This exhibition presents eleven architectural projects on five continents that respond to localized needs in underserved communities. These innovative designs signal a renewed sense of commitment, shared by many of today’s practitioners, to the social responsibilities of architecture. Though this stance echoes socially engaged movements of the past, the architects highlighted here are not interested in grand manifestos or utopian theories. Instead, their commitment to a radical pragmatism can be seen in the projects they have realized, from a handmade school in Bangladesh to a reconsideration of a modernist housing project in Paris, from an apartheid museum in South Africa to a cable car that connects a single hillside barrio in Caracas to the city at large. These works reveal an exciting shift in the longstanding dialogue between architecture and society, in which the architect’s methods and approaches are being dramatically reevaluated. They also propose an expanded definition of sustainability that moves beyond experimentation with new materials and technologies to include such concepts as social and economic stewardship. Together, these undertakings not only offer practical solutions to known needs, but also aim to have a broader effect on the communities in which they work, using design as a tool. continue reading
November 22, 2009
This post is by you.
I am an architecture student from Germany and would like to share my last semester\’s urban design project with you. It was a group work focusing on the revitalization of a city quarter in the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Damascus, Syria. We proposed up-to-date housing in the traditional courtyard houses and a new cultural center on what has been urban wasteland for centuries. continue reading
May 24, 2009
Today we present here a new initiative in which we have been working for the last months and we are asking for your participation.
We are trying to imagine what would happen if we were able to think about real solutions but…new / alternative / revolutionary … which together were capable of generating an alternative urbanity implemented over the contemporary city? continue reading
October 29, 2008
Shawn Frayne, a young inventor based in Mountain View, California, is the creator of Windbelt, a new device for wind-energy production based on an aerodynamic phenomenon known as aeroelastic flutter.
This phenomenon is a well-known destructive force and it caused, for example, the Washington’s Tacoma Narrows Bridge to collapse in 1940 (video). Researchers at Humdinger (this is the name of the company pushing forward the Windbelt technology) have discovered that it can also be a useful and powerful mechanism for ‘catching the wind’ at a variety of scales and costs beyond the reach of traditional turbines.