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Dezeen and MINI Living launch £10,000 contest to design a home for 100 years in the future

16 July, 2018 - 12:28

Dezeen x MINI Living Future Urban Home Competition

How will we live in cities in 100 years' time? To find out, Dezeen has teamed up with MINI Living to invite readers to design an urban home of the future, with £10,000 to be won. Read more

45 Construction Terms & Concepts All Architects Should Know

16 July, 2018 - 09:30
Dune Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Open Architecture Dune Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Open Architecture

For most recent graduates, it quickly becomes evident that what you learn in architecture school is not necessarily enough to become a confident architect. Some things can’t be taught in classrooms at all; instead, they're acquired through years of work on site and solving construction problems first-hand. Among the many things you learn on site are the terminologies used by construction workers that can sound like absolute nonsense to architects at first.

An architecture dictionary might seem like a superb idea, but in practice wouldn't be convenient on a construction site—unless you can memorize the useful entries out of the 25,000 terms in Cyril M Harris' Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Alternatively, here’s a more manageable list of 45 construction terms and concepts every architect should know.

1. All-in Rate: In Construction, the term means the total expenses for an item, which include all the direct and indirect costs. The term is also used in the financial sector.

2. Architect of Record: This term signifies the name of the architecture firm, or architect, whose name has been listed on the issued construction permits. However, “architects of record” are not necessarily the people behind the design. There are times when high-profile architects who don't have an office near to their construction site hire “architects of record,” handing them the responsibility of working on-site or using their expertise in a specific field.

3. Batter (Walls): No, not cake batter, sadly. In architecture, batter means an inward inclination or slope of a wall or structure. Some architects choose this design to provide structural strength while others choose it for decorative purposes.

4. Blocking (Construction): Evidently, the term is derived from “blocks,” and means the use of short pieces or off-cuts of lumber in wooden-framed construction. Construction workers use the blocking technique for filling, spacing, joining, or reinforcing structures.

//'>Wikimedia user billbeee</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Box Crib. Image © <a href=''>Wikimedia user billbeee</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>

5. Box Crib: Think of this as the final steps of a game of Jenga, but without the anxiety of a collapse. Instead, box cribs are temporary elements used to reinforce and add additional support to heavy objects during construction.The material used to create box cribs are often wooden bars. Due to their practicality, box crib forms are also used in film productions for stabilizing platforms and dolly tracks.

6. Building Engineer: The MVPs of construction. They know it all, and are responsible for most of what goes on during construction. Building engineers differ from one country to another, but are mainly the experts of construction, technology, design, assessment, and maintenance, all at once.

7. Cant (Architecture): Or canted, is an oblique or angled line of a surface. Think of it as chamfering the edges of a building's plan. This design was heavily used in Baroque architecture to create a continuous feel to the composition.

8. Catastrophic Failure: If the term wasn’t obvious enough, “catastrophic failures” are abrupt, irrecoverable construction mishaps. The term has been extended to other domains, and is now used for chemical engineering, firearms, and cascading system failures.

9. Concrete Cover: The term is linked to reinforced concrete and is the least distance between the installed reinforcement and the outer surface of the concrete. The concrete cover has several vital purposes, including protecting the reinforced steel bars from corrosion, providing thermal insulation, and providing sufficient embedding for the steel bars to function as reinforcement.

10. Concrete Slab: One of the few construction elements that is used in the vast majority of all structures, a concrete slab is the thick (average of 10-40 cm) horizontal concrete platform which is created to construct the floor or ceiling. There are several slab designs (corrugated, ribbed, waffle, one-way) and each one corresponds to the design or endurance required.

The Silent House by Takao Shiotsuka Atelier, clearly showing its courses of masonry. Image © Takao Shiotsuka Atelier The Silent House by Takao Shiotsuka Atelier, clearly showing its courses of masonry. Image © Takao Shiotsuka Atelier

11. Course (Architecture): Other than the class you take in architecture school, a course is the term used to describe a continuous row of masonry. Whether it’s stones, bricks, or concrete blocks, a course can have several orientations and types.

//'>via pxhere</a> (public domain) Cross Bracing. Image <a href=''>via pxhere</a> (public domain)

12. Cross Bracing: Cross bracing is a structural component used to improve the endurance of a structure. The X-shaped reinforcement can prevent a building from collapsing completely in case of earthquakes, or a wooden chair from falling apart.

13. Cut and Fill: While creating railways and canals, construction workers would create cut slopes (like a mini valley) to install the railways. The soil that’s been moved, the fills, would subsequently create adjacent embankments, minimizing the labor. The approach is now frequently used on construction sites of any size.

14. Damp Proofing: since dampness is among the most common construction problems, damp proofing is a procedure done to the structure to prevent potential moisture from being absorbed by walls and entering the interior. Depending on the nature of the structure and the damp problems it might face, a wide variety of materials can be applied onto the slab, under the final finishing, or even as a surface to act as damp proofing and prevent any spoilage.

15. Design-build: In most projects, construction is frequently delayed due to time conflicts between two (or more) teams involved. The idea behind design-build is that the same team who designs the project constructs it as well. It is a project delivery system in which the design and the construction are considered “single-point-responsibility,” reducing costs and delivering the project on time.

//'>via Unsplash</a> (public domain) Diagrid. Image <a href=''>via Unsplash</a> (public domain)

16. Diagrid: The idea behind “diagrid” is pretty simple: diagonal + grid. Diagrids are diagonally intersecting steel beams (occasionally wooden or concrete), which help reduce the amount of steel used in traditional steel framing.

17. Encasement: On a construction site, encasement might refer to one of two things: in some situations, sewers and other underground pipes may need to be enclosed in a concrete encasement for structural reasons; or, the term might be applied to the process of encasing hazardous materials already installed in a structure such as asbestos.

18. Falsework: Mostly used for large arch structures and bridges, falsework is a temporary structure constructed to support and hold the span during construction or repairs.

19. Formwork: Formwork is falsework’s best friend. It is the construction of a temporary structure into which concrete is poured for it to be settled and set in the desired form.

20. Joint (building): Joints are inserted between two distinct materials in a structure which do not have any physical connection to one another but are either aligned next to each other or overlap.

//'>via Wikimedia</a> (public domain) Joist. Image by Pearson Scott Foresman <a href=''>via Wikimedia</a> (public domain)

21. Joist: Joists are crucial components of a wide-span structure, as they help transfer the load from the beams to the vertical columns and studs. These horizontal elements are connected perpendicularly to the beams (horizontally) and joined (vertically) to the columns.

22. Lean Construction: A newly developed delivery system in which a study is conducted to minimize the waste of material, time, and effort, resulting in an efficient project.  

23. Lift Slab Construction: Also known as the Youtz-Slick method, the lift slab method ensures time efficiency and safety. Basically, the concrete slabs are cast on ground level, and are then lifted through hydraulic jacks into the designated placement. This methods not only saves  time, but also does not require workers to be creating and working with formwork on high ground levels.

24. Lookout (architecture): Lookouts are wooden joists that extend beyond the exterior wall in a cantilever-like manner, to support the roof sheathing phase in construction.

25. Moling: This is the use of a 60-centimeter-long, 6-centimeter wide steel "mole," a pneumatically-driven device which is inserted into the ground to create holes for pipes, heating coils, and heat pump systems without using any trenches.

26. Monocrete Construction: The monocrete construction method is the sole use of precast concrete panels, bolted together, to create concrete structures.

27. Performance Gap: Similar to when you expect to have three design proposals delivered by the end of the week, but you end up with only one because you’re just too tired, performance gap is when the expected work progress does not meet with the result on site. This could be due to environmental, workmanship, or occupant reasons.

