Archinect - News 2015-12-01T18:57:18-05:00 Should architecture strive for originality? Can it ever achieve it? Nicholas Korody 2015-11-23T20:03:00-05:00 >2015-12-01T00:00:04-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="248" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>...the [Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act] is a [comparatively] recent development. Architecture shares certain myths with art that influence its commercial value, such as that of the singular author and singular work, but these are also relatively recent: Renaissance architects believed the peak of civilisation existed in antiquity, and so imitated ancient ruins. The commercial and social value of &ldquo;new&rdquo; and &ldquo;novel&rdquo; and even &ldquo;original&rdquo; are, arguably, products of modernity.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Woman's dream tiny home clashes with Canadian law Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-28T18:43:00-04:00 >2015-08-29T23:21:05-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Cheryl Smith planned to move "off the grid" and into a small house near Clark's Harbour, N.S., a year ago. But thanks to Canadian building regulations, the four-by-six metre structure remains half-built and empty. [...] Canadian laws require living spaces to have access to power to run smoke detectors and air exchange systems. But Smith said the point of moving into her tiny home was to disconnect from the power grid.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More from the tiny home world:</p><ul><li><a title="Seattle high schoolers push to provide moveable, minimalist shelters for the homeless" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Seattle high schoolers push to provide moveable, minimalist shelters for the homeless</a></li><li><a title="The problem with tiny homes - they can get stolen" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The problem with tiny homes - they can get stolen</a></li><li><a title="Swedish architects design for un-permited small-space living" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Swedish architects design for un-permited small-space living</a></li><li><a title="The Tiny House Lover's Guide to Romance" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Tiny House Lover's Guide to Romance</a></li><li><a title="Teenager builds tiny home to avoid mortgage trap" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Teenager builds tiny home to avoid mortgage trap</a></li></ul> Uber faces suspension and $7.3M fine in California Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-16T13:07:00-04:00 >2015-07-18T14:07:00-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="378" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California. [...] Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers, regardless of where they live or who they are.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the<em>&nbsp;Los Angeles Times</em>, the crux of this decision comes not from questions of the ride-sharing app's legality in general, but its ethical practices in actual transit. In 2013, "ride-hailing firms" were made legal in California, with the requirement that companies like Uber provide data about a ride's fairness, that services are provided "regardless of where they live or who they are". The judge's ruling states that Uber hasn't been providing the necessary data, including "the number of requests for rides from people with service animals or wheelchairs; how many such rides were completed; and other ride-logging information".</p><p>Uber will appeal, and the $7.3M fine and suspension can't be instated until that process is over. The company&nbsp;asserts its position of not having to hand over any additional data.</p><p>Worldwide, Uber in particular has courted controversy, inciting <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">riots in Paris</a>&nbsp;recently. But the home-state ruling for the company could hit harder.</p><p>More Uber news:</p><ul><li><a title="Two Uber executives detained in France" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Two Uber exec...</a></li></ul> French parliament orders new buildings to switch to green rooftops Justine Testado 2015-03-25T17:29:00-04:00 >2015-04-04T23:41:07-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="280" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Paris wants to consume 25% less energy and emit 25% less emissions by 2020. Paris is also the site of this year&rsquo;s major United Nations conference on climate change. While France currently gets about 80% of its electricity from nuclear energy, and has lagged behind other European countries like Germany and Denmark in developing green technologies, it certainly seems to have some momentum headed into the important November conference.</p></em><br /><br /><p>It's not literally every single building in France. The approved law only requires the rooftops of new buildings in commercial areas to be fully or partially covered with either solar panels or plants.</p><p>Related:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A New Use for the Eiffel Tower</a></li><li><a title="Stay comfortable during climate change in a rowhouse" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stay comfortable during climate change in a rowhouse</a></li><li><a title="FARM-X shares its modular vertical farming approach, pilot project nears completion" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">FARM-X shares its modular vertical farming approach, pilot project nears completion</a></li><li><a title="Boeri Studio's Bosco Verticale in Milan makes the forest tower fantasy a reality" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Boeri Studio's Bosco Verticale in Milan makes the forest tower fantasy a reality</a></li></ul> Senator proposes mandatory helmets for California cyclists Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-02-13T12:56:00-05:00 >2015-02-19T20:24:45-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="286" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Sen. Carol Liu on Wednesday announced a bill, SB 192, that will require bicycle riders to wear helmets or face a $25 fine. &ldquo;Any responsible bicycle rider should wear a helmet,&rdquo; Liu said ... &ldquo;This law will help protect more people and make sure all riders benefit from the head protection that a helmet provides.