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Will Rope-less Elevators Change Building Design?

Germany recently opened it’s highest viewing platform in the country, providing 360 degree views to the Black Forest from 230 metres up. But the significance of this new tower is far greater than just it’s view; the Rottweil Test Tower is a project by ThyssenKrupp to revolutionize…

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The Future is Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) as a concept has been around since the 1950s, but it is only recently that computing power has reached the point where it can deliver a convincing experience. First popularised by the Oculus Rift VR headset, and with investment from tech giants…

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podcasts for urbanists

Top 5 Podcasts for Urbanists

As summer begins to wind down, we’ve collected 5 of our favourite podcasts on the future of cities to engage your inner urbanist. Stretch your summer fun into the fall and beyond with tales of beautiful buildings, urban interventions, and the many ways to tackle…

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Reusing Industrial Buildings in an Urban Core

Industrial buildings are often designed with a focus on their purpose rather than their aesthetics and while some are beautiful, they can also be unsightly. They often sit empty once abandoned by their intended industry because their specific designs make them challenging to reuse or repurpose. When…

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The Future of Architecture in the Digital Age

As I approach twenty years since becoming a qualified architect, and triggered by my attendance at a technology event that presented how ChatBots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) were significantly altering how Social Housing operators were delivering services, it made me think about how far we’ve…

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future transit hubs

Designing Future Transit Hubs Today

In a world with rapidly changing transit mode shares and vehicle technologies, how do you design a transit station that works both today and long into the future? With roots in the grand traditions of railway station architecture, modern transit hubs are often massive architectural…

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art

Art as a Curative Tool

Art, in its many forms, has been an intrinsic part of human culture dating back almost 100,000 years. It embodies a momentary way of life at a given point, often with the capacity to evoke particular emotional responses. When talking about art, it is important…

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women

The Changing Face of Architecture

When I entered university there were about 80 students in our class, 15 women and 65 men. Eventually, 5 girls quit the program, or switched to other fields, and in the end there were 10 of us and 65 guys. At the time, people believed architecture programs were more…

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classrooms

Classrooms Matter

Research undertaken by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2014 ‘found that 80% of schools are operating beyond their life cycle’ – suggesting that the majority of our schools and classrooms are unable to provide effective learning environments as they are simply past their…

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International Women's Day

International Women’s Day: Architects, Urbanists & Engineers

For International Women’s Day, we’re recognizing women across IBI Group and their positive force in our workplace, promoting their contributions to their professional fields and demonstrating the value of diversity for our firm. As this year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Women in the Changing…

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relationships

More than Buildings, can Architects Design Relationships?

When we think what architects do, relationship building is rarely at the top of the list. But according Jeanne Gang, founding principle of Studio Gang Architects, its a vital role for architects to play. Inspired by ecology, she approaches each project by considering how design…

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best architecture

Crowdsourcing the Year’s Best Architecture

In the inherently subjective world of architecture, there are no shortage of opinions on what makes for the best architecture. Rather than leaving the definitive choice to a small group of elite judges, ArchDaily’s Building of the Year Awards are crowdsourced by readers. This year,…

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London architecture

London Architecture: Dynamic, Historic, Diverse

Architecture is communication with the past; memories of London’s previous lives are etched in its buildings and masterplan. The mysterious depths of London’s landscape are a consequence of centuries of human needs. London actually consists of two cites, the City of London and the City…

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technology

Technology: What’s Happening in 2017?

The emergence of disruptive technologies shows no signs of slowing in 2017. Rather, innovators are continuing a long tradition of building on previous breakthroughs, finding new applications and combining them with other technologies to create new products and experiences. Frog Design asked 15 innovators for…

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books

Great Books for Architects, Urbanists & Engineers

In need of a last minute gift idea for the urbanist in your life? Or maybe a good read of your own for the holidays? Whether you’re looking for books on architecture, landscape architecture, engineering or urbanism, TH!NK by IBI has you compiled the meta-list for…

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Vancouver Architecture

Vancouver Architecture: Growing Into Its Own

It takes time for a city to mature and properly grow into its own being. The same goes for architecture: time is needed for the city to properly react to its environment and to then hone its own identity. And, as time passes, ever-evolving designs and…

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election cities

What the US Election Means to Its Cities

A long and divisive election campaign has finally concluded in the United States. Donald Trump will become the next President, but with few concrete policy positions, the impact that his election will have on cities remains less clear. As a proud New Yorker, will his positions…

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New York Architecture

New York City Architecture: As Diverse as the City Itself

New York City architecture is as varied and diverse as the people who live there. With a wide range of architectural styles spanning distinct historic and cultural periods, New York City has amassed one of the greatest collections of buildings in the world. The Big…

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fear architecture

Building Fear: The Architecture (and Infrastructure) of Horror

In the spirit of Halloween, you may have taken in an extra dose of horror films lately. While setting is important to all film and literature, the backdrop of a horror story is arguably more important than any other genre. This means that architecture, infrastructure…

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wood and concrete

Material Match: Wood & Concrete

In the development of contemporary cities, few materials have had an impact comparable to wood and concrete. Centuries ago, wood was seen as a nearly inexhaustible resource, and it fueled the growth of many settlements and cities. As engineers and architects looked upward, concrete, along with…

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little library

Hitting the Books

In many cities across the Northern Hemisphere, change is apparent. Temperatures are starting to dip, leaves are beginning to change colour and those warm, sunny days are becoming less common. Autumn is setting in, and by offering brief reviews of some of this year’s most interesting…

