Archinect - News 2018-08-20T22:20:29-04:00 Vintage photos remind of the profession before AutoCAD Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-08-20T17:04:00-04:00 >2018-08-20T17:04:10-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Before the advent of AutoCAD and other drafting softwares, the engineering drawings were made on sheet of papers using drawing boards. Many equipments were required to complete a given drawing such as drawing board, different grade pencils, Erasers T-squares, Set square etc.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Check out this fun collection of photographs from the pre-CAD era...</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p><br></p> Design, Bitches lead pedestrian-friendly remodel of a major shopping center in Los Angeles Hope Daley 2018-08-20T16:23:00-04:00 >2018-08-20T16:23:41-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>...the center, known as Runway, is being remade as a place where pedestrians will be more inclined to hang out, shop and eat &mdash; without having to dodge vehicles. After seeing the closed-off streets packed with people during farmers markets and other special events, manager DJM Capital Partners Inc. concluded that Runway&rsquo;s autocentric ethos was outdated and has decided to make the ban full time, even though the center was built only three years ago in the recently developed community.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Runway, a&nbsp;220,000 square foot retail space in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> neighborhood Playa Vista, will undergo a $9.1 million renovation lead by local architect team <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Design, Bitches</a>. The complex is located next to Marina Del Rey, Venice, and Santa Monica making it part of the Westside area known as "Silicon Beach". The new plan for Runway focuses on closing off the streets and creating a more <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">pedestrian</a> friendly space.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>The Runway at Playa Vista rendering by Design, Bitches. Image: Design, Bitches.</figcaption></figure><p>As shopping centers face major changes to compete with online stores, these spaces are being rebranded as "lifestyle centers"&nbsp;focusing on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">public space</a> as their main attraction. The Runway renovation is expected to be complete by early 2019.&nbsp;</p> Ikea's design modifications for their new store in India and around the world Hope Daley 2018-08-20T15:29:00-04:00 >2018-08-20T15:29:23-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>This week, Ikea opened its first store in India&ndash;a feat the company has been planning for many years. But while the big, blue exterior of the store looks the same, the interiors, from the displays to the products themselves, have been subtlety tailored to accommodate cultural differences. It&rsquo;s a strategy Ikea has used to expand from its origins in Sweden, now reaching 30 markets in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia...</p></em><br /><br /><p>As <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ikea</a> expands into Asia, the brand recently opened their first store in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">India</a> tailoring their products to the county's culture. This is part of how Ikea introduces their brand to countries around the globe, by keeping their designs mostly the same with subtle, pointed changes for specific aspects of different cultures.&nbsp;</p> <p>The company sends representatives to potential expansion areas in order to discern what alterations they may need to make. For India, Ikea created <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">furniture designs</a> with new materials to withstand the extreme humidity rather than using their standard material of untreated pine. They also created more stools and folding chair products to accommodate spontaneous family gatherings, common to many Indian households.&nbsp;</p> <p>Check out the <a href=";utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=feedburner+fastcompany&amp;utm_content=feedburner" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">full article</a> for other cultural modifications Ikea made around the world.&nbsp;</p> What past designs for outer space can teach us about the future Hope Daley 2018-08-20T14:45:00-04:00 >2018-08-20T14:45:38-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A drawing in [Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's] 1883 manuscript Free Space might be the first depiction of humans in orbital weightlessness. Four figures float in a spherical spaceship, each pointed in a different direction, disoriented... This basic design &mdash; primary thruster, secondary retro rockets, axial gyros for orientation &mdash; has been used by all crewed Russian and American spacecraft to date, including the International Space Station.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Looking back at the history of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">outer space</a> design, Fred Scharmen brings past innovations into the present with applications for our future. Starting back in 1883 with the first design for humans in outer space (seen below), Konstantin Tsiolkovsky imagined a new way of thinking about <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">spatial design</a>.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Free Space, 1883. Image: Russian Academy of Sciences.</figcaption></figure><p>Scharmen&nbsp;follows this path of design up through 1975 with&nbsp;Princeton physicist Gerard O&rsquo;Neill's project, funded by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NASA</a>, to develop habitats for civilization in space. A team of&nbsp;engineers, space scientists, physicists, artists, urban planners, and architects were assembled to create isolated and controlled <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">interiors</a> for humans to live in.