Archinect - News 2017-08-20T19:10:30-04:00 Melbourne named world’s most liveable city for seventh consecutive year Alexander Walter 2017-08-18T18:38:00-04:00 >2017-08-19T05:46:43-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Melbourne, Australia has been ranked as the most &ldquo;liveable&rdquo; city in the world for the seventh consecutive year by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The EIU&rsquo;s benchmark annual report titled &ldquo;The Global Liveability Report 2017,&rdquo; ranks 140 cities in order of best living conditions. Melbourne&rsquo;s 97.5 score is down to perfect assessments in health care, education, and infrastructure, as well as hitting over 95 in stability, and culture and environment.</p></em><br /><br /><p>As <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">in previous years</a>, the top 10 list is mostly comprised of major cities in Australia and Canada, while <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Vienna</a> &mdash;&nbsp;once again &mdash;&nbsp;<em>barely</em> misses the first spot by 0.1 percentage points overall. Auckland, Helsinki, and Hamburg manage to claim some coveted spots at the top for their respective countries.&nbsp;</p> <p>The world's top cities for liveability in 2017 are:<br></p> <ol><li>Melbourne, Australia</li><li>Vienna, Austria</li><li>Vancouver, Canada</li><li>Toronto, Canada</li><li>Calgary, Canada</li><li>Adelaide, Australia</li><li>Perth, Australia</li><li>Auckland, New Zealand</li><li>Helsinki, Finland</li><li>Hamburg, Germany</li></ol> ReACH, AIA Houston and the Houston Architecture Center Foundation's new home Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-18T15:27:00-04:00 >2017-08-18T15:27:17-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="458" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>After a three-year search that included more than 30 potential sites, the American Institute of Architects Houston Chapter selected the 1906 Riesner Building, to be the home of Architecture Center Houston, which is expected to open in mid-September. Originally, the three-story Riesner Building was a typical commercial building for its time, complete with double French doors facing the street.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The winning entry for the 'Re-Imagine Architecture Center Houston' competition, designed by&nbsp;Murphy Mears Architects, proposed to devote the&nbsp;first floor of ReACH to flexible office and meeting space, restore the original brick and openings in the West fa&ccedil;ade, and re-purpose the&nbsp;Boiler Room for events, exhibition.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>West facade elevation. Image courtesy of Murphy Meyers Architects</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Rendering of the interior. Image courtesy of Murphy Mears Architects</figcaption></figure><p><em>The city can look forward to bigger and better exhibits in the Architecture Center. Past offerings have featured Women in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Stage Design, Environmental Graphics and the work of talented local artists and craftsmen.&nbsp;</em><br></p> Every City Needs a Crank; A conversation with architecture critic Inga Saffron Paul Petrunia 2017-08-17T20:07:00-04:00 >2017-08-18T23:19:49-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="421" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>This week we're joined by Inga Saffron, the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. If you haven't read her latest piece on Henry Wilcots, the relatively unknown architect responsible for finishing Louis Kahn's masterpiece in Dhaka, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">go read it now</a>. We talk with Inga about her experience meeting with Wilcots, architecture criticism pre and post-internet, Philadelphia and more.</p> <p></p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Photo from 1970 of Wilcots and Kahn discussing the roof structure of the National Assembly building in Dhaka, Bangladesh.</figcaption></figure><p>Listen to "Every City Needs a Crank":</p> <ul><li><strong>iTunes</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to listen</a>, and click the "Subscribe" button below the logo to automatically download new episodes.</li><li><strong>Apple Podcast App (iOS)</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="pcast://" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to subscribe</a></li><li><strong>SoundCloud</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to follow Archinect</a></li><li><strong>RSS</strong>:&nbsp;subscribe&nbsp;with any of your favorite podcasting apps via our RSS feed:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a></li><li><strong>Download</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">this episode</a></li></ul> Considering the downsides of Smart Home technologies Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-17T14:52:00-04:00 >2017-08-17T14:52:31-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="483" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Essey is an engineer at Uber and an early adopter of the Internet of things. He can control his lights with his Amazon Echo or an array of touchpad sensors he has installed throughout the home. Sensors tell him when there's water in the basement or a leak under the sink. While Essey's setup might sound a little like science fiction, it's a prototype of the future. Some critics are worried these devices won't be secure and that companies will use them to spy on us to make money.