Nicola Davison is a British freelance writer and editor based in London.
Posts tagged "architecture"
Ideas worth floating: architects adapt to rising sea levels

Ideas worth floating: architects adapt to rising sea levels

King Canute is not famous for his fears about climate change, but review the histories of the 12th century and the Viking despot can seem farsighted. In Historia Anglorum (c1129) Henry of Huntingdon records that, having requested his throne be carried down to the shore, Canute ordered the waves “not to flow over my land, nor presume...
Designs for life: architecture in the disaster zone

Designs for life: architecture in the disaster zone

When a natural disaster happens somewhere in the world, it does not take long for Shigeru Ban’s inbox to light up. So he was not surprised when, soon after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake ravaged Nepal on April 25, he received a flood of messages from people both known to him and strange: NGOs, investors, tourists and...
Micro-flats gain favour as the answer to big city urban density

Micro-flats gain favour as the answer to big city urban density

The striking thing about architect Gary Chang’s flat in Hong Kong is not its size, though at 32 sq metres the place is by most standards teeny. Rather, it is the hazy golden light that permeates the place, the result of yellow filters tacked over the single window. This light bounces off the black lacquer-like...
University architecture: from cloisters to tutorial pods

University architecture: from cloisters to tutorial pods

On a morning in March, Thomas Heatherwick gave a presentation to a packed classroom on the campus of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Two dozen academics and journalists had gathered in Learning Hub, the designer’s latest project, for its grand unveiling. As Heatherwick clicked through PowerPoint slides, televisions mounted on the room’s curved walls flashed with his celebrated...
China's obsession with vertical cities

China’s obsession with vertical cities

In late September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a non-profit organisation that keeps the world’s largest database on skyscrapers, held its annual conference in Shanghai – two years after its last meeting there. “We’ve never done that before, gone back to the same city,” says Antony Wood, the council’s executive director. “But right...
The architectural firm with an alternative vision for rural China

The architectural firm with an alternative vision for rural China

John Lin stands on a remote mountainside in southwest China, a brick grasped in each hand. The one in his right, the 39-year-old architect explains, is the local standard. It costs Rmb0.45 ($0.07) and has a scorched surface with roughly hewn, crumbly edges. In his left hand is a clean, terracotta oblong with three penny-sized...