5 places of learning on innovations in the built world

A newsletter on how architecture and the environment affect who we are that by me.

Starting off, I wanted to share 5 things in the forefront of the architecture & design world that I found worth sharing, all from which I’ve learned a ton —

01 SPACE10

SPACE10 is a research and design lab by IKEA exploring the future of living in ways that are sustainable and positively impact people and the planet.

They collaborated with Anton & Irene to launch One Shared House 2030, an online survey that seeks to understand the future of shared living by asking how people would like to live together in the form of a housing application to a hypothetical coliving space opening in 2030. After 14,000+ responses of people from 147 countries, here are the results. For more on this topic, listen to this podcast!

They've also created a series of conceptual products designed to improve health and wellbeing in city environments, as well as monitor and reduce energy consumption. The innovation lab itself is also decorated with "hacked IKEA furniture" (Dezeen article).

02 Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Labs is Alphabet Inc.'s cities-of-the-future arm. Its goal is to improve urban infrastructure through technological solutions, and tackle issues such as cost of living, efficient transportation and energy usage.

While its Toronto Quayside Project has unfortunately been discontinued recently, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP) raised a Series A funding round of $400 million from Alphabet and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

Relevant essay by Marc Andreessen 'Time to Build' on the rebuilding of physical and social infrastructure.

They also have a City of the Future Podcast that explores innovations that will transform cities.

03 Dansk Arkitektur Center

Danish Architecture Center (DAC) is Denmark’s national center for architecture showcasing exhibitions focusing on city development and architectural wonders.

The building in itself is a futuristic masterpiece, known as BLOX located in the historic center of Copenhagen. It is where everything in a city comes together in one building — a building where you can cycle through, live, work, and eat — "a little city within a city". The idea is that by putting functions that often happen separately together, everybody will see each other more, making it a social place. Here is a podcast on BLOX.

04 Biennale Architettura de Venezia

The biennial Venice Biennale of Architecture is an International exhibition held on even years in Venice, Italy, where architectural innovations and ideologies from nations around the world is presented in individual pavilions. The exhibition showcases architectural solutions to contemporary societal, humanistic, and technological issues.

The stories told in these pavilions suffice as an education in world issues and humanity, told through the lenses of architecture. The Saudi pavilion in 2018, for example explored five decades of rapid urbanization beyond social changes. The US pavilion depicted the political border between Mexico and the United States crossing watersheds, indigenous lands, ecological corridors, and migratory patterns to argue that the border represents an area of commonality and cooperative opportunity rather than political division.

05 BIG

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is a Copenhagen and New York based group of architects and designers with projects spanning across different verticals of architecture, urbanism, research and development. Founding Partner Bjarke Ingels, the most inspirational architect of our time in my opinion, values integrating the idea of "play" within architecture, a philosophy combining the pragmatic and utopia.

They are working on projects that have the potential to shape the future of our built world, including Manhattan's Big U that will protect the island from floodwater and storms, Virgin Hyperloop One on the future of mobility and transportation, and innovatives parks like Superkilen that enriches our everyday.

This is probably a better organized website than big.dk to read more on BIG.

Also, loved this TED Talk by Bjarke Ingels.

This list is put together by me, Coco, a designtrepreneur that loves innovations in the architecture and built space.

Let’s be friends. DM @cocobliu