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Today’s News - Monday, October 17, 2011

•   ArcSpace brings us an eyeful of Zaha's show in Philly (the setting alone is eye-boggling).

•   Kimmelman and Kayden weigh in on Occupy Wall Street and the "power of place": it is "a reminder of the civic ideal of public space, and how far modernity has drifted away from it" + "If the outcome results in a discussion about uses of and improvements to public space, then its members could add yet another accomplishment to their already impressive achievements."

•   Rich re-examines Interboro's "Holding Pattern" at P.S.1 that explored "the power of temporary design to create systemic change," but "in the end, an inspirational gesture is not systemic change...longer-term commitments to progressive forms or progressive politics sit with the institution and not its guest architects."

•   Cary minces no words about what he thinks of "architecture's identity problem": "It is high time that architecture focus less on enforcement of titles and fortifying its barriers to entry, and more on creating an inclusive profession truly dedicated to the health, the safety, and the welfare of the public."

•   Wing takes a "macro look at unemployment and the economy" and what the architecture industry can do: "First, they must stop simply immersing themselves in a narrow vision of the profession and be involved politically...A collective voice of both the unemployed and employed in architecture would prove powerful indeed."

•   An in-depth look at "bad boy architects" in China: are they creating "towering landmarks or lasting eyesores" with designs that "would never be accepted by the architects' home countries"?

•   Meanwhile, foreign firms continue to take advantage of the "exponential growth" in the Chinese building market: "With more foreign designs, however, has come fierce criticism of their concepts" (and cheers for the rising tide of local talent).

•   Ian Simpson's Canary Wharf tower is deemed "elegant" - but the affordable housing component seems lacking (alas, not unique to this project).

•   Currid-Halkett takes an in-depth look at why it "takes more than tax breaks" to build successful arts districts: "before we go tossing money at anyone with a paintbrush or an art space, we have to understand the complex ways artistic communities shape our cities' fortunes."

•   Safdie talks about his new Kauffman Center in Kansas City and "the moral purpose of architecture" and cultural projects.

•   How Steve Jobs "left an indelible stamp on architecture, especially the retail kind, traditionally a backwater of the profession."

•   An eyeful of a Paris/NYC firm's winning design for a French museum honoring Australian soldiers killed on the Western Front during WWI.

•   Pennsylvania Ballet takes a northward trek on Philly's Avenue of the Arts in "a journey of unimaginable transformation."

•   Welton cheers the restoration of Hemingway's Finca Vigia in Cuba: ""The story of the house's recent rebirth is something of an unlikely miracle."

•   Glancey reviews the week in architecture that includes lots of leaning (and non-leaning) towers, pylons, and Venice Biennale flap.

•   Rybczynski cheers the U.S. Post Office's "handsome set of stamps honoring Pioneers of American Industrial Design. 'Pioneers' is the right word."

•   Gallagher cheers a Detroit architect with so few projects on the boards, he decided to design an electric vehicle charging station that looks like it might have just the right spark (and maybe merits a postage stamp down the road?).

•   A few New Zealand real estate agents are in hot water for "inflating the value of houses by claiming they are designed by 'award winning architects' when they are not."

•   Brussat cheers the winners of the 2nd annual Bulfinch Awards that "show a refined appreciation of how the principles of classicism beautify and ennoble the past and the future."


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