//'>Wikimedia user Factfile8</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> Precast Concrete blocks used in Frank Lloyd Wright's Tonkens House. Image © <a href=''>Wikimedia user Factfile8</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>

28. Precast Concrete: One of the most commonly used forms of concrete, precast concrete is concrete elements are created off-site to be transferred or lifted to the site later on. Designs could range from blocks to panels, and create solid but maneuverable elements.

29. Purlin: A purlin is any longitudinal element implemented on the roof structure horizontally for additional structural or material support.

30. Quantity Take-off: Before beginning with the construction phase, a study is held by estimators to acquire the detailed measurements of material and labor force needed to complete the project. This process is called quantity take-off and helps the project developers have full knowledge of what to expect during the construction phase.

//'>via Wkimedia</a> (public domain) Rafter. Image <a href=''>via Wkimedia</a> (public domain)

31. Rafter: Rafters are a series of inclined wooden elements that form a roof, which attach to the edge of the wall plate and often overhang to form the eave.

32. Rim Joist: In flooring systems, rim joists are attached to the ends of the floor's main joists, providing lateral support to the ends of the decking system. However, they are not the end joists, which are usually the first and last row, parallel to the other joists.

33. Rubblization: In order to save time and extra cost, unwanted existing concrete is broken down to pieces of rubbles, and left in its place to become the base layer for new surfaces, instead of transferring the material to another site.

Shiplap used in the 33rd Street House by Meridian 105 Architecture. Image © Raul J. Garcia Shiplap used in the 33rd Street House by Meridian 105 Architecture. Image © Raul J. Garcia

34. Shiplap: You’ve probably seen shiplaps everywhere, but may have referred to them as wood panels. Shiplaps are a type of inexpensive wooden board or panels fixed onto the sides of barns, sheds, and homes.

35. Shoring: Temporarily installed on site, shoring is the method in which metal or timber props are assembled to support the structure during construction. Shores can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, depending on the support needed.

36. Soil Stockpile: The grown-up version of the sand pyramids we used to do as kids, soil stockpiles are created when bulldozers excavate the soil on site and stack them in piles.The piles never go to waste because they are used later on for level grading (see "Cut and fill").

37. Wall Stud: Wall studs are crucial members of wooden or steel wall frames, as they are the vertical elements that help support and transfer loads of bearing and nonbearing walls.

38. Superstructure: In general terms, superstructure simply means a structure built on top of another structure. Typically, this term is used to describe any part of a building that is above ground, with the parts of the building below ground conversely referred to as the substructure.

//,_Spain)_01.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> Thin-Shell Structure. Image © Flickr user Felipe Gabaldón <a href=',_Spain)_01.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>

39. Thin-Shell Structure: Frequently used in modern-day architecture, thin-shell structures are lightweight concrete elements, typically used on roofs. These large elements are usually curved, making use of the structural performance of certain forms to allow reduced material thickness.

40. Tie (Cavity Wall): There are times when two elements of a building can not be merged together, and this is when ties come to the rescue. Ties in cavity walls are typically made of metal or plastic wires, and are placed in between the two materials, “tying” them together to create a homogenous body.

41. Topping Out: A ceremonial practice that traces back to ancient Scandinavia, topping out originally referred to when the builder installs a wooden beam on top of the structure to indicate its completion. These days, it is simply the moment when the uppermost structural element is installed and is often heralded as a major construction milestone.

42. Trombe Wall: Developed by French engineer Felix Trombe and architect Jacques Michel in the 1960s, a trombe wall is a solar building element that is designed for cold countries. Similar to the greenhouse principle, it is when a glass external layer is built outside walls with openings, absorbing the heat during sunlit hours of winter. The heat is then slowly released overnight to provide warmth through the openings.

43. Underpinning: Underpinning is the act of strengthening an existing structural foundation. If the project is being done on a previously built structure, the foundation might not be strong enough or new enough to carry the new building. Underpinning can be mass concrete, beams and base pinning, or mini-piled pinning, depending on the suitable solution to each structure.

//'>via pxhere</a> (public domain) Virtual Design & Construction. Image <a href=''>via pxhere</a> (public domain)

44. Virtual Design & Construction: or VDC, includes all the multi-disciplinary models of a project. The list includes, but is not limited to, engineering modeling (product, process), analysis methods, model-based designs, scheduling, costs, and visualizations.

45. Voided Biaxial Slab: To be able to reduce the cost and weight of large-spanned reinforced concrete slabs, Joseph-Louis Lambot decided to create voids inside the concrete blocks, reducing the amount of concrete used but maintaining the overall endurance and external appearance of the slabs. These slabs are called voided biaxial slabs and are heavily used in construction nowadays. 

Whale of a Sculpture: Repurposing 5 Tons of Plastic Pollution Ocean Pollution

12 July, 2018 - 19:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

Standing nearly 40 feet tall, this giant arcing whale is composed entirely of plastic waste gathered from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, carefully assembled in a canal of Bruges, Belgium.

Following a Liquid City theme, Brooklyn designers from STUDIOKCA chose the form to help observes visualize the magnitude and shape of both what winds up clogging the world’s oceans and the creatures impacted.

The net effect is striking, the arched water mammal rising up from the deep in a graceful curve, which, upon closer inspection, is made up of white and blue refuse, stamped with languages and brands from around the world.

Dubbed Skyscraper, the sculpture brings together 4,000 square feet of discarded plastic gathered in Hawaii beach cleanups, a small fraction of the 150 million tons currently lost at sea.

And while the majestic sea creature ricing from the canal might seem large, “pound for pound that is more plastic waste swimming in the ocean than there is whales,” say the creators. “So an opportunity like this to show the type of plastic and the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans is really important.”

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

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MIT Students Team With Nonprofit to Flip a Prison Into an Agricultural Community Center

11 July, 2018 - 10:00
The entrance of the museum and conference space is lively with greenery and activity. The proposed design includes the addition of a rooftop greenhouse, as well as enlarging existing windows to brighten the interiors. Image Courtesy of Group Project The entrance of the museum and conference space is lively with greenery and activity. The proposed design includes the addition of a rooftop greenhouse, as well as enlarging existing windows to brighten the interiors. Image Courtesy of Group Project

Group Project, a student group from MIT, is helping GrowingChange, a non-profit that works with previously incarcerated youth, to transform an old North Carolina prison into an agricultural community center. GrowingChange looks to take advantage of the small, decommissioned prisons scattered throughout the state's landscape. They see these sites as "places where communities can work together to provide clinical support, education, and vocational training as a means to divert youth from the criminal justice" system. 

Read on for more about how prison flipping intends to "counter a legacy of incarceration."

Prison buildings are inherently inward facing. A new porch next to the community kitchen reclaims outdoor space for eating and lounging. Additional porches will be used throughout the site to encourage a more outward facing campus vibe. Image Courtesy of Group Project Prison buildings are inherently inward facing. A new porch next to the community kitchen reclaims outdoor space for eating and lounging. Additional porches will be used throughout the site to encourage a more outward facing campus vibe. Image Courtesy of Group Project

Rural communities throughout the US live with the egregious legacy of the prison industrial complex. In North Carolina, small workcamp prisons are being closed and inmates are being moved into larger facilities. Meanwhile, incarceration rates continue to rise.

