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Jessie + Katey

Abandoned building in Boston transformed into a site-specific art installation
An abandoned building in Allston, Boston has been transformed into an engaging art installation by two Baltimore-based artists, revealing the power of art in urban intervention.
The duo Jessie + Katey, formed by Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, created the mural as a part of a Harvard-based initiative called Zone 3. The initiative aims to further activate and energize the buildings along Western Avenue, which include a former dry cleaning facility and auto body garage, by implementing creative programs, events, and retail.
Jessie + Katey are known for creating large-scale public murals that look to engage the public with their socially active art. The entire building’s facade is painted with bold colors and sweeping patterns that curve around the edges, along with recycled materials like beer cans and bottle caps attached to the walls. The pair also held community events where the public was invited to create their own screen prints, which were eventually inscribed onto the walls. It took them nearly one month to complete the mural, which explores themes of movement and symmetry. The two artists have been creating colorful murals since 2011 and have been making an impression on the East Coast. Two years ago they were selected for the New York Department of Transportation’s 191st Tunnel Beautification Project and that same year they worked with Philadelphia’s Murals Arts Program when creating the 400-foot-long mural pop-up park: "Summer Kaleidoscope." In addition to this, Unterhalter and Truhn have residencies with The Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, New York, The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine and the John Micheal Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
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BQDA

AIA Brooklyn + Queens Design Awards winners announced
The American Institute of Architects Brooklyn + Queens Design Awards (BQDA), which now works with AIA Staten Island and AIA Bronx, has announced the winners for its 2017 gala, the second edition of the awards. This year, the AIA chapters of Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island, all collaborated for the awards. They're aiming to promote chapter members and affiliates by recognizing, as they said in a press release, "the best architecture and professionals that Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx can offer." A jury from AIA Long Island sifted through more than 100 entries, and after a month's worth of deliberation, allocated awards in 13 categories; each AIA Chapter also has its own award. 2017 Brooklyn Chapter Award Casa de Sombra Bade Stageberg Cox 2017 Queens Chapter Award Spire Lofts Zambrano Architectural Design
2017 Staten Island Chapter Award Midtown Redevelopment Project: The City of Monessen v+b Architects
2017 BQDA Design of the Year Elmhurst Community Library Marpillero Pollak Architects Below, are the winners of the 13 categories: Residential (1-2 Family) BQDA Award of Excellence and People's Choice Winner Artist Residence, Brooklyn Lynch Eisinger Design Architects, LLP BQDA Award of Merit Prismatic Bay Townhouse, Brooklyn Peterson Rich Office, LLC

Residential (Multiple Family/Multiple Dwelling)

BQDA Award of Excellence Creston Avenue Residences, Bronx Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC BQDA Award of Merit and  People's Choice Winner 365 Bond Street, Brooklyn Hill West Architects

Residential (Mix Use Residential)

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Navy Green, Brooklyn FXFOWLE BQDA Award of Merit Fulton Street Development, Brooklyn GreenbergFarrow

Institutional

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Elmhurst Community Library, Queens Marpillero Pollak Architects BQDA Award of Merit The Novogratz Center for Athletics, Brooklyn Jack L. Gordon Architects

Commercial - Small Projects

People's Choice Winner CREATE, Queens New York Design Architects

Commercial - Large Projects

People's Choice Winner Apple Store Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Additions/Renovations

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Olmsted Center Annex, Queens BKSK Architects BQDA Award of Merit Park Slope Townhouse, Brooklyn GRADE 

Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation

BQDA Award of Excellence and Queens Chapter Award Spire Lofts, Brooklyn Zambrano Architectural Design People's Choice Winner Brooklyn College Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema & 25 Washington Restoration at Steiner Studios, Brooklyn Dattner Architects

Interiors

BQDA Award of Merit Maple Street School, Brooklyn Barker Freeman Design Office Architects, PLLC and Marvel Architect and 4Mative Design Studio People's Choice Winner Beyond at Liberty View, Brooklyn Zambrano Architectural Design

Small Firm/Sole Practitioner

BQDA Award of Merit Warehouse Loft, Brooklyn studio modh architecture People's Choice Winner House Front Addition, Queens Architecture Studio

Local Firm/Beyond BQDA/International

BQDA Award of Excellence Resort in the Maharashtra Hills, Shillim, India Khanna Schultz BQDA Award of Merit Josai i-House Dormitory, Tokyo, Japan Studio SUMO and Obayashi Corp People's Choice Winner University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Forman Active Learning Classroom, Philadelphia. Studio Modh Architecture

Local Firm/Local Project

BQDA Award of Excellence and  People's Choice Winner Courtyard House, Brooklyn vonDalwig Architecture

