April 24, 2009

Video: Moshe Safdie: What makes a building unique?

Freelance work and some short traveling has kept me from writing and updating this site as often as I would like. Until I have some more time to write another article I'll try to keep posting videos and other interesting architecture related content. Here is another TED talk by a fantastic architect: Moshe Safdie.

April 13, 2009

Peter Zumthor wins the 2009 Pritzker Prize

I'm sure by now most readers have already heard the announcement and have read articles on other sites about Peter Zumthor, the Swiss architect, being awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize - the annual award give to a prominent living architect. I just want to add my congratulations to the chorus. Zumthor's work has consistently inspired me in my own work. His attention to detail and focus on materiality as a driving force in the design process has led to some of the most moving works of architecture over the past few decades. His slow design approach has kept his body of work relatively small but each project has been a stunning work of art. I have yet to visit a project of his in person but am excited to make a pilgrimage this summer to do just that.

Notable Buildings:

Museum Kolumba - Cologn, Germany (2007)
The Brother Klaus Field Chapel - Mechernich, Germany (2007)
Swiss Pavilion - Expo Hanover, Germany (2002)
The Kunsthaus Bregenz - Austria (1997)
Thermal Baths - Vals, Switzerland (1996)
St. Benedict's Chapel - Sumvitg, Switzerland(1989)

April 5, 2009

Video: Cameron Sinclair: Open-source architecture to house the world

The second video showcases Cameron Sincair and his organization Architecture For Humanity.
"Accepting his 2006 TED Prize, Cameron Sinclair demonstrates how passionate designers and
architects can respond to world housing crises. He unveils his TED Prize wish for a network to
improve global living standards through collaborative design."

The Transportation and Livability Group (LiveMove)

A Multi-Disciplinary Student Group at the University of Oregon

The Transportation and Livability Group at the University of Oregon is a multi-disciplinary group whose aim is to promote more livable cities through alternative transportation. This is accomplished through design projects, research, and raising awareness of transportation issues on campus. Within the group, there are opportunities to collaborate on planning and design projects, to gain leadership skills, to bring in high-profile guest speakers, and to network. In addition, generous funding is available through a grant from the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) to support University of Oregon students to attend educational conferences, workshops or seminars. The interdisciplinary nature of the group is unique at the UO, and while open to all majors, is especially well suited for Planning Public Policy & Management, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Environmental Studies, and related majors, both undergraduate and graduate.

Over the course of the 2008-2009 school year LiveMove has helped organize a variety of events and learning opportunities which have focused on promoting more livable communities through alternative transportation. LiveMove kicked off the year by attending TransNow Conference; a student-led conference focusing on transportation research in Universities across the Pacific Northwest. LiceMove presented their group's mission and activities. Price Armstrong showcased his work with the University of Oregon’s Bicycle Loan Program and Tim Brass discussed his work on a mobile-GIS community-based, Accessibility Audit Tool (AAT).

LiveMove has also partnered with the Environmental Planners and Policy Makers (EPP) to kick-start the “Environmental Professor’s Speaker Series.” The monthly event intended to provide environmental professors with the opportunity to share their research with students and community members.

Other speakers that LiveMove has hosted throughout the year include author and bicycle enthusiast Billy Weir and Bill Wilkinson, former director of the National Center for Walking and Biking. LiveMove was able to host these speakers through partnerships with other student groups. Mr. Wilkinson was the keynote speaker invited to kick off the 15th annual HOPES conference - a environmentally focussed academic conference organized by the Ecological Design Center, another student group at the University of Oregon. It is through collaborations and a multi disciplinary approach to eduction that give LiveMove and the University of Oregon such great opportunities.

Through such partnerships LiveMove has also worked to bring back “Bicycle Appreciation Days”, where students provided free tune-ups and free food to bicyclists on Campus. The events have been an overwhelming success and has become a monthly function providing services and promoting sustainable transportation. While at the Bicycle Appreciation Days, LiveMove worked to collect student opinions on how the University could make the campus more bicycle friendly. Information gathered through this process was passed on to campus planning and was used to advocate for new bicycle parking, the redesign of University Street and for improved bicycle maintenance facilities.

This spring, a group of LiveMovers will be attending the National conference of the American Planning Association (APA) in Minneapolis. Attendees intend to learn about strategies being used for current transportation and land use planning projects across the country. Additionally, LiveMove is working on organizing its annual Bike Fair. The event will feature free bike tune-ups, bicycle demonstrations, community bicycle advocacy groups, entertainment and more. If you would like to learn more about the group or get involved, please visit the website LiveMove.

Video: Liz Diller: Architecture is a special effects machine

This is the first in a series of videos I will be posting on Talkitecture highlighting great architects,
designers and inspiring people discussing issues facing our built environment. I hope for these
short movies to compliment the written articles and add a new platform to encourage debate.
Please leave your thoughts, opinions or suggestions in the comments section!

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