Archinect - News 2016-10-27T13:11:26-04:00 It's the infrastructure, stupid: benefits of using adaptable strategies to revamp the U.S. Julia Ingalls 2016-10-25T13:39:00-04:00 >2016-10-25T13:39:19-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="365" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>LIke everything else in the 21st century, infrastructure is no longer about big moves but rather about nuance, refinement,&nbsp;and creative strategy. This is the argument advocated by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Hill</a>, which makes the case that all infrastructure projects should be resilient and made to serve multiple functions. As the article notes:&nbsp;</p><p>"In the wake of Hurricane Sandy there were calls for a flood wall around lower Manhattan. But the path the city, state and federal government took was far better &ndash; instead of just building a wall, they are creating a system of parks which will provide the same protection, provide additional greenspace for the city, and improve community cohesion by giving people public space to meet and socialize. Instead of gray infrastructure, the city will have a brand new park."</p><p>For more on infrastructure:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Michael Maltzan Envisions the Future of LA's Infrastructure</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Norman Foster reimagines global infrastructure strategies in new essay</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Will Brexit kill &pound;405B worth of infrastructure ...</a></li></ul> A Friend in Deed: Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin discusses his rocky relationship with Donald Trump, on Archinect Sessions #86 Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-10-20T15:37:00-04:00 >2016-10-21T11:23:02-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="421" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the&nbsp;<em>Chicago Tribune</em>, has had a tempestuous relationship with Donald Trump for years. As a developer working in Chicago, Trump's buildings have been critiqued by Kamin, and as often happens when Trump is criticized, he does not shy away from firing back personal attacks&mdash;calling him "dopey" and "a lightweight" when <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kamin decried the developer's decision</a> to slap a 20-foot-tall "TRUMP" sign on his downtown Chicago hotel. But instances like the "sign feud" aside, Kamin has also experienced <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Trump's kinder side</a>, and can attest to the complex (to say the least) personality of the business man both before and after his profoundly strange pivot onto the national political stage.&nbsp;</p><p>We invited Kamin on the podcast to discuss his relationship with the developer-candidate, how it's impacted his role as a critic, and how the 2016 campaign has invoked issues related to the built environment (or not).&nbsp;</p><p>Listen to&nbsp;episode 86 of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Archinect Session...</strong></a></p> Koolhaas speaks at the GSD: architecture is "clearly dedicated to political correctness" Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-10-07T13:05:00-04:00 >2016-10-10T16:02:41-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="975" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>"I see architecture as almost a political work" [...] &ldquo;We are in a radically divided world&rdquo; in which &ldquo;architecture is not dealing with those political issues in a really sophisticated way,&rdquo; [...] &ldquo;I think that both the art world and the architecture world &hellip; [are] pretty intolerant in terms of engaging&rdquo; with political worlds beyond Western democracies."</p></em><br /><br /><p>More recent news from Rem and OMA:</p><ul><li><a title="OMA's plans for Axel Springer building officially released" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">OMA's plans for Axel Springer building officially released</a></li><li><a title="Watch live: Rem Koolhaas is moderating a 12-hour marathon of interviews on the future of Europe" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Watch live: Rem Koolhaas is moderating a 12-hour marathon of interviews on the future of Europe</a></li><li><a title="OMA's hyper Corb" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">OMA's hyper Corb</a></li><li><a title="To thrive post-Zaha, Koolhaas says ZHA should emulate high fashion brands" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">To thrive post-Zaha, Koolhaas says ZHA should emulate high fashion brands</a></li><li><a title='"The first major architect who disconnected the profession completely from angst": Rem on Bjarke' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"The first major architect who disconnected the profession completely from angst": Rem on Bjarke</a></li></ul> Housing crises aren't random — they're the product of our political system Nicholas Korody 2016-10-04T13:18:00-04:00 >2016-10-10T00:17:12-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Housing is under attack today. It is caught within a number of simultaneous social conflicts. Most immediately, there is a conflict between housing as lived, social space and housing as an instrument for profit-making &mdash; a conflict between housing as home and as real estate. More broadly, housing is the subject of contestation between different ideologies, economic interests, &amp; political projects. More broadly still, the housing crisis stems from the inequalities and antagonisms of class society.