Today’s News - Wednesday, June 3, 2020
● Bernstein's eloquent tribute to the "audacious artist" Christo. "Bespectacled and nerdy in appearance, he was the Evel Knievel of artists, pulling off seemingly impossible feats - sometimes viewed as a triumph of spectacle over art. But his thousands of drawings and models were art by anybody's definition."
● Ravenscroft reports on Stefano Boeri Architetti and SON-Group's master plan for Tirana Riverside, a coronavirus- and climate change-resilient mixed-use neighborhood in the Albanian capital for 12,000 residents on publicly owned land near the river.
● Belogolovsky's review of the Thompson Center,"the Chicago masterpiece" designed by Helmut Jahn, the city's "most charismatic living architect," and now endangered - while preservationists "scramble with the most credible reasons for saving this most dazzling structure" + Link to Nathan Eddy's 2017 "compelling" film "Starship Chicago."
● ICYMI x 2: ANN feature: Kristen Richards: Wild about Saffron: Revisiting Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates": New York City: a February Tuesday in Central Park. 55 degrees and sunny (originally posted February 21, 2005).
● ANN feature: FXCollaborative's Dan Kaplan offers a most eloquent "quarantine-induced assessment of downtown Manhattan - lingering on the rich detail, walking down streets that we neglected in busier times. Hopefully we'll emerge from our collective timeout recommitted to creating a more equitable and resilient city."
Of protests, racism, and urban unrest - the industry responds:
● Blander "highlights Black architects, educators, and thinkers who have focused further attention on the built conditions that enable continued racial subjugation in America - and the role that architects, planners, and designers have in facilitating or countering those broken processes and patterns."
● Hip Hop Architecture Camp's Michael Ford minces no words. "As a person who loves this profession and believes in its power to impact people's lives for good - I feel betrayed by the profession's silence - and I will not be silent - the profession should be outraged at the deaths of people they hope to have as colleagues."
● Deans from Harvard GSD, Cooper Union, SCI-Arc, Cornell AAP, and USC Architecture speak out about "the 'Urgency of Now,' the killing of George Floyd, and systemic inequalities in the United States."
COVID-19 news continues:
● Betsky ponders design in a post-COVID-19 and post-protest world: "The solution to the social unrest now sweeping across the country is not more police - but a response to the fundamental racism and injustice built into our urban fabric. Design must come from and lead to openness, not to fear and fortresses. And, please, just wear your damn mask."
● U.K. health expert John Ashton explains why "town planning, architecture, and public health will never be the same again. Now must be the time for a new vision of healthy housing and communities with standards" - and he outlines some of the issues that should be addressed.
● Pedersen's (fab!) Q&A with Paul Goldberger re: "architecture, cities, and New York's long road back" (conducted pre-protest days): People like Kotkin, Florida, and Sadik-Khan "are using the pandemic to justify whatever their view of urban issues and density always was. The pandemic has done one good thing - it has forced us to admit that the status quo is unsustainable."
● Chandran reports on what "radical redesign" city centers might see in a post-coronavirus world: "More people opting to work from home" while "firms grapple with social distancing rules" will "force planners and city officials to reconsider and redesign central business districts" to include "more mixed-use developments and amenities to draw footfall."
● Wulfhorst wonders if U.S. suburbs are "poised for post-virus revival. A suburban renaissance depends on how many companies allow their staff to keep working, post-pandemic."
● AIA releases "Reopening America: Strategies for safer buildings" - "3 new and enhanced tools for reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission in buildings" compiled by architects and health experts - more reports to come.
● Cimino talks to some emerging professionals re: "building an architecture career amid COVID-19. It's a challenging time" for them, "but there are silver linings," including AIAS's COVID-19 resource center "for students who are impacted or even just uncertain about what comes next."
● Pogrebin talks to Liz Diller re: "practicing architecture in a pandemic - architecture is trying to find its way in the quarantined world. 'I hope that our discipline is still vital at the end of this. I think it will be'" (Rockwell describes her as "relentless").
● Pedersen: brings us an eye-popping photo essay by painter Edgar Jerins, who is documenting the "eerie beauty of an empty New York City - often from the vantage point of a bicycle - the resulting photos will make for a remarkable historic record and a dramatic visual statement of where we were, and what we overcame."
