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» Architecture & Urbanism

Film Review: Robin Hood Gardens

smithsonsRosalind Alexander | 30 September 2014
“The Smithsons on Housing”

Allow me to introduce you to B S Johnson’s 1970 documentary, “The Smithsons on Housing”, which might be better titled “The Smithsons on the Tragedy that is London.” Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #1

OlsoOH-300x133Magdalena Melon | 29 September 2014

‘Cathedrals of Culture’

If buildings could talk, what would they say about us? Under the direction of Wim Wenders Read more…

Film review: “Rebel Architecture” #2

nghiaMagdalena Melon | 4 September 2014
“Greening the city”
If the current way of thinking does not change, sooner or later citizens will actually live in concrete jungles. Read more…

Film review: “Rebel Architecture”

RicardoRocinha Pedro Calmon | 29 August 2014

“The Pedreiro and the Master Planner” 

“The favela is unplanned, it arises spontaneously, with no help or design from government” Read more…

The Anti-Human Eco-City

eco-koreaBy Paul Thomas | 20 April 2014

Before attending this lecture on The Anti-Human Eco-City at Leeds Met, I’d heard of them but  Read more…

Critical Subjects

white on redHigher education is in crisis. This summer sees the launch of Critical Subjects, a new architectural Summer School placing the pursuit of knowledge and critical thinking at the core of education. Read more…

Ordos’ Other Ghost Town

OrdosOrdos in Inner Mongolia is synonymous with the phrase ‘Ghost Town’; a term describing cities apparently built on a whim, with no-one to occupy them. Read more…

The uncivil civility of Richard Rogers

By Richard J Williams | 31 July 2013

rogers pompidouThe idea of ‘civility’ crops up a lot at Richard Rogers’s exhibition. It’s there right from the start in a room decked out in orange vinyl, with a series of panels laying out Rogers’s ‘ethos’. Read more…

Dear Chris…

Beijing-and-China-Air-PollutionThis is a series of letters between Chris Twinn, Arup Fellow & Senior Sustainability Consultant in Shanghai; and Austin Williams of FCP, after the publication of Williams’ article in China Daily (here)

Read more…

India, China: Talk of the town

By Austin Williams | Feb 19, 2013

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310WAs an architect living in Suzhou, just outside Shanghai, I have become blasé about the skyline being transformed before my very eyes.   Read more…

Ghost Towns

By Alastair Donald | 13 January 2013

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310WLast year a historic landmark was reached, but with little fanfare. The fact that the people of China are now predominantly urban, was largely ignored by the Western media. Read more…

Military Urbanism?

‘Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism’ by Stephen Graham; Verso, 2011. 402pp

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 18 December 2012

Urban transformation has often been considered to be a virtue, but some view it differently; as a source of instability and conflict. Read more…

Masterplanning the Future

By Austin Williams | 6 December 2012

The great American urbanist Daniel Burnham, the man who drafted the first comprehensive city plan a century ago, summed up the necessary ambition involved in the art of city-making: “Make no little plans,” he said. “They have no magic to stir men’s blood.”  Read more…

The world, one sketch at a time

‘The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing on Location Around the World’ by Gabriel Campanario; Quarry Books, 2012. 320pp

Reviewed by Anna Gibb | 29 November 2012

A renaissance in sketching is occurring.  While advances in technology continue and we now have smartphones that allow us to document our surroundings in an instant, Read more…

A bold pro-growth strategy could set the UK’s housing market free

By Michael Owens | 23 November 2012

By 2025, China will have 221 cities with over 1m inhabitants, adding more than 350m to its urban population. In response, 40 billion square metres of new floorspace will be built. In contrast, here in London, there is a dynamic underground housing market for beds in sheds Read more…

Architectural Olympiad

‘The Stadium’ by Tim Abrahams;  Machine Books, 2012. 38pp

Reviewed by Josh Broomer | 10 October 2012

‘These 17 days may have changed this country’. So pronounced the Guardian the morning after Stephen Daldry’s closing ceremony concluded a vibrant festival of sport. Read more…

Getting planners off our backs

By Alastair Donald | 22 September 

‘This Government means business’ announced David Cameron recently, and that starts with ‘getting planners off our backs’. But as highlighted by recent initiatives which attempt to use design to make us fitter and healthier, planners are meddling more than ever in our personal affairs and lifestyle choices.  Read more…

How to win the long jump

Martin Earnshaw | 17 September 2012

Who now regards Athens as a world beating Olympic city? Today, the horror stories of abandoned stadia and rubbish strewn swimming pools, though disputed, are commonplace in media accounts of what happened to the Olympic site. Read more…

Whatever happened to Utopia?

FILM: ‘Utopia London’ by Tom Cordell, 2010

Reviewed by Rowan Morrice | 14 September 2012

It’s not often we hear about Utopia these days. An idea which used to be identified with the future, is now a purely historic phenomenon. Today when it seems we can only imagine a dystopian future, this film presents a nostalgic look back at the Modern movement in 20th Century London.  Read more…

As China is getting bolder the West is losing confidence

Austin Williams | Monday 3rd September 2012

LIVING and working in China – where I teach urban design to eager architecture students – is a constant adventure. Unlike the UK, where we seem to spend our time discussing what, how or even whether to build, it is exciting to be in a country that is actually doing it. Read more…