Today’s News - Tuesday, February 19, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: Everyone under clear skies tonight should look up! You'll get a smile back from a magnificent Super Snow Moon! (The "second of this winter's trio of supermoons," and the "biggest full moon of 2019," according to

●  Oddo pays eloquent tribute to Alessandro Mendini, "the protagonist of a real revolution in design. His ideas were a poetic expression of freedom, experimentation, and emancipation from common expectations."

●  On a happier note, Murcutt is tapped to design 6th MPavilion for Melbourne (no renderings - yet).

●  Davidson offers his up-close and personal take on NYC's Hudson Yards, complete with the "endearingly weird" Shed: "Each time I approach, I feel a volatile mix of wonder and dejection roil in my chest - gifted architects worked hard to figure out how gargantuan buildings could form a place where human beings feel like they belong. They created the opposite of their intention."

●  Brandes Gratz explains why "the Amazon HQ2 brouhaha needs a clarification" - it isn't abandoning NYC. "It's simply cancelling the construction of a physical campus. Surely, it is not going to leave the field entirely to others, even without a helipad" (use Google as a model).

●  Sidewalk Labs Toronto reveals Snøhetta and Heatherwick's designs, and "documents detailing how the company plans to pay for the ground-up development" (with link to official presentation - worth a look!).

●  Litt x 2: "Cleveland Heights deserves better than the joyless" apartment complex proposed for prominent site (even local architects picketed): "Apart from its dullness - it isn't awful in comparison with earlier versions. Style is not the problem here. It's that the project looks stale."

●  He parses the "clash of positive values" surrounding Cleveland's planned Red Line Greenway: "It's a case of nature versus transit-oriented development, which is unfortunate. The two can, and should, work together."

●  Rob Walker walks us through what went wrong with Brad Pitt's Make It Right project in New Orleans: It "has gradually evolved from a bold example of design's potential to solve problems into a cautionary tale."

●  Pedersen's Q&A with Walker re: his "deep and critical look at the architectural experiment" that is Make It Right is it "a litmus test for 'Architecture with a capital A'?": "A lot of social design suffers from a flashy debut - and then no maintenance. It can't just look good in a portfolio. It has to work in real life."

●  Moore minces no words about "an absurd vanity project" - London's Garden Bridge, a "scandalously mismanaged 'gift to the people of London'" where "rules were bent and arms were twisted. If we weren't so distracted by that other Johnson-generated fiasco, Brexit, it should be at the centre of attention."

●  King, on a brighter note, cheers two new ferry terminals in the San Francisco Bay Area that "address the practical - sea level rise - with style. Architecturally, each delivers infrastructure with a flourish."

●  Kafka cheers Berlin's IBeB cooperative housing development: "While the construction of a large housing development at such a centrally located and historically loaded neighborhood is surprising and inspiring, even more impressive are the politics and design collaboration that made it possible."

●  Kamin praises Preissner's pro-bono proposal to help a troubled South Side community in Chicago: "It remains to be seen whether his dream will ever materialize, but it already qualifies as a strong display of out-of-the-box thinking - a promising interweaving of social purpose and aesthetic innovation."

●  Perhaps something all these cities should study: Riggs, Steins & Shukla's "City Planning Technology, 2019 Benchmarking Study" on the current state of Internet technologies and systems adopted by 600 cities across the U.S. that "focuses on the websites of city planning departments as one of the most common places citizens interact with government."

●  Okamoto profiles Rosa Sheng, Equity by Design, and how her team is "using data to make architecture more equitable - the 2016 election and #MeToo have fostered a sense of urgency and ushered in new voices. There is much work ahead."

●  Hewitt dares to utter the "B" word, and "how a more universal concept of beauty can reshape architecture" (sciences involved - what a concept!).

●  Robinson takes issue with minimalism: "It is delightful to have a world dotted with small visual Easter eggs. Contemporary design deprives us of these wonderful, whimsical features - we should embrace the filigree of life" (includes his made-up "New Maximalists" manifesto).

●  A good reason to head to Washington, D.C. this week: the Architecture & Design Film Festival returns to the National Building Museum: "ADFF: D.C. will screen films that explore design and its connection to issues of social justice, diversity, technology, and equity."


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