Industrial Loft in a Former Flour Mill

Open-plan Denver loft

The 1920s building was converted into lofts in 2000. The client initially approched Studio Gild looking for new cabinet hardware, but ultimately decided to work with the firm on a full overhaul.


ArtPlace Names Finalists for $18M in Community Development Investment

A CDC from the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles, above, is one of the finalists for ArtPlace’s new arts and culture grant program. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

ArtPlace America has picked 21 finalists for a new program aiming to help communities infuse planning and development with arts and culture with $18 million in grants. The final six winners, which will be announced in August, in the Community Development Investments program will get advice on everything from placemaking to finances. Throughout the three-year effort, PolicyLink will lend a hand with research and documenting the projects so lessons can be shared beyond the grantees.

“The 261 applications we received are evidence of the growing interest in recognizing that arts and culture is among the core sectors of any thriving community,” said ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie Bennett. “We are thrilled that PolicyLink, with their deep experience working both in communities and with national policymakers, will partner in embedding what we learn through this program in the broader place-based strategy conversation across the United States.”

Community development corporations, universities, public health organizations and more applied, pitching projects that would tackle everything from housing development to commercial corridors. They hailed from communities of all sizes. From the press release, here are some of the city-based finalists:

Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Anchorage
Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation, Los Angeles
Drexel University, Philadelphia
Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia
People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation, Philadelphia
Women’s Community Revitalization Project, Philadelphia

See the full list here.

“In places all across this country, arts and culture are essential to the development and implementation of strategies to secure sustainable communities of opportunity and prosperity,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink. “We look forward to partnering with ArtPlace to capture those lessons and share them broadly.”


Room of the Day: Girl’s Bedroom Gets a Little More Grown-Up (5 photos)

The teenage years can be tricky to design for. In the case of this room, the girl who lives here was ready to have it grow up — her room was still baby blue, and she’d had the same bedding since she was a toddler. Because of the layout of the house, this only child scored a great space. The bedroom...


Log-clad museum by Bornstein Lyckefors honours the legacy of Finnish slash-and-burn farmers

Bornstein Lyckefors Architects pays tribute to an agricultural technique known as slash-and-burn with this forest museum near Torsby, Sweden, clad with wooden logs (+ slideshow). (more…)


Tests Simple Enough for a Street Corner Can Be Used to Spot Fake Drugs

A health assistant collects blood samples of a woman suspected to have malaria at a hospital on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. New simple tests for the disease could help prevent overtreatment. (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath)

“I know when my Vicodin isn’t Vicodin,” Dr. House sneers at a revenge-seeking colleague on a fourth-season episode of “House.” “Do you know when your birth control pills aren’t birth control pills?”

The line is amusing, but the real life problem isn’t. Painkillers aside, medications are often “credence goods — the buyer must take their quality on faith,” attests an article recently published in an American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene supplement, “The Global Pandemic of Falsified Medicines: Laboratory and Field Innovations and Policy Perspectives.” When drugs don’t contain the active ingredients they claim to offer, the health implications can be deadly.

“In 2013, an estimated 122,350 deaths in children under 5 years of age in 39 sub-Saharan African countries were associated with the consumption of poor-quality antimalarials,” Joel Breman and his co-authors write in that AJTMH supplement.

In an interview, the senior physician-researcher at the U.S. National Institutes of Health was even more forthright. “I call them murderers,” he says of manufacturers and sellers who pass off improperly manufactured drugs that “clinicians and patients, all unsuspecting” use or give to children. His work focuses on how to prevent deaths via poor-quality medications.

His recent studies began, he says, with his previous look at the quality of drugs for malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic infection common in much of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. “A third of all the antimalarials, among these 4,000 samples, were absolutely, outright fake,” he says. “Nothing. No active ingredient.”

Drugs marketed as effective but offering little or no medicine are most commonly found in developing countries. Here, manufacturers may be improperly monitored, and an overall lack of clinicians can impel prescription systems to be minimized or eliminated. Drugs are often sold by informal vendors in the back of buses. Taken together, the situation leads to less-stringent monitoring, fraudulent or poor-quality practices, and unsuspecting consumers.

The situation is far from hopeless, however. Breman’s article garnered widespread attention, he says, leading to new studies offering a range of solutions. They include detection technologies in field surveillance, policy interventions and coordinated international responses. (Breman says he also wants to see prosecution of the informal vendors who distribute fake drugs to developing-world pharmacies, hospitals and laypeople.)

Unlike top-down monitoring and enforcement, detection technologies work within the same informal, street-level economy where the problem currently exists — particularly when taken in tandem with similar diagnostic technologies already on the market.

One innovation is the test card: a piece of cardboard impregnated with dried chemicals that can detect the presence of the active ingredients in medication. When a pill is ground up and smeared onto the card, the reagents change color if a sufficient amount of the active ingredient is present. No color change indicates no medicine — a useless fake drug. Cards for malaria test for the full complement of medications that kill the mosquito-borne parasite: chloroquine, doxycycline, quinine, sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, primaquine, plus newer artemisinin combination therapies.

The product is easy to use. “Users do not have to weigh or dilute anything or handle any chemicals,” Abigail A. Weaver and Marya Lieberman, of University of Notre Dame, explain in a study. “The test cards are inexpensive (manufacturing expenses under $0.50 per card) and do not require purchase of any capital equipment … the turnaround time for analysis of a dosage form is under ten minutes. Standards for comparison may include cards run with authentic samples, or stored images that may be shared commonly among test users.”

In short, this is a healthcare product simple enough to be used on the street corner — perhaps by the same class of untrained, informal vendors that currently sell medications in the bus terminals and marketplaces of the developing world.

