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Posts in category 'Architecture'

20 March 2006

Arup’s trend cards

ARUP's Drivers of Change cards
What will our world be like in 2050?

The Institute for the Future reports that the Foresight & Innovation team at Arup has devised a set of 50 cards which identify some of the leading trends affecting the future of the world — what they call ‘drivers of change’. The drivers are arranged and presented within societal, technical, economic, environmental and political domains, with each two-sided card depicting one driver.  As well as vibrant visual record of research, these cards can be used as a tool for discussion groups, as personal prompts for workshop events or as a ‘thought for the week’.

Arup is a global design and engineering firm and a leading creative force in the built environment.  It was founded 60 years ago by the engineer and philosopher, Sir Ove Arup (1895-1988), who instigated the concept of ‘total design’, in which teams of professionals from diverse disciplines work together on projects of exceptional quality.

In keeping with Arup’s holistic approach to problem-solving, the design of these cards aims to encourage deeper consideration of the forces driving global change and the role that all of us can play in creating a more sustainable future.  The cards have been published by the Spanish architecture and design publishing house, Editorial Gustavo Gili. Email for more information.

UPDATE (7 April 2006)
Arup has meanwhile launched a website dedicated to these foresight cards and they can also be ordered online for £19.95.

3 March 2006

Tomorrow’s world: testing the ultimate high tech house [Financial Times]

The Financial Times reports on Project:LIFE, a unique research project by David Wilson Homes and the University of Nottingham’s School of the Built Environment, to understand how the design of the home affects how we live together and to enable future houses to incorporate elements needed for today’s lifestyles.

“Last spring, I spent a weekend with my family in an experimental house that was decked out to test drive some very high-end design and technology innovations. After my stint in the Project:LIFE house on the outskirts of Sheffield, one test family of four – the Parnells – moved in for a six-month study, which ended in January.

During this time, the company behind the project, David Wilson Homes, and a team of researchers, monitored the Parnells and the different ways they used the house.

James Wilson, the company’s development director, wanted to find out how people lived in their homes. It’s something all builders should think about, but the subject hasn’t been given much thought since the 1920s.”

Read full story

12 January 2006

An anthropologist at an architecture firm

I have always been convinced that the traditional research approach as applied in architectural practices is conceptually closer to user experience research than that found in most other contexts.

Peter Merholz just alerted me to MKThink, an architecture firm which apparently has a resident anthropologist, who is getting the firm to move beyond standard architectural practice and to consider ethnography as a method toward constructing better built environments.

MKThink describes itself as the ideas company for the built environment which has a core strength in optimising the potential of the physical environment to serve human goals and aspirations.

14 December 2005

Renzo Piano about Genoa, life and the Paris riots

This is not a story about experience design as such.

It is a story about inspiration, innovation, creativity, humanity and life. And I hope that some of it wears off on you, makes you think and inspires you in your desire to become better professionals.


6 December 2005

The Carnegie Library as a dynamic information environment

A couple of months ago I posted about a very exciting experience design case study by Marc Rettig and MAYA Design on work done for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Maya Design has meanwhile posted a case study synthesis of this project that highlights how one can apply experience design to physical spaces.

10 November 2005

Arup on foresight and innovation

Chris Luebkeman, director for global foresight and innovation at the innovative top engineering firm Arup, talks in a series of short videos about foresight and innovation.

“Foresight is not crystal-ball gazing, it is not about predicting trends. Instead, foresight helps others frame their thinking about what might, what could or what would happen, given certain circumstances [and can therefore] help companies think about the future of their business.”

Arup’s foresight and innovation division encourages companies to think about global drivers of change, and how these could influence their strategies.

View Arup’s foresight site

(thanks, Jan-Christoph)

7 November 2005

User interfaces for physical spaces

A couple of months ago I posted about a very exciting experience design case study by Marc Rettig and MAYA Design on work done for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

On Monday 12 December the Information Architecture Institute organises a workshop entitled “User Interfaces for Physical Spaces“, where you can learn all about how, in “working with the Carnegie Library to understand how digital, physical, and human aspects of the library converge, MAYA developed an information architecture that gives the library a framework not only for a single renovated space, but also for system-wide organisational change and ongoing evolution.”

Read all about the event

(Thanks, Peter Merholz, for pointing this out to me).

16 October 2005

Design experience in public spaces

The Isreali Design Center, Israel’s first museum dedicated to design will open in Holon by 2008. A series of conferences exploring the role of design in society and raising awareness for the forthcoming museum have been planned.

The first conference, organised by Prof. Erzi Tarazi of the Bezalel Academy and Amnon Silber of the Israeli Design Center, will be on the subject of Design Experience in Public Spaces. The conference will take place on 2 November at the Mediatheque in Holon.

Keynote speakers include: Internationally celebrated designer and architect of the planned museum Ron Arad, Experientia partner and user experience specialist Jan-Christoph Zoels, and architecture writer and recently appointed Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University, Deyan Sudjic.

