Comby Collection by Federica Bubani

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani

Italian designer Federica Bubani designed a series of objects that consist of three main elements: a wooden box, a ceramic shade and a steel bar. Called Comby, the collection consists of objects all which incorporate wood, ceramic and metal to become a functional object and a visually interesting sculpture. In each one, the volume of wood is the same and the ceramic shades are also the same except with varying apertures.

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani in home furnishings Category

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani in home furnishings Category

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani in home furnishings Category

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani in home furnishings Category

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani in home furnishings Category

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani in home furnishings Category

Comby Collection by Federica Bubani in home furnishings Category

Photos by Mirkone.








Does the Title of “Architect” Deserve To Be Protected?

In August, the AIA posted a topic on its LinkedIn discussion board entitled “Misrepresenting Oneself as an Architect on LinkedIn”. Ever since (and once again), the issue of protecting the title of “Architect” has been a hot topic, as explained in this article on Fast Company. This follows the revelation in BD last year that the Architects’ Registration Board ordered the British architectural media to cease referring to Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind as Architects. With the topic appearing so frequently, and in different countries each time, Fast Company conjures images of a “raging global debate”. But what, really, is going on in the world of to fuel such a debate? Read on to find out more.

First of all, in reality this topic contains two separate problems. In the case of the UK debacle last year, the simple fact is that both Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind are architects, registered as such in multiple countries. It just so happens that while they have both worked in the UK, neither are registered with the ARB, and are therefore not recognized as ‘Architects’ under that organization’s rules.

It’s not as if there was ever a question of Piano being qualified to design Europe’s tallest building in London – this is simply a sad case of a national institution struggling to come to terms with today’s international design world. Similarly, in one of the comments under the Fast Company article, a reader who has had a prolific career in Washington DC tells of his struggle to be recognized as an Architect in Florida.

The ARB in fact apologized following the backlash from the incident, and is now working with the RIBA to make mutual recognition across countries of the title “Architect” much easier. This is a trend that will likely become more prevalent as architectural institutions (slowly) come to terms with the global reality of today’s industry.

That’s one aspect of the “global debate” dealt with – so far, so simple. But much more complex is the debate over the very principle of protecting a title. According to Fast Company, “the real issue has nothing to do with legality and everything to do with relevance”. Increasingly, young architects (sorry, ‘designers’) are finding ways around licensure, by getting engineers to sign off buildings and other similar tricks. It seems that, ultimately, one does not have to be an Architect to practice architecture – and many establishment figures and institutions fear that this devalues the profession and puts its future, and the future of the built environment, at risk.

It might be worthwhile at this point to establish precisely what protecting a professional title is supposed to achieve. First and foremost it is done in the public interest, to establish technical and legal responsibility for a certain job. Secondly, it both establishes and legitimizes a certain body of knowledge, stating that this knowledge is necessary to do this job. For example, In the Medical profession (which during these debates architects love to compare themselves to), protection of title establishes that there is a lot to learn before you can treat another human being, and punishes those who fraudulently claim to be privy to this knowledge. In turn, qualified Doctors are held responsible when they fail to live up to the standards that their profession requires.

But – and this fact cannot be stressed enough – architecture is not medicine. We have already established that legal responsibility for a building’s performance can largely be passed to engineers, along with a portion of what once made up architecture’s protected body of knowledge. Another portion of this knowledge, the knowledge of how to manage a project, is now largely passed to professional Project Managers.

Of course, architecture isn’t all structure and management. It’s aesthetics, poetics, symbolism, environmental psychology, social policy, and all sorts of other things which make up the wide-ranging field of “design”. This body of knowledge is indeed something which we have kept for ourselves.

