Archinect - News 2015-11-27T21:25:02-05:00 A global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary to stave off the worst of climate change, says new UN report Nicholas Korody 2015-11-25T23:12:00-05:00 >2015-11-27T20:22:33-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="351" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today. As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: 'Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.'"<br><br><strong>Related coverage:</strong></p><ul><li><a title="Unchecked climate change will make the Gulf uninhabitable, claims new study" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unchecked climate change will make the Gulf uninhabitable, claims new study</a></li><li><a title="Major international companies to set targets to switch to renewable energy" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Major international companies to set targets to switch to renewable energy</a></li><li><a title="Architecture of the Anthropocene, Part 1" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture of the Anthropocene, Part 1</a></li></ul> Architecture and the index: McKenzie Wark on Eyal Weizman and Forensic Architecture Nicholas Korody 2015-11-09T16:38:00-05:00 >2015-11-11T08:49:29-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Besides the thing itself, architecture concerns itself with two kinds of sign about it: iconic signs and symbols. Iconic signs resemble the thing itself. They are the plans and elevations and isometrics. The more symbolic architecture is that of language, the word, the logo and so forth. The postmodern turn shifted the emphasis from the iconic to the symbolic. I think [Eyal] Weizman has created an architecture about a whole other kind of sign &ndash; the index.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Indexical signs are traces of events: where there is smoke there is fire. The smoke does not resemble the fire. It is not an icon. Nor does it have a code like a symbolic sign system. Forensics is a matter of working backwards from the index to the event of which it is the sign, like in a detective story. A forensic architecture takes as its subject events that happen or don&rsquo;t happen in build space, including the destruction of built space."</p> Woodbury University launches new Masters of Landscape Architecture program in San Diego Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-10-28T18:01:00-04:00 >2015-11-04T23:31:47-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Woodbury University is expanding its architecture masters programs by adding a new MLA at its Barrio Logan campus in San Diego, beginning fall of 2016. The MLA will begin alongside another new program on the campus, a Masters of Interior Architecture.</p><p>With locations in San Diego, Los Angeles and Burbank, Woodbury is fully embedded within naturally dry (and currently drought-suffering) landscapes. Within this context, the final year of the MLA program will have students working with the Arid Lands Institute, a design-centered research organization associated with Woodbury that's devoted to developing sustainable solutions to the unreliable future of water as wrought by climate change. (ALI co-founders Charles and Hadley Arnold also served as jurors in Archinect's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures</a> competition.)</p><p>"With a landscape architecture program at the graduate level," says&nbsp;Jose Parral, Associate Professor at Woodbury in San Diego, "we can bring a unique community together within the&nbsp;Southern California/...</p> Unchecked climate change will make the Gulf uninhabitable, claims new study Nicholas Korody 2015-10-26T21:03:00-04:00 >2015-10-27T08:04:05-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="382" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Gulf in the Middle East, the heartland of the global oil industry, will suffer heatwaves beyond the limit of human survival if climate change is unchecked, according to a new scientific study. The extreme heatwaves will affect Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and coastal cities in Iran as well as posing a deadly threat to millions of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, when the religious festival falls in the summer.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The study shows the extreme heatwaves, more intense than anything ever experienced on Earth, would kick in after 2070 and that the hottest days of today would by then be a near-daily occurrence."<br><br><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a title="Luxury Anthropocene: Dubai gets its first private floating islands" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Luxury Anthropocene: Dubai gets its first private floating islands</a></li><li><a title="It's only August but humans have already consumed a year's worth of resources" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">It's only August but humans have already consumed a year's worth of resources</a></li><li><a title="The climate is getting hotter, and we're not doing nearly enough" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The climate is getting hotter, and we're not doing nearly enough</a></li><li><a title="Scientists Propose Using Lasers to Fight Global Warming" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Scientists Propose Using Lasers to Fight Global Warming</a><br>&nbsp;</li></ul> The climate is getting hotter, and we're not doing nearly enough Nicholas Korody 2015-10-07T20:27:00-04:00 >2015-10-07T20:27:34-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="364" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>To stand a fair chance of keeping warming to just 2&deg;C by the end of the century&mdash;the de-facto goal of global climate policy&mdash;the stock of atmospheric carbon dioxide must be kept under 1 trillion tonnes ... If emissions continue on their present course around 140 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases will be released each year and temperatures could rise by 4.5&deg;C by 2100. And even if countries fully honour their recent pledges, temperatures may still increase by 3.5&deg;C by then.