Today’s News - Thursday, August 15, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, August 20.
● Agbo uses his own project transforming a gargantuan Postmodern-Constructivist villa into a co-creation space as the starting point to a most thoughtful reflection on how architects can help restore Nigeria's culture after years of conflict and violence - it requires "investing in the potential of what is already there, not creating flashy one-offs."
● Kim offers a "field guide to the 'weapons' of hostile architecture In NYC": "Hostile design is an age-old concept - some of the most reoccurring expressions of hostile design can be found in public seating. The issue also strikes at the notion of equity" (miles of not-nice comments ensue).
● Syracuse, NY, hopes to "right a decades-old wrong" by replacing a viaduct that cuts through a historically African American neighborhood, "turning what is now mostly parking lots into a walkable urban space," but "community organizations and residents are critical of the plan."
● Su's Q&A with Anne-Marie Lubenau, director of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, re: "the power of design to transform communities, the big takeaways from this year's awards, trends in urbanism, and more."
● Zeiger "looks back at the history of feminism and architecture, finding areas where there has been progress - and where advocates have lost ground" (beware the "Zaha trap, the Jeanne trap, the Liz Diller trap" - a great read!).
● Henning Larsen Architects wins the European Prize for Architecture 2019, "selected in recognition of its commitment to sustainability and community-focused design" (and just in time for the studio's 60th anniversary).
● Iranian architect Forouzanfar creates "photomontages that combine archaeological sites in Iran with contemporary buildings - to examine the tension between visions of the past and the future. Linking architecture from the Western canon to pre-Islamic architecture was a deliberately thought-provoking choice."
● A "fascinating video" produced by RSH+P has Rogers talking about the watch he's worn for 44 years (a gift from his mother) - it "strikes a wonderfully contemplative note - one of the most thoughtful takes on watch design and its connection to larger social and human considerations that we've seen."
● Lange parses what "Where'd You Go, Bernadette," a "fractured fairytale" about a female architect (and MacArthur "genius" awardee) who no longer practices, means to her "as a woman in architecture. I want this to be me and my friends."
● Olsen focuses on how "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" uses "oddball architecture to reflect its heroine" - production designer Bruce Curtis looked to Hadid, Scott Brown, and Gray for inspiration: "You wait for projects like this where you can create an entire world and that was a true thrill."
● Whittaker sees the "idling ex-architect" in "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" as "the opposite of Frank Lloyd Wright, but no less complicated - contending with a feeling that she let her creative spark burn out."
● Budds cheers "Big Ideas for Small Lots" at AIANY's Center for Architecture, which showcases entries in the competition to design a multi-family project on a vacant lot in Harlem: "The next challenge - and it's a big one - is moving these ideas from paper into the real world. Let's hope the city's will to build is as strong as the ideas presented."
● "Ending Cycles of Displacement" is an art series in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo that "focuses on creative place-keeping and addressing the most recent cycle of displacement affecting" the neighborhood.
● Medina cheers "Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform" at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston that "explores the intersection of landscape architecture and social reform at the turn of the 20th century - the so-called Progressive Era."
● Welton says "don't miss" a Deep Time exhibit at the Smithsonian, designed by Reich&Petch.
● Two to catch at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin: "Human Nature: Dorte Mandrup, Copenhagen" is the "first comprehensive exhibition about her outstanding work" that "represents a humanistic approach to architecture insisting on creating buildings that speak to and with their surroundings."
● In "100 Experiments: Inspiration in design processes," Latvian designer Anna Butele, of studio Annvil, "explores the notion of inspiration" through work by architects from 28 countries - "each contribution is a reaction inspired by the previous work."
● Betsky peruses "with great pleasure" Nalina Moses' "Single-Handedly: Contemporary Architects Draw by Hand": "I remain astonished that the debate about 'hand drawing' versus 'computer drawings' rages on. Who cares? We should preserve the art of drawing by hand, but not fetishize it."
● Rios revels in Broom's "The Yellow House" and Moraga's "Native Country of the Heart" that "reveal the oft-overlooked daily life that fuels two storied cities" - New Orleans and Los Angeles. "These are not the places where tourists revel and guidebooks dwell."
