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Today’s News - Friday, April 29, 2011

•   An eyeful of the competition-winning design by an Iraqi architect (not named Hadid) for the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers in Baghdad.

•   TEN Arquitectos to bring two high-profile designs to a Washington, D.C. neighborhood "more accustomed to Georgian politesse."

•   NYC to be home to the U.S.'s first museum dedicated to mathematics, where "math = discovery = beauty = fun" (alas, no mention of who's designing it).

•   The U.S. State Department is working on its own version of a Design Excellence Program for U.S. Embassies, "moving away from low-bid contracting to a best-value approach" (it's about time!).

•   An eyeful of "the greatest buildings never built - man's best unmade plans."

•   Mergers result in P+W Canada.

•   Schumacher spends a weekend in FLW's Bernard Schwartz House and ends up more enamored of the master than she'd expected (fab pix, too!) + Myers spends a night in Mies's Farnsworth House and finds it "remains shockingly ahead of its time."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Campbell cheers "The Divine Comedy" where "art and architecture at Harvard are at last getting to be friends" via Ai Weiwei, Tomas Saraceno, and Olafur Eliasson: it's "an ambitious agenda and a thought-provoking exhibition."

•   Still no word on what's happened to Ai Weiwei, but his "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" debuts Monday on Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza.

•   "Modern Architecture in Kyoto" hopes to put the spotlight on the city's "outstanding structures built between the 1920s and '70s" (many either already lost or under threat).

•   Patton finds "Aerotropolis" to be a bit "like an airport itself...sprawling and miscellaneous...But the book is often fun."

•   Two excerpts from "Reconsidering Jane Jacobs" are reading treats: Mennel argues that while Jacobs has had a profound influence on city planning, Andy Warhol's world was actually "the more inclusive" + Campanella bemoans urban planning becoming "a caretaker profession - reactive rather than proactive, corrective instead of preemptive, rule bound and hamstrung and anything but visionary."

•   In "Triumph of the City," Glaeser "is Jane Jacobs with a pocket square and, importantly, a spreadsheet."

•   Kamin is taken by "Chicago From the Sky" that will undoubtedly "end up on numerous coffee tables, where it can be counted upon to delight and, perhaps, educate" (great pix!).

•   Rybczynski cheers "Alvar Aalto Houses" which beautifully illustrates why "his domestic work bears revisiting...especially in our economically stressed period" (great pix here, too!).

•   Rawsthorn raves about A Taxonomy of Office Chairs," that charts "the evolution of an industrial product as thoroughly as a biologist studies nature."

•   San Diego's NewSchool of Architecture and Design tackles getting beyond the "eye candy" of architecture books (some don't hold together too well, either).


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