Conference: Smart Cities for Sustainable Growth

Smart Cities for Sustainable Growth

Smart Cities have gaining popularity among researchers and practitioners. Several projects are under implementation in Asia, USA, and Europe.
This conference aims to discuss the concept of 'smart city' using an integrated approach that encompasses the innovative, sustainable and inclusive dimensions of an intelligent city. A number of smart city case studies and solutions will be presented, with a view to shaking knowledge and insights across different domains: energy, mobility, buildings, citizenship, financing, etc.

What: International Conference
Title: Smart Cities for Sustainable Growth
Where: Museu da Electricidade, Lisbon, Portugal
Date: May 3rd, 2012
Registration: Free

Details: here.


Geology: Arctic erosion

The Arctic sea ice may have passed crucial tipping point, Fred Pearce tells us in a very interesting article he wrote on the New Scientist, this Tuesday 27 March.
"The sea ice has not recovered since this low in summer 2007. The Northwest Passage opened
for the first time, between the Atlantic Ocean (top) to the Pacific Ocean (bottom right" New Scientist.
Image: NASA/GSFC/Scientific Visualization Studio/Studio Photo Library/
Originally appeared on New Scientist.

In addition to worrying consequences such as the possible shift of ice-free summers into a regular feature across most of the Arctic Ocean, Pierce enumerates a series of issues that will have affect directly European countries, in particular the UK but with scary feedback to the rest of the world.
Originally appeared on Treehugger.

One among many other risks due to warming trends that would affect the Arctic region is tsunami risk along with sea level rise and, consequently, flooding events. In the conference Planet Under Pressure, Euan Nisbet, a researcher of the University of London, warns us that warming ocean currents east of Greenland were melting ice in the seabed.

Suggested article: Carol Stevenson, Arctic Erosion, 03 April 2009, New Scientist (note that you need to sign in to read the full article).

As a result, this would have serious impact on landscape patterns in the Northern Europe including Iceland and the UK. Fred Pearce writes:
This could trigger landslides on steep submarine slopes in the area, unleashing tsunamis capable of hitting the UK.

Other risk is the threat of Arctic erosion as Carol Stevenson wrote on New Scientist in 2009 along with air circulation issue as consequences of climate change.

Suggested article: Mat McDermott, New Arctic shows just what boundaries we'll be fighting over for oil, Treehugger, 6 August 2008.

Additionaly, due to warming threats, observers put us on guard of risk of methane leaks from melting permafrost. Fred Pearce continues reporting Euan Nisbet's words:
[This would] release buried methane that could amplify global warming. Something similar happened off Norway 8000 years ago in a similar geological setting.

Admittedly, round about 3000 BC, a first collapse concerned Northern Europe due to Climate change translated into soils that blew away changing the forest and the woodland nature of Britain and most parts of Northern Europe, as Theologian Martin Palmer said to The Ecologist.

Suggested article: Tom Levitt, Humanity has already had four major ecological collapses: How can we avoid a fifth?, an interview with Theologian Martin Palmer, The Ecologist, 27 February, 2012.

In this context, in a geological era dominated by human species, it is urgent to reengineer solutions to do with warming threats as the first concerned would be the local habitats. But which solutions?

Source: The New Scientist


Urban archaeology: A New remote-sensing system for study of ancient urban patterns by Jason Ur

Landscape pasts usually provide information for landscape presents and futures, precisely, on the way we lived in the past, on ancient urban and landscape features.
Jason Ur, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard, shared to The Harvard Gazette his recent project, namely a new remote-sensing system he developed, March 23rd, 2012. This system, he says, uses computers to scour satellite images for telltale clues of human habitation.
For this project, he collaborated with Bjoern Menze, a research affiliate in MIT's Computer Science an Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

This new system, of course, is primarily created for archaeoligsts and landscape archaeologists. This nevertheless can be very useful for planners and architects, in particular those who have a strong interest in past urban patterns.

