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
If we’re going to find jobs in the U.S. and the rest of the world, they’re going to have to be found in exactly the area where China is finding them — tertiary industry, or services.
How do you create service-industry jobs? By investing in cities and inter-city infrastructure like smart grids and high-speed rail. Services flourish where people are close together and can interact easily with the maximum number of people. If we want to create jobs in America, we should look to services... — blogs.reuters.com
Private nonresidential construction may pick up this year, as demand grows for new U.S. projects.
The Architecture Billings Index held at 52 last month, a sign of expansion, according to the American Institute of Architects. The commercial and industrial component -- a proxy for private building activity -- climbed to 54.1 in December, the highest in 10 months, the Washington-based association said Jan. 18. — bloomberg.com
Skyscrapers have an 'unhealthy' link with impending financial collapse, according to banking experts. [...]
Researchers pointed to the fact the world's first skyscraper, New York's Equitable Life building, was finished in 1873 during a five-year recession, while the Empire State Building coincided with the Great Depression. — dailymail.co.uk
As we approach the end of 2011, more and more attention will be applied towards answering the profound question: why is this year different than any other year (or why was it the same)? To facilitate this scrutiny, I've called upon Architecture Research Office (ARO) and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), the recently announced Architecture Design and Landscape Architecture winners, respectively, of Cooper Hewitt's National Design Awards. — huffingtonpost.com
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