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Rubber Duckie, you make globalization so much fun

Archinect - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 11:32

A six-story-tall floating "Rubber Duck" is making its West Coast debut at the Port of Los Angeles, where it will lead more than a dozen battleships and sailboats in the Tall Ships Festival L.A. parade [...] Dubbed the world's largest rubber duck, the giant inflatable was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. "The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties," Hofman said on the event's website. "It can relieve the world's tensions as well as define them."

Adorable? Certainly. Humorous? Obviously. Architecture? Maybe.

According to Hofman's website, the Rubber Duck "doesn't discriminate people and doesn't have a political connotation... The Rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!" This description accounts for all rubber duckies ever. What distinguishes this Rubber Duck is where its been. The giant inflatable has appeared on the shores of Beijing, Pittsburgh, Sydney, Osaka, São Paulo and others, to delight folks around the world. The ocean is the globalized world's bathtub, and this giant duck its bath toy.

Hofman claims the duck "doesn't have a political connotation", but its difficult to not see it as a symbol for globalized commerce. With the same universal cuteness the world-over, it visits ports (such as in Los Angeles) that support global shipping infrastructures, networking economies and cultures with a universally accessible cuteness. The duck's path is paved by human, economic forces, not natural ocean ones — un...

Categories: Design Feeds

Istanbul's 'illegal' towers to be demolished after landmark court ruling

Archinect - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 11:19

The Turkish Council of State has ordered three luxury apartment blocks to be bulldozed amid widespread outrage. But will it have any impact on the country’s unstoppable, and often unlawful, construction boom?

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Lego House in Billund, Denmark, begins construction by laying giant Lego brick–shaped foundation stones

Archinect - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 11:11

This week the first six oversize Lego bricks were laid for the foundation of the Lego House in Billund, Denmark, the Lego Group’s hometown. Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the architecture of the Lego House is based on—what else but?—the iconic shape of the Lego brick.

Previously: Design for LEGO House, designed by BIG, unveiled today

Categories: Design Feeds

In Kazakhstan, a Shimmering Skyline on the Steppe

Archinect - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:53

Seventeen years ago, when Kazakhstan moved its capital here, the city of Astana didn’t even exist. [...] But after years of rapid economic growth fueled by Kazakhstan’s oil and gas riches, the skyline of Astana [...] is now punctuated by gleaming skyscrapers and Western-style shopping malls. The city has become a hotbed for architectural experimentation, attracting big names like Norman Foster and Manfredi Nicoletti who have transformed it into what locals now call “Manhattan on the Steppe.”

More big players wanting a slice of that yummy Astana cake: Kazakhstan’s Astana World Expo 2017 Competition Attracts Big International Names

Categories: Design Feeds

Liu Bolin turns friends into money, a solar cell from recycled car batteries, and fascinating looks at race in America

TED Blog - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:19
As always, many members of the TED community have been popping in the news this week. Below, some highlights. Liu Bolin uses paint to make himself disappear into backgrounds. In this video from The Creators Project, Bolin shows the next evolution—group versions of his signature work. Watch him turn his friends into money in the video []
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In Architecture, a Glass Ceiling

Archinect - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:19

"There's still a glass ceiling, ironically, in architecture," said Rosa Sheng, senior associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in San Francisco and chairwoman of the Missing 32% Project, a group that promotes equitable treatment of all architects. "There's an influx of more women coming in, but the hurdles haven't changed," she said. It takes roughly 12 years to become a licensed architect, according to NCARB.

Categories: Design Feeds

Great Mistakes in English Medieval architecture

Archinect - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:17

One of the great things about medieval art and architecture is that people just went in and did things. They didn’t build models and scale them up, building great cathedrals and abbeys was a learning process as much as anything else. This means many of these apparently perfect aspirations to the Heavenly Jerusalem have some often quite comical mistakes, corrections and bodge-jobs that once you see, you can’t unnotice.

Categories: Design Feeds

Screen/Print #23: REM magazine interviews Philippe Rahm and Ugo La Pietra

Archinect - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 08:02

It might be best to consider REM magazine as a performance, rather than a publication. The “short-term” magazine isn't solely about Koolhaas, but began publishing at the start of his Venice Biennale of Architecture in June, placing its feet firmly alongside other satellite exhibitions taking place during the Biennale. But REM isn’t here to analyze — it’s here to pit architects against one another in Koolhaas’ boxing ring.

