Summary of “These Architects Are Using Video Games to Rethink Modern Living”

Tasked with designing something without precedent, principal landscape architect David Fletcher, 50, approached the design like he does most projects now: by using video-game development software.
Fletcher’s preference for designing in a game engine, as the software is called, was cultivated two years ago when he worked on “The Witness,” an “Open world” role-playing video game.
The opportunity to design the landscape for “The Witness” was a dream come true for Fletcher, who’s played video games since childhood.
The video game “The Witness” takes place on this island, which was designed over the course of several years by a team of architects, including David Fletcher.
The architects were able to experience the park from their office computers by walking through their virtual designs and judging from the ground whether they worked or not.
“We don’t design two-dimensionally; we always design three-dimensionally,” he says.
Fletcher made a rare choice, but how rare is hard to say; neither video game companies nor professional organizations like the American Institute of Architects keep records of how many architects have similar experiences to Fletcher.
“It’s more of a design tool.” Similar to the blank slate Fletcher faced as he began designing “The Witness,” Minecraft gives players a blank slate every time they decide to build something new, which works for Delaney, who has always loved building things.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Is Why Your Startup Will Fail”

Your startup idea probably won’t work any better than my friends’ efforts to replicate the Crackman back then.
The way most people think about startup ideas is fundamentally wrong.
Founders working on whisper ideas never think the risk is in the idea.
The Idea Hourglass Is Your Friend I visualize every startup idea as an hourglass filled with sand.
The goal of your startup idea is to maximize your initial portion of sand.
You aren’t picking an idea you need to execute fast, you’re picking an idea that allows you to build slow.
The startup idea you pursue should be one you’ve been unconsciously preparing for your whole life.
If you ever find yourself sitting in a coffeeshop, quietly pitching your startup idea while side-eyeing everyone else within earshot-stop.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Berlin Brandenburg: The airport with half a million faults”

This is Berlin Brandenburg or BER, the new, state-of-the-art international airport built to mark reunified Germany’s re-emergence as a global destination.
What has gone so wrong in a place supposed to be the capital of efficient engineering? Listen to Chris Bowlby’s report The Berlin Airport Fiasco.
Most disruptive of all were decisions to change the size and content of the new airport – while it was being built.
Joel Dullroy, a Berlin-based journalist with Radio Spaetkauf, who produced a podcast telling this airport’s story, says Mr Gerkan wrote disdainfully about passengers “Dragging around unwanted bottles of whisky like a beggar” and wanted to have as few airport shops as possible.
The politicians supervising the airport – especially Berlin’s then-mayor, the extrovert Klaus Wowereit – hated the idea of scaling things down.
As low-cost carriers became increasingly influential, the airport had to add new sections to accommodate them.
There were some who believed – as the scale of the problems emerged – that it would be best to abandon the new airport altogether and start again from scratch.
Philipp Messinger and Bastian Ignaszewski have invented a board game based on the Berlin airport disaster.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Green New Deal will transform the building industry”

How the Green New Deal will transform the building industry.
These are questions that Gunn-Wright is addressing in her role as policy director at New Consensus, the nonprofit that is now working to develop the Green New Deal.
In this sense, the Green New Deal offers policymakers a rare, once-in-a-generation chance to rethink housing in America-to revive a conversation that was snuffed out, slowly but surely, over decades of defunding and disinvestment that began not long after the New Deal ended.
Could some of those New Deal-era agencies be reborn as tools for leading the projects of the Green New Deal? It’s an idea that Billy Fleming, director of the Ian L. McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design, explores in a recent essay in Places.
The Green New Deal is “The biggest design idea in a century,” he wrote at the time, concluding, “Whatever form the Green New Deal eventually takes, it will be realized and understood through buildings, landscapes, and other public works.”
Achieving the sweeping design and building projects that the Green New Deal calls for will also require a reconsideration of the labor force, and how to support it.
One of the ways the building industry could help energize and support good labor under the Green New Deal is through the building retrofit program it may spur.
“This Green New Deal is a similar idea to the Works Progress Administration,” he adds, “Giving more people jobs in a local capacity to address their own micro-climate change issues-whether it’s flooding or drought.” Dig Co-op’s work, which specializes in sustainable water management, landscaping, and green construction, is informed by permaculture, a design ideology that places the emphasis on buildings as part of a larger natural ecosystem and the builder as part of a larger community.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Case for Making Cities Out of Wood”

