Today’s News - Wednesday, December 22, 2010
• Sevcik on why the creative class can't save cities: "Poor Richard Florida - his theory is very right but it was then misused for short-term thinking" ("Archi-porn" and counting on the Bilbao Effect is no guarantee of success).
• Warren Berger offers a four-step dance to be truly innovative (going backwards or sideways is not always a bad thing).
• Neustein's report on Gehry's dog-and-pony show in Sydney (the most amusing must-read of the day): his UTS Business School is not a "crumpled 'brown paper bag'"; and "if quirky and exuberant costs less than rational and sober, he asks, why wouldn't you hire me?"
• Rosenbaum (among others) offers a glide through Piano's "brave new Whitney" with a clip "produced despite Renzo Piano's usual distaste for fly-throughs."
• Saffron is mostly disappointed in Philly's "latest pile of bricks to land on Independence Mall": The President's House, though "once you step into the belly of the memorial, the project begins to redeem itself."
• The new Dutch embassy in Amman is Jordan's first LEED building: will it help placate ancestors who "would be horrified at our present waste of resources?"
• Pearman on what went wrong with the Stirling/Wilford 1976 Runcorn housing estate: if it had "survived and been upgraded, it would have a very different reputation today" (the opening tale is a hoot).
• Bornstein cheers Rosanne Haggerty and Common Ground (among our faves) and the 100,000 Homes Campaign: "It's the human welfare equivalent of NASA's race to put a man on the moon," proving "when cities make a concerted effort" to reduce chronic homelessness, "they succeed."
• Berlin receives a €120 million ($160 million) Christmas present; now all the city needs to do is build a new museum to house it.
• 'Tis the season for the year-in-reviews: Anderton's impressive panel finds it "wasn't all bad" in L.A.
• Rinaldi cheers "high ambition" that drove the best designs, even in a tough year.
• The best from Dallas (this felt a bit thin to us).
• AIA's ABI report reaches highest score since 2007, but it will take "several months in a row of increasing demand" before "we can feel safe saying we have entered a recovery phase."
• Canadian Architect hands out its 2010 Awards of Excellence (alas, no images).
• Call for entries: NEA's "Our Town" grants for "creative placemaking" projects (just a heads-up - guidelines coming soon) + BSA's Rotch Travelling Scholarship.
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Thomas Sevcik/Arthesia: Why Art and the Creative Class will Never Save Cities: “Poor Richard Florida – his theory is very right but it was then misused for short-term thinking"...the ubiquity of “Archi-porn” and the tendency of many cities to...hire big-name architects to design glorious new cultural centers and hope that talent and business will naturally follow...what may work in Bilbao may not necessarily present a universal model for civic success. By Yael Friedman- Urban Omnibus
To Innovate, You Need the Courage to Step Backward: The biggest ideas come only after you question why you're trying to innovate in the first place...What the experienced innovator understands is that there is no shame in going backwards or sideways, and what might seem to be a setback is nothing of the kind - it’s just a step in the dance. By Warren Berger- Fast Company
Frank Gehry's crumpled vision for Sydney: ...claims his $150m crumpled 'brown paper bag' proposal for the UTS Business School is cost-effective and simple to build...2010 was the year of high-profile Sydney commissions...So it proved fitting that the year would culminate in a commission of near Bilbao-scale aspirations...If quirky and exuberant costs less than rational and sober, he asks, why wouldn’t you hire me? By David Neustein -- RogersStirk Harbour; Jean Nouvel; Denton Corker Marshall; Lacoste + Stevenson; Daryl Jackson Robyn Dyke; DRAW- Australian Design Review
Wanna Glide Through Renzo Piano’s New Whitney Downtown? Now you can! ...a preview of the brave new Whitney. (Groundbreaking: May 24) The clip was produced despite Renzo Piano's usual distaste for fly-throughs... By Lee Rosenbaum [video, links]- ArtsJournal
