Building Community – Summer Masterclass 2014 – GEHL Architects

This is the second summer that Gehl Architects has hosted the ‘Tools for Change’ masterclass in our Copenhagen office. Having just completed the two day session, we are once again astonished by the breadth of international participants. In 2013 we were joined by professionals from 11 countries, this year that number has increased to 13…


Local pop-up shop for the homeless goes global

How to get the “haves” and “have-nots” together to share from


From China to Cape Town, Brussels to Bangladesh, Florida to France, Mexico to Melbourne, the concept of The Street Store – the world’s first pop-up clothing store for the homeless – has gone viral both online and in the real world as it’s captured the imagination of people worldwide.
To date more than 263 people from around the globe have signed up to host the street store in their community, and the open source material has so far been translated into nine languages.
A Street Store which was set up for the homeless in Spain

As the Street Store concept rolls out globally, picking up momentum, kudos has not gone unnoticed at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival. The agency behind the concept – M&C Saatchi Abel – was awarded a prestigious Gold Lion in the design category, a bronze in the media category, with six other shortlists, including the Grand Prix for Good Award.

Conceptualised and piloted in the Mother City

The idea was conceptualised and piloted in Cape Town by Kayli Levitan and Maximilian Pazak from M&C Saatchi Abel. The young copywriter and art director team brainstormed for months to find a way to bring the giver and the receiver together on the streets they share on behalf of The Haven Night Shelter.
The Street Store was created for The Haven Night Shelter, Cape Town’s largest network of centres for the homeless. Their vision is that no-one should have to sleep on the streets if the appropriate supportive structures are put into place by communities, government and organisations. Their mission is ‘to get the homeless home’ by empowering them to return to a sustainable life. Without presentable clothing there is little chance of them getting employment and The Haven relies heavily on donations. As with many charities, the supply and need don’t often match, which is where the creative team’s challenge came in.

Together, agency and client identified that the shelter really needed a powerful series of call to action projects that simplifies donation, while offering the receiver a dignified experience. “More importantly, we wanted both sides of society to own the process and see it through. This meant merging two totally disparate worlds in a positive and empowering way,” says Levitan.

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rod hunt illustrates 10 ikea families + their homes for russian campaign – designboom | architecture & design magazine

ondon-based artist rod hunt has drawn a huge illustration of ten different families & their apartments for the latest russian campaign for IKEA.


This is how Ikea sees rich Russians becoming urbanised western consumers and rolling the loot back to their tax free havens!

Building a Smart City modelling team

While I appreciate the inclusion of the environmental planning expert (# 4), it seems to me that the urban planner /architect (#8) as leader of this panel, with their focus on the built environment, is a simplification of the skills set necessary to asses the complexity of the urban environment and its relationship to the wider urban/rural matrix of which it is an integral part. I would sugest that a landscape architect/urban planner would make better generalist to chair this panel.

The power of the network

Integrated Urban Model


Cities planning their future are increasingly turning to the production of Integrated Urban Models. These are tools that bring together various datasets on different asoects of urban performance, from the behaviour of people to the flows of energy, water and other utilities. The aim is to better predict the future of cities by better understanding how they are currently working.

This is a nascent but rapidly developing field in which knowledge is emerging and evolving at a pace. Given the complexity of cities it is a good idea to involve many specialists in different subjects, led by an Urban Modelling Advisory Panel (UrbanMAP).  I suggest the UrbanMAP, like any good team, is made up of 11 people, comprising:

1.    a transport technologist with expertise in walk/bike as well as road/transit

2.    an infrastructure engineer with utilities capacity expertise

3.    a real estate economist with expertise in locational analytics/spatial…

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Erdem Architects of Turkey win the international La Spezia Arsenale 2062 competition

After launching in 2012, the La Spezia Arsenale 2062 competition finally revealed the winning entries. First built in 1857 by Napoleon and after it was destroyed during World War II, La Spezia Arsenale in the city of La Spezia, Italy hosted warships before it gradually became neglected. …


Drawing and scale merge to create a winning  impresion of this development – a nice change from the photoshop regimen of the large landscape & urban design firms usually seen in competition boards