The issue of water supply in the context of climate change was the topic for the recent 5KL: Water symposium, organized by The Architectural League and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design.
Twelve experts in water resource design and management — from architects to geographers to former government officials — addressed the carbon intensity of providing a clean and adequate water supply and how design and planning can contribute to that goal. — urbanomnibus.net
It's a big deal when Denver's top architect publishes an essay saying this city is failing at design downtown. That we are building one mundane apartment building after the next. That we are wasting the opportunity to become a national leader and ruining the urban landscape by putting profit above civic pride.
Jeff Sheppard said all that [...] in a guest editorial in last Sunday's Denver Post. And we'd be wise to hear him and do what he's suggesting: Knock it off immediately. — denverpost.com
Far from reducing his workload or resting on his considerable laurels, the 80-year-old Meier and his partners are also wrapping up construction on several other projects, including the HH Resort and Spa in Gangneung, South Korea; the Leblon office building in Rio de Janeiro; the 140-unit Rothschild Tower in Tel Aviv; the Cittadella Bridge in Alessandria, Italy; and Teachers Village, a mixed-use development in Newark, New Jersey. — The Real Deal
Earlier today, Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects posted a nearly 1,400 word polemic on Facebook denouncing contemporary architecture criticism and defending the “star-system” that has been instrumental in his firm’s success in the last few decades. Instead of “seeing conspicuity...
The costs of this misfiring property market are huge, mainly because of their effects on individuals. High housing prices force workers towards cheaper but less productive places. [...]
Tot up these costs in lost earnings and unrealised human potential, and the figures become dizzying. Lifting all the barriers to urban growth in America could raise the country’s GDP by between 6.5% and 13.5%, or by about $1 trillion-2 trillion. — economist.com
Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we’re stuck in. There were 40 million more slum dwellers worldwide in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to the UN. Private markets clearly can’t provide universal housing in any way approaching efficiency, and governments are often hostile to the poor. — Metropolis Magazine
In his book, McGuirk analyzes numerous de facto housing solutions for overcrowded cities, including the infamous "Torre David" in Caracas, an abandoned high-rise which became an iconic squatter's structure partly because of government ineptitude and indifference.
Whatever becomes of Facebook’s corporate future – and therefore the consequential Internet – will play out in the world of Frank Gehry. The architect’s new HQ for Facebook in Menlo Park, MPK20, opened earlier this week with plentiful Instagrammed fanfare, and Facebook recently submitted...
“What is it that you can do in a pavilion that you can’t do in a building? Buildings – you don’t want them to move. How can we get this structure to respond in a very subtle way to the weather and perhaps amplify the sound of the wind moving through it?” — theguardian.com
Whipsawing from tragedy to triumph, British architect and former Future Systems partner Amanda Levete has been awarded the design of the MPavilion, Australia's sprightly so-called version of the U.K.'s Serpentine Pavilion. Levete founded her current firm, Amanda Levete Architects, in 2009 after...
The phrases "public housing" or "low-income housing" do not generally conjure thoughts of architectural innovation. [...]
But it doesn't have to be that way, as several recent housing developments in Los Angeles prove. Instead, they pose the question: What if low-income housing was perceived as leading the vanguard of innovative, responsive architecture? — kcet.org
Students at several Central City schools soon will have a permanent place to learn about architecture, design and city planning after officials from PlayBuild, a nonprofit focused on architecture education, broke ground Tuesday on a “design playground” in New Orleans.
The 2-year-old organization, along with Palmisano Contractors, is converting a vacant lot at Thalia and Willow streets into a space for children to play and learn. — theneworleansadvocate.com
“[Directors are] projecting a future by imagining how it would look in ruins,” said Michael Hays, a professor of architectural theory at Harvard. “All the flesh has been removed and you just see the architectural bones. I’ve always thought Portman’s buildings would make very beautiful ruins, because the essence of them is so powerful and so direct.” — The Atlantic
In this larger piece about how Atlanta has become a favored setting for dystopian cinema, Harvard professor Michael Hays shares an unusual perspective on the work of John Portman as cinematic harbinger of doom.
Scientists and politicians the world over are looking for ways to halt or reverse [climate changes], a task that is fraught with difficulties in a world hooked on fossil fuels. One option increasingly discussed is terraforming—deliberately altering the environment in a way that cools the planet... Instead of creating global engineering projects, why not create life forms that do a similar job instead... — MIT Technology Review
Ricard Sole and his associates at the ICREA-Complex Systems Lab in Barcelona are experimenting with the potentials of using synthetic organisms to terraform the planet. One advantage to such a project – as opposed to other terraforming ideas that would require engineering feats of unprecedented...
When Loft Living was first published, artists’ laments about real estate in New York City mirrored the concerns that have plagued residents for much of the last century. Namely, it’s tough to find a suitable and affordable place to live. Since the late ’80s, the tenor of that complaint has shifted from one of anxiety to one of fear... — Guernica
Guernica magazine interviewed sociologist Sharon Zukin following the 25th-anniversary release of her 1989 landmark book "Loft Living" last year. Revisiting her timely book -- which focuses on NYC's SoHo neighborhood when upscale real estate properties took over industrial lofts and artists'...
For every barrel of oil Chevron produces in its Kern River oil field, another 10 barrels of salty wastewater come up with it. So Chevron is selling about 500,000 barrels of water per day...back to...the local water district that delivers water to farmers within a seven-mile slice of Kern County...But it’s a risky dance; over time, high sodium can change the properties of the soil, making it impermeable, unable to take in any more water...Eventually, the soil becomes barren. — Newsweek
Megaprojects almost always fall short of their promises—costing too much, delivering underwhelming benefits, or both. Yet...cities still fall for them, seduced by new technologies and the lure of the perfect fix. A mix of factors has given Seattle a particularly acute sense of angst. The project depends on a singular piece of engineering. And Bertha’s building a highway for cars in a city where workers overcrowd buses and commuters wrap themselves in waterproof everything to bike in the rain. — Bloomberg
Bedecked with amusingly cutesy illustrations, Bloomberg tells the exasperating tale of the giant tunnel drill dubbed Bertha, which began digging the new State Route 99 tunnel underneath downtown Seattle in summer 2013 to replace the current street-level Alaskan Way Viaduct and ideally clear up the...
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