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September 2017

From Filth to Fun: Big Designs for the Chicago River

CityLab Ι Sept. 29. 2017 Until its direction was reversed in 1900, the Chicago River was such a receptacle for effluent and filth that it poisoned Chicagoans’ beloved Lake Michigan (from which they drew their drinking water). Then it was channelized and entombed in concrete. The river has long been the city’s forgotten waterfront. But that’s steadily changing, as the last decade has seen sections of the Chicago River
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Could the Humble Heat Pump be a Decarbonization Hero?

Doggerel Ι Sept. 6. 2017 Buildings are responsible for a bit fewer than half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Break this figure down further and you’ll find that building heating, in particular, accounts for about a fifth of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Building heating and hot water are a part of the climate change story people often miss, according to Jeffrey Schwane. An engineer in Arup’s New York of
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Fire Tests Enable New Timber Typologies

Doggerel Ι August 23, 2017 After a long time lost in the woods, architects and engineers are rediscovering timber. Wood has been a default building material for millennia. Historically, one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep buildings standing upright was to fell large trees and shape them into load-bearing beams and columns. This changed in the 20th century, when the pliable possibilities of concrete and
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Office Visit: Craighton Berman

Doggerel Ι June 29, 2017  For Microsoft, illustrator and industrial designer Craighton Berman created a primer on artificial intelligence. Over a few dozen pages, his breezy little booklet used talking dogs and clunky retro-robots to explain the basics of a technology that’s fueled sci-fi dystopias and utopian TED talks alike. It was a zine in the humble indie bookstore tradition, but it premiered at the World Econom
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The Final Hill

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι October 2017  The first thing you notice is all the cars. The are a strange landscape divided by Jersey barriers and concrete retaining walls that carve up the site’s topography. Endless rows of cars are parked along its curving streets and in front of 62 three- and four-story barracks-style buildings that plod down the steep hill. It’s the first indication that this isolated, often
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The Houston Cistern: Interiors Awards 2017

Contract Design Magazine Ι January/February 2017 The Cistern Designer: Page Client: Buffalo Bayou Partnership Location: Houston “This memorable space makes a statement that interior design is not just about furnishings and decoration; it is about creating interesting spaces. This forward-thinking design is emotional, intellectual, beautiful, and pure. It promotes conversation.” —Jury A disused drinking water reservoi
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Is Beige the New Black in Architecture?

CityLab Ι Sept. 22, 2017 One of the most emotionally resonant exhibits in the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is a quiet one: a set of tan-glazed tile arches in a hallway. The arches form a colonnade of sorts, which better defines a space that’s too wide for a hallway but too narrow for a gallery. For its designers Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner, and for me, it’s a powerful callback to childhood. The smooth tile
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