Perkins+Will maintains a Precautionary List, an index of building materials that can harm the human body. While mercury and lead’s impacts may be well understood, those of one ubiquitous set of chemicals have not been: flame-retardant chemicals. They are common in many architectural materials, from upholstery to insulation, and they slow the spread of fire in otherwise flammable substances. However, they also tend to escape into the environment and become absorbed in the human body, where they don’t break down. What results is a “body burden”: a cache of chemicals that has been linked to cancer, loss of IQ, and
The film crew, including Bassett (center) talks to John Boiler, CEO of 72andSunny, a design and advertising agency. By day the CEO of design and brand strategy firm Bassett & Partners, Tom Bassett moonlights as an occasional filmmaker. His first film, the 18-minute Connecting released in 2012, was co-produced by Microsoft Design and focused on the “Internet of Things.” His latest work is more ambitious. Briefly, a 26-minute film released for free online last month that explores how some uber-creatives work with, bend, manipulate, and subvert the document that kicks it all off—the project brief—to accomplish great end products. “We
David Mohney has taken a one-year-leave from the University of Kentucky College of Architecture to help create the Michael Graves School at Kean University, which will have two campuses, one in New Jersey and the other in Wenzhou, China.
Adam Reed Tucker, a Chicago-based architect, conceived the concept for Lego Architecture, an elegant series of building sets celebrated in Lego Architecture: The Visual Guide, published last month. The relationship between Lego and architecture began in 1962 with the company’s Scale Model Series. It only lasted until 1965, but its impact was massive thanks to the introduction of the Lego plate. One-third the size of a traditional Lego brick, the plate added an element of stability that opened up a world of building possibility for kids and adults alike. But few took to the potential quite like architects. Moshe Safdie,
Ali Malkawi has very good timing. In 2013 he moved from the University of Pennsylvania, where he had taught architecture and computational simulation—a sophisticated means of predicting building performance—for more than a decade, to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he is a professor of Architectural Technology. A few months later, Malkawi wrote a proposal for what would be called the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, to be funded with a gift from the Evergrande Group, a Chinese company with $75 billion in assets. (Evergrande’s gift was large enough to also fund centers in mathematics and immunology.)
In November, the organization will hold its biggest meeting yet, in Barcelona. The Van Schijndel House, designed by the late Mart van Schijndel, inspired his wife Natascha Drabbe to form an organization dedicated to the preservation of important 20th century houses. In 1992, the modernist architect Mart van Schijndel designed a house in Utrecht with a number of distinctive features. When he died in 1999, his widow, Natascha Drabbe, an architectural historian and public relations executive, was determined to open the house to visitors. But she also needed to continue to live in the 1,885-square-foot building. For advice, she began
In July, Autodesk acquired the experimental New York design firm The Living, led by architect David Benjamin, in order to enhance its research capabilities. This union is just one effort by the software leader to engage in wide-reaching discussions about the future of design. Last year it opened Autodesk Workshop at San Francisco’s Pier 9, a 27,000-square-foot playground for employees and partners to explore advanced manufacturing resources. And, more recently, a summer-residency program charged participants with writing science fiction. “We have an extraordinary talent base that can make stuff,” says Jeff Kowalski (left), “but we also need those folks who