An Alphabet subsidiary is planning to build a futuristic neighborhood, not out of concrete and steel, but wood-and wood is looking good.
Quayside’s newsworthy for another, more encouraging reason: The plan is to build the place, not out of concrete and steel, but wood-and wood is looking good.
A recent advance in wood technology should interest the neighborhood’s developers: Teng Li, a University of Maryland mechanical engineer, created with his colleagues wood that’s as “Strong as steel, but six times lighter,” he said.
The scientists first boiled natural wood in a mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite, to remove some of the lignin and hemicellulose, substances contained in the walls of wood cells.
The idea of future wood cities has been hanging around for at least a few years.
Bartlett, along with some colleagues, tested the sort of wood mid- and high-rise buildings-like Framework, in Portland-have recently been made out of, known in the industry as “Cross-laminated” or “Mass” or “Tall” timber, which is how Quayside’s developers refer to it.
Alongside the environmental and economic, an aesthetic-psychological case for wood cities.
Clare Farrow, who is co-curating a current London exhibit called “Timber Rising-Vertical Visions for the Cities of Tomorrow,” wrote in Dezeen, “Studies are showing that the presence, scent and touch of wood can have remarkably positive effects, not only on people’s wellbeing in a general sense, but more specifically on stress levels, blood pressure, communication, learning and healing.” A 2015 review in Wood Science and Technology supports her claims and also suggests that “Specific aspects of wood such as colour, quantity, and grain pattern should be examined” in future studies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Impeccably Understated Modernism of I. M. Pei”

The skyscraper in “Gesturing” is unmistakably the John Hancock Tower, designed by I. M. Pei’s firm and finished in 1976.
For the better part of a half century, Pei received major commissions all over the United States, and several beyond it, that are essential to the fabric of our cities, though we may not always recognize how his work is woven into them.
The John Hancock Tower, designed by Pei’s partner Henry N. Cobb, draws modest attention to itself, but no one would go out of the way to see it.
In other words, Pei carried out the tradition of architectural modernism more thoroughly than most other architects.
Pei was, instead, a consummate professional, one of the people who made modernism feel conservative and traditional.
The work by Pei that is geographically closest to me rises in the towers of Society Hill, just north of where I live in Philadelphia.
A four-bedroom apartment in Pei’s towers rented for a thousand and fifty dollars in 1978-near the top of the city’s rental market at the time.
Another Pei landmark, the University Village towers, run by N.Y.U., also resulted from urban renewal, bringing to mind the old question about good architecture and its long-standing relationship with bad history.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Leaders Around the World Build Trust Across Cultures”

Many managerial positions require frequent communication with employees from around the world, but building trust across cultures can be difficult.
How do you build this cross-cultural trust? In focus group interviews with over 400 managers and executives in America, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle Eastern, we’ve distilled three things that top executives do to build trusting relationships: they start with the right mindset, they learn about their colleagues’ backgrounds, and they understand the importance of results and character in building trust.
We also saw that those who were most able to build trust with international colleagues spent a good deal of time learning about their employees’ cultures.
They did this by asking some key questions about the culture: How trusting is it? How performance oriented is it? How hierarchical and autocratic is it? Importantly, they also asked how people in that culture build trust themselves.
Finally, managers who were successful in building cross-cultural trust understood the importance of results and character in building trust.
In the U.S., workplace trust is generally based on results; if Sam turns in the report on time I know I can trust her to get the next one in on time too.
We witnessed two other behaviors in character-driven trust building: bonding over commonalities and demonstrating trust.
Knowing that all trust involves some degree of risk, they expected trust to build and grow over time with positive interactions in a virtuous cycle of ever-increasing degrees of trust.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Secret Cities That Created the Atomic Bomb”

