2007/09/29

SHIPBREAKING: A METAMORFOSE DA PAISAGEM


‘SHIPBREAKING’ OU DESMANTELAMENTO DE NAVIOS:
Um fenómeno socio-ambiental do século XXI - Uma questão técnica e um problema humano.


A sessão contará com a abordagem técnica do Eng. José Manuel Gordo e a foto reportagem nos estaleiros do Bangladesh de Pedro Duarte Bento, Arqtº, com o apoio da Fundação Oriente. A sessão será moderada pela Dr.ª Alexandra von Bohm-Amolly.

9 DE OUTUBRO 2007, 18.00h

Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa
Rua das Portas de Stº Antão (Coliseu)
Lisboa

2007/09/24

the link you all should pay me for


The Park at the Center of the World:
Five visions for Governors Island, NYC.

5 teams:
field operations / Wilkinson Eyre Architects
REX Ramus Ella Architects / Michel Desvigné Paysagistes
Hargreaves Associates / Michale Maltzan Architecture
West 8 / Roger Marvel Architects
WRT / Urban Strategies

And now, I Proudly Present


James Corner/Field Operations fO

'field operations is a leading-edge landscape architecture and urban design practice based in New York City. Serving an international clientele, our practice is renowned for strong contemporary design across a variety of high profile project types and scales.'

(presented image: The High Line, NYC).

BOOK: Taking Measures Across the American Landscape

Taking Measures Across the American Landscape', by James Corner and Alex MacLean.

A large format book with wonderful aerial photographs of human-induced landscapes across the country (by Alex MacLean), as well as some interesting graphics by landscape architect James Corner, and an essay by Denis Cosgrove.
Yale University Press, 1996 paperback, 186 pages, many color photographs.
link

Exhibition at COAC


Celebrating the 50th opening anniversary of the Futbol Club Barcelona's stadium, the Camp Nou, the Catalan Col.legi de Arquitects and the Club organized an international competition for the design/remodeling of the stadium's skin and its upgrade of functional spaces and surrounding urban planning.

Tomorrow the exhibition of the competition will open to general public at the premises of the Col.legi de Arquitects, Barcelona.
The ten exhibited projects belong to the following teams: Domingo-Ferre, CRV Arquitectos, Herzog & De Meuron, Foster & Partners, Sanaa, Martínez Lapeña-Torres, MAP-architects, GMP International, Ferrater-Serra-Vives-Cartagena-Arusport, and Claus en Kaan Architecten.

New 'Camp Nou'


The final results were presented last Friday. Between 10 proposals, the winning project was designed by Norman Foster and Partners. Among the competitors were names like Map Architects, Herzog&deMeuron, Ferrater and Sanaa.

"The world-famous firm of architects, Foster + Partners, is to undertake the remodelling of the stadium based on the initial concepts of Francesc Mitjans. The renovated stadium will stand as a piece of architecture in its own right and is certain to become an international architectural reference point for the 21st century. According to information released today, the whole building will be contained in a clearly defined space, with a unified external appearance. The additional spaces and facilities will be completely integrated, both functionally and architecturally." link

link. the virtual animation
link. Identity: The concept of the roof and the external façade

2007/06/15

DOC: Manufactured Landscapes


Wednesday, June 20, 8:10 show:
Q&A with Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal
and Photographer Edward Burtynsky

at Film Forum

209 W Houston St, New York, NY 10014

Expo: Ezra Stoller, Buildings of New York


Ezra Stoller©, Buildings of New York
Slide Show of the photographies in Danziger Projects' gallery webpage.

2007/06/14

postopolis, the party


And there I was. The man with three feet.

Photo by John Hill of Archidose.

2007/06/01

Postopolis New York City




[click to enlarge]


Hosted by the authors of:

BLDGBLOG

inhabitat
SUBTOPIA
City of Sound


Saturday, June 2, Blogger Open House

2007/05/31

Building the times

"Building the times" is a photographic work of Annie Leibovitz done between July 2005 and July 2006.
Project Inspiration:
The 1930s photographs of Margaret Bourke-White and Lewis Hine, who documented the construction of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, respectively.
The New York Times Building is a design of architect Renzo Piano and its location is in Eighth Avenue, between West 40th and 41st Streets, NYC.

