In capturing vast skyscrapers, stadiums, museums and more, these prize-nominated pictures reflect the buildings’ ingenuity and strangeness
A sense of social purpose drives this year’s Venice biennale, and while good intentions don’t always translate into good ideas, the best combine usefulness, economy and beauty
by Rowan Moore
One of Block Research Group’s ‘beautiful, delicate’ vaults. Photograph: Italo Rondinella/La Biennale di Venezia
Architects are insecure about their usefulness. They work with buildings, which are generally large, expensive, long-lived and important to life, but it’s not always obvious what is significant about the specifically architectural aspect of their work – the refinements and rearrangements to the functional object that might otherwise come into being without architects’ help. If they have some influence over large budgets, it is developers or politicians who usually make the real decisions. At best, an architect can be like a jockey on a horse. Often, he or she is more like the groom, who puts nice plaits in its mane and tail.
Girih Treasure Chest by David Linley is on show during London Craft Week
Given how much it has grown already, it’s hard to believeLondon Craft Week is just a year old. But as the initiative celebrates its first birthday (kicking things off once again with an almighty party at the V&A) it’s hard not to sound like an overexcited aunt, pinch its chubby metaphorical cheeks and say “Gosh! How you’ve grown…” Because this second edition is not only almost twice the size of the first (there are more than 130 events taking place across the city compared to last year’s 70) but the quality promises to be even better still – with a surge of interest from potential partners and participants the organisers have had to be ruthless as to what events and exactly who is allowed under the umbrella. But the biggest difference of all? If London Craft Week already feels like an established event on the calendar, then it means craft as a discipline might have finally found its voice.
A team of students created an architectural system that can move, shape-shift, and make decisions on what structures to build based on its analysis of local data. The students hope the system will replace current urban planning practices.
A team of students from the Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London has developed a cellular self-assembly system that can be molded based on necessity and restructured as needed.
These “HyperCells” can form into structures on their own and have the ability to climb, roll, and alter in shape to suit the needs of whatever architectural system they’re used to assemble
Geometric shapes, projections of planets, LED walls … Germany’s first art on the underground project is an ambitious collaboration between artists, engineers and architects
It was an unusual project,” says Berlin-based artist Heike Klussmann, a lead designer of the new U-Bahn line, which opens on Saturday in the German city of Düsseldorf. Fifteen years in the making, the Wehrhahn metro line consists of six new stations running east to west beneath the city centre, collaboratively designed by architects, artists and engineers. “Normally the construction part happens first and then the artists are commissioned. Here the architects, artists and engineers worked together from the beginning,” she says.