The architect today is no ‘fountainhead.’ It is rather sad to watch today’s ‘starchitects’, designing their weird-looking signature buildings. These seem now always to be either museums or condos for billionaires. The brand-name architect just build useless luxury housing for the 1% and their trinkets. The actual design of the world is now in the hands of other people. — Public Seminar Commons
McKenzie Wark pens a rather a wake up call of a book review on Easterling's new book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space in which Easterling offers a set of subsidiary metaphors for contemporary infrastructure design: multipliers, switches, and topologies."The multipliers...
"We need to retreat, especially intellectually...from the idea that we can keep on building anywhere we want. New Yorkers are tough. They can take whatever nature throws their way. But you just can’t grow forever at the expense of the sea" - Professor Ted Steinberg — NYT
Going beyond the more well known and singular, such as U.S. HUD's Rebuild By Design competition, Alan Feuer, Greg Moyer and Melanie Burford highlight various more quotidian infrastructural and planning efforts underway. With an eye toward not just rebuilding but resilience, the Metropolitan...
The residents of Belle Harbor Manor spent four miserable months in emergency shelters after Superstorm Sandy's floodwaters surged through their assisted-living center on New York City's Rockaway peninsula.
Now, the home's disabled, elderly and mostly poor residents have a new headache: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked at least a dozen of them to pay back thousands of dollars in disaster aid. — AP
South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soon. São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key reservoirs that supply the city dried up after an unusually dry year. — Thompson Reuters Foundation
One of the most important reservoirs in Brazil is the Cantareira watershed, which supplies around 45% of the city of São Paulo's water. Back in August, authorities warned that the city, which is the largest on the continent, could run out of water in 100 days if the waters dropped to 12%. Now...
The US state of Louisiana is slowly disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico as its fragile wetlands are eroded by rising sea levels. Approximately 75 square kilometres are lost each year and the US Geological Survey has warned that the entire habitat - which represents 40% of all wetlands in the US - could be destroyed within 200 years. The loss is partly down to natural evolutionary processes, but experts say human behaviour... has made the region more vulnerable to storm surges. — BBC
"So we wanted to turn that conversation on its head and say, well what if we let water in? How can we make life better in Boston by bringing water in?" - Dennis Carlberg — BBC News
Joanna Jolly talked to Boston city planners and architects, who are a proposing solutions to combat sea-level rise. One big idea, is canals which would criss-cross the streets of the Back Bay. Less radical ideas include; constructed wetlands and elevating critical equipment for new development.
Conceived as a kind of southern hemisphere Serpentine Pavilion, the MPavilion has just opened its first work, a 12×12 meter kinetic box by the local architect Sean Godsell. Using the typically restrained massing of his homes as a template Godsell has then animated the space with a fully louvered skin. The pavilion is placed in the 18th century Queen Victoria Garden with Melbourne’s high rises serving as a backdrop. — eVolo
Find out how, since the date of your birth, your life has progressed; including how many times your heart has beaten, and how far you have travelled through space.
Investigate how the world around you has changed since you've been alive; from the amount the sea has risen, and the tectonic plates have moved, to the number of earthquakes and volcanoes that have erupted. Grasp the impact we've had on the planet in your lifetime... — BBC
Renderings for the waterfront park to be built alongside the massive housing development Greenpoint Landing have been released. Flooding from Hurricane Sandy ravaged the area only a few years back, so it comes as no surprise that locals were concerned with how developers would protect the area...
Art should serve the people, Xi Jinping says, and China's weird and wonderful buildings - including a mobile phone building, an excessivley blinged-up hotel, and a penis tower - are evidently not good examples of "morally inspiring art". Duh. — shanghaiist
Is it possible Xi Jinping is using a diplomatic language to break loose from imported architecture? The so called elite star architecture now going to have third tier copies? Don't forget the elite post modernism was finally trickled down to strip mall architecture finally in early 90's. This...
First launched in 2013 after years of technological development and collaboration, French designer Philippe Starck and Slovenian wooden prefab building company Riko released the second generation of their customizable Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes (P.A.T.H.) to the global market...
Unesco, which for too long has been silent on the growing environmental threat to Venice and its evident mismanagement, as revealed by the exposure of massive corruption in the construction of its flood barriers, has at last shown its teeth. At the meeting of its World Heritage Committee in Doha this June it passed important resolutions that show that it intends to call the Italian government to account and put Venice on its World Heritage at Risk list if it is not satisfied. — theartnewspaper.com
A new proposal called 'Harlem Promenade' developed by the Housing Partnership could bring not only 2,000 additional affordable housing units to Washington Heights, but also an elevated railway park akin to the High Line. The park would be built atop a portion of Amtrak rail lines and would finally offer locals a safe and easy connection to the waterfront parks and recreation along the Hudson. — 6sqft
Recently, a team of pathogen hunters at Columbia University...conducted a survey of the viruses and bacteria in Manhattan’s rats, the first attempt to use DNA to catalog pathogens in any animal species in New York City [...] Although the scientists examined just 133 rats, they found plenty of pathogens. Some caused food-borne illnesses. Others, like Seoul hantavirus, had never before been found in New York. Others were altogether new to science. — NY Times
New York's notorious rat problem is just one of the many complex human-animal interactions that can lead to disease outbreaks. Ebola, which has decimated West Africa and is now appearing in the US, likely spread to humans from contact with infected primates. Avian flu (H5N1) spreads from contact...
According to Jane McGonigal, a well-known game designer and researcher, “games build the kind of trust, relationships and social networks so critical to [collective action].” Playing games, people naturally weave a tight social fabric.” — Northern Lights Minnesota
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