Point of View - Point of View March 2012

 

Open-Source Cracks Open 3D Imaging Biomedicine Tools

These programs are now more easily accessible to those without advanced computer knowledge.

When you imagine uses for open-source 3D imaging software, medical applications don’t immediately spring e to mind. But at The Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute and The Center for Integrative Biomedical Computing at the University of Utah, the focus is precisely on how to apply 3D imaging and visualization to help advance medical treatments and therapies. Even better, they have…

Celebrate Spring at the Brooklyn Bridge Park

It’s hard to believe that spring is here. Almost more surprising than being able to wear shorts in March is the fact that the great concrete jungle that’s New York City actually has a wide array of brightly colored native plant life, such as the red columbine and southern magnolia. Already in bloom, the gardens at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier…

An Appreciation of Mies, in Photographs

In advance of the master's 126th birthday, a photographer heads to the Seagram Building and is mesmerized by its public plaza pools.

All photos courtesy Paul Clemence As we celebrate Mies’s 126th birthday, (March 27, 1886) we think of his legacy. If you’re a New Yorker, the Seagram Building (built between 1954 and 1958) comes to mind. I first knew about that skyscraper through photographs, as an architecture student in Brazil, and admired its daringly elegant sense of proportion and its graphical quality…

Two Green Building Initiatives Go Way Beyond LEED

Passive House principals and Living Building Challenge criterion are pointing the way forward to a more sustainable future.

“Patchwork”, Living City Challenge Entry The sustainability rating systems—Passive House, Living Building Challenge, and Net Zero (a subset of the Challenge)—appear in isolated new construction projects. The promise and perversity of trying to pick out sustainability targets, building by building, within a tightly woven urban fabric can be examined in Philadelphia. Here, the architecture/development dynamo Onion Flats proposes to build…

Holdings Company Finds an Unlikely Home in New Haven Ruin

Higher One's office negotiates a dilapidated factory and a postindustrial economy, producing something of a new architectural typology in the process.

Governor Dannel Malloy cuts the ribbon at the new Higher One offices Courtesy Teo Quintana Last Tuesday, financiers Higher One cut the ribbon on its new, 150,000 sq. ft., $46 million office space in New Haven’s once-defunct Winchester Repeating Arms factory. Designed by Svigals + Partners and completed in only nine months, the building will provide offices for 240 employees. What…

99th Edition of the Armory Show

From Susan B. Komen to Kony, public discourse is the art “Happening,” taking to the streets and Twitter to affect global change and re-invention. Fortified with OWS, riots, performances, street art and viral social media campaigns, our public policy as well as our public lives are shaped by this expanding discourse. Art for social exchange and change is vital to…

Midterm at Yale’s BIG/Durst Studio

Courtesy Karl Schmeck Midterm reviews for the BIG/Durst studio have come and gone, and now we’re reflecting on the criticism and issues raised during the day. Our studio project focused on “social infrastructure” (a term employed by Bjarke Ingels), as it relates to the design of a habitable bridge. The primary investigation outlined by the studio brief was to test…

A Private Tour of Dining by Design

One highlight of this year’s Architectural Digest Home Design Show was DIFFA’s Dining by Design. This special exhibition features a smorgasbord of more than 40 dining environments created through a series of collaborations between designers and design brands. These whimsical installations raise funds to support direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventive education for those at risk. On March 25,…

Milestone for Emerging Architects

As we, at the American Institute of Architects’ Young Architects Forum (AIA YAF) www.aia.org/yaf celebrate our 20 year anniversary, we find ourselves at a critical moment regarding the future of our chosen profession. Every day and too often we hear talk about losing a whole generation from the practice of architecture. Though new grads have the highest unemployment rate, the…

Innovation for Hire

Courtesy SERA Architects and GDB Architects Disappointment has become an everyday feeling since 2008 for those of us in the design and construction fields, as we saw too many of our pet projects dematerialize. But the loss is especially painful when a project has more potential for innovation than others. For me, the recent decision of the Oregon State Legislature…

Bad Apple: Evaluating The Tech Company’s Sustainability

With billions in assets, Apple could have a huge influence in global sustainability. But it has yet to do anything to make its products more sustainable.

“Apple Alert” Joseph G. Brin © 2012 In response to Stephan Clambaneva’s remarks about Apple’s recycling efforts, I mostly disagree with what he’s saying, not because I think he’s wrong, but I tend to have a different meter for sustainability than others, especially industrial designers. The part of Stephan’s defense of Apple I most agree with is that people don’t…

Q&A: Nicholas David, automotive designer

Nicholas David has always loved cars. “When I was 12 – 13 years old my teacher gave me an instructional book on how to draw cars and industrial objects. When I figured out that I could get paid doing something I love – it made for an easy decision,” said the designer of Chevy’s Tru 140S concept vehicle for GM,…

In Philadelphia, an Abandoned Bottling Plant Is a Makeshift Synagogue

Nestled in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, the site questions the nature of sacred space.

“Building for sale, pray within” Photography courtesy the author An abandoned 70,000-square-foot bottling plant in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood was just the right source for Rabbi Gedaliah Lowenstein, seventh generation Californian, to tap for his new synagogue. Of course, the price was also just right—rent free. An agreement with generous and supportive building owners, though, designated that the building could…

Which Lost New York?

“Lost New York” by Nathan Silver or Marcia Reiss This morning I received a strange “press release” in my inbox. It was from Nathan Silver, a frequent Metropolis contributor. Silver is the author of the seminal 1967 Lost New York, a book that was hugely influential in helping to spur the nascent historic preservation movement. Lost New York has been…

Long Exposure Photography Captures NYC’s Fleeting Moments

Manhattan-based Matthew Pillsbury’s new show of photography at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery, “City Stages,” is a love letter to New York City.

Photo by Roger Edwards Ever since its invention in the 19th century, photography has taken on the city as a favorite subject. Now as the digital age   speeds up our world, one photographer invites us to slow down and look closer. Manhattan-based Matthew Pillsbury’s new show at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery, “City Stages,” invites us to reflect. It’s a love…

Seismic Design

McGill University professors Dr. Effie Bouras and Ghyslaine McClure are on the hunt. They’re searching for designers and researchers who take innovative approaches to seismic design. The exhibit they’re planning recognizes that the frequent earthquake-related catastrophes often lead to engineered solutions, while leaving out aesthetics. Instead, Bouras and McClure will focus on proposals that do not “sacrifice a design aesthetic…

Q&A: Who Needs Industrial Design?

“Early Industrial Designer” Joseph G. Brin © 2012 “Fluid, intuitive, plug and play, out-of-the-box” – all characteristics of user friendly experience endlessly hyped by many companies these days. However, they remain elusive – an industrial designer is one person actually trained to deliver them to us in our daily encounter with objects and information. A Conversation With Stephan Clambaneva, North…

Navigating the Neutral Ground

I live on St. Charles Avenue, home to the famous New Orleans streetcar line. It’s home also (in addition to some insanely impressive houses) to one of the most unique urban spaces in America. The St. Charles Avenue streetcars run on a tree-lined strip known locally as “the neutral ground.” This is simply a “median” in other cities, but in…

Foreclosed

Installation view of Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream at The Museum of Modern Art, 2012. Photo © Jason Mandella. Reactions, responses, and reviews of the Museum of Modern Art’s recently opened exhibition regarding housing in the American suburbs have steadily been popping up here and elsewhere on the Internet. The five design proposals put forth in Foreclosed: Rehousing the American…

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