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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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Could Freight Hubs Become Eco-Villages?

CityLab Ι Feb. 2, 2016 Environmentalists have been chiding us for decades: You can’t throw something “away.” Whether they’re just out of our sight or hundreds of miles distant, the things we consume and discard have an environmental impact. Landscape architect and Illinois Institute of Technology professor Conor O’Shea sees a similar misconception in urbanism. There’s no such thing as “outside the city,” he believes.
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Integrated Energy Systems: This Building and Car Create a Symbiotic Relationship to Leave the Electric Grid Behind

Line Shape Space Ι Jan. 21, 2016  They’re the twin pillars of the American dream and the current climate predicament: the single family detached house and the automobile—the convenience, freedom, and independence enabled by inefficient and finite fossil fuels. As such, much of the urban-planning and architecture industries are focused on ways to radically subvert this inherited infrastructural wisdom. So what if the
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Is This the Suburban House 2.0?

CityLab Ι Jan. 19, 2016 In the rarefied air of architecture biennials, like the one that just wrapped up in Chicago, suburban architecture is less than an oxymoron—it basically doesn’t exist. When talented building designers gather, they don’t spend much time thinking about the predominant way Western nations house their citizenry. It’s easy to blame suburbanites’ conservative tastes on this lack of engagement from d
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