A lush green park reaching over the Eisenhower Expressway. Bus rapid transit connections. Economic invigoration for the North Lawndale neighborhood. Those are some of the visions outlined in the University of Illinois Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library, made public Monday. AECOM, Isaiah International and Morphosis consulted on the proposal, which splits its ambitious plans for the nation's 14th presidential library across two sites: a vacant 23-acre city-owned site in North Lawndale and an institute on UIC's Near West Side campus. The Lawndale plot is bound by Roosevelt Road and Kostner, Kildare, and Fifth avenues. Among the benefits the authors say their proposal will bring to the community—predominantly Black, with nearly half of residents below the poverty line—are a linear park and bikeway, as well as commercial development in the surrounding area. UIC's 85-page proposal invokes a history of progressive politics and urban planning in Chicago, from Daniel Burnham and Jane Addams to Walter Netsch and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The plan calls for establishing a social service center named the O-4 Institute (the O's stand for “one world, opportunity, optimism and outreach) on UIC's existing campus, which would serve as a hub for academic research, fellowships and activities for university students and community members alike. In a video outlining the proposal, UIC positions its plan as a continuation of Obama's social service, which began when he worked as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side. “UIC offers an expansive plan that prioritizes social and economic equity. This is a rare and extraordinary opportunity: a presidential library and museum reimagined, to not only celebrate history but to make it; to preserve Barack Obama’s legacy and expand it,” reads text accompanying the proposal video. UIC's proposal is up against plans from Columbia University and Hawaii University. Closer to home it's competing with the University of Chicago. UIC's hometown rival, where Obama taught law, submitted plans for three possible sites in and around South Side parks. You can download the full proposal here.
Posts tagged with "Videos":
Congratulations to Nervous System, whose Kinematics Dress was just acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (a prescient, pre-emptive move that might keep the curators of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute awake for nights to come). While the physical product is certainly a head-turner, it's the underlying technology that's the true wonder—and maybe of greater interest and implication to architects. In order to fit into a 3D printer, the nascent dress design had to be reduced in size. Factoring in idealized, actual, and intuitive aspects of material and performance, a computational folding program optimally shrunk the garment by 85 percent by folding it in half only twice. Comprising 2,279 unique triangular panels linked by 3,316 hinges, the nylon dress was printed as a single piece over the course of 48 hours at the Shapeways facility in New York City. It looks fabulous, but how does it feel? Nervous Systems' creative director, Jessica Rosenkranz, answers, "I would not compare the dress to any other fabrics. It's really quite different. Perhaps I would describe it as a kind of mechanical lace. While each part is rigid and has a textured feel, together they flow and fold. Fabrics often make a rustling sound, but our garment sounds more like thousands of tiny plastic wind chimes." A video documenting the fabrication of the dress was filmed at Shapeways.
Today, December 12th, the architectural world changed forever. Is that an overstatement? Entirely, but the AIA did launch a new social media campaign that it's really excited about. It's called "Look Up" and the AIA said it marks the next phase of its "multi-year repositioning initiative" to increase the public's awareness about the importance of design. Like all good social media campaigns, "Look Up" came into this world with a slickly produced promotional video and, expectedly, a hashtag: #ilookup. The video is awash in stock footage of clouds, skyscrapers, water, natural landscapes, a sunrise or two, and some science-y looking things. Mixed between the imagery are architectural models, blueprints, and noteworthy buildings (hello AIA gold medalist Moshe Safdie, twice). Take out the architecture moments and the video is almost a carbon copy of "This Is a Generic Brand Video," a parody created by Dissolve, a purveyor of stock footage. "Tell me," says a deep-voiced narrator in the AIA's video, "what do you see when you look up? Walls? Windows? Or do you see something else?" Before the narrator can answer his own question, there are some time-lapsed stars, a few trees, an intricate ceiling, a woman staring into the sun, and then, boom, he's back. "To be an architect is to look up, even before we put pencil to paper." With the video comes the inevitable Twitter campaign which asks followers to "look up" and post what they see under the hashtag #ilookup. For example, Twitter user Manuel posted a photo of the Willis Tower and Craig Toocheck saw the Chrysler Building. But here's the thing, sometimes when you "look up" you don't see the most interesting thing. Case in point, Toocheck's previous tweet: https://twitter.com/ctoocheck/status/543507558397657089/ It didn't take long for the AIA's followers to more directly attack the premise behind the "I Look Up" campaign. Ethan Kent, the senior vice president of the Project for Public Spaces, tweeted that he hoped the AIA would put more focus on human scale and place-making over looking skyward. To that, the AIA tweeted back "haters gonna hate," spurring a number of additional tweets among urbanism circles. The Institute has since deleted that tweet. Why don't we all just calm down and wait to see what Arcade Fire thinks. https://twitter.com/AIANational/status/543487974827388928
