IN AN OBLIQUE commentary on global politics, the Pritzker Prize jury just awarded architecture’s highest honor to a little-known trio of Spanish architects who carefully honor local topography and culture in their contemporary designs.
With just a few lines and shapes, Isamu Noguchi’s set design for Martha Graham’s ballet “Appalachian Spring” suggests a landscape and a way of life. The outline of a house, described with soaring beams, is clean and severe. The only furnishings are a narrow bench and a rocking chair.
The Urbanist looks at those slightly unusual structures that make you ask: how did that get built and what does it say about the city that hosts it? They cover some very obvious eyesores, peculiar street furniture and divisive buildings challenging all architectural norms and models. Is it time for us to embrace them?
Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it. Art can take something as dark as the Hay Institution for Girls, as hateful as that graffiti, and in applying the transfiguring power of ‘something else,’ it can give us the strength not to turn away and normalize, but to keep looking—and in doing so to question, provoke, understand, reject, change.
The secret to happiness in almost any relationship is knowing what not to say. Ask your new love about her old loves and you’ll learn more than you want to know, and hear things you’ll never be able to unhear.
With murder rates double, and robbery rates three times, the state average, the Sydney suburb of Blacktown is not an obvious choice as a world leader of sustainable living.
But, in 2016, a new master-planned estate in the suburb became the first residential community in New South Wales to be awarded a top, six-star Green Star community rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).
In the future, our cars will drive themselves. That much is clear. But what we choose to do with our time while being driven to our destinations has sparked a weird, little-noticed movement in the technology and auto industries to redefine automobiles as social environments on par with our homes and work places, a space also known as the “third place.”
A sense of orientation is a useful asset for a living thing. Many creatures appear to tap into the Earth´s magnetic field to locate themselves within, and move around, the planet. Sea turtles, pigeons, dolphins, migrating birds and even dogs—who show a preference for a North-South alignment when they excrete—all seem to be equipped with such a sense.
After a factory in Dongguan, China, replaced most of its workers with robots, it witnessed a spectacular rise in productivity.
Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava has designed a 24 metre-high (79ft) glass arcade with “winter garden” atrium for the complex, which will be topped by three towers, each rising more than 30 storeys above North Greenwich station, which is to be renamed Greenwich Peninsula.
The virtues of digital turn out to be the vices as well. Having all the music on earth at your instant disposal turns out to be almost the same as having none; Spotify’s playlists show people picking the same tunes over and over.
I’ve watched the ozone layer disappear, the whole world frying unprotected under the gaze of the sun, all human life lost. I’ve watched a man climb the glacier that used to be New York City, and I’ve watched sentient machines take apart the city of Chicago. I’ve watched society crumble, leaving only a teenager to save us.
With more than 100 design weeks around the world, design worshippers are hard-pressed to visit them all. Yet new cities are always being added. So why are so many municipalities trying to link their names with ‘Design’ and what can being a host bring to a city?