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Zach Mortice

Could the Humble Heat Pump be a Decarbonization Hero?

Doggerel Ι Sept. 6. 2017 Buildings are responsible for a bit fewer than half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Break this figure down further and you’ll find that building heating, in particular, accounts for about a fifth of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Building heating and hot water are a part of the climate change story people often miss, according to Jeffrey Schwane. An engineer in Arup’s New York of
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Chicago Works: Amanda Williams at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Architectural Record Ι July 21, 2017  Color(ed) Theory, a series of photographs of abandoned houses on Chicago’s South Side painted bright colors, was one of the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s most persistent viral images. Chicago Works: Amanda Williams—its sequel of sorts—constitutes a passing of the torch. The show, which opened this week at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Chicago, represents architect and
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Architectural Upcycling Builds Earth’s Better Future Out of Trash

Redshift Ι Aug. 1, 2017 Contemporary designers are recycling waste materials into useable and well-crafted objects, and it’s easy to get the impression that this burgeoning realm of fabrication is destined only for the craft fair. A quick survey of Blaine Brownell’s new guide Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine Our Future turns up a half-dozen Etsy-ready art and furniture curios. There’s jewelry
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What Facebook Can Learn From Company Towns

CityLab Ι July 19, 2017  In the early 20th century, hundreds of company towns dotted America—quasi-public municipalities where the corporation you worked for built your house, taught your kids, maintained your roads and sewers, and even sold you groceries. Such towns once contained 3 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Economist. As the country’s workforce became more mobile and prosperity rose, on-site
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Here Comes Chicago’s Architecture Bonanza

CityLab Ι June 29, 2017 In 2015, Chicago launched the largest contemporary architecture event in North America—the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Staged at multiple sites around the city (including the lakefront) and drawing more than half a million visitors over three months, it was a wide shotgun blast in terms of content, with techno-psychedelic body-horror sketches, demonstrations of material fabrication, and soc
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A Lot You Got to Holler EP 15: The Night Chicago Died

EP 15: The Night Chicago Died  A Lot You Got to Holler is dead! For our last episode, we look ahead to Chicago architecture and urbanism to come: The Obama Library! 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial! Neoliberalism! Ben lets us in on how Uber but for architecture will work in the utopian future. (It’s actually not terrible, we promise!). Zach looks back on his own checkered past as a naive proponent of not so great P
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