New, Innovation-Driven, “Smart City” Will be Built Just South of Boston

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Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

Smart cities” are the latest urban phenomenon popping up across the globe. Among the newest being realized will be Union Point, a masterplan with a commitment to innovation located just south of Boston, USA.

What is a “smart city?” It is a city in which embeds multiple data collection technologies within the city in hopes of providing a supportive and competitive advantage to the city’s residents and business. Officials then use this data to make their cities safer, healthier, and more efficient. Cities are not geniuses quite yet, but the “smart city” is rethinking the way cities are run.

Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

Union Point is the latest venture in intelligent cities. Developed by LStar Ventures, Elkus Manfredi Architects, and Sasaki Associates, the 1,500-acre masterplan aspires to combine active living with a “Smart City” design to offer the advantages of

Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects
Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects
Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects
Courtesy of Sasaki Associates
Courtesy of Sasaki Associates
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ACME’s Wildly Twisting Wooden Staircase Draws Inspiration From Coco Chanel’s Famous Mirror Stair

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© Ed Reeve © Ed Reeve

Conventional, straight-forward staircases can step aside to make room for these upgraded twisting and dynamic steps that make going upstairs a fun and enjoyable experience. London based studio, ACME has developed a staircase prototype with modern construction methods and an adaptive design approach.

The massive twin spiral staircase was installed at ACME's own office, which previously, had no usable stair between floors. The project takes inspiration from Coco Chanel’s mirror stair in her Parisian apartment, 31 Rue Cambon. Here, the two sides of the stair were cladded with mirrors and anyone perched at the top can observe the comings and goings on all levels of the atelier.

© Ed Reeve © Ed Reeve
© Ed Reeve © Ed Reeve

ACME’s staircase takes cues from Chanel's and was designed to provide people a place to stop and converse. Additionally, the dual nature of the stair allows users to choose their destination, and the inward rake

© Ed Reeve
Section / Plan / Perspective
Diagrams
© Ed Reeve
© Ed Reeve
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Striking Easily Assembled Cabins Will become Symbols for Shelter and Safety Along Remote Trekking Paths

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© www.mir.no © www.mir.no

Stockholm-based architecture firm Utopia Arkitekter has designed Skýli, they are bright blue cabins that are popping up in one of the world's most beautiful landscape. The idea came from a desire to develop a structure which could be easily placed along some of the most famous trekking trails in Iceland. Not only are the lodges striking and beautiful in itself, they can be easily constructed and are built to withstand the harshest weather conditions.

© www.mir.no © www.mir.no

Skýli means “shelter” in Icelandic, and the cabin’s image takes cues from its surroundings. The outer shell of the cabins is painted a bright blue, giving the shelter a strong personality characteristic of the colorful housing found in the streets of Reykjavik. Additionally, the repeated triangular gable form making up the structure takes inspiration from the traditional roof shape of Icelandic cabins or huts. The Skýli will be conspicuous

Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter
Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter
Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter
Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter
Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter
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New Sleek, Slender Tower by BNKR Will Enhance The World’s Largest Mural

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Courtesy of BNKR Courtesy of BNKR

The Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros is an outstanding example of extraordinary artistry crafted by Mexican muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros, together with Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. The building was constructed in 1971, taking the shape of a diamond and housing “The March of Humanity,” what is recognized as the world's largest mural. It blankets both the interior and exterior surfaces, covering a total of 8,000 square meters. In 1981, the Polyforum was declared a monument of Mexico’s National Patrimony. 

Nearly four decades later, the sparkling diamond does not shine as bright as it once did. Today, there are many problems concerning the Polyforum. The mural's fragile materials and paints have become victim to the elements and air contamination, requiring constant attention and restoration to promote and preserve the structure's condition. However, being a private museum, the Polyforum receives no government support and requires constant expenditure for its crucial maintenance and restoration.