Large glass openings connect the exterior courtyard to the Kitchen—the heart of the campus—and invite visitors inside to watch chefs prepare healthy food, using ingredients grown on the GrowingChange campus. Image Courtesy of Group Project Large glass openings connect the exterior courtyard to the Kitchen—the heart of the campus—and invite visitors inside to watch chefs prepare healthy food, using ingredients grown on the GrowingChange campus. Image Courtesy of Group Project Centered on healthy, local food, the Community Kitchen building will be the heart of the campus. This building will also host administrative offices. Image Courtesy of Group Project Centered on healthy, local food, the Community Kitchen building will be the heart of the campus. This building will also host administrative offices. Image Courtesy of Group Project

Over the past year, Group Project has worked with the GrowingChange team to develop a series of proposals to transform these prison sites into "Community Kitchens" with sustainable agriculture. The proposals include various spaces that adapt the previously dull interior and exterior of the prison into a lively community hub.

The new Adventure Tower’s four sides are divided between a rappelling wall, an entrance wall, and two climbing walls. Image Courtesy of Group Project The new Adventure Tower’s four sides are divided between a rappelling wall, an entrance wall, and two climbing walls. Image Courtesy of Group Project

This summer, they will return to North Carolina with a larger group of MIT architecture and planning students to continue their collaborative project.

News via: GrowingChange

Compact Housing in the Informal Settlements of Maputo / Casas Melhoradas

11 July, 2018 - 03:00
© Johan Mottelson © Johan Mottelson
  • Architects: Casas Melhoradas
  • Location: Maputo, Mozambique
  • Lead Architects: Johan Mottelson & Jørgen Eskemose
  • Area: 230.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Johan Mottelson
  • Other Participants: Architects without borders - Denmark, Estamos, KADK - The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture – Institute of Architecture, Urbanism & Landscape
© Johan Mottelson © Johan Mottelson

Text description provided by the architects. Casas Melhoradas is an applied research project on housing for low-income groups in the informal settlements of Maputo, Mozambique with a three-fold focus:
1) developing alternative construction methods to improve the quality and decrease the cost of housing;
2) developing housing typologies that utilize space and infrastructure more economically to initiate a more sustainable urban development;
3) engaging in the construction of affordable rental housing through public and private partnerships to scale up the impact of the project.

© Johan Mottelson © Johan Mottelson First Floor Plan First Floor Plan © Johan Mottelson © Johan Mottelson Second Floor Plan Second Floor Plan

The project is carried out by the Institute of Architecture, Urbanism & Landscape, at KADK - The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design, and Conservation; the Mozambican NGO Estamos and Architects without Borders, Denmark. The project’s latest housing prototype was completed in 2018 and consists of a low-rise high-density row-housing typology with six dwellings on a plot where there would otherwise reside a single family. Accordingly, the project demonstrates how space and infrastructure can be utilized more economically and thereby counter urban sprawl and the growing infrastructure deficit.

© Johan Mottelson © Johan Mottelson

All the dwellings have small private outdoor areas with kitchens, as cooking is largely an outdoor activity in the informal settlements of Maputo due to the use of charcoal. On the ground floor, the kitchens are placed on the verandas next to the street, adding a semi-private transition zone between the public and private. All kitchens are equipped with gas stoves to reduce air pollution and deforestation caused by the use of charcoal. The project has small common courtyards with shared bathrooms and laundry facilities.

Section A Section A

The project has a green roof where an additional floor can be added, which ensures the project a robustness in case further urban densification should be relevant in the area. Furthermore, the evaporation from the roof improves the indoor climate in the dwellings. The project was built using locally produced compressed earth blocks. Thereby, the energy consumption in the construction process was reduced while adding the same red color tone of the local soil to the project. 

© Johan Mottelson © Johan Mottelson

Coralarium: Ocean’s First Intertidal Art Museum Doubles as Marine Habitat

10 July, 2018 - 19:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ]

A new first-of-its-kind underwater art museum in the Maldives features exhibits and sculptures at various levels, from the seabed through the intertidal waterline and up to the skyline, designed to be exposed and submerged to different degrees.

More than just an aesthetic endeavor, however, the project by environmental artist Jason Decaires Taylor is engineered to support the regrowth of endangered coral populations and other local marine wildlife. It’s the island’s first regeneration project, addressing a real need while also raising regional awareness.

The outer shell is a permeable, stainless steel structure, with some above-water sculptures placed on top. Below, divers can visit works made of marine-grade cement that will, over time, become covered as sealife attaches to it.

Visitors will be able to follow a path from the shore along which they can explore local sea life in the shallows before reaching the museum, a symbolic journey from land to low water and into the deep beyond.

The intentionally porous frame of the main museum building allows in even large fish, while also providing a tidal break to help shelter any creatures who choose to take up residence (or simply find temporary refuge) within.

Marine steel mirrors and mimics surrounding sea blues, and will ultimately also reflect the greens of the natural algae bound to accumulate as this seed structure naturally changes and grows in response to its environment.

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How The Digital Revolution Will Make Cities Produce Everything They Consume… Again

9 July, 2018 - 04:30
The Fab City Summit 2018 will be at Parc de La Villette in Paris © William Beaucardet - "Prairie du Triangle", via The Fab City Summit 2018 will be at Parc de La Villette in Paris © William Beaucardet - "Prairie du Triangle", via

This summer, July 11-13, the annual Fab City Summit will take place in Paris at the Paris City Hall and Parc de La Villette. The yearly event will gather the core team behind the Fab City Global Initiative together with city officials, innovation ecosystems from civic society and industry. Get your tickets with 30% discount using code FABDAILY30.

The rapid urbanization of the 20th century was possible thanks to the Industrial Revolution and the assembly line, which allowed the rapid reproduction and replication of infrastructure, products and repetitive urban patterns in cities around the world. Urban morphology and dynamics produce standard patterns and forms of living. At the same time, and following the linear economy, cities consume most of the world’s resources and generate most of world’s waste (according to the United Nations). However, the exponential growth of digital technologies (computation, communication, fabrication) of the last decades offer the opportunity to enable a transition towards a spiral economy (an open circular economy approach), in which data (and knowledge) flow globally, and materials flow locally: from networks of logistics that move atoms, to networks of information that move bits.

Fab City brings the impact of digital technology to cities, it connects globally distributed networks of hyper-local and productive ecosystems, which enable the mass distribution of goods and resources. By adopting these principles, cities can radically transform the way production and consumption happens within their metropolitan regions, by replacing standardization with smart customization, focusing on interconnected processes instead of isolated products, and more importantly: empowering citizens and communities while reducing the environmental impact of urbanization. The Fab City Global Initiative is an action plan for cities to make this shift possible and then become more resilient through the re-localization of the production of energy, food and products. It enables a global community of designers, makers and thinkers that amplify and multiply the scale of this important transformation together with government and industry.

Time for deep systems change

via Fab City via Fab City

Cities are machines of making trash, they work as living organisms: they synthesize materials and information to feed the fundamental units that make them alive: people. In each one of these metabolic processes there could be generative or destructive outputs, for the city itself, for people or for the resources they depend upon. It has been during the last 150 years of industrialization that we have developed our actual urban model, especially during the last decades of the 20th century, which is extractive and based on infinite growth.

Andreas Gursky, via Fab City Andreas Gursky, via Fab City

There is a real chance for cities to define a midterm road map to dramatically transform its dependency from centralized infrastructure and power thanks to the local production of energy, food and things, and enable the mass distribution of everything. Today centralized power is struggling to keep a control of world’s resources under the infinite economic growth paradigm (we see the raise of authoritarianism and military expenditure in nation-states), while fundamental infrastructure such as the Internet or digital fabrication point towards a more distributed model to the control and access to resources. These new infrastructure opens up a new form of globalism based in the local capacities, infrastructure, resources, values and skills, while being connected globally in the largest open network of human innovation that ever existed.

