More Thoughts on Jane Jacobs from One of Her Closest Collaborator...

Aug 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Opinion By Roberta Brandes Gratz   COMMON EDGE.ORG It was refreshing to read Martin C. Pedersen’s 10 Lessons Learned from Rereading Jane Jacobs and see that he didn’t perpetrate some of the common myths about her (i.e. she wanted every neighborhood to be like Greenwich Village; she didn’t like tall buildings; or, even more preposterously, she was somehow to blame for the ills of gentrification).   And while Jane’s life on Hudson Street does indeed seem like a lost world, is there any urban neighborhood—anywhere—that hasn’t changed in the past fifty seven years? Wouldn’t it be smarter to explore the whys of that change in a broad and relevant context? Shouldn’t we be exploring why the children of suburbia now crave urban living? Shouldn’t we demystify “gentrification” to understand different forms of change, some of...

read more

A Letter to Prospective Architecture School Parents...

Aug 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Eva Hagberg Fisher   COMMON EDGE.ORG Is your child suddenly wearing angular clothes and pretending to need glasses and talking about things like maylines (sorry, forgot we’re not in the 90’s anymore) and 3d-printing and the power of the research lab to change the world studio? Has your child started rejecting your Frank Lloyd Wright photo books and started asking for that super sweet punched-out Chora L Works thing that makes no sense to you because there are literally holes in it? Has your child refused to go on anymore holiday house tours because, seriously mom, this is what I do all day at school? Then congratulations! You now have an architecture school student child. And as much as we have—and need—the framework of, say, Adult Children of Alcoholics, just as deeply do...

read more

Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California...

Aug 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Tafline Laylin   INHABITAT.COM View Slideshow The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water need not blight the landscape. The Pipe is one example of how producing energy can be knitted into every day life in a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing way. One of the finalists of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier, the design deploys electromagnetic desalination to provide clean drinking water for the city and filters the resulting brine through on-board thermal baths before it is reintroduced to the Pacific Ocean. “LAGI 2016 comes to Southern California at an important time,” write Rob Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, co-founders of the Land Art Generator Initiative. “The sustainable infrastructure that is required to meet California’s development goals and growing population will have a profound influence...

read more

TO GET TO NET ZERO, THINK BIGGER...

Aug 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Allison Hibbs ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE Guest Author The importance of implementing net zero at the district scale   The World Green Building Council (WGBC) just launched a revolutionary project calling for all buildings to reach net zero by 2050 in an action plan known as Advancing Net Zero. The announcement provides a shot in the arm to the net-zero design and construction industry at a global level, further increasing the impetus for governments, developers, and service providers to make ambitious net-zero commitments and action plans across the world. But it also requires the industry to confront a long-standing barrier—the assumption that net-zero buildings come at a significantly higher capital cost than business as usual. In fact, when approaching net-zero energy (NZE) at a district level and leveraging an integrative whole-systems design approach, the...

read more

artists build floating freedom cove off the coast of vancouver island...

Aug 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]     aug 12, 2016   off the coast of vancouver island, a curious and colorful complex floats amidst the calm waters of clayoquot sound. over the last 24 years, ‘freedom cove’ has been the home of canadian artists catherine king and wayne adams, who have built a multi-room dwelling as a sustainable and self-sufficient fortress.     off the grid on a homemade island video courtesy of great big story     video network great big story has recently documented the lives of king and adams at their floating paradise. a lengthy 45-minute boat ride to the nearest town, ‘freedom cove’ is tethered to shore with ropes, not anchors, making the entire habitat a buoyant and dynamic space. included in the complex is king and adam’s main living space, a dance floor, a lighthouse building and...

read more

Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (August 1–15)...

Aug 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT  J.R. Taylor Rail Deck Park / City of Toronto, via The Architect’s Newspaper Working to Make Public Space for Everyone in Baltimore – The Baltimore Sun, 8/1/16 “For writer D. Watkins, it’s a sense of exclusion from what he called the ‘new’ Baltimore. For student activist Diamond Sampson, it’s a feeling of being unwelcome around the Inner Harbor.” Will Replacing Thirsty Lawns with Drought-Tolerant Plants Make L.A. Hotter?  – The Los Angeles Times, 8/2/16 “Last summer, a revolution occurred in Los Angeles landscaping: Across the city, tens of thousands of homeowners tore up their water-thirsty lawns and replaced them with gravel, turf, decomposed granite and a wide range of drought-tolerant plants at a rate never seen before.” How Noted Landscape Architect Jim Burnett Counters Dallas’ Concrete Jungle – The Dallas Morning...

read more

DONALD TRUMP AS ARCHITECTURE’S NIGHTMARE CLIENT...