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In the article, the author lays out an argument that "when negotiators meet in Paris, they need to keep in mind that the world is already suffering from the effects of global warming." At the crux of it lies the fact that the current, so-called "ambitious" plans of the world's largest economies, like the US and China, still fall short of what's needed.</p> Major international companies to set targets to switch to renewable energy Nicholas Korody 2015-09-23T18:36:00-04:00 >2015-09-28T23:40:44-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="381" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Some of the world&rsquo;s most prominent companies are expected to set a long-term target on Wednesday of powering their operations entirely with renewable energy, the latest in a wave of commitments suggesting that corporations are becoming more serious about battling global warming. In addition, backers of a campaign to divest from fossil fuels announced Tuesday that investment managers controlling assets of $2.6 trillion had joined their effort...</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Times article considers this a clear sign that the fossil fuel divestment campaign has "spread far beyond its modest origins on American college campuses."<br><br>On Wednesday, nine major companies are set to join a coalition committed to making the switch to renewable energy, including Johnson &amp; Johnson, Procter &amp; Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart and Goldman Sachs.<br><br>The news comes as Pope Francis is on a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">historic tour</a> of the United States, continuing his appeal for a robust and united effort to mitigate global warming. In November, the leaders of the world's nations will <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">meet in Paris</a> to attempt (for yet another time) to create a real and substantial climate agreement.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;</p> L.A.'s urban heat island effect accounts for temperatures up to 19 degrees hotter Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-09-22T17:44:00-04:00 >2015-09-28T23:55:22-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="397" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>the greater L.A. area sees more additional heat than any other region, in part because of how urbanized it is. [...] Solutions include planting more trees and bushes, painting roofs white so they don&rsquo;t absorb as much heat and using lighter colored concrete on streets and sidewalks.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Sea level rise accelerating, according to new data from NASA Nicholas Korody 2015-08-31T18:53:00-04:00 >2015-09-01T18:16:15-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="276" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>NASA has <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">released</a> new images that show an acceleration in global sea level rise, from about 1 millimeter per year at the beginning of the last century to 3 millimeters per year today.</p><p>&ldquo;NASA&rsquo;s been looking down at the oceans from space for about the last 23 years,&rdquo; explains Josh Willis, a NASA climate scientist, in a video posted below. &ldquo;And when they do we see the sea levels are rising &ndash; rapidly. Much more rapidly than they have any time in the last thousand years."</p><p>Since 1992, NASA has noted about 7 centimeters of sea level rise total. While this may not seem like much, it's spread over about two-thirds of the planet's surface. And as the planet continues to heat up, glacier and ice sheets will melt, further contributing to sea level rise. According to Willis, the implications will be profound.&nbsp;</p><p>"We live in a society that loves the ocean. We love the beaches and we put a lot of infrastructure there," Willis states. "Across the world, there are hundreds of millions of people that will ...</p> Could 'quantum dots' be the key to turning windows into photovoltaics? Nicholas Korody 2015-08-26T14:37:00-04:00 >2015-08-26T14:37:26-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>While wind may be one of the most economical power sources out there, photovoltaic solar energy has a big advantage: it can go small. While wind gets cheaper as turbines grow larger, the PV hardware scales down to fit wherever we have infrastructure. In fact, simply throwing solar on our existing building stock could generate a very large amount of carbon-free electricity.</p></em><br /><br /><p>But, as many homeowners already know, installing solar panels can be quite cost-prohibitive. New research might just have solved that problem by incorporating solar hardware into the most basic light filter used in architecture: the window.</p><p>According to a study, solar windows could filter out a portion of light and convert about a third of it to electricity. By utilizing a "diffuse cloud of quantum dots," the glass would still meet "the highest standards for indoor lighting."</p><p>The quantum dots are made of "copper,&nbsp;indium, and selenium, covered in a layer of zinc sulfide." They absorb a broad band of the solar spectrum but convert it to "specific wavelength in the infrared," which happens to be ideal for absorption by a silicon photovoltaic.&nbsp;</p><p>There would be a good deal of energy loss in the conversion process compared to a panel installed on a roof, but as <em>Ars Technica</em> notes, that's not really the point. Contemporary architecture tends to use vast amounts of glazing &ndash; by harvesting even ...