Posts tagged with "the Future":

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In the office of the future, you can ride your bike to your desk, says global architecture firm NBBJ

In pondering the post-2025 office of the future, global architecture firm NBBJ believes in the power of "nudge architecture" as a counterpoint to alienating corporate culture and sedentary cubicle lifestyles. Asked by Fast Company to envisage the workplace a decade from now, the firm responded with a design where fitness and face-to-face social interactions are at the forefront. The firm projected bike paths throughout the building that would allow workers to ride their bikes right up to their desks, with ramps at every entrance. “The key ingredient is mobility, as we’re going to be wearing our computers, screens and everything else,” said NBBJ chair and partner Scott Wyatt. “But even today we have spectacular mobility as we aren’t chained to desks, file cabinets and computers. We can start to create spaces that better respond to human needs.” In a bid to dissipate hierarchical divides, stairs and elevators will be eliminated in favor of building atop a seamless, switch-backing incline. This graded layout means no more ensconcing of respective departments – Finance, HR, Management and Sales will have to learn to tolerate one another’s society. Ramps leading from one staggered “level” to the next create “extensive sight lines” where co-workers have more opportunity to interact, maintains NBBJ. According to Fast Company, the idea riffs off the long-held ‘Allen Curve’ theory, which estimates that workers are four times more likely to communicate with someone who is six feet away than a colleague who is 60 feet away, and unlikely to ever debrief at the water cooler with someone on another floor. The firm’s more conventional suggestions include bringing the outdoors indoors with exposure to indoor plants and natural light. There is talk of using dynamically shaded glass that adapts to changes in brightness gradations – which could allow for an all-glass edifice (roof included). NBBJ gets sci-fi creative with its suggestions of a building that is entirely responsive to user’s needs. As an example, the firm envisions sensors that differentiate between quiet and loud zones. This information is then relayed to a computer that shifts the floor plates accordingly to shape these spaces in real-time. The firm takes the mobility concept further with conference rooms that not only self-assemble when needed, but can migrate workers around large complexes during meetings so that you don’t need to walk from one building to another in a large campus-style office. The focus is on space-saving economies, said NBBJ partner Ryan Mullenix – and not yet another technological invention providing a ready excuse not to walk. “When you don’t have to fill 50 percent of your space with conference rooms, things can begin to move."
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On View> OVERDRIVE: LA Constructs the Future, 1940-1990

overdrive_la_01 OVERDRIVE: LA Constructs the Future, 1940-1990 The J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles Through July 21 Gleaming cars speeding down an intricate freeway system, flashy movie theatres, quirky coffee shops, sleek corporate towers and residential spaces, drive-in churches, the infamous Hollywood sign, LAX Airport (above), and a lucrative petroleum industry are just some of the many impressive characteristics associated with the rich culture of Los Angeles. This exhibition at The J. Paul Getty Museum explores a metropolis that remained in “overdrive” throughout the 20th century, implementing cutting-edge architectural design to effectively respond to civic, environmental, and socioeconomic challenges that plagued the city. In just 50 years, the city rapidly evolved into one the most influential industrial, creative, and economic capitals in the world. Through drawings, photographs, models, animations, oral histories, and ephemera, the exhibition celebrates the notable transformation of the city of Los Angeles from 1940–1990.
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Video> Greg Lynn's House of the Future Radically Redefines "Mobile Home"

At the recent Interieur 2012 Biennale in Kortrijk, Belgium, Venice, California-based Greg Lynn shared his vision of the future of housing: architecture that rotates to accommodate different uses. The model above, called "RV Prototype" (RV stands for Room Vehicle), part of the Biennale's Future Primitives exhibition program exploring our future living environment, rotates via a robotic stepper drive and consists of a super-lightweight structure built with a carbon shell lined with a foam core. As its name suggests, the proposal is just a scale prototype, but if enlarged and tricked out, Lynn argues it could contain living spaces on one side and a kitchen or bedroom on another, for example. All you have to do is spin.  The device is now on a boat returning to Los Angeles from Belgium. We'll let you know when the future arrives—and where to store your forks and pillow when they're upside down.
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New York CityVision 2012 Competition Results Announced