As the image below shows, this new software utilizes soil discolorations and the distinctive mounding resulting from the collapse of mud-brick homes, among others factors to identiy ancient settlements.
Images courtesy of Bjoern Menze and Jason Ur
—> A comparison of the results of the ASTER classification (left) and the distribution of surface
artifacts at Tell Brak, northeasern Syria. The analyses show a remarkably close correspondence.
"With these computer science techniques, (…), we can immediately come up qith an enormous map which
is methodologically very interesting, but which also shows the staggering amount of human occupation over the last 7,000 or 8,000 years."
Originally appeared on The Harvard Gazette.
As Ur states this remote-sensing tool will facilitate tje excavation of ancient settlements, spatial and demographic aspects of the initial urban growth in regions like the Mesopotamia, to name only one.
Working in this area is particularly important, because these parts of northern Iraq and northeast Syria were home to some of the earliest complex societies in the world. We are extremely interested in these places because they can help us answer questions about the origins of urbanism, settlement patterns and demographic shifts, and how people exploited their landscape."
This innovative system sounds passionate. It has the benefit of far newer images, produced by NASA's ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) satellite… in color. This will change from the system Ur used to utilize, a paintstaking system that was reliant upon Ur's subjectivity and on images in black and white.
The Landscape of Tell Brak — December 1967 CORONA satellite photograph.
Originally appeared on Jason Ur.
—> "Most hollow ways, however, simply faded out 3-5km from sites. These routes led not to other settlements but were used by farmers, shepherds, and their flocks to move from the settlements out into the fields and the pastures beyond them. The intensively exploited landscape of the late Early Bronze Age survives vividly in CORONA photographs." Jason Ur.

The Innovation of this project has been to take advantage of satellite imagery that sees beyond what the human eye can see. ASTER can see red and green, but it can also detect the near-infrared and a number of subsequent wavelengths. (…) In addition, ASTER images ae born digital. That allows us to develop a profile based on places that we knw are archaeological sites, then use software to identify places that have similar signatures.
Tell Brak Settlement. Settlement in the LC 2 period (Ca. 4200-3800 BC).
Originally appeared on Jason Ur.

I am particularely interested in ancient urban patterns… as these provide a better understanding and information on the evolution of cities and infrastructures.
Assyrian cities — detail. Google Earth. © Jason Ur.

I was immediately intrigued by this new remote-sensing tool that will help not only archaeologists and landscape archaeologists but also urban explorers who are excavating latent spaces, in particular hazardous spaces generated by industrial economies of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
Topography of Ultra Qalasi (Sassanian Cities) — Google Earth. © Jason Ur.

As known, tomorrow's cities need to perform better than today's and past's. In this context, study of ancient urban pattern will help us to understand: first, how people lived; second, which characteristics these urban and landscape patterns had?; third, how and why ancient urban environment disappeared, and so forth. In short, what can we learn from past urban and landscape patterns? We are a narrative species who learns a lot from the past to improve technology, to create new techniques and ways to reengineer our urban environments in the new era. In this context, the study of past urban patterns, of decaying landscapes, of ruins can inform how to adapt to coming challenges.

In conclusion, this will be a powerful tool but as Jason Ur says:
This process can tell us what is likely to be an archaeological site, but what it cannot tell us is when that site was occupied by humans. For that, we have to visit these places and find artifacts that allow us to date the site. The satellite cannot do that for us.

Source: The Harvard Gazette


This week's map: What's Your Coastal Flood Risk?

The Climate Central published, last week, an interested interactive map showing spatial implications along U.S. coasts from sea level rise and storm surges. For those who live in the U.S., it is an interesting tool for many reasons.
Surging Seas National Map, 2012 © Climate Central

Suggested article: Claudia Tebaldi, Benjamin H Strauss and Chris E Zervas, Modelling sea level rise impacts on storm surges along US coast, 2012.

This map can be helpful for countries threatened by similar risks such as Thailand, Philipines but also Venice, too. Even coastal cities in France or in Japan may find very useful to have such a tool as they are concerned with flooding risks.
In the website Sea Level, Michael D. Lemonick provides some instructions to use this map:
Just type in your ZIP code or the name of your community, choose a water level anywhere from 1 to 10 feet above the current high-tide line, and you can see what areas might be at risk of flooding from water that high. You can also go to any one of 55 tide gauges we studied around the country, and see the odds we've calculated for how soon flood waters may reach diffeent elevations as the sea continues to rise.
I took Jacksonville, Florida, as example to examine spatial implications of flooding events along U.S. coasts. All the estimations below are based on mean estimations from the interactive map over the period 2020-2100. The projective calculation is based on various heights of sea level rising (SLR) from 1ft to 10 ft. The maps below shows progression of floods and vulnerability of Jacksonville and its area causing by SLR and Storm surges. What does this map inform us?
By 2020, A one-foot storm surge could flood more than 5,270 acres affecting a population of 2,351 and more than 996 homes. Note that the nearest flood risk indicator sites appear to be Fernandina Beach and Amelia River located at 25.9 miles away so that you can focus on these areas if you want a close-up.
Unsurprisingly the warmer the temperature, the higher the water level, the worse the conditions of the ecosystem. As a result, Jacksonville would be becoming more and more vulnerable.
Sea Level Rise (mean estimate), Jacksonville, Florida, © Climate Central, 2012
Water level: 1ft
Forecaste decade: by 2020 
By 2060, a four-foot storm surge would submerge 14,090 acres. As a result, more than 11,406 people would be affected; 6,141 homes would be damaged. This map shows a progression of floods in the interior land resulting in impactful consequences on built as well as natural environments along the coast.
Jacksonville, Florida, © Climate Central, 2012
—> Water level: +4ft,
Forecaste decade: by 2060

