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Ascendant Public Architecture
Over the next months while the Design with the Other 90%: CITIES exhibition is on display at the United Nations Headquarters in New York several individuals whose own research explores the exhibition’s subject matter have been invited to write blog entries sharing their insights, related research and projects. – Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially...
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Studio Visit to Selldorf Architects
SIMS Municipal Recycling Facility in Brooklyn. Image courtesy of Selldorf Architects. Selldorf Architects, located at Manhattan’s Union Square, recently opened their studio to Cooper-Hewitt’s Design Watch Members. The firm has acquired an international reputation for work that is sensitive to context and program, thoughtful in execution and timeless. The firm has worked on public and...
2010 National Design Awards: U.S. Green Building Council
The 2010 National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement goes to the U.S. Green Building Council. The U.S. Green Building Council promotes a sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. Since its founding in 1993, it has developed many services, including the LEED green-building-certification program that rates the design, construction, and operation of...
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Pure Blend / Puras Misturi
Coffee vending machine designed by a street vendor.   “We are buying artifacts from all over the country, made by common people, to constitute a collection of popular design. Our intention is to show the extraordinary resourcefulness of our material culture.” – Adélia Borges   Brazilian curator and former director of the Museu da Casa...
Why Design Now?: California Academy of Sciences
Why? Buildings in the United States produce the largest share of the worlds carbon-dioxide emissions. All aspects of the recently completed California Academy of Sciences, a natural-history museum, were designed for maximum environmental performance. The indigenous plantcovered, contoured roof design is a key component of the buildings overall ecological system, making it one of todays...
Why Design Now?: Norwegian National Opera and Ballet
Why? The first purpose-built home of the Norwegian Opera and Ballet is both a bridge and anchor for the Oslo community. As part of the first phase of an extensive transformation of the waterfront, the Opera is a monumental gateway to the harbor. Its most distinctive feature is a white marble roof that serves as...
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At Home from Roof to Basement
View from Central Park Yes, I’m starting to feel at home at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, having started work here this week. On the first day Angela Hall, who looks after everyone’s well being here, gave me a complete tour of the place. She introduced me to more than sixty people and showed me...
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Meier 75
Personally, I am partial to Richard Meier’s approach to architecture. According to Meier, a building is an act of “willful artificiality;” a “man-made” spatial construct that functions as a receptacle for experiencing the world of nature. Meier’s white walls act as nature’s film screen capturing ever-changing patterns of reflected color and light. While Meier credits...
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National Design Awards + Summer in NYC
If you happen to be in New York this summer (one day it will stop raining, I promise), be sure to check out these design destinations, all featuring previous National Design Award winners. Recently opened at the Museum of F.I.T., the very beautifully installed retrospective of Toledo Studio’s designs includes The Dress (i.e., the lemongrass...
Vo%C3%BBte%20Nubienne%20Affordable%20Housing
Voƻte Nubienne Affordable Housing
In sub-Saharan Africa, traditional building techniques are no longer feasible; due to increased deforestation use of timber for roofing and posts is not viable. Adapting an ancient architectural technique used in Sudan and Asia to West Africa, provides an affordable alternative. The Voute Nubienne (VN) or Nubian Vault technique uses local materials (mud bricks dried...