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Bernal Sphere, 1975. Image: Rick Guidice/NASA Ames Research Center.</figcaption></figure><p>Habitats like the Bernal Sphere were created as exercises in imagining completely new systems of design.&nbsp;Scharmen&nbsp;advocates that these outer space design exercises are the key to innovation for design both on and...</p> Epic Games unleashes Unreal with the Academy Anthony Morey 2018-08-19T13:52:00-04:00 >2018-08-19T13:52:12-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Epic Games</a>, the creators of the Unreal Engine, the standard for VR and AR exploration, experiment and implementation has unveiled its Academy. Understanding that understanding and exploring their medium is not as easy as picking up a pencil. Unreal is looking to change this by launching its own online academy meant to bring such software and creative unleashing to the masses. The academy will have a collection of tutorials, lectures and sample files tied to architecture, industrial design, game development and visualization to name a few.&nbsp;</p> <figure><figure><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a><figcaption>Epic Games Academy</figcaption></figure></figure><p>With more and more educational institutions embracing the visual and visceral adoration of such projects that comes from such technology and with a growing portion of such institutional leaders and educators unaware of how to use, teach and implement such software, having companies bridge the landscapes between creator and educator may be a sign of things to come &mdash; a much needed one.&nbsp;</p> Artists reimagine monuments celebrating the Confederacy Hope Daley 2018-08-17T16:02:00-04:00 >2018-08-17T16:02:56-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>After the tragedy, [a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va.] and another honoring Stonewall Jackson were shrouded, but only temporarily. Around the country, similar monuments have been removed. In some cases, only their pedestals remain. We asked artists to contemplate these markers of our country&rsquo;s racist and violent history &mdash; the space they take up, physically and psychically &mdash; and imagine what should happen when they are gone.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Around the US many statues and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">monuments celebrating racism</a> in our country's history have been removed, either partially or fully. The question currently remains on what we as a culture should do concerning the spaces these <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">historical monuments</a> inhabit[ed]. The New York Times asked artists to reimagine these spaces as possibilities for the future.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Reimagined monument by Studio Ijeoma and Michael Yarinsky Design. Image: Studio Ijeoma/Michael Yarinsky Design.</figcaption></figure><p>Studio Ijeoma and Michael Yarinsky Design proposed a spiraling structure around the remaining pedestal <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">where a&nbsp;Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans once stood</a>. The design includes staining the pedestal with colors corresponding to the years of slavery, segregation, and inequity in US history.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Reimagined monument by Studio Ijeoma and Michael Yarinsky Design. Image: Studio Ijeoma/Michael Yarinsky Design.</figcaption></figure><p>Located atop the spiraling stairs is a glass sky room where participants are able to stand where the Confederate general's stat...</p> Watch an urban planner play SimCity with real world commentary Hope Daley 2018-08-17T14:45:00-04:00 >2018-08-20T13:03:32-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In this extended short, City Beautiful takes on the old school classic SimCity from the perspective of a professional planner 20 years later. Along the way, City Beautiful provides pertinent observations of game play versus reality.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Urban Design Ph.D student&nbsp;Dave Amos circles back around to the game that sparked his passion as a kid playing computer games. An advocate for sustainable living and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">diverse cities</a>, Amos plays through the old school <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">SimCity</a> game providing relevant insights learned over the years in his career.&nbsp;</p> Air conditioning's challenge for the built environment Hope Daley 2018-08-16T16:14:00-04:00 >2018-08-16T16:14:40-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The US expends more energy on air conditioning, for example, than the whole of Africa does on everything. Then again, it expends even more energy on hot water, which doesn&rsquo;t get the same rap. The question then is not whether to condition climate, but how. As long ago as the 1940s the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy demonstrated, with his village of New Gourna near Luxor, how traditional techniques of orientation, ventilation, screening and shading could be revived.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Rowan Moore dives into the history of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">air conditioning</a> and how the development of this technology shaped architectural design over the years. Rather than condemn its use, Moore advocates for optimizing both old and new techniques for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sustainable</a> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">cooling</a> with the current challenge to scale up for rapidly expanding cities.