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Today’s News - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

•   Farrelly minces no words (but with great humor!) about what she thinks about the state of "design" (square toilets and houses customized to DNA included): it now seems to mean '''all form no content' or 'really really pretentious and silly' or just 'downright unusable'...Only on the rarest occasions is the word 'designer' used to mean 'supremely well suited to purpose.'"

•   In New Zealand, Wellington Airport's "edgy" new building (a.k.a. The Rock) "smashes pumpkin reputation": it seems people do like it after all.

•   King cheers the rebirth of a San Francisco alley that balances traffic and pedestrians: "All it took was five years, bureaucratic contortions and determination."

•   In L.A., (fer) Studio's proposal to bring "a once bustling and elegant" thoroughfare back to life faces a bad economy, government indecision, and a wary public.

•   Boston wins EPA grant to redo the widely criticized City Hall Plaza, "a strong signal" that demolition of the Brutalist City Hall building is now "off the table" (disappointing some, good news to others).

•   Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Chicago's newest Apple store: it may be "less than original, but still upgrades the cityscape."

•   Bernstein on plans to revamp the 100 11th Avenue lobby: though they say they're "channeling Nouvel," the architect "does not want to be channeled. 'What I designed was very precise...It's not respectful.'"

•   Brisac Gonzalez's plan for the Museum of Copenhagen in a former 17th Century brewery includes "interventions designed to be undoable."

•   An interesting profile of Terry Farrell, "the man with the master plan": despite having designed "a few of the most unpopular buildings in London...he has become a sensitive thinker" about the city, and uses "his high profile to provoke debate and initiate projects."

•   Gould cheers an "anti-McMansion" in Racine, WI: it's "a bold, colorful - and LEED Platinum-rated - modernist box" that doesn't raise "the ire of local preservationists."

•   Meanwhile, remember that billion-dollar home in Mumbai? Some are "proud" of its ostentatious-ness, while "others see it as shameful in a nation where many children go hungry" (slide show may color your opinion).

•   The American University of Beirut launches Landscape Architecture as new profession in the country and region.

•   Eyefuls of The Earth Awards 2010 winners - a very interesting (and promising) mix! + The winner in Social Justice category "represents a shift in emphasis among some architects"; says the Norwegian architect, design "can change people's lives...if architects and other experts just lower their fees."


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