The advances of digitization in computation and communications have made cities more efficient and better connected. In the beginning of the 21st century technology made possible to create new narratives around the future of cities: the Smart City. However, Smart Cities are perpetuating a new form of extraction of value using digital platforms, while natural resources are consumed to keep urban growth, and citizenship is being reduced to a passive consumption of content in Netflix, or while we pair our FitBit with our iPhone to count how many steps we have made in order to reduce weight of the synthetic fat, sugars and animal based protein diet we are attached to. We live inside a techno Utopian paradox, a sort of mice trap, while we consume earth resources.

Technology innovation can go beyond gadgets designed in Silicon Valley and made in China namely consumer products, or service platforms. Technology is every mean we use to interact with the planet, with others and with ourselves. Cities could be considered as technology, probably the most fascinating one ever created by humans, together with money or agriculture. Fab Cities aims to enable the mass distribution of (almost) everything, while keeping a critical approach and to review to the fundamentals of technology, and what it means for a city and citizens to adopt a transition towards this new urban paradigm. We believe that the convergence of skills and distributed infrastructure can spread new economies that might change how we live, work and play forever.


In order to make possible and scalable such a deep transformation in the urban dynamics, and the extractive relation between consumption and production, we need to establish:

  • Actionable urban planning based in experimentation at the neighbourhood scale. Test strategies, new forms of citizenship, technology platforms, and emergent business models. Big scale visions and long term plans are fundamental to this, as long as they are based in values, and not in the perpetuation of existing paradigms, that are in constant challenge and change.
  • Regulatory frameworks that supports civic rights (physical and digital) from extractive practices from only-for-profit real estate businesses, and large digital platform monopolies. We are aware of the gentrification that the so called “creative class” could bring to certain areas, as is happening in Barcelona, New York and every other major city of the world.
  • New narratives that invite to imagine emergent futures, which need specific actions to make speculations a reality. Techno-centric approaches tend to simplify scenarios, without considering the side effects of moonshots. The traditional extractive corporate model wins by all means in the marketing and communication strategies, these are powerful tools to enable change.
  • Be inclusive and generative by design. Values are embedded in the design of systems, of products, of buildings, and almost every interface we create to interact between each other, with the environment and the rest of support elements that sustain life in this planet. We need to make more inclusive processes to on-board communities and citizens to the city transformation, and not not propagate new forms of society standardization in gentrified neighborhoods.
  • Act glocal, think glocal. Every day actions embed an inherited decision on the attitude and tools we choose to interact with the built environment and with the digital world. We are locked in traps designed to gain our attention, our value and our own freedom. We live a physical and digital trace that is huge in relation to the planetary systems, and to our individual and collective existence.
  • Measure progress and iterate strategies. Cities need to test new approaches to transform their metabolism, and to validate these by collecting and analyzing extensive data sets from sensors, logistic centers, customs offices, vendors data, citizen data and other information streams that would help to establish metrics that prove advances on the Fab City strategies.

Sao Paulo, via ArchDaily Sao Paulo, via ArchDaily

The Fab City Global Initiative has established a 40 year road-map that started in Barcelona in 2014, when the mayor of the city challenged other leaders of the world to develop a new urban model: cities that produce everything they consume locally, while sharing knowledge globally. That challenge has been followed by 17 other cities, regions and countries such as: Detroit, Amsterdam, Bhutan, Shenzhen, Ekurhuleni, Santiago de Chile, Boston, Paris, among others. The Fab City is now a living project being articulated by a distributed network of urbanists, designers, makers, innovators, artists, developers, engineers, and other professionals and enthusiasts around the world, representing institutions such as the Danish Design Center, the Royal College of Arts and Design, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Waag Society, Parkhuis de Zwijger, Metabolic, Fab Lab Berlin, Fab Lab Santiago, Fab Lab Barcelona, Politecnico de Milano, Incite Focus Detroit, Dark Matter Labs and Fab Lab Bhutan, to name a few.

via Fab City via Fab City

More on the implications of the Fab City vision is available in the project’s whitepaper:

Fab City Summit Paris 2018

After the Paris Agreement during the COP21, there is a real thread for nations to adopt the changes it demands for their economies to transition for a more sustainable and regenerative approach. This is where cities need to be more radical on how to transform local economies and resource management. Cities are the closest power entity to people, where changes could happen more rapidly, and where innovation thrives thanks to density and urban dynamics.

via Fab City via Fab City

This summer, July 11th to 13th, the annual Fab City Summit will take place in Paris. The event will gather the core team behind the Fab City Global Initiative together with more than 40 city officials, innovation ecosystems from civic society and industry. The Fab City Summit Paris is going to be focused on thematic lines, and will not only consider what needs to be done, what is right or wrong, but will provide a platform for open debate with some of the brightest minds of the world about the future of urban life. The event is organised around three days:

  • The Fab City Lab, a private (invitation-only) one day event on July 11th held in the Paris City Hall. For global influencers, decision makers and experts in urban design and planning, digital and smart manufacturing and open innovation
  • The Fab City Conference on 12th of July with high-quality keynote speakers and workshops. Fab City Summit is gathering international experts coming from the field of art, design, politics, economics, industry, architecture, urbanism and most importantly, people that involve a philosophical debate in their work. Amongst our confirmed speakers are: Tomas Saraceno, Saskia Sassen, Indy Johar, Neil Gershenfeld, Danielle Wood, Ron Eglash, Francesca Bria, Stephan Seicars, among others. More at:
  • The Fab City Campus, unveiled on Friday 13th and hosted at Parc de La Villette in Paris until the end of the summer. Fab City Campus is a short-term intervention that will showcase local and international experiences and prototypes of Fab Cities. It will include exhibitions, workshops for citizens and guided tours of local Fab Labs and makerspaces involved in the Fab City project in Paris.

On the week-end following the Fab City Summit (July 14th and 15th), within the Fab Distributed (FAB 14 distributed event), we will host in Paris two days of workshops focused on enhancing the network of Fab Cities and interactions with Fablabs. It will be a great moment to think about what is coming next and how to implement the different strategies. That’s why your presence will be crucial to shape the future of the Fab City initiative.

The event aims to send a new message to the world about possible futures for cities, based on the research and professional practice of the actors that are making it possible.

via Fab City via Fab City

More about Fab City

The Fab City project is being constructed by an international network of innovators, makers, researchers, designers, policy makers and citizens to foster a new urban model for cities to produce locally what they need to sustain human activities, while sharing globally information and knowledge in a collaborative approach. The project, launched by IAAC | Fab Lab Barcelona, MIT’s CBA and the Fab Foundation in 2014, emerges from the science of cities developed in Barcelona during the last 150 years (when Cerda’s General Theory of Urbanization was published), and the technology leadership concentrated in Boston until it spread out to the international Fab Lab Community during the last 15 years (when Fab Labs started in collaboration between CBA and NSF). The Fab City pledge launched by the City Council of Barcelona for cities to produce everything they consume by 2054, has been followed by other 17 cities, regions and countries.

Today, the Fab City Collective is a distributed organisation, that is establishing its legal structure in Europe, but that operates globally with other institutions and governments in order to empower the local maker community to be more impactful in the transformation of their urban and non-urban environment.

The Fab City project aims to engage the global maker and innovation movements towards the accomplishment of the COP21 agenda and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

via Fab City via Fab City

To know more:


MoMA to Host Exhibit Celebrating the Radical Brutalist Architecture of Socialist Yugoslavia

6 July, 2018 - 10:00
 Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016 Berislav Šerbetić and Vojin Bakić. Monument to the Uprising of the People of Kordun and Banija. 1979–81. Petrova Gora, Croatia. Exterior view. Photo: Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is set to open a new exhibition exploring the architecture of the former country of YugoslaviaToward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 will be the first exhibition in the United States to honor the peculiar architecture of the former socialist nation.

