Common Edge

Donald Trump as Architecture’s Nightmare Client

08.02.2016

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Not since Thomas Jefferson has there been a presidential candidate more involved in designing and building structures than the Republican nominee.

Donald-Trump via washingtonlife.com

Not since Thomas Jefferson has there been a presidential candidate more involved in designing and building structures than the Republican nominee.

Witold Rybczynski’s New Cultural History of the Chair

07.27.2016

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In his new book, the author Witold Rybczynski has pulled off a deft trick. Now I Sit Me Down, due out next month, feels loose and relaxed, as well as grounded and authoritative. In a way, it’s like a good chair. The book, a sweeping look, rendered in concise breezy prose, blends first person accounts […]

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In his new book, the author Witold Rybczynski has pulled off a deft trick. Now I Sit Me Down, due out next month, feels loose and relaxed, as well as grounded and authoritative. In a way, it’s like a good chair. The book, a sweeping look, rendered in concise breezy prose, blends first person accounts […]

How Brandcentric Architecture is Destroying Our Sense of Place

07.13.2016

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National chains have brought a mix of outcomes in terms of job creation, quality of life, and national identity, but what are the consequences to our built environment?

NOGLO

National chains have brought a mix of outcomes in terms of job creation, quality of life, and national identity, but what are the consequences to our built environment?

Mid-Century Modernism on $10 a Month

07.07.2016

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On a recent trip to Cuba, I made a point to visit some mid century modern homes that were not designed by architects, but by the people who live in them.

IMG_1303

On a recent trip to Cuba, I made a point to visit some mid century modern homes that were not designed by architects, but by the people who live in them.

Watching the George Lucas Fiasco from the Cheap Seats

06.28.2016

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In the face of considerable opposition, a relentless civic organization, a pesky lawsuit, and a sympathetic judge, the legendary filmmaker has decided to pull his Museum of Narrative Art out of Chicago.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

In the face of considerable opposition, a relentless civic organization, a pesky lawsuit, and a sympathetic judge, the legendary filmmaker has decided to pull his Museum of Narrative Art out of Chicago.

When Intellectual Diversity Mattered

06.21.2016

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Cornell’s architecture school in the 1970s wasn’t a particularly diverse place, but it was open to different ideas about the profession.

arch students via d.lob.ncsu.edu

Cornell’s architecture school in the 1970s wasn’t a particularly diverse place, but it was open to different ideas about the profession.

Donald Trump and the Rage Against Robots

06.16.2016

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For all of its insanity, buffoonery, cluelessness, bigotry and narcissism, Trump’s candidacy is tapping into something else besides racism and xenophobia: Economic displacement.

manufacturing robots

For all of its insanity, buffoonery, cluelessness, bigotry and narcissism, Trump’s candidacy is tapping into something else besides racism and xenophobia: Economic displacement.

Why Was Rem Koolhaas’ AIA Speech Not Widely Covered?

06.09.2016

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There was a time, not too long ago, when a Koolhaas speech given to thousands of his fellow architects would constitute news. At least in the architecture press. Apparently, that time is not now.

rem in philly

There was a time, not too long ago, when a Koolhaas speech given to thousands of his fellow architects would constitute news. At least in the architecture press. Apparently, that time is not now.

Anatomy of an Architectural Photo Shoot

06.06.2016

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We’ve been photographing the same “wood-grained wood-style wood-inflected engineered-wood” PLANK for oh god, like…. three point five hours.

shulman

We’ve been photographing the same “wood-grained wood-style wood-inflected engineered-wood” PLANK for oh god, like…. three point five hours.

Why City Planners Love Portland

06.02.2016

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The hipster capital of the world is a poster child for urban geeks everywhere–and for good reason. It’s an urban design success story.

1 Jamison Square walk

The hipster capital of the world is a poster child for urban geeks everywhere–and for good reason. It’s an urban design success story.

Calling For An End to Architecture’s Style Wars

05.31.2016

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“Architecture has a serious problem today in that people who are not alike don’t communicate,” Rem Koolhaas said, speaking at the American Institute of Architects recent convention. ‘I’m actually more interested in communicating with people I disagree with than people I agree with.”

ModernismClassicismCoverImage

“Architecture has a serious problem today in that people who are not alike don’t communicate,” Rem Koolhaas said, speaking at the American Institute of Architects recent convention. ‘I’m actually more interested in communicating with people I disagree with than people I agree with.”

A Design Proposal that Out-Trumps Trump

05.16.2016

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Forget the “big, beautiful wall. ” How about a yuuuge domed complex created, not for the “undesireables,” but the people trying to flee from them?

revised trumptown

Forget the “big, beautiful wall. ” How about a yuuuge domed complex created, not for the “undesireables,” but the people trying to flee from them?

What Jane Jacobs Missed

05.12.2016

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She profoundly shaped our view of the city, but often overlooked the big systems that make city life possible.

second avenue subway construction

She profoundly shaped our view of the city, but often overlooked the big systems that make city life possible.

Will Architecture Have Its Donald Trump Moment?

05.09.2016

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There are two architectures. Not officially, yet, but the perception is real and growing that there is an architectural apartheid. There is an “inside” and an “outside.”

zaha trump image

There are two architectures. Not officially, yet, but the perception is real and growing that there is an architectural apartheid. There is an “inside” and an “outside.”

