Amro Sallam helped start Architects for Society in 2015, gathering together a collective of international architects to focus their work on humanitarian and social-welfare projects. One of their first projects, Hex House, is a solar-powered, single-family unit designed for deployment in refugee camps and other displaced communities. Sallam shared with me the firm’s origin story, their mindset towards architecture’s involvement in humanitarian efforts, and his thoughts on Aravena's Biennale.
20 over 80: Conversations with Legends of Architecture and Design is the antidote to those breathless, over-hyped lists you’ve seen, trying to predict which baby-faced youngster will be the next big thing in their creative practice. A compilation of unique interviews with such greats as Milton Glaser, Michael Graves, Phyllis Lambert, Jens Risom, Denise Scott Brown and Deborah Sussman, 20 over 80 not only draws a thread through the last century of creative practice, but is also a testament to the talented people whose lifetime of experience came to define today’s design and architecture.
Editors Aileen Kwun and Bryn Smith joined Amelia Taylor-Hochberg to discuss how they approached the dream assignment of interviewing such "legends", and the surprising similarities and differences running through the interviewees' history.
Today's podcast guests are NBBJ Managing Partner Steve McConnell and John SanGiovanni, co-founder of Visual Vocal, a new company bringing virtual and augmented reality systems to the architecture industry. As an investor in Visual Vocal, NBBJ plans to foster the company in all of its design processes, using its collaborative platforms to communicate among designers, clients, and users, at all stages of project development. With a beta program launching this summer, Steve and John gave me a taste of how NBBJ plans to use the service, why it invested in the company in the first place, and how ubiquitous VR stands to dramatically change the architectural process.
In the late 1980s, Bernard Khoury came to the US from Lebanon to study architecture at RISD and Harvard, then returned to establish his practice in Beirut in the mid-1990s. His father was a prominent modernist architect during Beirut’s booming pre-civil war years, and much of Khoury’s work somehow engages with Lebanon’s post-war urbanity. We spoke about his time at Harvard, studying “war architecture” with Lebbeus Woods, and how his practice is a constant reevaluation of how architecture can reflect upon, and come to terms with, the traumas of war.
We last spoke with Amale Andraos for our Deans List series, a year after she succeeded Mark Wigley as dean of Columbia University's GSAPP.Since 2011 at GSAPP, before her deanship began, Andraos has ledvarious research studios and seminars around "Architecture andRepresentation: The Arab City"—the results from which she has nowedited, with Studio-X Amman director Nora Akawi, into a newbook, The Arab City.
Andraos spoke with Amelia Taylor-Hochberg about theperpetuated stereotypes and simplifications that plague discussionsof Arab cities—the desert v. the oasis, the traditional v. themodern, etc.—and how her own experiences in Beirut inspired herresearch.