By 2080, this will be 16,696 acres inundated by a five-foot water level. Comparison to the previous map indicates that the difference (+4ft by 2060) is negligible. But the progression of flooding events remains constant.
Jacksonville, Florida © Climate Central, 2012
—> Water level: +5ft
Forecaste decade: by 2080
Over one decade, by 2100 as the map stresses an important progression of flooding events. More than 64,523 acres will be flooded and 47,147 homes will be destroyed having a serious impact on 105,563 people.
Jacksonville, Florida © Climate Central, 2012
Water level: 10ft
Forecaste decade: by 2100
Now let's focus on Amelia River and its areas. I chose five decades: 2020, 2060, 2080, 2100 and 2100 and more. The following maps show precisely the progression of floods submerging gradually the surroundings of the Amelia River.

Suggested article: Kaid Benfield, Nine low-tech steps for community resilience in a warming climate, 2012.

This would lead to a shrinkage of the landscape, and, with evidence, to a landscape pattern change affecting accordingly the ecosystem and the infrastructure.
Amelia River — Jacksonville, Florida © Climate Central.
Water level: 1ft
Forecaste decade: by 2020
Amelia River — Jacksonville, Florida © Climate Central.
Water level: 4ft
Forecaste decade: 2060
Amelia River — Jacksonville, Florida © Climate Central.
Water level: 5ft
Forecaste decade: by 2080
River Amelia — Jacksonville, Florida © Climate Central.
Water level: 6ft
Forecaste decade: by 2100

Amelia River — Jacksonville, Florida © Climate Central.
Water level: 10ft
Forecaste decade: by > 2100
This map is very easy to use and provides interesting information on likelihood flooding events in the U.S. coasts. In a age of global warming, rising sea levels and storm surges will be affecting coastal areas and damaging land, insfrastructure, and ecosystems causing displacement of population and non-human species, and huge losts, in coming decades, as the earth is getting warmer. In this context, it is urgent for urban policies to tackle this issue to respond and pose new ways to operate in areas at risk. 

We know that the water level will grow and reach new heights. As the authors of this paper Modelling Sea Level Rise Impacts on Storm Surges Along US Coasts reported in the introduction:
These trends will likely force changes in risk assessments related to extreme events, such as the delinearation of 100 yr floodplains, that influence coastal policy and development.

Reengineering our cities and infrastructure in more ecological and innovative ways will require multidisciplinary approaches with the intersection of architecture, urban planning, civil engineering, science, biology, to name only a few to develop new techniques and a new vision of city planning in these areas. Let's say: our current approach of cities and infrastructure — or should I say the current condition of cities and infrastructure — is obsolete. So are building materials, manufacturing and fabrication.

Urbanization in 19th and 20th centuries was impactful, as it mainly forced to degrade environment. Now that we are shifting into a new paradigm, urbanization of the 21st century will be forcing to take warming trends into consideration by designing ecologically resilient coastal areas. One solution among many others can be to keep future buildings out of those zones

Suggested article: Letter from the Editors, Stephanie Carlisle and Nicholas Pevzner, Landscape Urbanism, Winter 2011.

Yet, it is very difficult for the population living along the coasts, to accept to leave for much farther areas. This is the case for the population of affected coastal areas in the Northeastern Japan who wants go back to their furusato or homeland. In this case, what can we do? Can the redefinition of zoning and building codes help avoid constructing in these areas? If so, will they be enough? The question remains unclear as consequences of flooding threats along coastal zones are unclear, too. But flooding will be increasing fast.