Building the times, photos by Annie Leibovitz
The Times Tower Project, design Renzo Piano

2007 New Housing New York City /// Competition Awards



Is open to the general public the results and finalists projects of the 2007 New Housing New York City Competition.
Exhibition at the Center for Architecture.

top image by Phipps Rose Dattner Grimshaw (via verde) 1st prize

Semanas Tematicas no Arquitectura.pt

Durante o mês de Maio e Junho o Arquitectura.pt vai promover as Semanas Temáticas de Arquitectura Nacional. Durante o último mês, foram contactados diversos ateliers que decidiram colaborar nesta iniciativa através da publicação online dos projectos que consideraram mais relevantes nas categorias disponibilizadas.
Temas a publicar online e respectivas datas:
Equipamentos - A partir de 14 de Maio /// Urbanismo - A partir de 21 de Maio /// Habitação - A partir de 28 de Maio /// Reabilitação - A partir de 4 de Junho /// Comércio - A partir de 11 de Junho

Cada um dos temas terá um fórum próprio, onde poderão ser consultados os projectos. Juntamente a cada categoria, será criado um tópico para discussão e debate temático permitindo a troca de ideias e impressões, bem como alguns comentários.

Os ateliers que se disponibilizaram para o efeito:
[i]da arquitectos
a.s*
ARQLMP Arquitectos
ateliermob
Bernardo Rodrigues
bpm arquitectura
Cirurgias Urbanas
CNLL
Embaixada
e-studio
Francisco Portugal e Gomes
Inês Cortesão
JSTC & Associados
nbAA
Paulo David
Pedro Campos Costa
Pedro Duarte Bento
Pedro Mendes Arquitectos
Pedro Teixeira de Melo
Promontório Arquitectos
OTO arquitectos


Semanas Temáticas de Arquitectura Nacional

PRESS REVIEW: Attitude magazine


The present issue is dedicated to the city of Barcelona and the new generation of catalan architects and designers.
A complete Seduction.

2007/04/29

Louçã: PM quer entregar às câmaras especulação imobiliária

O dirigente do BE Francisco Louçã acusou este sábado o primeiro-ministro, José Sócrates, de entregar às câmaras municipais a possibilidade de especulação imobiliária com a reforma do urbanismo anunciada sexta-feira no Parlamento.

«Entrega-se às câmaras a possibilidade de especulação imobiliária. Isto é de uma gravidade imensa», afirmou Francisco Louçã na Maia, no encerramento do II Encontro Distrital Autárquico do Porto do BE.

Louçã criticou o facto de os Planos Directores Municipais (PDM) deixarem de ser tutelados por uma autoridade nacional, «politizando-se a facilidade de alterar um PDM».

«As regras anunciadas ontem por José Sócrates são um convite à especulação urbanística. Aquilo que tem sido uma excepção vai passar a ser a regra», referiu, manifestando-se contra o «facilitismo» desta reforma.

Para o dirigente do BE, a «solução Sócrates» é tornar regra «aquilo que os valentins loureiros já têm feito por todo o lado», vendendo à família e aos amigos terrenos não urbanizáveis que «seis dias depois são vendidos por quatro vezes mais», por deixarem de pertencer às reservas agrícola ou florestal.

«É assim que se fazem fortunas gigantescas, manipulando os PDM, permitindo construir onde não se devia construir. É esta a solução Sócrates. Não queremos a cidade cheia de mamarrachos. Já temos sete milhões de casas para 10 milhões de habitantes», frisou.
Diário Digital / Lusa

Simplex chega ao urbanismo

Simplificadas a elaboração e revisão dos PDM
Todos os tipos de planos municipais deixam de ter que ser ratificados pelo Conselho de Ministros, no entanto, as câmaras poderão pedir a ratificação para superar desconformidades com um plano governamental. O controlo de legalidade será feito pela CCDR. As alterações parciais dos PDM passam a ser mais simples.