View programme (scroll down for English text)

1 September 2005

Marc Rettig on experience design

“Designing for Experience” is a 128-page presentation with two extraordinarily detailed experience design case studies (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and VasSol CANVAS) that feature many diagrams and prototypes.

The presentation was developed by Marc Rettig, principal of Fit Associates, and Aradhana Goel, senior information designer at Maya Design.

Download presentation

Update: after I let people on Yahoo’s experiencedesign group know about this presentation, Marc Rettig reacted with some further clarification: “[I] realize there’s potential for confusion in that “Designing for Experience” slide deck, for people who weren’t there to see what happened at the presentation. The slides with the colored bars at top and bottom are mine. The slides with the black bars at top and bottom are Aradhana Goel’s — she did the project with others at MAYA, made the slides, and talked for nearly an hour at the Adaptive Path session. I hate for someone to think I did the library work. I can only take credit for inviting Aradhana to tell us about it. [..] Those annotated photographs of the library experience are Aradhana’s, and I do like them very much, and I’ve definitely adopted that technique of writing overlays on photographs into our bag of tricks. That library project is the best example I’ve seen lately of someone having the chance to “design for experience” and following through well, documenting it as they went.”

Click here to see the full discussion on the Yahoo experiencedesign group

(via heyblog)

30 August 2005

Urban planners in Fused Space

The Fused Space design competition was inspired by the question: can artists and designers do a better job than the marketing industry in creating new application for ITC in public space?

The 300+ entries satisfied juror John Thackara that the answer is yes.

On 21 September, a meeting will be held for city and regional policymakers to discuss whether the ideas raised in Fused Space might be used in real-world planning and development.

Read full post

20 August 2005

Design for learning [CNN]

To prepare students for an evolving information-based society, architects are designing innovative schools to support new models of teaching and learning.

Read full story

(Related story: Students at Roy Lee Walker Elementary School don’t just study textbooks to learn about the environment and sustainability. They’re surrounded by it. [Edutopia Magazine]

21 July 2005

Experience architecture forum at Harvard

“Experience Architecture” unites narrative content and media technology to offer a dynamic new approach to the built environment. This design orientation focuses on the guest experience, and highlights the potential for architects to integrate media, information, and other forms of content into their building vocabulary. It’s influencing a wide range of commercial and cultural building types, from retail and brand environments to museums, libraries and civic spaces across the country. Experience Architecture is not a style, but rather an emerging set of design values that confront architects with issues of substance, and the ability of their work to express ideas and emotions.

The two-day discussion will take place August 10 – 12 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Read synopsis
Download backgrounder (PDF, 100 kb)

(via The Experience Economist)

19 July 2005

Sustainable urban development in India and China [World Changing]

India’s approach seems quite similar to that of the West — lay out some semi-official ground rules, then encourage (but not require) builders to meet them. China’s approach, conversely, seems to be more revolutionary than evolutionary — build sustainable cities from the ground up, as exemplified by the “Huangbaiyu Cradle to Cradle Village Master Plan” by William McDonough and Partners.

Read full story

14 July 2005

Eco-designs on future cities [BBC]

Internationally renowned designer, sustainability architect and author of Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough, argued at the TEDGlobal (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Oxford, UK, that we can only think of our future cities if we think about what our intention is as a species.

The question for designers of what is dubbed the Next City is how to love all species all the time.

Mr McDonough’s ideas for the Next City are about to be played out in China where his company has been charged with building seven entirely new cities.

Read full story

10 July 2005

CNN vision

CNN asked leading thinkers for their thoughts and ideas about the challenges facing the world.

Other interviewed visionaries

4 July 2005

Designing a (proxy) experience in a museum

Two design exhibitions in California — one on Renzo Piano, the other on 2×4 — reveal opposing views on how design firms address the situation of having to essentially create a proxy experience to describe their work.

Read the blog post by Lorraine Wild on Design Observer.

4 May 2005

MoMA’s minimalist baroque [Praxis]

Yoshio Taniguchi’s project for the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art is the fifth major reorganisation of the institution in its 75-year history. It embodies both a departure in scale and an organisational and stylistic reinvention that will surely set the character of the museum for the next generation.

Stephen Rustow, the chief architect on the project (and a close friend), reflects on a formalism that whispers loudly.

Download article (PDF, 2.1 MB)

21 March 2005

Italy’s new wave [Metropolis Magazine]

A cadre of young architects looks to shake up the country’s long-stagnant building culture.

Read full story

28 January 2005

Sottsass’s ‘Architecture for People’ [Metropolis Magazine]

Ettore Sottsass — one of the post-war architects who literally invented the idea of Italian Design — is today eighty-seven years old: a true éminence gris. Recently, I talked to the designer/writer and cultural provocateur at the Barry Friedman Gallery, which was staging his first furniture show in New York since 1987.

Read full story

24 January 2005

Eternal optimist [Metropolis Magazine]

Architect William McDonough has witnessed China’s rapid modernisation and sees hope for sustainable development. He is working to bring his cradle-to-cradle protocol to China, where old buildings are being demolished as quickly as new ones are constructed.

Read full story