More than 400 drawings, models, photographs, and film reels culled from an array of municipal archives, family-held collections, and museums across the region will be presented to an international audience for the first time. Toward a Concrete Utopia will feature works by many of Yugoslavia's leading architects. It will explore "large-scale urbanization, technological experimentation and its application in everyday life, consumerism, monuments and memorialization, and the global reach of Yugoslav architecture."

Read on for more about the exhibition and Yugoslav brutalism.

 Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016 Jordan and Iskra Grabul. Monument to the Ilinden Uprising. 1970–73. Kruševo, Macedonia. Photo: Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016

The architecture that emerged during this period is a manifestation of the "radical pluralism, hybridity, and idealism" that characterized the Yugoslav state itself during its 45-year existence. The exhibit will delve into the unique forms and "multifaceted character" behind the international spectacle of Yugoslav architecture.

 Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016 Branko Žnidarec. Hotel Adriatic II. 1970–71. Opatija, Croatia. Exterior view. Photo: Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, 2016 Ivan Vitić. Apartment Building on Laginjina Street. 1957–62. Zagreb, Croatia. Perspective drawing, 1960. Tempera, pencil, and ink on paper, 27 15/16 × 39 3/8″ (71 × 100 cm). Ivan Vitić Archive, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Ivan Vitić. Apartment Building on Laginjina Street. 1957–62. Zagreb, Croatia. Perspective drawing, 1960. Tempera, pencil, and ink on paper, 27 15/16 × 39 3/8″ (71 × 100 cm). Ivan Vitić Archive, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

You can visit the exhibition from July 15, 2018 - January 13, 2019, at The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

News via: MoMA

MoMA to Explore Spomenik Monuments With "Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980"

The Museum of Modern Art will explore the architecture of the former Yugoslavia with Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980, the first major US exhibition to study the remarkable body of work that sparked international interest during the 45 years of the country's existence.

74 Exceptional Architecture Portfolios

6 July, 2018 - 09:43
Natchai 'N' Suwannapruk. Image via Issuu Natchai 'N' Suwannapruk. Image via Issuu

Technical skills: check. Visually coherent content: check. Distinctive personal input on both the projects and portfolio design: double check.

Although résumés and portfolios can be somewhat flat when it comes to informative content, it is their ability to present an applicant's unique sense of style that makes or breaks an application. Whether it’s a deliberate image selection, or a clear, consistent layout, some people manage to fulfill all the criteria needed in a successful portfolio. Issuu, the world’s largest online digital publishing platform that allows anyone—from architects to global brands to fresh graduates—to publish their creative content online, has hand-picked their top 74 exceptional architecture portfolios. The selected architects have managed to showcase their impressive projects and technical skills in portfolios that reflect their creative mindset.

We’re not saying you should judge a book by its cover, but some "covers" can’t help but stand out from the rest, for all the right reasons. Take a look at Issuu’s list of top architecture portfolios here, and see a few of our personal favorites below.

Jaron Popko. Image via Issuu Jaron Popko. Image via Issuu Jaron Popko. Image via Issuu Jaron Popko. Image via Issuu Jaron Popko. Image via Issuu Jaron Popko. Image via Issuu Alessandro Fusi. Image via Issuu Alessandro Fusi. Image via Issuu Alessandro Fusi. Image via Issuu Alessandro Fusi. Image via Issuu Alessandro Fusi. Image via Issuu Alessandro Fusi. Image via Issuu Pam Pan. Image via Issuu Pam Pan. Image via Issuu Pam Pan. Image via Issuu Pam Pan. Image via Issuu Sari Sartika. Image via Issuu Sari Sartika. Image via Issuu Sari Sartika. Image via Issuu Sari Sartika. Image via Issuu Regy Septian. Image via Issuu Regy Septian. Image via Issuu Regy Septian. Image via Issuu Regy Septian. Image via Issuu Henry Stephens. Image via Issuu Henry Stephens. Image via Issuu Henry Stephens. Image via Issuu Henry Stephens. Image via Issuu Natchai 'N' Suwannapruk. Image via Issuu Natchai 'N' Suwannapruk. Image via Issuu Natchai 'N' Suwannapruk. Image via Issuu Natchai 'N' Suwannapruk. Image via Issuu

Just as Issuu says: If you’re looking for the next big thing, "see who has a pencil, piece of paper, and plenty of imagination.”

Immerse Yourself in Interactive Digital Environments at Japan’s Mori Museum

4 July, 2018 - 19:00
[ By SA Rogers in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Can we ever be satisfied gazing at static objects set against blank white walls again after experiencing total immersion in a dynamic, interactive digital environment? Granted, traditional museums have their place. But it’s easy to imagine many of them shifting their programming over the coming years to accommodate these kinds of dazzling installations. Tokyo-based techno-artist collective teamLab has opened a new museum in their home city, and it looks just as incredible as you’d expect.

The Mori Building Digital Art museum Epson teamLab Borderless is a massive 107,639-square-foot space inside Odaiba’s Palette Town development featuring permanent exhibitions that seamlessly leap from one room to the next. The works react to visitors’ every movement, touch and disruption, so they never produce the same experience twice. In fact, the art is alive in a sense, transforming itself through machine learning as the exhibit goes on.

Five sections called Borderless World, Future Park, Forest of Lamps. Athletics Forest and the En Tea House take visitors through otherworldly settings that shimmer, twirl, jump and flow all around them. TeamLab explains each one of these worlds on its website, each of which contains a collection of digital works with names like “Peace can be Realized Even without Order.”

“People understand and recognize the world through their bodies, moving freely and forming connections and relationships with others. As a consequence the body has its own sense of time. In the mind, the boundaries between different thoughts are ambiguous, causing them to influence and sometimes intermingle with each other,” they say of ‘Borderless World.’

“teamLab Borderless is a group of artworks that form one borderless world. Artworks move out of the rooms freely, form connections and relationships with people, communicate with other works, influence and sometimes intermingle with each other, and have the same concept of time as the human body.”

“People lose themselves in the artwork world. The borderless works transform according to the presence of people, and as we immerse and meld ourselves into this unified world, we explore a continuity among people, as well as a new relationship that transcends the boundaries between people and the world.”

If you can’t get there in person, the robust documentation on the teamLab website will have to do for now, but the collective also has permanent exhibitions in London, Singapore, Paris and Shenzhen.

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Download All of COAM Architecture Journal's Issues From the Last 100 Years for Free

3 July, 2018 - 08:00
Número 359. Image via Wikimedia Commons Número 359. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The College of Architects of Madrid (COAM) has made the initial digitization process of their Architecture Journal public, making one of the most important and influential Spanish architectural publications of the twentieth century available to everyone. COAM is a publication known as a platform for debate, thought, and a vital resource for architects, urban planners, and professionals from other closely related sectors.

Founded in 1918 as the official publication of the Central Society of Architects, the journal ARQUITECTURA, became the first publication of the Spanish architectural press. However, the Spanish Civil War would halt its normal development, transforming the magazine, as was required by the new times, into the National Journal of Architecture. It was edited until 1946 by the Directorate General of Architecture, then eventually placed in the hands of the Ministry of the Interior.

Número 354. Image via Wikimedia Commons Número 354. Image via Wikimedia Commons

This leadership lasted until 1958, but after the appointment of Francisco Prieto Moreno as General Director of Architecture, COAM regained its editorial function. However, it remained to a certain degree under the supervision of the Superior Council of Architects of Spain. In January of 1959, The College of Architects was once again the definite and sole owner of the magazine, which was then renamed Arquitectura, and continues to be so to this day.

