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Today’s News - Friday, December 11, 2009

EDITOR'S NOTE: Early morning travel plans on Monday, so there will be no newsletter - but we'll be back Tuesday, December 15 (and posting from our home base time zone).

•   Report from Istanbul: What lessons could its roving band of city experts offer Europe's fastest growing metropolis?

•   Sydney to get its first Gehry.

•   Farrelly thinks its "great to have a Gehry in Sydney, but hopes he has "another idea, not ichthyological; something with a magic more spatial than material."

•   Britain experiments with converting old offices, church halls, and municipal buildings - but not all are convinced it's such a good idea (turning "crap buildings" into schools "isn't going to look very good").

•   Will design thresholds improve public buildings? Yes, says Margaret Hodge; no counters Robert Adam.

•   Eyefuls of new and notable performing arts centers.

•   Call for entries: Urban Center of Sustainable Transports in Barcelona international student competition.

•   NYT's 9th Annual Year in Ideas: Design.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Pearman warns "don't let the marketing people put you off": "Earth: art of a changing world" at the Royal Academy "is not a breast-beating show by any means."

•   Glancey gives (mostly) thumbs-up to the Serpentine's "Design Real": "Design might not be art - but maybe, in some ways, it's all the better for it."

•   Saarinen show at the Museum of the City of New York "offers a fascinating insight into this search for an aesthetic that could, simultaneously, express both egalitarianism and imperialism."

•   Dietsch drives through "House of Cars" at the National Building Museum and finds it "fascinating" with "hopeful signs of architectural reinvention."

•   Cool time-lapse video of NYC's first robot-built public art installation.

•   "Urbanisms: Steven Holl + Li Hu: 4 Projects in China" opens in one of them in Shenzhen.

•   Premiere screenings of "Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City" in Chicago (of course).

•   Heathcote's list of best books of the year.

•   Hodge picks of books for design lovers.

•   Mies's Villa Tugendhat as the protagonist in "The Glass Room" might (hopefully) renew interest in the building "help focus attention on its plight and ensure that the efforts made to preserve it."

•   We couldn't resist: amazing video of one armchair's 98,268-foot assent into the stratosphere.


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