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Urban Symposium No. 1

The first Urban Symposium event, as a part of StoreFrontLab Season 2, kicked off with a full room of people, each with a party hat on and margarita in hand. > Read More

Berlin architect Professor Michael Braum led off the first day's session. Photo: Michael Willis

Knowledge City: Rethinking Heidelberg

Berlin architect Professor Michael Braum led off the first day’s session. Photo: Michael Willis

Heidelberg, one of Europe’s oldest university towns, is looking at its future. Here’s a firsthand account of what’s ahead and what it might means for university towns here. > Read More

Photo by Lucas Saugen.

Bay Lights Ignite: One Part Business, Two Parts Pleasure

Photo by Lucas Saugen, courtesy thebaylights.org

 

Perched on a bar stool at Sinbad’s Pier 2 Restaurant with a friend, I sipped a glass of white wine on a warm spring night. Sinbad’s is definitely a touristy establishment with its wonderful view of the Bay Bridge. And that is why I was there—to take in the recently ignited “Bay Lights” project on the Bridge’s Western span. > Read More

Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” at the terminus of the Louvre-Lens’ grand gallery. (Photo by Richard Ingersoll.)

SANAA’s Anti-Louvre

Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” at the terminus of the Louvre-Lens’ grand gallery. (Photo by Richard Ingersoll.)

Just before Christmas a superb new museum—a subsidiary of the Louvre in Paris—opened in the ex-coal mining city of Lens in northern France. To promote this breakthrough in museology, the curators chose the familiar icon of revolution, Eugène Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People,” one of some 200 artworks on loan from the parent institution, the world’s most popular museum. Richard Ingersoll paid a visit. > Read More

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ACADIA 2012: Synthetic Digital Ecologies

 

The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) convened late last fall at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco for its annual four-day conference, organized this year by CCA’s Jason Kelly Johnson.[1] It headlined an impressive list of international speakers, including Manuel DeLanda, Saul Griffith of otherlab, Greg Lynn, and Achim Menges. > Read More

Joshua Band, Enter House Left. Photo by Janice Suhji.

Nothing to See Here

Joshua Band, Enter House Left. Photo by Janice Suhji.

Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs at the City and County of San Francisco says he knows this place. He and I are standing in front of a life size mural photograph on canvas depicting a forested and theatrically lit night scene. In the image, a small sign stands at the base of a dirt path that leads into a dense and naturalistic planting of camellia and pines. > Read More

Photo by Cesar Rubio Photography.

Manifest Destiny!

Photo by Cesar Rubio Photography.

 

The view walking along Bush Street towards downtown San Francisco recalls the exaggerated perspective of a Wayne Thiebaud painting. The sharp crest of the hill forces the gaze forward and down, revealing the urban fabric below where Manifest Destiny! — a19th-century, smaller than life-size cabin—adheres like a barnacle to the blank façade of 453 Bush Street, three and one half stories up. > Read More

Patents per capita, by metropolitan area. Map by Mike Webster, courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Help Wanted (But Maybe Not Here)

Patents per capita, by metropolitan area. Map by Mike Webster, courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Enrico Moretti’s new book about where knowledge industries cluster has implications for the economic future of all cities, and the future of their built environments. > Read More

Interior of Fort Point during International Orange. Artist Cornelia Parker’s “Reveille” can be seen at the end of the corridor. Photo by John Cary.

International Orange

Interior of Fort Point during International Orange. Artist Cornelia Parker’s “Reveille” can be seen at the end of the corridor. Photo by John Cary.

On May 27, the tranquil beauty of the Bay and the grace of the Golden Gate Bridge were rocked by a spectacle of pyrotechnics and light to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bridge. > Read More

Sara VanDerBeek. Western Costume, Black Satin (Day), 2011, detail. Courtesy of the artist and Altman Siegal Gallery

Flection : A Phenomenology of Folds

Sara VanDerBeek. Western Costume, Black Satin (Day), 2011, detail. Courtesy of the artist and Altman Siegal Gallery.

Flection, a group exhibit at Hedge Gallery through September 1st, explores the fold in abstract art. > Read More

Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Non-Symmetrical Tension-Integrity Structures, United States Patent Office no. 3,866,366, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print in white ink on clear polyester film; 30"x 40"; Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, all rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.

Bucky

Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Non-Symmetrical Tension-Integrity Structures, United States Patent Office no. 3,866,366, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print in white ink on clear polyester film; 30 x 40 in.; Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, all rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.

