From the architect. The Color Inside is a milestone in The University of Texas at Austin’s Landmarks public art collection. Located on the roof of the Student Activity Center, the project arose from the student body’s desire for a peaceful retreat at the Student Activity Center (SAC). The SAC serves as a highly active social and cultural center with amenities that include, amongst others, a ballroom, black box theater, auditorium, conference rooms, and offices for student organizations. Through an in-depth participatory design process, students played a pivotal role in defining the programmatic functions of the SAC and the role it would play on campus. As a result, internationally acclaimed artist James Turrell was commissioned to design a “Skyspace,” one of his renowned inhabitable artworks, in order to offer a space for quiet amidst the dynamic atmosphere of the SAC.
Turrell’s work challenges the traditional relationship between art as object and viewer. Through the manipulation of color and light, the installation radically alters the viewer’s perception of the sky, seemingly bringing it down to the plane of the viewer. His work has no object, no physical presence; instead light and perception are his artistic media. As Turrell has said, “Light is not so much something that reveals as it is the revelation.” By drawing attention to the perceptual mechanisms at work in the act of seeing, he instills the awareness that subjective experience shapes our understanding of reality and the world around us. This perceptual process closely parallels those cultivated by many Eastern contemplative practices, and Turrell himself often likens his work to the Quaker practices of his own youth, in which the act of silent prayer is described as “going inside to greet the light.”
The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
The Holcim Foundation has announced the Winners of the Holcim Awards 2014 for North America, the award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the winners are BIG and The Living, with designs which the jury stated showed “sophisticated and multi-disciplinary responses to the challenges facing the building and construction industry.”
The ten recognized projects share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim Awards awards, to be selected in 2015.
Click HERE the full list of North America winners.
Eco-Techno Park: Green building showcase and enterprise hub. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
Teams from Turkey and Lebanon have received top honors in the 2014 regional Holcim Awards for Africa Middle East, an award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the top three winners is an “Eco-Park” sustainable research and technology center embedded within the terraced, industrial landscape of Ankara.
The 12 recognized projects will share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim Awards, to be selected in 2015.
Click HERE the full list of Africa Middle East winners.
The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org
The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded its 2014 Community Development Award to the Rebuild by Design competition organized by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. The results of the competition were announced in June this year, with six schemes, including proposals by BIG and OMA awarded a total of $920 million to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and improve the resilience of the coastline in the region.
Imagine luminaires that could fly and visualise new buildings or individually guide you through space. What would happen if you could even interact with these flying pixels? These concepts could be realised in the near future as the first prototypes and experiments are being introduced. Software-driven LED pixels combined with drone swarm technology provide extraordinary possibilities for inducing new forms of spatial experience. These luminous pixel clouds emerge as digital patterns, but at the same time they emanate a romantic quality with their unique star formations twinkling in the night sky. The first projects have shared a playful note, but laboratories such as MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, ARES Lab and Ars Electronica Futurelab have shown an intriguing future in urban design for guidance systems or envisioning real estate developments, as advances in battery technology and wireless control have opened new perspectives for a life with smart flying pixels.
The word ‘media’ was appropriated (and impoverished) by broadcasting and communications in the course of their pervasion during the 20th century. As a new social phenomenon, media (along with its derivatives new media, multi media, mass media) was eagerly studied by the emergent figure of the ‘media theorist.’ Marshall McLuhan, pioneer of the field, categorically dismissed content, focusing instead on the potency of the networked transmission system itself. Media, for McLuhan, was not about information, but about tools of content delivery, the intermediaries between providers and consumers.  His reading points to a broader, prior definition of media as simply the things-in-between, diplomatic structures, membranes that negotiate two conditions or entities.
The 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) officially kicked off in Singapore last week, and the first group of award winners were unveiled, with Vo Trong Nghia Architects and AECOM among the 16 announced winners. The winners of the remaining 11 categories will be announced the next day, and the festival will culminate on Friday with the World Building of the Year and Future Project of the Year awards, which will be selected by the festival’s ‘super-jury’: Richard Rogers, Rocco Yim, Julie Eizenberg, Enric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich. The winners of day 1 were selected from a shortlist that included practices from over 50 countries.
This year’s festival took place from October 1-3, featuring three days of talks, key-note speakers and networking opportunities. With “Architects and the City” as the overarching theme for this year’s main conference sessions, the festival will focus on the contributions architects can make to cities and how they affect – and are affected by – politics, infrastructure, planning communities and technology.