Up-and-coming architect Frank Gehry recently sat down with the New York Times to discuss his Guggenheim museum under construction on Saadiyat Island near Abu Dhabi. The eccentric or idiosyncratic or whimsical structure totals 450,000 square feet, making it 12 times larger than the Guggenheim in New York. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is defined by multiple cones that Gehry says were influenced by teepees because of how they remove hot air. The design is also supposed to evoke the domes of mosques around the Middle East. Although that's a bit harder to discern. On Saadiyat Island, Gehry's museum will be joined by other lavish projects from Zaha Hadid, Rafael Viñoly, Tadao Ando, and Jean Nouvel. These architects, and their clients, have faced scrutiny for the notoriously bad labor conditions in the region. But back in September, Gehry addressed these concerns in an interview with Architectural Record. In a statement, the architect's firm said, “Gehry Partners has been engaged in a substantial and on-going dialogue over many years now that has involved government, the construction industry, architects, project, sponsors and NGOs." Record added, "Gehry may be the first prominent architect to take steps towards labor reform on Saadiyat Island." If you like, give the video a look, but be warned there's a lot of self congratulations and opining on world affairs.
On November 30, the Arts Council New Orleans launched LUNA Fête, a large-scale, outdoor light and sound installation that can be experienced free by the public at Lafayette Square. The centerpiece of the event is a projection mapping display by French art group La Maison Productions that transforms the Crescent City's former city hall (Gallier Hall, 1853) into a neoclassical canvas. The nine-minute animated work plays on the columns and contours of the Greek Revival edifice with a richly layered spectacle inspired by the music and cultural history of New Orleans. La Maison Productions used four large projectors to animate the facade with its symbolically loaded and musically inspired motion graphics. The installation features an original score by Cyril Salvagnac. "This installation is very different from the other projection mapping installations we have created in the past, where we used more classical music with the graphic images," said La Maision Productions founder Sebastien Salvagnac, who worked on the project with creative imagery director Damien Fontaine. "The music of New Orleans inspired us to go in directions we had never tried before." Arts Council New Orleans commissioned the project and launched LUNA Fête to celebrate and promote the local art community. It is assessing the feasibility of making it a yearly event in the run-up to the city's 2018 tricentennial. The projection will take place twice nightly at 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. until December 6.
This Fall, I served as special media correspondent for The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's September symposium in Shanghai. The topic was “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism,” and among the many architects, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Ole Scheeren—founder Büro Ole Scheeren and former director at OMA. In light of Scheeren's recent work on The Interlace in Singapore and Bangkok's MahaNakhon, we talked about exploring the power of public space and shared experiences in tall buildings. “The city is about sharing,” said Scheeren. “The city is not about individuality per se but it's about how individuals come together and the spaces they share. And in a way the adventure of that space.”
The excitement over Apple's new mega-campus in Silicon Valley continues to build. First, we got an aerial drones-eye-view of the under-construction Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California (check it out after the jump!). And now, we get to see the corporate auditorium where the company will show off its new products once complete in 2016. Renderings released by the Contract Division of Poltrona Frau Group (PFG Contract) depict Foster + Partner's theater. PFG Contract will supply and install 660 custom chairs and 250 lounge armchairs. A grass walkway will lead visitors and employees to a glass pavilion marked by a saucer-shaped roof, making way to the underground stage. Forbes reported there will be a secret subterranean passage to the auditorium, allowing speakers or other employees to move between the 4-story main building and the stage privately, away from the press and other visitors. Auditorium completion is expected by spring/summer 2016. In 2007 PFG Contract worked with the Apple Design Team to create seating for theater spaces in Apple retail sites worldwide. The company's first commission was for armchairs for the ocean liner, Rex, in the 1930s, and they moved into designing seating systems for theaters and auditoriums in the 1980s. This past February, Dezeen reported that furniture company Haworth had bought PFG Contract. The 2.8 million square feet circular extension of Apple's headquarters, led by Foster + Partners, will sit in an over-100-acre forest designed by landscape architecture firm OLIN. Apple's forest will be an orchard of sorts, able to supply its own food, with plum, apple, cherry, persimmon, and apricot trees on site. The new campus will hold 13,000 employees, with an underground auditorium built during the first phase of construction.
