Archinect - Features 2017-06-24T03:21:43-04:00 Can good design cure LA’s homeless problem? We asked Mike Alvidrez, CEO of Skid Row Housing Trust Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-06-23T14:30:00-04:00 >2017-06-24T00:51:09-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>For Skid Row Housing Trust, a nonprofit developer in Los Angeles that builds housing for LA&rsquo;s homeless population, good design is a basic civil right. Understanding that the environment plays a vital role in their residents&rsquo; recovery, the organization consistently teams up with renowned architectural firms such as <a href="" target="_blank">Michael Maltzan Architecture</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Brooks+Scarpa</a> to design buildings for the homeless that stand out.</p> (Un)believable Utopias: 6 Forgotten Projects and their Provocative Stories Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-06-16T10:06:00-04:00 >2017-06-19T03:01:03-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="659" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Consciously or otherwise, social context determines design. Architecture, in turn, is capable of not only representing political ideals but also of reinforcing or shaping them&mdash;for example, through fostering forms of collective living or through breaking down gendered behavioral norms. The following projects may not be well-remembered, but they represent ambitious attempts to address or challenge the status quo through the built environment.</p> Environmentalism Matters for Architects — With or Without the Paris Agreement Nicholas Korody 2017-06-02T13:00:00-04:00 >2017-06-05T13:26:49-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="434" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Yesterday, amidst the roses, magnolias, crabapples and Littleleaf lindens that populate the White House Rose Garden, the President announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the landmark international climate agreement made last year and signed by every country in the world except Syria and Nicaragua.*</p> Architects of Social Responsibility: Views of Humanitarian Architecture in Practice Hannah Wood 2017-05-24T12:11:00-04:00 >2017-05-24T17:17:55-04:00 <img src="" width="1200" height="600" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Last month, <a href="" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> announced they had hired former <a href="" target="_blank">Architecture for Humanity</a> co-founder Cameron Sinclair to lead their project to supply temporary housing to 100,000 people in need, shortly after launching a program to secure refuge for members of Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">homeless</a> community. Users of the online hospitality service can now register as &lsquo;hosts for good&rsquo;, and architects are stepping in to make that happen. <a href="" target="_blank">IKEA</a>&rsquo;s recent drive to create flat-pack temporary homes for refugee camps through their Foundation in collaboration with <a href="" target="_blank">UNHCR</a>&nbsp;is another example of how companies are exploring philanthropic interests through the medium of architecture. This month&rsquo;s feature engages with architects adopting a range of business models to pursue social responsibility and looks deeper into ways the profession is engaging with building for a common good.</p> Cross-Talk: 'Reflections of Agonist Reflections' by Eliyahu Keller Eli Keller 2017-05-24T12:10:00-04:00 >2017-05-27T18:57:14-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The definition provided by Wikipedia for &lsquo;agonism&rsquo; puts an emphasis on the legitimacy of struggle, on its &ldquo;permanent place&rdquo;, and less on the outcome of the conflict. With this&mdash;and not to say by any means that all struggles are valid&mdash;the point is still quite clear. It is the struggle that matters, not the result. It is the activity that counts, not where it leads. It is, as we tell children who lose a ball game, all about participation; it&rsquo;s about moving, staying fit, agile; it&rsquo;s about always being in flux.&nbsp;</p> Cross-Talk: 'The Agonist' by Clemens Finkelstein Clemens Finkelstein 2017-05-23T12:23:00-04:00 >2017-05-23T18:23:53-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>A(nta)gonistic&mdash;a fragile web composed of the agonist, antagonist, and anti-agonist&mdash;is how the contemporary struggle unfolds in architectural discourse: an interrelated mess of pretension shooting bursts of polemic observations and sadomasochistic exposure, bouncing from media-outlet to media-outlet till incoherently strung shibboleths and their comments ooze through touchscreens and keyboards in an attempt to incite debate, leaving fingers sticky.&nbsp;</p> Introducing Archinect's New Critical Debate Forum 'Cross-Talk' Anthony Morey 2017-05-22T14:09:00-04:00 >2017-05-28T22:31:03-04:00 <img src="" width="2056" height="1212" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The last four-plus decades have seen formidable developments in the discipline of architectural history and theory. This prolific production was disseminated publicly primarily through text-based mediums such as <em>Oppositions</em>, <em>Log</em> and <em>Assemblage</em>&mdash;among countless others. But now, the emergence of new media and platforms have dramatically changed the form and pace with which architectural ideas are transmitted. The slow pace of traditional text-centric publishing appears to be losing ground to the rapid production and transmission of images. Can text catch up with the image?