</p></em><br /><br /><p>As the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Internet of things</a> becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, some people are turning ordinary homes into&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">smart homes</a>.&nbsp;One way of doing that is by integrating smart appliances (dishwasher, fridges, microwaves, toasters, etc). That strategy, however, can be expensive and not very efficient, since most of the devices are costly and often are not smart enough to communicate with each other, especially if produced by different manufacturers.<br></p> <p>The other way is to get sensors, and put them on everything you want to monitor. "But then those get really unwieldy and you've got all these things sticking around and they look ugly and socially obtrusive," Gierad Laput, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University says. Laput and his team, in fact, built such a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sensor</a>.&nbsp;When plugged into the wall, the 2-inch-square circuit board senses about a dozen different facets of its environment: vibrations, sounds, light color and so on. The sensor communicates wirelessly with a computer, which inte...</p> Watch the Shed slide along the High Line Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-17T13:53:00-04:00 >2017-08-17T17:41:00-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="394" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In its scale, this faintly quaint, eloquently designed contraption aspires to conjure up the spirit of those 19th-century exemplars of elegant engineering like the Brooklyn Bridge or the Eiffel Tower: industrial-era monuments of structural form, both necessary and sufficient, ingenious but not space age, encapsulating the aspirations of a city.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While the Shed, an&nbsp;art and performance space designed by&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Diller Scofidio + Renfro</a>&nbsp;in collaboration with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rockwell Group</a>&nbsp;will be in construction for at least another year, the structure is already capable of conducting its five minute moving act along the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">High Line</a>. Weighing in at 8 million pounds, it glides on a half-dozen exposed steel &ldquo;bogies,&rdquo; or wheels, six-feet in diameter, 'with tapered bearings so meticulously engineered that the system requires just six 15-horsepower motors'.</p> <p><em>When opened, the shell will drape over the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Shed</a>&rsquo;s sprawling plaza at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hudson Yards</a>, which can then be made into a movie palace or a gallery for art or a theater with bleacher seats &mdash; a flexible new 17,000 square foot public space for New York at what promises to be one of the city&rsquo;s busiest pedestrian intersections after all the commercial skyscrapers around it are built.</em></p> 'Unbuilding walls': GRAFT Announced as Curators of the German Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale 2018 Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-17T13:07:00-04:00 >2017-08-17T15:30:38-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><em></em>Today the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) announced that the curators of the German <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pavilion</a> at the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture Biennale</a> 2018 will be Lars Kr&uuml;ckeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">GRAFT</a>&nbsp;together with Marianne Birthler. The architects were selected by the ministry on the recommendation of the selection committee for their submission to the open competition entitled &ldquo;UNBUILDING WALLS&rdquo;, which responds to current debates on nations, protectionism and division.</p> <p><em>As the world grows together, walls are increasingly being discussed and built that divide people from one another. Walls can denote division, power and exclusion, but also protection.</em></p> <p><em>In 2018, Germany will be reunified for 28 years &ndash; exactly as long as the inner German border wall (1961-1989) existed. In the German Pavilion, GRAFT and Marianne Birthler take this parallel as an opportunity to explore the effects of division and the process of healing as a...</em></p> Collapsing? Or is it supposed to look like that? Construction of a new hotel in Bangkok sparks controversy Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-16T12:54:00-04:00 >2017-08-16T14:06:39-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="353" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The panic was kicked off by photos posted to social media tagging traffic news organization JS100. The posts said the under-construction building across from Mahatun Plaza near BTS Phloen Chit looked in danger of collapse. &#8203;Concerned citizens gathered Tuesday at the construction site on Phloen Chit Road where the building&rsquo;s angled appearance sparked concern about its structural integrity to hear district officials and site management say it was part of the design.</p></em><br /><br /><p>&ldquo;The building isn&rsquo;t crooked or leaning over, it&rsquo;s part of the architectural design,&rdquo; Morakot Sanitthangkul, Pathum Wan district director, said.&rdquo;Let me confirm for everyone again, for the fourth time: It&rsquo;s part of the 3D design.