1. Brussels Sprouts
The city of Brussels was a pretty big deal in the late 19th century, and you can still visit many of the buildings designed by Art Nouveau architects Paul Hankar, Victor Horta, and Henry van de Velde. Brussels’ design renaissance has been in full swing for a number of years now, with the month-long “Brussels Design September” standing as its centerpiece. Over 100 events and exhibitions, spread out over 62 square miles, will bring together industrial artists, architects, interior designers, and craftspeople.
Learn more at designseptember.be.
2. Dallas Divided
If there isn’t an old riddle that starts “How do you walk from downtown Dallas to the Trinity River?” then there should be. The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System carved up many American cities in the 1950s and 1960s, but Dallas has yet to knit its city back together. Right now, if you want to walk from Dealey Plaza to wrangle some Trinity River catfish, it’s less than a mile; but unless you’re willing to jump off the Commerce Street viaduct, you’ll have a hard time getting to the riverbank on foot. The Connected City Design Challenge, an ideas competition sponsored, in part, by AIA Dallas and the Dallas Center for Architecture, aims to change all that by soliciting strategies for access, connectivity, and long-term livability.
Learn more at connectedcitydesign.com.
3. Art Parts
The Swiss architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (Le Corbusier to you) is known to have spent the first half of each day painting and the second half designing buildings, without fail, for the better part of his adult life. Forget about right-brain or left-brain dominance—lateral integration is an occupational requirement for architects. The Philadelphia Center for Architecture will explore that integration in “Art by Architects” (Sept. 2–27), an annual exhibit of painting, sculpture, and photography. Sales of the exhibited works support the center’s educational programming.
Learn more at philadelphiacfa.org.
4. Going Out West
Thirty years ago, the Monterey Design Conference (MDC) began with one simple objective: provide a forum for architects to get together in a directed, if informal, way to talk about design. It’s a simple format that may seem commonplace today, but MDC did it first and continues to do it best—a fact buoyed, in part, by its beachside location, the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif. MDC’s 2013 lineup, hosted by the AIA California Council, includes architects Marlon Blackwell, FAIA; Odile Decq; Marcio Kogan, Hon. FAIA; Kengo Kuma, Hon. FAIA; Jack MacAllister, FAIA; Thomas Phifer, FAIA; and Jennifer Yoos, AIA.
Learn more at aiacc.org.
5. Designs for Durban
The Union Internationale des Architects (UIA) calls for undergraduate and graduate students of architecture to submit design plans for Warwick Junction in Durban, South Africa—a major hub that hosts almost 500,000 people each day. Competition organizers are not just looking for static proposals, though—entrants are required to show the short-, medium-, and long-term impact on the historic transportation and market center that is just outside the city’s central business district.
Register by October 31 and learn more at uia2014durban.org.