</p> Will California's drought turn the state into something like the Australian outback? Nicholas Korody 2015-08-14T16:23:00-04:00 >2015-08-16T12:19:39-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>California has water resources that Australia does not have... Even assuming the forecasts of climate change in California are correct, it is not correct to say California&rsquo;s climate is likely to become drier overall&mdash;more like Australia&mdash;so much as it is to say that our dry periods may be longer, and our wet periods may be &ldquo;flashier&rdquo; and more intense. The policy prescriptions that flow from that, then, make a discussion about adopting &ldquo;the Australian model&rdquo; a complete non-sequitur.</p></em><br /><br /><p>For related coverage of the drought in California, check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Coating the LA reservoir in "shade balls" will save 300M gallons of water</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Will turning California farmland into residential development help save water?</a></li><li><a title="A portrait of Fairmead, California: where water goes to crops first, and residents second &ndash; if at all" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A portrait of Fairmead, California: where water goes to crops first, and residents second &ndash; if at all</a></li><li><a title='As a "last resort" in historic drought, Santa Barbara dusts off its desalination plant' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">As a "last resort" in historic drought, Santa Barbara dusts off its desalination plant</a></li><li><a title="Combating drought conditions, California issues stark landscaping restrictions" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Combating drought conditions, California issues stark landscaping restrictions</a></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src=""></a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures competition</a>!</em></p> It's only August but humans have already consumed a year's worth of resources Nicholas Korody 2015-08-14T15:40:00-04:00 >2015-08-17T08:45:10-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="251" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Humans have exhausted a year&rsquo;s supply of natural resources in less than eight months, according to an analysis of the demands the world&rsquo;s population are placing on the planet.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to <em>the Guardian&nbsp;</em>article, the world's population currently consumes the equivalent of 1.6 planets a year &ndash; and, at the rate we're going, that will jump to two planets a year by 2030. But what does that mean, exactly?</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Earth Overshoot Day</a>, or Ecological Debt Day, refers to the "date on which humanity&rsquo;s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth&rsquo;s capacity to regenerate those resources that year."&nbsp; It's determined by the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Global Footprint Network</a>, a think tank that provides ecological footprint accounting services.</p><p>This year Earth Overshoot Day was August 13 &ndash; six days earlier than last year. That means that despite efforts to reduce resource depletion, global consumption continues to rise due to both population growth and increased consumptive behavior.</p><p>While industrialized countries have traditionally been responsible for the largest share of global consumption, this balance is shifting as the rest of the world develops.&nbsp;</p><p>Experts believe that humans first began to exceed the...</p> When the next disaster strikes, how resilient would future-proof cities in the U.S. be? Justine Testado 2015-08-14T14:45:00-04:00 >2015-08-16T12:17:45-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="287" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>'There is no one size fits all approach &mdash; every region is completely different...' Hurricane Sandy underlined the urgency by ruthlessly exposing New York's structural weaknesses...California also suffered as historic droughts settled in, and the 2014 wave of winter storms terrorized the North, emphasizing that extreme conditions were here to stay and could strike anywhere. This bought the U.S. into line with the global situation.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a title="The Hurricane Katrina Cottages: where are they now?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Hurricane Katrina Cottages: where are they now?</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Coating the LA reservoir in "shade balls" will save 300M gallons of water</a></p><p><a title="How the Cascadia earthquake threatens America's coastal Northwest" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How the Cascadia earthquake threatens America's coastal Northwest</a></p><p><a title="The Pragmatics of Adaptating to Sea Level Rise: The Next Wave @ UCLA" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Pragmatics of Adaptating to Sea Level Rise: The Next Wave @ UCLA</a></p><p><a title="U.S. Department of HUD announces the Rebuild By Design winners" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. Department of HUD announces the Rebuild By Design winners</a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the California drought with design? Submit your ideas to Archinect's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures competition</a>!</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Lego to ditch oil-based plastic Nicholas Korody 2015-07-07T09:13:00-04:00 >2015-07-11T21:02:33-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="344" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Lego's 57-year-old toy empire was built on plastic. But now the giant Danish toy company is investing millions into getting rid of it. By 2030, Lego bricks will no longer be made from ABS, the oil-based plastic in the 60 billion blocks the company makes each year.