Aug 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Duo Dickinson Not since Thomas Jefferson has there been a presidential candidate more involved in designing and building structures than Donald J. Trump. He has commissioned scores of architects to design millions of square feet in hundreds of locations. You would think that would make him the favorite of our profession: a building insider running the country? How could that be bad for architects?   Well, we kinda know this guy.   This is a bizarre election season in America: collectively we dislike both major candidates. One is a narcissistic caricature of himself, the other has had her “issues” for decades. Forget about political issues, this is identity politics at its most personalized. Few find warm and fuzzies with either.   But architects know one of these personalities: many of us work...

read more

Why Mexican Squares May Be the Best Public Spaces in the World...

Aug 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Dennis Pieprz How do you judge a public space? Is the prototypical, windswept plaza—a winner perhaps of countless design awards—a failure if it’s always empty? Or the row of food trucks parked on a sidestreet a success because it’s always teeming with life (and the wafting plumes of barbecue)? I’d argue that people always vote with their feet: spaces intended to be gathering places should be just that. Unlike evaluations of art and architecture, there’s nothing subjective about public space. Either a crowd shows or it doesn’t. And contrary to the best laid plans of mice and men (and landscape architects and urban designers), the public uses space in unpredictable and ingenious ways. The best urban places are often self-designed, semi-blank slates with a lot of room around the edges for civic...

read more

Your Green Home of the Future: The LivingHomes Model House...

Aug 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Take a sneak peek at this home of the future. By Natural Home staff LivingHomes (C.J. Berg/Sunshine Divis) Slideshow   The standard for green home building just got higher—and the magic number is zero. The LivingHomes model house, built in Santa Monica, California, is a zero-energy, zero-carbon, zero-waste, zero-water and zero-emissions residence—the first of its kind. The home is also the first to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest LEED for Homes rating: Platinum. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Here’s a sneak peak at the green home of tomorrow. www.LivingHomes.us • The home is located on an infill site that was minimally disturbed during construction. It’s within walking distance of public transportation, schools, businesses, parks and the beach. • The living roof garden reduces stormwater runoff, helps cool...

read more

ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS CAN CUT GAS IMPORTS...

Aug 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Paul Brown / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Making existing buildings in Europe more energy efficient could create a million new jobs. (Tapio Liller via Flickr) LONDON—A renovation programme to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings in Europe could create a million jobs, provide warmer homes, more comfortable factories and offices, reduce fuel bills across 28 countries, and cut imports of Russian gas, researchers say. This is because buildings are currently the biggest single emitter of GHGs in Europe. Many have inefficient heating and cooling, combined with poor insulation. But with existing technology and political will, they could be transformed into energy producers and become carbon-neutral, says a report produced by OpenEXP, an international group of experts helping policymakers to reach sustainable development goals. According to the report, written by...

read more

Breaking Ground: Using Housing to Reduce Health Care Costs...

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Vanessa Quirk   METROPOLIS MAGAZINE Images Courtesy Michael Moran Boston Road is the newest addition to the Breaking Ground family, a New York City-based organization that provides supportive housing (affordable housing with on-site mental health, health care, and job-training services) for both low-income working adults as well as formerly homeless single adults, many of whom suffer from HIV/AIDS or other mental or physical conditions. Simply put, Breaking Ground employs housing as a strategy for reducing health care costs.Their guiding philosophy is that putting “housing first” infinitely increases the likelihood that an individual can achieve sobriety, live healthier, and contribute actively to society. The philosophy seems to have merit as supportive housing has been proven to be remarkably cost-effective. Between emergency care, shelters, psychiatric hospitals, and jails, the average mentally-ill homeless person costs the city...

read more

HOW URBAN DESIGN PERPETUATES RACIAL INEQUALITY — AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT...

Aug 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Our cities weren’t created equal. But they don’t have to stay that way. [Illustration: AvDe via Shutterstock] Diana Budds Cities are complex organisms shaped by myriad forces, but their organization bears the fingerprints of planners and policy makers who have shaped them for decades. At the root of many of these practices is racism, and modern cities bear the legacy of that discrimination. In an era of social protest, when movements like Black Lives Matter are bringing inequality back into the national conversation, it’s time to reassess the practices that have perpetuated these problems—and how we fix them. But the first step is understanding the urban policies that got us here. For decades, planners slashed through neighborhoods in the name of urban renewal and slum clearance, underwritten by federal funding from the Housing...

read more

Solar powered floating farms: the new means of global food production?...