Unbuilt

BQDA Award of Excellence North Brother Island School + Habitat, Bronx Ian M. Ellis and Frances Peterson BQDA Award of Merit 1490 Southern Boulevard, Bronx Bernheimer Architecture People's Choice Winner The Table Top Apartments: Affordable Housing in New York City, Brooklyn and Queens Kwong Von Glinow Design Office

Student - Urban Design 

BQDA Student Award of Merit and  People's Choice Winner Brooklyn Cinematic Hotel, Brooklyn Yasmine Zeghar 
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KENSINGTON GARDENS

Kéré’s Serpentine Pavilion goes up in West London
The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, in West London's Kensington Gardens, has been built. Designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré, the Burkina Faso–born and Berlin-based architect, it's the 17th pavilion to be commissioned. (A new pavilion is erected annually ever summer.) For the design, Kéré drew inspiration from a tree in Gando, Burkina Faso, where he designed a school. In Gando, the tree acts as a way to bring people together, and in Kensington, Kéré has emulated this aspect with a wooden canopy, supported by steel framework, that shelters a gathering area. Furthermore, the architect aims to encourage connectivity with nature, as was also the case in Gando.

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While there is no literal tree here, Kéré achieves its effects with a translucent polycarbonate sheet rainwater collection system that transforms the graveled center of the pavilion—where the steel framework stems from—into a waterfall. It's estimated roughly 2,400 gallons of water will be collected, all of which will be used to irrigate the gardens. (Though it may be summer in London, there is no danger of it not raining—knock on wood.)

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"I am fascinated by how this artificial landscape offered a new way for people in the city to experience nature. In Burkina Faso, I am accustomed to being confronted with climate and natural landscape as a harsh reality," Kéré said in a press release. "For this reason, I was interested in how my contribution to this Royal Park could not only enhance the visitor’s experience of nature, but also provoke a new way for people to connect with each other." The gathering area, which offers seating, is encased by a series of blue walls made up of tesselating wooden triangles that curve with and away from the roof's focal point. The triangles, like the canopy above, are arranged so that subtle apertures allow light to filter through and amplify the pattern of triangular motifs. The walls, while rising above head height, do not come into contact with the canopy, nor do they fully enclose the area. This allows air to flow easily through the structure and also frames views above into the gardens actual trees. "As an architect, it is an honor to work in such a grand park, especially knowing the history of how the gardens evolved and changed into what we see today. Every path and tree, even the Serpentine lake, were carefully designed," Kéré added. Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel, along with advisors David Adjaye and Richard Rogers, chose Kéré, who works extensively across Europe, Africa, and his hometown of Gando. In the U.S., his work was most recently the focus of an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The pavilion will be on show and open to the public from June 23 through October 8 of this year.
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33 Winners