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Obituary by Fred A. Bernstein: Christo, audacious artist who wrapped buildings, parks and landscapes in cloth, 84: Bespectacled and nerdy in appearance, [he] was the Evel Knievel of artists, pulling off seemingly impossible feats...Measured by the number of people who saw his work, he was probably the most successful artist of the late 20th and early 21st centuries...installations...were sometimes viewed as a triumph of spectacle over art. But his thousands of drawings and models - which he sold to finance his projects - were art by anybody’s definition...In 1962, he had the idea to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic...now slated to open in September 2021 - almost 60 years after he conceived it. -- Jeanne-Claude- Washington Post
Tom Ravenscroft: Stefano Boeri Architetti designs coronavirus-resilient neighbourhood: Tirana Riverside, a district in the capital of Albania...The masterplan for 12,000 residents on a publicly owned area of land...:meeting all the sustainability requirements required by the current climate crisis"...Boeri and SON-Group have aimed to create a walkable "neighbourhood city" that focuses on exercise and will include smart technologies and extensive roof gardens...To create resilience to COVID-19, residents will have access to all "essential services" within a walkable distance...will include a school and university centre. -- Studio Laura Gatti (landscape)- Dezeen
Vladimir Belogolovsky: Review of Thompson Center: the building facing demolition threat: As he writes about Helmut Jahn-designed Chicago masterpiece, Nathan Eddy’s 2017 film "Starship Chicago" brings the building’s compelling story to life: ...may be nicknamed a starship for its futuristic shape...But according to...Chicago’s most charismatic living architect...it is a...contemporary take on traditional state capitol...Entering this high-tech cathedral-like kaleidoscopic space is nothing short of breathtaking...[Jahn's] speculative 2015 proposal - giving the building a new life through adaptive reuse...Now Chicago architects, historians, preservationists, and activists scramble with the most credible reasons for saving this most dazzling structure...The adversary camp is much larger...- STIR (See Think Inspire Reflect)
Akiva Blander: Architects Leading the Way to Racial Justice: The fight for racial justice and equality is reaching a tipping point. Metropolis highlights Black architects, educators, and thinkers who are leading the way: ...advocates and thinkers have focused further attention on the built conditions that enable continued racial subjugation in America - and the role that architects, planners, and designers have in facilitating or countering those broken processes and patterns. -- Toni Griffin/Urban Planning for the American City; Kimberly Dowdell/National Organization of Minority Architects; Justin Garrett Moore/NYC Public Design Commission; Mabel O. Wilson; Zena Howard/Perkins+Will; Sara Zewde/Studio Zewde; Hip Hop Designers Challenging the Architecture Establishment- Metropolis Magazine
Michael Ford/Hip Hop Architecture: Architects, Designers and Planners: #BlackLivesMatter and You Must Speak Up!: He calls on architects to respond to the continued, unprovoked and senseless murders of Black people in public spaces: Architects have been mostly silent as their work, meticulously designed, constructed and deemed the crowning jewel of urban skylines, serves as the backdrop of injustice...As a person who loves this profession and believes in its power to impact people’s lives for good...I feel betrayed by the profession’s silence - and I will not be silent...the profession should be outraged at the deaths of people they hope to have as colleagues.- Azure magazine (Canada)
Architecture School Deans Speak on the "Urgency of Now": ...leaders of some architecture schools are speaking out about the killing of George Floyd and systemic inequalities in the United States....read statements from Sarah Whiting (Harvard GSD), Nader Tehrani (Cooper Union), Hernán Díaz Alonso (SCI-Arc), Meejin Yoon (Cornell AAP), and Milton S. F. Curry (USC Architecture).- Architectural Record
Aaron Betsky: Design in a Post-COVID-19 World: how designers should mobilize to tackle the most pressing challenges: How can we design a safer, healthier, and more just world? We need long-term planning and vision, not quick fixes that will make things worse in the long run...solution to the social unrest now sweeping across the country is not more police or vicious dogs...but a response to the fundamental racism and injustice built into our urban fabric...Our cities, suburbs, and exurbs need to be better connected. We need places where we are safe not only from the virus, but also from violence and prejudice...Design must come from and lead to openness, not to fear and fortresses. And, please, just wear your damn mask.- Architect Magazine
