The Power of Energy Efficient Renovations: Why Building Upgrades Are Key to Fighting Climate Change

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Renovations are not only a popular way to update and modernize homes, offices, and other structures but also a critical component in reducing carbon emissions and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The existing building stock is responsible for a significant portion of global carbon emissions, with energy inefficient buildings being a major contributor.

How Has Modern Architecture Transformed the Farmhouse Style?

Some would say it's the fresh air, peace and quiet, and some the constant closeness to nature; nonetheless, we all agree there’s something unique about the countryside. As you step inside a farmhouse, all of these qualities can be reflected through the lense of contemporary interior design, creating a welcoming, light and calm ambiance. Known for their place in rural or agricultural settings and designed for farm living, traditional 1700’s farm houses –also known as “folk” houses– were initially influenced by their geographical conditions, enhancing the relationship with the environment. While conserving traditional approaches such as simple floor-plans, gabled roofs and large porches, farmhouse aesthetics have gone through transformations to adapt to contemporary ways of living. By reusing and using traditional rural architecture as a direct reference, we analyze how current projects follow its singular design strategies: noble materials, spaces connected to the environment, and simple and functional spaces with unique details.

Take Off Your Shoes: 5 Floors to Experience Barefoot

The skin absorbs matter, and the world is contemplated, touched, heard, and measured through our bodily existence. Juhani Pallasmaa, a Finnish architect known for propagating sensory architecture, defends the notion that, unlike vision, touch is the sense of proximity, becoming a main axis by covering the entire body. It is a fact that, when speaking of touch, the first image that comes to mind is usually contact with hands. However, there are other ways to feel architecture that can be developed in projects, such as the touch of bare feet on a particular surface.

From Disposability to Durability: A New Life for Timeless Design Objects

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By operating in closed cycles, circular design goes beyond the traditional linear concept of "extracting, producing, consuming and discarding", and seeks to create more sustainable and efficient systems throughout the life cycle of a product. Through the principles of reduction, reuse, recycling and regeneration, it can minimize the environmental impact of a product from the very first stages of its life: with the choice of more sustainable, durable materials; by minimizing waste during production; by promoting reuse and repair during its use; and at the disposal phase, with the efficient recycling of materials that can be reintroduced to the production chain. The adoption of circular design has gained strength in the industry, but despite the many advances and initiatives, it is still rare to see concrete examples of its implementation.

Applying Exposed Cork in Interior Architecture

How can we transport ourselves to natural environments when we are in completely urban situations? The materiality of our surroundings is an important factor that determines the atmosphere we inhabit. In many cases, the use of natural materials in interior architecture can help evoke nature in our daily spaces. In this article, we will specifically analyze the effect that cork has as a special resource in the design of interior spaces. Cork is the bark of a tree species called cork oak. When extracted from the tree, it is transformed into a useful raw product and can be applied to a variety of different uses.

360-degree Cameras for Realistic Architectural Documentation

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While most architectural critics and theorists agree that architecture can only really be learned on site –by experiencing its volumes, textures, sounds and smells– hardly anyone would have the time and resources to see all the projects they would like to in person. Ways of documenting a building or a city have aroused the curiosity of painters, photographers and artists throughout history. From the traditional classical portrait with perfectly adjusted proportions to disruptive forms such as Michael Wesely's long exposure images, Heinz Emigholz's experimental film set, or Tuca Vieira's Photographic Atlas of the city of São Paulo, there are myriad ways to portray the built environment. 360° cameras bring yet another set of possibilities to documenting architecture and urban scenes. We spoke to Romullo Fontenelle, architect and architectural photographer, who tested the new RICOH THETA X 360° camera and provided an account of how this technology can improve the efficiency and precision of his design processes.

Fighting Slavery and Child Labor in Architecture: An Interview with Sharon Prince

Dismantling the system of slave and child labor in the architecture and construction industry does not seem like a simple task, especially on a global scale. However, this is precisely the mission of the Design for Freedom (DFF) initiative, created by CEO and founder of the Grace Farms Foundation, Sharon Prince, along with Bill Menking, professor and editor-in-chief of The Architect's Newspaper.