The cards have a purpose beyond identifying non-active pills: They can also help identify drugs that contain too little of a particular chemical. From Breman’s article: “The impact of falsified and substandard medicines … extends to increased microbial resistance, when active drug is in low amounts in the product,” exposing malaria parasites to the chemical without effectively killing them. “Existing drug-resistant microbes in patients can be spread by mosquitoes and other vectors when no active ingredient is present.” The problem can cause even users of good-quality drugs to suffer adverse outcomes, including death, from resistant strains of malaria.

Of course, drug resistance is also increased by overtreatment — common in places where high incidence of malaria, insufficient clinical care and poor control of pharmaceuticals leave mothers treating any pediatric fever as malaria. To avoid overtreatment, another recent innovation could be helpful.

Breman points to rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), cardboard or plastic cards to detect the disease itself from a blood sample drawn by a finger-prick. Like drug-testing cards, RDTs require little equipment or training. The cards carry a chemical that reacts to an antigen found in the blood of a patient with malaria, changing color in the same manner the drug testing cards do. The result is ready in minutes — and it offers assurance that the malaria parasite is actually present and needs to be treated.

Taken together, all three products — rapid diagnosis, malaria medication and drug efficacy testing — can be sold together, outside of a clinic, by a vendor with no other expertise. Breman is skeptical that every point of sale can be vetted (one reason he advocates for legal action against fake drug dealers), but such a combination is a notable striving toward efficient access to care for all. Dr. House would likely scorn such optimism, but this might even be a step toward eradicating malaria.


slice by saunders architects serves as an intimate garden retreat

intrinsically connected to its surroundings, the compact triangular building in norway allows the owners to freely relax and enjoy the peaceful garden.

The post slice by saunders architects serves as an intimate garden retreat appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


céleste boursier-mougenot plants a kinetic forest at the venice art biennale

within the french pavilion, the artist creates an otherworldly island of vegetation where a low-voltage electrical current makes trees move around inside the space.

The post céleste boursier-mougenot plants a kinetic forest at the venice art biennale appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


“This Place Matters” Campaign Brings Historic Preservation to Twitter, Instagram

(Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation)

Sponsored content from National Trust for Historic Preservation. Sponsored content policy

Successful tactical urbanism projects around the U.S. — from parklets to pop-up shops — show that sometimes all it takes to bring a community together is a simple, accessible project. That’s why this month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is once again encouraging people in neighborhoods around the country to celebrate their connections to place through the organization’s “This Place Matters” campaign. (May is Preservation Month.)

“‘This Place Matters’ started in 2008 as a way for people to shine a spotlight on the historic places that played a role in their lives. Basically, it’s like crowdsourcing people’s personal connections to the built environment,” says Jason Clement, director of community outreach at the National Trust. “And the best part — there are zero rules. These can be places that are large or small, nationally significant or personally priceless, historic or maybe just old. They just have to mean something to you.”

The project is simple: Visit the Saving Places website to download and print a sign. Take photos with the sign at the places that matter most to you, and share the photos with others online with the hashtag #ThisPlaceMatters.

The virtual preservation project offers people opportunities to add their personal narratives to the history of places that are meaningful to them, whether those places are community churches, elementary schools, a barn on an old family farm or the old corner store where kids would gather after school to buy sticks of gum.

“To date, thousands of photos have been snapped and shared. But beyond all the smiling faces, what I find most endearing is how three simple words, ‘This Places Matters,’ have become ubiquitous in preservation, often serving as a rallying cry for communities when a beloved place is threatened,” says Clement, who has worked with the National Trust for six years. “People really connect with it.”

The project has a very DIY feel to it and has no long-term political or high-cost agenda, yet it encourages people to reignite those connections to places that have and continue to be important to them. Clement says that “This Place Matters” will soon get an interactive web experience that allows users to explore places that matter across the country. There will also be “This Place Matters” toolkits available upon request so that preservation fans can take their photos to the next level. The full relaunch will happen in Fall 2015.

“What I love about this campaign is that it’s preservation through the eye of the beholder. Everyone has at least one place that makes their heart beat a little faster — a place where their own personal history happened,” says Clement. “And now, with a photo and a smile, they can tell the whole world a simple but powerful message: This place matters to me.”

In honor of Preservation Month and Next City’s 2015 Vanguard conference, going on in Reno this week, the National Trust will host a #ThisPlaceMatters-themed photo walk on Wednesday in downtown Reno. Vanguards will get a chance to turn their cameras, “or I guess more appropriately, their phones, on Reno,” says Clement. “We can’t wait to see what they discover.”

Every person out there has a place that means a lot to them, and “This Place Matters” provides a platform — adapted to our changing world of social media and selfie sticks — to preserve, remember and share that love of these places.

And as for a place that is near and dear to Clement, “Hands down, it’s the Houston Astrodome, a place the National Trust is currently working to save for future generations. But it’s not just about work,” he says. “The eighth Wonder of the World was an enormous part of my life growing up. My fondest memories of my dad were created there. It’s also where I learned the rules of football and heard George Strait play live. It’s an important place that has a gravitational pull on my heart — always has, and thanks to our efforts, always will.”

What places matter to you?


Norm Architects puts a Danish spin on an Italian restaurant interior

Danish studio Norm Architects has pared back the look of a typical Mediterranean interior to create a more Scandinavian aesthetic for this Italian restaurant in Copenhagen. (more…)


maarten baas + bertjan pot sculpt LEDS clay light series for DHPH

the collection ranges from desk lamps to hanging fixtures, with each piece molded by hand and outfitted with scattered LEDs reminiscent of those you would see at carnivals.

The post maarten baas + bertjan pot sculpt LEDS clay light series for DHPH appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


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