JFAK Peace Creek Villas. Chengdu, China

JFAK Peace Creek Villas. Chengdu, China

In a country known for massive housing blocks and residential environments that, as in many other cultures, rely on traditional architectural styles to attract the newly prosperous, John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK) has created something unique: a peaceful, human-scaled neighborhood of single family detached houses that are completely contemporary in form and materials.

As part of a larger development called Luxe Lakes, the architects and their clients took the calculated risk to reject Western-based traditional architecture in favor of an aesthetic and design solution that would combine China’s longstanding respect for Nature with their own particular embrace of an aspirational future. The end result is a new prototype for middle to upper class single family dwellings in China and beyond.

Working within a constructed landscape in Chengdu’s rapidly growing “suburbs” designed by two Los Angeles-based landscape designers, Fei Huang of Famous Gardens and Pamela Burton, JFAK created something unexpected. “We wanted to offer a new kind of experience,” says John Friedman, “something more organic and based in natural forms, even anthropomorphic at times.” The guiding concept was to create spaces that flow into one another with continuous forms that enclose and engage as well as open up to the outside. “Without trying to mimic the actual environments seen in traditional landscape painting, we aspired to create the same kind of floating, dreamlike quality that is expressed in those paintings,” says Friedman.

The clients hired JFAK based on the firm’s reputation for adventurous and original design. “The clients wanted us to design something not seen before,” says Friedman. “They gave us the freedom to explore – not just for the sake of doing something new, but rather to find a unique model that would resonate with how people might want to live in the new China.” Read the rest of this entry »

PIUMA - black aluminum, titanium, brass

PIUMA – black aluminum, titanium, brass

How do we reimagine a classic pen design? Ensso, a small Los Angeles-based studio step up to the task of refining the classic fountain pen and bringing it into the 21st Century. The result is a streamline design focused on the purity of the materials with the utmost attention to detail. PIUMA is a fountain pen precision-machined from solid titanium, brass, and aluminum.

The interchangeable nib system screws inside the pen grip and resides a couple of millimeters in to create a unibody appearance. The cap threads are wider and allow a fast opening and closing of the pen. In addition, a milimetric-rounded gap defines the connection between the cap and the body.

PIUMA borrows its name from the same Italian word, which means feather. It pays homage to the simplicity of the first pens made from bird feathers. It is a writing instrument to be used for a lifetime and enjoyed by generations – a combination of the highest manufacturing quality and timeless design.

For a limited time, PIUMA is exclusively available on Kickstarter.

PIUMA - black aluminum, titanium, brass

PIUMA – black aluminum, titanium, brass

PIUMA - brass, black aluminum, titanium

PIUMA – brass, black aluminum, titanium

101716 POSTER BENAKI WINTER 2016 final 3


Two Weeks starting the 12th of December until the 22nd of December.

ArchitectScripta is organizing an international workshop of Advanced Architectural Design, part of an ongoing academic research, which introduces participants into contemporary discussions of formal exploration in Architecture and Art, through technical attainment of design and production. The Precise Inaccuracy by ArchitectScripta is under the auspices of Benaki Museum, the Hellenic Institute of Architecture and the Athens School of fine Arts. It is an opportunity for architects, students of Architecture and Art, professionals designers and artists to join and exchange ideas.


The Workshop will run primarily using AutoDesk MAYA and Rhino GRASSHOPPER, including other fundamental software digital design tools.

1.The main aspiration of this workshop is to precisely develop a critical argument based on an individual research, which will translate into pure geometrical-formal exploration; the format will be an ongoing deskcrit symposium.

2. Rather than assignments, the research will be divided into stages, tactics and strategies.

3. The students will develop an expertise in a specific Topological territory; this territory will emerge for a hybrid between 4 main intellectual fields, from the following menu:


A. STRUCTURAL-RIGID.  A topological development of dynamics techniques, corrupting structure, prosthetic, rigid structural system with soft components – paradox.

B. SKIN-SURFACE-MASS. We will approach ideas of color, transparencies, reflections, refraction, textures, patterns, textile animals skin, surface effects, skin as mass, skin as volume, transparencies, opacities, corrugations.

C. GROUNDSCAPE. Efficiencies Plug into, dig in/out, scratch, stitch, seams, corrode, erode, articulate organization, heterotopia, dystopia.

D. MULTIPLICATION-REPETITION-ACCUMULATION.  Efficiencies calibration of systems, quantification of parts, behavioral mechanism efficiency, Defensive mechanisms, attacking methods, attaching.