Planos de Urbanização só nas mãos das câmaras
Deixará de ser obrigatório o acompanhamento pelas CCDR da elaboração dos planos de urbanização e de planos de pormenor. A salvaguarda do cumprimento da lei será garantida por uma conferência decisória de entidades , que reúna os pareceres dos organismos de Estado competentes. Fernando Ruas acredita que a dispensa do Plano Director Municipal ter de ser aprovado em Conselho de Ministros é uma medida "auxiliar de combate à corrupção". A razão é simples e óbvia "Quanto menos pessoas estiverem envolvidas no processo, melhor", argumentou ao JN.
Para o presidente da Associação Nacional de Municípios Portugueses (ANMP), os técnicos é que "devem ser mais responsabilizados". Afinal, defendeu, "se os projectos estiverem bem feitos e em condições, evitam investigações desnecessárias, e os despachos em vez de poderem ser passados numa hora podiam ser num minuto. As vistorias seriam feitas à posteriori. Sem problema nenhum". Há muito que a ANMP reivindicava a agilização dos processos, já a Quercus criticou a facilitação. A associação ambientalista receia que os planos passem a ser alterados "ao jeito de autarcas e investidores" e que os "concelhos comecem a ser vendidos a retalho" pelos ganhos económicos. AI

Pequenas obras sem licença obrigatória
Dispensadas de comunicação e de controlo prévio municipal as pequenas obras de escassa relevância urbanística ou de alteração no interior dos edifícios. A comunicação prévia vai bastar para obras de reconstrução que não afectam fachadas e para construção em áreas abrangidas por loteamento ou plano de pormenor.

Técnicos e promotores mais responsabilizados
Será agravado, para técnicos que assinam projectos e para os promotores, o regime de sanções em caso de incumprimento, quer em termos de responsabilidade civil, quer em termos de responsabilidade contra-ordenacional. Essas sanções poderão chegar à suspensão do exercício da actividade profissional.

Projectos PIN terão um tratamento especial
Passará a existir para os projectos PIN (de Potencial Interesse Nacional) um interlocutor único; uma apreciação simultânea por todas as entidades administrativas envolvidas do processo; uma decisão única e final por parte de uma conferência decisória; e um prazo máximo de decisão entre 60 e 120 dias.

Estatuto acertado também com os municípios
Serão identificados os projectos de importância estratégica que mereçam, não apenas um acompanhamento individual, mas também um tratamento especial. Para isso, será reconhecido esse estatuto por parte do Estado, através de despacho ministerial, depois de serem ouvidas as câmaras municipais.

link

2007/04/04

Concurso 'intervenções na cidade-vazios urbanos'


"Decorreu no dia 3 de Abril, pelas 16 horas, no Cinema São Jorge, em Lisboa, o Acto Público do Concurso de Ideias Intervenções na Cidade, tendo o júri procedido ao anúncio dos 15 (quinze) trabalhos seleccionados e à identificação dos respectivos autores. São eles, respectivamente:

- Investimentos Imobiliário de Intervenções – AVZ Projekt
- Antiga Fábrica de Gás da Matinha – Lisboagás – Sofia Brogueira Henriques
- A Cidade como teatro de espectáculos; o vazio como palco de operações – Maria João Fonseca
- Quarteirões Novos para as Avenidas Novas – Tiago João de Castro Simas da Costa Andrade
- Largo Duque do Cadaval/Lisboa – Pedro Alexandre Duarte da Gama Dias
- Praça de Espanha – Ivo Manuel da Silva Poças Martins
- Arquitectura de Ausência – Rudolfo Reis
- Salas de Chuto – Lisboa ao Vazio # 10
- A Segunda Circular – ARNT – Arquitectura Design e Urbanismo, Ldª
- ECO-KIT Praça da Alegria/Lisboa – Moov
- Teatro Romano de Lisboa – Ana Maria Ribeiro Lopes
- Reinterpretação da Praça de Santa Apolónia – João Albuquerque
- Lote na Rua da Bela Vista à Lapa – Pedro Barata Fernandes Gomes de Castro
- Tecto Habitado – Paulo Miguel de Melo
- Doca do Jardim do Tabaco – Marco Alexandre Simões da Silva."


link: Trienal de Lisboa

[Depois do concurso de Paris, aqui vai mais um abraço de felicitações :) do postHABITAT aos MOB]

2007/04/03

Countries by carbon dioxide emissions

'This is a list of sovereign states by man made carbon dioxide emissions. Data was collected in 2002 by the United Nations Statistics Division--numbers known to two significant figures at best. Dependencies and territories whose independence has not been generally recognized are indicated in italics under the UN member states they are generally associated with; this article, however, does not take a position in regard to the status of these territories.' Wikipedia

Gulf states gear up to go green


'Can Dubai shake off its gas-guzzling image to become a global model of sustainable design? David Littlefield visits to discover how the emirates and their Middle Eastern neighbours are embracing energy reduction on a massive scale.