</p></em><br /><br /><p>For more on the housing crises gripping almost every major city in the world, follow these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Inside the failure of Jerry Brown's plans to ease California's housing crisis</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">To solve a housing crisis, invest more in modular construction</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">To live in London you can't be a Londoner</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The root of London's housing crisis lies beyond its borders</a></li></ul> How the design of a parliament building affects the politics that happen inside Nicholas Korody 2016-09-19T18:56:00-04:00 >2016-09-22T23:01:01-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="403" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>For the past five years van der Vegt and Max Cohen de Lara, his partner at XML, have studied the halls of parliament of all 193 United Nations member states. In a new book, Parliament, the duo elegantly connects architecture to the political process. All 193 assembly halls fall into one of five organizational layouts: &ldquo;semicircle,&rdquo; &ldquo;horseshoe,&rdquo; &ldquo;opposing benches,&rdquo; &ldquo;circle,&rdquo; and &ldquo;classroom.&rdquo; And these layouts make a difference.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>If you can imagine how debating with someone seated beside you might feel different from arguing with someone standing at a pulpit, you can appreciate the impact.</em></p><p>For more on the intersections of the architectural and the political, follow these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Looking into the White House's &ldquo;much longer history&rdquo; of slave labor</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton campaign ad highlights architect screwed by Trump</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Poland to remove Soviet-era memorials</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Budapest's building boom draws critics of Hungarian leader's "edifice complex"</a></li></ul> Inside the failure of Jerry Brown's plans to ease California's housing crisis Julia Ingalls 2016-09-13T12:49:00-04:00 >2016-09-17T00:37:11-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Despite introducing what seemed like excellent legislation to help increase the number of affordable housing units in developer-backed housing projects, California governor Jerry Brown's proposal caused so much multi-faceted angst it became political poison, primarily because it gently circumvented the traditional development process. This <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">L.A. Times</a> piece takes a look at what went wrong, noting that: &nbsp;</p><p><em>If developers pledged to set aside some&nbsp;units in their projects&nbsp;for low-income residents, the governor&rsquo;s proposed&nbsp;legislation would have eliminated some&nbsp;local hurdles to building,&nbsp;likely&nbsp;leading to a modest increase in construction.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Yet the proposal the governor unveiled in May&nbsp;represented a profound shakeup in how the development process would have worked in California. The measure&nbsp;challenged the primacy of local control over housing, inflamed powerful entrenched interests and was&nbsp;eyed warily by the very groups representing those the plan was supposed to help.</em></p><p>For more on California's...</p> Senator Tim Kaine weighs in on the future of U.S. affordable housing Justine Testado 2016-08-15T18:57:00-04:00 >2016-08-16T13:58:51-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="379" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Democratic [VP] candidate Senator Tim Kaine drew a bright line on Friday between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on a subject important to pretty much every voter: housing. While Americans say that housing is as important an issue as other priorities, so far the subject hasn&rsquo;t come up much during the campaign. That just changed....His editorial outlines the ways that a Clinton administration would work to make housing fairer and more affordable.</p></em><br /><br /><p>A closer look at Sen. Tim Kaine's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">opinion editorial</a>, wherein he briefly outlines the Clinton administration's plans on fairer housing laws.</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Shoring up America's infrastructure by repatriating money stashed overseas</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How Republicans and Democrats differ when it comes to infrastructure</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Glitz and ego" &ndash; the architectural legacy of Donald Trump, the developer</a></p> "Steve from Virginia" attempts to scale Trump Tower with suction cups Nicholas Korody 2016-08-11T13:55:00-04:00 >2016-08-21T20:47:37-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="325" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>A young man <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">attempted</a> to scale the Trump Tower in New York using suction cups on Wednesday afternoon, creating a social media frenzy in the process. The NYPD attempted to wrangle the urban climber by following him atop window washers' scaffolding and removing entire windows &mdash; deconstructive policing, if you will. Yet the nimble man evaded their grasp for more than 2 1/2 hours, getting all the way to the 21st floor.