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>California law <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">currently</a> requires anyone under 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bike, nonmotorized scooter, skateboard, or wearing in-line or roller skates. Liu's SB 192 bill would extend this provision to everyone, not just minors, and also require cyclists to wear reflective clothing at night &ndash; requirements that no other state has adopted.</p><p>It might seem like wearing a helmet is the first-move for safe cycling, but Dan Snyder, head of the California Bicycle Coalition, disagrees: as quoted in the <em>Sacramento Bee</em>, &ldquo;We know that the most important thing to protect people who ride bikes is to get more people out there riding bikes. Forcing people to wear crash helmets when they ride is counter productive to that goal.&rdquo; This is the same reasoning behind &rdquo;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Critical Mass</a>": organized cycling tours that flood city streets with so many cyclists as to force car traffic into submission. Safety, for cyclists, is in numbers.</p><p>In countries with a hefty number of cyclists, where infrastructural adapta...</p> Honolulu Law Criminalizes Homelessness Nicholas Korody 2014-10-15T16:37:00-04:00 >2014-10-21T23:27:28-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="320" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>On Sept. 16, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed three bills that make it a misdemeanor (punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine) to sit or lie on sidewalks in the bustling tourist district of Waikiki and outlaw relieving oneself in public islandwide. Homeless advocates say the new laws unfairly target Hawaii&rsquo;s most vulnerable residents, especially since Waikiki has only one 24-hour public restroom in the crowded district.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2014 report</a>, Hawaii was ranked as the state with highest population of homeless residents, who provoke the ire of local businesses. Some opponents of the new law claim it breaks the traditional "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">law of the splintered paddle</a>," introduced by King Kamehameha circa 1797. The law states:&nbsp;&ldquo;Let every elderly person, woman and child lie by the roadside in safety."</p><p>This is just a recent example of a growing trend of criminalizing homelessness in the US. For more information about such laws, as well as design solutions intended to circumvent them, read our coverage <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>. For design innovations particularly oriented around the lack of public bathroom facilities, click <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Architects can now be held liable for building defects, rules California Supreme Court Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-08-21T19:23:00-04:00 >2014-08-22T10:05:36-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>California&rsquo;s Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the principal architects for a condominium project may be sued directly by a condominium homeowners association for design defects.&nbsp;[...] The decision held that even though, on most projects, the developer has the final say on design choices, the architect can&rsquo;t escape liability to the end user.&nbsp;This decision is likely to give homeowners associations another target in defect cases.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> The Architecture Of Abortion: How Providers Build Their Own Buffer Zones Alexander Walter 2014-07-03T13:19:00-04:00 >2014-07-09T17:46:32-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>If women can&rsquo;t always rely on legislation to support their cause, could they rely on architects? [...] Brown says it&rsquo;s time for the design community to take a stand on women&rsquo;s reproductive rights. &ldquo;Architects have to become more politically engaged in our built environment.&rdquo; To that end, Brown is helping organize a design competition that will rethink a privacy fence for Mississippi&rsquo;s only abortion clinic.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Previously:</p><ul><li><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Debating abortion rights and free speech on the sidewalk</a></p></li><li><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Architecture of Abortion Clinics</a></p></li></ul> Debating abortion rights and free speech on the sidewalk Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-06-26T12:39:00-04:00 >2014-07-02T17:52:43-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="297" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests near abortion clinics. The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994. The law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion</p></em><br /><br /><p>Massachusett's 35-foot buffer zone was initially enacted as a defensive mechanism, responding to a history of harassments and violence around clinics' entrances. The law had previously barred <em>anyone</em>&nbsp;from entering a fixed buffer zone around entrances to reproductive health care facilities (excepting those simply passing through, clinic employees, or those intentionally going in and out of the building). Plaintiffs in the recent Supreme Court case effectively argued that those exceptions were biased towards supporters of abortion rights.