Courtesy of BNKR
Courtesy of BNKR
Courtesy of BNKR
Courtesy of BNKR
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Add Style and Pizzazz to Your Living Space With These Dazzling Cityscape Curtains

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via http://holeroll.com/en/ via http://holeroll.com/en/

There is something so beautiful and alluring about city skylines at night—the way light twinkles from buildings and illuminates the dark, night sky, creating a backdrop romantics swoon over. Imagine being able to experience your favorite night time skyline anytime of the day, from the comfort of your own living room. HoleRoll allows you to do just this, simply by pulling down your blinds. 

via http://holeroll.com/en/ via http://holeroll.com/en/

The roller blind system utilizes German fabric which blocks 99% of light and UV Rays. The fabric is then punctured with sleek, cut-out designs emulating the sparkling lights from the New York or London skyline. The results are beautiful, captivating illusions of the city by night which will be sure to become a real highlight of any interior.

Curtain source: Amazon. Image via https://www.demilked.com/shadow-art-blackout-blinds/ Curtain source: Amazon. Image via https://www.demilked.com/shadow-art-blackout-blinds/

Not only will these blinds bring you a glamorous, sleek update to your

via http://holeroll.com/en/
via http://holeroll.com/en/
Curtain Source: Elina Aalto. Image via https://www.demilked.com/shadow-art-blackout-blinds/
via http://holeroll.com/en/
Curtain Source: Elina Aalto. Image via https://www.demilked.com/shadow-art-blackout-blinds/
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AIA Announces People’s Choice Winner for the 2017 I Look Up Film Challenge

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“How do you bring architectural stories to life?”—this is the question the AIA asks annually in their I Look Up Film Challenge. This year’s theme, Blueprint for the Better, challenges architects and filmmakers to collaborate and tell the stories of architects making a positive impact on the community.

An esteemed, diverse team of jurors consisting of architects, filmmakers, and board members of the AIA selected the top films which they believed best captured the theme of this year’s challenge. In September, they awarded Grand Prize as well as 1st and 2nd runner-up. The winners will receive an exclusive screening of their film at the Architecture & Design Festival on November 1 in NYC along with cash and distribution prizes. You can read more about the selected winners here.

This week, the People’s Choice Award was announced and awarded to Paul-Vincent Alexander for his film A Roof of their Own, a

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Luminous, Transparent Mixed Use Tower Will Mark the Skyline of Saint-Malo, France

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Courtesy of a/LTA Architects Courtesy of a/LTA Architects

Located outside of Saint-Malo’s train station, this soaring 55-meter beacon building will establish itself as an entrance to the city. The Semaphore is the product of French architects a/LTA + Ateliers Laporte and holds a strong identity and concept in creating a dynamic, engaging environment while blending harmoniously into its surrounding environment.

Courtesy of a/LTA Architects Courtesy of a/LTA Architects
Courtesy of a/LTA Architects Courtesy of a/LTA Architects

The building is broken into three distinct volumes: the pedestal, the attic, and the emergence. The pedestal engages the public in neighborhood activities, bringing programmatic diversity to the neighborhood. It houses shops, offices, a child care center, as well as other amenities. Additionally, it also features a series of gardens providing both the city and neighborhood with a veritable eco-system. 

Courtesy of a/LTA Architects Courtesy of a/LTA Architects

The attic lies above the pedestal and holds 27 apartments across three stories, subtly echoing the attics of the surrounding buildings.

Courtesy of a/LTA Architects
Courtesy of a/LTA Architects
Courtesy of a/LTA Architects
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Giving People Agency in Public Space: The Artwork of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

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© Rafael Lozano-Hemmer © Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

In the past, cities were often constructed in the likeness the public--the built environment reflected citizens and local culture. It is questionable whether this can be said of the modern world. Much construction today is a product of capitalism, generating buildings and areas in which local people have no attachment or sense of agency over. Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer believes this to be a fundamental crisis within our cities, and he is committed to reestablishing the relationship and representation of people within urban space. His work is examined in a new short film by PLANE-SITE, titled Public Interruptions.

A building today does not represent a citizen, a building today represents capital.