</p> Notre Dame is falling apart and relying on US donations for major repairs Hope Daley 2018-08-15T14:21:00-04:00 >2018-08-15T14:21:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>One of Europe&rsquo;s most visited sites, with about 12 million tourists a year, is in dire need of repairs. Centuries of weather have worn away at the stone. The fumes from decades of gridlock have only worsened the damage. &ldquo;Pollution is the biggest culprit,&rdquo; says Philippe Villeneuve, architect in chief of historic monuments in France. &ldquo;We need to replace the ruined stones. We need to replace the joints with traditional materials. This is going to be extensive.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Notre Dame</a> faces major <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">repairs</a> as the historic Cathedral's structure decays due largely to pollution. Funding for the repairs needed were difficult to raise as the cathedral is owned by the French government, yet their arrangement allows the&nbsp;Catholic archdiocese of Paris&nbsp;to use it for free. Both claimed the other responsible for raising funds, however the&nbsp;archdiocese stepped up <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">creating&nbsp;Friends of Notre Dam last year</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The organization allows US citizens to make tax deductible contributions to the renovation of this historic landmark. Friends of Notre Dame hope to raise $114 million within the next five to 10 years.&nbsp;</p> Global heatwave is symptom of early stage cycle of civilisational collapse Orhan Ayyüce 2018-08-13T18:59:00-04:00 >2018-08-20T14:24:20-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>This summer&rsquo;s extreme weather has hit home some stark realities. Climate disaster is not slated to happen in some far-flung theoretical future. It&rsquo;s here, and now.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Penned by Nafeez Ahmed, investigative journalist, recovering academic, tracking the Crisis of Civilization, the article points to a more urgent than urgent times in terms of civilisation and not merely the climate change.&nbsp;<br></p> <p>Also an urgent quote from a friend internalizing the article for architecture, "I am surprised that with contemporary conditions that require a radical re-orientation and re-conceptualization of discipline and profession, architecture professors continue to talk about elements, tectonic, "Fundamentals", context, composition, scale, poche, sustainability... Bla,bla...&nbsp;Let's build a new ontology..."<br></p> <p>-Alex Santander, Architect. Tijuana, Mexico</p> Hong Kong's public housing receives widespread photographic attention Hope Daley 2018-08-13T15:52:00-04:00 >2018-08-13T15:52:59-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Across Hong Kong, where almost half the population lives in government-provided housing, public housing complexes have become wildly popular Instagram destinations. Locals and tourists have flocked to estates around the city, craning their necks to get that perfect social media shot and irritating residents in the process. The estates have drawn professional interest as well, featuring prominently in marketing campaigns and even a music video by the Korean boy band Seventeen.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hong Kong</a>'s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">public housing</a>, largely built in the 1960's and 70's, has attracted widespread public attention for its aesthetic appeal. These modernist style high-rises <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">photograph</a> beautifully with colorful displays of clean lined symmetry. While these buildings are visually engaging, they also play an important role providing affordable housing to millions in one of the most expensive cities to live. Hong Kong's immense public sector housing program creates space for nearly half of the city's residents.&nbsp;</p> Architecture professor defends brutalism against Trump's call for demolition Hope Daley 2018-08-13T14:40:00-04:00 >2018-08-15T09:06:39-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Depending on who you ask, brutalist buildings like the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C., are little more than misshapen mounds of concrete. But architecture professor Mark Pasnik&nbsp;says the structures were built with a much deeper meaning in mind. "People think of them as communistic or as alienating," says Pasnik, who came to brutalism's defense in a recent Boston Globe op-ed.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Architecture professor Mark Pasnik makes the argument for preservation of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">brutalist</a> buildings in an&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">opinion piece for the Boston Globe</a>. Pasnik's piece was in response to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Trumps recent outcry to tear down the FBI headquarters</a>. He explains the style's history of material honesty, along with reasons to preserve brutalist architecture. Even if the style does not appeal to an individual, Pasnik advocates the historic importance and sustainability of renovation over demolition are worth keeping brutalist buildings intact.</p> Airbnb's Great Wall of China sleepover contest gets cancelled Justine Testado 2018-08-13T14:39:00-04:00 >2018-08-13T14:39:22-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Airbnb received mixed feedback on the concept &mdash; amidst concerns that the competition could cause damage to the famous wall. "We deeply respect the feedback we have received," said Airbnb in a statement. "We will be working closely with our hosts and guests in China as well as community leaders to highlight the culture and history that make China one of the most dynamic destinations in the world," said Airbnb.