Urban beaches, ‘visionary’ architects, ice skating paths among winners of 2017 Knight Cities Challenge
A forest on an abandoned freeway, a bike path turned winter skate track, and participatory governing at the bus stops are slated for reality thanks to the benevolence of the Knight Foundation, which today announced more than three dozen winners of its city-focused grants. This is the third year the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has bestowed $5 million on projects that enhance public spaces large and small across 26 foundation-selected locales. Through the Knight Cities Challenge program, groups or individuals in those places are invited to submit proposals with an eye towards making cities more successful, a mandate that winners interpreted with an eye towards civic dialogue, youth engagement, and neighborhood revitalization. This year, 19 of the 26 cities are represented in 33 winning proposals the Knight Foundation selected from 144 finalists, which were in turn picked from more than 4,500 applications. The average grant is worth around $147,000, with awards ranging from $12,000 for a mobile voting booth in Georgia to more than $300,000 for a traveling participatory design lab in Philadelphia. Below, see how all of the winners will be putting those grants to use (all project descriptions are courtesy of the Knight Foundation):
The A Place Aberdeen Area Community Foundation Aberdeen, South Dakota Opening a pathway to more opportunity and civic engagement by creating a one-stop information and assistance center for immigrants and new Americans. Innerbelt National Forest Hunter Franks Akron, Ohio Reconnecting two socially and physically isolated neighborhoods by replacing a closed freeway in Akron with a lush forest and public space. @PLAY Art x Love Akron, Ohio Encouraging deeper community connections through custom games and recreational activities that highlight the unique history, identity, and character of each of the city’s communities. Witnessing the Beach Gulf Coast Community Design Studio Biloxi, Mississippi Engaging the public across race, income, and age differences through a series of community gathering and discussion spaces at the beach along the path of the “wade-in” protests, which led to the desegregation of the public beach in 1968. Speak Up Bradenton Manatee County Government Bradenton, Florida Encouraging greater civic engagement by opening up avenues for citizens to participate in government decision-making in non-traditional settings such as bus stops, landmarks, and other public gathering places. Rail Trail Grove & Field Charlotte Center City Partners Charlotte, North Carolina Encouraging economic development and city vibrancy by creating a lively place to connect with nature and neighbors along Charlotte’s light rail line. The space will also help link a retail employment center to the nearest transit stop. Your Move, Charlotte Varian Shrum Charlotte, North Carolina Strengthening connections between citizens and local government through a weekly podcast and follow-up roundtable, in which government representatives and millennials engage on local issues. The State’s Front Porch City of Columbia Columbia, South Carolina Encouraging residents to connect with their government by reimagining the State House as a front porch for all, including seating, events and alternative work spaces throughout the State House grounds. Atwater Beach Detroit RiverFront Conservancy Detroit Further activating the Detroit waterfront by creating an inviting, urban beach along the city’s Atwater Street. Better Buildings, Better Blocks Building Community Value Detroit Providing a pipeline for minorities into real estate jobs, by teaching the fundamentals of small-scale property development and providing initial project financing. Design Center in a Box: A Place for Informed Community Exchange City of Detroit Planning and Development Department Detroit Promoting civic engagement by creating pop-up city planning offices where residents can connect with city planning staff and others to exchange ideas and become informed about the design and planning work happening in their neighborhood and the city at large. Detroit’s Slow Roll Detroit Bike City Detroit Leveraging the 25,000 cyclists who participate in Slow Roll Detroit and demonstrating how to engage Detroit’s nonprofit sector, drive renewal and smile while doing it. Happy 18th Birthday! Local Citizenship Kit Citizen Detroit Detroit Celebrating Detroiters becoming eligible to vote by sending them a local citizenship kit in the mail on their 18th birthday. Making Canal Park Pop City of Duluth Duluth, Minnesota Connecting residents to both Canal Park and to each other by creating a pop-up parklet that will encourage more people to visit. City Church Ruins Garden City of Gary Redevelopment Commission Gary, Indiana Making downtown more vibrant by transforming a historic, abandoned Gothic church in downtown into a ruins garden and event space. The Grand Forks Freezeway Nicholas Jensen Grand Forks, North Dakota Inspiring winter fun and city pride by turning unused bike paths into ice skating paths during winter.
Plant&Play North Limestone Community Development Corp. Lexington, Kentucky Building an adventure playscape and community garden in Castlewood Park, a 30-acre neighborhood park on the north end of Lexington. Back Lot Drive-In at the Tubman Tubman Museum Macon, Georgia Expanding the reach of Macon’s art and museum district by transforming the parking lot of the Tubman Museum into a drive-in theater with screenings that coincide with exhibitions that support the museum’s mission to educate visitors about African-American art, history, and culture.  Pop-Up Garage Park Cole Porter Macon, Georgia Converting an abandoned parking garage into a vibrant, environmentally-friendly community space by introducing green space, art, tables and event programming. Civic Incite: Citizens Setting the Agenda Civic Incite Miami Inspiring civic engagement with an online platform that tracks public meetings and legislation across cities to promote in-person engagement with local governments. Miami-Dade Quickbuild Program Street Plans Collaborative Miami Establishing a program within Miami-Dade County in partnership with local transportation nonprofit Green Mobility Network that advances low-cost, quick-build transportation and open space projects. Rep(resentative) Miami Engage Miami Miami Breaking down barriers to civic participation by putting clear, actionable information about local elected officials directly into citizens’ hands. The Year of Voting Dangerously Twin Lakes Library System Milledgeville, Georgia Engaging the community with a mobile voting booth that prompts residents to respond to pressing local issues and initiatives. 12 for 12: Popup to Rent City of West Palm Beach Palm Beach County, Florida Expanding on the success of a pilot pop-up gallery project by inviting local talent to activate 12 empty storefront spaces as an economic catalyst for West Palm Beach. A Dream Deferred: PHL Redlining – Past, Present, Future Little Giant Creative Philadelphia Building more equitable communities by launching a series of convenings across several cities where decision-makers, social entrepreneurs, activists, and innovators discuss equitable community development. PHL Participatory Design Lab City of Philadelphia Philadelphia Providing a space for Philadelphians to design city service solutions with a mobile, participatory city design lab that will travel from neighborhood to neighborhood. Tabadul: [Re]Presenting and [Ex]Changing Our America Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture Philadelphia Creating forums for cultural exchange that connect communities and activate public spaces through photographic displays of youths’ expressions of identity. Up Up & Away: Building a Programming Space for Comics & Beyond Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse Philadelphia Creating a space where diverse communities of aspiring comic creators can attend workshops and receive professional development. Vendor Village in the Park: Vending to Vibrancy Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Corp. [SEAMAAC] Philadelphia Providing entrepreneurial opportunities and connecting diverse communities by opening a marketplace for immigrant cuisine in Mifflin Square Park. Local Color Exhibition District San Jose, California Activating vacant commercial sites with a creative bazaar featuring artist studios alongside modular, open spaces for multidisciplinary community learning and teaching. Reimagining the City: City Designer for San Jose City of San Jose San Jose, California Working to ensure San Jose develops into a walkable, green and engaged metropolis by hiring a visionary chief architect. Pop-Up Power to the People City of St. Paul St. Paul, Minnesota Creating a suite of fun civic engagement tools that gives St. Paul residents the power to design their own community meetings. Horizontes Armando Minjarez-Monarrez Wichita, Kansas Connecting two neighborhoods by painting murals depicting neighborhood residents through an industrial corridor that separates them and engaging residents to reflect on what a “new horizon” for the neighborhood would look like.
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Makeover

