So|Aware is Going to Prison!
With less than 5 percent of the world’s population the United States has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners. Many U.S. prisons face the issue of overcrowding. California’s 33 prisons have a capacity of 100,000 prisoners but house nearly double that, with 170,000. To deal with overcrowding, prison classrooms and gymnasiums are filled with bunk beds, diminishing their purpose and lessening the potential for prisoner rehabilitation.
Because this is such an important social issue, beginning next week, So|Aware will be sharing posts that examine the role of architecture in the prison system.
Feel free to submit any suggestions. Thanks!
by Albert Ferre
This book is conceived as evidence supporting the qualities of dense, urban living, and as a hopeful antidote against sprawl. Necessity and investigation are prerequisites for the design of housing: Total Housing refers to the need to understand that social, environmental, and economic factors affect form and that living space is a base for our increasingly complex and varied societies.
This new survey into multi - family housing focuses on the responses proposed by architects who are dealing with the dynamic and diverse demands of contemporary society.
Designing for Adaptable Futures, the first competition hosted by Adaptable Futures (AF), recently announced their award recipients. The competition was open to students globally. AF requested that submissions illustrate the lifespan of the proposal (whether product, building or urban intervention) and how it would evolve over time – an hour, day, year, decade, or perhaps a century.
After receiving submissions from 26 countries, thirty projects were shortlisted the international team of judges then selected three winning submissions (a joint first place and a third place) along with five submissions deserving honorable mention.
Enterprise is now accepting applications to become an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow beginning in 2013. Take advantage of the recently extended application deadline, which is now August 8, 2012. Click here to see how you can apply.
About the Fellowship:
The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship offers a select few of the nation’s finest, early career architects the opportunity for first-hand training and experience in sustainable community design work. The Fellowship partners these emerging talents with local community development organizations for three years. Under the program’s innovative structure, fellows work in the community, forging local ties and expanding the capacity of their host organizations to create sustainable, affordable housing for people of low-income in underserved communities.
Imagination Playground is a breakthrough playspace concept designed pro-bono by David Rockwell to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. With a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground offers a changing array of elements that allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment and to design their own course of play.
After five years of research, development, focus groups and testing, the flagship Imagination Playground Park at Burling Slip opened in July 2010, realized by Rockwell Group in collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.Giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric and crates overflow with creative potential for children to play, dream, build and explore endless possibilities.
Further reading via The Guardian: Sense of adventure: what happened to playgrounds that give children space?
Utilizing an existing surplus of shipping containers, students from Clemson University’s Department of Architecture partnered with Tri-County Technical College, to research and develop an affordable housing solution for the Caribbean Region.
Caribbean nations inherently import more goods than they export generating a steady surplus of shipping containers. Shipping containers are designed to carry massive amounts of cargo and withstand extreme weather conditions making them a logical housing component. Constructed entirely of steel and reinforced with eight corner post moment connections and corrugated steel walls, a 40′ shipping container can carry 67,200 pounds and resist overturn when exposed to winds up to 140 mph. Without modification a 40′ shipping container has 304 square feet of floor space and eliminates problems associated with insects, fire, and hurricanes. With modification a 40′ shipping container can be a safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly home for numerous local inhabitants.
The beginning design emerged as a system of event based solutions capable of providing immediate housing after hurricanes or natural disasters. Local interventions and materials eventually develop into permanent additions creating an investment with a local identity. Utilizing local skills, labor, and materials the final design is dynamic taking on a symbiotic relationship with the local cultures. Eventually the ubiquitous container is embedded and made permanent providing an investment that can appreciate with time.
by Emily Badger
Earlier in July Emily Badger reported in The Atlantic Cities about Pierre Desrochers, an economic geographer at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Mr. Desrochers has written a book which attempts to eviscerate the Urban Agriculture movement’s main arguments, from its economic rationale to its environmental one.
Mr. Desrochers claims that, “Over the last few years, the local food movement has become … a rebellion against globalization, against big agri-business, against the way food is produced. His followers believe locavores aren’t mere silly liberals. They’re a menace. In fact, the people in this room, led by Desrochers, view locavores with about the same conspiratorial alarm with which some food activists view Monsanto.
Make sure to read this fascinating article via The Atlantic Cities and comment here what you, So|Aware readers, think of Mr. Desrochers’ arguments.
by Jan Gehl
For more than forty years Jan Gehl has helped to transform urban environments around the world based on his research into the ways people actually use, or could use, the spaces where they live and work. In this revolutionary book, Gehl presents his latest work creating (or recreating) cityscapes on a human scale. He clearly explains the methods and tools he uses to reconfigure unworkable cityscapes into the landscapes he believes they should be: cities for people.
Taking into account changing demographics and changing lifestyles, Gehl emphasizes four human issues that he sees as essential to successful city planning. He explains how to develop cities that are Lively, Safe, Sustainable, and Healthy. Focusing on these issues leads Gehl to think of even the largest city on a very small scale. For Gehl, the urban landscape must be considered through the five human senses and experienced at the speed of walking rather than at the speed of riding in a car or bus or train. This small-scale view, he argues, is too frequently neglected in contemporary projects.
TH!NK: Art+Architecture Camp - an Open Call to All Students and Graduates of Architecture, the Arts and Engineering
TH!NK is designed as an art+architecture camp within the sub-Saharan landscape. This camp is intended to bring together participants from diverse cultures to explore the relationship between art and architecture to generate a modern structure using sustainable materials from the local environment such as earth, straw, stone, wood, and recycled/reused materials. The goal is to adapt vernacular construction techniques and materials, such as cob, natural plaster, grass thatching and vaulted roof to create a workshop/ learning center for the local community. This project offers a unique opportunity for architects and builders to collaborate with artists in the design-build process, exchange innovative ideas towards realization of the Sang Land Art Museum designed by Arunima Chatterjee.
So, will you be going??
To apply e-mail your CV or resume, the date you are applying and your website or sample work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more in the program PDF here.
by Architecture for Humanity Design Fellow David Pound with Joe Addo
As part of the 20 Centers for 2010 Campaign, Architecture for Humanity partnered with the FIFA World Cup Organization and Play Soccer Ghana to design and build the Football for Hop Center. The program included spaces for public health, education and football while addressing local social challenges in disadvantaged areas as well as improving education and health services for young people. The Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha is the first of the 20 Football for Hope Centres in Africa.
The design incorporates passive solar principles and mixed building material palette of indigenous, renewable and reclaimed components. Because of the efficiency of the design, there is no need for cooling systems and minimized running costs for electric and water. The building also uses reclaimed scaffolding and donated shipping containers for the structural elements with natural and local materials such as bamboo and mud blocks.
Related post: Safmarine Container Project – Sports Center #1