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Cities that Function Like Forests are on the Horizon

Oct. 10, 2016 Ι OZY.com Look, we all want to save the planet, but don’t assume thin-as-paper solar panels blanketing every building will rescue us from fossil fuel oblivion. And don’t think apps that crowdsource microlendingwill lessen global inequality. In fact, don’t expect technology alone to solve any of our most pressing global problems, especially when it comes to cities, where two-thirds of humanity will resid
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When Public Housing Goes Private

Curbed Ι Sept. 28, 2016 Seven years ago, Chicago housing developer Peter Holsten invited a drama troupe to perform at a meeting for market-rate buyers and former public housing residents living in one of his mixed-income developments, which had been built to replace the infamous Cabrini-Green public housing project on the city’s Near North Side. Holsten’s bucolic-sounding Parkside of Old Town development offers subsi
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How Bison will Take Over Suburban Wasteland

OZY Ι Sept. 29, 2016  Past the suburban fringe of Chicago, 60 miles west of Lake Michigan, the seemingly endless rhythm of curving cul-de-sac neighborhoods and strip malls gives way to vast expanses of green — cropland and wild prairie, divided by knots of rail yards where semitrailers wait to pick up cargo. Angular buildings are topped with green roofs, and cantilevered over the tracks are pedestrian-scale eco-villa
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Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces 2017 Curators and Theme

Architectural Record Ι Sept. 22, 2016  After the runaway success of last year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB), organizers announced plans for the 2017 edition. At a press briefing yesterday at the Chicago Cultural Center, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CAB officials named Los Angeles-based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee artistic directors and selected Todd Palmer, associate director and cur
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Sparkling New Dorm by Jeanne Gang Opens at the University of Chicago

Architectural Record Ι Sept. 13, 2016  To make way for the University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons, the school demolished Harry Weese’s 1960 Pierce Tower, who’s stacked bays and neo-mansard crown showcased some of the University of Chicago’s least confident mid-century architecture on the famously Collegiate Gothic campus. Something of an inscrutable fortress, it thought little enough of its Hyde Park
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Design-build for high schoolers

Sept. 2, 2016 Ι Doggerel On a hot, sunny August morning on Chicago’s West Side, Matt Snoap, an architect with the firm bKL, is putting more than a dozen high school and early college students in place for a groundbreaking photo op on one of the city’s many abandoned freight rail lines. But unlike a traditional groundbreaking ceremony, there’s no professional construction crew to take over after the shutter clicks. “S
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Live, Work, Play: WeLive’s Live-Work Spaces Reveal a “Third Place”

Line/Shape/Space Ι Aug. 31, 2016  According to urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, people need three types of places to live fulfilled, connected lives: Their “first place” (home) for private respite; their “second place” (work) for economic engagement; and their “third place,” a more amorphous arena used for reaffirming social bonds and community identities. This third place can be a barbershop, neighborhood bar, commu
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AllTransit Reads Between the (Bus) Lines to Advocate for Urban Life

Aug. 17, 2016 Ι Line/Shape/Space  AllTransit may be the most comprehensive transit database in the nation, but it won’t help you find the fastest route when you’re late for a dinner date. No, it’s much bigger than that. Instead, it peels back the layers of how transit intersects key quality-of-life statistics, using information from 543,000 stops across 800 transit agencies. Its six overlays (Jobs, Economy, Equity, H
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Wolf Prix on Robotic Construction and the Safe Side of Adventurous Architecture

Aug. 2, 2016 Ι Line/Shape/Space  In response to a conservative and sometimes fragmented building industry, some architects believe that improving and automating the construction process calls for a two-front war: first, using experimental materials and components; and second, assembling them in experimental ways. Extra-innovative examples include self-directed insect-like robots that huddle together to form the shape
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Next Progressives: Best Practice Architecture and Design

July 2016 Ι Architect Magazine Just five years old, Seattle-based Best Practice Architecture and Design has amassed a broad portfolio of residential, commercial, office, and restaurant projects. What distinguishes the firm is its ability to deliver an extra level of craft to clients by collaborating with photographers, metal sculptors, and neon artists on the city’s art scene. “We’re always looking for an excuse to w
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