Jul 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by J HERMAN While the sharp growth in global population that continues to occur in the 21st Century is an indicator of many technological, economical and medical advancements our civilization has made, it presents quite a few challenges that will only grow in coming years. The largest of these? Producing enough food to feed a population that is predicted to exceed 9 billion by 2050. But one viable, creative solution is already floating around thanks to Barcelona-based design firm Forward Thinking Architecture. The company proposes that we make use of Earth’s oceans as a means of harbouring the farms of the future. A fully automated, self-sustainable system The company’s Smart Floating Systems (SFF) are designed to be smart and fully automated to make use of technological advancements in areas such as solar-power, aquaculture and hydroponics...

read more

In This Amazing City People Live Without Politics, No Religion And No Money...

Jul 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by GOSTICA · Upon learning this, you will think that happened long ago, but no. There is still a place to live, and not say for its scenery, but for their ideals as a society who do not follow the standards to which we are accustomed. In this town there is no money, no religion, no politics. This is truly a paradise to live. Think only in a place where there are none of these factors, where you can finally live in peace. This place exists and is called “Auroville”! It was founded in 1968 and was hailed as an international city by UNESCO, as its inhabitants are over 50 nationalities and different cultures. They coexist without any problem, since they have a political system, have no religion, and on top, do not use...

read more

Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (July 1 – 15)...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] J.R. Taylor THE DIRT Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times Conservation: Geniuses of Place – Nature.com, 7/6/16 “Ethan Carr traces the arc of influence in landscape creation and preservation from ‘Capability’ Brown to Frederick Law Olmsted and the US National Park Service.” Playful Variation on Ring Forms Performance Space at Ragdale in Lake Forest – Chicago Tribune, 7/8/16 “There’s something about a ring, the kind that gathers people in a circle. From Stonehenge to the layered-stone ‘council rings’ of landscape architect Jens Jensen, circular open-air structures have long liberated us from the straight lines of everyday life and created places for shared experience.” Imagine if the 2 Freeway Ended in a Brilliantly Colored, Eco-Smart Park – The Los Angeles Times, 7/11/16 “There are two ways you can look at the long spur of the...

read more

Pokémon Go Adds a New Layer to Public Spaces...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  Pershing Square Park as depicted in Pokémon Go Karen Grajales THE DIRT According to the National Academy of Sciences, “nature-based recreation” has decreased 25 percent in the last 40 years. The average American now spends only one half of a day per week outdoors. Furthermore, kids now spend an average of only 30 minutes or less outdoors each day, half as much as 20 years ago. Is Pokémon Go — the explosively popular game app released worldwide this month — a way to get adults and kids off their sofas and into parks and other public spaces? After a couple of days happily playing the game, my answer is a qualified yes. The qualification: it is possible to play a circumscribed version of the game while sitting at your desk or sofa. But the game...

read more

DESIGN COMPETITION: A MORE RESILIENT WEST PALM BEACH...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Jared Green   THE DIRT Shore to Core / Van Alen Institute and West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency West Palm Beach, a city of nearly 100,000 some 70 miles north of Miami, is grappling with how to protect itself from sea level rise. Much of this long, thin 50-square-mile city fronts the Atlantic Ocean. While in the past this form of development maximized its appeal as a waterfront city, now that exposure elevates their risk. To create a sustainable and resilient future, the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency has partnered with the Van Alen Institute to create Shore to Core: Vision for a Waterfront City, an  urban design competition, to rethink its future trajectory. The design competition though calls for interdisciplinary teams of designers (landscape architects, urban designers, architects) along with experts...

read more

PARKS CAN ALSO BE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Aaron King  THE DIRT Historic 4th Ward Park / Beltlandia.com City Parks, Clean Water: Making Great Places Using Green Infrastructure, a new report from The Trust for Public Land (TPL), makes a strong case for leveraging public parks to manage stormwater. The report offers several useful case studies that explain the challenges and opportunities involved in designing parks to act as systems for storing or absorbing excess stormwater. The problem of stormwater, as many readers know, originates with the vast amount of asphalt and concrete used in urban areas. Where once stormwater would have filtrated into the ground, asphalt and concrete shed it toward sewer systems. That water, toting pollutants and grime from streets, gets conveyed to rivers, lakes, and other water sources that people use. It is never cleansed by soils and...

