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RIBA announces formal link with US-based community

 RIBA signs memo of understanding with RIBA USA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RIBA-USA, an international community of the RIBA operation in the USA. Speaking about the agreement, RIBA President Angela Brady said: “The RIBA welcomes and encourages members in communities that enhance and develop the RIBA’s presence and help achieve its strategic aims in an international territory. Our agreement with RIBA-USA formalises a long and successful relationship. This is an exciting opportunity to further develop RIBA membership in the USA and advance the RIBA’s purpose of championing better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members.”

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UK and U.S. workers more likely to experience workplace bullying

The Coalition government has criticised “over-regulated” UK employment law, which it argues makes it difficult for employers to manage employees without risk of being sued for unfair treatment. Yet despite the perception that UK employees are overly-protected by employment regulations, a new global study of white collar bullying has revealed that workers are in fact more likely to experience bullying at the hands of their bosses if they work in the UK or the U.S. The country a company is based in has a direct effect on how much workplace bullying is accepted and the UK and the U.S. were among the countries with a “high performance orientation” valuing accomplishments, a sense of urgency and explicit communication. These countries, say the authors, may tolerate bullying if it is seen as a means to achieve better results. More →

Only one commercial office building in RIBA National and EU Awards

Quadrant 3 on Regent Street in London

Just one commercial office building – Quadrant 3 on Regent Street in London [pictured] by Dixon Jones with Donald Insall Associates – has received a prize in the 2013 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Awards. Many of the winners for the most rigorously-judged awards for architectural excellence are publicly, charity or foundation funded, with fewer medium-scale projects amongst the winners, both public and commercial. The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the 52 RIBA National and EU Award winners (43 buildings in the UK and nine buildings elsewhere in the EU).

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New Centres of Excellence for sustainable building design launched

New Centres of Excellence for sustainable building design launched

Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design are to be set up at four UK universities in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering. The new centres at Heriot-Watt University, Loughborough University, the University of Sheffield and University College London will form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for a more sustainable built environment. The universities will work closely with the construction industry to develop their engineering and architectural design courses to be as relevant as possible to the work students can expect to do when they graduate. Visiting Professors from industry are a key part of this approach and will be heavily involved in developing the new centres of excellence. More →

Why we might all get more done if we did things more slowly

Tree OctopusThe idea that for every action there is a reaction applies just as much in culture as it does in physics. So just as life speeds up to the point where it is self-evident that many people are struggling to keep pace with its most basic demands, a small number of people are looking at ways of putting on the brakes. Most famously in 2004, the Canadian Carl Honoré established the Slow Movement. James Gleick was banging the same drum with his book Faster. We could all hope that as a result of such people asking for the brakes to be applied, things would slow down just a little now our attention had been drawn to the problem so that we could all feel a little better, take time to do things properly and maybe even do them better.

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American Institute of Architects opens design and health project

Via Verde

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is working with the Clinton Global Initiative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) to examine the relationships between design, urbanism, and public health. The collaboration is part of the AIA’s Decade of Design Commitment to Action, which aims to make positive changes through design in the global urban environment. Alexander d’Hooghe, director of the MIT CAU explained: “We are investigating the scale of urban design, architecture, as well as planning, in relation to health today, whether related to obesity, or to climate change.” More →

‘Affinity for nature’ design competition launched

Reconnect Your Space

Science suggests that all of us may be hard-wired to love the natural world, and now a global competition named Reconnect Your Space is calling for architectural, interior or urban landscape design entries that put this affinity for nature, or “biophilia”, at the forefront. The competition, launched by carpet tile manufacturer Interface, invites architects, designers and students of these disciplines to submit their visions for how biophilia can influence the design of a new or existing space, either inside within built environments or outside in cities. More →

Teams perform better when bosses pick favourites

 Bosses favourites

Bosses should pick favourites if they want top performing teams, a new study from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business reveals. “Conventional wisdom tells us that we should treat everyone the same to create a collegial and productive work atmosphere,” says Sauder Professor Karl Aquino, who co-authored the forthcoming study for the Journal of Business Ethics. “But our research shows this can be a disincentive for workers who would otherwise go above and beyond on behalf of the team with a little bit of extra attention.” More →

Urban design ideas needed for Vauxhall missing link


RIBA has announced the launch of a new international design competition for Vauxhall on London’s South Bank. The Business Improvement District (BID) for Vauxhall is seeking ideas to improve and enhance the public realm, providing the ‘Missing Link’ between the New US Embassy Quarter and the South Bank’s cultural hub. The competition is open to architects, landscape designers, urban designers and students worldwide. As with the New York ‘High Line’ competition multi-disciplinary design teams are encouraged. More →

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