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Mathias Agbo, Jr.: Rebuilding Nigeria: When Architecture Is About Restoring Culture: Moving past a decade of terror means investing in the potential of what is already there, not creating flashy one-offs: In the midst of sectarian conflict and violence, architects and designers can often feel helpless. We’re inherently builders by nature. But in Nigeria, our role now is clear. We can help rebuild communities, better. ..These efforts, especially in small towns, can be very powerful...- Common Edge
Elizabeth Kim: A Field Guide To The 'Weapons' Of Hostile Architecture In NYC: ...as more developers build amenities in exchange for greater density, there is increased scrutiny on what passes for free and open public spaces...Hostile design is an age-old concept...not restricted to built structures...In cities, some of the most reoccurring expressions of hostile design can be found in public seating...The issue also strikes at the notion of equity. -- Tobias Armborst/"The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion"; Nidhi Gulati/Project for Public Spaces; William Whyte- Gothamist (NYC)
Syracuse’s Proposed Community Grid Could Right a Decades-Old Wrong: New York State Department of Transportation plans to replace the viaduct that runs Interstate 81 through Syracuse...cuts through...a historically African American neighborhood...It’ll reclaim 25 acres of land...turning what is now mostly parking lots into a walkable urban space...[proposal] has faced backlash from many angles. Destiny USA, the sixth largest mall in the country has hired lobbyists...Community organizations and residents are also critical of the plan.- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Vicky Su: RBA Director Anne-Marie Lubenau on the Power of Design to Transform Communities: The biennial Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, which recently named its Silver and Gold winners, showcases exceptional urban projects in cities large and small...Q&A re: big takeaways from this year’s awards, trends in urbanism, and more.- Metropolis Magazine
Mimi Zeiger: Building Sisterhood: How Feminists Sought to Make Architecture a Truly Collective Endeavor: ...looks back at the history of feminism and architecture, finding areas where there has been progress - and where advocates have lost ground: We’re here. If we can’t see ourselves, who will see us? It’s no wonder that “Where are the women architects?”...would be so triggering...we well-trained women and feminists are prone to...fall into a trap that aligns exceptionalism with visibility: Women must be great to be seen. Today we might call it the Zaha trap, the Jeanne trap, the Liz Diller trap... -- Despina Stratigakos; Susana Torre; Lori Brown; ArchiteXX; Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals; Noel Phyllis Birkby/Women’s School of Planning and Architecture; Gwendolyn Wright; Sharon E. Sutton- Metropolis Magazine
Henning Larsen Architects awarded European Prize for Architecture 2019: ...prize coincides with the studio's 60th anniversary...selected in recognition of its commitment to sustainability and community-focused design. -- Mette Kynne Frandsen; Louis Becker; European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies; Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design- European Prize for Architecture
Architect overlays famous modern buildings on Iran's ancient palaces and castles: Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar has created photomontages that combine archaeological sites in Iran with contemporary buildings..."Expanding Iranian Ancient Architecture" imagines modern buildings intersecting with architecture that is thousands of years old...he has collaged these images to examine the tension between visions of the past and the future, and start a conversation about preservation...Linking architecture from the Western canon to pre-Islamic architecture...was a deliberately thought-provoking choice... -- Daniel Libeskind/Studio Libeskind; I.M. Pei; Zaha Hadid Architects; Foster + Partners- Dezeen
Architect Richard Rogers On Humanistic Design And The Accutron Spaceview: One of the world's most eminent architects talks about a watch he's worn for 44 years: In a fascinating video produced by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners [he] discusses a remarkable timepiece...a gift from his mother...video strikes a wonderfully contemplative note...one of the most thoughtful takes on watch design and its connection to larger social and human considerations that we've seen.- HODINKEE
Alexandra Lange: What ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette?’ meant to me as a woman in architecture: The catharsis of watching Cate Blanchett star in the movie version of the best-selling book: ...the protagonist...is a middle-aged female architect who no longer practices, the mother of an eighth grader, an unwilling resident of Seattle, and a MacArthur “genius” award winner married to a TED-talking AI specialist...Bernadette meant something to all of us. But what? I want this to be me and my friends...enough details that felt like the architecture world I live in to make me love it. It is a fractured fairytale...- Curbed
Mark Olsen: How Richard Linklater’s ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ uses oddball architecture to reflect its heroine: A movie about a reclusive star architect rather obviously needs both a star and some pretty striking architecture. For his adaptation of Maria Semple’s 2012 novel “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” filmmaker...turned to actress Cate Blanchett, who crafted a playfully inscrutable seriocomic performance...For the architecture, [he] turned to...production designer Bruce Curtis...“you wait for projects like this where you can create an entire world and that was a true thrill"...Curtis looked to female architects such as Eileen Gray, Zaha Hadid and Denise Scott Brown for inspiration.- Los Angeles Times
