Shoot for the Stars

I have a new favorite word: starchitetcure. I like the way it sounds and I find it easily identifiable. Images of projects such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, come to mind. I also see Zaha Hadid’s recently completed Guangzhou Opera House. Though a new project, it’s one that has pushed the limits in creating a remarkable structure. So when you think of a “starchitect” you may think of the likes of Gehry and Hadid, among many, many others. Now, Gehry has launched an initiative that is bringing many of these architectural greats together.

Gehry, who is co-founder and chairman of Gehry Technologies, a global firm involved with applying technology to building industry challenges, has brought together some of the world’s most distinguished architects and designers to form a strategic alliance furthering his vision to transform the building industry and the practice of design. This core group will also serve on Gehry Technologies’ board of advisors (BOA).

The alliance intends to enable new approaches to design through technology, to create more effective industry processes and a higher quality built environment. By applying and innovating new technology solutions to old problems such as waste, delay, and miscommunication, this new alliance will lead the process change that the AEC industry needs to confront future challenges.

And according to Dayne Myers, CEO of Gehry Technologies, “The BOA will explore anything that improves building design and construction, and that includes the building envelope.”

Those joining Gehry in this initiative include Hadid as well as many others. Initial members include:

• David Childs, chairman emeritus of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM);

• Massimo Colomban, founder of Permasteelisa.com Group;

• Greg Lynn, co-designer of the New York Presbyterian Church in Queens, which used vector-based animation software in its design conception and professor of architecture at UCLA and the Applied Arts University in Vienna;

• Laurie Olin, teacher, author, and landscape architect;

• Wolf D. Prix, a co-founder, design principal, and CEO of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU;

• David Rockwell, founder of Rockwell Group;

• Moshe Safdie, renowned international architect, urban planner, and author;

• Matthias Schuler, a managing director of TRANSSOLAR Energietechnik in Stuttgart;

• Patrik Schumacher, a designer at Zaha Hadid Architects;

• Ben van Berkel, co-founder of UNStudio (United Network); and

• Richard Saul Wurman, creator of the TED conference and, most recently, the WWW.WWW Conference, which will take place next September.

The advisors will have their inaugural meeting at the Marketing Center at 7 World Trade Center in New York. Discussion topics will include: demonstrations of new GT technologies and initiatives; the future of design; and the role of technology in design.

Stay tuned to this blog and the Architects’ Guide to Glass and Metal magazine for more news and updates on this group as they are made available.


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