Brick pile's colliding tales: ...The President's House...Is it a commemoration of a young republic's first presidential residence, or a middle-aged nation's first attempt to commemorate the immoral institution of slavery? The architecture certainly doesn't provide the answer, which is unfortunate for the city, the nation, and the poor tourists trying to navigate the mall. By Inga Saffron -- Kelly/Maiello; American History Workshops; Eisterhold Associates [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Jordan’s Princess Samaya Praises Kingdom’s First LEED Building: ...worries that her ancestors would be horrified at our present waste of resources. Perhaps the new Dutch embassy in Amman would placate them? -- Rudy Uytenhaak Architectenbure [image]- Green Prophet (Middle East)
Georgian Precedents, Modern Realities: Or, What Went Wrong at Runcorn? When first built, Southgate was generally well received by the international critics...The British were much harder...It was brave...to attempt mass-production housing at all. I have no doubt that, had Southgate survived and been upgraded, it would have a very different reputation today. By Hugh Pearman -- James Stirling; Michael Wilford (1976) [slide show]- Architect Magazine
A Plan to Make Homelessness History: ...a methodical approach to do away with a major social problem...the 100,000 Homes Campaign has set the goal of placing 100,000 chronically homeless people...into permanent supportive housing by July 2013. It’s the human welfare equivalent of NASA’s race to put a man on the moon...The big story...is that when cities make a concerted effort to reduce it, they succeed. By David Bornstein -- Rosanne Haggerty/Common Ground- New York Times
Berlin's 120 Million Euro Christmas Gift: ...to receive a valuable trove of surrealist art. Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch are donating their €120 million ($160 million) collection to the German capital. All Berlin has to do is build a museum...The idea of a new modern museum is supported by many..."A gallery for the 20th century must come. We are doing everything in our power to realize this idea."- Der Spiegel (Germany)
DnA/Frances Anderton: It Wasn't All Bad: Bright Spots in LA in 2010...at the end of a difficult year, DnA looks at the upside and finds the place with "no there there" uniting around a quest for community. Los Angeles design experts share their favorite projects + Designing Women at the Downtown Women's Center -- Rochelle Mills/Mills Studio/Architours; Sam Lubell/The Architect's Newspaper; Katherine Aguilar Perez/Urban Land Institute Los Angeles; Christopher Hawthorne/Los Angeles Times; Linda Dishman/Los Angeles Conservancy; Guy Horton/Huffington Post; Maureen Sullivan/Pica + Sullivan Architects- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Tough year, soaring looks in Denver architecture: High ambition drove the best designs of 2010 and inspired projects still on the drawing board. By Ray Rinaldi -- Santiago Calatrava; Christo; RNL Design; klipp; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Roth+Sheppard; etc. [images]- Denver Post
2010 In Review: The Best in Dallas Architecture -- Fain Johnson; Beck Group; Thom Mayne/Morphosis; Santiago Calatrava; HDR; Corgan; Green Building Ordinance; Dallas Architecture Forum; Dallas Center for Architecture [images]- D Magazine (Dallas)
Architecture Billings Index [ABI] Reaches Highest Score Since 2007: Business conditions continue to vary by sector and region..."Once we see several months in a row of increasing demand we can feel safe saying we have entered a recovery phase. Until then, we can expect continued volatility in business conditions."- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Canadian Architect 2010 Awards of Excellence winners announced -- Patkau Architects; Cannon Design; 5468796 Architecture; Smith Carter Architects; Atelier Big City; Baird Sampson Neuert Architects; Kongats Architects; Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes; Cardinal Hardy | Labonté Marcil | Eric Pelletier Architectes, Architectes en Consortium- Canadian Architect magazine
NEA Creative Placemaking Grants: The National Endowment for the Arts announced a new set of “Our Town” grants for “creative placemaking” projects that contribute to the livability of communities and put the arts at their core...grant guidelines will be posted January 13, 2011. [links]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Call for entries: Rotch Travelling Scholarship: $35,000 or more to travel and study abroad for a minimum of eight months; open to U.S. citizens under the age of 35 with a professional degree working in a Massachusetts firm or with a professional degree from an accredited Massachusetts school of architecture; application deadline: January 11, 2011- Boston Society of Architects/BSA/AIA
Gehry Partners: Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
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