Let's hope that these instruments, starting with this map, will be useful for urban planners, architects, and all the actors that are in charge of city planning.


Exhibition: Périphériques Architects, at La Galerie d'Architecture, Paris

Before talking of an exhibition, The Architecture Post The Conversation initially scheduled this Friday 23rd has been postponed at a later date. I will talk to Liam Young and Kate Davies of Unknown Fields Division and Will Wiles of Icon Magazine on the Urban exploration in Pripyat, The Aral Sea, Baikinur, asking this: Why they think these post-industrial obsolete places need a view.
For this, I will recommand to read (if not yet) Icon Magazine issue 105 if you have an interest in landscape futures.

1200C64P10R is the title of an exhibition: Paris-based Périphériques Architects. What is the idea behind this title? The exhibition, on view through April 14 in the Parisian gallery, La Galerie d'Architecture presents 1200 candidatures (competition entries), 64 projets (projects) and 10 realisations (completions)… since 2007 as the last exhibition that La Galerie d'Architecture organized was in 2006. 
1200C64P10R — Model, La Galerie d'Architecture, © Périphériques Architects.
credit photo: The Architecture Post for Urban Lab Global Cities

Difficult to say if 1200C64P10R is an exhibition or a solo show, probably in the interspace of these two formats. Maybe a sort of monograph.
1200C64P10R, Exhibition, La Galerie d'Architecture © Périphériques Architects.
Credit photo: The Architecture Post for Urban Lab Global Cities

Podcast: The Architecture Post Conversation: La Galerie d'Architecture.

Since 2006, the agency has developed and participated in a large number of competitions (1200), and exhibitions including group exhibitions (Venice Bienniale of ArchitectureFrench Pavilion, 2008). The architects 10 have completed only ten projects, including a few in progress:
Law Court, Proposal, Limoge, France, 2011 © Périphériques Architects.
Status: Competition.

Housing, child care centers, theaters, offices, universities, clubs, shopping malls, facilities, retails. Let's enumerate a few among these 1200 competitions entries:
Media Library St Paul, proposal, Sedre, France, © Périphériques Architects.
Status: Competition.

Cour d'Appel Fort-de-France (Law court), Martinique, France, Maison des Arts et de la Culture, Beyrouth, Lebanon, Le Plan 2, Ris-Orangis, France; Pavillon de la France (French Pavilion), Expo 2010 Shanghai, China; Palais de Justice (Law court), Limoges, France, to name a few.
1200C64P10R, Exhibition, La Galerie d'Architecture © Périphériques Architects;
Credit photo: The Architecture Post for Urban Lab Global Cities
And 10 completed projects. Let's name one: The Roller Coaster 72, Nantes, completed in 2011. This just completed U-shaped housing is implanted around a south oriented central garden.
Roller Coaster 72 — Rendering, Nantes, 2011 © Périphériques Architects.
Status: just completed.
—> The building and its two sloping volume is organized around a central garden providing a relationship
between inside and outside, private and public

This appartment block consists of two responses: volume — a two-sloping volume made of cut-outs on the surface of the roof — and façade clad in lacquered steel in various colors to create pearly shaded scales and a differentiated appearance that is reinforced by the balconies.
Roller Coaster 72 — Model © Périphériques Architects.
—> To break the rigor of the façade, the architects use four types of balconies according to the size of the openings.
On the roof, six openings (this model shows only three openings) with different
sizes to provide daylight and ventilation within the building.
Note that these openings, rectangular in form, are similar to the openings on the surface of the

The volume and the cladding are optimized in response to the site constraints: sunlight and ventilation, central garden, site, surrounding buildings.
Roller Coaster 72 — façade. Under construction, Nantes, © Périphériques Architects.
—> The color affect of the façade is created by lacquered panels in steel in different colors — blue, yellow, green, and pink — used on different parts of the envelope.
This generates an appearance that varies according to the parts of the façade.
The picture has been taken while the building was under construction. The façade
will be equipped with four types of balconies in wood or metal.