&rdquo;<br></p> <p>The 32-floor hotel was designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tandem Architects</a>, with consultation from <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">KPF</a>, and is planned to open in February.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>The building under construction Tuesday on Phloen Chit Road.</figcaption></figure> Construction work on New York Wheel to resume Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-15T20:41:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T20:41:50-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The New York Wheel has been delayed repeatedly since it was first announced in 2012. Initially, developers planned to finish the North Shore attraction in 2015, but that has since been pushed back to at least 2018. The estimated cost of the project has also grown from $230 million to $590 million.</p></em><br /><br /><p>As announced on Monday, The New York Wheel in Staten Island is spinning toward completion once again. The developer, New York Wheel Owner LLC, said it planned to work with American Bridge Company, which built a similar observation wheel in Las Vegas.</p> A self-taught designer builds a secret work studio on the underside of a bridge Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-15T19:54:00-04:00 >2017-08-17T15:00:33-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="487" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Abellanas&rsquo; secret cabin replicates the childhood experience of hiding under a table or in a closet &ndash; &lsquo;The feeling kept hidden while still being able to hear and see what happens around us,&rsquo; he says. &lsquo;Observing passing cars and trains with no one seeing me gives me great sense of peace.&rsquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Fernando Abellanas, a self-taught designer from Valencia has created a pop-up studio into the underside of a traffic bridge. Its metal base is moved from one side of the&nbsp;bridge&nbsp;to the other by a hand crank along rails, where a shelf, chair, and desk have been bolted to the bridge&rsquo;s concrete wall. Though a practical space, the tiny moveable workspace has whimsical origins&mdash;the secret urban refuge aims to replicate the childhood experience of hiding under a table or in a closet. "The feeling kept hidden while still being able to hear and see what happens around us," explains Abellanas. "Observing passing cars and trains with no one seeing me gives me great sense of peace."</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Photography: Jose Manuel Pedrajas</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Photography: Jose Manuel Pedrajas</figcaption></figure><p><em>The cabin&rsquo;s exact location is a secret, and is part of a collection of spaces Abellanas is creating. &lsquo;The project is an ephemeral intervention, [it will remain] until someone finds it and decides to steal the materials, or the authorities remove it,&rsquo; h...</em></p> Gunnar Birkerts, founder of Gunnar Birkerts and Associates, has died Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-15T19:23:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T22:13:07-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><figure><p>On Tuesday Gunnar Birkerts, Detroit-based Latvian-American architect passed away at&nbsp;the age of 92. Born in 1925, in Riga, Birkerts was a graduate of the University of Stuttgart in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1949. He began his architectural career with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Perkins+Will</a> before joining <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Eero Saarinen</a> Bloomfield Hills, office. Birkerts later worked for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Minoru Yamasaki</a> before opening his own practice, Gunnar Birkerts and Associates, in the 1960s.&nbsp;<br></p></figure><p>Some of his most notable projects include the Kansas City Museum of Contemporary Art, the Calvary Baptist Church of Detroit, The Corning Glass Museum, Lincoln Elementary School in&nbsp;Columbus, IN; and The Latvian National Library.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>The Corning Glass Museum</figcaption></figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p> <figcaption>Marquette Plaza. Image by Richard Langendorf</figcaption><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>The Latvian National Library Image via wikimedia</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Calvary Baptist Church of Detroit</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Kansas City Museum of Contemporary Art Image via wikimedia</figcaption></figure> University of Michigan to get $800,000 drone testing lab Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-15T17:54:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T17:55:30-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Autonomous aerial vehicles have a host of applications, researchers say. Large ones can be used for commercial transport and national security. Small drones could survey disaster sites, inspect infrastructures like bridges and wind turbines, gather environmental and atmospheric data, and deliver packages, for example. Package delivery goes beyond Amazon orders.</p></em><br /><br /><p>University of Michigan&rsquo;s College of Engineering is adding an outdoor fly lab for testing autonomous aerial vehicles to the university&rsquo;s spate of advanced robotics facilities. Designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Harley Ellis Deveraux</a>, M-Air will be a netted, four-story complex situated next to the site where the Ford Motor Company Robotics Building will open in late 2019. Construction of the $800,000 M-Air is expected to begin in August and be complete by the end of the year.