“Dubai has had this reputation [of developing unsustainably], but it’s one the emirate is completely fed up with,” says Sinclair Webster, head of healthcare at HOK International. “It’s doing as much as it can to try and turn things round as quickly as it can. It doesn’t like the reputation of being the worst sinner on the planet.”'


2007/03/28

British Architect Wins 2007 Pritzker Prize

Three decades after his Pompidou Center in Paris turned the architecture world upside down and brought him global fame, the British architect Richard Rogers has been named the 2007 winner of the Pritzker Prize, the profession’s highest honor.
In the citation accompanying its decision, to be announced on Thursday, the Pritzker jury saluted Mr. Rogers for his “unique interpretation of the Modern Movement’s fascination with the building as machine, an interest in architectural clarity and transparency, the integration of public and private spaces, and a commitment to flexible floor plans that respond to the ever-changing demands of users.”
By ROBIN POGREBIN
Published: March 28, 2007

Grand Plans and Huge Spending

THE cultural building boom shows few signs of slowing. Nationwide, art institutions are renovating, adding wings or starting from the ground up. Projects include relatively modest undertakings like the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s $25 million plan to increase its gallery space by moving the museum’s library and administrative offices out of the building, and ambitious ones like the new $208 million home for the Miami Art Museum on Biscayne Bay, designed by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.

By ROBIN POGREBIN
Published: March 28, 2007

The New York Times

Gehry’s New York Debut: Subdued Tower of Light

In the year since the concrete frame of Frank Gehry's first New York building began to rise along the West Side Highway in Chelsea, architecture fans have been quarrelling over its design. Are the curvaceous glass forms of the IAC headquarters building, evoking the crisp pleats of a skirt, a bold departure from Manhattan’s hard-edged corporate towers? Or are they proof that Mr. Gehry’s radical days are behind him?

Well, both.

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
Published: March 22, 2007
The New York Times

2007/03/23

Carlos Sant'Ana e Henrik Schulte a Roma


Generic People, Specific City

2007/03/22

Génération Europan


Génération Europan recalls 20 years of Europan competitions, which since its creation made emerge on the European scene young talents in the fields of architecture and the urban design. In the course of the eight sessions, 430 sites were proposed with reflections of approximately 40.000 young designers grouped in 15.000 teams. The juries of the Europan competitions awarded prizes to 450 of them. The exhibition redraws the strong moments of this competition series and invited SMAQ and ten other winning teams to present the implementation of their Europan proposals as well as more recent projects that followed after winning Europan.

Exhibitors: Agence Tania Concko, BNR Studio, Bog Wog, Carlos Arroyo, Froetscher Lichtenwagner, Obras, l’AUC, Pierre Gautier Architecture, plattformberlin, S333, SMAQ.

Opening: March 20, 2007, 17:00 - 23:00
Exhibition: March 21 - May 27, 2007

BOOK: 'Los tiempos hipermodernos', de Gilles Lipovetsky


"En este último libro, que incluye una introducción al pensamiento del autor y una entrevista al mismo, Lipovetsky retoma su itinerario intelectual, pero aporta un elemento suplementario: lo «posmoderno» ha llegado a su fin; hemos pasado a la era «hipermoderna». Esta época se caracteriza por el hiperconsumo y el individuo hipermoderno: el hiperconsumo absorbe e integra cada vez más esferas de la vida social y empuja al individuo a consumir para su satisfacción personal; el individuo hipermoderno, aunque orientado hacia el hedonismo, siente la tensión que surge de vivir en un mundo que se ha disociado de la tradición y afronta un futuro incierto. Los individuos están corroídos por la angustia, el miedo se ha superpuesto a sus placeres y la ansiedad a su liberación." anagrama editores link

