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Can Artificial Intelligence Systems like DALL-E or Midjourney Perform Creative Tasks?

August 15, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Recently we are witnessing a major shift in the process of generating images. The recent influx and growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence rises questions about the way in which creative processes evolve and develop through technology. Systems like DALL-E, DALL-E 2 and Midjourney are AI programs trained to generate images from text descriptions using a dataset of text-image pairs. The diverse set of capabilities includes creating anthropomorphized versions of animals and objects, combining unrelated concepts in plausible ways, and applying transformations to existing images.

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Madrid and Barcelona Benefit from Spain’s Free Travel Plan

August 12, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Spain pushes to promote cleaner transportation by offering free seasonal tickets for suburban and regional trains, which translates into roughly 48 million journeys per month. The initiative hopes to help citizens reduce fuel consumption and reduce the cost of living during the economic uncertainties and the rising energy prices. Earlier this summer, a 30% discount for municipal public transport has been announced, with local governments in places like Catalonia topping up to 60% discount. The program will run between the 1st of September and the 31st of December.

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Materials or Labor, What Should Cost More?

August 11, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Architecture is often an ambitious profession, with many architects hoping to positively contribute to the social life of the communities, create emotional responses, and add moments of delight and solace to our daily experiences. However, market forces have a way of applying constant pressure on this field, often being the deciding factor in many design choices. Costs and economic value are generally a good indicator of how, when, and to what extent certain materials are being used: the standard rule is the cheaper, the better. But materials are only part of the equation. Site labor, management, and design costs are also considered, depicting a complex picture of the balance between the cost of materials and the cost of labor and its effect on the architectural product.

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Berlin Plans Smart Residential District and Research Park on Former Tegel Airport

August 11, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

The former Berlin-Tegel Airport is set to be redeveloped. The master plan includes the Schumacher Quartier, a new residential district with 200 hectares of landscaped area, and a research and industrial park for urban technologies, Berlin TXL – the Urban Tech Republic. Besides creating a space for industry, business, and science, the innovation park aims to research and test urban technologies. The park will focus on major themes in the development of cities: the efficient use of energy, sustainable construction, eco-friendly mobility, recycling, networked control of systems, clean water, and the application of new materials.

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Sick Architecture: CIVA Exhibition Explores the Relation between Architecture and Disease

August 10, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Sick Architecture” opened on May 5th at CIVA in Brussels. Co-curated by Beatriz Colomina, the exhibition investigates the intrinsic relation between architecture and sickness. The architectural discourse always weaves itself through theories of body and brain, constructing the architect as a kind of doctor and the client as the patient. Architecture has been portrayed as a form of prevention and cure for thousands of years. Yet architecture is also often the cause of illness, from the institution of hospitals to toxic building materials and sick building syndrome. The outbreak of the COVID-15 pandemic further highlighted this topic.

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Gluon Preserves the Now-Dismantled Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in the Metaverse

August 9, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Japanese digital consultancy Gluon plans to preserve the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in Tokyo, one of the most representative examples of Japanese Metabolism by Kisho Kurokawa. The “3D Digital Archive Project” is using a combination of measurement techniques to record the iconic building in three dimensions and recreate it in the Metaverse. The tower is currently being demolished due to the structure’s precarious state and incompatibility with current seismic standards, as well as the general state of decay and lack of maintenance.

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OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center Opens

August 8, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Taipei Performing Arts Center designed by OMA has opened to the public. The project jointly led by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten is located at Taipei’s Shilin Night Market. The contemporary performance theatre generated debates among architects when it was first announced in 2009 due to its unusual shape. Morphed by a series of programmatic operations, the form intersects three types of theater in order to accommodate a variety of performances. Now this place for cultural creatives is open, allowing the public to explore new possibilities in performing arts and experience different aspects of the theater.

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Goettsch Partners Wins Design Competition for New Mixed-Use Shanghai Complex

August 8, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Architecture firm Goettsch Partners have recently won the design competition for a new eight-building complex in the Pudong area of Shanghai. The 244,500 square meter site is one of the last underdeveloped parcels in the area. The Shanghai Lujiazui Roncheng Changyi Project features two office towers, five residential towers, and a cultural/office building. The development also includes retail spaces and various amenities. Construction is scheduled to start in December 2022 and completion is anticipated in December 2025.

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How to Develop More Equitable Cities? ICLEI Launches a Guidebook for Urban Practitioners

August 5, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

ICLEI Circulars has launched a new practical Equitable Transitions Guidebook to help cities make sure that their urban development projects are equitable for all groups of citizens. The guidebook is based on multiple case studies from cities worldwide under the Urban Transitions Alliance project. The guide’s purpose is to provide insights, recommendations, and tools for city practitioners to understand better and unpack what social equity means at the local level. The publication is free to download.

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Atkins Unveils Design for the New Nairobi Central Station in Kenya

August 4, 2022 Maria-Cristina Florian 0

Atkins has revealed the final design of Nairobi’s new Central Railway Station and public realm. The project extends the historic station building, one of the city’s first stone structures, to raise its capacity to over 30,000 passengers per hour. The new additions take inspiration from the past, referencing the “Boma,” a community enclosure rooted in the heritage of central African culture. Built for flexibility and adaptability, the new station aims to become a key functional facility within the city, providing its citizens with amenities, landscape, and respite.