My wife keeps showing me these “Shit so-and-sos Say” videos, which is an amusing if not maybe already tired trending meme – but how can you dislike “Shit Architecture Students Say” – unless you’re not an architect?
“What? CAD for Mac?”
Graphisoft’s BIMx for iPad and iPhone – interaction with your project’s BIM model on an Apple mobile device of your choosing. Not exactly a new concept – Autodesk has had AutoCAD WS out for some time now – but I’ve recently become more interested in how team coordination is handled from a technological standpoint. Eliminating the need to find a computer or print something in order to react to what might be a straightforward question/comment seems incredibly useful to me. While BIMx as shown in the videos seems more like a way to get a 3d walk-through of a project, I imagine it can also function similarly in some ways to AutoCAD WS – which shares actual CAD files and allows for viewing & (very) simple editing.
Unfortunately, none of this is ever going to free us from being tethered to a desk & computer screen most of the time – drafting is drafting. It’ll be interesting to see how these new technologies are integrated into the construction industry, and whether they develop into something more impactful.
With September 11th, ten years later, quickly approaching, the discussion of the World Trade Center site is once again at the forefront of our collective consciousness â€“ and not just as architects, but as US citizens (note: stop saying â€œAmericans,â€ people â€“ you make us look ignorant). With that in mind, I thought Iâ€™d post today on what one architecture critic -Ada Louise Huxtable – was saying immediately after the attack (and some years later, in the case of the video). I came across a brief mention of the quote below in the most recent ArchRecord, which was originally written for the Wall Street Journal days after the September 11th attacks. It can also be found in Huxtableâ€™s book â€˜On Architectureâ€˜ (pages 378-379).
There will be, and should be, passionate disagreement about replacing them at all. Rebuilding on this site requires serious consideration. There will be, and should be, calls for a memorial park, a public open space to serve as a permanent reminder of one of the cityâ€™s, and historyâ€™s, worst catastrophes â€“ a detestable man-made, as opposed to natural, disaster â€“ and for a tribute to those who died needlessly and tragically in an act of unredeemed horror.
And yet, one can almost predict what the New York process will be. This city can show its compassion, and its resolve, as it is doing now, but it is also a city incapable of the large, appropriate gesture in the public interest if it costs too much. That, too, is something that can be debated. What are our values? How do we count the cost of those lives? Under these extraordinary circumstances, does â€œthe highest and best use of the land,â€ the gospel according to real estate, really hold? Traditionally, that has meant filling the land to the maximum permitted by law, for the greatest return, while ignoring every social or human factor.
If the usual scenario is followed, the debate will lead to a â€œsolutionâ€ in which principle is lost and an epic opportunity squandered. With the best intentions the Municipal Art Society, a conscientious watchdog of the cityâ€™s urban quality, will announce a competition to determine what should be done with the site. The results will make a nice little exhibition, and discussions and lectures will be held. All this will be ignored by the movers and shakers making big building plans under the expedient banner of physical and symbolic reconstruction. There will be a fuss in the press, with letters to the editor, pro and con. City Hall in a split political decision between greed and glory, will come out for the builders and a memorial â€“ a monument or a small park, something financially inoffensive in the larger scheme of things. This is the Compromise. Or the trade-off, to put it more bluntly. A properly pious, meaningless gesture that everyone can buy without loss of face or obvious shame.
There will be another call for a competition â€“ this time for the big building â€“ it will be specified that this is to be a â€œworld-classâ€ work of architecture. The most conservative design will be chosen by a consortium of potential investors. No one will pay much attention to the token park, which will be a blank spot on the plans, eventually done in a faux retro style for brown-bag lunchers. There will be world-class nothing.
It didnâ€™t exactly take a crystal ball or special powers to make these predictions, but I do think they warrant some thought now, as we mark 10 years having passed since the attacks. While the memorial park appears to be coming together as something more than Huxtableâ€™s â€œtoken parkâ€, it seems unfair to judge it until the site as a whole has been completed. The tower, on the other hand, is coming off as a big let-down â€“ but thatâ€™s another post.
Yes â€“ Red Bull held a cliff diving competition in Boston last weekend, where the divers jumped into Boston harbor (really?) from a perch attached to the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed Institute for Contemporary Art.
My ninjas, please. Ridiculous.
I realize that this is pretty stupid â€“ but itâ€™s Monday! I enjoy my work, but still need some humor to kick off the week. Oh, and I really want to do this to mess with some tourists before the summer ends.
â€œLiving in NYC is our biggest inspiration. Thereâ€™s constant construction and change on every corner. We embraced the idea of urban growth and saw it as something uncontrollable, having a mind of its own. Like a growing flower, a small town constructs larger buildings and becomes a flourishing city with skyscrapers for leaves, airport runways for petals, and airplanes for seeds. Our goal was to show that a city is like a living being, constantly growing, changing, and spreading.â€
Created by Anca Risca and Joji Tsuruga for their BFA thesis film at theÂ School of Visual Arts in New York, using Maya and Adobe Creative Suite.
For this monthâ€™s installment of New Yorker Currents, Paul Goldberger,Â The New Yorkerâ€™s architecture critic, spoke with Richard Cook, a partner in Cook+Fox Architects and the designer of the new Bank of America Tower, a Manhattan skyscraper, completed earlier this year, that is the largest building to receive aÂ LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification, the highest standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council. Here they discuss sustainable architecture, the use of nature in design, and the debates over theÂ LEED standard.
Ah – buildings for the Greenway! Thankfully the BSA is on top of things, and trying to push along planning for these empty spaces. Commercial properties? Ground floor retail? A building at Dewey Square? All the buildings ‘don’t have to be museums’? Brilliant – let’s hope we start to see some of these ideas unfold.
Putting an actual building at Dewey Square would be great – holding that space out front of South Station, and improving the streetscape along Summer Street. That, and I was just saying the other night while leaving the Fisherman’s Feast (in the North End) that what the Greenway seems to desperately need is a bar (really, more than one). It’s a strange scene there at night, with most people (it seems) just passing through the space – unless some special event is going on. I say dope little cafe by day, classy bar at night.
One thing I’m tired of hearing about is the scary shadows, blah blah blah. Sure, we need to be careful of blocking out the sun – but people have complained about tall buildings being suggested for the EAST of the Greenway. I’m not going to insult a ninjas intelligence and explain why that’s ridiculous – but c’mon son.
Architecture student Magnus Larsson details his bold plan to transform the harsh Sahara desert using bacteria and a surprising construction material: the sand itself.
Not so new, but new to me – this video is pretty interesting. Imagine building with nature like this, and what that could mean for architecture and construction. Who’s to say that we won’t be programming these bacteria, etc, to perform increasingly complex & specific tasks – guiding them along a certain design trajectory while allowing for just enough randomness for unique and ‘natural’ results. We could be growing whole cities – which, needless to say, would be pretty dope.
These two videos – both found over at Treehugger – are pretty great, and show why we should a) be more like Copenhagen and b) how we could possibly do it.
But this is the US, where our government itself is desperate for you to buy and drive cars – so keep dreaming, my ninjas.