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Syndication

Ceci n'est pas un session

Spring is just around the corner, and in the interest of new beginnings and rebirth, Archinect Sessions is taking this week off to get some much needed rest. The market is hot right now, and we're running on all cylinders just to keep up.

We'll be back next week with a brand new episode, devoted specifically to competitions in honor of Bustler's new redesign, and until then, we've got a special half-episode to tide you over. Paul and I run through the recent news and recommend a few episodes to get caught up with to while we're on break (links to all in the shownotes below).

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-55.5.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:46pm PDT

Guns in the Studio

A new Texas state law going into effect on August 1 will allow concealed handguns to be brought into public university campus buildings. This isn't sitting well with many members of the public university system, as educators and administrators are now tasked with regulating the presence of guns inside studios and classrooms, and fear that such a law will scare people away from the school (not to mention the obvious safety concerns). Dean of the architecture school, Frederick "Fritz" Steiner, has been critical of the law from its inception, and faced with having to enforce it as campus policy, was prompted to leave UT-Austin for the deanship at PennDesign.

While not the sole reason for his resignation, Steiner is adamant that such a law is simply not good for architecture education and studio culture, and joins us on the podcast to discuss.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-55.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 11:56am PDT

Dispatch from Flint

The tragedy of Flint, Michigan's water crisis seems to worsen with every newly uncovered detail. As a manmade public health crisis provoked by willful denial and compromised safety standards, the entirely preventable poisoning of Flint's water supply with lead stands not only as a failure to care for the citizens of one city, but as a dreadful harbinger for the U.S.'s deteriorating infrastructure networks.

Like any concerned citizen, Filnt-based architect Kurt Neiswender sees this as a call to action to help any way he can. Kurt joins us on the podcast this week to discuss how architects might apply their skills to improve such a monstrous situation, and address the real limitations the profession has when it comes to these scenarios.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-54.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 2:31pm PDT

The Trumpeteers

We swear, no BIG or Trump on this episode. We discuss the donation of Lautner's breathtaking Sheats-Goldstein house, complete with jungle, nightclub and infinity tennis court, to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to become the museum's first acquired piece of architecture (along with a sizable endowment for maintenance). The U.S. saw a major step forward into the realm of driverless cars, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google that its computers in autonomous vehicles could legally be counted as drivers, while the internet ogled Nissan's self-parking office chairs.

It's also that time of year again, when the AIA announces the keynote speakers for its National Convention (check out our podcast on last year's convention in Atlanta), and this year's threw us for a loop – first, actor Kevin Spacey was named as Day 1 speaker, and praised for his "disruption" of "appointment television". Neri Oxman will give the Day 2 keynote, a very solid choice if not somewhat experimental for the AIA crowd. Then, a big kahuna – Rem Koolhaas was named Day 3 speaker, with a talk titled "Delirious Philadelphia" (where the Convention will take place this year). We mull over the rationale behind such a smattering of keynotes, and take a look back at prior keynotes.

Lastly, we tackle a brazen piece by architect Duo Dickinson, that claims contemporary architecture has changed from a respectable, pragmatic profession into a lifestyle choice

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-53.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:25pm PDT

Long-time Archinector and reliably sane commentator Will Galloway joins us from his base in Tokyo to discuss the weekly news, including his interview with Assemble, crucially taking place mere weeks before they won the Turner Prize. Otherwise, while news from Bjarke Ingels Group commanded the feistiest comment threads – with renderings of BIG's spiraling Hudson Yards tower provoking debate over craft in skyscrapers, and the firm being selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion for 2016 in their last last eligible year – the last week included big news for firms both star-studded and unknown. MoMA PS1 named Escobedo Solíz Studio as the 2016 winner of its Young Architects Program, for their "Weaving the Courtyard" submission, while Dame Zaha Hadid received her RIBA Gold Medal (the first woman to win solo). And for you planning wonks, we throw in a brief discussion of a controversial proposed ballot measure to halt big developments in Los Angeles. 