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The man, nicknamed "Steve from Virginia" on&nbsp;Twitter, is apparently a fan of the presidential candidate. In a video manifesto posted on Youtube, he claimed that he's an "independent researcher" and the stunt was intended to get Trump's attention. Trump lives and works in the Tower, although he wasn't on the premises yesterday.</p><p>Related:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Design a wall that separates Trump from the U.S. in this call for ideas</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Donald Trump, usher of America's postindustrial urban blight</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Donald Trump is architecture's nightmare client</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Melania Trump's website disappears after architecture degree clai...</a></li></ul> Design a wall that separates Trump from the U.S. in this call for ideas Justine Testado 2016-08-09T17:51:00-04:00 >2016-08-15T16:01:18-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Amid everything that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to recklessly spew, one of the milestones in his circus of a campaign is his apparent plans to build the U.S./Mexico border wall... Competition creator Reality Cues turns the tables in their newest installment: Good Walls Make Good Neighbors, Mr. Trump. The objective is pretty straightforward: Design a wall that separates Mr. Trump from the rest of the U.S.</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&ldquo;We want to ask questions more than produce answers,&rdquo; Reality Cues emphasizes in the brief.&nbsp;Curious? Learn more about their latest snarky competition&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">on Bustler</a>.</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Donald Trump, usher of America's postindustrial urban blight</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Donald Trump is architecture's nightmare client</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Eco-Porn Competition results expose the sassy side of green architecture</a></p> Donald Trump is architecture's nightmare client Julia Ingalls 2016-08-03T13:50:00-04:00 >2016-09-18T21:25:48-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="406" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Two weeks ago at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump's daughter introduced him as a man who has overseen the construction of skyscrapers, thereby qualifying him to somehow take stead of the vastly more complex civic architecture of the United States. Never mind that Donald Trump doesn't necessarily <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">pay the architects he hires</a>, making him less of an overseer and more of a cheap tyrant (with a terrible, reductive aesthetic sense, to boot). This tendency to inaccurately appropriate architecture is a theme within the Trump family&mdash;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Melania made up an entire degree</a>&mdash;but what Duo Dickinson notes over at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">CommonEdge</a> is that Trump's blowhardism is counter to what architecture is: notably, an exchange of ideas, and a conversation about how best to implement those ideas. As Duo writes:</p><p><em>Agreement with the Donald is being right, anything else puts you in the other side of him&mdash;wrong and disqualified; not a great place for an architect if he&rsquo;s your client and radically divisive even in a ...</em></p> Looking into the White House's “much longer history” of slave labor Justine Testado 2016-07-28T15:17:00-04:00 >2016-08-02T02:14:10-04:00 <img src="" width="537" height="322" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>I think it was a wonderful moment in American history. I thought what Michelle Obama was attempting to do was to draw that link to show that it isn't just what's going on in the White House now and isn't it great that there's a black family there, but there's a much longer history that needs to be appreciated... [It was] just grueling, grueling kind of work. And nobody was really willing ... to do it. So slave labor played a massive role in getting this city built.</p></em><br /><br /><p>During <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">her speech</a> at the DNC on Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama alluded to the White House's history of slave labor during the 1790s. NPR interviews Clarence Lusane,&nbsp;chairperson of Howard University's political science department and author of &ldquo;The Black History of the White House&rdquo;, who gives his two cents on the historically significant topic.</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Secret Service wants to build a fake White House</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What the White House Looks Like Completely Gutted</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Obama chooses Jackson Park as the site for his Presidential Center</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yeah, so about Melania Trump's architecture degree...