Lozano-Hemmer is globally recognized for his work in "relational architecture." He has spent over two decades working to disrupt the modern narratives of globalization and return agency within their cities to the people. The public’s thoughts

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Competition-Winning Paris Office Park Design to Reintroduce Play into the Workplace

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Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH

Dutch Firms Team RAU, SeARCH, and karres +brands have been named as one of the winners of the Inventons la Metropole de Grand Paris, the largest European competition for city planning, architecture and public space. Their project, Triango, reinvents Paris’ Triangle de Gonesse into a dynamic and lively business park which promotes sustainability in every sense of the word.

Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH

The office park is strengthened by its public space and inter-building connections. By integrating nature and sport into the commercial block, Triango creates a rich, synergetic environment that defines their vision for a new office experience. 

“Working is no longer confined to the office building but instead becomes a landscape experience”

Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH

A rigid framework characterizes and organizes the block into three distinct zones: the urban zone, the organic zone,

Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH
Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH
Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH
Courtesy of RAU, karres+brands & SeARCH
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This Captivating Parametric Dessert Celebrates the Discovery of a New Type of Chocolate

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Image <a href='http://www.dinarakasko.com/algorithmic-modeling-cakes/'>via Dinara Kasko's website</a> Image <a href='http://www.dinarakasko.com/algorithmic-modeling-cakes/'>via Dinara Kasko's website</a>

Ukranian pastry chef Dinara Kasko is creating architecture so small, it fits on your dessert plate. Her newest creation, the Algorithmic Modeling Cake, is a celebration of chocolate and geometry worthy of your best china. 

The edible masterpiece was made in honor of the creation and unveiling of an entirely new type of chocolate—Ruby. After over a decade of development, earlier this year cocoa producer Barry Callebaut successfully produced what is claimed to be the first new natural color for chocolate since white chocolate was created over 80 years ago. Pink in color, it is right on trend, fitting in perfectly with both the popularity of "millennial pink" and with social media’s brightly-colored food craze including obsessions such as rainbow bagels and Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappucino. 

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Algorithmic Modeling Cake is a dynamic, shifting and tasty sculpture. Inspired by the work of

via Dinara Kasko
via Dinara Kasko
Image <a href='http://www.dinarakasko.com/algorithmic-modeling-cakes/'>via Dinara Kasko's website</a>
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Artsy-Instagrammer is Turning the City Into an Urban Storybook

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Courtesy of Kristián Mensa Courtesy of Kristián Mensa

With bright pictures of the city paired with imaginative, lovable illustrations, Kristián Mensa’s Instagram makes you feel like you are jumping into an urban storybook. Tapping on a post feels turning a page on a new world with characters journeying throughout the city, making the built environment their playground.

The 19-year-old Prague-based artist, Kristián Mensa views art as a unique form of self-expression. Mensa uses lively, charming drawings to humanize architecture and everyday objects in a fun and comical way to remind people that the beauty of art is everywhere and for everyone. His artwork and perspective of the world have led Mensa to be selected as one of the “100 Faces of Impact 2017” and Huffington Posts’ “20 under 20.”

Mensa’s Instagram feed reveals his unique, playful way of seeing the world. By layering his illustrations onto the real world Mensa

Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
Courtesy of Kristián Mensa
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This Online Tool Generates High-Quality Geographic Maps of Data in Seconds

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Have you ever had to create a map for your project, thinking you could get it done within 30 minutes, but then spent an entire afternoon on it? Between collecting data, creating a base map, choosing a color scheme, and finally putting together a graphic, creating a map can be a long, trying process, taking up precious time when you could be doing other work. Map-making shouldn’t be this way.

Created by Darkhorse Analytics, mapinseconds.com is a free online productivity tool which generates clear, quality maps based off of your data. Here’s how it works: collect and organize your data into two columns on either an Excel or Google spreadsheet, open mapinseconds.com, paste your data into the application’s spreadsheet, and voila! Your custom map is finished! 

The geographic area covered by the map is automatically chosen for you and the colors adapt to either categorical or numerical data, all

via mapinseconds.com
via mapinseconds.com
via mapinseconds.com
via mapinseconds.com
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