</p><p>More on the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">architecture of abortion clinics</a>.</p> In Los Angeles, walking illegally is more than twice as expensive as parking illegally Archinect 2013-12-27T14:00:00-05:00 >2014-01-01T13:05:45-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The city of Los Angeles is cracking down on pedestrians who sneak across streets when the traffic signal says &ldquo;don&rsquo;t walk.&rdquo; But when you put a price on bad behavior, like being in a public street illegally, you see clearly what a city values. The cheapest parking ticket in Los Angeles (pdf) is $58, and the one most commonly issued for parking in a prohibited zone is $73. Jaywalking&mdash;the term of art for a pedestrian crossing against the light&mdash;will cost you $197.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Sex box - the newest architectural typology? Paul Petrunia 2013-08-19T11:59:00-04:00 >2013-09-26T10:01:08-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="321" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>They look like shelters for hikers in a national park, but these wooden sheds in Switzerland have a rather less innocent purpose &ndash; they provide a discreet location for men to have sex with prostitutes.</p></em><br /><br /><p> In an attempt to "regulate prostitution, combat pimping and improve security for sex workers", Zurich has opened nine "sex boxes" in the former industrial zone of Zurich. The boxes are accessed by drivers following signed routes, where customers will find up to 40 prostitutes waiting to offer their services.</p> <p> The boxes prominently display posters advocating safe sex, and provide alarms for the prostitutes to trigger if they feel threatened.</p> Design Law & Charity Archinect 2013-02-15T18:53:00-05:00 >2013-02-20T09:48:19-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="301" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p> A few weeks ago <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">we reported</a> that the USPTO granted trademark protection to Apple for aspects of its retail store designs (Reg. No. <a href=";state=4007:952rgh.3.1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">4277914</a> &amp; <a href=";state=4007:952rgh.3.1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">4277913</a>).</p> <p> <em>Image above, Reg. No. 4277913 (claiming color)</em><br><em>Image below, Reg. No. 4277914 (not claiming color)</em><img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> While most architectural works don&rsquo;t have the notoriety and consumer association necessary to obtain federal trademark protection, architects have long relied on copyright and design patents to protect their creations.&nbsp; Since 1990 when &ldquo;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">architectural works</a>&rdquo; were first incorporated into our federal copyright regime, much has been written about its use and impact.&nbsp; Yet few architects have stopped to consider the role of design patents.</p> <p> But design patents aren&rsquo;t new.&nbsp; Architects in the US have relied on them for over a century to protect new, original, and ornamental designs for any article of manufacture.&nbsp; For example, Frank Lloyd Wright was granted numerous design patents on everything from <a href=";zoom=4&amp;dq=ininventor%253Afrank%2520wright&amp;pg=PA1#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">chairs</a> to <a href=";zoom=4&amp;pg=PA1#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">desk</a> and <a href=";zoom=4&amp;dq=ininventor%253Afrank%2520wright&amp;pg=PA1#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">home</a> designs.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""><br><em>Design ...</em></p> Wright Masterwork Is Seen in a New Light: A Fight for Its Life anthony dong 2012-10-03T11:34:00-04:00 >2012-10-03T15:15:19-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="300" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>It&rsquo;s hard to say which is more startling. That a developer in Phoenix could knock down a 1952 house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Or that the house has until now slipped under the radar, escaping the attention of most architectural historians...a spiral home for his son David.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Lack of Detail No Reason to Deny Copyright Protection to Architectural Works Paul Petrunia 2012-08-22T14:40:00-04:00 >2012-08-23T12:07:52-04:00 <img src="" width="302" height="300" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>There is no requirement that architectural drawings contain sufficient detail to support actual construction in order to warrant copyright protection under Section 102(a)(5) of the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held Aug. 15 (Scholz Design v. Sard Custom Homes LLC, 2d Cir., No. 11-3298, 8/15/12).</p></em><br /><br /><p> In a recent legal case issued by architecture firm Scholz Design Co., against builder Sard Custom Homes, it was confirmed that &ldquo;Copyright protection of a pictorial work, whether depicting a house, or a flower, or a donkey, or an abstract design, does not depend on any degree of detail.&rdquo;</p> <p> Initially, however, in a lower court, the judge decided in favor of Sard Custom Homes, the defendant, claiming the stolen designs were taken from drawings with insufficient detail. When Scholz Design appealed, a higher court dismissed the initial decision, in favor of the plaintiff.</p> <p> Good news for architects!</p>