Archinect inaugurated a new interview series The Deans List. For the first installment, Archinect talked with David Gissen, the Director of Architecture at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Reflecting on current trends and his own interests for the future of architectural education he reflects "I think lots of architecture schools are interested in working with cities, and with centers of power like a municipal office – some powerful agent that has the ability to transform and legislate the shape of the city. It’s an exciting thing for architecture students to be involved in those forms of power".
While in the latest edition of Showcase; featured Taipei Sales Center by Oyler Wu Collaborative. A somewhat temporary project with limited programmatic needs resulted in "a five-story volume pierced (quite literally) and interconnected by an intricate ribbon of rope, steel, and fabric. The renovation creates an entirely new identity and is suggestive of the modern intervention that will soon occupy the site".
Michael Kimmelman reviewed the new Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, designed by Selldorf Architects. He noted that while "it doesn’t resemble a giant egret or stegosaurus skeleton, or sport flying titanium panels…it adds an improbable grace note to a gritty stretch of Brooklyn waterfront".
James Russell traveled to Fort Worth Texas, to take in the new building for the Kimbell Art Museum by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The design he felt shows "a predictable, restrained elegance" however "The large galleries trade the intimacy of the Kahn for a severe magnificence and much more flexibility in arrangement".
Plus, Mr. Russell also had a chance to take in the new Perez Art Museum Miami, by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron.
Candy Chan, an "architect-to-be" and graphic designer in New York City, breaks down the topics covered by the Architect Registration Examination on her blog, ARE we there yet?. Chan's blog might be particularly helpful after NCARB shut down its own A.R.E. forum, in response to posters allegedly leaking test material.
In a two-part post, Candy first split up all 7 exams of the A.R.E. 4.0 into a colorful venn diagram, based on subjects covered. Then she made an info-graphic that splits up the topics covered by two of the most popular A.R.E. test-prep books, Kaplan and Ballast (PPI). (Continued from Part I, ARE 4.0 contents).
Ian Wilson started a new blog titled Cultural effects on the Built Environment in Rio de Janiero in which he will document upcoming travels to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. His second day in Brazil was filled with "Farmers market, Cafe Expresso...Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas". He described a typical apartment building street front in Rio de Janeiro;
"Parking garage and entrance is off the front street, not in the back, there is none... It always has some sort of security gate or metal fencing up to prevent intruders and people that are unwelcome. The ground level is always faced with very nice materials such as Brazilian teak siding, marble slabs, mosaic tiling, frosted glass...From the second level up, form follows function, the programs stacked to allow for efficiency and ease of building construction...Street fronts are always heavily planted allowing another layer of design to the neighborhood".
Last week bigness took a one day trip to the Venice Biennale of Art.
55 Baker Street (in London, UK) by Make Architects was one of the projects recently featured in the post Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Glass" Pinterest Board while Blue Marlin (in New York, NY) by SOFTlab was one of the projects recently featured in the post Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Furniture" Pinterest Board.
Will Galloway who teaches in Keio University's architecture program cut studio with his students to attend a conference Fumihiko Maki held last month. The conference was part of his recent protests against the proposed Olympic Stadium by Zaha Hadid.
The whole debate has left him wondering "about what place architects really have in shaping the cities we live in...I suppose that is why Maki himself never talks about the design but only the urbanism. What I would wish for is a better process for the competition itself, never mind who wins in the end".
In response HandsumCa$hMoneyYo argued "That is actually the architects only real weapon on the path to power, longevity...When the larger questions of a community are asked and people look about, it's the architect with the seniority...It's kind of a shame that so many young architects insist on travel because their ultimate value is in attaching to a place. Becoming old trees, in other words".
Rmartz at Knowlton School at The Ohio State University synopsized a lecture given by Mark Lee the principle and founder of Johnston Marklee, an architecture practice operating out of Los Angeles. Discussing View House a home in Rosario, Argentina, Mark shared that one commentator had labeled it "the love-child of Mario Botta and a septic tank".
goswin announced that as part of the Architectural Association Visiting School programme, Research Team of Cinematic Operation will next present Love and Crime-Basta!: Windscreens. For Windscreens, the Pacific Coast Highway will be the dedicated line of travel. ...A fleet of zero emission cars will take attendees from motel to motel all the way between Olympia and Capistrano Beach. On the way you will have the opportunity to talk urbanists, photographers, artists and architects.
Lian Chikako Chang posted a video of Kanye stopping by Harvard GSD studios to talk about architecture with students. After the internets had sufficiently digested the latest meme, Lian Chikako Chang took the opportunity to point out "the quiet leadership of the GSD's African American Student Union in this event" during which "it has become clear that the media frenzy we've seen was just the gold-plated tip of a more substantive iceberg...Nobody is claiming that the GSD AASU's coup of successfully inviting Kanye West solves the serious problems that contribute to this imbalance. But with this gutsy, optimistic, and outward-facing action that brought some public attention to the idea that design can change the world, and to the fact that there are talented and ambitious black and African American students shaking things up at the top-ranked US architecture school".
Responding to some haterz amongst the Archinect commentariat, Donatello D'Anconia noted "The best part is, with the negativity we are vibing towards kaney's wassup to architecture, we aren't providing any possibility for architecture to be relevant to popular culture and discontinue it's own shitty system. Imagine if more people were into architecture, then we couldn't be elite anymore, and then where is the fun".
ArchStudent_UM started a thread looking for help with a tough assignment, "we are supposed to draw construction details for a certain type of construction...mine is a full facade of glass construction (not a curtain wall though). Does anyone have any good resources I could check out that show good construction details. I've checked the library and have found very little help"?
Joseph Wassell agreed "the 'not a curtain wall' is one hell of a limit... It's a vast and broad category.. so you need a structural glass facade system...maybe a channel glass system?...Not particularly interesting or too challenging to detail". Thecyclist suggested "Look at the work of Front Inc. At the moment, I cannot get some links on their website to work, but they have done some good work in glass facades". threadkilla also recommended "the Front inc. research. I had the privilege of interviewing Mark Simmons once, and I seriously doubt that there is another living human who knows more about glass than he does".
bowling_ball needed some encouragement. Explaining, "In this moment of wine-assisted self-reflection, I'm looking to you, my fellow archinectors, for your stories of good, bad, and ugly during your first ~5 years...I'm sure I'm not the only one who could use a little perspective from time to time. It's been a rough week".
Non Sequitur commiserated "rough week? We've just had to write-off hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of crucial telecom infrastructure in one project because someone forgot that rain and ice during construction can be a problem if your sensitive bits are exposed...I think you are spot-on with the need to feel comfortable being uncomfortable”. More sympathetically Lee Roberts shared "I started to feel more comfortable with the profession after realizing that a mistake might not be the end or the world, and that what you do after the mistake says more about you as a professional than anything else".
Meanwhile, Donna Sink offered some encouragement "Hang in there. Architecture is a long, long profession with plenty of time to make mistakes, learn from them, and change course..If you're not registered, go for it. It feels like reaching the top of the mountain".
Finally, LITS4FormZ wants to know "In this season of consumerism is there any chance that shop.archinect will restock any time soon"? Specifically, "Less is More hoodies".
For his part BenC is interested in Archinect "bringing back the Free Ai Weiwei shirts"...