</p> <p>&ldquo;M-Air will allow us to push the edge of our algorithms and equipment in a safe way, where the worst that can happen is it falls from the sky,&rdquo; said Ella Atkins, professor of aerospace engineering. &ldquo;With this facility, we can pursue aggressive educational and research flight projects that involve high risk of fly-away or loss-of-control&mdash;and in realistic wind, lighting and sensor conditions.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Marble ~ ish: Harry der Boghosian Fellowship 2017 installation Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-15T16:40:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T16:40:47-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Marble~ish was developed as part of the research from the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2016/17 Harry der Boghosian Fellowship</a> at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Syracuse School of Architecture</a>. Conducted by Maya Alam in collaboration with her students&nbsp;&ldquo;~ISH: Stages Before the Real&rdquo; is an installation exploring&nbsp;questions concerning the in-between: site specificity/site-less, object/landscape, analog/digital, distinctive/similar and flat/flat-less.&nbsp;</p> <p>The exhibition represents the culmination of a yearlong design research effort conducted at the School of Architecture. The investigation as a whole deals with 'speculations on social dreaming and experimental preservation in consideration of new media and its effects on our perception'.</p> <figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p></figure><p><em>Amidst the chaos of the contemporary world, many architects seek the certainty of absolutes. Yet, everything about the contemporary world tells us that it is not governed by certitude. Instead, ours is a world where everything exists in a radical state of the &ldquo;in-between,&rdquo; where nothing, not even architecture, has a...</em></p></figure> Studio Gang-led expansion of American Museum of Natural History is moving forward Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-15T13:34:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T13:52:06-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="338" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The proposed building will contain exhibition space on the ground floor and second floor, classrooms between the second and third floor, a theater on the third floor and offices between the fourth and sixth floors. There will also be an event space on the second floor and an aquarium room on the fifth floor.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The proposed $325 million six-story expansion won the Landmarks Commission&rsquo;s approval&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">in October 2016</a>. Designed by Studio Gang, the building&nbsp;will be located along Columbus Avenue on the museum&rsquo;s rear grounds near West 79th Street. The majority of the 218,000-square-foot Gilder Center will be carved out of the museum&rsquo;s existing footprint to&nbsp;minimize encroachment on the adjacent Theodore Roosevelt Park. </p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Studio Gang</figcaption></figure><p>Contrasting the museum&rsquo;s dominant brick-and-mortar facades, the new wing will be constructed from curvilinear stone and glass.</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Studio Gang</figcaption></figure><p>The construction on the building is set to be complete by 2020.<br></p> World Monuments Fund pledges to help restore earthquake-damaged Kumamoto Castle Town Julia Ingalls 2017-08-15T13:05:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T13:05:35-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="434" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The historic Japanese city of Kumamoto, famous for its picturesque 15th century castle, experienced a damaging earthquake in 2016, leading to the demolition of several of its historic buildings. The World Monument Fund has pledged to help restore the remaining older buildings (although it should be noted that the current iteration of the castle is a late 20th century concrete copy, retaining only a few of the original wooden walls). According to a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">press release</a>:</p> <p><em>About 350 historic buildings essential to the town&rsquo;s historic streetscape sustained damage in the 2016 earthquake. Some were demolished in the aftermath of the disaster, leaving many of the approximately 300 structures that remained at great risk of demolition. WMF initially joined ICOMOS Japan in an on-site field study in May 2016 to understand priorities and conservation needs, and will now assist KMT [Kumamoto Machinami Trust] in their restoration efforts.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em></em></p> Steven Fleming's Velotopia paints a city built for cycling Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-15T13:00:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T13:02:45-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="918" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>No disciples of Le Corbusier, Harvey Corbett, Robert Moses or Norman Bel Geddes have been to Velotopia. That means there are no highways and no racks of car-parking stations. Neither have any disciples of Ebenezer Howard been there to suggest that development be clustered around satellite towns with train connections back to the core.