Major landscape design competition announced for Philadelphia International Airport
An airport is the gateway to any city: It’s the first—and last—thing a visitor sees. In a push to establish Philadelphia as America’s ‘Garden Capital,’ the Philadelphia International Airport is launching a landscape design competition to transform the airport into an icon of the city. The airport is collaborating with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) for the competition. With 130 acres of natural and planted lands that surround the airport as a canvas, it’s an opportunity to re-image the transportation hub. “The experience of any city’s airport sets the tone for the traveler; the landscape around the airport plays a vital role in setting that tone,” according to the PHS website. The goal of the competition is to place Philadelphia’s airport at the forefront, creating an iconic, “Image Maker” airport that will leave lasting impressions on travelers arriving and departing the city. The design should also consider sustainability and resiliency as an objective. The competition will launch on June 8, when the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be distributed. Responses for the RFQ are due by July 21, 2017. From there, four finalists will be selected by a jury. Each finalist will receive a $20,000 stipend to develop a budget and a “thoughtful, creative, environmentally appropriate concept plan,” according to PHS. The concept plan should also provide details for the airport to seek funding for design development and phased construction implementation. Further details and the full application can be found over at PHS’s website.
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Mixers and Shakers

Home Studios brings luminous art nouveau to a Brooklyn cocktail bar

A certain type of Brooklynite has, in the past five years, done at least one of the following: lined up for pizza at Paulie Gee’s; caught a movie at Syndicated; and raced to happy hour at Ramona, Sisters, or Manhattan Inn. Even if none of those names ring a bell, chances are, if you’ve been out and about anywhere in North Brooklyn, then you’re already familiar with Home Studios, the firm behind these and Elsa, their newest addition to the Brooklyn bar scene. Elsa, a cocktail bar with subtly exuberant art nouveau flair, recently opened in Cobble Hill.

The creative firm actually designed the bar’s first Manhattan spot in 2008, though Elsa 1.0 closed three years ago. For the new Elsa on Atlantic Avenue, the client wanted to keep the ethos of the original East Village bar intact: “We loved the design of the original Elsa and wanted to reimagine the new space in a way that kept the essence of the Manhattan location, but with greater sophistication,” said principal Oliver Haslegrave.

“To that end, we experimented with every design element in the space, from the interior architecture to abstract material combinations of plaster, mirror, leather, and marble.” That is not an exaggeration. Home Studios designed the light fixtures, doors, banquettes, tables, shelving for the bottles behind the bar, cocktail tables, and stools—with much of the work completed in its in-house shop. It’s all in a day’s work for the firm, which specializes in highly customized interiors.

Here, everything glows, especially in contrast to the busy street outside. Deep burgundy booths with marble-and-brass tables line a wall opposite the bar, with a mirrored surface that reflects liquor bottles displayed on staggered dendritic steel displays. The space is inspired in part by Jean Royère’s voluptuous furniture, and is named for Elsa Schiaparelli, the spirited 20th-century fashion designer behind the Tears dress and manicure gloves.

Since its founding in 2009, the Brooklyn-based firm has completed 30 projects, from New York to L.A. to New Orleans, and it has at least another 10 coming up, including two in Philadelphia and one in Memphis, Tennessee. For those who just can’t get enough of its work, Home Studios is launching a furniture line called (what else?) Homework, out this May.