 

The only time I heard him speak, Buckminster Fuller managed to jump from the geometric properties of his geodesic domes to the proof of God’s existence. > Read More

Mark Bradford, Smokey, 2003; billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, acrylic gel medium, permanent-wave end papers, and additional mixed media on canvas; 60 x 72 inches; collection of Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz; © Mark Bradford; photo: Bruce M. White

Looking at Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford, Smokey, 2003; billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, acrylic gel medium, permanent-wave end papers, and additional mixed media on canvas; 60 x 72 inches; collection of Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz; © Mark Bradford; photo: Bruce M. White

 

The Mark Bradford retrospective, currently at the SFMOMA and YBCA, collects Bradford’s best work from 2000 to 2010, representing his primary concerns of a decade. > Read More

Opening day at Pruitt Igoe. Photo via http://www.pruitt-igoe.com/urban-history/

Ghost Story

Opening day at Pruitt Igoe. Photo via http://www.pruitt-igoe.com/urban-history/

It remains nearly impossible to escape architecture, urban design, or planning education in the United States without hearing the name Pruitt-Igoe, even forty years after the St. Louis housing project’s demolition in 1972. > Read More

Rodolfo Machado at UC Berkeley on March 9, 2012. Photo by John Parman.

Rodolfo Machado at Wurster Hall

Rodolfo Machado at Wurster auditorium, UC Berkeley, on March 9, 2012. Photo by John Parman.

 

“Where were the students?” one of their professors asked me as we were leaving. It was a pity they missed the lecture, because Professor Machado had aimed to instruct, showing in detail how three of his projects moved from planning to completion, warts and all. > Read More

Photo by Yuki Bowman

‘Architecture in the Expanded Field’

Photo by Yuki Bowman

 

Co-curated and designed by CCA’s Ila Berman and Douglas Burnham, ‘Architecture in the Expanded Field’ is an Herculean and painstakingly crafted 3-dimensional exhibit that indexes some 75 works of ‘installation architecture’—an experimental terrain of practice explored by Erin Hyman for this magazine. > Read More

Lars Lerup explaining his analysis of the Houston cityscape. Photo by John Parman..

Lars Lerup at Wurster Hall

Lars Lerup explaining his analysis of the Houston cityscape. Photo by John Parman.

 

Playing to a big, friendly crowd, Rice Professor Lars Lerup acknowledged his Berkeley roots in a lecture on Wednesday night, 7 March, centered on his new book on the Houston cityscape, One Million Acres & No Zoning (Architectural Association, 2011). > Read More

Architectural model, plan view, for MOS’s 'Thoughts on a Walking City' project for Orange, New Jersey. Photograph courtesy of James Ewing. © 2011 James Ewing.

Dreaming of Home

Architectural model, plan view, for MOS’s "Thoughts on a Walking City" project for Orange, New Jersey. Photograph courtesy of James Ewing. © 2011 James Ewing.

 

It didn’t take the mortgage meltdown to make clear that residential patterns affect individual, societal and environmental health. And the crash only made the ruinous implications of conventional sprawl development harder to ignore. Now an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art asks how architecture and planning might ameliorate those consequences, proposing alternate ideals of home and imagining buildings and places to express them. > Read More

Gerhard Richter. Atlas. Tafel 5. Albumfotos 1962-1968. © Gerhard Richter 2011

STRANGE ATLAS 02: PULL IT TOGETHER

Gerhard Richter. Atlas. Tafel 5. Albumfotos 1962-1968. ©Gerhard Richter 2011.

 

The creative process is an intriguing design problem of its own: how should you craft the method used to craft other things? This is the second in a series of essays exploring this topic through the lens of strange atlas, an interpretive creative process. Although this approach applies beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries, the essays focus on its application for designing the built environment.

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Image courtesy Richard Ingersoll.

The Dis[re]membered Body

Image courtesy Richard Ingersoll.

 

Richard Ingersoll, Nomads in  Sprawltown

February 2, 2012

 

Like every lecture nowadays, the speaker begins hunched over a cinderblock media counter checking to see if his technology is compatible with the space. Wearing mostly black and bedecked in a small beret, the Montevarchi, Italy based architectural historian and professor Richard Ingersoll commands the attention of around 50 students and visitors who stare down at him from the blocky bare wood of the New Soft Room at the Architectural Association’s London office.

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Charles and Ray Eames "pinned" by chair bases, 1947. © 2011 Eames Office, LLC.

Overexposed?

Charles and Ray Eames "pinned" by chair bases, 1947. © 2011 Eames Office, LLC.

 

The Architect & The Painter, the new film on Charles and Ray Eames, is broad in its ambitions and captures a few things very well. > Read More