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Lego has already spent a good deal of effort trying to minimize its carbon footprint, including investing in wind farms. But the plastic toys themselves account for roughly three-quarters of their footprint.&nbsp;</p><p>Three years ago, the company set a goal&nbsp;to find a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based products by 2030. Now, they're spending 1 billion Danish kroner into a new plant specifically for experimenting with sustainable materials. Lego already utilizes recycled plastic, but because of difficulties with the recycling process, they're turning to bio-based plastic alternatives.</p><p>"We're looking at every opportunity out there that's more sustainable than what we have today,"&nbsp;Roar Trangbaek, press representative for Lego Group,&nbsp;told FastCo.Exist.</p> Dutch court mandates reduction of greenhouse gas emissions Nicholas Korody 2015-06-24T13:04:00-04:00 >2015-07-04T22:13:34-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="341" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A Dutch court has ordered the government to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 in a groundbreaking climate case that activists hope will set a worldwide precedent. A judge in The Hague said the state must &ldquo;ensure that the Dutch emissions in the year 2020 will be at least 25 percent lower than those in 1990.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Pope Francis calls for "morally driven" city design in his climate-change encyclical Justine Testado 2015-06-19T15:07:00-04:00 >2015-06-23T15:55:36-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Collectively, the encyclical affirms how important it is to make the moral case for city design. Too often, developers, urban planners and city leaders seem to think that it is obvious or implied why the decisions they make are in the best interest of the public. But there is no shortcut to articulating why our planning choices speak to the fundamental human dignity of the communities we&rsquo;re working in.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"Given the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, those who design buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces and cities, ought to draw on the various disciplines which help us to understand people&rsquo;s thought processes, symbolic language and ways of acting. It is not enough to seek the beauty of design. More precious still is the service we offer to another kind of beauty: people&rsquo;s quality of life, their adaptation to the environment, encounter and mutual assistance. Here too, we see how important it is that urban planning always take into consideration the views of those who will live in these areas.</em>"</p><p>Pope Francis tells it like it is in his latest 184-page <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">encyclical</a>, in response to humanity's "principal challenge" of global climate change.</p><p>More:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Vatican's Renovated Public Restrooms Provides Showers, Haircuts for the Homeless</a></p> Rebuild by Design Wins Innovation Award Nicholas Korody 2015-06-09T13:37:00-04:00 >2015-06-10T20:05:30-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Each year, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) bestows its Walter Gellhorn Innovation Award to a federal agency with the best model practice that can be adopted government-wide. Today, ACUS announced that the 2015 Walter Gellhorn Innovation Award is being presented to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Rebuild by Design Competition.</p></em><br /><br /><p>There's something of a <em>mise-en-abyme</em>&nbsp;quality to a competition winning an award, but it's a good occasion to remember the Rebuild by Design was, after all, not quite your regular competition. Organized in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and funded primarily by the US Department of Housing and Development and the Rockefeller Foundation, the competition gathered some of the brightest names in architecture and the six winning proposals will actually be implemented.&nbsp;</p><p>Harriet Tregoning, HUD's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, states, "We're absolutely thrilled to receive this recognition on behalf of the many partners who came together to think of new ways to consider the challenge of how we prepare for natural disasters."</p><p>Take a look at winning projects <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Frei Otto feared society was ignoring the ecological crisis Nicholas Korody 2015-05-20T20:36:00-04:00 >2015-05-21T12:26:57-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The daughter of the man who was awarded what is considered the most prestigious prize in architecture said her late father was increasingly concerned society was not adequately confronting the looming ecological challenges. Frei Otto, a German, was named as the winner of the 2015 Pritzker Architecture Prize earlier this year, just days before his death... The award was received by...the architect&rsquo;s daughter who...said he had been worried that the concerns he tried to voice were not heard.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Company creates a carbon-negative plastic Nicholas Korody 2015-05-05T19:18:00-04:00 >2015-05-06T08:54:47-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="340" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Mark Herrema] and Kenton Kimmel, a high school classmate, founded the Irvine, California-based company Newlight Technologies in 2003. After years of research, the team unveiled a way to produce plastic from carbon emissions that is actually more affordably priced than oil-based plastics. The "secret sauce" is a biocatalyst that combines air and methane, and reassembles all of the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules into a thermoplastic the makers call AirCarbon.