Architecture

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Design Talk: Designing a Better America with Deanna Van Buren
Talk by Deanna Van Buren, architect and coordinator of the Designing Justice + Designing Spaces project. This talk is a part of Autodesk’s Design Night. Designing Justice+Designing Spaces facilitates the design of more restorative and healing criminal-justice environments through community engagement in jails and prisons. An alternative to the current punitive-justice system—the United States has...
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A Bruce Goff residence
“In architecture, there are no limits to forms, colors, and textures that you feel you should use. Feeling is the important thing; that you should actually feel something about your problem.” [1] The words of architect Bruce Goff ring true throughout his brilliant and oftentimes bizarre architectural projects. Goff’s notable work in church, home, and...
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If I were a carpenter…,or a builder or woodworker
Title: The Architect, builder and woodworker. Publisher: New York [etc.] C.D. Lakey [etc.] 1868- Smithsonian Libraries Reference Number: NA1. A43 CHMRU   Builder and Wood-Worker Masthead. Vol. 18, no.2 Feb, 1882. NA1. A43 CHMRU The Cooper Hewitt Library collects a variety of trade periodicals, especially those dealing with architecture and the building trades. The Architect,...
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A Hundred Windows on Your Wall
This beautiful monochromatic wallpaper is an excellent example of mid-nineteenth century stylistic eclecticism. The window, surrounded by fan vaults and Gothic tracery, is a typical Gothic Revival image. However, the bunches of flowers and swirling acanthus leaves that frame the Gothic interior are Rococo Revival motifs, pointing to the enormous  influence of French culture on...
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The Wright Chair
Echoing the larger artistic vision of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, this chair was designed for the hotel’s Peacock banquet room in the early 1920s. Amongst the 700 drawings that exist for the hotel, most are for its interior, showing how significant its design was.[1] The chair’s hexagonal back and square seat reflect...
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A Forgotten Architect with Ethereal Solutions
For her first assignment as an architecture student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mary Ann Crawford was given a sheet of paper, twelve hours, and a problem: design an entrance to an architectural school. Crawford’s submission was well-received by her professor, but he gave her a cautionary warning. “You want to be careful...
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Making Waves in the Windy City
Though it is frequently lauded as the tallest skyscraper designed by a woman in the world, Chicago’s Aqua Tower is worthy of praise beyond the gender of its architect, Jeanne Gang, a MacArthur fellow and winner of the 2013 National Design Award in Architecture. The key aspects of Gang’s LEED certified design, which explores the...
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Stitching Architecture
Polly Turner’s sampler, worked in 1786, is one of the earliest known examples made at Mary Balch’s school in Providence, Rhode Island. According to tradition, the sampler’s five-bay house represents the residence of the president of Rhode Island College. Polly’s is the first known needlework depiction of the house, which appears on at least six...
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Imagining Restorative Justice
In 2013, architectural designer Deanna Van Buren and social scientist Barb Toews established Designing Justice+Designing Spaces (DJ+DS) to facilitate the design of more restorative and healing criminal-justice environments through community engagement in jails and prisons. Their work is featured in the exhibition By the People: Designing a Better America, curated by Cynthia Smith, Curator of...