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Today’s News - Friday, December 9, 2011

•   Reinhold Martin returns to ruminate on the next phase of the Occupy movement and "the counterintuitive idea of a 'privately owned public space,' and its close cousin, the oxymoronic 'public-private partnership.'"

•   An architect, a landscape architect, and Berger weigh in on Corner's plans for Seattle's waterfront: it's "not so much 'time to go back to the drawing board' as time to get outside and get real" + a call to keep at least some of the kitsch alive + a call to "to pare back some of the rather frenetic and over-reaching aspects" of the design.

•   King thinks SFMOMA's expansion plans are "on the right track": the schematic design "prods us to think about how buildings function, not merely how they look" (though there are some disappointing elements).

•   Welton takes a long-overdue look at the landscape surrounding the "neo-Emerald City apparition in the Dubai desert" (a.k.a. Burj Khalifa).

•   It looks like high-speed rail in America is dead: its "backers weren't as staunch as its detractors...It's our children's problem now."

•   Kamin makes his pick of the best architecture of 2011: "Despite the ongoing construction downturn, much to celebrate."

•   AIA anoints Holl with its 2012 Gold Medal, and VJAA with the 2012 AIA Architecture Firm Award.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Welton cheers Gwathmey Siegel show at Yale: it's "Charles Gwathmey's humanity that comes across most clearly...In two words, he was a class act."

•   "Civic Action" at the Noguchi Museum teams up artists with (unnamed) architects and planners to "take a crack at city planning"; the results "range from site specific to silly."

•   Waxman walks through the other Bertrand Goldberg show in Chicago that "asks what can be understood about an architect's practice by examining the artwork and furnishings he surrounded himself with" (toucans and cuff links included).

•   Lifson riffs on Lautner in this centennial year of his birth: his hometown in Michigan has honored him with two exhibitions, while the documentary "Infinite Space" explains "the shock of arriving in L.A. after growing up and working in the Midwest."

•   In Berlin, "Form Follows Nature" offers a history of nature as a model for developing forms in civil engineering, architecture, and the fine arts.

•   Taiwan hosts the Kaohsiung International Container Arts Festival, opening tomorrow, with "New Sweet Style: Arbitat," where imaginations create visions of the "home" using shipping container.

•   Q&A with Austin Williams re: "The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs," explaining some common misconceptions about cities: "Sustainability has become a cloak for a misanthropic attitude."

•   King's picks for a holiday gift guide of books on architecture.

•   Brussat gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary": it "is frankly and boldly an encyclopedia of the New Urbanism, which is really the old urbanism updated for the modern world."

•   Two we couldn't resist: Gehry designs the artwork for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards (the poster looks more like Gehry's Greatest Hits - we don't quite get the connection) + A cool video of rapper Ice Cube "professing his love for Charles and Ray Eames" (his take on L.A.'s freeways is actually the most interesting part).


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