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Newlight's work appears really interesting, addressing two separate but related issues: "first, oil dependency, by replacing oil with captured carbon emissions, and second, climate change, by creating a market-driven carbon capture platform." Basically, the technology comprises using a biocatalyst to combine oxygen with carbon and hydrogen molecules extracted from methane, producing a "long-chain thermoplastic polymer molecule, called AirCarbon." Like other "carbon-negative" technologies, this project involves actually removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, rather than merely attempting to reduce emission levels.</p><p>Smithsonian Magazine interviews the team behind AirCarbon. Some good snippets:</p><ul><li>"...In the past, all biocatalysts were self-limiting, meaning that they could only make a certain amount of polymer before they would turn themselves off and make carbon dioxide instead of polymer...Over the course of about ten years of work, we developed a new kind of biocatalyst that does...</li></ul> Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions Nicholas Korody 2015-04-29T13:09:00-04:00 >2015-08-03T17:10:03-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 - the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half. "With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached - for this generation and generations to come," said Governor Brown.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Currently in the midst of four consecutive years of exceptional drought, California is experiencing first-hand the real-life implications of a warming climate. Before the order, the state was already on track to "meet or exceed" targets for reducing CO2 emissions to pre-1990 levels in the next five years. But with Gov. Brown's new executive order, California should be able to reach 40% below 1990-levels by 2030, making it possible to achieve a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. These goals are oriented around the scientific consensus of the need to limit global warming to a pivotal 2&#730; Celsius mark &ndash; the threshold for what's known as "runaway climate change," or unpredictable, chain-reactive climate events.&nbsp;</p><p>The order also mandates updating the state's climate adaptation strategy &ndash; "Safeguarding California" &ndash; every three years. The plan is intended to identify vulnerable infrastructure, resources, services, transportations, etc. Other details o...</p> 2015 Wheelwright Prize awarded to Erik L’Heureux Justine Testado 2015-04-28T21:50:00-04:00 >2015-04-30T09:20:23-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Another year has gone by for the Harvard University Graduate School of Design's $100K <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2015 Wheelwright Prize</a>. Hosted by Harvard GSD since 1935 and previously open only to Harvard GSD alumni, the prestigious travel grant is in its third year as an international open competition for any individual early-career architect from anywhere on the globe.</p><p>Selected <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">from three finalists</a>, L'Heureux's winning proposal, "Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City and the Architectures of Atmosphere" examines the traditional and modern building strategies in five dense cities in the equatorial zone -- a timely topic when rapid urbanization and climate change are on the rise. The cities are:&nbsp;Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Pondicherry, India; Lagos, Nigeria; and S&atilde;o Paulo, Brazil.</p><p>The prize will fund L&rsquo;Heureux&rsquo;s travel-based research over the next two years.</p><p>Read more about L'Heureux and some of his works below:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>"Born in Jamestown, Rhode Island, Erik L&rsquo;Heureux received his B.A. in Architecture from Wa...</p> Book review: Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable Future Nicholas Korody 2015-04-22T18:40:00-04:00 >2015-04-28T21:35:55-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="582" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>I have to admit to a degree of wariness when I first opened <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World</em></a>, a new book edited by Jared Green and published by Princeton Architectural Press. The introduction makes some bold claims for a rather slim book with little text. &ldquo;We have the answers. We are both the cause of the problems and the solution to them,&rdquo; Green writes with supreme optimism. The book is a collection of eighty projects that leading architects, urban planners, artists, critics and thinkers chose as a response to the question: &ldquo;What gives you hope for the future?&rdquo; The criteria for their responses stipulated that they must discuss a project they admire, not their own. And the results are as varied as one might imagine for a question that is both vague and expansive.&nbsp;</p><p>More than anything else, the responses highlighted the mutability of the term &ldquo;sustainable&rdquo; within contemporary architecture discourse. &nbsp;Some of the responses, such as that of Katrin Kling...</p> Could this revolutionary new material replace concrete? Nicholas Korody 2015-04-15T14:46:00-04:00 >2015-04-20T19:45:53-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Perhaps the most important and widely-used building material, concrete also has an enormous environmental impact. This is largely because in order to produce one ton of cement &ndash; the material that binds together rock aggregate in concrete &ndash; about 900 kg of C02 are emitted. In fact, the concrete industry is responsible for roughly 5% of carbon emissions worldwide, making it one of the two largest industrial producers of the greenhouse gas.