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Steven Fleming (<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">previously featured in our Working Out of the Box series</a>), founder of the Dutch bike-centric planning consultancy&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cycle Space</a>, recently published a new book that lays out an utopian city built around bicycles as the main form of transportation. In Velotopia people enjoy their daily commutes, the flow of traffic is smooth and the development is mixed use and compact.</p><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Velotopia Photograph: Courtesy of</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Indoor bike parking spaces match the anticipated number of beds allowing trips to start inside the home. Photograph: Courtesy of</figcaption></figure><p>An edited excerpt in&nbsp;<em>The</em>&nbsp;<em>Guardian</em>&nbsp;showcases Fleming's wry thought experiment.<em> </em><em>Velotopia is as circular as the topography has allowed, for the usual reason that citizens are always clamouring to live near the civic centre.Development has been restricted to level ground and city limits have been restricted to a diameter of 15km. That ensures average commuting distances of less than 7km and average trip times of less th...</em></p> This video shows you how to hand-letter like an architect Julia Ingalls 2017-08-15T12:33:00-04:00 >2017-08-15T12:33:15-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="357" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>If you draw by hand and want that authentic, angular all-caps architectural lettered look for the text on your drawings, this straightforward video breaks down how to create all 26 letters of the alphabet. Get ready to learn about "dynamic angles"&nbsp;and suggested connections:</p> 2017 Antepavilion playfully subverts planning legislation and explores alternative city-dwellings Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-08-14T15:57:00-04:00 >2017-08-16T09:08:49-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="650" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The Antepavilion program, a joint venture between <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the Architecture Foundation</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the Arthouse Foundation</a>, launched an international competition to design a &pound;25,000 pop-up rooftop at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf in Hackney, north-east <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London</a>. The goal was to invite architects, artists and designer to explore innovative ways of living within the city while engaging with issues of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sustainability</a>. After shortlisting five designs, PUP Architects&mdash;a London-based studio&mdash;was selected for their duct-shaped pavilion.&nbsp;</p> <figure><figure><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a><figcaption>Photo Credit: Jim Stephenson</figcaption></figure></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Photo Credit: Jim Stephenson</figcaption></figure><p>Called the H-VAC, the structure is built of a timber frame, cladded in shingles made from peach iced-tea Tetra Pak cartons. The design playfully subverts planning legislation by disguising the dwelling as air conditioning equipment. Their design exploits loopholes for mechanical rooftop equipment that does not require planning permission due to relaxed permitted developments rights. The firm stated that "while permitted dev...</p> “The world is an Instagram ad” — how the social media app is influencing consumption of art and culture Justine Testado 2017-08-11T17:13:00-04:00 >2017-08-12T15:12:53-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Spaces like the Museum of Ice Cream and the Paul Smith Pink Wall offer a perfect setting for a highly shareable image&mdash;and that&rsquo;s it. What happens to art, or travel, or the outside world in general when taking a photograph becomes an experience itself? As photo-driven social networks continue to grow more powerful, they are both transforming boutique economies and exercising visual influence over our modern day cuisine, travel destinations, clothing labels, and makeup trends.</p></em><br /><br /><p>From museums to music festivals to that cool-looking, brightly colored wall there, this article looks into&nbsp;how image-driven social media like Instagram is increasingly changing the way people are consuming art and culture in practically identical ways.<br></p> <p>In one interesting part of the article:</p> <p>&ldquo;...these critics&rsquo; concerns get to the heart of larger questions that arise when a network of 700 million monthly active users congeals into one vaguely unified, often-sponsored aesthetic. &lsquo;Instagram is one of many arenas where professionalization, or the democratization of professionalization, is playing itself out in a very very visible way,&rsquo; [CUNY Professor Lev] Manovich said. His most recent project analyzes the brightness, saturation, and hue of Instagram photos from 81 separate cities, and he has found they&rsquo;re becoming more similar. &lsquo;We have this suggestion that visual variability is decreasing.&rsquo; The whole world is starting to look like an Instagram ad, and we are all willing participants....