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Today’s News - Friday, January 7, 2011

•   Millard cheers Gehl's "Cities for People": Copenhagen's "urban-space guru" has "clearly earned his increasing influence, which this masterful book will help spread and cement."

•   Appelbaum wonders if the USGBC can "polish LEED's tarnished standards and explains why "there's a big problem with snapping LEED ratings into building codes."

•   Saffron sings high praise for the "small stuff" making Philly better: "small parks, small houses, small improvements, small plans, but not necessarily small thinking."

•   Jenkins calls for preservation - not demolition - of London's prefab estate Excalibur: it "may be scruffy," but it's a "small piece of working-class history, no less worthy for not being conventionally beautiful."

•   Knight has more than a few quibbles with DS+R's The Broad: "The Romantic, 19th century Beaux Arts ideal of sky-lighted art galleries has unfortunately guided the design... natural light just doesn't matter to most contemporary art."

•   Lubell is a bit kinder: it's "a design that in many ways - but not all - embraces Downtown LA."

•   Farrelly's random thoughts in her "holiday head" re: "modernist tyranny" and "pink pomo flummery...still flummering bravely (or hopelessly) on" - with a bit of blobitecture and slobitecture thrown in - have us laughing out loud.

•   Likewise, Linn makes us laugh with his commentary about "one-hit wonders" (musically and architecturally): "If a client asks you to imitate yourself, is that the sincerest form of flattery?"

•   Q&A with Kéré (most recently of MoMA's "Small Scale, Big Change" fame): he may live in Berlin, but he "remains focused on designing (and raising money for) sustainable buildings in Africa."

•   It looks like the honeymoon between RMJM and Hillier is over (and it's not a pretty picture).

•   Weekend diversions (and lots of 'em!):

•   On view in L.A., "Decolonizing Architecture" is a "compact and provocative display" that is "simultaneously politically theoretical and architecturally concrete" that asks: "What will happen to the houses left behind when Palestinians take over Israeli settlements in the West Bank?"

•   Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "Hyperlinks" at the Art Institute of Chicago: its "visually arresting, often entertaining, but not entirely persuasive...a mostly scrumptious visual feast."

•   Iovine finds "John Pawson: Plain Space" at London's Design Museum "a rich and engrossing show about minimalism."

•   A U.K. firm brings an inflatable artwork called "Mirazozo" to the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House: "Is it a gothic cathedral, a mosque or a giant, inflatable jumping castle?" (great slide show).

•   The exhibition at Philly's new President's House "would work better in a more sheltered space."

•   In NYC, a show challenges the notion that Ezra Stoller's photographs "were uncritically celebratory of their subjects"; they "are not just abstract or awe-inspiring, they employ a full arsenal of emotion."

•   Stirling as "an architect's architect...who taught others...how to look before they ever considered leaping."

•   Hatherley finds "Jim Stirling and the Red Trilogy," which focuses on three projects "loathed by large proportions of the laity and adored by an almost equally large percentage of architects...a fascinating and visually sumptuous contribution to a seemingly endless argument."

•   Welton queries Rybczynski re: his new book "Makeshift Metropolis" that looks at "the past 100 years of trends and development in American cities, but also offers a wise and perceptive look into our urban future."

•   "Networks Cities" suggests "how Chinese urban planning can sprout actual neighborhoods, not just collections of apartment buildings" (it needs its own version of a "slow movement").

•   "READ: Renewable Energy Art & Design" is "an exhaustive, beautifully laid-out digital handbook that is "well organized, accessible, multi-disciplinary, and relevant...its divergence from the boring rhetoric that dominates mainstream energy news is nothing short of radical."



  


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