Posts tagged with "UN Studio":

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University College of Dublin announces masterplan finalists

University College of Dublin (UCD) has just announced the finalists of its Future Campus – University College Dublin International Design Competition. Of the ninety-eight firms that submitted proposals, six have been chosen for the project’s shortlist: Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York), John Ronan Architects (Chicago), O’Donnell + Toumey (Dublin), Steven Holl Architects (New York), Studio Libeskind (New York), and UN Studio (Amsterdam). The Future Campus Competition is for two connected projects on the university’s campus, a sixty-acre master plan and a new academic building. With over 30,000 students, University College of Dublin is Ireland’s largest university. Founded in 1854, the university migrated to its current 330-acre Belfield campus in 1963, which was designed by Polish architect Andrej Wejchert. Wejchert’s design is primarily composed of four- to five-story Brutalist structures within a landscaped setting. The campus is located on the edge of Dublin, just over two miles from the city center. UCD views the future master plan as a “highly-visible and welcoming entrance” establishing an “urban design vision that values high-quality placemaking, architecture, and public realm.” Within the master plan area, UCD envisions an approximately 90,000-square-foot academic lab dubbed The Centre for Creative Design. The estimated budget for the project is just under $60 million. Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President of University College Dublin, describes the competition process as a rare moment to build “a design that will become an icon for the University – representing our vision to create something extraordinary and brilliant.” All six firms will conduct a site visit at the campus by the end of the month, with a winner announced in August 2018.
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Review> The New Normal: Penn Symposium Explores Generative Digital Design

[Editor's Note: The following review was authored by Gideon Fink Shapiro and Phillip M. Crosby.] A generation’s worth of experimentation with generative digital design techniques has seemingly created a “new normal” for architecture. But what exactly are the parameters of this “normal” condition? On November 14th and 15th Winka Dubbeldam, principal of Archi-Tectonics and the new Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, called together some of contemporary architecture’s most prominent proponents of generative digital design techniques for a symposium, The New Normal, examining how these techniques have transformed the field over the past twenty years. According to Ms. Dubbeldam and her colleagues in Penn’s post-professional program who organized the symposium, digital tools have “fundamentally altered the way in which we conceptualize, design, and fabricate architecture.” Participants were asked not only to reflect upon the recent past, but also to speculate on future possibilities. Even among this select group of practitioners, the shared enthusiasm for digital techniques does not imply an affinity of beliefs or approaches. While Patrik Schumacher (who, notably, lectured at Penn one week later) would have us believe that parametric techniques will triumphantly lead to a New International Style, what the New Normal symposium revealed was not a singular orthodoxy, but rather a rich multiplicity of approaches. On the one hand, one perceives a renewed sense of craftsmanship in which computation and robot-assisted fabrication can "extend the potential of what the hand can do," in the words of Gaston Nogues of Ball-Nogues Studio. On the other hand, ever-increasing computational and 3D-modeling power have nourished a whole field of virtual "screen architecture" that follows in the tradition of conceptual and utopian proposals. In his opening keynote address, Neil Denari discussed several contemporary artists—from Gerhard Richter to Tauba Auerbach—who use or misuse tools to elicit unexpected results. Similarly for architects, the computer should be seen as a filter or intermediary tool between author and work, rather than a seamless executor of authorial will. More pointedly, Roland Snooks of Kokkugia asked, "What are the behavioral biases of digital design tools?" He then suggested that contemporary architects might need to invent and design their own tools (software plug-ins and algorithms) in parallel with the architecture. Simon Kim of IK Studio went so far as to attribute to machines an agency once reserved for humans. And Francois Roche of New-Territories Architects said, "We have to torture the machine" to stretch its conventional functions, teasing out new "erotic bodies" and "ways to tell a story" through playful cunning. Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix were all invoked, but not by the speaker who wore sunglasses during his talk—Jason Payne of Hirsuta. Citing previously published remarks by Jeffrey Kipnis and Greg Lynn, Payne urged architects to test the assumed limits of their digital instruments, just as Hendrix pushed the limits of his guitar by playing it upside-down and incorporating electronic feedback in his radical performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969. However, Payne cautioned, as he cued a slide of Eddie van Halen, the pursuit of technical virtuosity alone can lead to manneristic excess. Indeed, what made Hendrix's Woodstock performance great was not only his innovative guitar work but also his subversive and liberating rendition of the national anthem at a time of social upheaval, sharpened by his insider-outsider status as an African-American rock star. The point is, instrumentation cannot necessarily be isolated from the substance of a work and the social conditions in which it is produced. Tobias Klein gave voice to the digital zeitgeist in declaring, "We [human beings] are soft, malleable data sets." Yet if everything is now data, including bodies and buildings, how and to whose advantage is that data analyzed and applied? Selection criteria are inevitably human constructs that may take the form of artistic judgment, energy metrics, economic models, or political values. Ben van Berkel of UNStudio hinted at the conundrum of data analysis in his concluding keynote, in which he listed "different scales at which information comes together"—namely the diagram, the design model, and the prototype. But alas the Dutch architect, an acknowledged master of the diagram, did not elaborate on how, exactly, his office wrangles messy information into a clear design mandate. One notable absence from the slate of participants in the symposium was a critic or historian to situate the New Normal within both the history of architectural practice and the wider milieu of contemporary culture. While one of the most prominent theorists of generative design, Manuel De Landa, made important contributions to the discussions, his comments focused not on situating the discourse, but instead on the artistic repurposing of non-linear, morphogenetic tools developed by scientists to create more personalized digital form-finding devices. Also lacking were the voices of women, who numbered only three out of twenty speakers and moderators, including Ms. Dubbeldam. What the relentless experimentation among the symposium’s participants suggests is that, while there may be a new normal for the practice of architecture, it has yet to become normative—and that is a sign of its vitality.
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Architects Take Milan> Part 1: Collaborations Abounded At This Year’s Furniture Fair

