Today’s News - Wednesday, May 23, 2018
● Kamin explains why "Materials matter. Oh, do they matter!" when it comes to the Obama Center: "When I asked Tsien, in the spirit of Louis Kahn, what the stone wants to be, she replied: 'maybe like the person we are trying to represent. Warm with a sense of quiet complexity.' An alluring concept. Now let's see the material evidence."
● Moore parses the stadiums readying for their 2018 World Cup close-up in Russia: "The fabulous expense of this event has gone to some place other than good architecture. The stadiums are mostly lumpy, their soaring ambitions grounded" (scroll down to #2).
● A Montana kind of day: The Tippet Rise Art Center in the Beartooth Mountains taps Kéré for a (delightful!) new pavilion - "as part of the agreement, the Tippet Rise Fund will support the construction of a new school building in Kéré's native Burkina Faso."
● Montana State University architecture students are hard at work "putting finishing touches on the first prototype" for a "village" of about 30 to 50 tiny (145-square-foot!) homes for the homeless in Bozeman, MT.
● El-Space, an initiative of The Design Trust for Public Space to activate the "forgotten spaces" under NYC's elevated highways, launches its first pilot installation underneath the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn (yay!).
● Mitchell x 2: Part 1: She parses 4 of the 9 proposals for San Francisco's Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge proposals.
● Part 2: she parses the remaining 5 proposals for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge (nice to see all 9 gathered).
● Carpo considers "post-digital 'quitters'": "The only difference between yesterday's Postmodernists and today's Post-digitalists would be in the degree of their aversion to technology. The PoMos fought against technology; the PoDigs don't care about it."
● Fure takes issue with Carpo's take on the PoDigs that left him "a bit troubled," citing MVRDV's Glass Farm as an example: "Three details strike me as particularly post-digital about this project."
● The 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial appoints educator and curator Sepake Angiama and architect and urbanist Paulo Tavares as co-curators: "Both have research-based practices that look thoughtfully at how the built environment relates to social structures on an international scale."
● Two we couldn't resist: Rambin raises an eyebrow (rather amusingly!) at renderings of a few Texas towers that "all kinda look exactly the same. But it gets weirder - we can definitively declare that Austin has entered the Age of Contemporary Divergent Mass. Isn't that name fun to hate?"
● Having nothing to do with architecture (and swampy puns are sure to ensue): Garfield reports that the White House lawn "has developed a mysterious sinkhole - found by reporters a year to the day after a similar one developed at Mar-a-lago.
Yesterday, it was: "What do architecture critics think of the state of architecture criticism today?" Today, it's:
● Lubell takes a deep dive into what "architects can still learn from Tom Wolfe," and his "most notorious rant" - "From Bauhaus to Our House": "What Wolfe got right is his skewering of what can be an insular, snotty, tone-deaf culture" - still, "it's important to recognize how his keen cultural antenna can still contribute to the current debates about our profession."
● Architects and educators respond to AN's round-up of critics' takes on the state of architecture criticism today ("The role of the opinion-forming, influential critic is more or less dead. Everyone is a critic now").
● Brussat offers his own take on the critics' takes on criticism: "The truth is that architecture critics never write about the fact that most people do not like most architects or their work."