Categories: Design Feeds

CONSTRUCT 2014: Forethoughts

I Dig Hardware - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 06:23
Visit the CONSTRUCT blog for posts from me and other industry bloggers! It’s almost time for the CONSTRUCT conference in Baltimore, which will be held September 9-12, 2014.  There’s a power-packed schedule of speakers, education, and of course – the trade show…a great opportunity for education and networking. The education sessions cover a wide variety […]

Categories: Design Feeds

Gentrification of Burning Man

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 21:19

“Anyone who has been going to Burning Man for the last five years is now seeing things on a level of expense or flash that didn't exist before,” said Brian Doherty, author of the book “This Is Burning Man.” “It does have this feeling that, ‘Oh, look, the rich people have moved into my neighborhood.’ It’s gentrifying.”

"By the way, there are over 62 million Burning Man results in the Google search but who can guarantee they all originate from Nevada desert? After all, men and women burn daily all over the world. Right?" - from Burning Man, a new religion? 

Categories: Design Feeds

Submit your Vision42 entries to transform Manhattan's 42nd Street – Registration due September 8

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 16:04

You don't have to be a New Yorker to submit design ideas for a river-to-river, auto-free light rail boulevard in Manhattan's iconic 42nd Street: Open to all architects, planners, and urban designers, the Vision42 design competition invites proposals from around the world to transform the street into a "world-class boulevard complete with a high-quality public spaces and a light-rail tram."

Registration ends September 8, 2014, and (digital) submissions for phase 1 are expected by October 1. And did we mention that $10,000 are waiting for the lucky winner as well as a feature in the Architect's Newspaper for the jury’s top selected projects? Well, there you go.

From the competition brief:

"The first phase of the competition will be entirely digital, permitting applicants to submit their entries electronically, greatly expanding opportunities for participation globally. Upon selection of finalists by the jury, those selected shall prepare and send boards for the exhibition to a designated...

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Traffic Lights are Easy to Hack

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:26

In a paper published this month, the researchers describe how they very simply and very quickly seized control of an entire system of almost 100 intersections in an unnamed Michigan city from a single ingress point. The exercise was conducted on actual stoplights deployed at live intersections [...] As is typical in large urban areas, the traffic lights in the subject city are networked ... allowing them to pass information to and receive instruction from a central management point.

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Archinect's Employer of the Day - Weekly Round-Up #35

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 12:30

Heads up to all you job seekers and active employers. Here's our weekly batch of employers for Archinect's Employer of the Day. If you've been following the daily feature on Archinect's Facebook page, Employer of the Day is where we highlight active employers and showcase a gallery of their work.

In case you missed them, check out the latest EOTD features:

1. Mockler Taylor Architects (Facebook feature)
Currently hiring: Junior Architect

2. Belzberg Architects (Facebook feature)
Currently hiring: Intermediate Architect - Temporary Position

3. Walker Warner Architects (Facebook feature)
Currently hiring: Multiple listings

4. Cunningham Architects (Facebook feature)
Currently hiring: Project Designer / Project Architect

5. D'Apostrophe design, Inc. (Facebook feature)
Currently hiring: multiple listings

To follow Employer of the Day, like Archinect's Facebook page.


Categories: Design Feeds

Why Portland Is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge That Bans Cars

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:44

Tilikum Crossing is the nation's first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. [...] "Transit has a huge impact on urban planning. I mean, if you look at our city, it was designed around streetcars. On some level, it has to be part of their DNA."

Categories: Design Feeds

Rebuilding Gaza

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:32

The Palestinian Authority government has estimated that it could cost $6 billion to rebuild the territory: 50,000 homes have been totally or partially destroyed, roughly 250 factories have reportedly been rendered inoperable, and Gaza's sewage treatment facility and power plant have been damaged, shrinking the available supply of drinkable water and creating a potential health crisis for residents.

The recent (and ongoing) Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip has taken a massive toll on the densely-populated urban area's infrastructure. While the need to begin reconstruction is urgent and unquestionable, the mechanics are much trickier. In order to get cement into Gaza, Palestinians must either smuggle it in or wait for Israel to slacken the seven-year old embargo. Israel, on the other hand, remains opposed to easing restrictions on construction materials after Hamas used imported cement to construct its network of tunnels,  although it has recently signaled that it will slacken some elements of the blockage. The process will begin with a donor conference with funds processed by the Palestinian Authority, which is supposed to lead reconstructive efforts.