</p> Chasing rabbits — tales from a new practice. David Capener 2017-05-19T05:30:00-04:00 >2017-05-24T10:45:35-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>My first entry into the practice diaries is apt. Last week I launched a new architects practice L&#333;F architects. I use the plural, but sat in my office &mdash; a small room at the bottom of my garden with just about enough room for either me or a swinging cat, but not both &mdash; I realise that the &rsquo;s&rsquo; is more a statement of future intent than a present reality. It&rsquo;s really just me on my own.&nbsp;</p> Parliaments around the world: what can architecture teach us about democracy? 2017-05-18T09:00:00-04:00 >2017-05-21T18:52:16-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="462" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>David Mulder van der Vegt and Max Cohen de Lara, who comprise the Amsterdam-based creative agency and architecture office <a href="" target="_blank">XML</a>, have spent the past five-years studying the halls of Parliament. Comparing all 193 different assembly halls, the duo investigates how the architecture of these political congregations affects the governing process and in effect, how architecture shapes political culture.</p><p>With recent elections in the US and abroad exposing serious divides in the politics of these nations,&nbsp;we have decided to share with you a timely excerpt from their book&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">Parliament</a>, </em>documenting their findings.&nbsp;</p> When a building is not the answer Julian Gitsham 2017-05-17T06:31:00-04:00 >2017-05-18T14:46:04-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>In between the rush from here to there, have you noticed that we&rsquo;re living in the &lsquo;inbetween&rsquo;?</p><p>While technology enables unprecedented levels of connectivity and inclusion, fragmentation abounds as our sense of community, belonging and traditional business models are turned on their heads.&nbsp;</p> The Impossible Innocence of Architecture Maartje Ter Veen 2017-05-16T13:34:00-04:00 >2017-05-18T20:24:25-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>There are as many definitions of architecture as there are architects. It is something that will never be set in stone, and that&rsquo;s a good thing. At the same time, &lsquo;What is architecture?&rsquo; is an essential question&mdash;a question that every architect and others in the field should continue to ask themselves to, at the very least, fully assume the position they have taken on, both in their profession and in society.</p> How can architecture become more diverse? On May 5th, L.A. AIA's "Encompass" conference addresses this question Julia Ingalls 2017-05-04T11:44:00-04:00 >2017-05-11T13:56:03-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="435" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Although there's always a few ignorant and ignoble members of any profession, architecture is primarily made up of progressively-minded, ethically-bound professionals. So why is architecture so white, male, and socioeconically monolithic? More importantly, how can these statistics be changed?</p> Why we're starting a print magazine after 20 years of publishing digitally Paul Petrunia 2017-05-02T15:31:00-04:00 >2017-05-03T01:56:30-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="418" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>When I started Archinect 20 years ago, in the summer of 1997, the internet was still many years away from becoming a replacement for newspapers and magazines. Since then, the media landscape has changed drastically, with most print publications now dedicating the majority of their time and budget to their digital platforms. Today we consume media in a different way than we have ever done in the past, for better or worse. We expect more content, with higher quality, but human nature tends to give in to the quick and gratifying. Journalism has struggled to monetize quality investigations and writing as sites like Buzzfeed have proven that listicles, fun photos, and quick content bites offer a much greater return in dollars and followers.</p> How 3 Architecture Firms Are Using Showreels to Present and Promote Their Work Julia Ingalls 2017-04-27T11:43:00-04:00 >2017-04-28T17:08:31-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="370" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>For a director or actor, putting together a showreel&mdash;a short video of spliced footage&mdash;is the first step in securing a gig. One may think of it as a cinematic portfolio: the means by which one presents work to the world of one's profession when the work is in motion. It might seem redundant, then, for an architect to have one too.&nbsp;After all, buildings are, by and large, static objects&mdash;and drawings, plans, photos and renderings can tell a lot. But, for those architects that do attempt to encapsulate their portfolio with real, edited footage&mdash;usually in combination with either voice-over or text statements&mdash;the rewards can be great. Not only does it make their work very accessible, it's also a bit of a control freak&rsquo;s dream: the narrative of the practice is orchestrated, down to the millisecond.</p> From Bjarke Ingels to Kengo Kuma, Ian Gillespie is a Developer that Appreciates the Value of Architecture Nicholas Korody 2017-04-26T12:12:00-04:00 >2017-04-26T20:59:01-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Making the leap from paper to brick and mortar (or from the screen to IRL) tends to require a fair amount of financial support. Back in the old days, that would mean a wealthy patron like a Medici or a Guggenheim. And today&mdash;well, it also usually means a wealthy patron. For big projects, like a <a href="" target="_blank">BIG</a> tower, they&rsquo;re often developers. But, as every architect knows, few developers actually support innovative design. Enter someone like Ian Gillespie, the founder of <a href="" target="_blank">Westbank</a> and the backer of many significant projects by major architects, from <a href="" target="_blank">Bjarke Ingels</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">Kengo Kuma</a>.