read more

WORLD GAME BY BUCKY FULLER

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] About Fuller World Game In the 1960’s Buckminster Fuller proposed a “great logistics game” and “world peace game” (later shortened to simply, the “World Game”) that was intended to be a tool that would facilitate a comprehensive, anticipatory, design science approach to the problems of the world. The use of “world” in the title obviously refers to Fuller’s global perspective and his contention that we now need a systems approach that deals with the world as a whole, and not a piece meal approach that tackles our problems in what he called a “local focus hocus pocus” manner. The entire world is now the relevant unit of analysis, not the city, state or nation. For this reason, World Game programming generally used Fuller’s Dymaxion Map for the plotting of resources, trends, and scenarios...

read more

The Best of the 21st Century: Architecture...

Jul 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Metropolis Magazine / July-August 2016 / The Best of the 21st Century: Architecture We asked leading practitioners to share their picks of the best projects of the past 16 years. The following is a curated list of architectural projects, both big and small, that have helped to define the cityscape of the new millennium.  Email  Print  Feed ©Naoya Hatakeyama ​Sendai Mediatheque​ ​Miyage, Japan (2001) Toyo Ito & Associates “What better way to usher in a new century than by issuing an elegantly crafted public building that willfully re-situates and quietly coalesces the quintessential architectural trajectories of the previous century—that of structure, core, and skin—a narrative neatly set afloat in 1915 by Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino rallying cry.” —Donald Chong, partner, Williamson Chong ©SANAA ​21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa, Japan (2004) SANAA “Embodying the holy grail of each...

read more

Antennae to Experience: What Bucky Fuller Taught Me...

Jul 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Buckminster Fuller’s daughter shares a previously unpublished essay and reveals a rarely spotlighted side to the revered thinker. Allegra Fuller Snyder   METROPOLIS MAGAZINE Allegra Fuller Snyder and her father, Buckminster Fuller, in the 1950s. All Images Courtesy The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller —On the occasion of Bucky’s 100th birthday, July 12, 1995 My father was a warm, concerned, and sharing father. As focused as he was on his own work, he nevertheless included me in his experiences and his experiencing. I remember with great clarity when I was about four years old, I was sick in bed, and he was taking care of me. He sat down on the bed beside me with his pencil in hand and told me—through wonderful freehand drawings—a Goldilocks story. I was Goldilocks, and with his pencil he transported...

read more

Hamburg Creates a Vibrant Neighborhood by Creating Spaces for People...

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Dennis Pieprz Cities develop over time. A relatively “new” city might be as old as a century. Any city or neighborhood younger than twenty years old, in urban design terms, is a newborn, a place in the-process-of-becoming. In Hamburg, Germany, a startling work in progress is underway, in Hafencity, a mixed-used district that when completed will be home to 12,000 residents and almost 40,000 office workers. In the early 1990s, as the 19th century Elbe River warehouse district fell into disuse, Hamburg officials began to reimagine the river islands that were once the bustling hub of the city. The new district, one of the largest urban redevelopments in Europe, has numerous community and cultural buildings, including the much delayed (and anticipated) Elbe Philharmonic Hall, by Herzog & De Meuron, located prominently at...

read more

How Brandcentric Architecture is Destroying Our Sense of Place...

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Ben Willis In 2013, an online game called Geoguessr caught fire across the social media landscape.  The user is placed in a randomly-selected Google street view—anywhere from a desolate stretch of highway in Alaska to the downtown streets of Monaco—and then asked to pinpoint on a map where in the world they have been dropped. It’s a Sherlock-Holmes-meets-Carmen-San-Diego style challenge that puts the regional identities of the world on digital display. The game has now received sponsorships from the likes of Lufthansa and the Intercontinental Hotels Group, which means I wasn’t the only person who experienced an extreme wanderlust while playing it. After a few minutes (or hours, if I’m being honest) playing Geoguessr, it became clear that the most difficult landscapes to pinpoint are, in fact, the landscapes that many of...

read more

David Hertz’s Los Angeles Oasis...

