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Today’s News - Friday, December 2, 2011

•   King hears from Botta who "discreetly" weighs in on the removal of SFMOMA's grand stair: he's sorry to see it go, but "I was not invited to submit my proposal and now I don't feel up to expressing any easy judgments on the choices made by a competent designer like Snøhetta."

•   Hume and Mays are both wary of and worried about Toronto selling off public assets: "the selling of the only just getting going in earnest" + A 75-story condo deal sends the messages that "any piece of our public realm that can't be made to pay its way financially may be put on the auction block" (both well worth reading).

•   An investigation into a building collapse that killed 18 in Christchurch earthquake puts engineers in the hot seat re: their five (5!) pre-quake inspections; they claim they just "followed procedures and wouldn't have done anything differently in retrospect" (groan).

•   Q&A with Sendil re: IDEO and Michael Graves teaming up to design a model home for disabled military vets.

•   Adjaye explains his Design Miami pavilion: "It's basically a glorified gazebo. But it's more than just a gazebo."

•   Wines waxes poetic about the art of hand drawing: "signs scratched on paper with a pen or pencil have a way of restoring authenticity, as well as validity, value, and symbolic content" (great slide show).

•   EPA announces five winners of the 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

•   Call for entries/Applications (looming) deadline reminder: Inaugural Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Fellowship in Landscape Studies in 2012 to recognize and foster emerging design talent from across the design disciplines.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Jaffe delves into MCNY's upcoming "The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan for Manhattan, 1811 - 2011" show (great slide show, too).

•   "Eames: The Architect & the Painter" x 2: a lively conversation with the filmmakers + It's "an enlightening" film that is "just clever enough to entertain even those not interested in who these innovators were and how they impacted contemporary art and culture."

•   King is taken by "Megapolitan America" as a new planning tool to help public and private decision-makers to take the large view (it's "more than a statistical exercise").

•   Ascher's "The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper" might "well be one of the most interesting books published all year."

•   A Detroit native tackles four books showcasing shutterbugs lured to his city and ponders: "how much ruin porn can we take?...There is the irony of how - in the face of the decline we desire to see catalogued in coffee-table books - out of spite or pity or sheer willpower, morning still comes to 700,000 Detroiters every day" (a most excellent read).

•   Berg queries King re: "Cityscapes: San Francisco and its Buildings" (and cheers that "these aren't verbose or pompous architectural reviews").

•   Dvir gives (mostly) thumbs-up to a new book about Nahum Zolotov who, at 85, is one of Israel's "most intriguing architects."

•   PLANetizen and The Dirt chime in with their annual lists of Best Books of 2011 (great lists, as always).


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