</a></p> How Republicans and Democrats differ when it comes to infrastructure Nicholas Korody 2016-07-28T13:36:00-04:00 >2016-08-02T02:25:50-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="434" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>On issues related to the funding, mass transit, biking, and the environment, the two parties have staked out dramatically different views about how they envision the future of the nation&rsquo;s transportation system. Democrats are proposing an expansive increase in federal support for transportation investment, with a focus on building access to opportunity, bolstering access to non-automobile modes, reducing the impacts of climate change, and maintaining the role of unions.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>Republicans, on the other hand, propose no increase in federal spending (though Mr. Trump may disagree), an elimination of the federal role in funding non-automotive transportation, an emphasis on pollution-spewing modes and energy sources, and a reduction in the role of unions.</em></p><p>For more on the state of American infrastructure, check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Carrying a racist legacy, highways today play a central role in civil rights activism</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Los Angeles selects HDR to manage its $1.4 Billion Sidewalk Repair Program</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Department of Transportation Secretary threatens to shut down DC Metro</a></li></ul> Christopher Hawthorne on the Republican National Convention's architecture: "It’s as if a bunch of mud-covered actors from 'Game of Thrones' or 'The Crucible' wandered into an Apple store." Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-07-21T13:04:00-04:00 >2016-07-21T18:56:23-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="345" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>the set is a shotgun marriage of Star Trek and Macbook modern, with perhaps a touch &mdash;&nbsp;in the rounded stairs, lighted from below &mdash;&nbsp;of Art Deco. [...] The goal seems to be a series of smooth surfaces to which none of the more direct ad hominem verbal attacks or accusations of plagiarism might stick &mdash; a slate that can be wiped clean whenever a change in tone or direction is wanted. Call it Teflon minimalism.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Hawthorne's Teflon comparison is particularly evocative, given one of the latest incidents last night at the RNC, when Ted Cruz didn't endorse Trump during his primetime address. He was booed off the stage.</p><p>The Republican National Convention's last day in Cleveland is today, themed "Make America One Again", with speakers Peter Thiel, Tom Barrack, Ivanka Trump and the one, the only, Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.</p><p>More News from the 2016 Presidential campaign:</p><ul><li><a title="Yeah, so about Melania Trump's architecture degree..." href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yeah, so about Melania Trump's architecture degree...</a></li><li><a title="Hillary Clinton campaign ad highlights architect screwed by Trump" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton campaign ad highlights architect screwed by Trump</a></li><li><a title="What does Donald Trump's architecture reveal about his politics?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What does Donald Trump's architecture reveal about his politics?</a></li></ul> Yeah, so about Melania Trump's architecture degree... Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-07-20T14:02:00-04:00 >2016-08-29T15:25:01-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>When Melania Trump&rsquo;s much-anticipated address at the Republican National Convention on Monday provoked outrage for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">plagiarizing Michelle Obama&rsquo;s speech</a> at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the typically demure member of Trump&rsquo;s campaign suddenly became the center of a lot of negative press.</p><p>The ensuing wave of critical attention towards Melania Trump dug up other questionable details about her position in the campaign&mdash;among them, its claim that she obtained &ldquo;a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia&rdquo;, according to her bio in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">GOP Convention&rsquo;s program</a>. The same information appears on Melania Trump&rsquo;s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">official website</a>.</p><p>An obvious red flag, pointed out by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>, is that &ldquo;There is no &lsquo;University in Slovenia,&rsquo; nor is there a &lsquo;University of Slovenia.&rsquo;&rdquo; Previous to the RNC, multiple profiles of Melania Trump (including those for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">GQ</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The New Yorker</a>) had looked into her academic background and reported that she did indeed attend the school of architecture a...</p> Hillary Clinton campaign ad highlights architect screwed by Trump Nicholas Korody 2016-07-07T19:22:00-04:00 >2016-07-11T17:41:29-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="326" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Hillary Clinton's latest ad campaign features an architect who claims Donald Trump almost put his firm out of business.</p><p>"Donald Trump hired my small business to design a clubhouse for the Trump National Golf Club," states&nbsp;Andrew Tesoro of&nbsp;Andrew Tesoro Architects. The ad intersperses Tesoro's account of working for Trump with video clips of the Republican presidential candidate espousing his business acumen.