Sustainable lessons from ‘The Art of Earth Architecture’

The city of Yazd is nestled deep in the desert in Iran’s central plain. This world heritage site is home to a mighty collection of domes – structures made entirely from local raw earth bricks and covered in kah-gel, a protective layering of earth and straw. They are intersected with ingenious wind towers too – early air-cons sending cool air into homes. Then, a clever network of wells and underground water channels, known as quanat,... Read More

Flexi Pix City learns from self-driving cars

We are at a really critical time in history – more than 70% of the world’s population is migrating to cities over the next 30 years, and technology is completely altering our reality. We have to rethink how we live, work, interact, consume … I see this as a hugely exciting time. And there are some very exciting innovators and thinkers and designers working on highly progressive concepts. Here’s the latest one I came across  Read More

Clean, green and urban: Zbee is a progressive electric auto-rickshaw

With the climate in crisis, a wave of progressive designers and makers are rethinking the traditional transport model with some brilliant and exciting ideas. Meet the latest, the three-wheel Zbee urban shared run-around by Clean Motion. Take a closer look at this global initiative from Sweden.  Read More

Hot to Cold: an odyssey of architectural adaptation

More than sixty three-dimensional architectural models, mock-ups and prototypes by Danish architect BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group dramatically suspend from the second-floor of the National Building Museum’s historic Great Hall. Hot to Cold: an odyssey of architectural adaptation guides visitors on quite a journey, from the scorching heat of the Arabian desert to the unforgiving chill of the Finnish tundra. The idea is to explore the cultural and climatic... Read More

Vertical cities and urban villages

Can the car be more than a vehicle that takes you from A to B? This has been a subject much discussed in recent years. I remember talking endlessly with Chris Bangle, the former design boss at BMW, on this very subject – something that has been at the core of his design thinking (remember GINA?) – at a time when few car companies dared or even cared to venture into anything that signified a real change from the conventional automobile. There... Read More

Home in the Arab world

The private space is seldom a major topic for an international exhibition, especially one that focuses on the Arab world. ‘Home: Contemporary Architectural Interpretations of the Home in the Arab World’ has set out to do just this. This intriguing exhibition, intimately curated at the Mosaic Rooms in London, explores the domestic architectural space in the context of the Middle East and North Africa and by doing so raises all sorts of intriguing... Read More

Jurgen Mayer on urban mobility

A year ago carmaker Audi challenged a group of world architects to map out some feasible solutions for mobility within the future urban environment. They were asked to conceive of a cityscape for 2030 where urban planning, building design, wireless digital technology and vehicle design work together for sustainable mobility. The result of the Audi Urban Future Awards was fascinating at times, confused and a little naive at other times, but on the... Read More

Second chance for forgotten spaces

How do you make use of forgotten sites in cities? This was the question raised by the Royal Institute of British Architects in its recent competition Forgotten Spaces where it challenged architects, designers, artists and students to find alternative uses for overlooked spaces in London and Sheffield. #gallery-4 { margin: auto; } #gallery-4 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width:... Read More