The New York CityVision competition posed the question: “If the future is gone, what past is expecting us?” Sponsored by Rome-based architecture journal and laboratory CityVision, the competition aimed to find links between our past, present, and future cities. The winners of the 2012 competition speculated on possible futures for New York while commenting on the effects of today’s development with a mix of humor, anxiety, and a bit of eccentricity. In first place is the team of Eirini Giannakopoulou, Stefano Carera, Hilario Isola, and Matteo Norzi, whose project envisions infilling Manhattan island with refuse. Having been overwhelmingly densified, the population of Manhattan has relocated to the outer boroughs. Seeking energy independence and a sustainable solution to waste control, the city turns Manhattan into a landfill from which it can harness energy. A new landscape of rolling hills transforms the skyline of Manhattan as the peaks of skyscrapers puncture the ground and provide access to a network of underground circulation. Second place goes to Enrico Pieraccioli and Claudio Granato, who envisage Manhattan as an archaeological site surrounded by massive containing walls that hold back the rising sea (see top image). The team describes development of the modern cosmopolis as having a double image—the anxiety and danger of its inevitable failure. Creation and destruction go hand-in-hand, repeating endlessly. New York’s creation leads to its demise, as its development forces the sea to rise. The designers propose to entomb Manhattan in a state of near-destruction, serving as a monument to the twentieth century industrial paradigm. Miles Fujiki received the special Farm Prize (judged by Andrea Bartoli of Farm Cultural Park) for his Institute for Imagining New York. The project calls for a building that resists the exploitation of space by profit-driven development. “It is not a reliquary but a reactor core,” Fujiki wrote; it is a space for remembering the city, where visitors encounter the city through archives, social interaction, and filtered atmospheres that permeate the building’s porous walls. Imagination here becomes a mode of producing the environment, as histories intersect futures and realities mix with alternatives. The jury was made up of president Joshua Prince-Ramus (REX NY), Eva Franch i Gilabert (Storefront for Art and Architecture), Roland Snooks (Kokkugia), Shohei Shigematsu (OMA NY), Alessandro Orsini (Architensions), and Mitchell Joachim (Terreform One). Check out a few of the Honorable Mentions in the gallery below.
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Trends Are Coming

The Future is always a draw, especially if it comes with fresh croissants and coffee. And so some hundred or more AEC industry types showed up this morning for a smartly-packaged and wide-ranging keynote and panel called “A View from the Future,” organized by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. The opening talk was by Edie Weiner, president of futurist trend consultants, Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc. Weiner’s speech was like a mini-TED: fact-packed, amusing and globally informed. She delivered the takeaway essence of every trend report you have ever come across in the past 12 months, and prioritized the bullet points, too. The good news: If you are familiar with 3D printing—much less use one as many AN readers routinely do—you are already ahead. Before segueing into the “8 growth areas of the next economy,” Weiner established that our culture is currently bifurcated into the young and the old, neither of which group is taken sufficiently into consideration as the driving forces they are. Amusingly, she also noted that money doesn’t only come in government-issued greenbacks (or bank-issued debit cards): Don’t underestimate reward points! Aqua-architecture and a “wetropolis” in Bangkok sounded more fringe than directional but corroborated most architects’ understanding that water is going to factor big in design. But not as big as “things talking to each other,” although that reminded me of an architect grousing about a client tracking so much on-site, in-time information from BIM that he couldn’t get any work done. Weiner’s talk about “blue space,” however, did not refer to water, but rather the next generation in thinking about green. It’s not enough, Weiner rightly stated, for buildings to be green, and it certainly isn’t anything to brag about: it simply must be. Blue buildings are the next step up. They aren’t net-zero; they actively give back energy. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. The examples Weiner gave were urban farming, sunflowers remediating brownfields, and even the High Line. So far, so good but the audience of architects, engineers, and real estate and construction managers didn’t really start jotting down notes until Weiner started talking about new directions in technology, starting with MakerBot in downtown Brooklyn (now renting from Forest City Ratner as panelist Mary Anne Gilmartin, an executive vice president of the developer noted).  In addition to 3D printing, embedding nanotechnology in new materials and surfaces is a hot research topic, as is anything to do with BAANFUL. This acronym that sounds like a knight errant from the Faerie Queene stands for bits, atoms, anti-matter, nano-, genes, frequency vibrations, and ultra-light. Possibly. In any case, she said, anything to do with any multiple combination of these terms or their approximates will rule in structures and materials over the next decade. You heard it here first, sort of.
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Architects Offer a Glimpse into the Future

Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040 at the Center for Architecture (through September 10) is a clarion call for designers to redefine sustainability in architecture. Though it didn’t start with this intention, the visions of 10 young architecture firms imagining future landscapes of New York and Amsterdam raise questions about what changes are imminent for urban development and what part architects can play. The projects suggest both practical and fantastical interventions to improve the prospect of urban growth in the face of ecological, geographic, and demographic shifts. The program comes hot on the heels of the announcements of Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and the similar strategy-based Structural Vision: Amsterdam 2040. Curators Luc Vrolijks, Rosamond Fletcher, and Marlies Buurman’s collective ambition has been to use design and debate to link the two cities in the context of these new directives. This month, the Center for Architecture hosted a series of talks and presentations of the work by the architects and the exhibit is also at the ARCAM site in Amsterdam until August 13, which will raise new questions about potential futures. The projects responded to one of five headings: Breathing, Eating, Making, Moving, Dwelling. Breathing: Both Delva with Dingeman Deijs and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture take water as their starting point. While Delva takes the IJ estuary as a generator for energy, W Architecture’s Hudson archepelagos, made using dredge from the port, provide habitats as well as landing banks. Eating: Here, WORKac focuses on the ‘food desert’ in the Bed-Stuy and Bushwick neighborhoods of Brooklyn and maps the potentially resourceful ways of re-appropriating the streets to harvest food, from future transportation (gondola-type links) to a hybrid fish farm and greenhouse-grown plants (Aquaponics). Van Bergen Kolpa Architects imagines a Landscape Supermarket, where varieties of food can be grown and sourced in park-like environments run by city dwellers. Making: In The Refinery, Solid Objectives-Idenburg Liu (SO-IL) imagined a floating market place where robotic arms compartmentalise waste materials to mend a broken landscape. Barcode Architects on the other hand has developed a contained mega science park from which to export knowledge - “the most valuable commodity of The Netherlands in 2040” said Caro van der Venne of Barcode. Moving: Dlandstudio responds to the future need for water transportation and how this can be an opportunity to also positively affect public wellbeing as well as environmental health. Fabric’s interpretation considers a new urban fabric based on mixing uses to produce “a more complete urban program, so that our daily needs are always near.” Dwelling: The Newark Visionary Museum by Interboro Partners and Space & Matter’s We is the New I both approached the idea of sustainability as social concerns. Interboro’s projection showed a colourful scene of failed plans and possible future solutions to Broad Street’s transportation, entertainment, sports and communication demands. Similarly practical was Space & Matter’s solution to increasing diversity and social cohesion by harnessing and building around common interests.
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Revealing The Airplane Of The Future

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus unveiled its conceptual designs for a futuristic, see-through plane last week in advance of the 2011 Paris Airshow, which began today. The "Concept Cabin" showcases what commercial air travel could look like in 2050, and is packed with interfacing technologies and design features to give passengers an ultra-personalized and otherworldly experience. The cabin of the theoretical plane would be coated with an intelligent bipolymer wall membrane—supported via a lightweight bionic structure based on the bone structures of birds—  that could become transparent, providing passengers with panoramic views of the sky. It would be divided into three sections: a spa-like "vitalizing zone" for relaxation; an "interactive zone" with pop-up gaming projections; and a luxury business lounge or "smart tech zone" to stay connected. Other amenities would include self-cleaning materials, seats that morph to individual body shapes, hologram displays and gesture recognition controls. And look at all that leg room! To develop their design concepts, Airbus surveyed over 10,000 people to ask what they want from the aviation industry in the future. While still just “engineers’ dreams,” according to Charles Champion, Head of Engineering at Airbus, the concepts “offer a glimpse of some of the very real possibilities that existing technology and talent can offer—with the right investment, support and co-operation". For more information visit here.
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Kappe House Like You′ve Never Seen It

Could this be the future of architectural photography? The LA Times this weekend published a wonderful virtual tour of Ray Kappe's own house on a heavily wooded lot in the Palisades. Thanks to huge glass walls, skylights, clerestories, floating interior planes and cantilevered wooden decks, trellises and platforms, the house appears to float over its sloping site. It's truly one of the most spectacular houses ever built. And the tours of its facade, main room, kitchen, and deck do it more justice than any two dimensional pictures could. Now if only Kappe could get more props himself. When is he gonna win a Pritzker already?
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The Future Future of JFK Terminal 4