</p><p>"I sent a bill. It wasn&rsquo;t paid," states Tesoro, who accuses Trump Organization representatives of "bullying" him into accepting a significantly reduced fee &ndash; just over a third of what the firm had billed.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>"I didn&rsquo;t feel that I had a lot of choice but to accept their low-ball offer. I had already paid out that money. That was money gone. That was just absorbed by me personally," Tesoro says.</p><p>The firm then sent that invoice. "And it wasn't paid."</p><p>Tesoro recounts visiting Trump, who said, "I really don&rsquo;t think I should pay any more because I spent too much on this building.&rdquo;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>After decidi...</p> How to retake a city from the wealthy elite: a guide by Barcelona en Comú Nicholas Korody 2016-06-22T12:54:00-04:00 >2016-06-29T22:01:26-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="924" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In May 2015, the citizen platform Barcelona en Com&uacute; (Barcelona in Common) catapulted Ada Colau into power as the city&rsquo;s first female mayor. Ten months earlier, the group didn&rsquo;t even exist. With no money and little experience, just how did they wrest the city from the entrenched political caste that had been running it for the past 40 years? Not surprisingly, Barcelona en Com&uacute; has since been inundated with requests for an answer...</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"In response, the group produced a step-by-step explanation &ndash; How to Win Back the City en Com&uacute;"</em></p><p>Barcelona en Com&uacute; is a citizen platform launched in 2014 that is the minority government in power right now in Barcelona. Many of its members participated in the 15M movement and come from political organizing backgrounds, and the organization has ties to Podemos.</p><p>The full title of the guide, which is available as a pdf <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>, is&nbsp;<em>How to win back the city en com&uacute;: guide to building a citizen municipal platform</em>.&nbsp;</p><p>"For us, 'winning back the city' is about much&nbsp;more than winning the local elections," they write. "It means&nbsp;putting a new, transparent and participatory&nbsp;model of local government, which is under citizen&nbsp;control, into practice."</p><p>The guide describes how to create such a platform, from pre-launch organization to winning an election. It explicates financing models and electoral structuring.</p><p>A scant 10 pages, the guide is accessible and well-designed. Spain has recently witnessed a bit of a ...</p> "Glitz and ego" – the architectural legacy of Donald Trump, the developer Alexander Walter 2016-05-18T17:30:00-04:00 >2016-08-10T00:24:42-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="479" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;Trump ... believes in using expensive materials that convey prestige and wealth, and people buy into that,&rdquo; said Jerold Kayden, professor of urban planning and design at Harvard University. He said in some ways the legacy of Trump buildings is a matter of taste. &ldquo;To some they are the height of ambition and the height of prestige and to others they are gaudy, but he has certainly pioneered with some others architecture as brand.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"Other New Yorkers view Trump&rsquo;s investment in luxury buildings in undervalued locations in the '90s as a contribution to New York&rsquo;s renewal. To them, his construction represented investment at a time when New York was struggling with blight."</em></p><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Problem With Designing Trump&rsquo;s Border Wall</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What does Donald Trump's architecture reveal about his politics?</a></li><li><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Before Donald Trump's beef with Blair Kamin, he tried to sue the Chicago Tribune over a drawing</a></p></li></ul> California eases some drought restrictions but makes others permanent Alexander Walter 2016-05-10T15:42:00-04:00 >2016-05-10T15:42:53-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="411" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Gov. Jerry Brown [...] laid out a revised game plan for dealing with California&rsquo;s persistent drought, making some conservation rules permanent while also moving to give communities more of a say in deciding how much water they must save. Brown issued an executive order enshrining a conservation ethic in state regulations &mdash; banning permanently some wasteful water practices and ordering regulators to develop new water-efficiency standards designed to drive down long-term urban use.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Previous Archinect stories covering the drought crisis in California and the Southwest U.S.:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Have these heavy rains alleviated the California drought?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How is water used in California?