logo

Category

Articles

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

UIC’s Instagrammable Moment

Architect Magazine Ι Aug. 31, 2017  The piñatas that hang over a wide, terraced stairwell are distinctly biomorphic but don’t resemble any earthly species of fauna. There are bulbous limbs and neon colors, but these David Cronenbergian monstrosities are rendered in papier-maché. Antonio Torres, the architecture professor whose studio created them, says the project was about “articulating bellies and using appendages
Read More

Chicago Works: Amanda Williams at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Architectural Record Ι July 21, 2017  Color(ed) Theory, a series of photographs of abandoned houses on Chicago’s South Side painted bright colors, was one of the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s most persistent viral images. Chicago Works: Amanda Williams—its sequel of sorts—constitutes a passing of the torch. The show, which opened this week at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Chicago, represents architect and
Read More

Architectural Upcycling Builds Earth’s Better Future Out of Trash

Redshift Ι Aug. 1, 2017 Contemporary designers are recycling waste materials into useable and well-crafted objects, and it’s easy to get the impression that this burgeoning realm of fabrication is destined only for the craft fair. A quick survey of Blaine Brownell’s new guide Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine Our Future turns up a half-dozen Etsy-ready art and furniture curios. There’s jewelry
Read More