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-52.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:26pm PDT

Virtually Inevitable

Virtual Reality is very much here, in all its messy, beautiful, uncanny glory. The gee-whiz factor notwithstanding, the technology holds a bevy of architectural applications and implications, and manages to hold a mirror up to the built environment to show us things that we couldn't understand before.

This episode, we discuss a host of recent VR stories, from the narrative VR journalism of Emblematic Group to Thorsten Wiedemann's VR performance art, an AR helmet that streamlines the construction site and VR-value-added rendering services for firms.

Joining us on this VR-trip is Rebecca Howard, freshly returned from New York where she developed video content for the Times, and helped them launch their entry into VR content.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-51.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:34pm PDT

Bonus Session: "Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City"

Back in December of last year, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture launched in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, featuring an exhibition curated by Los Angeles-based critic Mimi Zeiger and designer Tim Durfee. Their show, “Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City,” winner of the Biennale’s Bronze Dragon, reconsiders what makes up today’s idea of a “city”, specifically regarding our digital and virtual presences, as well as contemporary issues of globalized economies.

Mimi and Tim joined Paul and I in Archinect’s podcasting studio to talk about the exhibition, and introduce a discussion recorded in Shenzhen among the participants of “Now, There" and one of the Biennale’s curators, Aaron Betsky. Their conversation, “Where is now; When is then” makes up the meat of this Bonus Session.

The exhibition features work by Besler & Sons, Walton Chiu, Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker (with Jenny Rodenhouse), John Szot Studio, m-a-u-s-e-r, and Metahaven, as well as texts by Joanne McNeil, Enrique Ramirez, and Therese Tierney.

Direct download: Bonus_Episode_1.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

How the Sausage Is Made

For our 50th (!!!) episode, we discuss the biggest news items from the last week – everything from the latest BIG and DS+R shake-ups to a surprisingly controversial Seattle homeless shelter – and it's been a doozy. We take a look at:

The "sphincter from which digital art issues" (according to one Archinect commenter), aka DS+R's new Berkeley Art Museum; the controversy surrounding BIG's latest client (referred to here as the Washington "Pigskins"); recent discussions of diversity issues that have arisen on the site; the 25-year old who won a big World War I memorial design contest; MoMA's updated expansion plans; Architecture for Humanity's potential second life; and more.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-50.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:43pm PDT

The Haves and the Have Nots

As last week's episode was taken up by Pritzker-hooplah, this episode takes a look back at the major news items of the last week(ish) and gets you caught up with what's been happening on Archinect.

We discuss: the recent photo exhibition on homelessness at USC (which closes tomorrow!); the Treasury Department's controversial new practice of tracking and identifying secret buyers of luxury housing; how BIG's 2 World Trade Center is now in limbo after "anchor tenant" Rupert Murdoch has pulled out; the demolition of yet another not-beloved-enough Brutalist building; the big ol' chunk of cash the U.S. now has to prepare for driverless cars; and the ongoing debacle over the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, as Zaha Hadid Architects accuses Kengo Kuma Associates of copying their design, while Japan won't pay ZHA until they hand over the design copyrights.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-49.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:40pm PDT

When news broke yesterday that Alejandro Aravena was the winner of this year's Pritzker Architecture Prize, reactions were generally positive, but a bit conflicted. Aravena's most known, and cited by the Pritzker, for his work on social housing projects in his home base of Santiago de Chile, where he operates as the executive director of the "do tank", ELEMENTAL. And few would contest that his work is worthy of the prize, despite the fact that he's only 48.

But Aravena was also a Pritzker juror from 2009 - 2015, serving alongside jurors who ultimately chose to cite him, and he isn't the first winner to have previously served on the jury. This makes it impossible to ignore criticism that the award tends to stay within a pretty tight-knit circle of practitioners. Often described as the most prestigious architecture award out there, what is the point of the prize nowadays, and is its significance justified?

We wanted to know more about how the Pritzker is awarded, and its self-awareness in the eye of architects as well as the greater public. On the day the Pritzker was announced, Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Prize, generously gave us insight into "the room where it happens" – how the jury's deliberation work, and why Aravena's work is deserving of the prize.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-48.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:36pm PDT