</p> Future Aleppo: Syrian boy builds model of his hometown, now on display in Los Angeles Alexander Walter 2017-08-11T09:00:00-04:00 >2017-08-10T21:24:34-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A Syrian boy hand-built a model of what his hometown might look like after the country&rsquo;s civil war, and now &ldquo;Future Aleppo&rdquo; is on display in Los Angeles. [...] As he watched his city get demolished, Mohammed carefully crafted his vision for a future Aleppo using paper, wood, colored pencils, and glue. He lovingly recreated destroyed landmarks, like the medieval Citadel and his favorite park, and added imaginary, forward-looking buildings and design features [...].</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"While much of his model was destroyed when Mohammed and his family fled to Turkey, the surviving portion was brought to the U.S. by Alex Kalman, founder of Mmuseumm, a pop-up gallery in Manhattan."</em></p> <p>KCRW's Design &amp; Architecture host, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Frances Anderton</a>, talks to Kalman about the model's adventurous journey from <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Aleppo</a> via Turkey to New York and how Mohammed's story represents both "the worst in humanity, as well as the best in humanity."</p> <p>Anderton also interviews young Syrian architect&nbsp;Marwa Al-Sabouni (<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">previously on Archinect</a>), who's hometown Homs &mdash; the country's third largest city &mdash; suffered immense destruction and human suffering. Her book&nbsp;<em>The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria</em> will be out in September.&nbsp;</p> Sam Fox Architecture students install 'Spectroplexus' at St. Louis Lambert International Airport Liam Otten 2017-08-10T19:30:00-04:00 >2017-08-10T19:30:18-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The wing of an airplane is a mechanized form. But it&rsquo;s also a shape, like the wing of a bird, that we understand from the living world.</p> <p>Last spring, eight students from the Graduate School of Architecture &amp; Urban Design &mdash; part of the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sam Fox School of Design &amp; Visual Arts</a>&nbsp;at Washington University in St. Louis &mdash; designed and began building prototype sections for&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">&ldquo;Spectroplexus,&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;a large public sculpture commissioned by the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Art and Culture Program</a>&nbsp;at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>"Spectroplexus" installed at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)</figcaption></figure><p>This summer, students &mdash; joined by more than a dozen volunteers &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">spent weeks</a>&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fabricating and installing</a>&nbsp;the final piece in the airport&rsquo;s Terminal 2. The finished artwork, which runs nearly 100 feet long, demonstrates how simple organic processes can inspire built systems of great intricacy and complexity.</p> <p>&ldquo;This studio is very different from anything else I have experienced academically,&rdquo; ...</p> NCARB reveals diversity in the architectural profession has increased Julia Ingalls 2017-08-10T13:30:00-04:00 >2017-08-12T14:41:11-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="508" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In 2016, 42 percent of new AXP participants and 30 percent of new ARE candidates identified as non-white&mdash;up three percentage points for both groups. However, diversity among newly licensed architects and NCARB Certificate holders remained the same. For comparison, 38 percent of the U.S. population identifies as either non-white or Hispanic, according to 2015 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.</p></em><br /><br /><p>There are now more women and non-white participants in architecture as of 2016 according to the NCARB, which has just released its 2017 "By the Numbers" report. As NCARB notes in a press release:</p> <p><em>&ldquo;While several groups remain underrepresented within the profession, these trends point to growing diversity among licensure candidates, and eventually, future architects,&rdquo; said NCARB President Kristine A. Harding, NCARB, AIA. &ldquo;In response, NCARB will continue to ensure our programs balance inclusivity with the rigor needed to protect the public.&rdquo;</em></p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p></figure> FXFOWLE proposes attaching 300-foot spire to skyscraper to become Hudson Yards' tallest Julia Ingalls 2017-08-10T12:47:00-04:00 >2017-08-11T20:13:57-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="395" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Hudson Yards has been making headlines in recent months...But immediately to the northwest, another tower that&rsquo;s been in the making for an equally long period of time may have just received a boost to become the tallest of them all. A new rendering of the Moinian Group&rsquo;s 3 Hudson Boulevard has surfaced, showing both an updated design for the building itself, as well as the addition of a 300-foot spire, that would make the supertall the tallest in the neighborhood.