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2018 Pritzker Prize Poll

The Pritzker Architecture Prize website is indicating that the announcement of the 2018 laureate will happen on Wednesday, March 7 — 10am EST to be precise.So with just twelve days until the announcement, who do you think should winShow More Summary

Renovating NYPL

[Rendering of new 40th Street entrance | Image: Mecanoo/Beyer Blinder Belle] Curious about Mecanoo and Beyer Blinder Belle's design for the renovation of the New York Public Library's grand building (officially the Stephen A. Schwarzman...Show More Summary

Initial unemployment claims fall 7,000 in latest report

In the week ending February 17, initial unemployment claims were 222,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level. The 4-week moving average was 226,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

Mortgage applications decline 6.6 percent as rates continue to rise

The Market Composite Index decreased 6.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans down 6.0 percent and refinances falling 7.0 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to its highest level since January 2014, 4.64 percent.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

February Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rises to second-highest level since March 2002

Americans' outlook for the U.S. economy improved in February to 54.5, the second-highest level since March 2002, indicating lower taxes are resonating. The weekly comfort index was little changed at 56.6, falling from 57.0 the previous week.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

January Leading Economic Index rose for fourth straight month to 108.1

The U.S. LEI accelerated further in January and continues to point to robust economic growth in the first half of 2018. While the recent stock market volatility will not be reflected in the U.S. LEI until next month, consumers' and business' outlook on the economy had been improving for several months and should not be greatly impacted.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

January existing home sales down 3.2 percent from December and 4.8 percent year-on-year

Due largely to a shortage of affordable inventory, total existing-home sales sank 3.2 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million from December 2017. After last month's decline, sales are 4.8 percent below a year ago (largest annual decline since August 2014 at 5.5 percent) and at their slowest pace since last September.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

IHS: February U.S. PMI Output Index rises to 55.9, highest reading in almost 2.5 years

U.S. private sector companies experienced a marked improvement in business activity growth during February. This was highlighted by a rise in the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index to 55.9, up from 53.8 in January and the highest reading for almost two-and-a-half years.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

Pursuing Personalized Robots

Until now robots have been objects with their own agency and independent embodiment from humans. However, their function and goals have been based on human desires. They accompany us, work with us as team-workers, challenge our abilities and... Read More

Gears and Alexa

Still following the earlier approach of working simultaneously in different directions, I feel a bit overwhelmed. But on the other hand, I am learning a lot. Let’s talk about each of them… Reinforcement Learning Cartpole is one of the most... Read More

Social Media-responsive Robot Week 3

After our tutorial last week, we felt it was necessary to take the time this week to solidify the concept of the project, then resume making with clear goals in mind for the next three weeks.   Aims for the... Read More

Mark Your Calendars: Arakawa + Gins

On March 30, Columbia GSAPP is hosting a conference and opening an exhibition, both pertaining to Arakawa and Madeline Gins. Details are below. [Critical Holder Chart 2 (detail), c1991 / Image Credit: © 2017 Estate of Madeline Gins.]...Show More Summary

Mark Your Calendars, Updated

Way back in February 2015 I posted a heads up on three exhibitions coming to the Parrish Art Museum – that barn-shaped building designed by Herzog & de Meuron. One of them, Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture, was slated to run in mid-2017. Show More Summary

4Q 2017 services revenue grew 2.4 percent from previous quarter and 5.2 percent year-on-year

Advance U.S. selected services total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 rose 2.4 from the third quarter of 2017 and was up 5.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

4Q 2017 e-commerce sales grew 3.2 percent from previous quarter and 16.9 percent year-on-year

U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $119.0 billion, up 3.2 percent from the third quarter of 2017, and up 16.9 percent year-on-year. Total e-commerce sales for 2017 were estimated at $453.5 billion, up 16.0 percent from 2016.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

January building permits rose to 10.5-year high, up 7.4 percent year-on-year

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January rose to a 10.5-year high of 1,396,000. This is 7.4 percent above both the revised December 2017 rate and the January 2017 rate.READ MORE www.metrointel.com

January housing starts rebounded 9.7 percent from December to second-highest rate since Great Recession

Privately-owned housing starts in January rebounded sharply from weather-related dips in December to 1,326,000. This is 9.7 percent above the revised December estimate, 7.3 percent above the January 2017 level, and is the second-highest annual rate since the Great Recession. READ MORE www.metrointel.com

The Projective Drawing

This morning I stopped by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York to check out The Projective Drawing, a new exhibition curated by Brett Littman with ten artists responding to Robin Evans's classic 1995 book, The Projective Cast. Head on over to World-Architects to see some photos I took and learn a little bit about the show that's on display until May 13.

Gallup: 2017 Economic Confidence Index varied greatly by state, but average rating rose by 20 points

Residents in three states -- Wyoming, North Dakota and Utah -- essentially tie as the most confident in the U.S. economy, based on their scores on Gallup's Economic Confidence Index throughout 2017. In contrast, Vermont residents were least confident. Show More Summary

Gallup: Half of U.S. states saw well-being scores decline in 2017

Nearly half of U.S. states saw their well-being scores decline by a statistically significant margin in 2017, according to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. And, for the first time in nine years of tracking changes in state well-being,...Show More Summary

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