Is Architecture a Form of Resistance?

This year's Pritzker Prize--the Nobel of the architecture world--has gone to a Chinese architect who delights in re-using material from failed government housing projects. 

What's the Latest Development?

This year's Pritzker Prize--the Nobel of the architecture world--was awarded on May 25 to Chinese architect Wang Shu. In choosing Shu, the Pritzker jury recognized an emerging aesthetic instead of honoring a long-established starchitect like Norman Foster or Richard Meier (both past winners). "The question posed by Wang’s Pritzker selection could be articulated like this: If you provide a particularly humane or humanist built environment within the context of occasionally inhumane political or economic conditions, to what extent are you reinforcing or resisting those conditions?"

What's the Big Idea?

The Pritzker jury, to some, raised the question of whether it is possible to be a dissident architect. In Shu's construction of the Xiangshan University campus, he used some two million tiles reclaimed from demolished traditional houses, requiring the collaboration of construction workers more familiar with these materials. Still, qualities like mobility and spontaneity--two important characteristics for any would-be dissident--are difficult to achieve given that structures tend be fixed in one place and that building plans require long approval and construction processes (and can be destroyed overnight). 

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (Ningbo History Museum by Wang Shu)

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less