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Nature Does It Better: Biomimicry in Architecture and Engineering

July 11, 2016 Ι Line Shape Space  Biomimicry is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems; biomimicry in architecture and manufacturing is the practice of designing buildings and products that simulate or co-opt processes that occur in nature. There are ultrastrong synthetic spider silks, adhesives modeled after gecko feet, and wind-turbine blades t
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The sharing economy comes to urban public schools

Doggerel Ι July 1, 2016  Uber, Airbnb, WeWork: every day, entrepreneurs find new ways to diffuse the ownership of expensive infrastructure in order to drive down prices. But while today’s sharing economy tends to focus on individual consumers, the concept could find creative new applications in the public sector. For example, urban schools contain many different programs and functions (libraries, green outdoor space,
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Next Progressives: Hazelbaker Rush

Architect Magazine Ι June 2016 There may be grander examples of Hazelbaker Rush’s commitment to material craft and modernist refinement, but perhaps the most direct distillation of the Tuscon, Ariz.–based architecture firm’s design process can be found in the bathroom of Mabel Street Residence, a 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival bungalow that co-founders Darci Hazelbaker, Assoc. AIA, and Dale Rush, AIA, renovated to bec
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Class Consciousness: Landscape Students Plunge into Publishing to Define What Matter to Them

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι June 2016 IN RECENT ISSUES OF STUDENT LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE JOURNALS, there are articles about the landscape implications of graffiti, the ghost towns of the industrial Arctic, the consolidation of rural Midwest post offices, transit networks of the nuclear waste storage industry, and (unavoidably) how the Internet affects perceptions of landscape. This wide focus maps out a de fact
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Buildings that Grow, Breathe, and Burn Calories

OZY Ι June 13, 2016 Last fall at an exhibition in Chicago, something was pumping and hissing. Twenty-two tanks, all in a stack, filled with water and framed in wood. Weird art? But clearly it was some kind of wall system. So … weird architecture? And getting closer doesn’t clarify matters. The name of this oddity: “Amphibious Envelope,” a project by David Benjamin of The Living. In each tank, there are aquatic plants
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Review of Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979

Architectural Record Ι May 25, 2016 For some, architecture has a unique ability to transpose fantasies into reality. And if you were an urbane heterosexual male in the last half of the 20th century, there weren’t many better fantasy generators than Playboy. In its pages, this debonair lifestyle was told and sold through Modern architecture and design: swinging glass and steel bachelor pads as naked of ornament as fem
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Architecture Isn’t the Villain of “High-Rise”—We Are

Metropolis Magazine Ι May 24, 2016   In Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, the first film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, you get the entire litany of architecture-run-amok as it appears in virtually any cultural product. There’s the architect as mad visionary, capable of bringing astounding visions of the future into the present but unable to dictate their evolution once human imperfection intervenes. There’s the ma
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The Experimental Tall Wood Buildings Material Everyone’s Raving About: Mass Timber

Line Shape Space Ι April 25, 2016 The oldest multistory wood-structure building in the world is almost 1,000 years old, surviving dynasties, weather, and even earthquakes. The Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian in China is nine stories and 220 feet tall. Its rustic, octagonal mass is made from 54 different types of wood joints and not a single nail. Given this example, the common-sense reasoning why we don’t build tall wood b
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Next Progressives: Ultramoderne

April 2016 Ι Architect Magazine  Architecture “is supposed to be bold and it’s supposed to be large,” says Aaron Forrest, AIA, one-half of the Providence, R.I., duo Ultramoderne. “It’s meant to be a statement of some kind.” This perspective, from architecture’s vanguard in the post-recessionary year of 2016, may be controversial at a time when many of the field’s academic circles are coalescing around the notion of d
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The hidden history of African modernism

April 4, 2016 Ι Doggerel  Between 1957 and 1966, almost two-thirds of all African nations declared independence from their colonial rulers, ready to cast off nearly a century of imperial hierarchy by forging new social structures and self-determined economies. And they did so with modern architecture. Modern design for a modern continent For postcolonial African leaders, modern architecture signified independence and
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