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Today’s News - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

•   Bevan on UTS going "utterly giddy" over Gehry, and why Sydney "needs to take a leaf from Melbourne's book and begin mulching local talent" so that "a thousand architectural flowers may bloom" (all "trophy architects" do is "design tall poppies").

•   Lui on Chicago being the "likely birthplace for what could be the largest-ever smart-grid pilot program" and how smart grids "will directly impact architects' design strategies."

•   Another pilot program hopes to get beyond measuring a building's energy-efficiency to quantifying how location affects its carbon footprint (commuters included).

•   A look at a few British eco homes that are "both carbon neutral and architecturally outstanding" (ranging from a "nostalgic reproduction of an ancient British chieftain's hut" to something a Teletubby would love).

•   Q&A with Architecture for Humanity's Sinclair re: the current state of Haiti, what countries are still in need, and ultimately what options there are for all of us to help, too.

•   How six Harvard GSD grads are transforming the lives of 400,000 Rwandans - and many others - by questioning why the category of humanitarian architecture is even necessary: "The two terms should be synonymous. Because sound building practices can and should lead to social justice."

•   A French architect is transforming the understanding of public green spaces in Vietnam.

•   Developers in Thailand are digging the fact that landscape architecture adds value in a competitive property market, but face a shortage of talent as newly-graduated landscape architects gravitate to more lucrative foreign markets.

•   The youngest member of the "Sarasota School" of Modernist architects finds the current state of architecture "very depressing at times. They are putting these old-fashioned Disney World light fixtures downtown with lousy, glaring light. Memory is great, but not nostalgia."

•   An alternate take on how Ai Weiwei's Shanghai studio met its end (the official version, it seems).

•   On the auction block tomorrow (and yours for £800-1,000): the world's first skyscraper design (yes, it seems the Brits "pipped the Americans" on designing tall).

•   The 2011 Civic Trust Awards finalists announced - 57 strong.

•   Call for entries: 2011 Landslide nominations for landscapes threatened with destruction or irreversible damage + 2011 FIGMENT Minigolf Course on Governors Island: "Bugs and Features" + SMPS 2011 National Marketing Communications Awards.


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