Only in CAD would you understand















































































2007/03/11

All-Time 100 Movies - Time Magazine



Presenting the All-Time 100 Best films, as chosen by Time's movie critcs.

here

2007/03/08

Jean Baudrillard, 1929-2007


"The French critic and provocateur Jean Baudrillard, whose theories about consumer culture and the manufactured nature of reality were intensely discussed both in rarefied philosophical circles and in blockbuster movies like “The Matrix,” died yesterday in Paris. He was 77.(...)
Mr. Baudrillard was once considered a postmodern guru, but his analyses of modern life were too original and idiosyncratic to fit any partisan or theoretical category. “He was one of a kind,” François Busnel, the editor in chief of the monthly literary magazine Lire, said yesterday. “He did not choose sides, he was very independent.”

quote:
“All of our values are simulated,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “What is freedom? We have a choice between buying one car or buying another car? It’s a simulation of freedom.”

2007/03/07

The Hanging Tower of Jersey City


AFTER a wild development saga involving a dozen legal actions and the hiring of a mega-star architect, the design for a new tower to anchor this city’s arts district emerged last week as, well, kind of wild.
The structure designed by
Rem Koolhaas is 52 stories tall and holds 1.2 million square feet of mostly residential space. Yet, from most angles, it resembles nothing so much as a small child’s precarious stack of blocks. Looking from Manhattan across the river, the skyscraper presents the startling prospect of a giant barbell, standing on end.
Mr. Koolhaas, the Dutch founder of the internationally known Office for Metropolitan Architecture and a professor of urban studies at Harvard, said he took note of the way bare-boned monoliths dominate Jersey City’s modern architecture — “and played with that.”
The building he designed for a two-acre site at 111 First Street here is born of conflict. Displaced artists, Manhattan developers and Jersey City politicians have mixed it up in court for years over the project’s configuration and scale and the basic question of whether it should replace a historic industrial building where artists once lived and worked. Mr. Koolhaas seemed to cast that history into oblivion during an interview after the unveiling of his designs — or at least he tried.
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
Published: March 4, 2007
The NYTimes

Medieval Modern: Design Strikes a Defensive Posture

Not so long ago, architects were obsessed with the notion that globalism, the Internet and sophisticated new building technologies were opening the way for a more fluid, transparent landscape in which walls would simply begin to melt away.
Things didn’t turn out that way. After 9/11, a craving for the solidity of walls reasserted itself. And the wars on terror, and fractious peaces, enforced it. The Green Zone in Baghdad, Jerusalem’s separation barrier, the concrete bollards that line corporate headquarters on Park Avenue — all are emblems of an unintended new mentality.
Four years after the American invasion of Iraq, this state of siege is beginning to look more and more like a permanent reality, exhibited in an architectural style we might refer to as 21st-century medievalism.
Like their 13th- to 15th-century counterparts, contemporary architects are being enlisted to create not only major civic landmarks but lines of civic defense, with aesthetically pleasing features like elegantly sculpted barriers around public plazas or decorative cladding for bulky protective concrete walls. This vision may seem closer in spirit to da Vinci’s drawings of angular fortifications or Michelangelo’s designs for organically shaped bastions than to a post-cold-war-era of high-tech surveillance.
By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
Published: March 4, 2007

The best place in the world to live?


For the second year running in our annual Quality of Life Index, we say: France.
At the other end of the Index, again for year number two, Iraq scores the fewest points and ranks as the world’s worst place to be.

The
European countries always get top scores (with the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, and Luxembourg making it into our top 10 this year), as do the antipodean nations of Australia (second place) and New Zealand (fourth). Argentina, for the first time, makes it into our top 10 (in 10th position).
Before I go further, I should explain, especially for new readers (welcome!), what we’re doing here. Eleven months of the year, we consider the countries around the world where you could live cheaper, pay less tax, enjoy better weather, take advantage of opportunities in emerging markets…places where you could start a new life, start a business, start over…
Then, once a year, every January, we take a different perspective. We consider not only those places that offer particular and timely opportunities for the would-be expatriate…but nearly every nation on earth. This year, our survey looks at 193 countries.
To produce this annual Index we consider, for each of these countries, nine categories: Cost of Living, Culture and Leisure, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Health, Infrastructure, Safety and Risk, and Climate. This involves a lot of number crunching from “official” sources, including government websites, the
World Health Organization, and The Economist, to name but a few.
But that’s not all. Once the official data is collected, we also take into account what our local correspondents from all over the world have to say about our findings. They are, after all, working and living in these countries themselves. They point out where the institutional stats are all wet.

