Living in the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle conjures up images of extreme weather conditions, but one family has managed to create their own cozy oasis in the far reaches of Norway. The Hjertefølger  family has been living on Norway’s Sandhornøya island, where they started their journey into sustainable living, since 2013. Their three-story cob home—built from sand, water, clay, and other…

Designing for disasters #thinkdifferent

Henk Ovink is the Netherland’s acting director general of spatial planning and water affairs and took a different approach to this international challenge. In June 2013, the US housing department launched a $1bn multidisciplinary design competition informed by this new approach. Dubbed Rebuild by Designand funded by the Rockefeller Foundation (which also supports Guardian Cities) and other…

Manchester moves closer to a new Factory

This is my home town and I am always proud of the city’s ambition and the quality of the architecture that has defined the city in recent decades. Rem Koolhaas’ OMA have designed a 100M GBP new arts centre featuring a 7000 seat auditorium for arts and cultural events. On a site that once housed…

Sketching the #architect ‘s personality

Sketches of scale figures can be seen as an architectural signature. These miniature stand-ins for human life not only bring scale and understanding to a sketch, they also offer a glimpse into the architect’s personality. Some designers automatically go for realistic, anatomically correct people, while others have more abstract interpretations of the human body. But what…

The Architect’s toolkit

An Architect’s work life can be extremely varied and in my experience a typical week can involve a sketch of a new concept, drawing and document reviews and design team discussions through to client presentations and site reviews of construction progress. The ability to carry out a site review and to record your observations while staying…

Star Wars architecture

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has finally found a home. Following nearly a decade of searching, the museum’s board has announced that Los Angeles’ Exposition Park will serve as the site for the MAD Architects-designed building housing the life’s work and expansive art and media collection of one of history’s most celebrated filmmakers, George…

Designing for well-being

I consider that sustainability extends beyond the obvious “green veneer,” the ubiquitous solar panel or the wind turbine. As an Architect I seek opportunities with my Clients to design for the user or those who will experience the architecture. Designing for well-being is therefore critical to successful design. A successful building design promotes frequent use…

skyscrapers from wood & glue

University researchers in the UK are exploring cellulose and xylan on a molecular level that could lead to innovations in strengthening wood materials. Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to research published today in the…