American builders last month began construction on the highest number of new homes since October 2008, with housing starts jumping 6.9% in another encouraging sign for the housing market. — latimes.com
The Milllennials, the generation born from 1983 onwards, enjoyed a childhood free of bunkbeds or even shared bathrooms. Growing up in plush megahomes undoubtedly helped them become, in the words of one author, “self-centred, needy, and entitled with unrealistic work expectations.” Oddly, it also spawned a group of people patently unimpressed with backyards and breakfast nooks. — news.nationalpost.com
"Apple's state-of-the art campus brings at least $100 million dollars in investment to California and generates no additional greenhouse gas emissions," Brown said in a statement to this newspaper, listing two of the requirements Apple had met to qualify under the law. "On-site fuel cells and 650,000 square feet of solar panels will provide clean, renewable energy for more than 12,000 Apple employees on the new campus." — siliconvalley.com
"I think that [austerity] is used as a cliche because people don't have ideas, they want to crib [old ones] to do bad stuff," she said, in a Q and A session with Guardian deputy editor Kath Viner. "Schools, housing, hospitals – I think the government should invest in good housing." — guardian.co.uk
The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped significantly last month. Nationwide architecture work had begun to contract in April, but sunk by a considerable amount more in May. The May ABI score was 45.8, down from an already contracting 48.4 in April. Inquiries for new projects also dropped, from 54.4 to 54.0, the lowest score in a year. — architectmagazine.com
For generations, government policies have been geared toward creating endless landscapes of strip malls... In the process we have gutted our traditional downtowns. We have eaten up farmland and forest. We have, as Nate Berg reported this week, endangered the lives of our senior citizens. We have engineered a world where children cannot walk or bike to school without risking their lives. We have created countless places devoid of any real social value. — theatlanticcities.com
David Harvey, theorist and author of Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, says that postwar capitalism can be understood with reference to the history of urbanisation and suburbanisation. Urban investment gets you out of a crisis but defines what the next crisis is going to look like, he argues. The emerging powers of the east are now in the midst of a massive urbanisation project and could fall victim to the same outcome. — guardian.co.uk
After five months of positive readings, the Architecture Billings Index slipped back into negative territory during April, an indication that demand for design services declined.
The score for April was 48.4, compared with 50.4 in March. — online.wsj.com
For the first eight years of our marriage, [Michelle and I] were paying more in student loans than what we were paying for our mortgage. So we know what this is about.
And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income. But we only finished paying off our student loans—check this out, all right, I’m the President of the United States—we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago. — Barack Obama
... the ABI is a pretty good leading indicator of non-residential construction levels a year or so down the track. It’s often not a bad indicator of broader economic conditions either. For example, the index’s low of late 2008 came a little before U.S. stocks’ post-crisis nadir in March 2009. It’s been on a general uptrend ever since. As have stocks. There’s a crumb of good news, here, then, because the ABI has now been rising for four straight months. — blogs.wsj.com
With the exception of Nairobi — insert joke here about Kenyans crushing everyone at the New York City Marathon — the fastest walking cities were from wealthy nations. The statistical analysis confirmed this general perception: two of the three strongest social predictors of walking speed were a country's G.D.P. and its purchasing power parity (the other was its individualism). — theatlanticcities.com
one driving idea of the show holds firm, Bergdoll’s binder notwithstanding: Suburbs are generally an architect-free zone. Insofar as such creatures are spied at all, they’re employed to rubber-stamp a builder’s plans. Beyond that, they’re not wanted. Suburbanites are conservative, wherever they might lie on the political spectrum: There’s a good reason why builders have kept on churning out houses which have remained essentially the same for decades, even as they have grown steadily in size. — architectmagazine.com
For three straight months now, the Architecture Billings Index — a measure from the American Institute of Architects — has shown slight increases in work levels at architectural firms, with the latest figures showing a score in January of 50.9, compared with 51.0 in December.
... the index tends to provide a decent lens into the mood of the real estate world, and an increase may lay the groundwork for new construction projects months down the road. — blogs.wsj.com
Too often during the bubble, banks and builders shunned thoughtful architecture and urban design in favor of cookie-cutter houses that could be easily repackaged as derivatives to be flipped, while architects snubbed housing to pursue more prestigious projects.
But better design is precisely what suburban America needs, particularly when it comes to rethinking the basic residential categories that define it, but can no longer accommodate the realities of domestic life. — nytimes.com
One of the coolest creative-class careers has cratered with the economy. Where does architecture go from here? — salon.com
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