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Sasaki

Homelessness is never easy to understand, but this visualizing tool is here to help
Searching online for homelessness data turns up a plethora of results. This is good. It shows us that people are interested in the issue and care enough to find out more, however, it can be overwhelming. To help, Gretchen Keillor at Boston-based firm Sasaki has made a homelessness analytic tool that compiles more than 30 parameters associated with homelessness in an easy to use, easy to read format. The visualization resource relies on data from January 2015 when volunteers nationwide counted 546,580 homeless people in the United States. It depicts homeless people as dots, coloring them using factors such as average temperature (Fahrenheit), arranging them geographically, or using other graphing methods. Titled "Understanding Homelessness," its biggest asset is that numerous factors can be used interchangeably, with more than three being applied at one time. For example, an arrangement of circle diagrams compares sheltered and un-sheltered accommodation while subdividing data by region. Further still, inside each circle colored segments display average temperature. Unsurprisingly, this is best explained visually (see below) and the information ultimately tells us that the majority of sheltered homeless facilities can be found in the Northeast where the average temperature is around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Other interesting factors include GDP per capita, unemployment rate, the amount of rain, the area's percentage of Obama's win in 2012, donation contributions, spending on services (such as healthcare and education), average cost of rent, access to beds, and healthcare facilities. These can all be displayed in a readable format. Some statistics correlate and some don't, but the visualizer makes the data much easier to read. "We didn't want to bash people over the head with statistical figures," said Keillor. "We wanted to present the data for people to explore themselves and lend transparency to the issue as the general average citizen makes assumptions about homeless people when they see them on the street, assuming they have a mental illness or substance abuse problem or are unemployable." As noted by Keillor, the data presented doesn't draw any striking conclusions or uncover any groundbreaking findings. Instead, "it just puts the data out there so people can learn about the complexity of the issue." Keillor, herself an urban planner and user experience designer at Sasaki, started looking for and collecting data in 2016. The year before, she had been awarded $10,000 as part of internal Sasaki research grant, given to employees that want to pursue interesting ideas. The research was conducted with help from four other colleagues (Ken Goulding, Patrick Murray, Terri Dube, and Ryan Collier) and was able to dovetail with a homelessness study by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Keillor explained: "NRPA has been a really engaged member of this discussion and has brought a really refreshing positive perspective to the issue. For parks directors, this is not their core mission to deal with the issue of homelessness but it is something they encounter on a daily basis and so are proactively looking for solutions to it." The work done by Keillor also helps her own firm. "As planners, urban designers, architects and landscape architects here at Sasaki, we so often design spaces that are public and that will inevitably be inhabited by this population." Homelessness, however, is complex. Everyone has their own story as to why they have ended up on the street. Keillor acknowledged this and said that there was no "super methodological approach" for how to weave this research into Sasaki's work, but added that the tool "has proven useful already to educate ourselves on the complexities of this issue and to share that knowledge within the firm." That said, Keiller commented that "at the most basic level these people can't afford places to live; from a systems perspective it is an issue of affordable housing." Keillor's research does more than just visualize data, though. At the top of Understanding Homelessness' webpage, is a tab called "strategies." Here viewers can find ways of combating homelessness either through design (two examples include: the Sunday Breakfast Dining in Philadelphia and the Y2Y Shelter in Cambridge, Massachusetts are provided), policy, or program. An example for the latter is an individual contribution from "Haircuts for the Homeless" in London.
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Who's Who

See who’s coming to the inaugural TECH+ expo

A wave of new technologies is transforming the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. On May 23, The Architect’s Newspaper will host the first trade expo and forum to investigate this convergence: TECH+. Taking place during NYCxDesign month, New York’s official citywide celebration of design, the conference incorporates visionary speakers, engaging panels, live demos, and product displays from leaders in emerging fields like virtual reality, smart buildings, parametrics, advanced materials, drones and robotics, AEC Software, and mobile apps.

Architects, engineers, designers, builders, real-estate professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, software developers, students, and makers will converge at Metropolitan West in New York—the center of one of America’s fastest growing tech markets—to discover innovations, come across start-ups, meet top experts, and build connections. A conference addressing new architectural technologies is both needed and timely, spurring new ideas, cross-pollination, and innovation.

Who'll be there? These are just a few of the companies.

Chaos Group Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics, helping artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television, and feature films. Software like V-Ray, Phoenix FD, and VRscans dominate the fields of creative storytelling and digital design. Chaos Group founder Vladimir Yoylabov received a 2017 Academy Awards plaque for V-Ray’s role in bringing CGI to feature films. At TECH+, Chaos Group will be showcasing its technologies for the AEC industry, particularly its newest VR capabilities. Graphisoft Graphisoft ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ARCHICAD, the industry’s first BIM software for architects. The company continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions like BIMcloud, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, and coDesigner, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated green-design solution. At TECH+, Graphisoft will showcase BIMx, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization on computers, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and Google Cardboard. Part of the Nemetschek Group, Graphisoftoffers valuable learning tools like online seminars, tests, books, training videos, and in-person training. Sister companies in the Nemetschek group include Bluebeam, Vectorworks, Allplan, Nevaris, and several more.

Humanscale Humanscale is the leading designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve health and comfort at work and beyond. At TECH+ it will show off OfficeIQ, its newest innovation, which integrates computer software into ergonomic design, transforming traditional offices into active, intelligent workspaces that help users make healthier decisions. More products include seating, sit-stand desks, keyboard systems, and lighting. Humanscale’s ergonomic consulting services—used for more than 2,000organizations since 2008—help organizations develop and implement comprehensive, cost-effective ergonomics programs.

