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Proactive architecture

Inspiration comes in many forms — images, words, music, and more. As part of staying  #FluentInDesign, the team at Hunter Douglas looks for things that spark our imaginations. Here are some fun and intriguing items that piqued our interest this week… we hope they “pique” yours, too! Please tweet us (@FluentInDesign) or email us with any feedback or ideas. Our address is


Proactive architecture. The aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has many people thinking about resilient building. How can architects prepare communities and themselves for disasters?  AIA addresses this topic in a discussion with Kathleen Gordon, Executive Director of AIA Baton Rouge, and Tom Hurd, Chair of AIA’s Disaster Assistance Committee. “If we can show how resilient strategies can get a community back on its feet in a few weeks, we have a lot more ammunition for future conversations,” said Hurd. Both Gordon and Hurd agree that more people need to get involved and continue communicating about this issue.  Gordon continued saying, “We’re ready to step up and pull people together; for us, it’s time to decide what the next step is and take it.”


Most sustainable city in the world? Six square kilometers. 40,000 people. No waste. No carbon. Masdar City, United Arab Emirates, was established 10 years ago and has become a prominent hub for testing fuel efficiency and renewable energy. Among the highlights: 13 driverless pods that provide transportation from commuter areas to the Masdar Institute, solar canopies to protect pedestrians from the Sun, a north-to-east and south-to-west layout to take advantage of the cool winds, and SHAMS1, one of the world’s largest stand-alone solar power plants. The SHAMS 1 plant displaces about 175,000 tons of CO2 every year. What’s next? A 100kW thermal power plant used for converting solar energy into thermal resources. Find out more at


Haunted houses. With Halloween right around the corner, we take a look at the most iconic haunted houses used in horror films, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade Runner, The Exorcist and Poltergeist. Our favorites are the Ettington Park Hotel in England and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Angeles. The Ettington Park Hotel, built in the mid-1800s, is located in Warwickshire, England. The movie The Haunting was filmed here in 1963, fitting with its many reports of hauntings throughout the years. The Ennis House, one of four concrete block houses designed by Wright in the LA area, was finished in 1924. The house is known for its Mayan Revival architecture and was named one of the best in the nation. The house recently sold for about $4.5 million. Architectural has a look at these scariest of Hollywood homes.


Image Credit: Alec Couros via AIA

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