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How to Redesign an Urban Landscape With Nothing More than Paint
Architect Marc Kushner explains how the goals of architecture and design vary between locations and contexts.
Marc Kushner, AIA, is co-founder of the architecture firm HollwichKushner (HWKN) and CEO of Architizer.com - the largest platform for architecture online. Both as a practicing architect and in his role at Architizer, Marc is focused on making architecture more relevant and accessible. He is the author of the book The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings.
Prior to co-founding HWKN and Architizer, Marc graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and spent time working at J Mayer H Architects in Berlin and Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis in New York. Marc has taught architecture at Columbia University and Parsons. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Interior Design, New York and many other publications. He and his partner Matthias Hollwich are the recipients of the 2012 MoMA PS1 Young Architect Program.
Marc Kushner: The way we design houses in different places makes for different solutions. So when you think about a house that's going to be built in, say, suburban Houston, there are different inputs and different requirements than if you're building something in, say, an industrializing nation. Architects have to deal with that and therefore come up with very different solutions for the two inhabitants. When you're dealing with building something in the United States in the suburbs, you're thinking about, "How are we going to create a house that engages with nature? How are we going to create a house that uses less electricity instead of more electricity and that is thermally insulated so we're not bleeding heat all over the place? How are we going to make a happy space without taking up 8,000 square feet, but rather build it in 2,500 square feet?"
So, it really becomes a problem of excess and dealing with excess in the developed world. It's a different equation when you're thinking about the developing world. Frequently there's a history and a tradition of people getting in there and doing it themselves. So when you think about the favelas that grew outside of cities like Rio, that's people realizing we don't have anywhere to live; we're just going to go and start to jerry-rig solutions and occupy spaces that otherwise weren't occupied by the city. That leads to other architectural questions about how do we make those stable so that even though they're jerry-rigged, they're safe in case of storms or earthquakes.
And then how do we take what's this very naturally occurring ecosystem, this social ecosystem really tightly woven interactions in these densely packed places; how do we make sure architecture doesn't destroy that, but rather enhances it? So how do we start to add public spaces to a space that was only built out of necessity? Where do parks go? Where do people go see a show or hang out? And how do you do that safely and economically?
The Favela Painting Project by Haas and Hahn is an amazing example of using just paint to create an entirely different urban context. So the favela is these individual pieces. I built a house; I built a house; I built a house — built without regard for law or for zoning statutes. What Haas and Hahn did is come in and take these individual pieces and turn it into one single, iconic form and they just used paint to do that. That creates a different sense of place, a different icon for the city at large and a sense of pride for the people who live there. You can point to that; you can take pictures of that and say that's mine; that belongs to my community. It's an amazingly innovative project.
The goals of architecture and design vary among different locations and contexts. As architect Marc Kushner explains, designing in the developing world is very different from building houses in the American suburbs. When tasked with reinforcing structures like the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, how far can architects go without threatening the existing vibrancy of the local social ecosystem? In this video, Kushner explains how the Favela Painting Project by Haas and Hahn manages to reinvent the social context with little more than paint.
Kushner's new TED book is titled The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings.
Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!
Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".