Based on a double orientation, views are established from the street through the building and from the flats to the garden and to the surroundings. The façade is equipped with four types of balconies made up in wood or metal.
Aerial view of Roller Coaster 72 — Under construction, Nantes, France © Périphériques Architects.
—> The volume is the result of a series of cut-outs generating two slopes on the roof surface.
The form of this building conforms to sunlight, the central garden, and the surrounding buildings.
Back to the exhibition. On walls a series of dioramas in color showing the evolution of the agency's projects: sketchs, models, plans. Others are models of ongoing and completed projects. In each corner, a tv screen showing once again sketches, plans and models.
1200C64P10R, Exhibition, La Galerie d'Architecture © Périphériques Architects.
Credit photo: The Architecture Post for Urban Lab Global Cities

Colourful Chairs, maybe part of the Asseoir (to sit) series, are displayed in this exhibition, too. Périphériques Architects has been designing furniture for many years responding to friends, clients' requests. For the exhibition, these chairs can be used to adapt the space to the events it will host, while contributing to the creation of the exhibition. Indeed, it will not be surprising that this exhibition will be animated by short-scaled events, until April 14th…
1200C64P10R, Exhibition, La Galerie d'Architecture © Périphériques Architects.
Credit photo: The Architecture Post for Urban Lab Global Cities
1200C64P10R — Process, La Galerie d'Architecture, Paris © Périphériques Architects


LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper, Venice, Italy by LED Architecture

The Italian architecture firm LED Architecture reveals its new proposal, LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper announced as the future development of the urban area of Venice.

Venice a city in the Northeastern part of Italy with 270,098 residents. It reaches 1,600,000 people including Padua and Treviso. A density of 650 pp/sq. km (or 1,700 pp/sq. mi)) on a total area of 414.57 sq. km (160.07 sq. mi).
Site of LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper, Venice, Italy © LED Architecture

Venice is well-known for its historic inheritage that the city wants to preserve as well as for its confrontation with flooding and environmental issues. Indeed, Venice nurtures a complex relationship with the sea with threatening flooding accentuating by environmental degradation: Agricultural, industrial and urban wastes are the cause of major water quality problems in the Venice lagoon. As the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit points out, "In the winter, strong winds from the south lead to abnormally high water levels in the lagoon and, at times, extensive flooding in the city."
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture

In an Europe that opts for an urban regeneration based on integrating new technologies and while preserving the historic character of cities, many architects develop research to respond to the particularity of the area of Venice, to its environmental context. LED Architecture's LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper is an example.
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture

LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper, also known as LinkSPS, must be understood as an architecture-infrastructure that aims at responding to the specific needs of the urban and natural areas of Venice, including the enhancement of its productive maritime activities. A tactical urban tool to a certain extent, rooted in the urban and environmantal scales of Venice allowing for new spaces for the future of the geographical area. This, while preserving the identity of Venice, its landscapes, its cultural characteristics.
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture

How will LinkSPS work? By addressing energy-producing and energy-saving technologies. As LED Architecture describes its project, the goal is to transform this site into green and sun-tracking mirrors parks using heliostats that will reflect the incident sunlight onto the top of the tower, the receiver of the system, for enhancing energy production of the tower. Simply put, it consists of the combination of human technology and ecologigal features.
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture

The Masterplan, below, shows the distribution of the six programs: Administrative center and solar tower; Volumes housed and facilities equipped with l.e.d. screen facades, a technology, LED Architecture says, to be able of a high level of individual identification of the parts that constitute the system; Social promenade; Maritime activities and aquaculture, and; Station.
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper — Masterplan, Venice, Italy © LED Architecture
Diagram of the distribution of the programs © LED Architecture
Firstly, The LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper is a mixed-use high technology-based programmatic skyscraper. This includes: Solar tower power; Administrative; Housing; Commercial; Offices and; Culture.
The building will be clad with a breathing skin that is announced to contain the structure and the vertical connections, according to LED Architecture.

Facades of Volumed housed and facilities © LED Architecture
One of the characteristics of this proposal consists of the facades of the Housing and facilities equipped with a l.e.d. screen system.

LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture
This LinkSPS integrates not only the six programs and green features as well as and the ecosystem and the existing activities of the city of Venice aiming at generating a balance between human technologies
and nature.
Another part of this proposal is the reorganization of the existing roads and railways featuring: Electric stations announcing to provide the energy for the public transport systems; private transport is defined by electrical car sharing approaches; Creation of three focal stations: Marghera Station, LinkStation and the New Central Venice Station, and; Creation of a social infrastructure, that is, an architectural promenade featuring green areas, public squares and facilities.

LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture
Anapproach and redefinition of Venice: preserving its historic character, responding to
economical and social needs, enhancing its ecosystem.
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture
LinkSPS combins: energy-saving and producing technology working as a geothermal energy provider;
an infrastructure with the organization of the urban transports and roads of Venice as well as the creation of green features and a promenade, and; Maritime facilities aiming at assisting and enhancing the productive maritime activities.
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture
LinkSolarPowerSkyscraper © LED Architecture


Video: A Manifesto of looseness by Kazys Varnelis

It is no longer a secret for many of us: our cities are obsolete. At least, the model of the 20th century appears to be incapable of adapting to new challenges. For many, cities need new urban interfaces more flexible, responsive, capable of problem-addressing. This fact has been mentioned, quoted, and repeated in many blogs — here included — as well as newspapers and other books. As we are shifting from the post-industrial cities into the smart cities, more and more books, projects, discussions and other lectures are growing to either explain the mechanisms of this new model or to highghlits its limits, its complexity. Nonetheless, cities are slowly but surely engaging into this shift: these include Paris, Tokyo, Chicago, Berlin, London, New York, Boston, Dubai, Beijing, Osaka, Hong Kong, Shanghai, among others.
In this video, below, the historian and theorist of city and architecture, Kazys Varnelis goes back to one of many progresses over the 20th Century: urban mobility, precisely car as core element. This lecture is part of the Smart City Expo in Barcelona on December 2nd, 2011.
One aspect of cities of 20th century is vehicle, or more broadly transit. As people left rural areas for the city, mobility became crucial in city planning making private-vehicle ownership mandatory. This is the case of cities like Los Angeles with about 80% of car use. Even in cities with a highly use of urban transports — subways — such as Tokyo, car played, and continues to play an important role in city planning. As cities are growing over hundreds kilometers shifting into megacities, car becomes central, not only for residents of suburbs as well as for residents of center to commute inside/outside, from/to the city.
Yet car is now associated with fast-growing cities, environmental issues, resource scarcity, urban migration, energy issues (oil shortage), pollution, congestion and so on. And the list of issues is very long. While it is difficult to say whether or not this model of transit is obsolete, it, however, raises serious issues of pollution and congestion. Developed cities and developing cities are concerned with these issues with evidence.
This situation will not change soon even if propositions such as walkable communities are growing to become new trends, even if new types of transit will be invented such as electric cars. Indeed, while being downgraded car will still remain the core element of cities. Smart Cities may integrate cars. The invention of electric cars or smart cars are viewed to be the, if not, one of the solutions of the city in the nearing future. Perhaps. But would it be rather time to reconsider current urban interfaces to adapt to these environmental issues? Would it be rather time to pose the question of human technologies that generates failure? Human technologies in association with nature rather than versus nature? (Post-)Industrial cities are an example of failure. Or maybe resilience, which is interconnected with failure, may solve, at least address these complexities. But as a solved problem raises another problem to address, the question to ask is whether or not smart cities are the solution. Perhaps technologies may be a disaster. Perhaps smart mobility may raise a new type of pollution, of congestion. Perhaps not…

Suggested reading: Kazys Varnelis, The Infrastructural City, Actar Editorial, 2008

Anyway, Kazys Varnelis said not to have any specific expertise on this subject. Nevertheless as a historian of city, he posed in this video questions that will be more and more pertinent in regard with the emerging of the city of the 21st century — be it smart or not. These issues include: mobility and new types of transit in the era of post-oil, infrastructure, complexity, environmental protection, energy…
Here is the note that accompanies this video posted in his blog:
My thinking about complexity and the dangers it poses for us has been evolving fast lately and I am convinced that this is some of the most important work I've ever done.
According to Varnelis, the idea of complexity is a form of pollution and congestion. This may be considered as thought-provocative. This is at least what he aimed with this lecture. The best is to watch this video of his lecture below in case you have not watched it yet.

A Manifesto for Looseness from Kazys Varnelis on Vimeo.


Call for Applications: OneLab 2012: Future Cities by Terreform1 and One Lab

These next weeks, Posts will be slow here for many reasons.
Let's start with next week. On March 15th, I am planning to film the opening reception of the exhibition of Paris-based Périphériques Architects, titled 1200C 64P 10R at the Galerie d'Architecture, Paris. At least, I will take pictures of this exhibition. Périphériques Architects is of one of the most interesting French firms of architecture, in my view. I am also thinking of a videocast, as mentioned above, on a subject, a very important subject here in France on dwelling. Anyway I will say more soon as it is still unclear, in a blurry mode.
As for The Architecture Post The Conversation, my request of a conversation is still in a pending mode, so I can't say more for this moment. If so, it may be launched March 23rd or 30th.

