ASID Eye on Design
Nov. 20, 2009

Architecture billings index sending most positive signals in over a year
Building Design & Construction
Amidst a continued high level of inquiries for possible new projects, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reached its highest mark since August 2008, just before the serious credit problems emerged in our economy. As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. "This news could prove to be an early signal towards a recovery for the design and construction industry," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. More

Art of Living goes inside private spaces of renowned artists
Fast Company
Twenty-five internationally known artists, architects and designers—including Andres Serrano, Vivienne Tam, Ellsworth Kelly and Catherine Malandrino—invited Barbel Miebach to photograph their unique private spaces for a new book, The Art of Living. Fast Company magazine shows off eight of their favorites.More

IRC fire sprinkler requirement survives NAHB objection
Custom Home Online
During the International Code Council's (ICC) Code Development Hearings in Baltimore last month, the ICC's Residential Building and Energy Committee voted to retain a new mandate for residential fire sprinklers that was approved for the 2009 and 2012 versions of the International Residential Code (IRC) in September 2008. The vote shot down a proposal by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to strike the fire sprinkler mandate from the IRC. The mandate, which will require fire sprinklers to be installed in all one- and two-family homes and townhouses, is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2011, unless it is rejected in a final vote during the ICC's conference in May 2010. More

BusinessWeek / Architectural Record 2009 awards announced
The Architectural Record
The 12th annual awards showcase office and retail spaces. This year's eight winners feature projects that put business goals first, clearly demonstrating that good design is a wise investment. More

Multifamily to lag in slow, lengthy housing recovery
Nation's Building News
The multifamily sector will lag behind all other housing segments in what is expected to be a slow, lengthy recovery, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said during a recent webinar on the state of multifamily housing last week. Crowe told participants not to believe the conventional wisdom surrounding past recoveries that “the steeper the fall, the quicker the rise” would hold true with this recovery. That’s not what we are seeing now. He said single-family starts have bottomed out, “but multifamily is not so fortunate.” He expected that multifamily starts would decline further before they begin to improve. More

Sleep Box offers airport isolation
Offering solace to weary travelers, the Russian architects at Arch Group have designed the Sleep Box concept for use in airports, where privacy is seldom found. Along with wifi connectivity, the interiors feature space for laptops, luggage and mobile devices. To maintain a sanitary environment, the beds use a system that changes the sheets automatically.More

Paris exhibition honors minimalist designer Frank
Globe Spotters
Many argue that with his keen eye, Jean-Michel Frank laid the foundation for what we today consider contemporary interior design, all the while reinventing what classicism meant in a Europe caught between two world wars. The show runs through Jan. 3, 2010 at Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent. More

Top considerations for today's law firms
Historically, management consulting firms have been on the leading edge of adapting to the evolving business environment and client demands, which have space-planning repercussions. To survive in today’s economy, many organizations have adopted the forward-thinking concepts developed by management consultants. Law firms are no exception. More

Fifty percent increase in green building programs since 2007, report finds
Facilities Net
More than one in five U.S. cities with populations greater than 50,000 surveyed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report having a policy to promote green buildings, affecting more than 53 million people. The new report, Green Building Policy in a Changing Economic Environment, is an inventory of policies and best practices intended to help policymakers advance a more sustainable legislative agenda for growth and development. The study found 138 cities have green building programs, compared with 92 cities in 2007—an increase of 50 percent. More