Though while the medical profession builds up its own body of knowledge, adding to it piece by piece for the benefit of every professional practitioner it serves, the architecture profession has treated its own knowledge very differently: twice in the last 100 years, we have systematically dismantled our knowledge, claiming everything we once knew to be false. Going first from traditional design to modernism, and then from modernism to postmodernism, we have split our knowledge into pieces. Now, the revelation that young architects are refusing to buy into the profession is symptomatic of the fact that they have no desire to inherit the knowledge of their elders. Outraged at the unsustainable, insensitive design of the previous generation, they may be on the verge of building architectural knowledge, once again, from scratch.

What we are left with now is a plethora of competing factions, each claiming a different form of knowledge yet all claiming to be architects. Furthermore, as long as each faction is registered with the relevant body, each claim is seen as equally valid. What we have left is not so much a body of knowledge as a dismembered corpse.

So, with the technical aspects of our profession outsourced to engineers, the managerial aspects outsourced to project managers, and the remaining aspects fractured and broken, what is actually left to protect? It is no wonder the profession struggles so hard to assert its relevance, and no wonder that attempts to protect the word “Architect” often come across as merely self-serving.

If we are to move forward from our current situation, we have two options: either start making friends, removing the ideological boundaries between factions, and piecing our tattered knowledge together into something we all agree on (good luck with that); or give up on the outdated notion that we are a profession at all. This would mean doing away with governing bodies, protection of title and so on – or at least consigning these aspects to a severely diminished role – and getting on with the serious business of making designing buildings a job worth doing again. Relevance will not be established by institutions building a fence around architecture, but by architects going out into the wider world and demonstrating their value with hard work, delicate skill and boisterous persuasion.

And if that approach sounds drastic and difficult, remember: you all brought it upon yourselves.

New Wallpaper Designs from Piet Hein Eek

Scrapwood wallpaper 2 by Piet Hein Eek

Eindhoven-based designer Piet Hein Eek, who’s mastered the art of turning waste material into collages of expertly crafted furniture, has a new line of wallpaper designs derived from his signature technique. Dutch company NLXL, has added the Scrapwood Wallpaper 2 range to their original fool-the-eye wood wallpapers by Eek, released three years ago. Of the 8 new designs in the collection, this pixel-like composition of wood squares gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from us.Scrapwood wallpaper 2 by Piet Hein EekScrapwood wallpaper 2 by Piet Hein EekImages: NLXL

Book Art by Ekaterina Panikanova

Book Art by Ekaterina Panikanova

I can’t remember how I stumbled on the work of Ekaterina Panikanova, but I am glad I found her stunning book page drawings. I’m no stranger to the delicacy and gentle touch needed to draw on aging book pages, so I can appreciate these even more.

A graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, Panikanova was one day walking through a flea market when she stumbled upon a 700-page manuscript and “was struck by the difference between its original purpose and how it had ended up.” So, she bought it and used it as the base for a painting.

Book Art by Ekaterina Panikanova in art Category

Book Art by Ekaterina Panikanova in art Category

She says:

I like working on old books: I like the way the wear and tear, underlinings, notes and scribblings enable me to perceive the personalities of the people who have read them. In Russia, there is a difference between a icon which has been ‘prayed to’ and one which has not; a book which has been read has the same kind of energy as an icon which has been worshiped.

For each of her pieces, she reads the texts and chooses the illustrations from pages purposefully and intuitively, joining them together to express a collective idea. From drama to psychology, she expresses variations on the theme of movement and humanity: “the text is never erased but you can turn the page if you want to. I prefer not to fix my works in time and thus I always try to create works with movement. Everyday life is generally anchored in the past and thus both our present and our future are strongly bound to our past experience.”

Book Art by Ekaterina Panikanova in art Category

Book Art by Ekaterina Panikanova in art Category

Common visual themes that run through her work include the pie, antlers, bicycle and rocking horse, all of which have personal methaphorical meanings such as animal instinct, tradition and movement.








