Data defines the way we build and the way we design our cities and structures—at least if we want to build smart, says Roger Wood, founder of San Francisco-based Art+Data Institute. Wood, in conjunction with Ron Vinson, debut for Dwell the institute’s first-ever top-10 list of government and non-profit entities that best use data to drive design, showing how analyzing movements—whether of a city or an individual—can create the most interactive meshing of city or structure to our lives.
The factory-line model is out for student housing; in its place, thoughtful solutions for community living engender enthusiasm for higher education and respect for a greener future. As dorms from Buffalo to Seattle make the dean’s list in terms of sustainability—lighting and heating triggered by sensors, stormwater education, and recycled materials get prominent play—also expect passing marks as architects create non-institutional buildings with well-lit spaces, open community quarters, room-size choices, built-in technology, flexible uses, and thoughtful indoor-outdoor relationships. Here, we collect three shining examples.
In an effort to reinvent retail space and foster a community connection, athletic brand Nike started unveiling Nike Stadium locations in 2010. The locations in New York, Berlin, London, Milan, Tokyo and Paris “refresh” every few months, offering a mix of space for live performances and art exhibits, as well as a platform to increase retail awareness (Nike will, of course, find a way to push products). The ever-evolving locations provide an adaptive presentation space for design, architecture, and retail marketing.
Certainly you could opt for a postcard of your favorite city’s key landmarks, but that doesn’t tell you all that much about the city’s culture does it? For a graphical element that speaks to the individuality of each city, all while depicting the landmarks that define it, mail those postcards and instead study a transit map. Some iconic, others unheralded, a transit map offers visitors a fingertip guide to the chaos of a city and arranges it in a way that holds true to the roots of the city.
Whether using a geographical framework (i.e. New York) or a schematic design (known as a diagram and used by most American cities), cities often swirl those ideas together, bending train lines and inserting key landmarks to help tell the story of both transit stations and cultural interest.
Street furniture already catches the eye of denizens eyeing a resting spot, but in select cities it also has people marveling at their good looks. Designers from all over the world are adding flavor—with a healthy dose of colorful whimsy—to otherwise gray streets with these seats, benches, planters, and the like, but what makes these pieces even better is that tourists and locals alike actually use them, demonstrating that good modern design puts function at the heart of creation. Whether custom-designed or off-the-shelf, we break down a list of some of the coolest pieces on streets and boardwalks right now.
When Seattle’s fire stations needed an overhaul, the city selected local architects to give these ultimate live/work spaces a modern-minded update.
Seattle, Washington, firefighters don’t need to bunk next to their trucks anymore. Thirteen architecture firms so far have been hired as part of a $300 million program to upgrade all 32 neighborhood stations by 2015 (20 substantial renovations and 12 new constructions), and each proposed a sustainable new style of fire-station living.