The results are distilled into a mammoth survey. The highlights are included here in your issue.
You can find the comprehensive data here. Also, if you are not yet a subscriber to the free IL Postcards, you can become a subscriber to the free IL Postcards and access the complete data.

2007/03/06

programas híbridos 04


The Hybrid Country House genetic-map, esta semana, no sítio do costume.

programas híbridos 03


Reichstag de Berlin
Visão provocatória de 'The islamic project' dos AES.

programas híbridos 02

"Num ensaio anterior explorei a ideia de que, num campo como o da arquitectura, a ideia de híbrido implica sempre uma certa ansiedade. Tal ansiedade diz respeito ao receio de se perder a identidade, confundindo-se a prática da arquitectura com práticas que lhe são próximas. É o fantasma que surge da transformação iminente de uma dada cultura. Procurava então explicar-se que, no entanto, esta ansiedade parte de pressupostos errados. O próprio conceito de cultura implica uma troca permanente. Neste contexto, os programas híbridos reflectem a necessidade da própria cultura da edificação se actualizar e adaptar às suas novas circunstâncias.Porém, não é só através da programação que se dá a possibilidade de actualização da própria cultura arquitectónica. Prolongando a metáfora informática, é interessante ir um pouco mais atrás – ou mais à frente – e sugerir que é no próprio código que deparamos com as possibilidades mais excitantes de update da cultura arquitectónica.O potencial da programação enquanto motor de transformação cultural da prática arquitectónica reside, afinal, tão só nas respostas concretas que alguns arquitectos dão a programas híbridos que lhes são impostos a partir de fora. O potencial do código arquitectónico, porém, vive da própria transformação das linguagens, das referências e dos valores através das quais a arquitectura se relaciona de novo com a cultura popular do quotidiano.(...) "

Texto crítico, com o título 'Para Além dos Programas Híbridos: A Arquitectura do Código Aberto' de Pedro Gadanho in arq/a #43, Março '07

programas híbridos 01

"De facto, as grandes clivagens disciplinares da arquitectura contemporânea ainda se constituem tendo em conta uma avaliação do estatuto da arquitectura moderna. E essas divisões disciplinares são resultado de leituras diferenciadas da posição da arquitectura moderna em relação à tradição disciplinar que a antecedeu, uma de continuidade, outra de ruptura. Por um lado, aqueles que valorizam os aspectos de continuidade, entendem a arquitectura moderna como uma evolução natural das concepções tipológicas e espaciais, resultante das novas possibilidades técnicas. Para os adeptos desta interpretação, muito enraizada no meio teórico anglo-saxónico, a arquitectura moderna produziu, acima de tudo, obras singulares que responderam criativamente às solicitações do seu tempo."

Editorial de Luís Santiago Baptista in arq/a, #43, Março '07

a nu

"Na arquitectura como em todas as formas criativas nunca se parte do nada, a invenção raramente existe senão quando novas ferramentas sugerem capacidades nunca experimentadas, mas mesmo nesse caso é difícil distinguir o que gera o quê, se o ovo ou a galinha."*

"É durante o acto criativo que nos expomos abertamente perante os outros; quando a mente e o devir não se excluem um ao outro, mas sim quando se tornam inclusivos (embora, jamais conclusivos). O nosso ser e a nossa praxis estão interligados. Em arquitectura é inconcebível pensar na segunda sem ter recorrido à primeira, da mesma forma que a primeira, isoladamente, é inútil, porque oca."**


*Filipa Cabrita, aluna do 6º ano do dARQ
**Carlos Guimarães, aluno do 6º ano do dARQ
in nu, #29/dez'06