Richard Whittaker: Richard Linklater Constructs a Frustrated Architect in "Where’d You Go, Bernadette": Cate Blanchett's character is the opposite of Frank Lloyd Wright, but no less complicated: ...the idling ex-architect seems much more philosophically in tune with...Le Corbusier...[she] is contending with...a feeling that she let her creative spark burn out..."an artist's nightmare scenario [of] an artist who's not doing her art," and it's often pretty ugly...they included enough to understand how Bernadette ticks. It's that Le Corbusier, work-with-the-material instinct again, as opposed to Wright's authoritarian, didactic ordering of the world.- Austin Chronicle (Texas)
Diana Budds: Can small, vacant lots alleviate NYC’s housing crisis? AIANY and city agencies explore how irregular lots can be used for housing in a new exhibition at the Center for Architecture: ...launched the "Big Ideas for Small Lots" design competition, an open call for architects to design a multi-family project on a vacant lot in Harlem...entries are on view...until November 2...The next challenge - and it’s a big one - is moving these ideas from paper into the real world. Let’s hope the city’s will to build is as strong as the ideas presented. -- Adam Frampton/Karolina Czeczek/Only If; Ted Kane/Kane Architecture and Urbanism; Jeremiah Joseph/Anwan/101- Curbed New York
L.A.’s Little Tokyo combats displacement with summer arts series: Little Tokyo Summer Arts Series, a series of free, all-ages, public events exploring the theme of “Ending Cycles of Displacement”...will include work from...five artists from the...2019 +LAB Artists in Residence (AIR) Project...This year’s residency focuses on creative place-keeping and addressing the most recent cycle of displacement affecting Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo. August 17 - 30.- The Architect's Newspaper
Samuel Medina: How Landscape Architecture Hoped to Save the City: "Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform" at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum [Boston] explores the intersection of landscape architecture and social reform at the turn of the 20th century: In revisiting this period - the so-called Progressive Era - the show couples the emergence of landscape architecture as a discipline with political agitation. thru September 15 -- Daniel Burnham; Frederick Law Olmsted; Charles Eliot; Lewis Wickes Hine; Charles Waldheim- Metropolis Magazine
J. Michael Welton: A Deep Time Exhibit at the Smithsonian: Inside a 31,000-square-foot, ground-floor hall at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. - one designed by Charles McKim and Daniel Burnham in 1910 - the concept known as Deep Time is under exploration...exhibits that reach back to the early creation of earth 4.8 billion years ago, and work their way up to the present day – when humans are acting with the ability to impact the globe....Don’t miss it. -- Stephen Petri/Reich&Petch- Architects + Artisans
"HUMAN:NATURE: Dorte Mandrup, Copenhagen": ...awarded with the ‘AW Architekt des Jahres 2019’ (AW architect of the year) by the Hamburg based AW Architektur & Wohnen Magazine...this first comprehensive exhibition about her outstanding work at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin...represents a humanistic approach to architecture insisting on creating buildings that speak to and with their surroundings... August 17 - September 26- Aedes Architecture Forum/Aedes Architekturforum (Berlin)
"100 Experiments: Inspiration in design processes": Latvian designer Anna Butele, of studio Annvil in Riga explores the notion of inspiration...100 works by renowned architects from 28 countries...each contribution is a reaction inspired by the previous work. Aedes Architecture Forum/Aedes Architekturforum, Berlin, August 17 - September 26- Aedes Architecture Forum/Aedes Architekturforum (Berlin)
Aaron Betsky: A Perspective on Perspective: We should preserve the art of drawing by hand, but not fetishize it: One of my students [accused] me of trying to force him to make drawings “that don’t show the truth and are not how we see the world anymore." Stunned, I retreated to my den to peruse with great pleasure Nalina Moses’ "Single-Handedly: Contemporary Architects Draw by Hand"...but not before pointing out that computer renderings can lie with the best of them...I remain astonished that the debate about “hand drawing”...versus “computer drawings”...rages on. Who cares? Is one better than the other? ...final chapters...lift it to the realm of being a printed paean to experimental architecture - and to the possibilities of hand drawing.- Architect Magazine
Carmen Rios: A Yellow House, a Native Heart: Life in New Orleans and Los Angeles: Sarah M. Broom’s "The Yellow House" and Cherríe Moraga’s "Native Country of the Heart" reveal the oft-overlooked daily life that fuels two storied cities: These are not the places where tourists revel and guidebooks dwell. These are the places where life unfolds for the families at the edge of marginalization...where the invisible underclasses who breathe life into cities, but so often receive no recognition in return, go through the motions of daily life that imbue their own stories with deep meaning.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
This Overlooked Serbian Fairy-Tale Town Is for You: On the Hungarian-Serbian border is one of the world’s best-kept secrets, an art-nouveau masterpiece called Subotica: [It] hasn’t hit the design and travel world’s radardespite being just a two-hour drive from Belgrade...some of the murkiness in its past lies in the fact that it’s had 200 names since the 14th century and been ruled by five different countries since the 1920s...Hungarian art nouveau is perhaps best representedby the work of...Marcel Komor and Dezso Jakab....responsible for the design of multiple buildings- The Daily Beast
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