&nbsp;</p><p>But, thanks to an accidental discovery, a environmentally-friendly substitute to cement may be on the horizon. A recent <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">report</a> by PBS features the invention of environmental chemist David Stone: a cement-like material that isn't just carbon-neutral but actually carbon-<em>negative</em>. Called 'Ferrock,' the material primarily contains iron dust and silica, both of which can be sourced via recycling. In fact, in order to obtain silica (basically crushed glass), Stone has employed a local man to collect glass bottles that have been left in the desert. While m...</p> Case studies in water management from Los Angeles, the Great Lakes, and NYC Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-04-13T14:41:00-04:00 >2015-04-20T19:01:20-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The issue of water supply in the context of climate change was the topic for the recent 5KL: Water symposium, organized by The Architectural League and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design. Twelve experts in water resource design and management &mdash; from architects to geographers to former government officials &mdash; addressed the carbon intensity of providing a clean and adequate water supply and how design and planning can contribute to that goal.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Could scientists engineer synthetic organisms to stop climate change? Nicholas Korody 2015-04-08T14:12:00-04:00 >2015-04-13T19:39:10-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="322" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Scientists and politicians the world over are looking for ways to halt or reverse [climate changes], a task that is fraught with difficulties in a world hooked on fossil fuels. One option increasingly discussed is terraforming&mdash;deliberately altering the environment in a way that cools the planet... Instead of creating global engineering projects, why not create life forms that do a similar job instead...</p></em><br /><br /><p>Ricard Sole and his associates at the ICREA-Complex Systems Lab in Barcelona are experimenting with the potentials of using synthetic organisms to terraform the planet. One advantage to such a project &ndash; as opposed to other terraforming ideas that would require engineering feats of unprecedented scale &ndash; is that the landscape could be changed with minimal human input, using "the growth and colonizing potential that life offers."</p><p>Of course, as the article notes, the potential problems are also massive, like, for example, unintentionally triggering feedback mechanisms that accelerate global warming, or devastate global food supplies. Looking back at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">other historical attempts to engineer biology</a>&nbsp;to suit human interests, this seems a more likely outcome than not. But Sole and his team are trying to develop preventative measures against such runaway growth. And as the article notes, one day this may be an urgent necessity: "if and when that day comes, let&rsquo;s hope we&rsquo;ll be glad of the researc...</p> Kate Orff to emphasize "climate dynamics" as new Director of Columbia GSAPP's Urban Design Program Justine Testado 2015-04-06T15:24:00-04:00 >2015-04-13T20:42:33-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="341" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">SCAPE</a> founder and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Columbia GSAPP</a> Associate Professor Katherine Orff will succeed leading urban housing authority Professor Richard Plunz as the new GSAPP Director of the Urban Design Program starting this June. As a longtime GSAPP and Urban Design Program faculty member and landscape architect, Orff is best known for her eco-sensitive and resilient approach in her projects that integrate urban design, landscape design, and architecture.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Strongly reflecting SCAPE's design philosophy, Orff plans to expand the Program with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research and engagement in dealing with timely issues of climate change and social topics. "My goal is to magnify the social and humanitarian ethos that the Program is well known for, and bring it together with themes of infrastructure, urbanism and climate dynamics," Orff said in a statement.&nbsp;</p><p>Evidently, Orff's work throughout her time in Columbia is heavy in collaboration. In the past, she has led various multi-disciplinary collaborat...</p> California Governor Mandates Water Restrictions Nicholas Korody 2015-04-01T18:49:00-04:00 >2015-08-03T17:13:29-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="685" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday imposed mandatory water restrictions for the first time on residents, businesses and farms, ordering cities and towns in the drought-ravaged state to reduce usage by 25%... [amounting] to roughly 1.5 million acre-feet of water (an acre-foot of water equals about 325,000 gallons) over the next nine months... "We're in a new era," Brown said. "The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that's going to be a thing of the past."</p></em><br /><br /><p>Brown's executive order will also mandate:</p><ul><li>Require agriculture to report more on their water usage so as to better "enforce against illegal diversions and waste"</li><li>A ban on watering lawns on public street medians</li><li>Significant cuts in water use for large landscapes like universities, golf courses, and cemeteries.</li><li>Switching out some 50 million sq. ft. of lawn for "drought tolerant landscaping"</li><li>A temporary rebate program for consumers to replace their appliances with water efficient models</li><li>Prohibiting new homes and developments from using potable water in their irrigation systems unless using efficient drip irrigation systems</li></ul><p>Here's hoping these mandates are enough to somehow provide the <strong>11 trillion gallons of water</strong>&nbsp;that California needs to recover from this very real and unprecedented natural disaster...