Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine January 2010

 

What’s Next: Hospitality

The sector that once seemed to crank out a new Nobu each week has had to learn to make do with less. Much less. To hear David Rockwell, the high priest of chichi hospitality design, tell it, that’s a good thing. “There is a greater opportunity to be more imaginative and experimental with fewer resources,” says Rockwell, whose portfolio incidentally…

Back to the Future

A school dedicated to design-based learning opens in the very building where GM’s legendary Harley Earl became the father of the modern car.

What’s Next: Green Building

Despite all the talk about net-zero and net-positive architecture, green buildings remain elusive for the mainstream. There are, however, some promising developments: state and municipal tax incentives, stricter building codes, and commercial real estate honchos who have finally figured out that sustainable design stuffs cash into their pockets. Progress hangs on the tricky interplay of public policy and technology. Here…

What’s Next: Preservation

The future of preserving the past has arrived. Whether it’s green retrofitting, safeguarding ancient trades, or preparing buildings for the next Katrina, conservationists are finding smart ways to salvage the existing building stock. “Preservation means preserving what’s there, but it also means you can preserve the life of buildings if you make them more sustainable,” says Richard Moe, president of the…

What’s Next: Design Education

Mark Wigley, dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, believes his school has a mission to act as a laboratory for other institutions. And he thinks that task will take on greater significance as universities become increasingly globalized. “At Columbia, we have no interest in the Starbucks model of the branch campus, where you distribute good…

Grand Obsession

Parcours Muséologique Revisité, Robert Polidori’s new, 744-page, three-volume set from Steidl, traces the photographer’s 26-year journey capturing the Palace of Versailles. “I am dealing with a collective superego,” Polidori says in the introduction, “documenting the way a whole society decides to see itself.” Since becoming a historical museum in 1837, the former royal palace has been turned into a curated…

What’s Next: Urban Planning

The 21st-century city faces a host of daunting challenges: projected scarcities of water and energy, rising sea levels, and, ultimately, more people. But the seeds of fairly radical change have already been planted. “I’m convinced we’re in the midst of a transformation that is probably as profound as what happened immediately after the Second World War, when we got all…

Teatime

Dries Verbruggen has long been fascinated with an object that doesn’t actually exist: the Utah teapot. Designed in 1975 by Martin Newell, a computer scientist at the University of Utah, the digital vessel was the first complex 3-D computer model. It has since become a standard computer-graphic reference, and animators often use it as an inside joke. (It popped up…

What’s Next: Lighting

For many of us, lighting is just a matter of wattage and bulb type. Maybe we’ve grappled with the question of whether an inefficient incandescent or a CFL, with its trace mercury content, is the lesser of two evils. But Dr. Mariana Figueiro, the program director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, thinks the way we design…

What’s Next: Workplace

Baby boomers are marching into their sixties and seventies; and soon—faster than you can say “Fiber One”—we’ll have the oldest workforce in the history of work. What does that mean for workplace design? “Companies will want older people because they’ve got knowledge and experience, so there is going to be a big emphasis on creating the right settings for them,”…

What’s Next: Transportation

In the last 50 years, U.S. transportation policy has been overwhelmingly focused on highway construction. Funding was so automobile-centric that it wasn’t until the 1990s—when Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan established a new “80/20” spending formula—that mass transit was seriously included in appropriations bills. Congress is currently working on a new appropriations bill that will have crucial implications on that spending….

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