Archinect speaks to practitioners and educators taking on the challenge of adapting to the climate emergency

Illustration by Evgenia Barinova for Archinect

The IPCC, backed by the UN Secretary-General, issued a warning in fall 2018 that there are just 12 years left to take action on the climate emergency before triggering a global environmental and economic crisis. ‘Architects Take Climate Action!’ Part I investigated how, catalyzed by inertia in the construction sector, architects have self-organized to call for change and launch targeted campaigns. Major industry bodies, including the AIA, have now confirmed their commitment to support urgent climate action and exponentially accelerate the decarbonization of the built environment. …

Archinect talks climate emergency activism with built environment groups taking a stand

Illustration by Evgenia Barinova for Archinect

The first ‘climate emergency’ declaration by a constituency of suburban Melbourne in 2016 was an early signal that public opinion on global heating and biodiversity loss had shifted from a feeling of concern to that of crisis. Architects and built environment professionals around the world have since joined forces with their colleagues and youth groups in a global climate movement calling for urgent action and pragmatic solutions. In recent years, the visibility of these campaigns has intensified, in part due to the release of an alarming 1.5ºC report from the IPCC, articulated by young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. …

A Look at the Rise of Chinese-Built Projects Across the African Continent

Illustration by Hannah Wood

A boom in Sino-African trade relations since 2000 has catapulted China from being a relatively small investor in Africa into becoming the continent’s largest economic partner. This shift, in combination with a decreasing profit margin for construction projects in mainland China, has encouraged both Chinese state-owned construction firms (SOC’s) and private contractors to seek new project opportunities on African soil. In 2011, Chinese contractors surpassed European construction companies to become the biggest player in the continent’s construction explosion and rapid urbanization.

In addition to SOC and private enterprise developments, there is a strong political will from Beijing to increase Chinese…

Illustration by Dev Asawala

East Africa is currently in the middle of a construction boom which is transforming the region’s built environment. According to Deloitte’s 2018 African Construction Report, the total number of building projects in East Africa rocketed by 96 percent between 2017 and 2018, with a substantial increase of 167 percent in the total value of projects. The report also notes that China is directly funding 25.9 percent of the construction projects in the region, far outweighing investment from East African governments, valued at 12.9 percent. …

Book Review

Commuting Copenhagen, Space vs. Duration. p.410

The past two decades have seen a marked increase in city ranking indexes and urban metrics, yet across the board American cities continue to score poorly — last year no US cities made the top 25 in lifestyle magazine Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey. On the opposite end of the spectrum lies Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, presented time and again as one of the world’s most ‘liveable’ cities and celebrated as a global model of sustainable urban development. …

Conversations on the Future of Architecture Publishing

Illustration Evgenia Barinova

The ease of online publishing has influenced a surge in the production of architecture content — more text, images and video are now created and distributed than ever before. In this sink or swim environment of the global ‘mediasphere’, print-based architecture publishers face challenging questions when it comes to their future financial sustainability and role in a rapidly-changing industry. As Archinect’s own bookshop and event space in Downtown LA’s Arts District, Archinect Outpost, celebrates its first summer, this edition of Architecture Futures invites architecture publishers to reflect on the industry as it stands today and what the next decade may…

I reflect on the architecture publishing industry with critic, writer and curator Ethel Baraona Pohl from dpr-barcelona.

Image: dpr-barcelona

How did you first become interested in architecture publishing?
Architecture publishing was a mix between my personal and professional interests. Literature and poetry were, and are, my great passions, even though I studied architecture. There was an organic development from my PHD into research then into publishing—there appeared to be something more critical at stake. I arrived in Barcelona from El Salvador in the boom years before the 2008 financial crisis, at a time when built production was expanding exponentially. While the political agenda behind it was evident, it was not explicit. I felt it needed to be discussed. For…

How to Design for Disassembly

Illustration Evgenia Barinova

Architecture firms and their clients are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their buildings, from life-cycle performance to the economic and environmental costs of dumping quality used components. According to the CDRA, over 500 million tons of recoverable construction and demolition materials are produced in the US each year, including concrete, gypsum wallboard, timber and metals, the vast majority of which end up in a landfill. This month’s feature asks the question — what if we designed for disassembly from the beginning? I speak with Anders Lendager from the Lendager Group, a Danish firm working towards a circular…

Entertainment Architecture for the Experience Economy

Illustration Evgenia Barinova

While Las Vegas is as popular as ever, visitors are spending less time on the casino floor. According to a recent report, gambling time now totals 1.9 hours during an entire stay in Vegas, an hour less than in 2015 and over two hours less than twenty years ago. This change is being driven almost entirely by the younger generation who are spending just 8.5 percent of their income on gambling compared to the 23.5% spent by their parents. The American entertainment industry has therefore made it a top priority to grab, and keep, the attention of the millennial market.

New Capabilities for the Construction Sector, How to Get Started and How to Navigate the Law

Illustration Evgenia Barinova

According to a 2016 Goldman Sachs report, the largest commercial buyer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS’s, more commonly known as drones) in the next five years will be the construction sector, valued at $11.2bn worldwide. What new roles will drones adopt both in the architectural design process and outcomes? If your firm is intending to mobilize a drone, what should you be aware of in terms of its operation and the law? To look closer at these eyes in the sky, I speak to interdisciplinary design office Noumena who are experimenting with cutting-edge drone technology within their integrated design process…

Hannah Wood

Architect and researcher based in Tanzania, East Africa. Follow for discussions on how global developments are shaping the built environment👇

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