Vertical Boldness: Transforming Access Doors Into Works of Art

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Verticality in architecture conveys aesthetic, symbolic and cultural meanings, representing concepts such as elegance, sophistication, modernity, progress and technological advancement. In religious buildings, for example, it symbolizes greatness and a connection with the divine. These strategies are very common in Gothic architecture, as well as Art déco buildings or even the skyscrapers of Mies van der Rohe. But these elements need not be restricted to grandiose constructions. Even in single-family homes, working with elements that refer to verticality can be just as useful, playing with volumes and facades or working with openings, such as windows and doors.

The House as Skin: Bringing Hundertwasser Into the 21st Century

"I am tolerant. But I revolt. I accuse. It is my obligation. I am alone. Behind me there's no dictatorship, no party, no group, nor any mafia — neither a collective intellectual scheme nor an ideology. The green revolution is not a political revolution. The base sustains it and is neither minority nor elitist. It is a creative evolution in harmony with nature and the universe's organic course."

Disruptive Materials and Finishes for Future Home Interiors

How are contemporary homes pushing the boundaries of innovation for the future? Currently, these spaces tend towards clean lines, neutral colors and flexible spaces, with the integration of technological features and automation. But even though there are certain timeless features that define neutral contemporary interiors, we can begin to identify future trends by analyzing architectural projects that differ from the traditional, recognizing disruptive interior materials and finishes guided by technological advances that are shaping complex and changing homes of the future. The selection of these innovative materials conveys a meticulous decision process in building the structure and identity of a space. Depending on the context and typology of a space, there is a growing awareness of how materials impact an environment, and how new technologies are creating smart solutions that can mitigate their effects indoors.

Heating Outdoor Areas Without Compromising on Visual Appeal

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Outdoor dining and activities have gained increasing appreciation in recent years. We value the sense of freedom and adventure, and the possibility of socialization that they provide, as well as the connection with nature. As a result, outdoor spaces are becoming more popular in residential and commercial designs, as new features made specifically for these types of spaces can enhance the comfort and well-being of occupants. This is because when dealing with nature there can be a variety of inconveniences related to weather, such as wind, rain, or cold temperatures. In order to properly enjoy these areas all year-round, solutions can usually include outdoor heating. However, typical heaters tend to have clumsy and old-fashioned designs, detracting from the careful design of the rest of the environment.

Achieving Maximum Flexibility (and Style) with Frameless Pocket Doors

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In an ideal world, doors could seamlessly disappear and reappear, creating connections and barriers when needed to provide the ultimate flexibility. Domestic interiors increasingly combine work and leisure, requiring both conviviality and solitude, and the same is true of workspaces, which increasingly feature adaptable ways to link different zones and activities. Tried and tested spatial concepts such as open plan or many small, cellular rooms are no longer sufficient as, on their own, they do not provide real flexibility and adaptability.

Wallpapers, Woods and Rugs: The Three Inkiostro Bianco Material Worlds

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When looking for inspiration for one’s home, the search for and observation of beauty in the surrounding world is often what fuels creative passion and gives rise to the desire to create something equally beautiful. It is essential, in these cases, to find designs that make homeowners feel at ease in their home environment, which is where Inkiostro Bianco comes in.

Improving Acoustics in Shared Spaces with Sound Absorbing Materials

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Acoustical comfort is a critical element of interior design that should never be neglected, especially in shared spaces such as restaurants, convention centers, museums, sports halls, and many others. Good acoustics can contribute to the occupants' well-being and productivity, while poor acoustics can lead to stress, fatigue, and even hearing damage. This can occur due to external noise, from various sound sources, or impacts (such as footsteps, jumping or moving furniture), but also due to the reflection of sound waves inside the environment, generating echoes and reverberations and reducing the intelligibility of speech in space.

Infinite Combinations: Bathroom Moodboards for Inspiration

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Impressionist artists used the effect of "Optical Mixing" to create the illusion of color. By using short, separate brushstrokes of pure tones directly onto the canvas, the colors visually blended together as the observers moved away from the painting. For example, when painting a body of water, Claude Monet might have applied strokes of pure blue to represent the shadow areas and strokes of yellow to represent the light areas, which created the illusion of a green color, even though the painter had not actually added that particular hue to the canvas. In other words, each brushstroke has its own specific role in a painting, but also works for the whole image that is being created, through a careful choice of the elements present in the artist's palette.