</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src=""></a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures competition</a>!</em></p> Stay comfortable during climate change in a rowhouse Nam Henderson 2015-03-20T12:43:00-04:00 >2015-03-20T12:53:23-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="385" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In both cold and hot conditions, the study found, a rowhouse would be the best place to be. Being attached to other houses limits its exposure and keeps it better insulated</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Ginia Bellafante reported on the release of a report by the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New York City Panel on Climate Change</a>. Titled '<em>Building the Knowledge Base for Climate Resilienc</em>y' it assesses impact of climate trends and advises resiliency and monitoring. Another group,&nbsp;the Urban Green Council also found the rowhouse (compared to a&nbsp;single-family detached house or glass towers)&nbsp;to be particularly energy resilient in times of disaster or extreme weather events.</p> Did Florida ban environmental workers from talking about climate change? Nicholas Korody 2015-03-10T14:44:00-04:00 >2015-03-11T09:12:38-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="231" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Florida is largely seen as the U.S. state that is most vulnerable to the effects of global warming. But even uttering the term global warming in official communications can get employees at the state&rsquo;s Department of Environmental Protection in trouble...&ldquo;We were told not to use the terms climate change, global warming, or sustainability,&rdquo; said Christopher Byrd, who worked at the DEP from 2008 to 2013.</p></em><br /><br /><p>On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott, an open skeptic of climate change (who is also openly, "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">not a scientist</a>") <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">denied</a> the allegations.&nbsp;"Well, first off, that's not true," Scott told reporters.&nbsp;&nbsp;"At our Department of Environmental Protection, there's lots of conversation about this issue. From my standpoint, like every issue, my goal is: Instead of talking about it, let's do something about it."</p><p>Environmental workers in the state re-asserted that while the ban may not have been official, it was heavily implied. Byrd is quoted saying,&nbsp;"We decided it was important for us to maintain jobs and continue projects and just keep our head down and stay out of the attention of the governor's office." He continued with an ironically appropriate choice of language:&nbsp;"We didn't want to do anything to create waves."</p><p>We've <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">noted</a> before on Archinect the particular vulnerability of Florida to rising sea levels generated by a warming planet. While the Governor may be sticking his head in the sand, there are many...</p> The Pragmatics of Adaptating to Sea Level Rise: The Next Wave @ UCLA Nicholas Korody 2015-03-09T15:49:00-04:00 >2015-03-11T18:44:36-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Beneath the vertiginous LED-strip lighting of Michael Maltzan's Billy Wilder Theater, a diverse audience gathered last Tuesday for a talk entitled "The Next Wave: Urban Adaptations for Rising Sea Levels." Co-presented by the Hammer Museum and UCLA&rsquo;s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the event brought together coastal geomorphologist Jeremy Lowe and civil engineer Peter Wijsman in a conversation moderated by Kristina Hill, a UC Berkeley Professor of Landscape Architecture. The talk was part of an on-going lecture series on "the most pressing issues surrounding the current and future state of water."</p><p>Hill began the evening's panel with a brief introduction to the unfolding realities of sea level rise, as well as some of the efforts underway to mitigate its impact. Pointing to an image of the San Francisco's Embarcadero embattled by high tides, Hill discussed the urgency of our particular temporal moment: we are in the last slow period of sea level rise that the Earth wil...</p> Relocation or Adaptation: Earth Home Project Brings Relief to Pakistanis Reeling from Floods Nicholas Korody 2015-02-14T11:58:00-05:00 >2015-02-14T11:58:44-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>In July 2010, heavy monsoon rains <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">flooded</a> nearly 20% of Pakistan, producing a crisis later <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">described</a> by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the worst disaster he had ever seen. The floods affected around 20 million people and claimed the lives of nearly 2,000. Ravaging infrastructure and agriculture, the total economic impact has been estimated to be as much as $43 billion. Pakistan is still far from recovering, in no small part because of a calamitous lack of relief funds and international aid.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>In total, the floods left six million people homeless. Already in a precarious state afters decades of conflict and terrorist attacks, Pakistan&rsquo;s infrastructure crumbled beneath the torrents of water. Then, in the fall of 2014, the strongest post-monsoon ever recorded in the country <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">produced</a> another round of disastrous floods in the Kashmir region of Pakistan and neighboring India. Affecting a total of more than 1.1 million people, the floods devastated an already-desperate population.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>And, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">li...</a></p>