Point of View - Point of View July 2010

 

Energy Accountability Redefined

Ministers from 24 countries, representing 80 percent of global energy usage between them, put their heads together in Washington, D.C., last week at the first ever Clean Energy Ministerial. The big guys signed up to take action on things like carbon capture, clean energy, and electric vehicles, but their plans for the building industry are particularly interesting. For if all…

Viñoly’s New Domino Moves Forward

Last April we wrote about Rafael Viñoly’s final big push to win approval for his firm’s proposed $1.5 billion redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Today, Viñoly and co. cleared what should be the last hurdle of a drawn-out and often contentious regulatory review process when the City Council of New York approved the project’s proposed zoning…

The G-List + the A-List

The top picks from the “most green” and “most important” lists: William McDonough’s Adam Joseph Lewis Center (left) and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao This week, when Lance Hosey released the G-List, his survey of the top green buildings since 1980, he was responding to Vanity Fair’s celebrity rankings of the top-rated buildings of the last 30 years, which anointed…

In Touch with a Smarter Future

As of last month, travelers catching an American Airlines flight out of New York’s JFK airport have a new option for killing time before their boarding call: an 8-by-12-foot digital display, conveniently located between security and the departure gates, that lights up and announces “Welcome to the Smarter City!” every time someone walks within six feet of its huge, colorful…

Studio 804’s Real Estate Woes

Depressing news from Kansas City: USA Today reported on Friday that Dan Rockhill’s celebrated Studio 804 design-build program has been unable to find buyers for its last two houses. As we reported in a feature story last February, Studio 804’s previous houses had attracted waiting lists of potential buyers. Unfortunately, the program moved into more expensive cutting-edge sustainable design–its 2009…

Good News About Ray Anderson

The last time we wrote about Interface’s Ray Anderson, we shared some very sad news about his bout with cancer. Because of your concerned responses, we wanted to, once again, share some news with you—this time positive. This note just arrived from Lisa Cape Lilienthal of his office: “Following a visit to Houston last week, Ray reports, ‘I am in…

Q&A: Art vs. Climate Change

With all the talk about climate change, many of us still find it hard to connect with the crisis. Yes, we intuit that we’re facing something huge and life-altering, yet we continue to wallow in a state of denial. As frequent and devastating storms swoop down in our neighborhoods, we know something is very wrong.  Nevertheless, we’re too distracted or…

Letter from Baltimore: Storage Pods for Disaster Relief?

In her monthly “Letter from Baltimore,” Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson writes about architecture, culture, and urbanism in a city more often associated with violent crime than with good design. Click here to read her previous posts. For more by Dickinson, visit her blog, Urban Palimpsest. The ripple effect of the stalled housing market has impacted countless industries—including the purveyors of those…

Preserving the Past to Protect the Future

The International Living Building Institute recently launched the Living City Design Competition in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This international competition calls for design teams to re-imagine the future of our cities and use photorealistic renderings to demonstrate how current technology could transform existing cities into Living Cities—communities capable of achieving all 20 imperatives of the Living Building…

SFMOMA Goes to Snøhetta

And the winners are… Snøhetta founders Craig Dykers (left) and Kjetil Thorsen. You heard it here first: The architecture firm to lead the highly anticipated, $250 million expansion of SFMOMA will be the Oslo- and New York–based Snøhetta, which beat out fellow finalists Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Foster + Partners. Our anonymous Bay Area insider predicted last…

The Salon Lives On

From left: Andy Warhol, David Whitney, Philip Johnson, Dr. John Dalton, and Robert A. M. Stern in the Glass House in 1964. Photo: David McCabe Writing 24 years ago in Architectural Digest, Vincent Scully called Philip Johnson’s Glass House “the most sustained cultural salon that the US had ever seen.” Within the glass walls of that modernist marvel, people like…

Design Without Designers?

“Trumbull” (left) and “Gilman,” two of the canned magazine templates now sold by Ready Media How should publication designers greet the news yesterday that Roger Black–the magazine design (and redesign) guru who’s had his hands on Rolling Stone, Newsweek, New York, Popular Mechanics, Esquire, and about a zillion other titles over the years–has launched a new venture called Ready-Media to…

“Creative Action for Collective Good”

If you’re an architect or a designer interested in sustainability and social responsibility—and, by now, we hope that includes everyone in the design professions—you may want to check out a new Web site called The Living Principles. Conceived by the AIGA in partnership with several other professional organizations, the site attempts to clarify the multiple dimensions of sustainable, socially-responsible design,…

More on the 2010 Smart Environments Awards

Last week we posted a roundup of noteworthy design competitions accepting entries in the next few months. We wanted to take a moment now to call extra attention to one contest that is particularly important to us at the magazine: the fifth-annual IIDA/Metropolis Smart Environments Awards, which recognize interiors that are more than just pretty pictures. Eligible projects do have…

Small, Soft, and Friendly

Yet more news from Yves Béhar: the prolific designer has teamed up with GE to develop the WattStation, a plug-in electric vehicle charger with a cute, colorful form. It’s powerful too: according to GE, the WattStation’s “level 2 capability” will decrease typical charging time from 12–18 hours to as little as 4–8 hours. Check out a video of Behar describing…

See NeoCon Through Our Editors’ Eyes

At last month’s NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, in Chicago, Metropolis’s Susan Szenasy and Paul Makovsky captured a handful of key designs–and design conversations–on digital video. Above: Roger Martin, the dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the author of The Design of Business, speaks with Makovsky at an event at the Steelcase showroom in…

Why Bruce Nussbaum Needs Emily Pilloton

. The recent exchange between Bruce Nussbaum and Emily Pilloton on humanitarian design frustrates me to no end. It reminds me of the age-old duel between the generations, the older one (Nussbaum) with preconceived notions of humanitarian design and cultural imperialism versus the new generation (Pilloton), which is bravely venturing forth to right the world their elders have wronged for…

Summer Competitions Roundup

We’re back in that cheerful time of the year between July 4th and Labor Day when the sun doesn’t set till 8 p.m. If you’re wondering what to do with all those extra daylight hours, may we suggest entering a competition or two this summer? Here is our list of noteworthy competitions now accepting entries (For a more complete, and…

Q&A: Yves Béhar on DIY Design, Crowdsourcing, and the Future of Craft

Ruediger Otte and Roman Lindebaum’s Greenwich Tea Time table. Image: courtesy the designers The notion of a single designer creating an object that is finished when it rolls off the assembly line is as antiquated as Ford’s Model T. Increasingly, the decision-making power is being put in the hands of consumers, who are being asked to vote for potential product…

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