party-goers holding court at Chicago's Art Institute (photos: Andrew Hensley)

On November 17, The Architect’s Newspaper and Buro Happold, along with our other event partners Dow Building Solutions, Graphisoft, American Hydrotech, and Adaptive Building Initiative, celebrated GreenBuild at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing. Renzo Piano’s LEED certified building proved to be a stylish venue for the hundreds of architects, engineers, designers, and other assorted revelers. Click through for pictures of some of the evening’s hundreds of party-goers. It was quite the green scene! Read More

Stay Up To Date with AN on Facebook and Twitter

Other
Monday, November 22, 2010
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Can’t get enough architecture and design news?  Neither can we.  Now you can stay on the cutting edge of the latest industry news and insightful critique from The Architect’s Newspaper by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter?  It’s an easy way to stay informed and share stories from The Architect’s Newspaper with your friends.

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