Playful Animation Tells the Story of Humankind’s Quest for a Perfect City

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Cities are universes in themselves; furiously spawning, spewing, hissing through time and space. They are cudgeled, raked, plastered, worshipped, fought over, set on fire; they are slippery wombs that cradle wars, victories, blood and brilliant storms. The built environment has always been indicative of its inhabitants’ fears, desires, and ideals. As such, it is one of the earliest, most powerful forms of human expression. For World Cities Day 2017, the new BBC Designed section of the BBC Culture website commissioned motion graphics designer Al Boardman to create The Perfect City, an animated video covering a brief history of humankind’s quest for the "ideal" and the "perfect" in urban design. With a voiceover and script by renowned architecture critic and writer Jonathan Glancey, the video is a remarkable 2-minute overview of some prominent examples in city planning, both old and new, successful and unsuccessful. Tracing the story back to
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Amazon HQ2: Study by Data Science Experts Names Washington DC as Ideal Host City

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© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebehr/37039556922/'>Flickr user joebehr</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebehr/37039556922/'>Flickr user joebehr</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> Amazon’s open call for bids for its new headquarters, HQ2, closed last month, but in the months leading up to the final decision in 2018, analysts will continue to flood the internet with detailed studies evaluating who they believe should be the winner. In other words, the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall game for cities is just starting to warm up. Earlier, ArchDaily reported on the data-driven approach adopted by Moody’s Analytics which projected Austin, TX as the winner. But another study by IT education company Thinkful now points towards Washington DC as the city most likely to make the cut. So what makes Washington DC the fairest of them all? Read on to see how data science techniques helped analysts at Thinkful with this prediction, what kind of approach they adopted, and how it differed from that of Moody’s Analytics.
via Thinkful
via Thinkful
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Have Your Say on the Landscape of Emerging Practices With the Interactive Architectural Political Compass

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If you were to identify, categorize and map the 21st century’s emergent architectural practices from the world over, all on one diagram, what would it look like? Considering how the current architectural landscape consists of several different approaches, attitudes and political stances, how would you map them without being too reductive? And how would you ensure that out of hundreds of emergent practices and firms across the globe, you don’t leave anyone out? Perhaps the Global Architectural Political Compass V 0.2 could offer a clue. Created by Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal, the diagram is part of an ongoing inquiry into “the state of the art in (global) architectural practice” [1]. In 2016, Zaera-Polo explored the subject in a comprehensive essay for El Croquis titled “Well into the 21st Century” in which he set down the framework for 11 political categories that now form the compass diagram. Next, Zaera-Polo and Fernandez-Abascal
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The World’s Most Expensive Buildings

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If the Great Pyramid were to be built today, it would cost between 1.1 and 1.3 billion US dollars, according to a cost estimate by the Turner Construction Company—not surprising, considering how that is roughly the same amount of money that it took to build the Trump Taj Mahal or the Petronas Twin Towers. Complicated structural requirements, delayed work timelines, complex building programs, the need for good earthquake or typhoon proofing, the use of advanced mechanical and electronic systems, and costly materials and finishes can all add up to the eventual cost. But sometimes—and especially in cases in which governments or powerful clients set out to beat existing records such as the “tallest building in the world”—money is spent for no real reason except for an unabashed display of wealth, power or strength. Emporis, the renowned global provider for building data, has compiled a list
1. One World Trade Center, New York City ($3.9 billion). Image © James Ewing
2. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi ($3 billion). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/o_0/15856776560'>Flickr user Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
3. Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest ($3 billion). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/7557753382'>Flickr user Dennis Jarvis</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
4. Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas ($2.7 billion). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimg944/6047895339'>Flickr user Jim G</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
5. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai ($2.4 billion). Image © Connie Zhou
6. The Venetian Macao, Macau ($2.4 billion). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/montoya711/8300656204/'>Flickr user Melv_L - MACASR</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
7. Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide ($2.1 billion). Image © <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_Royal_Adelaide_Hospital_15-7-17.jpg'>Wikimedia user Sandyx99</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
8. Goldman Sachs Headquarters, New York City ($2.1 billion). Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Goldman_Sachs_Tower_200_West_Street_Battery_Park_City.jpg'>Wikimedia user Beyond My Ken</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
9. The Palazzo, Las Vegas ($1.9 billion). Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Palazzo_Casino,_Las_Vegas_(3479650636).jpg'>Wikimedia user Alex Proimos </a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a>
10. The Shard, London ($1.9 billion). Image © Eric Smerling
11. Taipei 101, Taipei ($1.76 billion). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/yuchinmchu/3513942635/'>Flickr user Yu-Ching Chu</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
12. Burj Khalifa, Dubai ($1.5 billion). Image Courtesy of SOM
13. CapitaGreen, Singapore ($1.4 billion). Image © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Singapore_CapitaGreen-Building-01.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a>
14. Kyoto Station, Kyoto ($1.25 billion). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersondotcom/484730029/'>Flickr user Gavin Anderson</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
15. Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles ($1.2 billion). Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wilshire_Grand.jpg'>Wikimedia user Fredchang931124</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
16. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg ($1,027,510,000). Image © Iwan Baan
17. New United States Embassy, London ($1 billion – predicted). Image © <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_Embassy_of_the_United_States_of_America_in_Battersea_Nine_Elms,_London,_seen_from_Pimlico.jpg'>Wikimedia user Curran2</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
18. Mercury City Tower, Moscow ($1 billion). Image© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:View_from_Imperia_Tower_Moscow_04-2014_img12.jpg'>Wikimedia user A.Savin</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
19. Niagara Falls Hilton Phase 2, Niagara Falls ($1 billion). Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hilton_Niagara_Falls.jpg'>Wikimedia user Domenic Scaturchio</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a>
20. Bank of America Tower, New York City ($1 billion). Image Courtesy of Cook+Fox Architects
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