ArchiWEB Explorer: Antarctica

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Come Hell or High Water: Cities Must Evolve in the Face of Climate Change

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

The time to talk about climate change as if it’s merely a hazy possibility that won’t occur in our lifetime anyway has long passed. Multiple recent reports have made it clear that it’s already happening, and its effects will be much worse than previously expected.

In 2016, the Paris climate accords set a goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (at which it’s already failing); the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says two degrees is both inevitable by the year 2040 and genocidal, set to cause the death of all coral reefs, extreme wildfires, heat waves and other weather events that will subsequently threaten the world’s food supply and transform the global economy.

The 30 Most Influential Architects in London

 by Hufton + Crow by Hufton + Crow

As a “global capital,” London is home to some of the world’s most influential people, architects included. This fact has recently been laid bare by the London Evening Standard newspaper, whose list of the 1000 most influential Londoners features 30 architects, big and small, who use the city as a base for producing some of the world’s most celebrated architectural works.

Below, we have rounded up the 30 most influential architects in London, complete with examples of the architectural works which have put them on the city and world map.

Eva Franch i Gilabert

Jan Boelen and Deniz Ova, Curators of the 2018 Istanbul Design Biennial, Discuss the Future of Design Education

Yapi Kredi Kultur Yayincilik, Biennial Venue. Image © Koray Senturk via IKSV Yapi Kredi Kultur Yayincilik, Biennial Venue. Image © Koray Senturk via IKSV

“Today, design has become a form of inquiry, power, and agency,” say Jan Boelen and Deniz Ova, curator and director of the 2018 Istanbul Design Biennial. “It has become vaster than the world itself, permeating all layers of everyday life.” Their curatorial statement for the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, which opens later this year themed with the title “A School of Schools,” seeks to explore how design education, and education in general, can evolve and adapt in a new age of artificial intelligence.

The team is determined that the Biennial should not read as a two-year scheduled event, but should “reinvent itself and become a productive, process-orientated platform for education and design to research, experiment, and learn in.” The team is undoubtedly well equipped for the challenge.

This Modular Mountain Shelter Is Net-Zero and Can Be Delivered via Helicopter

Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects

Mountain shelters serve as protection for climbers during severe weather conditions. However, a Bulgarian design team discovered that many shelters have been destroyed, putting mountaineers at risk. As the winning proposal for the competition "Architecture of 2050," this innovative building addresses this critical problem through a combination of sustainability, materiality and technology.

The Darkest Building on Earth: An Olympic Pavilion Coated in Vantablack

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

There are mysterious and maybe slightly creepy black buildings, and then there are the blackest of black buildings made from the light-absorbing pigment known as Vantablack. Architect Asif Khan designed a pavilion for the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony coated in the highly coveted pigment, which consists of carbon nanotubes that absorb 99% of light, making it difficult to make out shapes and textures on its surface. Khan creates a starry sky effect with the addition of thousands of illuminated rods extending from the facade.

Book Boxes: Vintage-Style Dollhouses Made of Hollowed-Out Tomes

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

If you’ve ever wished you could shrink yourself to live inside a book, these incredibly charming miniature houses made of hollowed-out books will only encourage further fantasizing. Florida-based artist Shannon Moore has been crafting these truly tiny houses since the 1970s, and you’re going to want to take a closer look, because those aren’t just doors and windows slapped onto the spines of old unwanted books.