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Despite years of vigorous effort in the Hudson Yards, the Related Companies may not have the tallest skyscraper of them all, thanks to FXFOWLE's proposed spire-tastic tower on 3 Hudson Boulevard. Nothing's final as of yet, but as YIMBY notes, "Back in 2012, YIMBY heard speculation that the tower, previously dubbed The Girasole,&nbsp;could rise as tall as 432 Park Avenue. While 1,350 feet isn&rsquo;t quite 1,397 feet, the new height would certainly rival the supertalls of 57th Street, ranking in between 30 Hudson Yards&rsquo; approximately 1,300-foot parapet, and 432 Park Avenue, as the city&rsquo;s fifth tallest building&nbsp;measured by pinnacle."</p> Where the street has no claim: Presidio Terrace in San Francisco bought after no one paid the street's taxes Julia Ingalls 2017-08-10T12:33:00-04:00 >2017-08-11T09:54:12-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Tina Lam and Michael Cheng snatched up Presidio Terrace &mdash; the block-long, private oval street lined by 35 megamillion-dollar mansions &mdash; for $90,000 and change in a city-run auction stemming from an unpaid tax bill. They outlasted several other bidders. Now they&rsquo;re looking to cash in &mdash; maybe by charging the residents of those mansions to park on their own private street.</p></em><br /><br /><p>When the annual $14 city tax bill for the street on Presidio Terrace went unpaid for a little over thirty years, the frustrated municipality held an auction to recoup its lost monies. A savvy couple who live in the decidedly less swanky South Bay snapped it up and now are causing all of the exclusive residents of the street to pay much closer attention to civic matters. &nbsp;</p> Nanjing government pushes to restore more of the city's historic architecture Justine Testado 2017-08-09T17:30:00-04:00 >2017-08-09T17:31:01-04:00 <img src="" width="638" height="374" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>"Over the last 20 years, the [Nanjing] government has made real efforts to establish national laws, local laws and regulations so we can pursue this work," [architect Zhou Qi] said, of his optimism for the city's heritage preservation efforts. "It has just become common sense."</p></em><br /><br /><p>Amid the rapid urban development across China, Nanjing's government is making an effort to preserve and restore more of the city's historic buildings. Although some restorative projects expectedly attract some criticism, architect Zhou Qi &mdash; who has worked on restoring over 100 of the city's historic structures &mdash; seems optimistic about these ongoing changes.</p> <p>&ldquo;It appears that government protection, not economic forces, has kept the bulldozers at bay,&rdquo; Charles Musgrove, an associate history professor and author of &ldquo;China's Contested Capital: Architecture, Ritual, and Response in Nanjing&rdquo;, tells CNN.<br></p> Summer in Bryant Park rendered as a Voronoi Diagram Julia Ingalls 2017-08-08T14:40:00-04:00 >2017-08-08T14:40:48-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="215" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Instead of the usual snap of people lounging in the sun in Bryant Park, visual effects artist Rod Bogart has created a Voronoi diagram of the outing and posted it to his Twitter account. When asked how he had placed the center points of the diagram, Bogart tweeted that "I used Illustrator to drop points and then just ran a plugin that created the Voronoi for me. It was pretty quick to do, to be honest."</p> <p></p> Archaeologists uncover "Little Pompeii," ancient Roman settlement in France Alexander Walter 2017-08-08T14:25:00-04:00 >2017-08-08T14:28:42-04:00 <img src="" width="624" height="720" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A major Roman settlement discovered south of Lyon in France is the &ldquo;most exceptional excavation of a Roman site in 40 or 50 years&rdquo;, says the chief archaeologist working on the project. Benjamin Cl&eacute;ment, who works for the Swiss conservation company Archeodunum, is leading a team of 15 archaeologists at the dig in Saint Colombe, a small town near the city of Vienne.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The well-preserved ancient Roman neighborhood, dubbed "Little Pompeii" by the archaeologists, covers an area of almost 7,000 square meters (75,000 square feet) and was discovered during construction of a housing complex near the city of Vienne.</p> Skaters in London are trying to restore the Southbank Centre, a popular skating site Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-08-08T13:37:00-04:00 >2017-08-10T10:31:04-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The point is, skaters made that area safe; in the old days it was cardboard city. That is what skating does: it fills the cracks in society left by capitalist development &hellip; that is where skating exists. It&rsquo;s like a fungus, it&rsquo;s like moss, it just grows in the corners where no one else wants to be.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Back in 2004, two-thirds of a popular skateboarding site at the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Southbank Centre</a> in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London</a> was destroyed. In 2014, the final third of the site was on its way to closure when the property management changed hands. Seeing the turnover as an opportunity, a campaign&mdash;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Long Live Southbank</a>&mdash;began that proposed the reconstruction of the original site in its entirety. The effort has largely been successful; the Southbank Centre has agreed and the plans have been approved by the city.