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Rio architecture

Rio’s Olympic Architecture

A week into the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, we’ve heard impressive stories of perseverance, rivalry and unity, as well as serious concerns regarding slum clearance and pollution. But what about the architecture? After all, architecture and town planning were once Olympic events in…

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Via House Vision 16

Japanese Architects Explore the Future of Housing

Bringing together some of Japan’s top architects and leading domestic and international companies, HOUSE VISION 2016 is underway in Tokyo. Made up of 12 housing and public space prototypes, the month-long exhibition, with the theme “Co-Dividual: Split and Connect / Separate and Come Together” encourages thinking about…

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Restoring Density

Across Canada, a renewed interest in urbanity is leading to density increases unheard of in more than a generation. As Corporate Knights writes, not all density is equal however. Suburban towers without high quality public transit connections can create problems similar to those presented by…

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Density

What We Talk About When We Talk About Density

You’ve probably heard it more than once, “That new development has too much density” or “Vancouver has the second highest density in North America”, but what do people mean when they invoke “density”? Thankfully, The Conversation has taken the time to break down the various interpretations (and…

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VR

Designing for Tomorrow with Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) entered popular imagination through Science Fiction in the 1930’s, and has been available as a technology for over three decades. Now, with recent breakthroughs in computing, it is poised to be the next big thing in entertainment. With a potential far greater…

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Generic Balconies

The Cities of Tomorrow: Urban Areas without Character?

Many cities take great energy and pride in the factors that make them unique. However, in an era of rapid urbanization, it’s difficult to ignore the sense that new developments look increasingly similar. Is city-making losing touch with context? The Guardian Cities tackles this in…

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Vertical Farm

Will Vertical Farming Go Mainstream?

Since it’s inception in 1999, vertical farming has developed from an experimental concept to a serious business opportunity that could enhance urban sustainability and resilience. Based on a simple concept of growing food where most people live, scientists and entrepreneurs have worked to reduce costs and…

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Solar Curve by Jeanne Gang

The Shadowless Skyscraper

As land becomes increasingly valuable, more cities are looking upwards to accommodate growth. Tall buildings create their own challenges however. But one key challenge – shadows and darkness – may be resolved shortly. Architects such as Jean Nouvel and Jeanne Gang are experimenting with several approaches, including…

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Low-Rise

Low-Rise // High-Density

As sites of opportunity, cities have a long history of attracting new, poor residents.Terrible housing conditions for these newcomers was well documented and in response, governments began offering social housing. Balancing quality of life, good design and cost has remained a stubborn challenge, however.Numerous designs have been…

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Transforming Time Square

City-Making Made Better

Cities are hives abuzz with the activities of billions of people every day. Many of these activities – from movement and work to socializing and leisure – are influenced by the way we build our cities. Yet, whether enjoying a public space or walking and…

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Glass Diversity

Equity & Diversity for Better Architecture

Recently, the American Institute of Architects released a detailed report looking at diversity in architecture. The results of the study, the first of its kind in a decade, show that while both women and people of colour remain underrepresented, gender issues are particularly acute. In support, Archdaily wrote about how…

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Minecraft: The Budding Architect’s First Tool

Lego has long been the first building block for budding architects. Now, as Line//Shape//Space writes, another cube-based medium, Minecraft, is becoming the go-to “game” by combining the benefits of those colourful Danish blocks with the limitless potential of the digital world. By operating from a “human perspective”,…

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An Analog Turn in Architecture?

A subtle but important shift may be taking place in leading architectural circles. As Intelligent Life writes, longstanding starchitects with a penchant for parametric architecture appear to be losing favour to more restrained approaches. Programs to create slick digital designs and imagery are now standard tools, ones that architects are…

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Little Human behind the Design Inspiration

Cities and buildings are made for people and by people. Architects’ interpretation of the human body transfers into their architectural designs. Le Corbusier‘s tall and muscular person created utopian city sketches with large geometrical buildings. Similarly, Theo van Doesburg’s stacked up person looks exactly like many of…

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Diver

Injecting New Energy into Architecture Debates

Bored of traditional architectural debates, a new group based out of London, Turncoats, aims to shake up the establishment provoke real discussions about architecture. Harnessing the free independent journalism approach of Dezeen, Architecture Foundation and Failed Architecture, the “conspirators” want to burst the bubbles around mainstream architectural discussion. No phones,…

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A Better World Through Design

In an age where new disruptive technologies are emerging on a near-weekly basis, is design the key to a better future? Using the Better World by Design conference as the starting point, Polis argues that design is essential to vastly increasing the benefits of a purely mechanical approach…

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What Would Cities Designed by Women Look Like?

Leading exceptions, like Jane Jacobs and Janette Sadik-Khan aside, citymaking remains a male-dominated profession. Confronting this reality, the Guardian Cities spoke with a number of prominent female urbanists to find out what the alternative could look like. They found more pragmatic, collaborative and empathetic processes, and planning and design solutions…

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Paper Bridges & Satellites

It is easy to tear a single sheet of paper – and nearly impossible to rip a whole stack of them. Building on this simple observation, researchers at Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois, and the University of Tokyo created structurally engineered plastic tubes inspired by Origami arts. The…

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2016 Venice Biennale: Reporting From the Front

Alejandro Aravena, director of the 2016 Venice Biennale, has announced Reporting From the Front as the theme for next year’s event. In a continuing Biennale effort to reassert architecture’s important societal role, the focus will be on architecture that works within the constraints presented by a lack of resources,…

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