How does one design against "magic" used to trap self-driving cars?
As if the challenges of politics, engineering, and weather weren't enough, now self-driving cars face another obstacle: purposeful visual sabotage, in the form of specially painted traffic lines that entice the car in before trapping it in an endless loop. As profiled in Vice, the artist behind... View full entry
Tear down that wall (proposal)
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
The RFP for the border wall is out, but the conscience-bearing architectural community is staying in (and trying to imagine alternatives to this xenophobic concrete smear job). In particular, in this New York Times article they're suggesting building anything but walls, suggesting that perhaps... View full entry
Do architecture awards matter?
Almost singing the refrain, "What do awards have to do with it?" writer Ben Willis investigates the disconnect between the plethora of architectural awards, both those that recognize aesthetics and those that focus on data-driven technical specs, and the public's (and for that matter, other... View full entry
Aamodt/Plumb Architects resigns from the AIA over Robert Ivy's conciliatory comments toward Trump
Don't pay your national AIA dues if you don't agree with the direction of the association. At least, that's what Mette Aamodt is doing this year. According to a press release issued by the firm, Aamodt explains that she: is calling on architects to join her in refusing to work for... View full entry
HUD-winked: Ben Carson takes on housing for Trump and ZHA distances itself from Patrik Schumacher on Archinect Sessions #90, ft. special guest Marc Miller
When president-elect Donald Trump nominated Ben Carson to lead the department of Housing and Urban Development, the response was resoundingly: huh?The neurosurgeon came onto the national political scene in 2015, during his run for the Republican nomination, but after Trump took the presidency and... View full entry
Zaha Hadid Architects rejects Patrik Schumacher's "manifesto" in open letter
The perenially opinionated Patrik Schumacher, who gave a speech about his "urban policy manifesto" at the November 17th World Architecture Festival in which he called for an end to all social housing and privatization of public space, has attracted push-back from an unexpected source: the firm he... View full entry
San Francisco rejects “tech tax” that would require big companies to fund housing initiatives
“They spend $25,000 per employee per year on perks like free beer and pool tables and massages ... That’s great, but can they spend $1,000 to help the rest of San Francisco survive?”
As it turned out, they could not. Representatives of tech organizations reacted fiercely against the tax, saying that it would suppress growth in the industry that has made the city – parts of it, at least – wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice.
— The Guardian
Widening the gap between San Francisco's wealthy and poor, the budget committee of the city's board of supervisors rejected on Monday the tech tax, which “would have imposed a 1.5% payroll levy on technology companies that generate more than $1m in revenues a year, including Uber, Google... View full entry
Boyle Heights activists want all art galleries to GTFO of their neighborhood
"We’re not against art or culture," [says Boyle Heights activist Maga Miranda.] "...But the art galleries are part of a broader effort by planners and politicians and developers who want to artwash gentrification."
"We’re saying that they need to make a bigger effort to amplify the voices of the people that are gonna be most affected by this, and that doesn’t happen to be artists in this situation. It happens to be people who can’t afford to live here anymore."
— LA Weekly
Amid widespread gentrification in LA, activists in Boyle Heights have been scrutinizing the art galleries that set up shop there in recent years — including significant spaces like Self Help Graphics, which helped put the Eastside neighborhood on the cultural map. While activists want to... View full entry
China plans to build a fleet of floating nuclear power plants
All the radar systems, lighthouses, barracks, ports and airfields that China has set up on its newly built island chain in the South China Sea require tremendous amounts of electricity, which is hard to come by in a place hundreds of miles from the country’s power grid.
Beijing may have come up with a solution: floating nuclear power plants.
A state-owned company, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, is planning to build a fleet of the vessels to provide electricity to remote locations [...]
Previously in the Archinect news:New satellite images show progress in China's island-building projectChina is busy building islands in the South China Sea View full entry
Will Mies van der Rohe’s Wolf House rise again?
A group of German architects and planners has started a campaign to rebuild the Wolf House, widely seen as a link between van der Rohe’s early, more conventional designs and his later buildings, like the Barcelona Pavilion and the Farnsworth House, that would redefine modern architecture. [...]
But the plan has run into resistance from other architects and scholars who say that the Wolf House would be too hard to reconstruct [...].
Related stories in the Archinect news:Two of a kind: photographer Robin Hill contemplates the Farnsworth House and Glass House simultaneouslyRedesign of DC's main Mies library tip-toes around the good and the badDavid Chipperfield pledges to carefully "optimize" Mies van der Rohe's Neue... View full entry
Frick Collection puts forward RFQ to invited architecture firms in new revision plan
With The Frick Collection’s garden saved, the museum is moving forward with a new preservationist-friendly plan for expansion...The Frick Collection, looking to realize a revised expansion for the institution, has put forward a request for qualifications to a chosen group of architectural firms.
The Frick plans to announce its selected finalist later this year, and plans to reveal designs in 2017.
Museum director Ian Wardropper tells The New York Times that 20 firms have been invited to submit RFQs.Previously on Archinect:Frick Collection drops controversial expansion planLeading artists call to action against the Frick expansion plans View full entry
US/Mexico border wall competition provokes controversy
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump dominated another round of primaries last night...further securing his position as the party’s frontrunner. His polemical campaign continues to provoke criticism from both his own party and from Democrats, as concern over his inflammatory, xenophobic and sexist rhetoric transforms into panic. The debate breached into architecture after a competition was announced last week for design responses to Trump’s call for a wall along the US/Mexico border.
Bustler, Archinect's sister site, declined the opportunity to post a competition calling for design responses to Donald Trump's calls for a border wall, which has since generated a good deal of controversy. Read about why – then join the debate on Bustler.For related content, check out these... View full entry
Did Kengo Kuma copy elements of Zaha Hadid's Tokyo Olympic stadium?
“In the design, I would like to say there are no similarities at all,” Kuma told reporters when asked about Hadid’s claims. [...]
“The conditions set for the competition mean that automatically some similarities emerge ... the concept is completely different, so it is absolutely a different building, despite the similarities”. [...]
Hadid’s office is reportedly consulting lawyers, and said it would “take legal action if our concerns are not promptly addressed to our satisfaction”.
For more on the contentious issue of architectural copyright and intellectual property, make sure to check out:"Never the Same River Twice" – Experimental preservation and architectural authorship with Jorge Otero-Pailos, on Archinect Sessions #47Should architecture strive for originality? Can... View full entry
Archinect speaks to designer of controversial Dubai Frame project
Whatever you think of the initial "Tall Emblematic Structure in Dubai" prompt, there's no doubt that some fairly significant changes were made to Fernando Donis' winning design for the Dubai Frame and the actual monument as it is being constructed. As Archinect commenter Donna Sink noted, "The... View full entry
Controversial Dubai Frame to open this month
“The project is being transformed from being non-figurative architecture to an overscale figurative photo-frame. That is, from being a modern, public monument to a postmodern pastiche,” [competition-winning architect Fernando] Donis wrote in an open letter.
— Design Mena
Described by an internet commenter as "the St. Louis Arch minus the beauty or finesse," the Dubai Frame project is scheduled to open this month to the public. The somewhat controversial monument, which has not only attracted a scathing load of public commentary but an objecting open letter from... View full entry