2007/03/05

The Islamic Project. AES



'In 1996, the Russian based photo-conceptualist group AES (made up of artists Tatyana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovitch, and Evgeny Svyatsky) launched its "Travel Agency to the Future" with the Islamic Project. Promoting a set of fictitious Grand Tours which would set out in the year 2006 into a radically changed and dystopic landscape, AES drew inspiration from Samuel Huntington's popular political paradigm of the mid 1990s, which anticipated the time when Islamic and Western cultures would come violently into collision. Well before the events of September 11th and well before George W. Bush's "crusade against terror," AES prepared clients for travel to the future through advertising and promotional material that featured fantastic projections of what the new world order would bring. More specifically, AES produced a series of digitally altered images, in the form of postcards, depicting the monuments and spaces of familiar tourist destinations (such as those found in Paris, Rome, Berlin, and New York) invaded, occupied, and altered by Islamic civilization.'

(images: St Peter's Square, Rome and Central Park, NY)



/////////////
O interesse do trabalho deste colectivo russo incide precisamente nas questões da metamorfose da paisagem urbana e dos ícones da civilização ocidental, corolário hipotético de uma mudança radical na geopolítica actual. Suportado por uma crítica ao fundamentalismo islamico, 'The Islamic Project' reflecte sobre uma suposta apropriação de alguns modelos teocráticos e fundamentalistas do Islão às sociedades ocidentais, não apenas reinterpretando a arquitectura existente mas também imprimindo algumas características específicas dessas realidades na imagem da cidade/sociedade.
Neste post não se pretendem interpretações de carácter geo-político mas sim compreender até que ponto os ícones da sociedade ocidental estão sujeitos a alterações tendo a política, a religião e o poder como factores decisivos da paisagem urbana.

2007/02/28

A Global Warning

2007/02/26

America's next president - Waiting for Al

As voters weary of the front-runners, what a chance for Al Gore.

ENOUGH already. The primaries are 11 months away and the race is already growing stale. The citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire are longing for the day when they can visit Denny's without having to meet Hillary or Rudy. And the press is busy recycling the same old stories. Can Barack Obama run for president and give up smoking at the same time? Will Hillary hand her Senate seat to Bill if she wins? Is America ready for a Mormon president? Or a black? Or a woman? Or a man who once dressed as Marilyn Monroe?
There is no shortage of money or ideas: the candidates' treasure chests are overflowing and the think-tanks churn out policy papers. But there is a severe shortage of attention. People will not be able to watch the same soap opera, endlessly repeated on 24-hour cable news and pored over in the blogosphere, for months on end without getting sick of the main characters.
Which means that there is a huge opportunity for somebody to arrive late and steal the show. The late entrant will not only have the advantage of being a fresh face. He or she could also change the whole dynamic of the race, gaining enough momentum to storm through Iowa and New Hampshire.

Step forward Al Gore. Mr Gore has enough of a national profile to command instant credibility. He has rich friends to finance him. He will also command plenty of attention in his own right over the next few months: his film “An Inconvenient Truth” could win an Oscar for best documentary on Sunday, and he may be up for the Nobel peace prize in the autumn.
Mr Gore is the ideal candidate for the Democratic stalwarts who turn out to vote in the primaries. He came out strongly against invading Iraq. He has spent the past six years warning the world about global warming. And he was robbed of victory in 2000 by the man whom the Democrats loathe above all others. What better way of wiping out the Bush era than replacing him with the man who should have been president?
Mr Gore is adamant that he does not want to run again. But will he be able to resist? It would be one of the great dramas of American political history. And James Carville, keen observer of politicians, says that, for them, running for president is rather like having sex for normal people: it is not something that you do just once if you have any say in the matter.
Feb 22nd 2007 WASHINGTON, DCFrom The Economist print edition

2007/02/24

Fast Climate Facts

The Larsen B ice shelf, which was about the size of Rhode Island, collapsed over a period of 35 days in 2000.