For today, a call for applications for the ONE LAB 2012: Future Cities organized by Terreform1.

ONE Lab Summer 2012 on Future Cities will address the emerging discipline of global urbaneering by assembling a wide range of innovators from fields as diverse as, architecture, material science, urban design, biology, civil engineering and media art.

ONE Lab is designed for students who wish to engage with the crossover of design and science. This summer approximately 40 researchers will gather in New York City for 4 weeks of intense creative and scientific exploration. ONE Lab provides a unique opportunity for students to learn from internationally recognized scientists and renown designers and artists: Dr. Janna Levin, Dr. Nina Tandon, Dr. Dickson D. Despommier, Vito Acconci, Natalie Jeremijenko, Marc Forens and a host of TED Fellows.
ONE Lab consists of Design Studio, Future Cities Seminar and Future Cities Workshops. The studio will be offered in two levels - one for professional designers and students enrolled in professional schools or departments of design; one for students and individuals of various experience and background. All workshops are beginner level and no previous knowledge or experience is required.

More: Here.


The Architecture Post The Review second edition featuring Julia van den Hout and Kyle May, editors of CLOG Magazine

Today's edition of The Architecture Post The Review is this time on magazines, specifically on architecture magazines. Indeed, we discuss newborn CLOG Magazine with editors Kyle May and Julia van den Hout.
CLOG Magazine First Issue: BIG, 2011

CLOG Magazine, an architecture print publication is founded in 2011 by five editors: Kyle May, Human Wu, PlayLab Design, Julia van den Hout and Jacob Reidel. CLOG, explores, from multiple viewpoints and through a variety of means a single subject particularly relevant to architecture. Two issues is now released: first issue on BIG, second one on Apple. The third issue is under preparation. It is announced to be on data centers.
CLOG Magazine Second Issue: Apple, 2012

CLOG Magazine is a small format, nice low-key magazine, 5.5 inches wide and 8.5 inches tall based on call for papers. Contributors of these both issues are: for the first issue, Michael Abrahamson, Iwan Baan, Alexandra Lange, Oliver Wainwright, Human Wu, Stephen Melville Ying Zhou, Dan Clark, Janine Bounno, Graffitilab, Kibisi, among others; for the second issue: Kazys Varnelis, Michael Kubo, Kyle May, Julia van den Hout, Marcus Carter, Rachel Berger, Jimenez Lai, Philippine d'Avout d'Auerstaedt, Keith Burns, etc.

CLOG Magazine is available in your favorite bookshop.


The Architecture Post Conversation first edition featuring Gian Maurizio, director of Paris-based La Galerie d'Architecture

Today is the launch of The Architecture Post Conversation.
For this first edition, we visit Paris-based La Galerie d'Architecture to discuss with director and curator Gian Mauro Maurizio. The discussion focuses on architecture and exhibition.
We will also review Jean-Philippe Pargade Architects exhibition, closed since February 25th.

Based in le Marais area, Central Paris, La Galerie d'Architecture is a gallery committed to the advancement of innovative position in architecture and design. La Galerie d'Architecture has been founded in 1999 by two architects, Gian Mauro Maurizio, still director, and Olga Pugliese, who has quit La Galerie in 2005.
Jean-Philippe Pargade Architects Exhibition, La Galerie d'Architecture, Paris. Credit photo:
Annick Labeca/Urban Lab Global Cities

Over a large list of nationally and internationally recognized and emerging architects and designers have shown at La Galerie d'Architecture; these include Jean-Philippe Pargade Architects, Périphériques Architects, Nicolas Michelin Architects, Anne Demians Architects, Jensen Skodvin Architects, Helen & Hard Architects, Jean de Gaustines Architects, OMA, Bernard Tschumi and Manuelle Gautrand, among many others. A single subject: the curator, two subtopics: architecture and exhibition, and Jean-Philippe Pargade Architects exhibition, closed on February 25th.
Next Exhibition will be that of Periphériques Architects started on March 15th.

Tomorrow will be the second edition of The Architecture Post Review featuring Julia van den Hout and Kyle May of Clog Magazine.

* The conversation was initially in French. It then has been translated and dubbed into English.

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