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Today’s News - Friday, September 3, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: Monday is Labor Day (U.S.), so we will not be laboring - but we'll be back on Tuesday, September 7.

•   Zandberg calls for architects and planners to "announce publicly that they will not continue planning new buildings in the settlements... Those who sketch the blue lines of master plans of settlements are bound more than anyone else by the red lines of conscience."

•   Another handful of thoughtful takes on the Venice Biennale:

•   Pearman found it "purely enjoyable" because, "for once, it's not all about the next big icon building."

•   Pallister says it's "steeped in playfulness and sensuality...interested more in ephemera, experience and impermanence than in bombast, bling and lucre."

•   Woodman thinks it's "the most beautiful ever" and "restores one's faith in the very idea of an architecture biennale."

•   McKie sees it as a reminder of what it's supposed to be about: "providing a pleasant room to sit in, an agreeable place for people to meet."

•   Menking, on the other hand, wonders if it's outlived its usefulness: "the question is whether design in the absence of urbanism is architecture or just design?"

•   Tan wonders where people fit in "within these esoteric concepts."

•   Bevan says it's "as if the architectural world has paused mid-step to think things through instead of moving immediately on to design the next office tower or airport terminal" (except, perhaps, the Australian pavilion that "bumbles like a stoned wombat negotiating a set of glass-top coffee tables" - how could we resist!).

•   We also couldn't resist: a profile of Golden Lion winner Bahrain Pavilion (our fave!).

•   Russell brings us back to the real world with how New Orleanians "need no longer cower in the shadows of their endless, dispiriting levee walls. They could begin living gracefully with their age-old aquatic enemy."

•   Q&A with San Francisco planner Power and efforts to pedestrianize the city.

•   D.C.'s Planning Commission gives (mostly) thumbs-up to revised design for the new African American Museum: it's now 17% smaller and more slender.

•   Cornell taps Office dA to design permanent suicide barriers for bridges: it "wanted someone who could 'solve difficult questions creatively and beautifully.'"

•   Brussat makes a connection between Cole Porter, George Orwell, and an "Ugly is Beautiful" movement.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Burnham's City Beautiful comes alive in a PBS documentary airing this Monday.

•   Lubell is "blown away" by the architecture at Burning Man - with pix to prove it.

•   San Francisco kicks off its 7th Annual Architecture and the City festival "Investigating Urban Metabolisms" - the city as a living, breathing organism.

•   A video tour of "Our Cities Ourselves" at NYC's Center for Architecture, seeking "humane, less techno-driven solutions" to urban issues.

•   Houses you can wear at ARCAM Amsterdam Centre for Architecture.

•   Gruber continues his thoughts on urban design (the field) and "Urban Design" (the book): city planning has a role, "particularly in situations where architects and their clients cannot be trusted to consider the functional urban context."


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