Foriegn firms aren’t just in India for the cash

The Times of India looks at foreign firms in India and talks about

Be it a slum redevelopment project in congested Mumbai or Kolkata’s new museum of modern art, the global imprint on the country’s fast-changing urban landscape is evident. Made in India but designed by a clutch of foreign architects looking to cash in on the country’s real estate boom.

This is true of many developing nations (UAE, China, India, Vietnam, Tanzania,) that when the first major projects such as airports, museums, galleries, opera houses are slated for design and then construction many foreign firms are issued the contracts. And as the article speaks about it has a lot to do with star marketing power but often it has more to do with the experience of designing and building large scale projects and finalising them within a short time frame(eg Olympic, Commonwelath Games Venues).

The author refers to RMJM, Foster and Partners, HOK, who all have experience in large scale projects but also have offices all around the world so they understand what it takes to open a new office in a developing nation and to make it work.

Having international firms design infrastructure, civic and residential projects is not all bad, the country benefits from projects being seen on the world scale an example is the Olympic Stadium (bird’s nest) in Beijing many people have known about this building years in advance of the Olympics. The main benefit to the developing country is that many of these large firms employ local workers and train them in the international standard of design, engineering and detailing which they can then take to a local firm or move on and open their own firm. This is true of many of the major cities in China where over the last 15 years foreign firms have opened offices and worked on large scale projects and local firms have learnt from their successes and failures (in design and business) and now compete quite successfully against foreign firms.

Most of all it is up to local firms, schools and governments to educate the current and future designers of India so that they can compete and win against foreign firms not just from North America and Europe developed Asian countries but their developing neighbors such as China.

SOURCE of Original Article: Times of India – Foreign hands building India – Author: Neelam Raaj

Want a new urban model? Go west – TheStar.com

VANCOUVER–Even in this city of condos, The Beasley stands out. Not because of its height (33 storeys), the number of units (271) or its location (Yaletown). What makes it impossible to ignore is its name – The Beasley.

In this city, that can mean only one thing, Larry Beasley.

On the off chance you haven’t heard of Beasley, he is Vancouver’s former chief planner and creator of the famous “Vancouver model,” which for all its flaws, now defines this city.

The point is that in a world obsessed with starchitects and celebrity designers, Vancouver is one of few cities to have grasped that the important issue isn’t architecture, but planning. It’s not so much buildings as the space between them that differentiates one city from another, that makes one city attractive, another unappealing.

SOURCE: TheStar.com - Ideas - Want a new urban model? Go west.

RhinoTerrain 1.0 for Rhinoceros 4.0 Released

RhinoTerrain SARL today announced the release of RhinoTerrain 1.0 for Rhinoceros 4.0, a plugin for generation and analysis of accurate 3D terrain models for use in Architecture, Survey, Civil Engineering and Landscaping practices plus support for output to 3d printers.

Features include Fast Terrain Creation, True terrain visualisation, Contour Curve Generation and Terrain Importer.

Value
The plug-in is available for purchase now at 695 USD / 695 Euros

SOURCE: Rhino Press Release

Landscape architecture steals the show at Future Vision 08 awards

For the second year running, landscape architecture has stolen the show, with a student from Kingston University securing the top prize at Future Vision 08 – the national awards scheme for young people with bright ideas for improving places.

Regine Elmenthaler came up with an idea to inject life into the Royal Docks in East London. Her vision for the future – Revive the Docks – brings the community together by creating a series of floating docks that extend the existing landscape to make room for markets, gardens, homes, green space and even a beach.

SOURCE: Landscape Institute – Landscape architecture steals the show at Future Vision 08 awards.

Record: Architecture students win JP Morgan Chase Community Development Competition

A design proposal by 10 architecture students from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts has won the 2008 JP Morgan Chase Community Development Competition.

Over the past several months, a class — led by Derek Hoeferlin, lecturer in architecture — has partnered with the Good Work Network, a nonprofit business incubator in New Orleans, to create redevelopment strategies for the Franz Building, a historic retail space at 2016 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans.

Two graduate students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning also developed a corresponding business plan.

The first-place award of $25,000 will provide seed money for the Franz Building renovation, which is scheduled to begin later this year. When completed, the 6,800-square-foot structure will house storefront tenant spaces as well as a new headquarters, including offices and classrooms, for the Good Work Network. Last year, the group provided training and support services to more than 600 low-income and minority entrepreneurs.

SOURCE: Washington Univeristy Record: Architecture students win JP Morgan Chase Community Development Competition.

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