John Ashton: Town planning, architecture and public health will never be the same again: For too long what housebuilders and developers have paid scant regard for people’s wellbeing in good times and sanctuary in bad. It’s time to change all that, says public health expert: The evolution of the functional approach to town planning associated with Ebenezer Howard and the garden city movement [and] Parker Morris in 1961...had their roots in the recognition of the impact of slum housing and pollution on the predisposition to epidemic disease...Now must be the time for a new vision of healthy housing and communities with standards...Among the issues that these should address should be:- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Martin C. Pedersen: Paul Goldberger on Architecture, Cities, and New York’s Long Road Back: ...a nuanced and measured take on our presently fraught moment [prior to protests]..."People are using the pandemic to justify whatever their view of urban issues and density always was. Joel Kotkin declares, 'This proves that density is over'...Richard Florida says, 'This proves that the creative class wants the city.' Janette Sadik-Khan says, 'This proves that we need to open the streets...the future of the office is another area where everybody is jumping to conclusions...There will be a lot of flexibility in both time and space...[Pandemic] has done one good thing...it has forced us to admit that the status quo is unsustainable.- Common Edge
Rina Chandran: City centres to see 'radical' redesign amid coronavirus: With more people opting to work from home, downtown areas may need to be redesigned to keep them buzzing: Remote working was already on the rise...Now, as firms grapple with social distancing rules...they are thinking about what their offices are really for. That in turn will force planners and city officials to reconsider and redesign central business districts...may lead to more mixed-use developments and amenities to draw footfall...- Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Ellen Wulfhorst: As home working takes root, are U.S. suburbs poised for post-virus revival? A suburban renaissance depends on how many companies allow their staff to keep working post-pandemic, experts say...Two-thirds of [urban dwellers] in a recent survey by Zillow, an online real estate site, said they would consider moving if they had the flexibility to work from home.- Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Architects, health experts release strategies, tools for safely reopening buildings: AIA issues three new and enhanced tools for reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission in buildings: "Reopening America: Strategies for safer buildings"...strategies and considerations for offices, retailers, schools, and senior living facilities...reports will be released in phases...- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Steve Cimino/AIA Architect: Building an Architecture Career Amid COVID-19: It’s a challenging time for emerging professionals, but there are silver linings: ...work will be hard to come by, and many designers may start to wonder if the traditional entry points to the profession are worth maintaining...A Need for Architects Who Think Outside the Box...AIAS has created a COVID-19 resource center for students who are impacted or even just uncertain about what comes next...fissures laid bare by this global pandemic...There is something outdated about the way many firms do business. -- Natale Cozzolongo/Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF); Jennie Cannon West/Studio West Design & Architecture; Erin Conti; Gail Kubik/Fused Studios; Tamara Elena Pérez Hernández- Architect Magazine
Robin Pogrebin: Practicing Architecture in a Pandemic: A year after opening the Shed, Elizabeth Diller is trying to adjust to a world in which she and colleagues can no longer kick around ideas in person: "Communication is slower. But we’re working harder. We’re figuring it out"...Like every profession, architecture is trying to find its way in the quarantined world...“I hope that our discipline is still vital at the end of this. I think it will be"...David Rockwell, who worked with her on the Shed, used the word “relentless.” -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Ricardo Scofidio; Charles Renfro; Ben Gilmartin- New York Times
Martin Pedersen: Edgar Jerins: Photographing the Locked-Down City: The eerie beauty of an empty New York City: Who knew this bustling, chaotic, dirty, vibrant, profane, amazing city could look so ... gorgeous when stripped of people and activity? He didn’t set out to create a visual record of the event; he’s a painter who has used photography as a reference tool...but he quickly realized that might be exactly what he was doing...digital photo - often taken quickly from the vantage point of a bicycle - became his principal means of expression...the resulting photos will make for a remarkable historic record [and] a dramatic visual statement of where we were, and what we overcame.- Common Edge
ANN feature: Kristen Richards: Wild about Saffron: Revisiting Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates": New York City: a February Tuesday in Central Park. 55 degrees and sunny… (originally posted February 21, 2005)- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: Dan Kaplan, FAIA, LEED AP: Quiet and Disquiet Together: A Quarantine-Induced Assessment of Downtown Manhattan: We savor the city, lingering on the rich detail, walking down streets that we neglected in busier times. It does feel like the proverbial music has stopped. How could it not? Hopefully we'll emerge from our collective timeout recommitted to creating a more equitable and resilient city. -- FXCollaborative- ArchNewsNow.com
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