AN had boots on the ground at the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair, taking the air and parsing the differences. This year saw an abundance of collaborations between furniture designers and architects. What follows is the first half of our greatest hits, everything from modular shelving and sleek hardware to design-forward consoles and practical seating. View even more architect-designed furniture from Milan in the second section of our roundup here. Kelly Seating Tacchini Multidisciplinary design office Claesson Koivisto Rune was inspired by American artist Ellsworth Kelly when they created the Kelly seating collection for Tacchini. The line features three pieces—Kelly E, H, and L—with cushions that reference the bold colors and irregular shapes common in the artist’s sculptures atop delicate frames coated in matching paint. Terreria Bookcase Moroso With a name formed from the words “terracotta” and “libreria” (the Italian for bookcase), the Archea Associati-designed Terreria shelving system is a made-to-measure ceramic bookcase. Its modular components are available in various types of clay and glazed porcelain stoneware and in three different geometric configurations, which can be assembled into an almost infinite variety of shapes. Mercuric Tables Citco First-time fair exhibitor Citco launched its Mercuric Tables Limited Edition by Zaha Hadid with the goal of reinvigorating often bland Veronese marble with the architect’s modern touch. The collection includes three organically shaped tables that can be combined in various configurations. The pieces are available in Black Marquina or Bianco di Covelano with a gold vein. Studio Offecct Specialists in architecture and urban development, Ben van Berkel and UN Studio continue their exploration of furniture design with Studio, a system of public-space seating. Lightweight and easily rearranged, the collection includes several seat versions: Studio Twin, Studio Twin Beam, and Studio Easy Chair Right and Left, allowing users to choose between open and closed seating configurations. Silenzio Luceplan Designer Monica Armani developed the idea for Luceplan’s new sound-dampening Silenzio collection after furnishing a corporate hallway with lamps and wall panels upholstered in Kvadrat fabrics. The new family of suspension lamps and luminous panels improves acoustic comfort and is available in the Remix 2 family of fabrics, a grisaille-inspired textile designed by Giulio Ridolfo for Kvadrat. Nina Door Handle Olivari Daniel Libeskind’s Nina door handle for Olivari is designed to invite users to open a door and explore what lies beyond. Libeskind may be known for bold forms, but the Nina door handle shows his restrained side with its simple elegant design. The tapered design is available in three formats and three finishes.
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Finalists Named for Japan’s Massive New National Stadium

Eleven finalists including Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito, SANAA, and UN Studio have been announced for a major new stadium project in Japan. Tadao Ando, jury chair for the Japan Sports Council competition, revealed the contending designs for the New National Stadium, narrowing the field from the original 46 entries. First, second, and third place prizes were secretly selected on Wednesday, November 7th, but the winners won't be named until a ceremony is held later this month. While we anxiously await the final announcement, take a look at the proposed stadium designs by each team. Scheduled for completion in 2018, the stadium is already slated to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will also be offered as a site for the FIFA World Cup, the IAAF World Championships, and a range of entertainment events. The stadium could even play host to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics if Japan is chosen as their location.
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AN Walkabout: Festival of Ideas, UN Studio, and Armani