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Not too surprisingly, Airbnb cancelled their <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Great Wall of China one-night-sleepover</a> contest a few days before its August 11 submission deadline. The company stated that they "will be in touch in the future about other ways you can explore and discover amazing experiences in China."</p> NEH announces $13.2 million in grants for cultural infastructure Hope Daley 2018-08-10T18:04:00-04:00 >2018-08-13T13:45:58-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)</a> has just announced $13.2 million in grants for cultural infrastructure. <a href=";utm_source=govdelivery" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">29 U.S. cultural institutions&nbsp;were awarded</a> with matching grants&nbsp;including libraries, museums, archives, colleges, universities, historic sites, scholarly associations, and other cultural institutions which build institutional capacity for long-term sustainability. The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation</a> was among those awarded, receiving a grant of $576,106.&nbsp;</p> Le Corbusier's influence on Japanese modernism Hope Daley 2018-08-09T15:31:00-04:00 >2018-08-12T12:13:20-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Thanks to the overwhelming clarity of [Le Corbusier's] positions, the bewitching nature of his epigrammatic style and the already-powerful international movement for Modernism, the impact he had on a rising generation of Japanese architects would prove to be immense. But it would be the nature of that impact to be felt only in conditions of overwhelming ambivalence.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Nikil Saval traces <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Japan</a>'s modernism back to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Le Corbusier</a> citing influences on Kunio Maekawa and Kenzo Tange. Japan was the earliest country in all of East Asia to engage with Le Corbusier's work in the late 19th century, and by the 1930's many of his books has been translated into Japanese.&nbsp;</p> <p>The piece navigates conflicting views in Japan with the introduction of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">modernism</a> and the &ldquo;Japan tradition debate&rdquo;. Saval explores the struggle around a desire to embrace global modernity while also retaining a sense of tradition or &ldquo;Japaneseness&rdquo; in the culture.&nbsp;</p> Construction on Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier has begun Alexander Walter 2018-08-09T14:37:00-04:00 >2018-08-17T12:02:31-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Construction has begun on a steel net to prevent people from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, after years of debate over whether such an obstacle would mar the bridge&rsquo;s romantic image. For at least the next two years, crews will toil throughout the night to build a coarse web of marine cable beneath the Art Deco span that is both an international symbol for engineering beauty and a magnet for suicides.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Oakland companies Shimmick Construction Co. and Danny&rsquo;s Construction Co. won the contract to design and build the net for $211 million &mdash; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">about three times</a> what the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors had proposed when it put the project out for bid in 2014," the <em>Chronicle</em> reports.</p> Betsy DeVos’s summer home resides in McMansion Hell Hope Daley 2018-08-09T14:16:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Two weeks ago, somebody untied Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos&rsquo;s $40 million yacht from its mooring. It got me thinking about another opulent display of wealth owned by DeVos: her 22,000-square-foot nautical-themed summer mansion, located in Holland, Michigan. Just a few more years of climate change and it&rsquo;ll be floating too.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Kate Wagner critiques Betsy DeVos&rsquo;s Michigan summer mansion on her <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">humor</a> blog <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">McMansion Hell</a>. Wagner unpacks&nbsp;not only the architectural design but also the greater social implications of why the education secretary's McMansion is so horrendous. The essay is dedicated to "all of the public school teachers who taught [Wagner] how to write".&nbsp;</p><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Betsy DeVos's summer home on McMansion Hell. Image: Kate Wagner/Advance Media/Barcroft Images.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Betsy DeVos's summer home on McMansion Hell. Image: Kate Wagner/Pricey Pads.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Betsy DeVos's summer home on McMansion Hell. Image: Kate Wagner/Pricey Pads.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Betsy DeVos's summer home on McMansion Hell. Image: Kate Wagner/Pricey Pads.</figcaption></figure> Artist hand-cuts paper shapes and assembles them into sacred architecture Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-08-09T14:06:00-04:00 >2018-08-09T14:06:47-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Mixed media artist <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Michael Velliquette</a> has been making imaginary <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">architecture models</a>. A prolific artist who favors paper as his medium, his latest is a series of&nbsp;carefully detailed installations. Using hand-cut paper shapes, Velliquette assembles countless pieces of paper into complex forms he describes as both "scared architecture and three-dimensional mandalas." Textured and layered over one another, the Wisconsin-based artist's work takes interest in "ritually driven object making, devotional ornamentation, and our natural human impulse for razzle-dazzle."