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Grassroots Cactivism," 1st place winner in Dry Futures Speculative category</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Liquifying Aquifer", 1st place winner in Dry Futures Pragmatic category</a></li></ul> Why American infrastructure funding keeps facing such an uphill battle Alexander Walter 2016-04-18T14:19:00-04:00 >2016-05-04T01:07:27-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="405" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Infrastructure was once at the heart of American public policy. Works such as the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Hoover Dam, and the Interstate Highway System transformed the economy. Today, we spend significantly less, as a share of G.D.P., on infrastructure than we did fifty years ago [...] polls show that infrastructure spending is popular with a majority of voters across the income spectrum. Historically, it enjoyed bipartisan support from politicians, too. If it&rsquo;s so popular, why doesn&rsquo;t it happen?</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">America has an infrastructure problem &ndash; and it's getting critical</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Reinstating "awe" in America's infrastructure</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">DC in grid lock after unexpected Metro shutdown</a></li></ul> Poland to remove Soviet-era memorials Nicholas Korody 2016-04-05T12:34:00-04:00 >2016-04-10T00:40:04-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="884" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Polish government plans to demolish about 500 Soviet monuments throughout the country, head of the Institute of National Remembrance Lukasz Kaminsky said in an interview with online portal, the RBC news website reported Thursday. Kaminsky &mdash; whose institute is responsible for investigating crimes against the Polish nation &mdash; said that plans for the demolition of the monuments, would be sent to local authorities in the coming weeks.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the report, the monuments will be relocated to museums where they can serve as a "witness of hard times."</p><p>Many Soviet war memorial have been vandalized and demolished in Poland, whose population views the Soviet role in the Second World War "with ambiguity or outright hostility."</p><p>Russians have reacted strongly to these moves in Poland. In their view, the Red Army liberated Poland from the Nazis.</p><p>For related coverage:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Explore Warsaw with these travel tips from Four O Nine co-founder Lukasz Kos</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Architecture is a field of repression": Daniel Libeskind on childhood memories, trauma, and architecture</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Renderings released for Warsaw's new Museum of Modern Art</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Owen Hatherley's history of communist architecture remains "under the spell of socialism"</a></li></ul> Budapest's building boom draws critics of Hungarian leader's "edifice complex" Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-03-10T13:21:00-05:00 >2016-03-17T21:24:19-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The idea, besides removing as many vestiges of Communist rule as possible, is to create a concrete expression of the nationalism [Hungary&rsquo;s prime minister, Viktor Orban's] governing party espouses. [...] &ldquo;These projects, when lumped together, probably constitute the biggest such concentrated architectural project in Budapest in 100 years,&rdquo; [...] &ldquo;He is trying to take the existing city and put it back to the shape it had before 1944...The park is a victim of this whole political machinery.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Learn more about a couple of the controversial projects mentioned:</p><ul><li><a title="First glimpse: SANAA wins over Sn&oslash;hetta for Budapest's new National Gallery + Ludwig Museum" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">First glimpse: SANAA wins over Sn&oslash;hetta for Budapest's new National Gallery + Ludwig Museum</a></li><li><a title="The fascinating DIY architecture of these Hungarian summer houses brings back childhood memories" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The fascinating DIY architecture of these Hungarian summer houses brings back childhood memories</a></li><li><a title="Three winners, including Sou Fujimoto, are selected for the Liget Budapest museum competition" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Three winners, including Sou Fujimoto, are selected for the Liget Budapest museum competition</a></li></ul> The politics behind China's ban on "weird" architecture Nicholas Korody 2016-03-01T19:38:00-05:00 >2016-03-16T00:04:59-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>...eye-catching edifices began as China&rsquo;s way of announcing its arrival as a powerful player on the world stage. Now, however, the Chinese government has changed course: It has officially declared this to be &ldquo;weird&rdquo; architecture that must be stopped. Chinese leaders have turned their backs on these structures, a shift that underscores China&rsquo;s new conception of itself and its ambitions for the future [...]</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"But the government&rsquo;s mandate explicitly addresses both the function&nbsp;and&nbsp;form of new buildings, and the planning imperative seems designed to&nbsp;go beyond&nbsp;improving the quality of life. The&nbsp;end of &ldquo;weird&rdquo; architecture ties in to the government&rsquo;s recent efforts to champion frugality, revive&nbsp;traditional values, and keep foreign ideas at bay&mdash;priorities that have assumed even greater importance in the midst of China&rsquo;s ongoing corruption crackdown and fears of an economic slowdown."