Categories: Design Feeds

Deborah Sussman, designer, has died at age 83

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:23

We are very sad to learn of the passing of amazing designer Deborah Sussman, who died this morning after a battle with cancer." — @DesignObserver

Designer Deborah Sussman passed away this morning at age 83.

Perhaps best known for her environmental and graphic design for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Sussman began her career working as an office designer for Charles and Ray Eames in the 1950s. She founded her own firm in 1968, and created Sussman/Prejza & Co. along with her husband, architect and urban planner Paul Prejza, in 1980.

Her distinctively colorful and intrepid graphical work brought character to Disney World, the city of Santa Monica, CA, and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

View a selection of Sussman's graphical and environmental work in the gallery below.

Categories: Design Feeds

Hunger Crisis in American Universities

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:12

As low-income populations have gone to college and food insecurity has risen up to swallow the lower rungs of the middle class, hunger has spread across America’s university campuses like never before. In some places, it’s practically a pandemic: At Western Oregon University, 59% of the student body is food insecure [...] 39.2% of the [CUNY's] quarter of a million undergraduates had experienced food insecurity at some time in the past year.

Lack of adequate and steady food is a rampant problem both domestically and internationally. A recent National Geographic article analyzed the problem of food scarcity in the US across the last fifty years. Traditionally concerned with "hunger," since 2006 researchers at the USDA have shifted focus to "food insecurity," a term that refers more to a generalized state of precarity. This is to say, in recent years, the issue has less to do with people being hungry all the time and more with people who can't count on not going hungry in the future. That this condition encompasses such a large percentage of college students is a frightening indictment of both the values and mechanics of the US economic system and its social programs.

A "food desert" is an area where consistent access to nutritious food is difficult to obtain. Many architects and socially-concerned individuals and groups are working towards ameliorating conditions in such places. Mogro – or mobile grocery – is a project th...

Categories: Design Feeds

Rockaway Pipeline Stirs Controversy

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:09

A new pipeline called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project is under construction in the Rockaways. It will deliver 647,000 dekatherms of natural gas to New York City each day — enough to power 2.5 million homes. Activists ... say the project is inherently dangerous and is just the latest sign of a broken approval and monitoring process for the United States’ energy infrastructure.

Concerned activists and locals may have good reason to be worried. Prior pipeline accidents, such as the 2010 San Bruno explosion, have caused extensive damage and even deaths. The Al Jazeera article notes that "since 1986, there have been about 8,000 significant pipeline incidents in the United States, which have resulted in over 500 deaths, more than 2,300 injuries and billions of dollars in damage." Additionally, Williams, the company contracted to build the pipeline, is already subject to a federal probe after a string of incidents at other pipelines. Designed to stretch beneath popular beaches, the Rockaway pipeline would be particularly vulnerable, some argue, pointing to the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Incidentally, the pipeline would run beneath Fort Tilden, currently the host of MoMA PS1's "Rockaway!," a public arts exhibition. In an already abandoned structure in the dunes, Patti Smith set up a gilded four-post bed that is exposed to the weather. As the summer st...

Categories: Design Feeds

Unbelievable stats from our project to “clean” every video file

TED Blog - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:03
A while back, we told you about a big initiative underway in the TED office: Project Cleans. Essentially, we are taking each and every one of our 1,800+ talk video files and stripping them of the text and add-ons that were originally baked in, re-encoding the video, and saving the “clean” files in a new media []
Categories: Design Feeds

Shigeru Ban Architects seeking Intermediate Architect in New York, NY, US

Archinect - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:58

Shigeru Ban Architects is a growing, critically-acclaimed global practice with offices based in Tokyo, Paris and New York.

The NY office is looking for an individual who has experience working on projects that are unique, carefully detailed, and embody a very clean aesthetic. We work with physical as well as virtual models.

We seek an Intermediate Architect with 5 - 7 years of experience to begin working on residential projects. Candidates must have sound experience working on projects during all phases of development – from concept design through completion of construction.

Applicants shall have experience with:

  • Organizing sets of presentation and construction documents
  • Detailing innovative conditions
  • US Model Building Codes
  • Consultant team coordination
  • Implementing sustainability strategies
  • Projects involving new and existing buildings
  • Managing tasks while supervising a small team

The ideal candidate will be proactive with excellent interpersonal and written communication skills. Fluent Engl...

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by Dr. Radut