Last week the Buckminster Fuller Challenge announced that the Living Building Challenge, founded by Jason McLennan, was the official winner of this year's competition. The LBC sets the world’s highest ecological standard for building thoughtful, sustainable buildings, but it's much more than that - it’s also a philosophy, an advocacy tool and a support network. joanna callas commented "I noticed on of our projects was featured in the Buckminster Fuller Award to the Living Building Challenge. While appreciative of the attention, the agreement with our photographer, Matthew Millman requires all photos of the HawaiiPreparatory Academy Energy Lab carry his credit as well as our, Flansburgh Architects. In addition to this, it would be helpful to identify the photos used so that people can get more information on the individual projects." The project she refers to, is by Flansburgh Architects for the Hawaii Preparatory Academy and is one of the Living Building Challenge case studies.
King’s Cube a creation of MFA student Joe Yiu, was designed to investigate the Hong Kong idea of an “ideal living space.” The apartment advertised in her video features art, houseplants, wood flooring, and “international-class marble” — at least, the model unit does — and residents dress in formalwear to show their status, but the space is too small for a kitchen, a bathroom, a dresser, a chair, or a particularly tall or wide human. Matthew Messner argued "I understand the project is a satire, but there are much more interesting things happening in the HK "housing" market." Matthew posted a link to an article in the Daily Mail featuring the photos of pictures of British photographer Brian Cassey which capture the misery of people in Hong Kong - some estimates put the figure as high as 100,000 - who are forced to live in cages measuring just 6ft by 2 1/2ft.
Michael Kimmelman reviewed a new glass canopy designed by Preston Scott Cohen, which covers 11,000 square feet of an easement in Battery Park City, for Goldman Sachs, whose headquarters at 200 West Street backs onto North End Way. Goldman Sachs owns and developed the arcade, which is zoned for public use. davvid responded to a quote from Kimmelman "One of the best new works of architecture in New York isn’t a flashy skyscraper or museum” by offering up the retort "Its a flashy canopy and a flashy wine shop’" Meanwhile, mantaray wondered "Have the 'governing burdens and principles' we 'accept' become... the fact that "public" now means "owned and operated by a private corporation that invites the public (for now at least) to use the space"? The fact that our civil government - the one we created by social contract, and the one that is beholden to us - no longer seeks to create and maintain pleasant public spaces to serve us, its owners, but instead encourages private corporations who aren't beholden to us to create their own private spaces, often with taxpayer-paid incentives?"
News24 covered the opening of Minmetals Land Inc.'s replica of Hallstatt, a quaint Austrian alpine hamlet, located in subtropical southern China. HandsumCa$hMoneyYo quipped "So that's where all the New Urbanist snuck off to...China! Guangdong just leapfrogged Florida. Now if only the Chinese would do a version of Seaside...Oh, ho, ho, ho...too funny, yo!"
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) claimed that a developing focus on “chemicals of concern” in the newest version of the LEED rating systems could make federal buildings less energy-efficient. Brian Henry read between the lines and noted "I'm usually in agreement any time there is a criticism of LEED, but this time I think I'd side with the USGBC. Sounds like the ACC is upset because some chemicals got 'black-listed', but to feel threatened by this seems juvenile in a way. I'm all in favor of promoting some innovation in the chemical industry in order to get products that are safer. Bravo LEED!"
Brian Henry also had a new post Portfolio Design with Adobe InDesign - A Series  up on his blog, which as you can tell from the title is the first in a series of posts on portfolio creation and layout using what he considers to be the best tool for the job, Adobe InDesign. Chad Wulleman requested a "a post relating to links and embedded images would probably be helpful for a lot of people who tend to move files or change computers frequently."
While Tima Bell recently worked on a Rendering using my finger on an ipad app - paperfiftythree, Cassandra LaPorte explained her senior thesis topic will be "why living roofs and indoor gardens should be used in commercial and residential environments in order to improve energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality, improve the overall health of occupants, and save building owners money over time."
Kevin MacNichol also joined forces with Nicole Fichera to blog over at Practice Options. Writing about creative people and specialization he concluded "A quasi-rejection of specificity in answering the question, ‘What is architecture?’ will help us to make more favorable decisions in professional practice. Architects may become slightly less productive as a result, but our designs will be more thoughtful."
In his first school blog post Ryan Panos, in the masters of architecture program in Vancouver Canada at UBC wrote about how there is something great about taking a break or “doing nothing”. accesskb advised "you're not alone... I've take a break in weeks and months too. Its best not to burn yourself out and take time-outs when you need it. Go travel, do something else, read, then come back when you're inspired and recharged again."
Ayax Abreu went with some fellow students from the Städelschule Architecture Class on a tour of Zurich, Lausanne and Basel. Along the way they visited the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), SANAA's Rolex Learning Center and the Vitra factory complex.
Joe DeBenny at University of Arizona reflected on trends within architecture intelligentsia, “studio critiques” and Door Knobs and Ugly Duck Shaped Blocks, after reading some of From Bauhaus To Our House written by Tom Wolfe, for a class.
While, Chris DeHenzel a graduate M.Arch/MLA student at UC Berkeley, and grateful recipient of the 2011-2012 John K. Branner Fellowship, continued his research into the infrastructure of food systems and the cultural and urban design implications of local economies, with a stop in Santiago de Chile. While there he visited the four main sites that comprise Santiago’s market district, including a new project, the Mercado Tirsa de Molina, designed by Iglesis Prat Arquitectos
For those of you who might have been curious Simon Rastorguev posted the results for the Social Revolution 2012 : Social Housing competition held by the Department of Architecture of Yaroslavl State Technical University.
After reading What is Art by Tolstoy recently, oiko wanted to discuss What is and what is not architecture? geezertect was of the opinion that architecture is "Enclosing space for a purpose." To which, FRaC cheekily queried "what if the enclosing space is said to have no purpose yet the very act of enclosing a space imparts the purpose of space enclosure upon the enclosed space, is that still architecture?” a-f thins architecture is “Aesthetic organization of practical reality."
tectarki is thinking of shadow architecture as a dissertation topic and needs help. 18x32 thinks he needs to check out "Junichiro Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows" if he meant "shadows literally".
dezv18 is looking for accommodation in Rotterdam from July 9th to the 20th while they complete an architecture summer program. jk3hl offered up "your best option in Rotterdam is staying at the hostel in the cube-houses. I think it is a StayOk hostel. It's a really nice joint, and cheaper than other accommodation you'll find. Free breakfast, too."