</em></p><p>For more on China's turbulent relationship with contemporary architecture, check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China says no to "weird" architecture</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Win the "Architectural Guide China", a handy travel book of the country's architectural history</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Photographer captures the changing face of Shanghai</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China hopes to improve its cities with newly released urban planning vision</a></li></ul> What does Donald Trump's architecture reveal about his politics? Julia Ingalls 2016-02-18T12:44:00-05:00 >2016-08-10T00:21:08-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Adorned with gold and marble, [the Trump Tower] looks like Saddam Hussein went on a shopping spree with Liberace. To make way for its construction, Mr Trump demolished the handsome Art Deco Bonwit Teller department store. He promised to donate its bas-relief carvings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art but it turned out they were too expensive to remove so they were smashed to pieces on site instead.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Loud, pushy, indifferent to anything but self-touted glamour: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Donald Trump</a>'s politics and his buildings share a great deal in common. In this piece, The Financial Times' reigning design critic <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Edwin Heathcote</a> briefly touches on the repugnant qualities that the Donald's politics and his buildings share, noting that "Mr. Trump&rsquo;s buildings, unlike his father&rsquo;s, have failed to make any architectural contribution to the cities around them or address social needs. Instead they pop up like middle fingers disdaining their surroundings. They are less architecture than marketing, with the Trump sign the most important component."&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="">&nbsp;</p><p><strong>For more coverage on the intersection between architecture and politics:&nbsp;</strong></p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What does Canada's new Prime Minister mean for architecture?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">David Adjaye is the best bet for the Obama Presidential Library &ndash;&nbsp;but not because of the color of his skin</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tokyo Olympics refusing to pay Zaha Hadid for work on the national stadium</a></li><li><a title="Old Guy Fight! Tribune&rsquo;s Blair Kamin vs. Donald Trump" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Old Guy Fight! Tribune&rsquo;s Blair Kamin vs. Donald Trump</a></li><li><a title="Blair Kamin not impressed by Chicago's latest housing developments" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bl...</a></li></ul> Venice Biennale director Alejandro Aravena: "Our challenge must be to go beyond architecture." Alexander Walter 2015-11-20T12:04:00-05:00 >2015-11-30T23:14:02-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="338" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As architects, we are living at a time of shifting paradigms. [...] It&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;m so interested in how architects and urban planners engage with other fields &ndash; economics, security, the environment and so on. Our challenge must be to go beyond architecture and speak the languages of these other disciplines, before translating our discussions into formal design proposals. [...] Our ultimate focus is still on form, but what informs this has expanded dramatically.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Just a few key takeaways from Alejandro Aravena's piece for <em>The Guardian</em>:</p><ul><li>"As curator of <em>Reporting From The Front</em>, I want to reverse the idea that the Biennale only deals with issues that are of interest to other architects. We have begun by identifying problems that every citizen can not only understand but actually has a say in: immigration, water, land capacity, waste and so on."</li><li>"Unlike military wars where nobody wins and there is a prevailing sense of defeat, however, on the frontlines of the built environment there is a sense of vitality, because architecture is about looking at reality in a proposal key. We should never forget that design can be a very powerful tool in mobilising people to act."</li><li>"There are new actors in this story &ndash; not least those property developers who use buildings to chase huge profits. But we are interested in how architecture can introduce a broader notion of gain: design as added value instead of an extra cost; architecture as a shortcut towards equality...</li></ul> Toilets for everyone: the politics of inclusive design Nicholas Korody 2015-11-05T13:31:00-05:00 >2015-11-17T21:49:21-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="338" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>With the issues of serving openly in the military and same-sex marriage now largely resolved, the fight for all-gender restrooms has emerged as the latest civil rights issue in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (L.G.B.T.) community &mdash; particularly the &ldquo;T&rdquo; part. Schools and universities (...), museums (...), restaurants (...) and even the White House (...) are recasting the traditional men&rsquo;s/women&rsquo;s room, resulting in a dizzying range of (often creative) signage and vocabulary.