The digital archive is organized chronologically through the different stages of the various directors that the publication has had in its 100-year history. Also, the catalog includes a list organized by the authors of the articles as well as by the architects who authored these works. This powerful and useful search engine allows all those interested in its century-long history to take full advantage of the contents of the magazine.

Número 373. Image Cortesía de COAM Número 373. Image Cortesía de COAM

The two periods in which COAM was solely responsible for the journal, 1932-1936 and 1959 to the present, are now available, while the 1918-1931 and 1941-1958 (RNA) periods will be the next editions to be made public.

The digitization of the COAM Architecture Journal is in natural progression with our current times. Also, it provides a free platform for anyone interested in expanding and deepening their understanding of Spanish thought and architecture of the twentieth century.

Access to the digital archive is available in the following link.

The Spa / M1K3 PROJECT

30 June, 2018 - 07:00
© Margarita Bojinova © Margarita Bojinova
  • Architects: M1K3 PROJECT
  • Location: Bansko, Bulgaria
  • Lead Architect: Slavin Baylov
  • Team: Margarita Bojinova, Georgi Kostov
  • Collaboration: for relax bench and ice fountain design
  • Client: Gehard Ltd.
  • Area: 1330.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Margarita Bojinova
© Margarita Bojinova © Margarita Bojinova

Text description provided by the architects. The project presents a complete interior refurbishment of the spa centre of hotel Kempinski Grand Arena Bansko, Bulgaria.

© Margarita Bojinova © Margarita Bojinova

All old interior design elements (equipment, finishes, lighting, etc.) were removed and replaced with new ones with minor changes of the existing floor plan. 

© Margarita Bojinova © Margarita Bojinova

The concept of the new interior design is to achieve a sense of calmness and luxury during your stay in the spa after skiing or hiking in Pirin mountain.

© Margarita Bojinova © Margarita Bojinova

The idea is to slow down and wake up your senses while preparing for a massage near the reception, having a drink at the “Vitamin bar” in front of the inside swimming pool, or laying on the custom designed bench after a swim.

Plan Plan

The elements – the flow of the water, the warmth of fire and the freshness of ice - spare introduced indoors with the fireplaces, the ice fountain and the heated relax bench resembling an ocean wave or a sand dune, in addition to the typical professional spa equipment.

© Margarita Bojinova © Margarita Bojinova

We have used natural materials such as wood and stone, as well as porcelain tiles and mosaics in addition to soft lighting and custom design furniture to create an inviting, cosy lounge area in the spa where guests are bound to enjoy hanging around near the warmth of the fire and socializing.

© Margarita Bojinova © Margarita Bojinova

Paper Sculptures Depict Bacteria in the Human Body as a Coral Reef

29 June, 2018 - 19:00
[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

If you could shrink yourself down like cartoon schoolteacher Ms. Frizzle and take a journey through your own microbiota, it might look a bit like scuba-diving through a coral reef. Each individual strain of bacteria, fungi or archaea (single-celled organisms with no cell nucleus) is surprisingly beautiful in its own way, often manifesting as an intricate geometric shape or fractal pattern. Artist Rogan Brown shows us just how scenic the ‘foreign’ bodies within our own bodies can be with a new series of paper cut sculptures called Magic Circle Variations.

This is far from Brown’s first foray into rendering bacteria in paper; we’ve marveled for years over his ‘infectiously intricate’ works, which have mostly appeared in solid white thus far. In 2015, he brought his individual bacterial sculptures together for the first iteration of ‘Magic Circle’ with a 40-inch-wide circular display. The soft pastel colors of Magic Circle Variations 2018 set it apart from the rest.

Each piece can take months to cut. If you take a close look, you’ll see that the individual strains depicted in the reef collage consist of many pieces of paper cut and layered to create three-dimensional shapes. Like a surgeon or a scientist, Brown slices larger pieces with a scalpel while others are hand-drawn and laser-cut.

Magic Circle Variations 2018 will be exhibited with C Fine Art at the Art Market Hamptons July 5-8th 2018.

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The Standard New Orleans / Morris Adjmi Architects

29 June, 2018 - 15:00
© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander
  • Architects: Morris Adjmi Architects
  • Location: The South Market District New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Lead Architects: Morris Adjmi
  • Area: 244231.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Neil Alexander
  • Developers: The Domain Companies
© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander

Text description provided by the architects. The Standard at South Market District, New Orleans, is the fourth development in the downtown area and offers 89 one-to-three bedroom, for-sale luxury condominiums and 24,000sf of retail space.  The building also doubles as an expansive art gallery displaying large-scale works by local, national, and international artists.

© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander

The Standard’s refined, relaxed interiors were cultivated through a unifying palette of warm cobblestone, bronze and wood. Residences offer floor-to-ceiling windows, sweeping views, vaulted angles, clean lines and expert craftsmanship. Soaring ceilings and craft-milled, solid white oak flooring will be featured throughout, whilst kitchens will display custom, locally-sourced walnut cabinetry complemented by white marble countertops, oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and top-of-the-line appliances.

© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander

Designed by renowned architect and New Orleans native, Morris Adjmi, The Standard features a reflective metal façade, deeply-set windows, and 20-foot high retail storefronts – the goal was to reference the architecture and natural flora of New Orleans and draw on the historical context of downtown New Orleans.  

© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander

The heart of the building features nearly 30,000sf of indoor/outdoor amenity space, including a pool house and deck with private cabanas, outdoor kitchens, a club house for entertaining, and a fully-equipped fitness center.

© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander 3rd floor Amenity Deck 3rd floor Amenity Deck © Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander

In partnership with local developers, The Domain Companies, Morris Adjmi has combined his passion for historic New Orleans architecture with a global perspective to create a spectacular addition to downtown.

© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander

These "Urban Soaps" are Inspired by the Architecture of Seoul

29 June, 2018 - 14:00
Courtesy of Studio Ohk Courtesy of Studio Ohk

Designers Studio Ohk have released details of their architecturally-inspired “Urban Soaps” range, reflecting built fragments of the South Korean capital Seoul. The four designs reference traditional and modern architectural elements in Seoul through their shapes and colors, “curated and blended by the team to highlight the city’s personality.”

The products began with an idea of “delivering regional stories, images, and experiences through an accessible medium” with soap chosen ultimately for its flexibility, and its appeal to multiple senses, such as sight, scent, and touch.

Design #01 is inspired by Seoul’s famous Royal Palace, with a transparent, slanted form representing the irregular stone pavements of the main hall, and their reflection of sunlight. Design #02 is shaped with reference to numerous architectural structures across the city. The #02 range comprises two soaps, contrasting between transparent and opaque to reflect the “complexity and construction of the city’s structures.”

Design #03 was created to reflect the painted patterns of the Royal Palace, with a blend of opaque and transparent soaps highlighting the “vivid colors of decoration and the softness of the floral shape.”Design #04, also inspired by the Royal Palace, reflects the symmetry and continuity of its roof tiles, with a color and clarity inspired by light passing through and reflecting off glass buildings.

Perfect pieces for “soaping up” the architecture of the South Korean capital.

News via: Studio Ohk

Tutorials for Post Production Editing of Architecture Drawings in Photoshop

29 June, 2018 - 08:00
Screen capture, Post-Digital Interior Design Drawing. Image via Show It Better Screen capture, Post-Digital Interior Design Drawing. Image via Show It Better

If you are trying to approach the representation of architecture through postproduction in Photoshop, the YouTube channel Show It Better can be very useful. The following tutorials allow you to maximize the effectiveness of photoshop by providing both technical and visual tips.