It's time for ICFF and the fair's associated festivities, but our heads are still spinning from all the architecture and design goings-on in New York City over the last ten days. Among our stops were the Festival of Ideas, sponsored by the New Museum, including a lecture by Rem Koolhaas, a stop by UN Studio's new pavilion at downtown's Peter Minuit Plaza, and drink at Armani Casa's new location in the D&D Building. It all started with Rem... Rem Says On Wednesday, May 4, Koolhaas delivered a lecture at NYU based on the tension between preservation and destruction, or, in Rem-speak, "Cronocaos." Zach Schwanbeck, a project manager with the NYC Economic Development Corporation, attended the sold-out event (tix were $25). "As someone who has to work with and around a lot of landmarked properties, I think it's interesting to consider what counts as 'historic' and what counts as 'preservation.' Rem talked about the speed at which we're preserving buildings today and how there has to be an understanding of history but also the future," said Schwanbeck. Underpinning the argument for a smarter approach to preserving (and destroying, when necessary) the built environment was Koolhaas' stat that twelve percent of the land on the planet is now "protected" under some form of preservation guidelines. Rem took the opportunity to criticize "starchitects" (cue slide of grinning Daniel Libeskind with Freedom Tower model), arguing that this elite group is no longer truly contributing anything of value to the built environment. To make the point, Koolhaas considered architecture through the eyes of the consumer media, specifically Time magazine: no architects have appeared on the cover since the '60s. The lecture kicked off the Festival of Ideas and an associated Cronocaos exhibit, recycled from the 2010 Venice Biennale, is mounted in a gallery space next door to the New Museum through June 5.
Parade of Ideas On Saturday, May 7, we trolled the streets around the Bowery, checking out an array of Festival booths and installations, and bumped into Bjarke Ingels riding his bike (so Danish!), fresh from holding forth at one of the weekend's many panel discussions. We ended up at Booth 99 in Sara Roosevelt Park, where ExpoTENtial had set up their "Hug A Worm" booth about urban composting. It's one of ten "labs" that ExpoTENtial is curating over the next several months (on tap for Saturday, May 14: Urban Alchemy, 8-10pm on the corner of Lafayette and Bleeker).

                Armani Casa Despite years of unwavering support from the maestro, Armani Casa, the home furnishing line from Giorgio Armani, has downsized considerably by closing their last stand-alone store in the United States and moving operations into the D&D Building on Thursday, May 13. The opening on the 14th floor was a subdued affair with the designer’s black-clad loyalist milling about the sober, yet glossy surfaced space with champagne flutes in hand. The modest scale of the new showroom seems a far more realistic approach to the New York co-op owner than the over-the-top-soaring-ceiling loftiness of the old Soho outpost.  The company already closed their LA store and moved into a showroom at the Pacific Design Center. The new showrooms will sell everything from plates, to poufs, and even patios, as the company will continue to offer in-house interior design services.
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Quick Clicks> Microbes, XLVI, ARC Jr., Ben van Bistro

Microbe Road. Designers Thomas Kosbau & Andrew Wetzler have proposed scrapping asphalt in favor of a more eco-friendly sandstone paving surface created with locally harvested sand and cemented together by a common microbe. Yanko Design points out that the Incheon International Design Awards entry would save oil and help relieve the urban heat island effect. Super-circle XLVI. While the buzz surrounding this year's Superbowl has yet to subside, Indianapolis has focused its eyes to next year's big game. Urban Indy reports that the city's iconic Monument Circle will be pedestrianized during the week-long festivities, which could bode well for future car-free endeavors. ARC Resurrected. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have derailed the proposed ARC train tunnel connecting Manhattan and NJ last year, but a new plan floated by Amtrak could provide a new tunnel opportunity. The Transport Politic has details on the so-called Gateway Project. Ben van Bistro. Just in time for spring, the New Amsterdam Pavilion designed by UN Studio principal Ben van Berkel in Manhattan's Battery Park will offer eco-friendly food, craft beer, and organic wine. DNAinfo says the pinwheel-shaped restaurant will be called Battery Bistro.
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Going Dutch in SF Next Week

In case you didn't watch the World Cup this year, orange is the official color of the Netherlands. And it's the inspiration for a week of Dutch design events in San Francisco starting on November 14 called Seeing Orange. The week will feature Dutch creativity that includes not just architecture (hi Rem and friends..) but design, fashion, graphic arts, and so on. One of our favorite events is a bike tour (makes sense.. have you ever been to Amsterdam?) of Dutch design highlights led by architect David Baker and urban planner Robert Bregoff. The tour will visit places like My Dutch Bike, which sells handmade Dutch cycles and gear, Hedge Gallery, which features art by Dutch designers, Propeller, showing off sleek Dutch furniture and accessories, and several other destinations. Another highlight: UN Studio founder Caroline Bos will talk with CCA students and faculty about the firm's "Deep Planning" techniques. Sounds mysterious, but great. The full list of events is here. No word yet on whether there will be any of those great Dutch pancakes, but we'll keep you posted..