</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Michael Velliquette.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Michael Velliquette.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Michael Velliquette.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Michael Velliquette.</figcaption></figure> Esther Sperber argues that to end abuse in architecture, stop believing in the creative genius myth Justine Testado 2018-08-07T18:23:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>But gender bias is not the most dangerous consequence of the lone-wolf image: It is the unspoken permission to abuse that should worry us. For the privilege of working alongside this aggressive and uncompromising genius, we are asked to tolerate his erratic, harsh, and selfish behavior. [...] To fight sexual abuse and abusers, we must first let go of this simplistic and fictitious image of the lone wolf.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In this short opinion piece, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Studio ST Architects</a> founder Esther Sperber argues that, in light of the ongoing <em>#MeToo</em> movement,&nbsp;rejecting the prevalent &ldquo;lone wolf&rdquo;/creative genius myth and emphasizing a collaborative culture instead&nbsp;are important steps to stopping abuse in architecture.&nbsp;</p> MAD Architects restore a historic lookout tunnel for Japan's 2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale Hope Daley 2018-08-07T18:21:00-04:00 >2018-08-09T16:12:36-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MAD Architects</a> have restored Japan's historic Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel as a permanent <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">art installation</a>, &ldquo;Tunnel of Light&rdquo;, coinciding with the&nbsp;2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale. The art event hosts&nbsp;approximately 160 artworks across 200 villages, inhabiting abandoned spaces as sites for interaction. Located in the&nbsp;Niigata prefecture, the 2,500-foot long passageway cuts through rock formations to offer visitors panoramic views of Japan's mountainous snow country.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p> <figcaption>"Tunnel of Light" by MAD Architects, located in Echigo-Tsumari, Japan. Image: MAD Architects.</figcaption><p>The firm's scheme for this historic lookout consists of transforming several points along the tunnel as spaces for interaction with art and nature.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>"Tunnel of Light" by MAD Architects, located in Echigo-Tsumari, Japan. Image: MAD Architects.</figcaption></figure><p>Upon approaching the tunnel, a small wooden hut has been constructed to serve as the caf&eacute; and souvenir shop. Inside the pitched cedar roof on the upper level is a hot spring foot spa.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>"Tunnel of Light" ...</figcaption></figure> Ai Weiwei's Beijing studio has been demolished without prior warning Alexander Walter 2018-08-06T18:23:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Chinese authorities are razing one of the Beijing studios of dissident artist Ai Weiwei. He said that demolition crews showed up without advance warning, and have begun the process of tearing down the studio. Ai has been a longtime critic of the government, and on Saturday, he began posting videos to his Instagram feed of the studio's destruction. "Farewell," Ai wrote. "They started to demolish my studio 'Zuoyuo' in Beijing with no precaution."</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ai</a>, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Berlin since Chinese authorities returned his confiscated passport in 2015, responded to <em>NPR</em> about the sudden demolition of his Zuoyou studio in Beijing:</p> <p><em>We didn't receive any advance warning or announcement of the demolition. We were required to move by a certain date, which we have not yet reached. [...] The demolition came as a surprise. Works were damaged due to the unannounced attack on the studio. There was no caution taken. However, compared to the memories which have been lost, compared to a society which has never established trust in the social order, a trust in the rule of law, or a trust in any kind of unity in defending the rights of its people, what has been lost at my studio is insignificant, and I don't even care. There are profoundly deeper and wider ruins in this deteriorating society where the human condition has never been respected.</em></p> Predating all known ancient civilizations, Göbekli Tepe may be world's first architecture Alexander Walter 2018-08-06T15:13:00-04:00 >2018-08-08T16:50:40-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>At around 12,000 years old, G&ouml;bekli Tepe in south-east Turkey has been billed as the world&rsquo;s oldest temple. It is many millennia older than Stonehenge or Egypt&rsquo;s great pyramids, built in the pre-pottery Neolithic period before writing or the wheel. But should G&ouml;bekli Tepe, which became a Unesco World Heritage Site in July, also be regarded as the world&rsquo;s oldest piece of architecture?</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>T-shaped limestone pillars. Image: Wikipedia.