Here we have selected examples that address axonometric representation, plans, sections, elevations, diagrams, and others.

We hope you enjoy the following tutorials. What other kinds of drawing tips would you like to see? 

Axonometric Drawings





"Post-Digital" Drawings

See more examples of representation on the Show it Better Instagram account.

Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects

28 June, 2018 - 18:00
Álvaro Siza (*1933) Évora, Quinta da Malagueira Caderno 1, 1977, Ink on paper, 300 x 210 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect Álvaro Siza (*1933) Évora, Quinta da Malagueira Caderno 1, 1977, Ink on paper, 300 x 210 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect

Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects, an exhibition drawn from the Drawing Matter collection, with additional loans from selected architects, is dedicated to architectural sketchbooks in practice and on display.

Niall McLaughlin (*1962) Detail of a brain, Alzheimer’s Respite Centre, Dublin, c. 1999, Coloured felt pen on paper, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect Niall McLaughlin (*1962) Detail of a brain, Alzheimer’s Respite Centre, Dublin, c. 1999, Coloured felt pen on paper, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect

The exhibition presents a variety of sketchbook and sketch practices by architects whose built work has been largely formed through drawing by hand on paper. In parallel, it explores the parameters of displaying sketchbooks, considering how an object intended to be held and leafed through can be presented within the requirements of a museum setting. The project therefore considers the content and materiality of sketchbooks both within an architect’s oeuvre, and in the context of institutional display.

Hans Poelzig (1869-1936), Gefallenendenkmal, 1922, Charcoal on tracing paper, 255 x 325 mm , Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © Estate of the Architect Hans Poelzig (1869-1936), Gefallenendenkmal, 1922, Charcoal on tracing paper, 255 x 325 mm , Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © Estate of the Architect

The sketchbooks represented are the work of Hans Poelzig, Le Corbusier, Alberto Ponis, Adolfo Natalini/Superstudio, Álvaro Siza, Tony Fretton, Marie-José Van Hee, Peter Märkli, Níall McLaughlin and Riet Eeckhout. The sketchbook practices range from impromptu sketches in a pocket-sized format to the transformation of the sketchbook on the drawing board, and from the systematic sketching of details in numbered volumes to the complete replacement of the bound book by a simple folded sheet carried on site.

Peter Maerkli (*1953), La Congiunta, c. 1992, Ballpoint pen on squared paper, 110 x 140 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect Peter Maerkli (*1953), La Congiunta, c. 1992, Ballpoint pen on squared paper, 110 x 140 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect

The exhibition features around 80 drawings and 140 sketchbooks, both bound and disbound, and employs film and audio interviews, virtual and analogue facsimiles to display each individual’s practice.

It is curated by Dr Tina di Carlo and Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner, with Niall Hobhouse.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of online articles at and by monographic publications on the sketch practices of Alvaro Siza, Adolfo Natalini, Tony Fretton and Niall McLaughlin.

Concurrent with the exhibition a symposium with Nigel Coates and Níall McLaughlin will take place on 30th of June at 3:00 pm at AEDES Network Campus
Berlin: We kindly ask you to register for the symposium and the guided press tour.

Download the information related to this event here.

Marie-José Van Hee (*1950), House, c. 1990, Graphite and coloured pencil on tracing paper, 205 x 298 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect Marie-José Van Hee (*1950), House, c. 1990, Graphite and coloured pencil on tracing paper, 205 x 298 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect

50 Planning Terms & Concepts All Architects Should Know

28 June, 2018 - 09:00
Superkilen / Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex. Image © Iwan Baan Superkilen / Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex. Image © Iwan Baan

As architects, we often use a niche set of words that are sometimes unnecessarily complex and confusing to our non-architect friends. In 2015 we compiled a list of these, ranging from “typology” to “Blobitecture.” Here we’ve rounded up 50 urban planning terms that might be a bit less familiar but just as important to know. 

From weird portmanteaus such as “Boomburb” to cute-sounding acronyms such as "YIMBY", here is a fun A to Z in urban planning language that will make future collaboration easier. 


Abutter: Means the same as “adjacent landowner.” Usually, the person who hates progress and wishes everything still looked the same as it did in 1800.

Arcology: What happens when you splice the words “Architecture” and “Ecology.” Used to describe self-contained megastructures that reduce human impacts on the environment (basically, the conceptual projects that architects love to design and no-one loves to pay for.)

Archigram's Walking City proposal.. Image © Deutsches Architekturmuseum Archigram's Walking City proposal.. Image © Deutsches Architekturmuseum


Boomburb: Boom(ing) (su)burb. Areas that have the population density of a city with the ugly buildings of the suburbs.

Brownfield land: Potentially contaminated former commercial or industrial land, which your real estate developer client will insist on referring to as “opportune”.

Brusselization: The act of plonking modern high-rises in the middle of cities with no regard for its context. The name derives from the fact that the city of Brussels did it a lot.


Community greens: Shared green spaces in residential neighborhoods. What you mean when you color your plan green in certain areas and call it “sustainable design.”

Conscious city: A city that understands you better than your therapist.  

Conurbation: The urban equivalent of the Blob: an area formed by multiple towns and cities merging together to create one district.

Coving: An urban planning method of winding roads and non-uniform lots. Sounds fun until you drive by the same house 4 times and realize you have no idea where you are.

//'>Flickr user Chris Waits</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> Changing demographics and new technologies promise to reshape American suburbs. Seen here: Colorado Springs Suburbs. Image© <a href=''>Flickr user Chris Waits</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>


Edge city: A secondary CBD on the edge of the city.

Ekistics: The fancy science behind urban planning. A term used by people who really care about The Power of Design™.

Elbow roomers: People who leave the city for the countryside (AKA the winners of Farmer Wants a Wife).


Facadism: A practice vehemently hated by many architects, it mostly consists of badly hiding a glass box behind a skinned heritage building.

Floor area ratio: Total floor area of building. Area of the plot.

Fused grid: A type of street network pattern that looks like an IQ test.

Diagram of a fused grid district showing four neighbourhoods and a mixed use zone Diagram of a fused grid district showing four neighbourhoods and a mixed use zone


Green belt: A policy used in urban planning to retain a “belt” of the natural environment around urban areas, because if there’s still a tiny strip of green we can keep pretending we’re not destroying the Earth.

Greenfield land: The opposite of Brownfield land: land that is untouched and pristine.

Greyfield land: Buildings or real estate land that is economically useless, such as “dead malls” with seas of empty asphalt around them.  

Grid plan: Pretty obvious what this means. A plan in the shape of a grid.


Infill: Filling in the gaps between buildings with more buildings.

Isovist: A measurement referring to the set of points visible from a certain point in space.


Mansionization: When people build humongous houses because they can. And because they want to show how rich they are.

Missing Middle Housing: The missing jigsaw piece that fits in between cramped one-bedroom apartments and McMansions.


New Urbanism: An urban design movement that promotes pedestrian-friendly cities that are environmentally sustainable and built for communities.

New Suburbanism: You guessed it! New Urbanism…but with the suburbs.

NIMBY: An acronym for Not In My Backyard. The sort of people who believe shelters should be built for the homeless as long as they’re not anywhere within a 5-mile radius of their own house.


Out growth: An urban area growing out from an existing town or city. 

Overdevelopment: The radical idea that maybe ceaseless population growth and building development might negatively affect the world.


Permeability: How cheese hole-y an urban area is. New Urbanists love this.

Placemaking: The art of making “places” rather than stand-alone pretty buildings.

PLVI: Peak Land Value Intersection. The best land value for your buck (AKA Park Lane.)

Protected view: When a view is so beautiful you have to protect it.