</p> Globe trotting designers Peter Murray 2017-04-24T04:16:00-04:00 >2017-04-25T04:18:16-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Following my last blog on the size of London's architectural economy, I was interviewed for a programme on BBC television about the impact of Brexit. Jack Pringle, UK head of Perkins and Will and ex President of the RIBA, was also on the programme and showed the presenter around his office and quizzed his staff about where they were from - "Italy", "Slovakia", "Spain" they responded.</p> Brexit Diaries: Chris Williamson, 20 April 2017 Chris Williamson 2017-04-20T01:00:00-04:00 >2017-05-02T00:39:52-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>With the London Festival of Architecture opening in June &ndash; during which Weston Williamson and Partners have events planned &ndash; the organisers have commissioned a survey of the contribution that architecture makes to the UK economy. When we met last year, Tamsie Thompson the Director of LFA was keen to promote the event on a par with London Fashion week, and we suggested she needed firm evidence of the financial musclier order to convince Government why they should support her. She now has that research, and it makes interesting reading particularly for those responsible for our Brexit negotiations.</p> Johnston Marklee tackle the “tyranny of newness” in 2017's Chicago Architecture Biennial Julia Ingalls 2017-04-14T13:06:00-04:00 >2017-04-27T09:01:04-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="650" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>As the artistic directors of this year&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago Architecture Biennial</a>, Johnston Marklee are interested in examining history and its contributions to contemporary architecture in a way that isn&rsquo;t about promoting rearguard ideas, but rather one that demands a more thoughtful approach toward the value of &ldquo;newness.&rdquo;</p> Never Meant to Copy, Only to Surpass: Plagiarism Versus Innovation in Architectural Imitation Hannah Wood 2017-04-13T12:15:00-04:00 >2017-04-15T20:48:09-04:00 <img src="" width="1200" height="600" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Wangjing SOHO, a three tower complex in Beijing penned by <a href="" target="_blank">Zaha Hadid</a>, became a worldwide sensation when it was revealed that the scheme was being <a href="" target="_blank">plagiarized</a> by an illicit construction team in Chongqing, southern China. Despite the subsequent outcry from the professional design world, Hadid responded that if the &lsquo;copy-cat&rsquo; designs displayed innovative mutations, &ldquo;that would be exciting&rdquo;. While many architectural icons are commissioned precisely for their artistic originality, the design response is often non-site specific, which raises interesting questions when such icons are reproduced around the globe. What does it mean for architectural originality and innovation, when a &lsquo;copy-paste&rsquo; strategy is normalized?</p> Frank Gehry, Architectural Education, and the “Future of Prisons” Leo Shaw 2017-04-12T11:20:00-04:00 >2017-04-12T19:13:50-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Last week the Architect&rsquo;s Newspaper reported that <a href="" target="_blank">Frank Gehry</a>, the 88-year old superstar of American architecture, is teaching a course at <a href="" target="_blank">SCI-Arc</a> this spring entitled &ldquo;The Future of Prison.&rdquo;</p><p>To denizens of architecture Twitter, which has specialized in outrage over the past several months, the news seemed like a bad April Fool&rsquo;s joke. Even the course description had the tone-deaf optimism of a Silicon Valley pitch line, asking &ldquo;emerging architects to break free of current conventions and re-imagine what we now refer to as &lsquo;prison&rsquo; for a new era.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> Designing support for incarcerated trans and GNC people: an interview with from Next Up: Floating Worlds Nicholas Korody 2017-03-30T12:09:00-04:00 >2017-04-12T10:31:03-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>&ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank"></a> is necessary because we have an unjust bail system that keeps people in prison and detention for up to years at a time before ever seeing trial,&rdquo; says Blaine O&rsquo;Neill, one-third of, a crowdfunding tool to support, in particular, trans and gender nonconforming (GNC) people in jail, prison and detention. Comprising O&rsquo;Neill, Rye Skelton and Grace Dunham,;is a platform that uses design and new technologies to securely and anonymously connect a network of supporters to grassroots, trans and GNC led organizations that run community bail funds. We talked with them as part&nbsp;of Archinect&rsquo;s live podcasting event <em><a href="" target="_blank">Next Up: Floating Worlds</a></em>.&nbsp;</p> London's key role as a global design and construction skills hub Peter Murray 2017-03-29T01:00:00-04:00 >2017-03-30T12:20:16-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>"The analysis showed that London's architecture sector produced a massive &pound;1.7 billion in gross value added (GVA)&mdash;38 per cent bigger than the product, graphic and fashion design sectors put together and greater than many observers expected."