</p> <p>It may not be so surprising that the Centre might re-welcome skaters as&nbsp;<em>the Guardian&nbsp;</em>explains, "the idea that skateboarders are the &ldquo;shock troops of gentrification&rdquo; has been well documented." Skateboarders are often willing to congregate in areas that others do not want to and in this way, can act as a neighborhood watch that in time, allows others to feel safe in the space as well. Now, the only thing standing in the campaign's way is raising the funds necessary&mdash;around &pound;790,000&mdash;for restoration.</p>... Geek out to the architectural drawings used in classic sci-fi anime in this London exhibition Justine Testado 2017-08-07T15:45:00-04:00 >2017-08-07T15:45:22-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Each of the settings on display in the exhibit capture that promise of the future balanced with the starkness of reality. The settings also celebrate a disappearing craft&mdash;hand-drawn animation. The anime industry long resisted the shift to computer-generated art that took hold in the West starting in the 1990s, but as technology has advanced, fewer and fewer artists practice the craft traditionally, making the art on display especially striking.</p></em><br /><br /><p>London's House of Illustration is currently displaying &ldquo;Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan&rdquo;, an exhibition that showcases over 100 of the intricate paintings and drawings used in the production of iconic dystopian anime films like &ldquo;Ghost in the Shell&rdquo; and &ldquo;Akira&rdquo;.&nbsp;</p> A giant robotic spider climbed around a cathedral in Ottawa, and local Catholics called it "demonic" Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-08-07T14:59:00-04:00 >2017-08-07T15:11:05-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>But as Canadian Catholic News reported, some individuals were far from impressed with the 65-foot-long spider, which rises 18 feet when at rest and over 42 feet when in motion. Critics expressed their outrage on the archbishop Terrence Prendergast&rsquo;s Facebook wall, with one woman reportedly describing Kumo as &ldquo;disturbing, disappointing, and even shameful.&rdquo; Others apparently referred to it as &ldquo;demonic&rdquo; and &ldquo;sacrilegious.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Canada</a> celebrated its 150th anniversary over the weekend of July 27th. Part of the celebration featured giant robots put on by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">La Machine</a>, a street theatre company that constructs unusual objects for performances in public spaces. The company built two robots, a mechanical dragon-horse hybrid and a giant mechanical spider, that spent the celebratory weekend walking around Ottawa and engaging in dramatic battles.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Found via La Machine's facebook.</figcaption></figure><p>As part of the performance, La Machine installed the spider on the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. The Cathedral, led by archbishop Terrence Prendergast, had agreed to feature Kumo, the mechanical spider, when approached by the theatre company, seeing it as a way to cooperate with the city and be a part of the celebration.&nbsp;The Cathedral also sits opposite the National Art Gallery and the famous Louise Bourgeois bronze arachnid, "Maman," making it the perfect location to feature La Machine's very own arachnid.&nbsp;<br></p> &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;a... A cannabis business is buying a small town in California with plans to transform it into the first weed "infused" tourist destination Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-08-07T14:12:00-04:00 >2017-08-07T19:43:12-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="463" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Nipton, California has all the makings of a stoner heaven. There&rsquo;s a general store, a hotel, a campground, an endless supply of delicious water, and&mdash;for those late-night giggles&mdash;a Castle Butt Road. Perhaps that&rsquo;s why American Green Inc., an eight-year-old self-described marijuana &ldquo;seed-to-sale innovator,&rdquo; decided to purchase the 80-acre town (population six) and turn it into &ldquo;the country&rsquo;s first energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Gold Rush was the largest mass migration in U.S history with over 300,000 people arriving in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">California</a> hoping to reap its benefits. Well over a century and a half later, many of the towns along the coast, once vibrant, have been left as ghost towns as anyone taking a road trip along the 5 can attest to. However, with the legalization of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">marijuana</a> sweeping the coast, some believe the newly legalized industry can usher in a 21st century version.</p> <p>One company, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">American Green Inc.</a>, is in the process of buying the town of Nipton, CA&mdash;a remnant of the California Gold Rush&mdash;in the hopes of turning it into a weed "infused" tourist destination. The town has a rich history, bustling from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries along with the mining industry, and even boasting a hotel that played host to the silent-movie star Clara Bow, who owned a ranch nearby.&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, the town&nbsp;has a fluctuating population of 20 to 70 people and&nbsp;offers tremendous natural resources in the form of a Pleistocene-e...</p>