Archinect Sessions
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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

Never the Same River Twice

Architect, artist, and experimental preservationist Jorge Otero-Pailos has created scents for Philip Johnson's Glass House, removed centuries of dust from the inside of Trajan's Column with latex, and is the newly appointed director of the Historic Preservation program at Columbia University's GSAPP, where he also began the "Future Anterior" journal. And this week, he joins us on the podcast to discuss ideas that he mulls over constantly in his work – what role should originality play in architecture? What's at stake when discourse and criticism come to rely more on representations than the in situ structure? And what role do media and virtual realities play in all of this?

This episode is brought to you by BQE ArchiOffice. Check out their offer for Archinect Sessions listeners at

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:15pm PST