What does Trump's 20% tariff hike on Canadian softwoods mean for architecture?
What will higher timber prices as a result of Trump's new tarriff mean for architecture? Dr. Warren Mabee, who is the Canada Research Chair in Renewable Energy Development and Implementation at Queen's University, told me over the phone that it will likely halt or significantly alter the design... View full entry
Foster + Partners plan redundancies due to uncertainty in the construction market
Britain’s largest architectural firm, Foster + Partners, plans to lay off nearly 100 people, and blamed the uncertainty around construction projects caused by last summer’s Brexit vote.
The company, whose London projects have included the Millennium Bridge, the Great Hall redevelopment at the British Museum and the Gherkin tower, said the cuts would mainly affect staff at its headquarters in Battersea, south-west London.
— The Guardian
An exquisite drone tour over Apple's new campus reveals the pond, furniture, + a new theater
Like a miniature perfectionist city, the new Apple campus in Cupertino is made up of several different buildings: there's the familiar Norman Foster-designed "spaceship," as well as a massive parking garage that features gleaming solar panels atop the roof.This drone video reveals that very little... View full entry
Architecture Billings Index in March ends first quarter with sizable increase
The first quarter of the year ended on a positive note for the Architecture Billings Index (ABI). [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 54.3, up from a score of 50.7 in the previous month. This score reflects a sizable increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.8, down from a reading of 61.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index dipped from 54.7 to 52.3.
“The first quarter started out on uneasy footing, but fortunately ended on an upswing entering the traditionally busy spring season,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “All sectors showed growth except for the commercial/industrial market, which, for the first time... View full entry
Developing flexible parking garages for a rideshare-dependent LA
The strategy reflects a consensus among some developers and planners that California’s vaunted car culture is inevitably going to run out of gas...[Andy] Cohen, co-chief executive of Gensler, predicts car ownership will peak around 2020 and then start to decline, with more Americans relying on some form of ride-sharing than their own vehicles by 2025. That means cars gradually would disappear from home garages, curbs and parking structures, freeing up acre upon acre of real estate for new uses.
— Los Angeles Times
Some developers are already planning for a not-so-far-off future Los Angeles where more people primarily rely on ridesharing (including from autonomous vehicles) than driving their own car, particularly in the form of parking garages that can be redesigned for other uses like commercial spaces or... View full entry
Indian bar legally evades closure by adding 250-meter long maze entrance
Since April 1 a large number of the bars, pubs and liquor shops across India has gone out of business, thanks to a Supreme Court order that the outlets should be at least 500m away from state and national highways...The Aishwarya Bar in North Paravoor, a Kochi suburb has built a 250m-long maze-like walkway to the entrance, theoretically making it more than 500m away from the highway.
— India Times
In a move that has even delighted the bureaucrats who initially drafted the rule that no bar could be within 500 meters of a highway, an Indian bar has managed to stay in business by virtue of building a 250 meter long maze that, like the snaking lines at an amusement park, greatly expands the... View full entry
Swimming with Skyscrapers: Watch video from a glass-bottomed sky pool
What's more relaxing than a glass-bottomed sky pool 42 stories above Houston? Well, pretty much every other thing in the known universe, which makes the existence of this Jackson + Ryan Architects-designed pool not only an eye-catching publicity stunt for the residential tower's developer, but a... View full entry
Creating Brand Recognition with 3A Composites USA's Corporate ID Programs
This post is brought to you by 3A Composites USA Every company wants to establish a brand on a local, regional, national or even international level. A company strives for an image that is recognizable by potential customers no matter where they are in the world. In fact, the first face-to-face... View full entry
In China, 70% of millenials own property
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably read some think piece about how millenials aren’t buying homes. Sometimes this is construed as a cultural thing, but it probably has more to due with coming of age during and after the Great Recession.In any case, according to a BBC article... View full entry
Getting it Done: Tips to Shorten Your Time to Licensure
This post is brought to you by PPI.The road towards licensure is exciting, humbling, and full of unexpected surprises. However, as daunting as the task may seem, there are ways to shorten the duration and ease stress as you go from wide-eyed architecture student to stamp-carrying architect... View full entry
Architect David Lake pens compelling letter to Congressman decrying proposed cuts to EPA's "Energy Star"
As we discussed at the Witte, the EPA’s “Energy Star,” indoor air quality, and materials safety programs directly support the design and construction industry each and every day.
The proposed EPA budget eliminates funding for these programs and will severely impact the ability of engineers and architects to meet client demands, fulfill our contractual obligations, and carry out the duties of our licensure to protect the public.
— Letter from David Lake via The Rivard Report
In response to a letter in which Texan Republican Congressman Lamar Smith told David Lake that he gets all of his news from a "biased liberal media," Lake not only kindly (and eloquently) rebutted this inaccuracy, but also encouraged the Congressman not to defund the EPA if he still wants to live... View full entry
Leaders in architecture tend to be LEED-accredited, AIA study reveals
What sets apart high-performing architecture firms from their award-lacking brethren? Not surprisingly, a commitment to excellence, which according to the AIA is measured by several factors, including an emphasis on sustainability and diversity. While the full report details the findings from a... View full entry
Trump family's NYC properties are embarrassing energy hogs
Wasteful, inefficient, and pointlessly expensive to operate: most of Donald Trump's namesake properties, as well as his son-in-law Jared Kushner's new "666" edifice, are oozing energy by virtue of their poor design and indifference toward conservation. A report by the IBTimes noted that:As of... View full entry
Uber manipulates its drivers through behavioral science experiments
...even as Uber talks up its determination to treat drivers more humanely, it is engaged in an extraordinary behind-the-scenes experiment in behavioral science to manipulate them in the service of its corporate growth — an effort whose dimensions became evident in interviews with several dozen current and former Uber officials, drivers and social scientists, as well as a review of behavioral research.
— the New York Times
"Because its drivers are independent contractors, they lack most of the protections associated with employment. By mastering their workers’ mental circuitry, Uber and the like may be taking the economy back toward a pre-New Deal era when businesses had enormous power over workers and few checks... View full entry
Internet providers can now profit from your privacy, thanks to the House Republicans
Not content to creepily stalk you with tailored ads on Facebook and Google, ISPs can now sell your internet browsing history to third-parties for cash, thanks to the corporately-backed husks that voted for the move in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to The Washington Post:Congress's... View full entry