Jul 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The architect and environmentalist is known for repurposing materials. Now a new device is helping him turn air into water. By Sheila Marikar   NEW YORKER MAGAZINE The L.A. architect and environmentalist David Hertz has a knack for repurposing stuff: planks of wood into skateboards, the wings of a Boeing 747 into the roof of a house, crushed LPs (smashed by teens in a gang intervention program) into flooring for a record label’s headquarters. But when a former client told him, last year, that he knew a guy who had invented a way to turn air into water, Hertz was incredulous. “I was, like, sure, let’s try it,” Hertz said. “It sounds like alchemy. And it sounds too good to be true, but let’s try it.” Hertz connected with Richard Groden, a general contractor...

read more

zooco estudio reconfigures the bedroom with modulor concept...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]         ‘modulor’ is an interior organization proposal that adapts the bedroom to meet changing lifestyles. developed by spanish zooco estudio, the concept is composed of modular porticoes, organized sequentially in order of daily routines. different color tones and mosaics are paired with functions, distinguishing between structures for sleep, work, leisure, bath, and dressing. ‘modulor’ all images © zooco estudio       based on the level of privacy needed, ‘modulor’ units are either located openly in the room or pushed to peripheral areas. thus, the shower and bed have a cove-like feel that provides a sense of security and public areas receive plentiful sunlight. ‘modulor’ bedroom concept was created by zooco estudio. public-oriented units are positioned to receive maximum sunlight buenos dias mosaic on balcony the concept proposes an altered...

read more

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE EXAMINES THE MINING INDUSTRY AT VENICE BIENNALE...

Jun 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT BY  Aaron King A visitor to Extraction watches a video displayed in the ground / copyright Laurian Ghinitoiu, via Arch Daily One of the first ever national architecture pavilions to be curated by a landscape architect debuted last month at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The Canadian exhibit, entitled Extraction, is curated by landscape architect Pierre Bélanger, ASLA, who is also associate professor at Harvard University. Ryerson University ecologist and landscape planner Nina-Marie Lister, Hon. ASLA, also worked on the project, along with architecture firm Rvtr, design firm Opsys, and the multimedia firm Studio Blackwell. Extraction examines Canada’s role in extracting the resources that fuel our cities. “Canada has become a global resource empire. The preeminent extraction nation on the planet,” Bélanger said, citing its 20,000 mining projects now underway. Visitors to...

read more

OPEN STREET NETWORKS: GATEWAYS TO CHANGE...

Jun 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   THE DIRT BY Jared Green Ciclovia, Bogota / Kiwi crossfit odyssey Open street initiatives temporarily close networks of streets to motor vehicles, allowing people to walk, bike, skate, dance, and hang out. These initiatives enable things that “usually feel illegal or unsafe,” said Mike Lydon, a founder of Street Plans Collaborative and co-author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change, at the Congress for New Urbanism in Detroit. But they also open up communities to new opportunities to improve their pedestrian and bicycle networks. And according to Lydon, “people love open streets.” It has long been assumed that Bogotá, Colombia, started the movement with their Ciclovía in the mid-1970s, but Lydon argued that Seattle’s Bicycle Sundays, which started in 1965, may have been the first open street initiative. Still, Ciclovía was...

read more

CAN THESE INVENTIONS SAVE OCEANS FROM OUR PLASTIC HABIT?...

Jun 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) As an environmental catastrophe looms, innovators around the world are hoping to turn the tide. Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife. NEWPORT BEACH, California—As a lifelong surfer, Louis Pazos has had an up-close look at the world’s plastics problem. Just about every time he has paddled out at any of his favorite breaks in Southern California, he has ended up swimming among trash bags and other rubbish. But the floating garbage isn’t just offshore. Twenty years ago, on a lunch date at a waterfront restaurant with his wife, he noticed that the same debris he was swimming with in the open ocean was floating in the local harbors as well. “I remember people cleaning up the trash in one spot in the marina,...

read more

TADAO ANDO’S 152 ELIZABETH STREET IN NEW YORK INCLUDES A MONUMENTAL GREEN WALL...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]       ‘152 elizabeth street’ is an ultra luxury condominium building located in new york’s nolita neighborhood. designed by acclaimed japanese architect tadao ando, the scheme measures 32,000-square feet and comprises a total of seven stories and seven residences. each dwelling has been designed as a bespoke custom home, individually configured to highlight craft, detail, and quality. the living green wall measures 55 feet by 99 feet (17 x 30 meters) image by noë & associates and the boundary       developed by sumaida + khurana, ando is collaborating on the project with michael gabellini, the architect of record who is also designing the building’s interiors. in addition to ando’s signature poured-in-place concrete, the scheme also features a living green wall measuring 55-feet-high and 99-feet-wide — one of the largest in...

read more