Courtesy of Art Basel neugerriemschneider

Art Basel Hong Kong
After three years of virtual events, Art Basel Hong Kong has made an in-personcomeback for its 2023 edition. The contemporary art fair—which took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center from March 23 to March 25—marked the first time Art Basel provided on-site space for local universities to participate in the festivities. The event featured 177 galleries from 32 countries and territories. [New York Times]

Iconic Table Design

The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity, a nonprofit public charity that shares the lessons of Ray and Charles Eames with the world, has revealed its latest exhibition entitled "Tables, Tables, Tables." The virtual collection, which is the institutes seventh, allows online visitors to explore the design duo’s legacy through the lens of household staples: tables. The exhibit will also delve into the backstories behind the Eamses' iconic designs and prototypes. [Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity]

African Representation in Architecture

Lesley Lokko
courtesy Venice Architecture Biennale Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko, architect, professor, and curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, says Africa is a place of protean imagination and creation. “It’s a fact that Africa stands for something that comes from outside,” Lokko told The Guardian. “But Africans share something that is 100% there. There is a sense, particularly among the young, that the time has come to define that something on their own terms. There is a sense that it is our time.” More than half of this year’s Biennale participants will be of African descent. Last year, out of the 58 countries in attendance, nine were from the African continent. [The Guardian]

K-12 Architecture and Mass Shootings

Architectural sketch for a school redesign by TowerPinkster showing the building’s compartmentalization and fire doors that can be used to isolate potential threats.
Architectural sketch for a school redesign by TowerPinkster showing the building’s compartmentalization and fire doors that can be used to isolate potential threats.

Many schools across the United States, according to an NPR article, are redesigning their facilities in an effort tohelp students and staff during active shooter events. Some schools have installed metal detectors at entrances while others have decided to rethink the building’s architecture. For example, Fruitport High School in Michigan features curved hallways and small nooks for students to hide in during a mass shooting event.

Michigan-based firm TowerPinkster, which completes about $500 million worth of K-12 projects each year, refers to the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association's In Schoolsguidebook—a resource for K-12 educators and designers with methods for improving school safety—when working on its education projects. "When a community makes a significant investment, that's one of the top things they're asking for is, you know, 'we want our $50 million new project, whether it's a new school or an additional renovation or something, be safe to be the safest it can be today.' So that's usually a top concern," said Matt Slagle, AIA, the director of K-12 education at TowerPinkster, in an interview with NPR. [NPR]

Reducing Light Pollution

Anterovium/Adobe Stock

ARCHITECT columnist Blaine Brownell, FAIA, discusses the impact excessive light pollution has on the health of ecosystems. “Entire ecologies are at risk,” he writes in his latest. “Reestablishing nighttime darkness should therefore be a fundamental goal for the modification and design of the future built environment. After all, life on this planet—and ultimately of our own species—depends on it.” [ARCHITECT]

3D-Printed Building Materials

Mighty Buildings 3D-printing materials for new homes.
Courtesy Mighty Buildings Mighty Buildings 3D-printing materials for new homes.

Mighty Buildings, a 3D-printing construction technology company headquartered in Oakland, Calif., will open a factory in Mexico that will combine 3D-printing, material science, and robotics to help it build carbon-neutral residences in California . The company will produce a proprietary 3D-printed stone material that is up to 30% lighter than traditional concrete, yet five times stronger.

“This illustrates the significant benefits and cost efficiencies of continuous production of prefab components in a factory versus 3D-printing components directly at a construction site,” stated the company in an interview with Builder. [Builder]

Lego Art by Ai Weiwei

"Water Lillies #1" by Ai Weiwei
Courtesy of Design Museum "Water Lillies #1" by Ai Weiwei

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s first solo show in eight years is on display at London’s Design Museum. Entitled Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, the exhibition features a headlining piece called "Water Lillies #1" that measures 50-foot-long and uses 650,000 Lego parts. The artwork is the artist’s recreation ofthe famous triptych, "Water Lillies," painted by Claude Monet—the famed French Impressionist painter—between 1914 and 1926. [Smithsonian Magazine]

Limiting Air Pollution

Adobe Stock / olando

New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that lowering the amount of outdoor fine particulate matter—such as dirt, dust, and smoke—by four micrograms per cubic meter of air in urban and rural areas could reduce the mortality rate of higher-income Black and lower-income Black and white adults—by 6% to 7%. About 4% of higher-income white adults might also benefit from limiting air pollution in this manner. “We need to look at the intersection of race and socioeconomic status to really understand how structural racism, differences in access to health care, and economic disparity play a role,” said Francesca Dominici in an interview with the New York Times, a biostatistics professor at Harvard and senior author on the study.

According to NYT, these new findings may help sway the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to toughen its stance on lowering limits of contaminants in the air including soot—from sources such as construction sites, diesel trucks, and power plants—and wildfire smoke. [New York Times]

Robotics Automation
The National Science Foundation, a non-governmental agency devoted that supports science and engineering research,has awarded Florida International University in Maimi a grant to create a virtual reality gaming platform that will help train AEC students and professionals in robotics automation. A team of researchers, scientists, and professors from three universities—including FIU, University of California-Irvine, and University of Missouri-Kansas City—will use artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies in the platformto guide users through lessons on how to use industrial robots in their industries. [FIU News]

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