The multiple level of experimentation will occur incrementally every week, but each segment will have a clear main topic of investigation, these are the reasons for the 4 legs sequence, so everybody can have the proper time for each aspect of the problem (intellectual, technical, abstract, physical, etc).


The workshop is a discourse based in the use of multi-layered techniques and production processes that allow for control over intelligent geometries, calibration of parts, and behavioral taxonomies, normalizing an innovative field of predictability. Our goal is to explore innovative, potential architectural expressions of the current discourse around form through technique elaboration, material intelligence, formal logic efficiencies and precision assemblies as an ultimate condition of design.

The workshop will develop and investigate the notion of proficient geometric variations at a level of complexity, so that questions towards geometrical effectiveness, accuracy and performance can begin to be understood in a contemporary setting.

Within this context, our work will turn into design and production; each student will operate within an expertise towards intuition by means of software and advancement of the discipline through a precise contemporary understanding of Architecture’s reliance on surface performance, unspecified systems, scale within the scale, mechanical parts and absurd precisions to expand its discourse. We will focus simultaneously in the attempt to negotiate the question of topology vs. typology, odd genus (Greek. γένος) and species within the condition of space and how fragmented surface state emerges through, constituting a potential assembly of parts and quantified normalities.

-> Apply at architectScripta

rendering Das Haus 2017 by Todd Bracher - courtesy of imm cologne

rendering Das Haus 2017 by Todd Bracher – courtesy of imm cologne

Das Haus” is created anew every year at imm cologne by another designer. They have already been from London, Venice, Copenhagen, Shanghai and Offenbach. Next year the American designer Todd Bracher will design the approximately 200-square metre area in the popular “Pure Editions” area in Hall 2.2: a walk-in, almost habitable, fully-fitted and furnished house.

Why do we live in a particular way and not differently? Why do our homes have corners? How many walls do we need to feel comfortable, and why do we prefer particular furniture? Questions like these drive Todd Bracher when he is developing his diverse spectrum of work, ranging from product design, brand innovation to design strategies. The design event at imm cologne provides him with the perfect platform to challenge the traditional notions of how one lives today. “Das Haus 2017” will offer visitors to the international interiors show exciting insights into a close convergence of living and life.

“The home is an elementary synthesis of needs and functions that is very precisely directed toward supporting the people who live inside it in their daily lives and their growth,” is how Bracher understands the concept of “Das Haus”. The holistic project combines architecture, interiors and product design. For his “Haus”, he will follow his classical approach to design rigorously: reducing complexity to its simplest elements and functions. “Why do we choose a particular lifestyle?” asks the 41-year-old and sets out his intentions: “We want to question our conception of what makes contemporary living by rethinking the principles that define the home and asking ourselves if they meet the requirements of the world today.”

Todd Bracher is considered one of the leading names in the American design scene. Born in New York in 1974 and the son of a carpenter, he graduated in Industrial Design from the city’s prestigious Pratt Institute. Between graduating and founding his own studio, he took a exciting journey through the different cultures and design traditions of the “Old World”. Optaining a masters in design at the Danish Design School in Copenhagen; working in Milan, Paris and London; serving as Professor of Design at l’ESAD in Reims, France, and Creative Director of the Danish luxury brand Georg Jensen before returning home to New York in 2007 and setting up his own studio. From his Brooklyn base, he collaborates with leading design brands from around the world, including Cappellini, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Humanscale, Issey Miyake, Swarovski, Zanotta and 3M.

“After Neri & Hu from China and the German designer Sebastian Herkner we do with Todd Bracher again a very wide step to the west,” said the creative director of the imm cologne Dick Spierenburg to the choice of Todd Bracher. “Surprisingly, we return therefore to our own design tradition, Todd knows firsthand. It shows the essential, without abstaining from an independent, aesthetic form. I expect a ‘Haus’, which is both: current and timeless and which provides a bridge between the US and Europe.”


rendering Das Haus 2017 by Todd Bracher – courtesy of imm cologne


Designed by Aedas, Shenzhen Luohu Friendship Trading Centre is a redevelopment of a current department store to be transfigured into a new skyscraper with a 7-storey retail podium at the heart of Luohu in Shenzhen, China. The design creates a vibrant and porous podium by staggering up various retail boxes in dynamic and organic forms in response to the bustling surroundings, delivering a new sustainable and iconic design for the city.