Casa Nolla / OAB

Architects: OAB
Location: Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Architect In Charge: Carlos Ferrater, Joan Guibernau
Area: 620 sqm
Photographs: Alejo Bague

Collaborators: Nuria Ayala
Structure: Juan Carlos Capilla
Constructor: Arteco

From the architect. The Project proposes placing the house right in the centre of the plot, in such a way as to clearly differentiate two separate parts; an Access garden square and another but more private with a swimming pool.

In the superposition of 3 volumes with convincing geometry a one family house was designed. By going through the access square the double-height entrance hall is reached, joining the transit areas and vertical communication in the house.

On the ground floor the hall separates the noble area, with the dining room, living room, the library and the service area. The bedroom area and games room on the first floor are accessed by means of a staircase located in the hall. The main bedroom is located on the second floor, whereas the garage and the lumber rooms are in the basement.

The façade is made of stone with hidden anchoring on stainless steel separators cladding all the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the building. The structure is designed with folds in the floor slabs to obtain a strict geometry of the overhang bodies whose parameters are also covered in stone.

A sanded matt stainless steel angle goes around all the arises of the building the stone cladding and generating the changes in the floor plan. On occasions the stone is split with object of facilitating ventilation an indirect light.

Casa Nolla / OAB © Alejo Bague Casa Nolla / OAB © Alejo Bague Casa Nolla / OAB © Alejo Bague Casa Nolla / OAB © Alejo Bague Casa Nolla / OAB © Alejo Bague Casa Nolla / OAB © Alejo Bague Casa Nolla / OAB © Alejo Bague Casa Nolla / OAB Floor Plan Casa Nolla / OAB Section Casa Nolla / OAB Section Casa Nolla / OAB Section Casa Nolla / OAB Section

Working out of the Box: The Sugar Lab

Working out of the Box is a series of features presenting architects who have applied their architecture backgrounds to alternative career paths.

In this installment, we're talking with Liz von Hasseln, one part of the husband-and-wife team and 3D sugar-printing design firm, The Sugar Lab.

Are you an architect working out of the box? Do you know of someone that has changed careers and has an interesting story to share? If you would like to suggest an (ex-)architect, please send us a message.

ArchDaily’s Google Glass Experiment

Click here to view the embedded video.

When Google Glass launched, PUC Design School by Sebastian Irarrazaval. Here’s a short video of what we recorded with the device; just imagine how this very same video would be when overlays the physical, built world you’re experiencing with virtual information from around the web.

And stay tuned for more videos!!

Meier: Richard Meier & Partners, Complete Works 1963-2013

From the Publisher. From his early days as one of the “New York Five,” Richard Meier has been a central figure in contemporary ; this updated 2013 trade edition of the XL version is published in the occasion of the firm’s 50th anniversary. With the Getty Center and more recent buildings such as the Jubilee Church in Rome, Meier has established a reputation for expanded the horizons of contemporary American  while maintaining his rigorously rational approach to design and detailing. Known for carefully conceived grid plans and frequent use of white, Meier is a master of light, space, and volume, able to adapt his style to very different circumstances and locations.

The entire span of Meier’s career is included in this exceptional volume, newly updated for this edition and created in close collaboration with the architect, and the eminent graphic designer Massimo Vignelli. This spectacular monograph displays Meier’s work in unprecedented size and brilliance, and features a preface by the noted Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza.

 (born 1954) studied art history and economics at Harvard, and edited Connaissance des Arts for over 20 years. His books include TASCHEN’s Architecture Now! series, and monographs on Tadao Ando, Norman Foster, Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, and Zaha Hadid. He is internationally renowned as one of the most popular writers on the subject of architecture.

Publisher: Tashen
Author: Philip Jodidio 
Size: 8.9 x 11.4 in.
Pages: 536 (Hardcover)
ISBN13: 978-3836543231

Negative Space Chess Set by Stefan Gougherty

Negative Space Chess Set by Stefan Gougherty

Industrial designer Stefan Gougherty took the classic chess set and turned it on its head with his latest project called Negative Space Chess Set for Geremia Design. After analyzing traditional chess pieces, each piece becomes an abstracted version of itself.

