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Today’s News - Friday, March 5, 2010

•   We lose Raimund Abraham, "a favorite of Cooper Union Dean John Hejduk, Abraham helped make the school a hotbed of theory and design," in a smash-up with an L.A. bus.

•   Weinstein finds "Design through Dialogue" a "helpful communications primer," but it "leaves some uncomfortable questions" unanswered.

•   An exhaustive report on the Thames Gateway development that risks becoming a Docklands "writ large" (with no place for birds or bugs): "the local communities know what they need and they don't need another high-profile architect or urban visionary to tell them."

•   An underdog Dallas neighborhood "becomes cool embracing what other parts of the city have fought" (don't call it a slum anymore).

•   Dublin's new dockside theater may feel like "Libeskind-lite" (no starchitect hubris here), but it's still "populist and warm-hearted" and "it sure is likeable, like a chirpy little fella with big dreams."

•   Saffron practically swoons over Maki's "gossamer bell jar" amidst the bricks of University of Pennsylvania campus.

•   Aspen gives the nod to out-of-towner Oz instead of local Poss for affordable housing project (it's been a saga; now all they need is the money to build it).

•   Niemeyer "still showing a flair for dramatic design" with his "glittering" new government complex in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

•   Architects, young and old, caught in the downswing a year ago: where are they now? (some good, some not so good news).

•   Weekend diversions (and lots of 'em):

•   Szenasy on "Modernism at Risk" at NYC's Center for Architecture, and the rise of design activism.

•   The Guggenheim's "Contemplating the Void" is a "fun hotchpotch," but much of the "profusion of fantastical projects" wind up "reinforcing the dictatorial nature of Wright's design. But resistance is possible."

•   Rothstein finds Yale's "Compass & Rule" charts "a period of radical transformation in architecture": the show's "argument is difficult and sometimes too allusively made, but the impact is considerable." - On the other hand, Genocchio found it "a visually unremarkable collection" that is "just too dry to appeal to a wide audience."

•   Tapei gets its first eyeful of a British master with "Richard Rogers + Architects."

•   Balmond shows off his thinking about geometry, pattern, and space in Tokyo (great pix!).

•   Eliasson "makes magic" at an NYC gallery: "It's a doozy" (and pix to prove it).

•   A terrific slide show of "Sculpture by the Sea" on a beach in Perth, Australia (some of the titles are better than the art).

•   Lamster views "The Art of the Steal," a new documentary that alleges Barnes Foundation theft: it "frequently undermines its own argument," but "manages to elicit sympathy for some of the dedicated Barnesians fighting the good fight."

•   Gruber finds "Grid/Street/Place" has much in common with "The Smart Growth Manual," but disappointment that includes only a few "places that evolved 'lot-by-lot'...rather than by means of a developer with a plan (and a bulldozer)."

•   King considers authenticity and Zukin's "Naked City: it's "a provocative book and a conflicted one, and the conflict is what gives it life."

•   "The British Constitution, Continuity and Change" by Britain's former Labor Minister takes on Prince Charles's "grotesque" and "unconstitutional' meddling" in urban issues + what really was in his missives re: Chelsea Barracks is (finally) revealed.

•   Kamin gets it from the horses' mouths what we'll find in Mies 2.0, the forthcoming "Mies Building Art: A Biography and Critique."

•   "Between Lines " puts architects' doodles on a pedestal.

•   An eyeful of what's inside the "neatly packaged" new "Almanac of Architecture & Design."


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