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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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Skylar Tibbits’ MIT Self-Assembly Lab Programs Architectural Materials to Come Alive

Line/Shape/Space Ι March 28, 2016  It’s not hard to translate a brick-and-mortar building into pure data. Today’s monitoring and software tools can measure energy usage and efficiency electron-by-electron, track circulation patterns, and anticipate how weather changes will affect indoor climate. It’s a software revolution that’s led to a hardware revolution: dynamic building systems that can react to these reams of d
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Wetland Restoration: A New Driver for Development in China?

Metropolis Magazine Ι March 14, 2016  In China, when it’s time to build a new city—and it’s always time to build a new city in China—there’s usually a clear loser to be pitied: the landscape that gets leveled and paved over. At the moment, the Chinese government is trying to direct the greatest urban migration in human history: 250 million rural migrants in the next decade or so alone. Toward that end, the world’s mo
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5×5 Exhibit: Participatory Provocations

Architect Magazine Ι March 11, 2016 What, exactly, does architecture have to say about this wild and surreal election season? The default answer for just about any year is usually: Not much. And that’s a problem Julia van den Hout and her fellow curators at Original Copy aimed to fix with 5×5. The exhibit invited 25 young design firms to tackle one of five prompts each; some fictional, some real, and all deeply
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Preserve that Hashtag: Media and the Preservation of Postmodern Architecture

Chicago Architect Ι March-April 2016  Just two years after Bertrand Goldberg’s 1975 Prentice Women’s Hospital completed its dance with a wrecking ball, his Marina City Towers are cruising towards landmark status. Preservation cries have arisen around Edo Belli’s 1975 expansion to Cueno Hospital. Meanwhile, Stanley Tigerman’s, FAIA, Pensacola Place is getting a crisp renovation from Brininstool + Lynch before its 35th
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Self-Assembling Structures: What If Buildings Were Made by Swarming Robotic Creatures?

Line/Shape/Space Ι March 2, 2016  Imagine robotic architectural-fabrication components that can wiggle, crawl, and amble together into architectural space, more or less unbidden. The London-based Spyropoulos Design Lab at the Architectural Association’s Design Research Laboratory (AADRL) is working to make that a reality. At first, it sounds like a cold and impersonal way to create architecture: Taken out of human ha
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When Frank Lloyd Wright Was on the Outside Looking In, He at Least Had Company

Metropolis Magazine Ι Feb. 11, 2016 One hundred years ago it was much harder to expand the traditional boundaries of architecture than it is today. The reasons for this are easily identified; it’s now infinitely easier to move people and information across the globe. For an example of the long and laborious process it once took to coax divergent design traditions into architecture’s discriminating canon, it’s necessa
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Education Interior Awards: University of Southern Denmark, Campus Kolding

Contract Design Magazine Ι Jan./Feb. 2016 For nearly 25 years, the University of Southern Denmark-Kolding (SDU-Kolding) had been housed in a 100-year-old former hospital. This makeshift solution offered students few amenities and reinforced a commuter campus atmosphere that administrators were anxious to shed. “We had no common space there,” says Per Krogh Hansen, SDU-Kolding’s head of design and communication. “It w
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