Designing History Offers an Intimate Look at the Design of the Obama-Era White House

Photo credit: © Designing History by Michael S. Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2020
Photo credit: © Designing History by Michael S. Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2020

From Veranda

Renowned interior designer Michael S. Smith is no stranger to designing high-profile celebrity residences and office spaces, but he could have never guessed it would all prepare him for the project of a lifetime: decorating The White House for one of our nation’s most historic administrations. The designer, and now-member of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, reflects on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in his latest book, Designing History: The Extraordinary Art & Style of the Obama White House, which debuts September 1.

“The Obamas were my constant inspiration, and their mission to celebrate the White House as the People’s House, a place that was welcoming and accessible to all Americans, led to our focus on highlighting the best of America in every possible way—through not just the diversity of creative talents,

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Algorithms are designing better buildings

<span class="caption">Sberbank Technopark in Russia by Zaha Hadid Architects.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/sberbank-moscow/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zaha Hadid Architects">Zaha Hadid Architects</a></span>
Sberbank Technopark in Russia by Zaha Hadid Architects. Zaha Hadid Architects

When giant blobs began appearing on city skylines around the world in the late 1980s and 1990s, it marked not an alien invasion but the impact of computers on the practice of building design.

Thanks to computer-aided design (CAD), architects were able to experiment with new organic forms, free from the restraints of slide rules and protractors. The result was famous curvy buildings such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Future Systems’ Selfridges Department Store in Birmingham.

Today, computers are poised to change buildings once again, this time with algorithms that can inform, refine and even create new designs agence immobilière lyon 6. Even weirder shapes are just the start: algorithms can now work out the best ways to lay out rooms, construct the buildings and even change them over time to meet users’ needs.

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