Richard Florida on the Enduring Legacy of Jane Jacobs

05.02.2016

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In celebration of the Jacobs centennial, the noted urbanist and author talks about the legend, their close relationship in her later years, and her lasting influence on his work.

photos for li-janeswalk_9

In celebration of the Jacobs centennial, the noted urbanist and author talks about the legend, their close relationship in her later years, and her lasting influence on his work.

It’s National Architecture Week!

04.13.2016

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Instead of spending money on what is essentially a branding effort, what if the AIA organized a national education program aimed at the primary schools?

teaching kids arch image

Instead of spending money on what is essentially a branding effort, what if the AIA organized a national education program aimed at the primary schools?

A Modest Proposal

03.17.2016

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Shouldn’t architecture school projects actually be required to deal with the real challenges of architecture?

JeremyBaudy_Arc

Shouldn’t architecture school projects actually be required to deal with the real challenges of architecture?

A Letter to Prospective Architecture School Parents

03.08.2016

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You now have an architecture school student child. And as much as we have—and need—the framework of, say, Adult Children of Alcoholics, just as deeply do we need a framework for Adult Parents of Architecture Students.

YASAR ARCHITECTURE student

You now have an architecture school student child. And as much as we have—and need—the framework of, say, Adult Children of Alcoholics, just as deeply do we need a framework for Adult Parents of Architecture Students.

My Worst Project Never Killed Anyone

02.25.2016

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It’s time for architects-along with the American Institute of Architects-to take a stand against spaces intended to torture and kill.

solitary confinement image

It’s time for architects-along with the American Institute of Architects-to take a stand against spaces intended to torture and kill.

Cab Drivers: The Ultimate Architecture Critics

02.24.2016

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Every day they pass thousands of houses, hospitals, churches, and schools, so it’s no wonder many of them have strong opinions about the kinds of buildings they like. They may be one of the built environment’s most authentic focus groups.

steven

Every day they pass thousands of houses, hospitals, churches, and schools, so it’s no wonder many of them have strong opinions about the kinds of buildings they like. They may be one of the built environment’s most authentic focus groups.

Who Designs Public Space?

02.17.2016

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What does an urban designer do on his day off, when he’s halfway around the world? If he’s in Rabat, Morocco—as Dennis Pieprz was two years ago—he does what he’s hardwired to do: walk the city. The experience is exhilarating and humbling.

Rabat_DP_1

What does an urban designer do on his day off, when he’s halfway around the world? If he’s in Rabat, Morocco—as Dennis Pieprz was two years ago—he does what he’s hardwired to do: walk the city. The experience is exhilarating and humbling.

Architecture Has Become a Lifestyle Choice

02.15.2016

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Architecture is in state of deep and troubling transition. But the schools are not responding to these changes. Instead, they’re enabling the decline of the profession of architecture as a building art.

Bay Bridge hotel project

Architecture is in state of deep and troubling transition. But the schools are not responding to these changes. Instead, they’re enabling the decline of the profession of architecture as a building art.

Design Patient’s Bill of Rights: A What-If

02.10.2016

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I have a Patient’s Bill of Rights that protects my brain from my neurosurgeon, my heart from my heart surgeon, my nipple from my breast surgeon. So, what if we had a Design Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities? Let’s imagine…

design patient bill of right image

I have a Patient’s Bill of Rights that protects my brain from my neurosurgeon, my heart from my heart surgeon, my nipple from my breast surgeon. So, what if we had a Design Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities? Let’s imagine…

Blair Kamin on the Chicago Biennial, George Lucas, and the magic of Jeanne Gang

01.27.2016

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This past year the Windy City was abuzz with architecture and design news: everything from the Obama presidential library to a Star Wars invasion. The Pulitzer Prize winning critic talks about Chicago’s unique architectural heritage and the culture shift brewing in the profession.

Chicago-Architecture

This past year the Windy City was abuzz with architecture and design news: everything from the Obama presidential library to a Star Wars invasion. The Pulitzer Prize winning critic talks about Chicago’s unique architectural heritage and the culture shift brewing in the profession.

Lewis MacAdams on the LA River, Frank Gehry, and the Return of the Red Legged Frog

01.27.2016

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When word trickled out that Gehry would take over master planning for the river, it caught some locals by surprise. No one was more startled, and more critical, than this poet, politician, community activist, and citizen planner.

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When word trickled out that Gehry would take over master planning for the river, it caught some locals by surprise. No one was more startled, and more critical, than this poet, politician, community activist, and citizen planner.

George Lucas and the Lake Michigan Waterfront: A Match Made in Chicago

12.16.2015

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John King’s tale of two cities is the story of two distinct public processes: San Francisco’s famously fractious culture, vs. Chicago’s ruthless top-down model of Mayor-as-last-and-final-word.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

John King’s tale of two cities is the story of two distinct public processes: San Francisco’s famously fractious culture, vs. Chicago’s ruthless top-down model of Mayor-as-last-and-final-word.

Who Saved New Orleans?

11.19.2015

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When official planning efforts floundered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the people of New Orleans took it upon themselves to rethink and reimagine their city.

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When official planning efforts floundered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the people of New Orleans took it upon themselves to rethink and reimagine their city.

The Trouble with Architecture

11.18.2015

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The profession is chronically disconnected from the public it’s supposed to serve. It’s time to rediscover some lost design tools and learn the value of authentic engagement.

Doha skyline in the morning, courtesy Francisco Anzola

The profession is chronically disconnected from the public it’s supposed to serve. It’s time to rediscover some lost design tools and learn the value of authentic engagement.

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