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Blair Kamin: The message of material: How the Obama Presidential Center gets built looms large: It would be going too far to say that the Chicago Plan Commission didn’t know what it was voting for when its members...endorsed the proposed [Center ]...But in a way, that’s what happened...The “outline has been approved,” Billie Tsien...said in an interview. “But the novel has yet to be written"...When I asked Tsien, in the spirit of Louis Kahn, what the stone wants to be, she replied: “maybe like the person we are trying to represent. Warm with a sense of quiet complexity"...An alluring concept. Now let’s see the material evidence. -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien- Chicago Tribune
Rowan Moore: Russia uncovered: writers on the 2018 World Cup host nation: Stadiums: The fabulous expense of this event has gone to some place other than good architecture: It is beyond the scope of this article to tour all 12 venues...but from a distance it doesn’t look like being a classic, architecturally speaking. There are no gamechangers...The stadiums are mostly lumpy, their soaring ambitions grounded, some bearing too obviously the scars of budget cuts.... -- Kisho Kurokawa; Populous; GMP Architeken- Observer (UK)
Tippet Rise Art Center Taps Francis Kéré for New Permanent Pavilion: Slated for construction in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains, the 1,900-square-foot pavilion will open next summer: As part of the agreement, the Tippet Rise Fund will support the construction of a new school building in Kéré's native Burkina Faso...an "elevated gathering place," the design...is inspired by sacred shelters in Mali called togunas... -- Laura Viklund Gunn/Gunnstock Timber Frames [images]- Architect Magazine
Bozeman looks to build tiny home village for homeless: Montana State University architecture students were working on what they like to call "building intelligently" -- putting finishing touches on the first prototype...for of about 30 to 50 tiny homes...Ralph Johnson and his students worked for two years researching different homeless villages in other cities and coming up with cardboard prototypes...The result is an energy-efficient, 145-square-foot home that cost $12,000 in building materials.- NBC Montana
El-Space, a New Installation that Activates the Forgotten Spaces Under the BQE in Sunset Park: ...an initiative of The Design Trust for Public Space...first pilot installation that showcases what an alternative walkway beneath the Gowanus Expressway could look like...in a plan to create more El-Spaces throughout the five boroughs...The design tests strategies for lighting, green infrastructure, and urban design for replicability, aesthetics, and of course, how the public uses and engages with it.
-- Tricia Martin/WE Design Landscape Architecture; Quilian Riano/DSGN AGNC; Leni Schwendinger (lighting) [images]- Untapped Cities
Grace Mitchell: Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge Proposals Unveiled (Part 1 - 4 project summaries): ...brought together nine multi-disciplinary design teams to develop resilient solutions to climate change-induced sea level rise and severe flooding, and seismic impacts at various sites around the San Francisco Bay....While there is no funding laid out...several teams will continue efforts with communities to realize them. The success of the competition lies in the ideas generated...Summaries of the design proposals: -- BionicTeam: Bionic Landscape, WXY, PennDesign, Michael Yarne, Enterprise, Moffatt & Nichol, WRA, RMA, Romberg Tiburon Center SFSU, BAYCAT, Studio for Urban Projects, RAD Urban, Keyser Marson Associates; Permaculture Plus Social Equity: Pandora Thomas; Antonio Roman-Alcala; Urban Permaculture Institute; Ross Martin Design; Alexander J. Felson, Yale School of Architecture; Common Ground: TLS Landscape Architecture; Exploratorium; Guy Nordenson & Associates; Michael Maltzan Architecture; HR&A Advisors; Sitelab Urban Studio; Lotus Water; Rana Creek; Dr. John Oliver; Richard Hindle, UC Berkeley; Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants; BIG + ONE + Sherwood: BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, One Architecture + Urbanism, Sherwood Engineers, Moffat & Nichol, Nelson\Nygaard, Strategic Economics, Dutra Group- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Grace Mitchell: Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge Proposals Unveiled (Part 2 - 5 project summaries): -- Home Team: Mithun, Chinatown Community Development center ISEEED/Streetwyze, BioHabitats, Integral Group, HR&A Advisors, Moffat & Nicho, ALTA Planning, Urban Biofilter, Resilient Design Institute; All Bay Collective: AECOM, CMG Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, Berkeley Center for New Media, The Terner Center, California College of the Arts, IDEO, Silvestrum, SKEO, modem, David Baker Architects; Public Sediment: SCAPE Landscape Architecture, Arcadis, Dredge Research Collaborative, TS Studio, UC Davis Department of Human Ecology and Design, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, Buoyant Ecologies Lab; HASSELL+: Hassell, Deltares, Lotus Water, Idyllist, Civic Edge Consulting, Goudappel, Page & Turnbull, HATCH, Brown & Caldwell; Field Operations Team: James Corner Field Operations, Moffat & Nichol, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, SF Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Romberg-Tiburon Center SFSF, Andrea Baker Consulting, James Lima Planning + Development, The Bay Institute, SeArc/ECOncrete, HT Harvey and Associates, Playhou.se, Adventure Pictures- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Mario Carpo: Post-Digital “Quitters”: Why the Shift Toward Collage Is Worrying: Cherished and nurtured by Modernists and Postmodernists alike, collage used to be a crucial image-making technology of the mechanical age. But its time has passed: The only difference between yesterday’s Postmodernists and today’s Post-digitalists would then be in the degree of their aversion to technology...The PoMos fought against technology; the PoDigs don’t care about technology...when architects start talking about sfumato, collage, or watercolors, it’s time to start worrying. Architects cannot do without technology, but technology can do without them.- Metropolis Magazine
Adam Fure: The PoDigs: What does it really mean to be “post-digital” in architecture and beyond? Mario Carpo’s...“Post-Digital ‘Quitters"...left me a bit troubled...[his] definition of “post-digital” could not have been further from my own...The post-digital is deeply digital...Digital design is no longer a rarified practice of experimental vanguards, it’s a mainstream cultural practice worthy of our attention...Take MVRDV’s Glass Farm for example, a building covered top-to-bottom in digital imagery. Three details strike me as particularly post-digital about this project.- The Architect's Newspaper
Chicago Architecture Biennial appoints Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares as 2019 co-curators
...educator and curator Angiama, and architect and urbanist Tavares. Along with creative director Yesomi Umolu...the Biennials’ third installment, launching in September 2019...Both co-curators have research-based practices that look thoughtfully at how the built environment relates to social structures on an international scale, factors that will undoubtedly contribute to defining the theme of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, to be announced later this fall.- The Architect's Newspaper
James Rambin: Huh, These Towers All Kinda Look Exactly the Same, Don’t They? Listen, we’re not trying to cause any trouble here. But we also have eyes, so it’s hard not to notice...first look at the design of the downtown office tower now known as The Republic...looks extremely similar to Block 71 office tower...But it gets weirder...But wait, there’s more! ...we can definitively declare that Austin has entered the Age of Contemporary Divergent Mass. Isn’t that name fun to hate? -- Duda/Paine Architects; Page Southerland Pag [images]- TOWERS Austin (Texas)
Leanna Garfield: The White House lawn has developed a mysterious sinkhole that’s ‘growing larger by the day’: Sinkhole was found by reporters a year to the day after a similar one developed at Mar-a-lago: Located outside the entrance to the press briefing room...The White House’s plans to fix the sinkhole are currently unclear. If it’s not addressed soon, it will probably get larger. [images]- South China Morning Post
Sam Lubell: Architects can still learn from Tom Wolfe: ...[he] was an unrepentant hater of Modernist architecture...most notorious rant...was "From Bauhaus to Our House" ...Paul Goldberger, while acknowledging architecture’s need to be comprehensible to most, hated Wolfe’s black and white view of buildings...[His] reputation in the architecture community remains poor at best...Still, [his] ear should not be underestimated, especially his still-timely attacks of the profession’s often unrepentant elitism...What Wolfe got right...is his skewering of what can be an insular, snotty, tone-deaf culture...Agree or disagree...it’s important to recognize how his keen cultural antenna...can still contribute to the current debates about our profession.- The Architect's Newspaper
Tweetstorm: How has the internet changed architecture criticism? ...responses we received from those who drew attention to the role that technology has played in changing the discourse...“the role of the opinion-forming, influential critic is more or less dead. Everyone is a critic now"..."Critics must develop fresh audiences by using strange and experimental critical forms and reflecting those findings back onto the architecture discipline.” -- Sam Jacob; Charles Holland; David Ruy/Ruy Klein; Michael Young/Young & Ayata; Ellie Abrons/T+E+A+M- The Architect's Newspaper
David Brussat: Criticism of criticism of etc.: This post is a species of what Mencken called “Criticism of Criticism of Criticism.” The Architects Newspaper has just published the latest bout of self-criticism...The truth is that architecture critics never write about the fact that most people do not like most architects or their work...The problems of architecture today would not exist if buildings that people (not critics) could love were being designed and built today.- Architecture Here and There
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