Allied Works (US) with artist Robert Montgomery for London Holocaust Memorial. Image © Allied Works Architecture & Malcolm Reading Consultants Allied Works (US) with artist Robert Montgomery for London Holocaust Memorial. Image © Allied Works Architecture & Malcolm Reading Consultants


Ribbon development: When developments occur alongside a ribbon, usually main roads and railway stations. Leads to urban sprawl.

Road verge: Synonyms: Curb Strip, Nature Strip, Devil Strip, Hell Strip, Furniture Zone, Government Grass…Feel like this says a lot about the city each name comes from.


Setback (land use): The minimum distance to which a building must be set back from a street, road or natural feature.

Smart city: Similar to the conscious city, the smart city uses data collection to gain information about its residents in order to manage the city effectively. Has the potential to vastly improve how we live, but also sounds like a Black Mirror episode.

Strollology: Exactly what it sounds like. The science of strolling. Not just through beautiful meadows but through the reality of our cities, full of greyfields, boomburbs and Brusselization.

V&A Museum / AL_A. Image © Hufton + Crow V&A Museum / AL_A. Image © Hufton + Crow

Synekism: The co-dependence of city-states under one leader.


Tactical urbanism: Similar to a tac munt (see: tactical spew), it involves a small-scale, temporary intervention for the greater good.

Terminating vista: Super important buildings that stand at the end of a road, so you can’t escape the view.

Third place: First place is the home, second place is the workplace, and third place is all the other community-creating environments that are good for the soul.


Urban prairie: Urban land that has reverted to green space. For those of us that live outside America, it conjures up a vague image of green fields and blonde little girls in bonnets.

Urban acupuncture: Surprisingly exactly what it sounds like: the intersection of urban design and traditional Chinese acupuncture. Consists of targeting small areas to relieve the stress of the overall city and listening to chanting music while trying to ignore the fact that thousands of needles are being stabbed into your body.

Urbicide: Not quite as scary as other -cide words (but possibly worse if you’re an architect), it means “violence against the city.”


Vancouverism: The urban planning tricks that led to Vancouver being consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world.

Viewshed: Just means the view from a certain point, with math added to it.


Walkability: The degree to which an area loves its pedestrians.

Wildlife corridor: A green corridor connecting wildlife populations that have been separated due to human development. Increases biodiversity and allows safe migration for animals.


YIMBY: The opposite of NIMBY, YIMBYs are usually well-off Millennials who love gentrification and want as much development as possible, even if it is horribly designed.


Zone of transition: A zone of flux and change in the concentric urban model created by Ernest Burgess.

 Commuter zone, Residential zone, Working class zone, Zone of Transition, Factory zone, CBD The Burgess model. From out to in: Commuter zone, Residential zone, Working class zone, Zone of Transition, Factory zone, CBD

Landscape Fence / heri&salli

28 June, 2018 - 05:00
© paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert
  • Structural Engineering: Bollinger-Grohmann-Schneider; Wien
  • Metallbau: Metallbau Fischer; Klagenfurt
  • Surface: SFK Tischler GmbH; Kirchham
© paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert

Text description provided by the architects. The architecture office heri&salli from Vienna conceived a steel structure similar to a cocoon round a swimming pool in the garden of a private builder-owner in Austria. With mounted panels and interior constructions which are more or less depending on their function the parametric organized spatial element describes possibilities of a usable and experienceable surface.

© paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert

Proceeding from the task to redefine an existing garden property with view of the lake, and simultaneously create provisions on views and a demarcation in direction of the surrounding properties an neighbors the theme of the classic rustic fence was taken up. In the simplest case a fence functions as protection or demarcation, a visualization of a line that wasn’t visible before. In the further contest it serves as esthetic element or a representative sign and separates as a 2-dimensional element different areas. We formulate the fence based on different requirements as a 3-dimensional description of an existing garden.

Ground floor plan Ground floor plan

The fence itself becomes- proceeding from a diagonal constructional arrangement- therefore a possibility of space. With this in mind it doesn’t demarcate the space, but creates it and renders it experienceable, the function as a demarcation slides into the background and is only a byproduct. The objective of the opening element similar to a cocoon is to create different spatial qualities and experience space. Partly covered, withdrawn and protected, then opening and finally in the middle or in the end in the water of the pool where you can swim out of it. The curves convey a feeling of vastness- make the space bigger than it is-and create in the inside of the house an optimal resonant behavior. Different integrated constructions like stairs, seats, lying areas or a table with backrest and pool covering are in its definition in a geometrical relation with the original construction; they emerge only to become part of the structure again.

© paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert

The integrated panels follow a dynamic course from the orthogonal edge into the described space, to develop in the central parts in relation to the steel structure from the inside to the outside or to dissolve more and more along the vertical.
In this case architecture is an accumulation of possibilities in a described space and creates only the edges for a vast land in between.

© paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert

The construction of the supporting structure can be described as an overhanging free concave form that is designed as frame construction with diagonally running circular tube profiles for outcrossing and plate attachment. The frames consist of solid welded flat steel profiles. The not entirely closed shell is constructed with diamond shaped plates which are fixed by tabs on the diagonals and in case can be turned around their axis. (Bollinger-Grohmann-Schneider/Wien)

© paul ott photografiert © paul ott photografiert

Prismatic Pride: 20+ Rainbow-Centric Murals & Street Art Installations

27 June, 2018 - 19:00
[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

The world gets a whole lot brighter with the addition of vivid murals incorporating every color of the rainbow, splashed all over public surfaces like apartment buildings, walls, staircases and bridges. Whether they’re officially created in celebration of Pride in cities like Montreal and Minneapolis or simply because the artists love to work in vivid hues, these installations imbue their environments with a sense of hopefulness and joy.

5 Works in Vivid Color by Xomatok

Peruvian street artist Xomatoc, who’s made a name for himself with vivid murals, paintings on canvas and other works, often travels around South America to bring his cheerful color palette to commissions and personal work alike. His works might be several stories tall – like new gradient rainbows throughout the Villa el Salvador district of Lima – or they might be as small and simple as painting a rock like a prism and leaving it behind for someone else to discover.

Staircase by DIHZAHYNERS in Beirut

A collective of artists calling themselves ’THE DIHZAHYNERS’ aims to “create initiatives to make Beirut brighter & more beautiful, through color.” They’ve certainly succeeded on that front with this stunning staircase (photographed by Nadim Kamel.)

Technicolor Ooze & Chromatic Cascade by Jen Stark

Artist Jen Stark works in both 2D and 3D, in gallery environments and in the public. When she gets to paint an entire building – as white and unadorned as a blank canvas – her talent really shines. ‘Technicolor Ooze’ is one such standout project, completed at The Platform in Culver City, California. Another is ‘Chromatic Cascade,’ a mural at 1825 Conway Place in the Arts District of Los Angeles.

Walk of Colors Montreal Installation

‘Walk of Colors’ is a fun public art installation along St. Catherine Street East in Montreal made of colorful balls strung over a pedestrian promenade in the city’s Gay Village. While in previous years, the balls have been pink, 2017’s edition manifested in an 18-tone rainbow sequence to celebrate Pride. 180,000 balls are divided into 18 segments of 10,000. Locals nicknamed it “18 shades of gay.”

Graphic Abstracted Works by Felipe Pantone

Graphic black and white patterns interplay with soft, fuzzy rainbows of color in large-scale outdoor works by Spanish-Argentinian artist Felipe Pantone. Sometimes these compositions are pixelated, sometimes they’re more fluid, sometimes they look like computer glitches or screenshots of ‘80s video games – but they’re always instantly recognizable as Pantone’s work.

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[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

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