Great design is rooted in responsive and adaptive approaches. For architect and landscape architect Greg Kochanowski, equitable design solutions should critical issues, such as climate and housing. As Partner and Design Principal at GGA, Greg an active researcher focusing on resilient environments that create synergies between natural systems, culture, infrastructure, and development.
Design stems from nuance, empathy and understanding. The best solutions address the needs, identities and context of a client and place. A designer’s response needs to be informed by these different realities. Intersectional Design is a method of designing by thinking through how factors of identity (gender, race, sexuality, class, and many more) interact with one other. In understanding how these factors combine, we can more deeply understand the context of use and an individual user’s priorities.
Artist collective Space Saloon recently completed the inaugural Public Art and Ecology Artists-in-Residence in the Okoboji region of Northwest Iowa. Observing local landscapes and diverse ecosystems, the team created a series of temporary installations, site-specific sculptures and multi-species performances. Working in association with Imagine Iowa Great Lakes and the Iowa Lakeside Lab, the process led to a series of public events reimagining how to engage regional ecologies.
Few materials are as timeless, durable and beautiful as terracotta. With a range of inherent properties, terracotta is being specified to redefine building envelopes. Used for its many colors and textures, as well as its flexibility, this ceramic can be constructed as cladding, rain screens and a variety of components. Dating back to the Babylonians, terracotta has been used throughout history, and it continues to be a material selected for diverse building types around the world.
Office buildings are known for being utilitarian, efficient, and rigid. While this typology has earned a reputation for adopting rectilinear grids and open layouts, modern designs have begun exploring new alternatives for the contemporary workplace. Moving beyond standard work rooms, meeting spaces, and support zones, these projects are reimagining the relationships between envelope and program. This is a larger movement towards rethinking the formal and spatial characteristics of where we work. While this trend is being explored globally, cities have begun embracing new office designs at a larger scale.
Canada’s Queen City has become renowned for its housing boom. As the most populous location in the country, Toronto is also one of the world’s hottest luxury real estate markets. An hub for arts, business, and media, the city is sited on a sloping plateau with a unique ravine system. While it boasts incredible architecture and high-end designs, Toronto risks a housing correction. Rapid increases in home prices, overvaluation, and overbuilding have all attributed to the city’s mounting situation. Amidst these unstable conditions and uncertainty, new residential projects continue to be built.
No building stands in isolation. Engaging environmental and cultural networks, architecture is an inherently grounded art. As such, limits, constraints, and restrictions drive the design process forward, engendering solutions which celebrate the world as we find it. Embodying this dynamic, renovations and adaptive reuse projects embrace challenging problems and existing conditions. This is especially true when working with industrial buildings, places where machinery, manufacturing, and power combine.
Too often buildings end up as waste at the end of their lifecycle. How can the built environment move towards a circular economy, and in turn, reimagine how valuable materials are tracked and recycled? Looking to address this issue, material passports are one idea that involves rethinking how materials are recovered during renovation and demolition for reuse. The result is when a building is ready to be demolished, it becomes a storage bank for useful materials.
CHYBIK + KRISTOF architects & urban designers and DÍLNA have created a new design for Brno’s historic Mendel Square. Part of a large revival plan for the city, the design pays homage to the city’s rich cultural past. Partnering with local practice DÍLNA, landscape architect Zdenek Sendler, and engineering firm PK Ossendorf, the team exposed the square’s core functional and historic role to drive change in the urban fabric.
CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota have designed the new MAE museum dedicated to carbon fiber. Made of the same material, the museum is designed to showcase its ecological potential. As a material that is central to the future of manufacturing, the project will be built largely out of carbon fiber, both new and recycled, pursuing a circular approach to design.