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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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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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