Ghosts of Planets Past: An Interview with Ron Blakey

[Image: The west coast of North America as it appeared roughly 215 million years ago; map by Ron Blakey]. The paleo-tectonic maps of retired geologist Ronald Blakey are mesmerizing and impossible to forget once you've seen them. Catalogued on his website Colorado Plateau Geosystems, these maps show the world adrift, its landscapes breaking apart and reconnecting again in entirely new forms, where continents are as temporary as the island chains that regularly smash together to create them, on a timescale where even oceans that exist for tens of millions of years can disappear leaving only the subtlest of geological traces. With a particular emphasis on North America and the U.S. Southwest—where Blakey still lives, in Flagstaff, Arizona—these visually engaging reconstructions of the Earth's distant past show how dynamic a planet we live on, and imply yet more, unrecognizable changes ahead. The following images come from Ron Blakey's maps of the paleotectonic evolution of North America. The first map shows the land 510 million years ago, progressing from there—reading left to right, top to bottom—through the accretion and dissolution of Pangaea into the most recent Ice Age and, in the final image, North America in its present-day configuration. As part of BLDGBLOG's collaborative side-project, Venue, Nicola Twilley and I met with Blakey in his Flagstaff home to talk about the tectonic processes that make and remake the surface of the Earth, the difficulty in representing these changes with both scientific accuracy and visual panache, and the specific satellite images and software tools he uses to create his unique brand of deep-time cartography. Like film stills from a 600-million year-old blockbuster, Blakey's maps take us back to the Precambrian—but there are much older eras still, stretching unmapped into far earlier continents and seas, and there are many more billions of years of continental evolution to come.

Passage of time: Richard Long retrospective opens at Bristol Arnolfini

<p>Richard Long has the healthy mien of a man who gets out of the office. Indeed, at 70 he has succeeded in doing the bulk of his life&rsquo;s work on the road. Dressed in hiking gear and possessed of a deep, mid-summer tan, he says with understatement, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m not a studio artist,&rsquo; looking very much the Thor Heyerdahl of the art world.<br /> <br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6;">Long is speaking&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 20.7999992370605px;">at Bristol&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span>Arnolfini<span style="line-height: 20.7999992370605px;">&nbsp;gallery,&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.6;">ahead of the launch of &lsquo;Time and Space&rsquo;, a survey of his landscape sculpture going back some 50 years. Since his days at the University of the West of England in the </span>mid-1960s<span style="line-height: 1.6;">, he has undertaken marathon walks (&lsquo;quite pleasurable, really&rsquo;) around Bristol, progressing to Nepal, Bolivia and Antarctica, marking his way in the local stone and dirt.

[un]restricted access from military space to civic space

Dotting the global landscape, decommissioned military installations are leaving their mark – symbols of triumph, pride, pain and the unforeseen consequences of military aggression. These abandoned structures and ghost towns disrupt neighborhoods and split entire communities.

Romanticism of the Scanning Error

[Image: ScanLAB Projects]. (A different version of this post previously appeared on Gizmodo). Matthew Shaw and William Trossell, the London-based duo known as ScanLAB Projects, continue to push the envelope of laser-scanning technology, producing visually stunning and conceptually intricate work that falls somewhere between art and practical surveying. Their work also bears an unexpected yet increasingly pronounced political dimension, as they have scanned concentration camp sites, designed insurgent objects for thwarting police laser scanners, and even point-mapped melting ice floes in the Arctic as part of a larger study of climate change. The results are astonishingly, almost hypnotically detailed, as in this cinematic fly-through of an outdoor festival, where we pass through tent walls and very nearly see recognizable expressions on participants' faces. It's as if the future of the motion picture might really be narrative holograms. Last week, Shaw and Trossell premiered a new project at London's Surface Gallery, exploring where laser scanners glitch, skip, artifact, and scatter. Called Noise: Error in the Void, the show utilizes scanning data taken from two locations in Berlin, but—as the show's title implies—it actually foregrounds all the errors, where the equipment went wrong: a world of "mistaken measurements, confused surfaces and misplaced three-dimensional reflections." The tics and hiccups of a scanner gone off the mark thus result in these oddly beautiful, almost Romantic depictions of the world, like some lunatic, lo-fi cosmology filtered through machines. Frozen datascapes appear like digital mist settling down over empty fields—or perhaps they're parking lots—a virtual Antarctica appearing in the middle of the city. [Image: ScanLAB Projects].