</figcaption></figure><p>Archaeological research of the ancient&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">G&ouml;bekli Tepe</a> ruin site in present-day Turkey suggests that the impressive monolithic structures,&nbsp;believed to date back to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic era (10th&ndash;8th millennium BCE), might in fact be the first known example of architecture. "Rather than architecture being the product of organised societies, as has long been thought, there is new thinking that, in fact, it may have been the organisation needed to build on such a scale that helped usher in agriculture and settled society," <em>The Art Newspaper</em> writes.</p> President Trump involved in revamping the FBI headquarters in DC Hope Daley 2018-08-02T17:37:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Trump is obsessed with the FBI building. For months now, in meetings with White House officials and Senate appropriators intended to discuss big-picture spending priorities, the president rants about the graceless J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington, D.C.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">President Trump</a> has reportedly taken an interest in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">FBI headquarters</a> J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown DC, overseeing every detail of the project. While he recognizes the value of the property, the president is not a fan of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">brutalism</a>. Trump complained, "Even the building is terrible... It's one of the brutalist-type buildings, you know, brutalist architecture. Honestly, I think it's one of the ugliest buildings in the city."</p> NCARB announces a commitment to diversity in leadership Hope Daley 2018-08-02T14:58:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NCARB</a> Board of Directors recently announced a Policy for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Diversity</a> in which the organization states a commitment to greater diversity, with respect to&nbsp;gender, race, geography, age, perspective (architect vs. non-architect), and physical ability, when electing leadership positions. The NCARB has worked to diversify their volunteer pool, transformed key programs for inclusion, and promoted wider access to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">licensure</a>. Yet, President and Chair of the Board states more can be done: <br><br>"While diversity at the licensing board level is largely controlled by governors or other appointing authorities, more can be done to influence the appointment process [...] And internally, we will strive to more fully utilize existing licensing board members who bring the perspective of under-represented groups."</p> <p><em><strong>Policy for Diversity </strong><br><br>This Policy on Diversity is designed to encourage consideration of underrepresented groups when the NCARB Board of Directors or the Council membership selects individuals to p...</em></p> The final frontier: wheelchair accessibility in science fiction Alexander Walter 2018-08-01T15:29:00-04:00 >2018-08-01T18:44:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Space remains a vast, untamed place, penned in only by the limits of our own imaginations. So why the hell are there so many staircases in space? [...] Once you start realizing how many stairs there are stopping you in real life, it becomes impossible not to notice them existing in the sci-fi you adore. Turns out they&rsquo;re everywhere [...] our sci-fi imitates a real-world reliance on steps and stairs in our architecture.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Staircases in Space: Why Are Places in Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?</a></em>, Ace Ratcliff pens an excellent analysis of the pervasive presence of staircases in sci-fi that appear to foreshadow a future where universal accessibility for wheelchair-bound people like herself&mdash;and beyond that, the full inclusion in society&mdash;remain utterly unachieved.&nbsp;</p> <p>"Unfortunately, 50 years worth of Federation starship manifestations also means half a century of inaccessibility," writes Ratcliff. "The original USS Enterprise bridge has enough steps you could take the equivalent of an aerobics class just trying to get from the turbolift to the Captain&rsquo;s chair. The same level of inaccessibility goes for both the USS Voyager and USS Discovery, and if you&rsquo;re a wheelchair user, you better not try to grab an after-shift bottle of bloodwine at Quark&rsquo;s Bar unless you plan on dragging yourself up several steps to get there. In fact, the bridge from The Next Generation&rsquo;s Enterprise is the only one that...</p> We Are All Scutoids: A Brand-New Shape, Explained Orhan Ayyüce 2018-08-01T00:48:00-04:00 >2018-08-06T14:42:02-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Where you have curvature, you have scutoids</p></em><br /><br /><p>Naming a fundamental shape that nature uses at 2018 AD is a credit long overdue. Now the shape architects use has a legitimate public name and official credibility and no longer be called weird. First living architect came to my mind was Frank Gehry. Yours?<br></p> <p>"Honestly, in the beginning, we couldn&rsquo;t believe that nobody before us had named this shape. I mean, geometry has been around forever&mdash;the square, the circle. It&rsquo;s really wonderful that we could name something this fundamental."</p> Is that Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye floating in a Danish fjord? Alexander Walter 2018-07-31T13:57:00-04:00 >2018-08-18T13:01:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A five-tonne, 6m tall model of Le Corbusier&rsquo;s Villa Savoye has been towed into a fjord in Denmark and subsequently sunk as part of a summer art exhibition. Created by Danish artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, the installation appears as a half-submerged vision of a once visionary future. It&rsquo;s also a critical comment on the importance of modernity today.