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> "Reporting from the Front" is the title of the 15th Venice Biennale of Architecture Nicholas Korody 2015-09-02T13:19:00-04:00 >2015-09-02T13:19:48-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="388" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The President of la Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, accompanied by the curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Alejandro Aravena, met today at Ca&rsquo; Giustinian with the representatives of 48 Countries. The 15th Exhibition will take place from May 28th to November 27th the Giardini and the Arsenale and in various other venues in Venice. The title chosen by Alejandro Aravena for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition is: REPORTING FROM THE FRONT</p></em><br /><br /><p>"There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people&rsquo;s quality of life," <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alejandro Aravena</a>&nbsp;states in the announcement. "More and more people in the planet are in search for a decent place to live and the conditions to achieve it are becoming tougher and tougher by the hour. Any attempt to go beyond business as usual encounters huge resistance in the inertia of reality and any effort to tackle relevant issues has to overcome the increasing complexity of the world."&nbsp;</p><p>Employing a militaristic tone, Aravena is signalling an aggressive positioning for next year's Biennale, as well as a clear political stance. "Unlike military wars where nobody wins and there is a prevailing sense of defeat, on the frontlines of the built environment, there is a sense of vitality because architecture is about looking at reality in a proposal key," he states.</p><p>The Chilean architect is know...</p> Obama changes the name of tallest mountain from Mt McKinley to Denali Nicholas Korody 2015-08-31T15:49:00-04:00 >2015-09-04T11:52:06-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Obama administration will change the name of North America's tallest mountain peak from Mount McKinley to Denali, the White House said Sunday, a major symbolic gesture to Alaska Natives on the eve of President Barack Obama's historic visit to Alaska. By renaming the peak Denali, an Athabascan word meaning "the high one," Obama waded into a sensitive and decades-old conflict between residents of Alaska and Ohio.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Alaskans have informally called the mountain Denali for years, but the federal government recognizes its name invoking the 25th president, William McKinley, who was born in Ohio and assassinated early in his second term."</p> “Le Corbusier was a combination of blind and naïve about all politics” Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-13T15:08:00-04:00 >2015-07-17T22:41:24-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s still a myth surrounding Le Corbusier, that he&rsquo;s the greatest architect of the 20th century, a generous man, a poet,&rdquo; [journalist Xavier] de Jarcy said. That vision, he added, is &ldquo;a great collective lie.&rdquo; [...] &ldquo;He is someone who thought that reform, social change, could only be made by an authority.&rdquo; [...] &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why Le Corbusier is interesting, because of his own passions and the way he crosses the passions of the century.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>For more on the tug-of-war over Le Corbusier's politics and architectural ideology:</p><ul><li><a title='Pompidou responds to "fascist" Le Corbusier claims' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pompidou responds to "fascist" Le Corbusier claims</a></li><li><a title='Le Corbusier "militant fascist" claims overshadow 50th death anniversary' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Le Corbusier "militant fascist" claims overshadow 50th death anniversary</a></li><li><a title="Is Le Corbusier the real grandfather of hip-hop?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Is Le Corbusier the real grandfather of hip-hop?</a></li></ul> Buckminster Fuller's FBI file revealed Alexander Walter 2015-05-22T13:17:00-04:00 >2015-05-24T03:36:18-04:00 <img src="" width="636" height="375" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In response to a freedom of information request I filed with the FBI in June of 2014, the agency has finally released 44 heavily redacted pages. Why would the FBI have a file on Bucky Fuller? Well, for one thing, he was a counterculture icon with unconventional ideas about resource allocation, environmental conservation, and globalization. And as we know, the FBI has historically been rather uncomfortable with counterculture icons.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Ai Weiwei, Jacob Appelbaum and the dissident experience Alexander Walter 2015-04-28T20:20:00-04:00 >2015-04-29T19:02:49-04:00 <img src="" width="640" height="650" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>It&rsquo;s a Thursday morning in Beijing, and the world&rsquo;s most famous living artist, Ai Weiwei, is sitting with one of the world&rsquo;s most controversial technologists, Jacob Appelbaum, in the second-floor lobby of the East Hotel. [...] On a whim, Ai suggests that they call Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living for the last two years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. [...] Ai and Assange talk for several minutes about the mundanities of the dissident life.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html>