InsiteVR InsiteVR is a platform for AEC companies to create and manage virtual reality presentations across their offices. InsiteVR’s tools allow users to remotely control VR presentations, collect feedback from clients, and easily share to mobile headsets like the GearVR. The company provides virtual reality experiences in seconds with models from Sketchup, Blender, Rhino, Revit, or any other 3-D modeling. At TECH+, Insite VR will showcase Analytics, a new feature in which virtual reality walkthroughs can be replayed and analyzed to learn more about user behavior in a space. Its heat map functionality provides additional data on the distribution of users’ attention while going through a virtual representation of the space.

IrisVR Iris VR offers intuitive virtual-reality software for the AEC industry that works seamlessly with existing 3-D software. Offerings like Prospect (for explorable VR) and Scope (for 360-degree panoramas) give you a true sense of depth and space before anything has been built. Architects and builders like Ennead, SHoP, HMC, and Corgan have quickly generated realistic virtual environments to aid with their design process and client communications. At TECH+, IrisVR will be showcasing its new experiences for Prospect, providing the ability to have multiple users within the same virtual-reality model, with real-time audio and visual feedback.

Iron-Horse Systems Iron-Horse Systems is a full-service certified distributor of IoT systems for lighting control. The company provides sensor layouts and network design along with the programming and maintenance services necessary to tie the specified lighting system into the end user’s IoT or BMS platform. This ensures a complete, reliable system from design through completion. At TECH+, Iron Horse will be showcasing several of its IoT solutions for smart buildings.

Microsol Resources A leader in BIM technology solutions, as well as an Autodesk platinum partner, Microsol Resources has been a reseller of engineering and architecture software—such as V-Ray, Bluebeam, and Rhino—since 1986. Microsol specializes in building and civil infrastructure software, but its suite of offerings also includes training, certification, and product support. The company helps innovative clients get the most out of their designs and technology investments through installation, activation, and continued follow-up. The firm services big offices like Bjarke Ingels Group, David Adjaye Associates, Rafael Viñoly, and KPF, as well as start-ups and sole proprietors. Microsol’s annual TechPerspectives conference, launched in 2013, focuses on the most exciting technologies driving change in the design and construction industries. The conference showcases industry leaders and innovative technologies including BIM, 3-D printing, virtual reality, digital design and fabrication, and more. The event has taken place in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. This year’s TechPerspectives will be held at TECH+.

Nvidia Nvidia designs graphics processing units (GPU) for the gaming market, as well as system-on-a-chip units for the mobile computing and automotive markets. Nvidia’s invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics, and revolutionized parallel computing. More recently, GPU deep learning ignited modern AI—the next era of computing—with the GPU acting as the brain of computers, robots, and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world. Nvidia is working with Gensler to realize their new headquarters in Santa Clara. At TECH+ Gensler principal Hao Ko will be speaking about Gensler’s close collaboration with the company to visualize the project in VR through the Nvidia’s Iray rendering engine.

Panzura Panzura, founded in 2008 by a team of engineers with experience at the country’s top IT companies, specializes in cloud-based storage and file-protection products. The company’s infrastructure leverages superfast, high-performance, secure Internet technology to create an interconnected, unified global file system—regardless of physical location. With Panzura’s patented global file locking technology, BIM and CAD users across the world can work together like they’re in the same room. This capability reduces application and file-open and -sync time for distributed users from 20 or 30 minutes to just seconds. At TECH+, Panzura will be showcasing Freedom Collaboration, which provides cloud convenience, security, and communication with LAN speed and performance.

PlanGrid PlanGrid is construction software made for the field that allows plans and mark-ups to be instantaneously shared with everyone on a project, no matter where they are. It lets contractors, architects, and building owners collaborate from their desktops or mobile devices across all of their project plans, specs, photos, RFIs, and punch lists. Today, the company stores over 50 million blueprints, making it the largest digital blueprint repository in the world—translating into over $85 million saved on paper and printing. At TECH+, PlanGrid will share how the company is leading the industry’s digitization and transformation to the cloud by arming construction workers with the best productivity tools. Over 500,000 projects have used PlanGrid to finish on time and under budget.

Voodoo Manufacturing Voodoo Manufacturing, located in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, operates the 3-D printing factory of the future, helping companies and individuals bridge the gap between their first prototype and their first high-volume production run. In addition to 3-D printing, Voodoo offers high-tech materials and advanced post-processing, helping produce objects for architecture and engineering as well as marketing, entertainment, fashion, hardware manufacturing, and consumer products. At TECH+, Voodoo cofounder Jonathan Schwartz will discuss the future of digital manufacturing and what it means for people making physical products.