[beforeafter] [/beforeafter] Perhaps the most hyped corporate campus in history, Apple's Norman Foster–designed campus in Cupertino, is starting to come out of the ground. YouTube user jmcminn recently uploaded a video of a (loud) drone flying over the top secret construction site, where work began a few months ago and should continue through 2016. The circular foundations appear to be over a quarter complete. The 2.8 million square foot, 12,000-employee campus was first revealed in 2011 and joins ambitious new Silicon Valley campuses by Samsung, Google, Facebook, Nvidia and more in a remarkable architectural run in the area. Wondering if people are interested? The Apple construction page has almost 3 million views. For more construction news visit the city of Cupertino's update page. Other partners on the project are engineers Arup and landscape architects Olin (managing over 10,000 square feet of landscaped space).
Nike has covered a basketball court in Shanghai with LED sensors and the result looks like a live-action video game. The court is called the “House of Mamba”—not to be confused with the new “House of Vans” in London—and it's topped with reactive sensors that track players' every move. The House is part of Nike’s “Rise Campaign,” which the company described as “the first social basketball documentary drama in Greater China to inspire young people with a passion for basketball.” The House opened this summer with an appearance by Kobe Bryant, for whom the stadium gets its named—“House of Mamba” plays off Bryant’s nickname “Black Mamba.” Gizmag has a helpful breakdown of how exactly this court works: “It has a wooden base layer platform to provide a natural bounce, followed by a layer of over a thousand 2 x 2 ft (0.6 x 0.6 m) interlaced LED screens, a layer of thick glass on top of the screens and an adhesive basketball surface that provides bounce and grip covering the glass layer.”
Whatever you may think of video games (new media art form, societal ill, lame waste of time) there was no avoiding them in downtown Denver this summer. From June 7 to July 26, three blocks of Champa Street between 14th Street and the 16th Street Mall were transformed into one big video arcade. Known as Oh Heck Yeah, the project assembled local and national arts groups and businesses to activate this stretch of turf with a variety of programming centered around a series of custom designed, family friendly video games. Designed by Denver-based creative teams Legwork Studio and Mode Set, the games were played on the Theatre District's giant LED screens. Players controlled the games' characters with their body movements and had the opportunity to interact with them via Twitter profiles backed by local improv comedy group Bovine Metropolis. In addition to the games, Oh Heck Yeah's business and institutional sponsors put on a variety of "fun" happenings, such as karaoke, live music, dancing, and street theater. According to Brian Corrigan, the purpose of Oh Heck Yeah was to "use the power of play to connect people on the street." Connecting people, he said, makes the street safer and the city more "resilient," which has replaced sustainability as everyone's favorite buzzword. In its two months of operation, Oh Heck Yeah attracted 40,000 players and garnered Denver its fair share of national media attention.
Al Jazeera has launched Rebel Architecture, a six-part documentary that profiles lesser-known architects who are using their design skills “as a form of activism resistance to tackle the world's urban, environmental and social crises." These designers aren’t building glass towers for the global elite, but schools, cultural spaces, and homes for everyone else. And they're often doing it in legal gray area. In the first piece of the documentary, Al Jazeera follows Spanish architect Santiago Cirugeda, "the Guerilla Architect,” as he attempts to transform a defunct cement plant into a cultural hub. The rest of the series will be set in Pakistan, Israel and the West Bank, Brazil, Vietnam, and Nigeria.
Between June and August, a New York City subway platform is a pretty awful place to find yourself. Over those summer months, the subway has all the smells, crowds, and delays you're used to with the unwelcome addition of a shockingly stubborn heat that couldn't care less that you're on your way to a job interview. The temperature below ground is often ten or more degrees warmer than on the sidewalks above. And there is nothing you can do about it—getting around the subway heat is like getting around that tourist family trying to find their way to an AirBNB apartment in Carroll Gardens. It's impossible. The only good thing to ever come out of these hot and humid stations is the latest video from the geniuses over at Improv Everywhere. The folks who brought us the "No Pants Subway Ride" recently turned the Herald Square subway station into a full-service "34th Street Spa." The summer brought the heat, they brought everything else. [h/t Gothamist]