Scientists agree the Earth's climate is being directly affected by human activity, and for many people around the world, these changes are having negative effects. Records show that 11 of the last 12 years were among the 12 warmest on record worldwide.
The just-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers — the first volume of the IPCC's 4th Assessment Report — states that scientists are more than 90% confident that human industrial activity is driving global temperature rises. (add your thoughts on the report at RealClimate.org)
Carbon dioxide levels today are nearly 30 percent higher than they were prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution, based on records extending back 650,000 years.
According to NASA, the polar ice cap is melting at the rate of 9 percent per decade. Arctic ice thickness has decreased 40 percent since the 1960s.
The current pace of sea-level rise is three times the historical rate and appears to be accelerating.
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. The IPCC 4th Assessment Report said that this trend would likely continue.
Droughts in the Sahel during the 1970s and 1980s were found to be caused by warmer sea surface temperatures, and the current drought in the Amazon is suspected to be a result of rising ocean temperatures.
Poverty and food insecurity has also been tied to climate variability. A recent publication shows that providing climate information to vulnerable populations can improve — and even save — lives.

2007/02/22

Top 30 Skylines of The World v 4.0

Hong Kong Skyline

#1) Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is number one on my list for many reasons: Hong Kong has a whopping 43 buildings over 200 metres tall, 30 of which were built in the year 2000 or later!!! It also boasts four of the 15 tallest buildings in the world… that's all in one city! Hong Kong’s skyline shows a large selection of distinct sky-reaching towers, with beautiful night lighting and reflection. This city exemplifies the post-modern skyscraper and skyline. Finally, the mountain backdrop makes this skyline the greatest on the planet!
Metro/Urban Population: 6.9 million
#2) Chicago, USA
After the 1871 Great Fire of Chicago leveled the entire city, Chicago built its first steel high-rise in 1885, it was not the tallest structure in the world but the first example of a new form of engineering that would change nearly every city on earth. This is the birthplace of the modern skyscraper. Chicago has 19 buildings over 200 meters tall (three of which are among the top 20 tallest buildings in the world, including the tallest in North America). Chicago has some of the finest mid-century architecture and examples of modern skyscrapers.
Metro/Urban Population: 9.5 million
#3) New York City, USA
New York City has one of the densest and most diverse skylines, with a huge collection of buildings and building styles. Thanks to Hollywood’s obsession with the city, it is also the most easily recognizable skyline in the world. New York City has an amazing 47 buildings over 200 meters - the most in the world! The four tallest buildings in NYC were all built in the early 1930s! Home of the famous, now destroyed World Trade Center Towers, the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty and the United Nations, New York City is the financial capital of the western world.
Metro/Urban Population: 21.0 million

Jane Jacobs, Robert Moses And City Planning Today

vs.


"Planning has changed because of Jane Jacobs. Robert Moses’ centralized planning is a thing of the past."

"Planning today is noisy, combative, iterative and reliant on community involvement. Any initiative that does not build consensus -- that is not shaped by the give-and-take of the public review process -- will be an inferior plan and, deservedly, will be voted down and die."

The opposing visions of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses towards city building resonate with many New Yorkers today.
It is certainly clear to me that Jane Jacobs is now the prevailing force. While no one person changed the physical landscape of New York as much as Robert Moses, Jane Jacobs’ legacy and her influence is much more deeply rooted and felt widely by urbanists, planners and elected officials.
That legacy embraces:
- the importance of the relationship of people and the public realm
- the appreciation of networks created by diverse uses
- understanding that blocks are the basic unit of the city
- the primacy of the street as the glue of neighborhood life
Moses may have gotten a lot done, built a great deal in the name of “the people”, but the truth is that he wanted little to do with the people who would live in the city he created. Their voices were dispensable, their homes were dispensable. And that is why he couldn’t conceive of the importance of neighborhoods.
Jacobs, on the other hand, knew that if you neglect neighborhoods, you do so at the city’s peril. People who no longer have faith in the future of the place in which they were brought up or where they are raising a family, will, if they can afford it, leave for a more predictable, safer place.
So understanding and appreciating the integral character of diverse neighborhoods has to be a primary requirement for any planning initiative. The goal of city planners, or how we are looking at the city’s challenges today, is no longer the broad brush, the bold strokes, the big plan.
Make no mistake about it, we have an enormous need to build thousands of units of affordable housing; we must create a broad spectrum of jobs for a rapidly expanding population; we need to reclaim and revitalize our waterfront; and we must lay the foundations to support the growth that is to come and that we welcome.
But it is just not acceptable, or wise, or even possible to undertake these challenges without espousing Jacobs principles of city diversity, of the rich detail of urban life, to build in a way that nourishes complexity.
by Amanda BurdenNovember 6, 2006