Point of View - Point of View December 2010

 

An Arup Greeting

Of all the kind holiday greetings that flooded our inbox this year, this one was the most wonderful by far. In its 64 year-long history, the engineering and design consultancy Arup has been involved in creating some of the most iconic buildings…

The Best American Architecture Firms

   Pugh + Scarpa, the winner of the 2010 AIA Architecture Firm Award, will change its name for the New Year, and will be known as Brooks + Scarpa in 2011. Former partner Gwynne Pugh left the firm on September…

Active Facade

The story of a storefront in Brooklyn’s Bushwick section, proudly inspired by Jean Nouvel’s Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, is in the current issue of Metropolis. The short piece made me want to know more about the security gate…

Q&A: Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels is known to fill up rooms where his fellow architects come to be entertained, to learn, and to bask in the young Dane’s enthusiasm and seemingly inexhaustible energy. Most recently he made an appearance at Relative Space in…

Ezra Stoller: Canonizer

Cohen House, Siesta Key, Florida, Architect: Paul Rudolph. Photo: Ezra Stoller/Esto. Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Gordon Bunshaft—they all had their buildings “Stollerized.” To have one’s building photographed by Ezra Stoller was to practically ensure its…

I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe

The 2011 TED Prize-winner is the artist who goes by the tag, JR. His enormous photographic installations obscure the facades of buildings, overlay streets, and sometimes collage to cover clusters of buildings in one massive broken image. While some shy…

Places that Work: A Rural Library

Library visits may be fewer in December and January as avid readers plow through their holiday cache of books. But that trend might not apply to the Round Top Family Library in rural Round Top, Texas. Here, on a recent…

A New Museum for Qatar

It is going to be a while before Jean Nouvel’s celebrated National Museum of Qatar blossoms in the desert. But in the meanwhile, an architecturally modest museum with a far more ambitious mission is ready to open its doors for…

When SPOT Dreams of Electric Sheep

Sheep 16850 by drunkenbutterfly Scott Draves (aka SPOT) produces software art that makes my brain melt. I’m almost positive it’s doing something neurological similar to the pink beam of light fired at Horselover Fat’s brain in Philip K. Dick’s novel,…

Q&A: Burke and Meinberg Burke

                          Timepiece by Carrie Meinberg Burke and Kevin Burke, Photo: Prakash Patel Kevin Burke is an architect. Carrie Meinberg Burke is an architect and industrial designer. Together, they…

The Politics of Building Green

In spite of some starting troubles, it turns out that the recently concluded climate-change talks at Cancun might well be a landmark event in the politics of sustainability. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has miraculously avoided the…

Paper, Pratt and Pucci

Photo: Antoine Bootz It’s all très chic and very, very white. When veteran mannequin maker and exhibitor of fine furniture Ralph Pucci got a bunch of design students from Pratt to dress up his latest line of mannequins, he knew…

A Confusing Design Decade

Design award categories are often unfortunate anachronisms. Most awards are given in categories based on disciplines -- “Furniture Design”, “Consumer Products” – and then the organizers resort to lengthy definitions to try and force today’s exciting, interdisciplinary work into these…

Places that Work: The Swedish Embassy

The House of Sweden (Swedish Embassy) in Washington, DC is a striking manifestation of Swedish culture; in fact it may be among the best architectural embodiments of culture/brand I’ve ever visited. As the year winds down, you may see this…

My Robot

Deep in suburban southern California, the future of architecture has already arrived. This future is not just about more complex forms and compound geometries. It is not simply about software but how to make what is generated with software a…

Design by Numbers

Leonardo Fibonacci was an Italian merchant in the 13th century who spent a lot of time with the Arabs in the North African trading post of Bejaia. From them, he learnt of a deceptively simple series of numbers – 0,…

Life, Edited.

The heyday of the McMansion has been on its way out for quite some time – perhaps more by economic circumstance than by fashion of choice – but Treehugger.com founder Graham Hill is out to actively sway our consumption preferences.…

New Islamic Architectures

The Wadi Hanifa Wetlands, one of the winners of the 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. In a ceremony held last week at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Quatar, five projects received the 2010 Aga Khan Award for…

Women: Systems Thinkers

  On the opening day of West Coast Green (which took place in San Francisco a month ago), I moderated a panel that included architects Carrie Meinberg Burke and Lynn Simon; Valerie Casey, a designer and the founder of Designers…

Q&A: Jasper Morrison

Last September, during London’s design week, I travelled to Hackney in East London to visit Jasper Morrison at his studio and shop, where he debuted several products: a running shoe for Spanish shoemaker Camper, a cordless telephone and the latest…