Make Your Favorite Architect’s Work Better at This Lego Exhibit

By Sophie Weiner
Fast Company, June 3, 2015

FastCoDesign__alter-your-favorite-architects3(Image: Courtesy of Timothy Schenck/via Friends of the High Line)

The Collectivity Project lets the public alter the works of famous architects, in the form of buildings made of white lego bricks.

Attention aspiring starchitects: this is your chance to collaborate with your heroes. Collectivity Project, artist Olafur Eliasson’s new installation at New York’s High Line park, pulled in ten architectural firms—including Steven Holl and BIG—to create a structure out of white Lego bricks, and encourages visitors to augment those creations, keeping the installation in constant flux. Read more…

NASA Offers $2.25M Prize for Designing and Building a 3D-Printed Space Habitat

By Avaneesh Pandey
International Business Times, May 18, 2015

InternationalBusinessTimes_NASA_Mars-habitat(Image: Artist’s concept of living quarters on Mars. Courtesy of NASA)

In Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel “Red Mars,” the first human colonists to arrive on the red planet use bricks made of indigenous materials to construct their habitats, presenting a solution to what has, in recent years, become an intractable problem insofar as establishing extraterrestrial colonies is concerned. With recent advances in 3D-printing, the idea of using technology to utilize resources available on site as building material has shifted from the realm of science fiction to one that is being actively debated by international space agencies, including NASA.

“Shelter is among the most basic and crucial human needs, but packing enough materials and equipment to build a habitat on a distant planet would take up valuable cargo space that could be used for other life-sustaining provisions,” NASA said, in a statement released over the weekend, announcing the launch of a $2.25 million competition to design and build a 3D-printed habitat for space exploration. Read more…

Zaha Hadid’s Modernist Library Inspires Shock and Awe in Oxford

By Jay Merrick
The Independent, May 26, 2015

TheIndependent_Zaha_Hadid(Image: Zaha Hadid’s new Daliesque library and archive building at St Antony College, Oxford. Courtesy of The Independent)

In Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, any attempt to introduce shock-of-the-new architecture triggers dogfights between trads and mods. And so it was no surprise that when Zaha Hadid produced her sinuous steel-clad design for the new £11m library and archive building for the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, it was attacked. “Looks like a beached whale,” fumed one objector. “A giant ear trumpet,” said another. “No, a crashed airplane” – and so on.

Seen from Woodstock Road – calm, leafy, classic Inspector Morse territory – the steel form lolls like a glinting chrysalis between the centre’s two original 19th-century buildings. The centre’s south end, facing the college’s main buildings, flares out like a vast TV screen overlooking the garden. Read more…