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Weaponizing Architecture

Aug. 14, 2008 Ι AIArchitect Blog   [This was a blog post, no longer online, I wrote for AIArchitect’s blog back in 2008. It was for a theme issue on fantasy and speculative architecture. But today I learned there’s a company out there, aided and abetted by the Trump Administration, that wants to make it real; as real as the dystopia it’s getting harder and harder to convince myself we’re not h
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An Affordable Housing Development Ascends From Ashes to Build Community

Redshift Ι March 13, 2017  For Victor Body-Lawson of architect-and-planning firm Body Lawson Associates (BLA), designing and building the Hunts Point Peninsula is less like designing a building and more like building a village. “We think of it as building a community,” Body-Lawson says. The new affordable housing development—located in the South Bronx, New York City—seeks to do more than put a roof over peoples’ head
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Haresh Lalvani on Biomimicry and Architecture That Designs Itself

Redshift Ι Jan. 17, 2017 It’s the holy grail for any biomimicry design futurist: buildings and structures that use generative geometry to assemble and repair themselves, grow, and evolve all on their own. Buildings that grow like trees, assembling their matter through something like genomic instructions encoded in the material itself. To get there, architecture alone won’t cut it. And as such, one designer, Haresh La
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Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art Renovation Will Cater to a Wider Public

Architectural Record Ι March 1, 2017  A renovation of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is intended to reintroduce the museum to a wider public, just when the project’s designers, the Los Angeles firm of Johnston Marklee, will be reintroducing themselves as artistic curators of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, set to open a few months after the renovation’s completion. Now under construction, the $16 milli
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Underneath, Overlooked

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι February 2017 In 2002, the Design Trust for Public Space published Reclaiming the High Line, a critical voice of support that helped jump-start the growing momentum to preserve that rusting hulk of a rail bed in Lower Manhattan. Now a city- and pedestrian-scaled outdoor art walk and landscape, the High Line is likely the most influential urban infrastructure renovation of the past 30
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Redesigning Lathrop

Architect Magazine Ι January 2017 The Julia C. Lathrop Homes, built in 1938, are one of the oldest Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) projects in the city. Inspired equally by Ebeneezer Howard’s English Garden Cities and company towns like Pullman on Chicago’s far South Side, Lathrop was designed by a cadre of architects punching below their weight during the Great Depression, including Daniel Burnham’s son Hubert and R
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Tall, Green, and Global: 10 of the Most Innovative Architecture Projects of 2016

The year 2016 was a watershed moment for broad-based populist backlashes, from Brexit to Trump, “xenophobia” to “post-truth.” But looking back, this year’s architecture seems more and more like the sober run-up to these volcanic changes. From this perspective, Redshift’s year-end list of the most innovative architecture documents a different ethos. The concerns demonstrated here (housing inequality, the future of the
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Why This Teaching Hospital Only Has Fake Patients

CityLab Ι Dec. 9, 2016 University hospitals are often premier institutions for medical training. But a new school on the West Side of Chicago is promising advances in health-care education without students ever collecting a vial of blood or scrubbing in for surgery. It’s a community college, and its array of courses are supported by a suite of simulative technologies. Malcolm X College (part of the City Colleges of C
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Architecture for Autism Could Be a Breakthrough for Kids With ASD

Redshift Ι Dec. 7, 2016 Good architects have always designed with tactile sensations in mind, from the rich wood grain on a bannister, to the thick, shaggy carpet at a daycare center. It’s an effective way to engage all the senses, connecting the eye, hand, and mind in ways that create richer environments. But one architecture professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is working on a tactile architecture-f
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Marion Mahony Griffin, Unbound

Architectural Record Ι Oct. 31, 2016 The historical record left by architect Marion Mahony Griffin has been obscured by time, distance, and the prejudices of her age and profession. To begin with, much of her built work was on the other side of the globe, in Australia. She disdained self-promotion and the public spotlight, rather literally—she seldom faced a camera. She’s primarily associated with Frank Lloyd Wright,
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