If this rendering of Terminal 4 at JFK looks familiar, good. That means you're reading, as it, or something very much like it, was in our story last week about the Port Authority and Delta's plans for expanding the terminal. What is different, though, if you look closely, is the number of gates. This rendering was released by Delta last week, though it initially confounded us because the talk had been of nine new gates, not the 30 we counted when we compared it to the terminal's current layout, which you can see and compare after the jump. It turns out, the wrong rendering had been released, and this is in fact the ultimate plans for the future development of Terminal 4, with 10 new gates on Concourse A (right) and 11 more added to Delta's nine on Concourse B (left). That makes for a total of 46 gates—larger than some mid-sized airports—up from a current 16. No wonder they have to tear down Terminal 3 to make room for more plane parking. But not before Hal Hayes has something to say about it. Hayes was the lead planner at SOM when it created the current Terminal 4 a decade-and-a-half ago, and then he filled a similar role at HOK when it developed a prior plan for Delta at JFK. Now on his own, the architect takes issue with the preservationists we spoke to last week—to his mind, Terminal 3 is easily the most important of all at JFK, even compared to Saarinen's Terminal 5, which he said is formally but not functionally groundbreaking. As for the threatened Terminal 6 by I.M. Pei, Hayes said Terminal 3 is "superior to Pei, especially in terms of aviation architecture. Pei's is a pretty corporate box, but it could be anywhere." Terminal 3, however, had an unparalleled design that allowed for passenger loading and maintenance to take place all under its unique canopy. "This is really the place that established the paradigm for airport architecture, and these terminals were treated like international headquarters, intended to be corporate icons," Hayes said of JFK. Hayes said the biggest problem is that Terminal 3 "suffers from a no-name architect," otherwise it might have a better shot at preservation—something he insists would be far easier than the Port Authority, Delta, or even some preservationists will allow. He proposes demolishing the '70s addition, running the connector Delta is planning between terminals 2 and 4 through the old Terminal 3, and turning it into a grand mall of some sort, with the shops and eateries that are now familiar to any airport. As for the Port Authority's insistence that there is no room for even remnants of the building, Hayes disagrees. "They can leave it pretty much where it is and not impact the new terminals or the parking one iota," Hayes said. He should know, as this is precisely what his previous plans called for. UPDATE: It was just announced that AECOM has won the $11 million contract to oversee construction on the terminal project. Is there anything they can do? UPDATE 2: Hal Hayes writes: "There is a misquote about Saarinen’s Terminal 5, which I said was functionally groundbreaking and one of the terminals that created the paradigm for modern aviation terminal design, along with Terminal 3 and other early JFK Terminals. It was Terminal 6 that I said was not functionally innovative."
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Design Writer Has Sweet Dreams for New Domino

