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Today’s News - Friday, February 4, 2011

•   The building industry cheers Obama's "Better Buildings Initiative" that "could save businesses nearly $40 billion over the next decade in lower energy costs."

•   Holl responds to Curtis's critique of the Glasgow School of Art project: "We welcome criticism as long as it's based on an accurate understanding of our design."

•   Duany Plater-Zyberk teams up with The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment to envision "a new, middle-class residential, commercial and governmental district literally built upon the rubble" of Port-au-Prince.

•   Re: Vancouver Art Gallery's "edifice complex": Bing Thom's "Washington triumph" (Arena Stage) "should tell Vancouver something about its own overreaching aspirations...if Vancouver so desperately craves to be world-class, there's already a guy in town who can deliver"

•   Saffron cheers the renovation of a Rittenhouse Row tower that acknowledges the building's "modernist of the rare instances where a major alteration has improved a historic building."

•   An eyeful of Niall McLaughlin's "Elgin Marbles" adorning the Athletes Village in London's Olympic Park.

•   LaBarre on Google's new office in Pittsburgh that "goes easy on the Google-ness...You could do worse than a big toy of a place in an old bakery."

•   AIA announces the 2011 crop of new Fellows + new Honorary Members (a little tooting of our own horn: ANN's editor-in-chief Kristen Richards is among 'em!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Hawthorne finds the "civil unrest in Egypt adds intrigue" to the "Decolonizing Architecture" exhibition in L.A. that is "helping to redefine what political architecture means and can be."

•   "Jugaad Urbanism" at NYC's Center for Architecture will offer design lessons from India's poorest neighborhoods with the aim "to uncover innovation in challenging circumstances."

•   Bullivant says "Hyperlinks" at the Art Institute of Chicago "tells us that design is a best friend of our times, there not just in need but also provoking interaction...with a friendly, existential, 'coming home to ourselves' agenda."

•   Michael Graves "settles into a new niche" as a painter with a show in Lawrenceville, NJ, that "will surprise people."

•   Rapp revels in Stoller's photographs on view in NYC that he finds "still surprising: they liberate the architectural photograph from its original client/media context."

•   Hawthorne's first installment of Reading L.A.: Adamic and Mayo, "while sometimes a bit loose with the facts and clearly dated in their attitudes toward race and other subjects - make clear that a certain tradition of caustic skepticism also has deep roots here."

•   McGuirk on "Sustainism is the New Modernism": sustainable design "needs a shot in the arm. But I don't believe a book full of platitudes and colorful symbols is the necessary serum" (furthermore, "if sustainability is boring, 'sustainism' is just grammatically freaky" - with a touch of Weetabix thrown in).

•   Merkel on Balmori's "A Landscape Manifesto": it's "packed with ideas...and a call to arms with a very radical battle plan."


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