Janelle Zara
Architecture & Design News

OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News

Explore the Urbanism of Addiction at the Van Alen Institute

The Van Alen Institute, a New York City-based research institute devoted to generating a better understanding of urbanism among the public, has launched Ecologies of Addiction, an interdisciplinary research initiative focusing on the complex relationship between addictive behaviors and the physical environment of the city. Working in collaboration with the Sustainable Society Network at Imperial College London, the Van Alen Institute hosted a public discussion last night at its newly redesigned headquarters near the Flatiron building to introduce its latest initiative to the public and generate discussion. Ecologies of Addiction is one facet of the Van Alen Institute’s project “Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape,” a multi-year initiative exploring how both the form and organization of the built environment influence our need for escape. Continue Reading

Zaha Hadid Donates Lawsuit Settlement to Worker Rights Group

Zaha Hadid has settled a lawsuit against the New York Review of Books and its architecture critic, Martin Filler, reports Architectural Record. The suit, originally filed in late August 2014 in New York State Supreme Court, accused the publication and its writer of defamation and slander in an article that amounted to “a personal attack disguised as a book review,” asserted her lawyers at Manhattan firm BakerHostetler when the suit was initially filed. “Ms Hadid is pleased to have put to rest this dispute, and to have resolved it in a way that demonstrates her commitment to safe and fair working conditions at construction sites around the world,” said Gonzalo Zeballos, one of the attorneys representing the architect, to Architectural Record.

Zaha Hadid’s Al-Wakrah Stadium, to be built in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup was compared in appearance to female genitalia when renderings were first released in November, 2013.

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Fondazione Prada’s AMO-Designed Campus Opens in May

Fondazione Prada will open its permanent home, designed by AMO, in southern Milan on May 9, reports Dezeen. The research branch of Rem Koolhaas’s Rotterdam-based firm OMA has been converting an industrial space at Largo Isarco outside the city center into a multipurpose arts complex since the project was first announced in April 2008. The site includes 36,000 square feet of exhibition space and also features a bar — “modelled on traditional Milan cafes,” according to Dezeen — designed by filmmaker Wes Anderson. Continue Reading

Alexander Wang Designs an $8,800 Beanbag Chair

Having imparted his normcore touch to supple black leather handbags, clothes, and neck pillows, fashion designer Alexander Wang is trying his hand at beanbag chairs. The creative director of Balenciaga and his own namesake label has created three pieces for Italian furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau, and the resulting capsule collection is everything you’d expect from a designer who is already famous for producing luxury iterations of quotidian things. “It’s banal, an everyday item,” Wang tells Wall Street Journal Magazine about his interest in the beanbag chair. Naturally, his version comes in black shearling and leather options, and costs $8,800. Continue Reading

Design Days Dubai Announces 2015 Exhibitors

Design Days Dubai, the first and only limited edition and collectible design fair in the Middle East, returns to its tent at the base of the Burj Khalifa for its fourth — and largest — installment on March 16. The fair, which runs through March 20, will welcome a total of 44 exhibitors from 20 countries this year — the largest number of galleries to show at Design Days Dubai since its inception in 2012.

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Thom Mayne is Demolishing Ray Bradbury’s House

The cat’s out of the bag: the fine folks over at Curbed Los Angeles have figured out who is demolishing sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury’s old home in the city’s westside Cheviot Hills neighborhood, and it’s none other than hometown hero Thom Mayne of Morphosis fame. Surprise, surprise. The Caltrans headquarters building in downtown Los Angeles, the Emerson College Hollywood campus on Sunset Boulevard — he designed them all. Who doesn’t like a quaint California cottage? This Pritzker laureate right here.

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Paestum Archaeological Museum Seeks Director

Twenty of the leading museums in Italy have just announced an executive head hunt, en masse: from the Uffizzi in Florence to the Nationa Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, some of the country’s best cultural institutions are looking to hire new directors, according to a post on the Economist’s jobs portal. The long list of venerable institutions with job openings includes a few renowned archaeological and architectural sites, such as the Archaeological Park in Paestum — which contains three Greek temple structures that date to approximately 600 B.C.E. and are among the best-preserved examples of their kind in Italy. Three branches of the National Archaeological Museum (in Napoli, Reggio Calabria, and Taranto) are also looking for new directors, and the entire list of Italian museums looking for new directors can be found below.

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Architects Who Restored Statue of Liberty File for Bankruptcy

Swanke Hayden Connell, the architecture firm responsible for the 1986 restoration of the Statue of Liberty, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reports the Wall Street Journal. The New York City-based architecture and interior design firm is “citing its inability to collect more than $2 million from an assignment in Russia,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue Reading

Design Tips From AIA Gold Medalist Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie, who won the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects last month (the organization’s highest honor given out annually to one of its own members), famously modeled his landmark Habitat ‘67 housing complex on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal out of Lego pieces. “We bought out all the Legos in Montreal at the time, because we built many, many alternatives,” he told Dezeen shortly after winning the AIA award. Though he eventually left Lego behind, Safdie has designed via hand-drafting throughout his 50 years of practice — even though digital technologies have long since replaced manual drawing as the preferred rendering method of the architectural profession. Younger architects, including — invariably — those in his Boston office, design by computer. Yet Safdie would like to see the emerging generation of architects put down their mouses and pick up pencils. Continue Reading

Norman Foster is Still the Most Admired Architect in the World

Norman Foster has been named the “world’s most admired architect” for the ninth year in a row, in a survey conducted by British architecture and design journal Building Design. His firm, Foster + Partners, beat second place candidate firm Herzog & de Meuron by seven percent. He took the top place with 17% of the vote — tallied from fellow British architects. Though Foster + Partners ranks first among admired architecture firms, the London-based global practice is actually the 16th largest in the world, according to ArchDaily. Gensler, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and Bjarke Ingels Group ranked immediately after the top two; all firms that made the top 10 listing are either mid-size or corporate offices.

“To be voted most admired practice by our peers is a great honor,” Foster told Building Design. “It is a huge tribute to our talented and hard-working teams with their myriad skills and disciplines, both in our many studios around the world and our base in London, all working towards the common goal of bringing innovative design solutions to create a better built environment.”

See the 10 highest ranking firms in the Building Design survey after the cut: Continue Reading