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March 2016

Skylar Tibbits’ MIT Self-Assembly Lab Programs Architectural Materials to Come Alive

Line/Shape/Space Ι March 28, 2016  It’s not hard to translate a brick-and-mortar building into pure data. Today’s monitoring and software tools can measure energy usage and efficiency electron-by-electron, track circulation patterns, and anticipate how weather changes will affect indoor climate. It’s a software revolution that’s led to a hardware revolution: dynamic building systems that can react to these reams of d
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Wetland Restoration: A New Driver for Development in China?

Metropolis Magazine Ι March 14, 2016  In China, when it’s time to build a new city—and it’s always time to build a new city in China—there’s usually a clear loser to be pitied: the landscape that gets leveled and paved over. At the moment, the Chinese government is trying to direct the greatest urban migration in human history: 250 million rural migrants in the next decade or so alone. Toward that end, the world’s mo
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5×5 Exhibit: Participatory Provocations

Architect Magazine Ι March 11, 2016 What, exactly, does architecture have to say about this wild and surreal election season? The default answer for just about any year is usually: Not much. And that’s a problem Julia van den Hout and her fellow curators at Original Copy aimed to fix with 5×5. The exhibit invited 25 young design firms to tackle one of five prompts each; some fictional, some real, and all deeply
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Preserve that Hashtag: Media and the Preservation of Postmodern Architecture

Chicago Architect Ι March-April 2016  Just two years after Bertrand Goldberg’s 1975 Prentice Women’s Hospital completed its dance with a wrecking ball, his Marina City Towers are cruising towards landmark status. Preservation cries have arisen around Edo Belli’s 1975 expansion to Cueno Hospital. Meanwhile, Stanley Tigerman’s, FAIA, Pensacola Place is getting a crisp renovation from Brininstool + Lynch before its 35th
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A Lot You Got to Holler EP 3: Immodest Proposals for the Chicago Lakefront

EP 3: Immodest Proposals for the Chicago Lakefront  Chicago’s most valuable natural asset is its lakefront, forever free, public, and protected by law. This lakefront is so valuable, argues the architects at Port Urbanism, that we need more of it to pay off the city’s massive debts. Or (if you ask the designers at UrbanLab) newly built islands in the lake must be drafted into relieving pressure from an overstressed s
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Self-Assembling Structures: What If Buildings Were Made by Swarming Robotic Creatures?

Line/Shape/Space Ι March 2, 2016  Imagine robotic architectural-fabrication components that can wiggle, crawl, and amble together into architectural space, more or less unbidden. The London-based Spyropoulos Design Lab at the Architectural Association’s Design Research Laboratory (AADRL) is working to make that a reality. At first, it sounds like a cold and impersonal way to create architecture: Taken out of human ha
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