The simmering opposition to the New Domino plan from the local community and especially its City Council rep has been well-noted, but the reaction from the design community has been more muted. And while the approval from the City Planning Commission, and the forthcoming showdown at with Councilman Steve Levin mean the project is pretty much headed for an up-or-down, maybe slightly tweaked if not entirely scrapped vote, design writer Stephen Zacks had made a bolder proposal, calling for the plan to be scrapped not because it is too dense and under invested, but because it is not visionary enough. "These unique sites are opportunities to generate new forms of urbanism and orders of magnitude greater revenue, instead producing the high volumes of similar units that are now languishing on the market," Zacks declares in a letter to the Council (in full, after the jump). He has a few ideas of his own, something called Domino University, but is also soliciting them from others. Feel free to leave them in the comments section, or on his Facebook page.
Dear Honorable Members of the New York City Council: As a part of the New York City community of architects, designers, and urbanists, we recognize that condo developments in upzoned areas have brought enormous benefits to the public through new tax revenues, high-quality architecture, affordable housing, waterfront parks, and remediation of brownfield sites. But as the market has seemed to have been over-saturated by condos and the rental vacancy rate remains unaffected by the inclusionary rezoning process, we are inviting you to consider a new model of development for the Domino Sugar site, one of the great icons of manufacturing in the area of North Brooklyn and, indeed, the United States. As you may know, Domino was the first sugar company to use branding to sell its products, and it remains one of the most recognizable brands in the country. We believe that the current plan to preserve the landmarked buildings and provide open space, affordable housing, waterfront access, and generous community space is a good start, but we think there can be a more ambitious and visionary approach to this site‹and to waterfront development in general‹which embraces the history of Domino and uses the site to prove that there is another way. As a city, we have progressed far beyond the point we had to beg developers to invest in New York. We are in the unique position of having investors compete for the right to put billions of dollars into complicated sites that require hundreds of millions in infrastructure, even during the worst recession in decades. The Domino site presents an absolutely unparalleled opportunity, and we ask whether its redevelopment according to the same model befits its enormous significance. While we have made great progress, this model still has not lived up to the standards for design and urbanism that the city must aspire to for the next century. The Domino Sugar site is Williamsburg¹s High Line. It is clear that the market is still supporting well-designed, high-quality architecture and urbanism. These unique sites are opportunities to generate new forms of urbanism and orders of magnitude greater revenue, instead producing the high volumes of similar units that are now languishing on the market. We believe that Rafael Viñoly is a superb architect capable of great work, but this inclusionary condo model does not permit the creativity and dynamism that could be supported by this architect, this community, this site, or this city. We ask you to send this plan back for revision, to incorporate the care and attention to detail in site planning and land use that it deserves. As a body empowered with the ability to accept or reject this plan but not, perhaps, to propose a new model of development, we ask you to take a risk. We all remember the terrible plight of New York during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, and we never want to go back to a time when burning buildings was more profitable than designing new ones. Rejecting a 1.5 billion dollar investment in our city, especially one that is loaded with community benefits, is a risky step. But it¹s also a vote of confidence in New York City: that we can do better, that we can begin to create a city and an architecture, and a model of urban development that is fitting for a world-class city, a city that embraces its immigrant communities, a city that is in constant transformation as every generation takes hold of it and reshapes it for itself. We ask you to consider the Domino site an example for what can be accomplished in every neighborhood and every district in the city with more attention to detail, more care, more originality, and a greater level of inclusion, not represented by percentages of units, but by a vision that connects to the history of the place and the future of the city. The Domino University plan is the beginning of a process that can begin to impact the core problem that we still face after decades of redevelopment: a rental vacancy rate that remains below three percent. We need new housing in New York City, but not of this kind. It's time to explore a new way, and the Domino site is the place where it can begin to happen. Respectfully, Stephen Zacks
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As architecture grows more technical and technologically dependent, it can become harder for designers to navigate the sea of new programs and computer code. Columbia University GSAPP professor David Benjamin is here to help, offering a panel discussion Monday night about the future of computing and design, “Post Parametric 2: Demo.” The program is the second event in a series that brings expert programmers and researchers together, providing a unique opportunity for architects to learn from people outside their profession. “The first event last fall, "Post Parametric 1: Data," focused on how our new era of massive data might affect computing and design,” Benjamin said in an email. “Monday’s event involves five innovators demonstrating new technologies and speculating on the future directions for computing and design.” The event, which is co-sponsored by the Columbia Department of Computer Science, aims to enliven dialogue about the relationship between computation and design. Benjamin believes that by creating a sustained discussion about issues of technology, a complex, insightful dialogue will develop. The subject matter of the discussion will address current technologies but will primarily look to the future by bringing upcoming innovations to the table. “By future, I mean near future,” Benjamin said. “The series addresses how we might be designing in architecture in ten years.”


The future has let us down in so many ways—still waiting on that jet pack you promised, Hollywood!—but this sweet new gadget should tide us over for a little while, at least. Straight out of Star Trek, it was demonstrated at last month's SPAR 2010 conference in Houston by Austin-based company Zebra Imaging. The technology produces strikingly realistic holographic models, printed on two-dimensional sheets of plastic. Each hologram is the product of thousands of still images, stored in any format from satellite photographs to (calling all architects!) CAD models. These images are then compiled and printed onto a sheet of photographic film up to two feet wide and three feet long. When illuminated from above, a full color, high-resolution 3-D model appears to project up from the flat sheet. You can walk around the display and view it from different angles, and the model seems solid enough that you feel like you could reach out and wrap your hand around a tower or poke your finger into a window. The technology is still new, but architects have begun experimenting with using it for both planning and promotional purposes, to convey a sense of massing and relative scale that could otherwise could only be achieved with a time-consuming, unwieldy physical model. Zebra Imaging says the technology is also proving useful to product designers—as well as the US Military, which has already purchased thousands of geospatial maps. Zebra reports that their next step is to find a way to link the hologram to the computer so that you can change the data and watch the 3-D model morph correspondingly in real time. Very cool, Zebra—when you're done with that, can you get cracking on the holodeck we've all been looking forward to?