Cities that grow themselves

They are spreading like branching plants across the globe. Should we rein cities in or embrace their biomorphic potential? Josh Berson is an anthropologist and the author, among other things, of The Human Scaffold: How Not to Design Your Way Out of a Climate Crisis (2021) and The Meat Question: Animals, Humans, and the Deep History of Food (2019). Edited by Sam Haselby In 1996, one in three inhabitants of China lived in an urban setting. In 2021, the figure was close to two in three. In the United States, in comparison, the figure is four in five. The construction boom in China tracks … Continue reading Cities that grow themselves

The Plan to Stop Every Respiratory Virus at Once

The benefits of ventilation reach far beyond the coronavirus. What if we stop taking colds and flus for granted, too? By Sarah Zhang When London vanquished cholera in the 19th century, it took not a vaccine, or a drug, but a sewage system. The city’s drinking water was intermingling with human waste, spreading bacteria in one deadly outbreak after another. A new comprehensive network of sewers separated the two. London never experienced a major cholera outbreak after 1866. All that was needed was 318 million bricks, 23 million cubic feet of concrete, and a major reengineering of the urban landscape. The … Continue reading The Plan to Stop Every Respiratory Virus at Once

20% of all deaths could be prevented if cities were better designed

Many of the models for healthy urban design, like the superblock city or the 15-minute city, are rooted in Western cultural ideals. Here’s why that’s a problem. BY TOLULLAH ONI AND RIZKA MAULIDA By 2050, it is projected that almost 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities, up from 55% today. The fastest urban growth is happening in Asia and Africa, which is also where we’re seeing a rapid rise in people suffering from, and dying of, heart disease. The impact of noncommunicable diseases on the world population’s health is growing. Noncommunicable diseases are those that are not directly transmissible from one person to … Continue reading 20% of all deaths could be prevented if cities were better designed

These architects believe communal living is the way of the future

Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN Picture a sunlit modern interior built from light wood, where private apartments open up into airy communal spaces. Residents organize their social activities and hobbies in groups, connecting over shared interests. They meet regularly to vote on community rules. If you are elderly or a new parent — or simply lonely — there is always someone around for support.This way of living may sound like an impossible utopia, but some are already experiencing its potential. “What We Share. A model for cohousing” is a concept for a housing project designed by founding architects Siv Helene … Continue reading These architects believe communal living is the way of the future

The skyscrapers of the future will be made of wood

By Rima Sabina Aouf Mic is celebrating Earth Day with an entire week of stories. Over the next few days we’ll be rolling out pieces on hyper-urban farming, the future of construction, the catastrophic environmental costs of the dreaded gender reveal, an optimistic imagining of a meat-free world, and much more. All of the stories will be cataloged here, along with the rest of our environmental coverage. If architecture in 2021 is any indication, future skyscrapers might have less in common with the Empire State Building than they do with the 1,300-year-old Hōryū-ji temple in Japan. Its five-story pagoda is one of the oldest standing wooden … Continue reading The skyscrapers of the future will be made of wood

“There are 360 degrees. Why stick to one?”: The real legacy of architect Zaha Hadid

Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid—aka the Queen of the Curve—fundamentally altered the contours of modern architecture and design. BY LAKSHMI PRIYA RAJENDRAN In the five years since Zaha Hadid’s passing, much has been written about the glorious and towering legacy the fabled British-Iraqi architect left behind. Thinking about what she started, though, is more instructive. Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Hadid—aka the Queen of the Curve—fundamentally altered the contours of modern architecture and design. She shattered gender stereotypes too by, in 2004, becoming the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize—the highest award in her field. As the world grapples with how to respond to the climate crisis, architecture … Continue reading “There are 360 degrees. Why stick to one?”: The real legacy of architect Zaha Hadid

3D PRINTED ARCHITECTURE THAT SHOW WHY THIS TREND IS THE FUTURE OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE!

BY SRISHTI MITRA   Nowadays almost everything is being 3D printed, so why should architecture be an exception? Many architectural firms are adopting 3D printing as their preferred technique to build structures. It’s a simple, efficient, and innovative technique that lowers the risks of errors, and also manages to save on time! 3D printing eradicates a lot of tedious steps during the construction process and simplifies it. It is being used to build homes, habitats on Mars, and even coral reef islands! The potential and possibilities of 3D printing in architecture are endless and mindblowing. We’ve curated a collection of 3D-printed structures … Continue reading 3D PRINTED ARCHITECTURE THAT SHOW WHY THIS TREND IS THE FUTURE OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE!

Architecture has a racist past. These artists radically reimagined it

A new MOMA exhibit explores architecture and Blackness. BY NATE BERG It’s no revelation that Black Americans have been underserved by architects and urban planners. Systemic racism pervades the built environment–from segregated communities and freeways built on top of Black neighborhoods to prejudiced housing practices and a lack of Black representation in the development process. It doesn’t help that just 11% of architects identify as a racial minority. The question is not how this happened, but what to do about it. Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America is a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that seeks to bring this question into new light. It focuses less … Continue reading Architecture has a racist past. These artists radically reimagined it

Arquitectura Libre

Photographer Adam Wiseman explores the fanciful freestyle structures that are built throughout rural Mexico without regard for building codes or classical ideas of beauty in architecture. Photographs by Adam Wiseman Essay by Erin Lee Mexico is notorious for the many ways by which rules can be bent or broken, where a high tolerance for disorder and lawlessness can offer as many opportunities as it does problems. Adam Wiseman’s exploration of what he calls ‘Arquitectura Libre’ (Free Architecture) in rural areas of Mexico shows the extent to which homeowners are freed from standardized practices, uniform building codes or even any kind of … Continue reading Arquitectura Libre

The case for … making low-tech 'dumb' cities instead of 'smart' ones

High-tech smart cities promise efficiency by monitoring everything from bins to bridges. But what if we ditched the data and embraced ancient technology instead? by Amy Fleming Ever since smartphones hooked us with their limitless possibilities and dopamine hits, mayors and city bureaucrats can’t get enough of the notion of smart-washing their cities. It makes them sound dynamic and attractive to business. What’s not to love about whizzkids streamlining your responsibilities for running services, optimising efficiency and keeping citizens safe into a bunch of fun apps? There’s no concrete definition of a smart city, but high-tech versions promise to use … Continue reading The case for … making low-tech 'dumb' cities instead of 'smart' ones