Unsustainable Seattle – Crosscut Seattle

When you consider the carbon footprint of new construction, this city promotes growth and development policies that are wasteful, destructive, and myopic. Greens and historic preservationists need to find common cause in creating a truly sustainable urban landscape.

SOURCE: Crosscut Seattle – Unsustainable Seattle.

The battle of the skyscrapers – Salon News

For an entire century, New York was the city of skyscrapers, the epitome of the vertical city. It just kept growing into the sky, faster and faster. It was an exhilarating adventure in stone, steel and glass — and seemingly unsurpassable.

In “Delirious New York,” his legendary 1978 book about the giant city of skyscrapers and its magic, the young Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas raved about what he called the “colonization of the sky.”

Even the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center have not diminished the enthusiasm the now world-famous architect has for the skyscraper as a model of success. Despite the disaster, says Koolhaas, the skyscraper is still “about the only type of building that has survived the leap into the 21st century.”

From a Western perspective, at least, this is precisely the problem. Economically booming megacities — such as Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai — where extravagant skyscrapers are shooting up all over, mean that cities like New York are beginning to look old and outdated, despite attempts to modernize. In Europe, the eastern part is beginning to look more modern than the western part. Cities like Istanbul and Moscow are more dynamic than London, Paris or Milan.

SOURCE: Salon News – The battle of the skyscrapers .

Foster and Partners announce installation for 2008 London Festival of Architecture

Foster + Partners is designing and then erecting, with the help of the public, a special installation to mark the launch of the 2008 London Festival of Architecture (LFA) on Saturday 21 June. Part of the LFA’s Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge Hub, the structure will be constructed and dismantled on Exhibition Road in a single day.

The design will be revealed at the event and Foster + Partners is delighted to announce that the installation will incorporate a new eight channel site specific sound sculpture by artist Bill Fontana.

The temporary structure will rise to over ten metres in height, feature tensile components and involve public participation. Members of the public will be invited to assist between 10.00am to 12.00pm and then help to raise the structure at 2.00pm. Situated adjacent to Imperial College, visitors will be able to experience the interior of the installation and the specially commissioned sound piece until 6.30pm.

Bill Fontana lives and works in San Francisco, exhibits internationally and is represented in London by Haunch of Venison. He has spent more than thirty years creating installations that use sound to transform the visitor’s experience of art and architecture.

Designer: Foster + Partners, Sound artist: Bill Fontana, Engineer: Buro Happold Technical installation: ESS Projects

With support from:
Architen Landrell Creative Technologies, Imperial College, Keim Paints, Medico, Rope & Marine Services, SheetFab , Showstars , Stage One

Talking green: A guide to eco-English

Denise Ryan of the Times Colonist (Canada) has written a great article on the language, lexicon, jargon of Eco-English. Terms that we use in day to day life as professionals and educators but often we forget what they actually mean.

For the correct meaning on Bioaccumulation, Freecycling, Point Sources and many other terms we use in our professions this is a great reference for young and old.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times-Colonist – Talking green: A guide to eco-English – Denise Ryan

MVRDV – Crowded House – NYTimes.com

MRDV – the architects that hail from Rotterdam producing a wide variety of built and theorical work that pushes the boundaries of urban densities and how people relate and live in cities. The New York Times has produced a special Architecture edition of its Magazine and includes numerous articles that are a great read. The article title ‘Crowded House’ focuses on MVRDV and gives a great insight in the architectural studios founders and their work from the past.

For a great insight into MVRDV’s work read Crowded House by Darcy Frey @ NY Times


Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) stressed in a circular on Tuesday that infrastructure restoration was a priority in reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake.

The MHURD ordered governments at all levels to draw up construction plans by June 8, including building locations and materials.

It instructed officials to better manage construction of interim housing in quake-hit areas to ensure its safety.

The government is to assess all school buildings in quake zones, said a statement from the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council.

Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school, according to the statement.

SOURCE: Xinhua – Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas.

Dwell on Design Los Angeles to start on June 5

What happens when Dwell editors drive the agenda? A roster of more than 50 incredibly talented and diverse speakers ranging from legislators to practitioners to activists, discussing everything from urban gardening to a mandated LEED program for LA. The conference follows two parallel tracks but we encourage you to veer from the linear and sign up for any panel that sparks your interest.  

An exciting and different event will be the Monrovia Design Challenge allows party attendees to create an instant, eye-catching landscape within a small space. Three teams at a time have just 10 minutes to create a design using a wide palette of stylish Monrovia plants. When all sets of teams are finished, the judges, including Monrovia CEO Miles Rosedale, will award the winning team a living trophy from Monrovia. Every party attendee will receive a Monrovia plant to take home.

Dwell on Design – Los Angeles starts on June 5 to June 8

SOURCE: dwell.comDwell on Design Los Angeles Home Page – Dwell Conferences – .

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