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at rapid speed beginning in 1942, the instant wartime cities of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford/Richland, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico, revolved around military research.
At their peak in 1945, the three cities had a combined population of more than 125,000.
During the war, none of the cities appeared on any maps: They were the top-secret centers of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. military’s initiative to develop nuclear weapons before the Nazis got there first.
Secret Cities, an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., explores the architecture and urban planning of the Manhattan Project sites.
Curator Martin Moeller argues that the cities reflected the broader architectural interests of their era, such as prefabrication, and that their legacy can be felt in postwar suburbs and even Park Avenue skyscrapers.
The secret cities of the Manhattan Project treated racial segregation as a given.
Most of the people in the secret cities hadn’t known their work was part of a program to develop nuclear weapons.
There were spies in Los Alamos and other places, so there were a few forces in the Soviet Union and elsewhere who knew about the secret cities even during the war.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Pangea has taken thousands to eviction court. The story of an apartment empire”

Led by a team of young, mostly white men with backgrounds in finance and tech, Pangea-known variably as Pangea Real Estate, Pangea Ventures, Pangea Properties, and Pangea Equity Partners-presented itself as a modern real estate player that stuck to old-school business principles.
A Reader analysis of Cook County eviction court data from 2007 through 2018-which includes 250,000 cases filed against Chicago tenants-shows that since its founding Pangea has taken as many people to court as the next four landlords combined.
Pangea’s own data, which the company shared with the Reader, indicates that it’s taken on average nearly 17 percent of its tenants to eviction court every year between 2013 and 2017.
The parallels between Pangea and payday lending are hard to ignore upon closer examination of what happens when the company takes its tenants to eviction court.
In court Pangea’s lawyers offered a pay-and-stay deal: she could stay in the apartment in exchange for sticking to a payment plan for her arrears and the ongoing monthly rent; if she didn’t make her payments she agreed to an eviction judgment without a trial.
It’s impossible to tell from the court data how many of Pangea’s 9,000 eviction cases have included a pay-and-stay deal because they aren’t tracked in a uniform manner, but lawyers familiar with eviction court as well as the Reader’s own court observations indicate that the company tends to offer tenants a legally binding payment plan on their first day in court.
“They’ll put their foot on your neck.” Since Pangea bought the 38-unit building where Williams lives, it’s filed eviction cases against an average of nine tenants every year, court records show.
The Reader heard a similar story from a Pangea tenant who said he’d qualified for $1,400 in assistance from the city’s homelessness prevention program but that a Department of Family & Support Services case worker warned him Pangea wouldn’t accept it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Secret Cities That Created the Atomic Bomb”

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at rapid speed beginning in 1942, the instant wartime cities of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford/Richland, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico, revolved around military research.
At their peak in 1945, the three cities had a combined population of more than 125,000.
During the war, none of the cities appeared on any maps: They were the top-secret centers of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. military’s initiative to develop nuclear weapons before the Nazis got there first.
Secret Cities, an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., explores the architecture and urban planning of the Manhattan Project sites.
Curator Martin Moeller argues that the cities reflected the broader architectural interests of their era, such as prefabrication, and that their legacy can be felt in postwar suburbs and even Park Avenue skyscrapers.
The secret cities of the Manhattan Project treated racial segregation as a given.
Most of the people in the secret cities hadn’t known their work was part of a program to develop nuclear weapons.
There were spies in Los Alamos and other places, so there were a few forces in the Soviet Union and elsewhere who knew about the secret cities even during the war.

The orginal article.