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Today’s News - Friday, December 16, 2011

•   Weinstein picks of the Best Architecture Books of 2011: 10 books sparking creative inspiration plus escapist fare for financially fickle times (including a monograph that "argues eloquently for lifting Bertrand Goldberg from his undeserved place in The Purgatory of Unjustly Obscure Modernists").

•   Lewis on the growing popularity of town centers, "retail architectural paradigm shifts," and Americans' taste and appreciation of good architecture is improving."

•   An engrossing, in-depth examination of what's going on in Benton Harbor, Michigan, that "offers a window into one possible future for towns across the country" that "may ultimately have no choice but to turn their fate over to private industry and nonprofits."

•   Kennicott cheers Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial that "reinvigorates the seemed as if a long tradition of civic architecture had finally reached a sad and vitiated end"; his design "is the first serious innovation in the history of memorial design since Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial."

•   An eyeful of West 8's new landscape details for Governors Island.

•   Impressive teams named in Stage II of the National Mall design competition and their adventure of meeting each other in D.C.

•   The Burj Khalifa's park has a starring role in the new "Mission Impossible"; more interesting is what keeps the park alive.

•   Aerial images of Las Vegas offer amazing views of "landscape absurdism."

•   Graves talks about why hospital rooms don't work - he "has little patience for bad design" ("It's far too ugly for me to die here").

•   A young South African architect sees himself as a "provocateur," someone who asks "why not?" and "what if?"

•   Cheers to AIA's 2012 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement and Thomas Jefferson Awards for Public Architecture winners.

•   Cary and Drenttel recommend 10 nonprofits that are using design to make an impact that would greatly appreciate your holiday donations.

•   Call for entries: EDRA 14th Annual Great Places Awards to recognize professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Feeney minces no words about Foster and Portman flicks: "Where the Foster documentary is hilariously hagiographic, Portman's is infomercial-like" (and both about ego).

•   Berg offers an eyeful of Picton's paper sculptures of sections of cities on view in NYC: "these aren't just 3D models of maps, nor or they of just any city."

•   An eyeful of Hayakawa's sprawling cityscapes made of paper: "The artist's multilayered works are abstract compositions rather than paper replicas."

•   Brussat cheers Tachieva's "The Sprawl Repair Manual": "most of the places targeted for repair have been beaten silly with an ugly-stick" anyway (great pix, too).

•   Rajagopal ponders Eames's words: "thousands of designers in India over the last five decades, through a slim document they wrote in 1958, called 'The India Report.'"

•   Two we couldn't resist: Wainwright's hilarious series on "Noah's Arkitecture": from dog-shaped cafes to crocodile-shaped hotels - and a big duck + the history of the "yellow, doe-eyed icon" - the rubber ducky (who knew?).


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