Rael writes that one of the most devastating consequences of the wall is “the division of communities, cities, neighborhoods and families, resulting in the erosion of social infrastructure.” When we talked, he wondered how we might create something positive from something so horrible: “Can reform happen through borderland investment? If you build 150 libraries along the border, you’d get a very different outcome.” — The New York Times
Since they founded Duvall Decker nearly 20 years ago, the Deckers, as they’re known, have focused mostly on neglected corners in and around Jackson, Mississippi’s capital. To pay the bills, the two have redefined for themselves the ambit of a small architectural practice. They have become developers and even branched into building maintenance: a soup-to-nuts strategy that has allowed them more than just financial breathing room. — The New York Times
Helping impoverished Mississippi communities? Check. Making money while creating a business model that empowers you with the decision-making powers of developers? Check. Being notable and effective enough to earn your own profile in The New York Times by Michael Kimmelman? Done, done, and done for...
Philosopher Jason Millar claims to have originated the idea of the ethically challenged self-driving car in a 2014 paper on robotics...
In the “The Tunnel Problem,” Millar’s driverless car (let’s call her Porsche again) is fast approaching a narrow tunnel, the entrance of which is blocked by a child who has fallen in the roadway. The car can either kill the kid or hit the wall of the tunnel, killing the driver (who is really just a passenger). — Daniel Albert | N+1
To understand how strange this pairing of client and architect is, you have to contemplate two things: the deeply embedded social progressivism that has become the standard worldview of international architectural firms such as BIG; and organizations such as the NFL, a private club for 1 percenters that bullies municipalities and treats its own players’ health with indifference. Can this marriage last? Is BIG motivated by naivete or cynicism? — The Washington Post
An independent investigation into the construction of New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus has found that despite the school’s best intentions and efforts, about one third of the workforce at the site — roughly 10,000 workers — was not covered by the school’s labor guidelines, and thus faced unfair and exploitative practices [that were reported in previous allegations]. — Hyperallergic
The technology of supertall buildings is a bit like genetic testing or nuclear energy: a volatile form of power. Technological capacities have outpaced our judgment. We know we can do it, but we don’t know when not to do it. And so some endlessly wealthy mogul [...] will eventually move into a preposterously expensive penthouse so far above the Earth’s crust that the air is thin and gales hammer at the glass. A mile’s not science fiction. It’s not even an outer limit. — nymag.com
Faced with lawsuits and a growing mountain of damning research, New York City officials decided last month to ban solitary confinement for prison inmates 21 and younger. Just a few weeks earlier, the American Institute of Architects rejected a petition to censure members who design solitary-confinement cells and death chambers. [...]
What are the ethical boundaries for architecture? — nytimes.com
Zaha Hadid says it's not her job to pay attention to how many migrant workers die in the construction of her World Cup stadium. We asked four top architects--Bjarke Ingels, Liz Diller, Clive Wilkinson, and Curtis Fentress--how morality fits into the process of accepting or rejecting a commission. — fastcodesign.com
And just as prisons in the U.S. are now designed to look not just secure and largely windowless but so nondescript that they practically disappear, architecture firms often coat their prison-design work in several layers of euphemism.
Prisons and jails become "correctional facilities." On the website of the large corporate firm HOK Architects, which designed the 1997 Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown L.A., they are tucked into a broader portfolio of "justice buildings." — latimes.com
Archinect published work from Beyond Prototype, an advanced digital fabrication seminar developed at Columbia University...Nicholas Cecchi was impressed but also offered some criticism "This is amazing student work...However, I would like architecture schools to stop pushing students to contextualize this kind of research-based exploration. Showing these as enclosures (or the one as a gondola) only undermines the amazing generative capacity of this kind of design"
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