Walter P Moore Walter P Moore is an international company of engineers and innovators who solve some of the world’s most complex structural and infrastructural challenges. Focusing on structure, diagnostics, and technology, the firm works in almost 20 market sectors, from aviation to stadiums to tall buildings. At TECH+, the company will be presenting its work in VR, which has helped it open doors to unique methods of collaboration. The company will show off its proprietary tools developed for the Unity platform, helping clients understand spaces, compare facade details, check visibility of signage, and detect model clashes. The firm’s tailored approach allows it to collaborate with clients to add new customized content to any build.

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Everything is Illuminated

AN’s Picks from LIGHTFAIR International
On May 7, LIGHTFAIR International 2017 opened in Philadelphia, welcoming more than 550 exhibitors specializing in architectural and commercial lighting. Although navigating the 269,680-square-foot fair can be daunting, a few companies caught the eye of AN this year. Arc Soraa Designed to have the slimmest profile possible, Arc emits a high quality light with excellent thermal management. Arc will be offered in track, pendant, downlight, and surface-mounted designs, all with super thin edges.     Glass Jacket Series Eye Lighting A retrofit solution that screws directly into existing lights allows users to switch to LED lights easily. According to Eye Lighting, the Glass Jacket can be used in most outdoor and indoor applications, upgrading systems to LED lights with minimal fuss. ColorID_Complete USAI lighting This newly launched product allows users to select of 170 color options for their lights, including the ideal lighting for play, work, wellness, and sleep. Simply by selecting a preferred “lighting scene” from a wall controller, users can create the optimum light for each activity, space, and time of day. This includes Whit Light Alchemy, which is a custom white light formulated based on how someone answers questions on their lifestyle and taste preferences.   Tile Exterior Cooledge Super sleek and simple, Tile Exterior can illuminate facades, canopies, and other exterior applications. The lightweight flexible segments can be adjusted to conform to odd shapes and dimensions and can withstand wet locations.   Wattstopper Human Centric Lighting Legrand Legrand unveiled three different options at LIGHTFAIR, all centered on tunable light systems that can easily be customized. The Blanco 2 offers a two-channel white light for general lighting, like in a classroom; Blanco 3 has a wider range of colors that seek to replicate daylight, for healthcare and office applications; and araya5, which mixes five colors for myriad options suited for restaurant, retail, and hospitality.
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Come Together

AEC Cares seeking volunteers for its annual blitz build day just before the AIA Conference on Architecture
Non-profit AEC Cares will once again be putting on its annual blitz build in Orlando before the 2017 AIA Conference on Architecture. AEC Cares will work with their longtime partners, ConstructConnect, AIA, and Hanley Wood Media, to rejuvenate the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida’s (CFH) Center for Women and Families (CWF). CFH is the largest provider of homeless services in Central Florida and, on average, serves over 600 people a night, 63 percent of whom are women, children, and families. AEC Cares hopes to brighten up the Center and provide much-needed improvements to the facility to help CFH better serve its community. “With the help of 125+ volunteers, sponsors, architects, contractors and manufacturers, AEC Cares will perform a ‘facelift’ for the CFH, renovating the lobby, the living quarters and the TV room,” said Laura Marlow, ConstructConnect vice president of business development and AEC Cares executive director, in a press release. “Working together, we can leave Orlando better than we found it.” AEC Cares has been sponsoring this one-day blitz build for seven years now, utilizing the annual AIA Conference on Architecture to gather architects, engineers, contractors, and other industry professionals and volunteers to make a difference in the host city. When founded in 2011, AEC Cares helped rebuild five homes demolished or damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Since then, they have helped revitalize, refurbish and renovate homes for homeless teens, facilities for disabled veterans and homeless adults, and shelters for youths in crisis, among many other projects. During last year’s blitz build, AEC Cares, with the help of 150 volunteers, rehabilitated the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center in Sharswood, a renovation project valued at $330,000. The center provides children with after-school sports programs and was in need of an upgrade. The volunteers painted four rooms, overhauled the kitchen and arts and crafts room, replaced 3,000 square feet of vinyl, and repaired the auditorium. This year’s project (named projectOrlando) will once again take place the day before the AIA Conference on Architecture, April 26, and AEC Cares is currently seeking volunteers. If you are interested in participating, visit their website here.
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Sunshine State

AN focuses on Florida for the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando

The Architect's Newspaper's April 2017 issue takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). You can see all those articles on this page. Here, Senior Editor Matt Shaw's editorial from that issue highlights what we've explored in the Sunshine State.

Since The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) switched from four weekly regional editions to one single national monthly, we have worked tirelessly to maintain our in-depth regional coverage of architecture, even if it is packaged differently. But sometimes we miss the intense focus on one region for one issue. That is why for our AIA special issue, which coincides with the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando, Florida, we decided to make a Florida regional issue, in the spirit of our old East, Midwest, West, and Southwest editions. We could call it Southeast, but there is so much building and development going on in Florida that we wanted to give it the classic AN treatment by itself.