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The project is a critical comment on the current status of modernity after the scandals of Cambridge Analytica, the Trump election and Brexit," Danish artist <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen</a> tells <em>ICON Magazine</em>.</p> <p>"After these scandals, I think our sense of democracy and the public sphere has been distorted through the new use of digital technologies to manipulate elections. Our sense of Modernity has been 'flooded'. I sense the need to 're-state' our political institutions - because our old ones have 'sunk'."</p> <p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Floating Art 2018</a> festival is still running until September 2 in the Danish town of&nbsp;Vejle.</p> Europe's new tallest building, The Lakhta Center by RMJM, nearly completed in St. Petersburg Hope Daley 2018-07-31T13:30:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T13:30:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>For a brief period from 2011 until 2012 Renzo Piano&rsquo;s 309.7m London skyscraper, The Shard, was the tallest in Europe. However, it has since been dwarfed by three new buildings in Moscow, and, this summer, the title has shifted to Moscow&rsquo;s second city, St Petersburg, as one of Russia&rsquo;s largest companies plans its relocation.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Lakhta Center, designed by&nbsp;British firm <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RMJM</a>,&nbsp;is set to be Europe's new tallest skyscraper. The nearly completed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">supertall</a>, located on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">St. Petersburg's</a> coast, will reach approximately&nbsp;1,515 feet, which is about 50% taller than The Shard in London. The building will serve as the new headquarters for Russian energy company&nbsp;Gazprom, currently based in Moscow.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Lakhta Center rendering by RMJM, located in St. Petersburg, RU. Image: Lakhta Center.</figcaption></figure><p>With piles driven 270 feet into the ground, the 87-story&nbsp;skyscraper also boasts&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">LEED Gold</a> certification. The design features an energy saving&nbsp;ice storage facility, which can accumulate up to 1000 tonnes of ice during the night used to air condition the building during the day.<br></p> A floating university by Berlin firm Raumlabor explores the future of architecture schooling Hope Daley 2018-07-30T16:31:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T06:13:00-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Created by architects&nbsp;Raumlabor, the&nbsp;Floating University in Berlin invites students and experts from all over the world to explore solutions for future urban challenges. It&rsquo;s said that the things we learn at university today will be outdated by the time we graduate. So what does a learning environment look like where students research cities of the future?</p></em><br /><br /><p>Berlin-based firm <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Raumlabor</a> have created a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">floating</a> university running through the summer months to explore new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">learning environment</a> possibilities. Located in a rainwater basin in Berlin, the temporary structure is under constant development with students, professors, and experts implementing their ideas.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Floating University by Raumlabor, located in Berlin. Image: Raumlabor.</figcaption></figure><p>The floating university includes a library, workspaces, an auditorium with a pool, an experimental kitchen and bar, and a water-filtering system. Students are invited from the fields of architecture, design, arts, and sustainable technology to participate in this hands-on program. The University will be dismantled in September with all materials either rented and returned or used for upcoming projects.<br></p> The first digital art museum in Paris opens with a Klimt exhibition Hope Daley 2018-07-27T15:47:00-04:00 >2018-07-27T15:47:08-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The museum is in a former foundry and is operated by Culturespaces, a French museum foundation that specialise in immersive art displays. This is the opening exhibition at what Culturespaces calls its &ldquo;Workshop of Lights&rdquo;, and its larger space, La Halle, is dedicated to Gustav Klimt and a century of Viennese painting. There are also works by Egon Schiele and Friedrich Stowasser, better-known as Hundertwasser.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The museum foundation Culturespaces recently opened Paris&rsquo;s first digital <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">museum of fine art</a>, Atelier des Lumi&egrave;res, with an opening exhibition displaying works by Gustav Klimt. The former foundry has been transformed into an <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">immersive, multi-sensory&nbsp;space</a> expanding artworks across the entire architectural interior.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Atelier des Lumi&egrave;res, Paris. Image: E Spiller.</figcaption></figure><p>The museum utilizes 140 laser video projectors to display works across&nbsp;32-foot-high walls and over 11,000 square feet of surface area within the renovated 19th-century building. With the growing digital engagement of culture, the museum aims to disseminate art through relevant methods for future generations.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Klimt display at Atelier des Lumi&egrave;res, Paris. Image: E Spiller.</figcaption></figure>