</p> Brexit Diaries: Chris Williamson, 20 March 2017 Chris Williamson 2017-03-20T07:25:00-04:00 >2017-03-22T19:50:39-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>I am writing&nbsp;this month's&nbsp;Brexit Blog at MIPIM, the annual international property conference. The bill to leave received Royal Assent during the week with ironic timing. MIPIM is a good opportunity to find out about the real drivers of the property market and study changes&nbsp;post referendum.</p> Who Builds Your Architecture? A Critical Field Guide wbya? 2017-03-17T11:53:00-04:00 >2017-03-17T11:56:38-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="989" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><a href="" target="_blank">Who Builds Your Architecture?</a> (WBYA?) asks architects and allied fields to better understand how the production of buildings connects their design and consulting practices to the workers who ultimately build them. As a primer, the WBYA? Critical Field Guide introduces key terms, questions, case studies, and proposals that locate architecture within the complex transnational networks of contemporary building construction and connects it to the problems faced by construction workers who exist within the same system. It aims to shift the focus from how buildings are conceived by architects to how they are materialized by a broad network of people including architects, construction workers, and a host of other actors.&nbsp;</p> Reflecting and Refracting the Politics of Glass Architecture Jeffrey Grunthaner 2017-03-16T12:17:00-04:00 >2017-03-23T06:06:11-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="489" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>It seems to me unquestionable that an anti-capitalist world&mdash;a society that emphasizes process over product, lived experience over representations&mdash;would look very different from the one we currently inhabit. The distinguishing characteristics of that world are more difficult to determine. In what way would a historically unique organization of labor yield a correspondingly unique architecture?</p> Dissolving the line between client and staff spaces Robert Myers 2017-03-10T04:13:00-05:00 >2017-03-10T04:13:35-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><em>Workplace designers are changing their approaching to client spaces within the office. </em></p><p>Traditionally, clients occupied dedicated and contained spaces that are segregated&nbsp;from staff areas and amenities. These spaces are designed as microcosms for meeting and entertaining, often with higher levels of finishes and with the best views. A carefully planned sequence of arrival spaces and &lsquo;protected routes&rsquo; guide clients to these areas, which would often be the only spaces visitors see.</p> Phil Freelon on Engaging with Black History Through Architecture Nicholas Korody 2017-03-02T17:04:00-05:00 >2017-03-02T17:04:31-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="449" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>From translating historic iron latticework into a digitally-produced fa&ccedil;ade to ensuring LEED certification, <a href="" target="_blank">Phil Freelon</a> played a pivotal, and perhaps under-recognized, role in the creation of the critically-acclaimed <a href="" target="_blank">National Museum of African American History and Culture</a>.&nbsp;</p> Decoding Gender Discrimination in Design with QSPACE Nicholas Korody 2017-03-02T12:20:00-05:00 >2017-04-03T20:50:51-04:00 <img src="" width="3300" height="3300" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Last week, President Trump <a href="" target="_blank">rescinded</a> an Obama-era order that had provided protections for transgender and <a href="" target="_blank">gender nonconforming</a> (GNC) students by allowing them to use bathrooms that correlate to their gender identity. Often unnoticed spaces, bathrooms have become the locus point for struggles to secure civil rights for trans and GNC individuals since the passing of exclusionary &lsquo;<a href="" target="_blank">Bathroom Bills</a>&rsquo; in North Carolina and nine other states last year, which, among many other things, force individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex registered on their birth certificate. <a href="" target="_blank">QSPACE</a>, a &ldquo;queer architecture research organization&rdquo; based at the <a href="" target="_blank">GSAPP</a> Incubator in New York, has been working to expose the complicity of design in this dangerous architecture of normativity: &ldquo;how laws, codes, and design standards systematically create exclusionary and sometimes violent spaces for members of the LGBTQ community.&rdquo;</p> Uncovering the Architecture of Colonialism with 'The Funambulist' Nicholas Korody 2017-03-01T07:56:00-05:00 >2017-03-06T03:16:03-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="907" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Funambulist </em></a>is a bimestrial online and print journal founded by the French architect L&eacute;opold Lambert in 2015. Operating alongside a blog and a podcast, <em>The Funambulist </em>critically engages with some of the most pressing issues of the day, focusing on the political relationships between bodies and the built environment. Their tenth issue, released today, contends with the role of architecture in colonialism, understood here not as a "delimited period" but rather as a "continuous process" and "system of domination". To celebrate the issue&rsquo;s launch, Archinect is featuring the introduction, which is written by Lambert, edited slightly for clarity. &nbsp;</p> Brexit Diaries: Andrew Whalley of Grimshaw, 27 February 2017 Andrew Whalley 2017-02-27T01:00:00-05:00 >2017-03-10T13:01:04-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>As Theresa May prepares to invoke Article 50 before the imminent March 2017 deadline, the UK Government are on the lookout for new economic partnerships to bolster the country&rsquo;s long term financial position.</p>