What exactly is happening there?

Most of the high-profile development is in Miami, where The Four Seasons stands as the tallest building in the city at 789 feet, but will soon be surpassed by the 830-foot-tall Panorama Tower, and soon after that both will likely be passed by a wave of supertalls that are in the planning process. There are nearly a dozen proposals in various states of planning, including World Trade Center of the Americas, The Towers by Foster + Partners, KPF’s One Bayfront Plaza, and Skyrise Miami, a.k.a. “The Eiffel Tower of the Magic City.” The FAA has never approved a building over 1,049 feet, so that is the designated height of many, including the latter three listed above.

This boom shows that while the condo market in South Florida may actually be cooling off, the cities are not. In our feature, we profile Miami from several angles, showing a complex metropolis layered with architecture and design activity. The latest wave of development has brought with it a new civic-mindedness to a city that is struggling to escape its car-centric culture and is slowly growing to offer more urbane experiences through infrastructure, density, and advances in technology. The re-urbanization of Miami parallels many other places, but it has its own characteristic development patterns.

The paradox of building directly in the face of sea-level rise may seem daunting, especially as the governor of Florida continues to deny climate change and forbids government employees from using the term. Luckily, there is hope: A sub-state organization of counties and municipalities are taking the lead without state help. Since 2009, the counties of Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach have led the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. Other partners include the Institute for Sustainable Communities, South Florida Water Management District, The Nature Conservancy – Florida Chapter, and the Florida Climate Institute. Along with a collection of cities and towns, they have been working together—and meeting annually—to coordinate mitigation and adaptation activities across county lines, as well as address funding and policy issues.

In Miami, there is also work being done to combat the social issues of sea-level rise threatening the city, as there is real concern that up to 50 percent of the land will not be habitable in the coming decades. What will happen if this is true? Not only would real estate become unusable, but higher ground that is now affordable could become unaffordable for those who live there, if that territory becomes more desirable to those displaced along the shore. To offset that, many are looking to Philadelphia’s anti-gentrification “Development Without Displacement” methods such as the tax exemptions in the Longtime Owner-Occupant Program (LOOP), and other alternative ownership incentives and models, and applying them to a GIS-based plan for the city.

These contradictory forces—the ocean and the city—may pose a threat to Miami if no action is taken, but they are also what makes it so desirable. The landscape and the resultant tourism industry—hotels, malls, resorts, beaches, nightlife—fuels a tropical paradise with urban, suburban, and rural issues as compelling and complex as anywhere.

Because we cover Florida regularly, we have some past coverage that might interest those who enjoy this issue. Click here for a list of past articles.

Special thanks to landscape architect Walter Meyer of Local Office Landscape Architecture whose help was indispensable for this issue.

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Second Life

Lebbeus Woods, Dennis Oppenheim, and Krzysztof Wodiczko projects featured at Slought Foundation
The exhibition Second Life currently on view at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia features three unrealized—or as it argues “unfinalized”—urban projects as a way of investigating the idea of “thresholds.” The exhibit utilizes Russian Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of "unfinalized" as a continual dialogue and process of becoming. Slought’s Director Aaron Levy had a previous relationship with all of the projects and/or artists in the gallery and is careful to highlight their displacement in the gallery not as a restatement of the artists’ intentions but as work that enacts such threshold experiences—psychologically, spatially, and socially. Slought also calls the works on display “projects” (and not an exhibit) to downplay their esthetic merit. They are brought back to life, not in situ as they were, but as models and images on a wall. The three projects, all re-purposed using original documents and plans, are Dennis Oppenheim’s Guarded Land Area (1970), Krzysztof Wodiczko’s City Hall Tower Illumination (1987) and Lebbeus Woods's Tales from the Tectonic Forest (2012) intended for the Venice Architecture Biennale. Each of the projects engages the viewer in a tantalizing way that suggests ways forward through participation, interactivity, as well as the current realities of migration and survival. The Lebbeus Woods project, for example, was intended to surround the classical U.S. pavilion in Venice at the architecture biennale, but here encircles the Slought Foundation and acts as a threshold into the intention of the exhibit inside the gallery. Woods project created a forest of trees, some of which would hold experimental architecture works, that invited the public into a thick labyrinth of experimental architecture in the spirit of Wood's own powerful oeuvre of utopias and dystopias. That created a world with rare moments of insight, light, and one that people could internalize and lead to changes in their lives. Channeling Bakhtian's threshold describes moments of crises and rupture as a way of creating “potential transformations of self, society and history.” This is a chance to see a Lebbeus Woods, Oppenheim, and Wodiczko installation; it is an active and compelling statement of thought and empowerment. Don’t visit Second Life unless you want to be challenged. Second Life is on view through April 27, 2017.