Architectural form drew inspiration from nature and imitates a beautiful Calla Lily. The curtain wall wraps around the tower and resembles the elegant petals as the translucent podium rooftop. The generous petal roof brings natural daylight deep into the open-air, multiple-plane retail arcade and induces air flow current for natural ventilation.

The architecture integrates well with abundant green spaces to provide a healthy ecological ground. It features landscaped public spaces and terraces in the podium with giant leaves to provide shadings for leisure and activities. Green balconies extend from the podium along one of the tower’s edges, creating a true urban oasis in heart of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Chongqing Xinhua Bookstore Group Jiefangbei Book City Mixed-use Project, Chongqing, China, by Aedas_01

Designed by Aedas, Chongqing Xinhua Bookstore Group Jiefangbei Book City Mixed-use Project is a dynamic complex that encompasses a sky cultural plaza, retails, apartments, offices and a boutique hotel in the Jiefangbei Central Business District, the heart of downtown Chongqing. Aedas draws design inspiration from an ancient Chinese prose ‘Knowledge brings wealth’ to integrate book with the cultural elements of Chongqing, creating an interactive commercial complex with Xinhua Bookstore sitting at the core of the podium.

The building unfolds stepping terraces in an elegant form of a rolling book scroll implying the spirit of wisdom and knowledge. The stepped architecture not only reveals the well known geographic beauty of Chongqing which is also named ‘Mountain City’, but also interacts with the surroundings and rejuvenates the city landscape. Read the rest of this entry »


inFORMation is interested in animating architecture with information through form. Enriching information within the architectural forms has the ability to enhance the user’s ability to engage with the space. Our proposal has a series of agents operating at different scales that communicate to each other as well as to the users through postural changes. Encoded in each character’s posture is a formalised provocation that the user observes and interprets in order to respond to. Our agents invite responsive behaviours through coordination of agent-to-agent actions in order to promote coordination and facilitate activity of users to the architectural environment as well as to the users themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


Fibro.City was designed by a team of architects: Aikaterini Papadimitriou (Greece) Esteban Castro (Costa Rica) Marcin Komar (Poland) and Yilin Yao (China) at The Bartlett, University College London, as part of the March Graduate Architectural Design, RC1. Fibro.City is a project based on fibrous formations on the architectural scale with the use of carbon fibres. The design, and the fabrication methods create a new language of expressing architecture, by having in mind structural elements and performance. Reconfiguring these parameters, high resolution results, unique and aesthetically advanced are being achieved and given the opportunity to explore and define the architectural future a chance to reconfigure the potentials of the materiality of the structure arise. The behaviour of our structure is being programmed and includes optimizing algorithmic configurations for the design itself and the structural ability of the project. Read the rest of this entry »


The conceptual design for Lexicon Shanghai is a theoretical exercise in thematic processes, an investigation into architectural language as a lexical device governed by thematic parameters and syntactical structures. The lexicon is rather a series of architectural devices and tectonics composed as an interface for a subject and object experiencer. These tectonics thread through an arrangement of digital art and light sculptures as a syntax of meaning and definition to the overarching architecture. The correlation between lexical properties and syntactic structures are modes of operation in which the architecture emerges. Meaning and experience are not limited by surface and material association; but when art and technology are introduced, the system of thematic structure becomes visible in its lexical and syntax relationship. The art work in the form of digital projection, light sculpture, and diverse mediums perform as aspectual properties, unlike the thematic tectonic shapes and form. They become interface entities; these entities are mediators between spaces and the architectural body. The subject experiencer correlates the differences in the art and tectonic expression, but the event in which these entities project are undefined allowing emergence in activity to develop and operate. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour

Emaar Properties, the global developer, today announced the successful completion of advanced wind tunnel tests to confirm the structural strength and durability of the iconic new tower in Dubai Creek Harbour, which will define a brand-new skyline for the city.

This marks another milestone in the development of The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava, and located in the heart of the 6 sq km master-planned community set by the historic Dubai Creek and only 10 minutes from the Dubai International Airport.

The smart city of the future is also next-door to the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention and home to over 67 species of water birds, thus defining a unique residential destination that offers unprecedented and long-term value.

Leveraging its unmatched expertise in high-rise development, Emaar Properties had commissioned a comprehensive array of never-before wind tunnel tests for The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, which will feature world-class observation decks, luxury accommodation and retail attractions. With wind being a major challenge in the development of high-rises, especially at very high altitudes, these tests are crucial in defining the final height and design aspects. Read the rest of this entry »