Negative Space Chess Set by Stefan Gougherty in style fashion Category

From left to right: Pawn, Rook, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King

The interiors of acrylic cubes were machined out to create voids that reference their particular chess piece. The voids were then painted making hollow tubes of color in either yellow or black.

Negative Space Chess Set by Stefan Gougherty in style fashion Category








The 2013 ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard: No A’s & 43 F’s

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If the annual scorecard for state energy efficiency just published by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy were a list of test scores, here's how the grade distribution would look for the 50 states plus the District of Columbia:
  • 2 B's
  • 4 C's
  • 2 D's
  • 43 F's
For the optimists out there, that means there's a whole lot of room for improvement!  

ACEEE state energy efficiency scorecard map 2013 600

As with previous versions, the ranking system is based on the following categories, with the total possible points for each category shown in parentheses:
  • Utility and public benefits programs and policies (20)
  • Transportation policies (9)
  • Building energy codes (7)
  • Combined heat and power (5)
  • State government initiatives (7)
  • Appliance efficiency standards (2)
Massachussetts and California are the two states that got a B on the test. New York, Oregon, Connecticut, and Rhode Island got Cs. Vermont and Washington each got a D. If you don't see your state among those 8, you're in the vast majority of us who live in states with failing grades...
Continue reading "The 2013 ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard: No A’s & 43 F’s"

A profession almost as white as the walls.

"The differences in unemployment rates, participation rates, and average earnings between whites, blacks, and Hispanics aren't just stark. They're also sturdy, rarely yielding over the last 40 years. Whites account for about 81 percent of the workforce. But there are 33 occupations counted by the BLS (particularly those on farms, around heavy machines, in doctor's offices, and in C-suites) where whites officially account for nine in ten of all workers, or more. Here they are."



while my own experience doesn't fully bear this out, it's sadly not surprising to see us end up on a list like this (if the numbers are true). in short, yes, it seems fully plausible that our profession is really as white as the walls we paint. 

i'm not teaching on a full time basis any more - can people please give me some hope that the generations coming through reflect a little more color variation? pretty please?

Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Working

Di Gioia Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingVilla Di Gioia is a single-family house located in the idyllic region of Apulia, outside the urban area of Bari and close to the Adriatic Sea (Southern Italy). The construction, completed by Pedone Working in 2011 was designed as an inspiring open space, in harmony with the surrounding site. Reflecting a typical Mediterranean lifestyle:  soothing and relaxed, Villa di Gioia integrates several sleek volumes and cut-outs, being the perfect modern home with minimalist influences. Transparency is one of the house’s assets, for it is a place that invites the sunlight inside the house, bathing the entire living environment in light.

Terrace and courtyard Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingStriking white concrete walls and panels of glass (insulated windows with triple glazing for low emissions) replacing the classic windows define the house’s exterior. One word to summarise it all: simplicity. A central patio connects the exterior with the interior living environment. Very clean in terms of design (with simple finishings and modern minimalist furniture), the interior opening up to the courtyard. The ground floor accommodates the kitchen, the living room (which happens to be the core of the house) and a couple of other rooms that come in different sizes. An open staircase leads your steps to the bedrooms and the sleeping area. Built with sustainability in mind, Villa Di Gioia is a perfect example of low-energy house, that both looks and feels great.

Relaxation spot Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingTerrace and white Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Workingbridge Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Workingcutout Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingLiving Room Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingTable and white Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Working Cool red details Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingDetails1 Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingCorners Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Working Light between floors Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingStairs Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingBedroom Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingBathroom Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingEvening View Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingEvening view transparency Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Working Lovely Details Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Working Breeziness Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingGround Floor Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone WorkingFirst Floor Plan Mediterranean Luxury Comes in White: Villa di Gioia by Pedone Working

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