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Monday, November 20, 2017

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Betsky makes the case for preserving Johnson Burgee's AT&T Building: "It will not be torn down, but it will be emasculated - reborn as another home for 1%ers"; there is a "logic, both socially and aesthetically" to Snøhetta's design. "So why does it seem to be so wrong?" (he also finds some similarities in the firm's SFMOMA makeover). -- King, meanwhile, parses the Oakland A's pick to design its new ballpark that includes HOK and Snøhetta: the "initial emphasis will be on a more abstract question of how a ballpark can be a good neighbor" and "an integral part of the surrounding urban landscapes." -- Hawthorne says, "Yes, please" to "boring architecture - work that is spare, solid and unhurried. It's unruffled. The only thing it tries hard to do is not to try hard" (he names his faves). -- Middleton calls for "collective action" to make sure architects "get a proper salary - we don't charge enough to be financially successful and socially responsible to our staff" (putting "lipstick on the gorilla" included). -- Ridley, AIA Atlanta president, considers the multiple problems being raised re: design copyright, and who owns what when it comes to "computing coding used in the software to create drawings" in the age of BIM. -- Saffron ponders whether Philly really needs a law mandating affordable housing - developers of all stripes are concerned, and "inclusionary housing programs" in other cities "haven't proved all that effective." -- Gehry tapped to transform a 1960s bank building into a new home for the New Youth Orchestra Los Angeles Center (no pix - yet). -- A look at how "design elements inside and outside of schools have changed," post-Sandy Hook - "the communal approach to design has changed the most by including school safety personnel, local law enforcement and first responders to inform the design process." -- DS+R and Jenkins-Peer tapped to "update, modernize and re-envision" Charlotte, NC's Discovery Place Science Museum (a 2010 renovation left things "confusing, with multiple elevators and lobbies that don't connect"). --Foster's gigantic, supposedly uber-green new airport in Mexico, built on a sinking lake bed, may be repeating "age-old mistakes - the much-heralded environmental protection effort is still so devoid of detail, critics say, that it raises questions of credibility and actually obscures the risk of flooding." -- On a more sparkly note: eyefuls of "giant, glittering structures of Hainan's architectural 'arms race'": it may be called "the Hawaii of China," but it isn't natural beauty that's catching the eye of visitors." -- Some very cool news! The Cooper Hewitt's massive archive is now online - "200,000 objects in one place = endless design inspiration." -- More very cool news! Cards Against Humanity creators "purchase U.S. land to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible" for Trump's border wall to get built (ya gotta watch the video!).

The diversity-in-design dilemma/debate:
-- Fairs x 2: he crunches the numbers using public data on 100 of the largest international practices for a survey that "reveals 'quite shocking' lack of gender diversity at senior levels." -- He talks to five prominent female British architects for "their views on what's gone wrong and how it can be changed" (a mix of disappointment and optimism). -- A look at diversity programs that some Georgia architects are undertaking to initiate change: "Architecture has always been a white male profession" - "It's the elephant in the room." -- Massachusetts launches a statewide campaign that "encourages women to join construction industry," for too long "overwhelmingly dominated by men."

Winners all!
-- Winners of the major categories in the 2017 World Architecture Festival Awards, with links to miles of all the winners. -- CPG Consultants' hospital in Singapore wins first ever Stephen Kellert Biophilic Design Award from the Living Future Institute. -- A stellar team wins the British Council for Offices/BCO NextGen award for their vision for "the office of 2035" in "a typical Victorian terrace in London for an energy company" (a meditation garden included).

  

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