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 genre...it 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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Best Architecture Books of 2011: 10 books sparking creative inspiration plus escapist fare for financially fickle times. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Visions of lively town centers dancing in more developers’ heads: In many locations, the enclosed shopping mall seems to be giving way to the popular “town center” concept...Retail architectural paradigm shifts...are a response to social, demographic, cultural and geographic changes that are an integral part of changing American history...Americans’ taste and appreciation of good architecture is improving. By Roger K. Lewis- Washington Post
Now That the Factories Are Closed, It’s Tee Time in Benton Harbor, Michigan: The juxtaposition of its impoverished population and its two rising monuments to wealth...offers a window into one possible future for towns across the country...may ultimately have no choice but to turn their fate over to private industry and nonprofits...imagine being told...that the answer to your problems is a $500 million, high-end golf resort. Oh, and also, an unelected state appointee will be running your city until further notice. [slide show]- New York Times Magazine
Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial reinvigorates the genre: Over the past decade...it seemed as if a long tradition of civic architecture had finally reached a sad and vitiated end...But history isn’t over...
Gehry’s design...is the first serious innovation in the history of memorial design since...Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial...he has “re-gendered” the vocabulary of memorialization... By Philip Kennicott [slide show]- Washington Post
Moody Greens: West 8 releases new landscape details for Governors Island...New key features, from transparent signage to curbs that morph into seating and customized lighting provide a distinct identity. -- Pentagram; Tillotson Design Associates [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
D.C. Dating Game: Finalist teams announced for Stage II National Mall redesign. -- Diller Scofidio Renfro & Hood Design; Gustafson Guthrie Nichol & Davis Brody Bond; Pei Cobb Freed & Partners & Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect; Snohetta & AECOM; Balmori Associates & Work Architecture Company; Diller Scofidio Renfro & Hood Design; Michael Maltzan Architecture & Tom Leader Studio; OLIN & Weiss/Manfredi; Andropogon & Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects; OLIN & Weiss Manfredi; Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners- The Architect's Newspaper
Burj Khalifa Park Gets Starring Role in New Mission Impossible: ...the 27-acre park featured in Tom Cruise’s acrobatic rapelling scenes...kept alive with condensation from the building [that] consumes 250,000 gallons of water a day...which is then harvested, drained, and pumped into the landscape’s irrigation systems...15 million gallons of condensation is reused by the landscape each year. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Adrian Smith; SWA Group [images, links]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Landscape Absurdism: Las Vegas: Anticipating rapid growth, developments fail to connect to each other, confidently (or, perhaps thoughtlessly) leaving the future to fill the spaces between...a collection of satellite imagery that showcase some of these bizarre building patterns. [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Michael Graves: Why hospital rooms don't work: ...he has little patience for bad design. He also dislikes the ugly things he sees in hospitals...He started sketching better ways to design the hospital -- furniture, rooms, buildings...becoming a reality as Graves' company has teamed up with a hospital furnishing company called Stryker. [images, video]- CNN
Stirring an architectural revolution: Mokena Mokeka...sees himself as a “provocateur”, someone who asks “why not?” and “what if?” ..."I understand what design and architecture can do to help society...There’s a lot of healing to be done, and creatives can help this healing process by being leaders. There’s so much energy and spirit within us as people. Architecture can unleash or repress that."- Cape Argus (Cape Town, South Africa)
2012 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement: A university non-profit that fosters public engagement with architecture and a New York City organization that uses information technology to democratize access to art and architecture -- CultureNOW/Abby Suckle/Anne Lewison; Rice Design Alliance- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
2012 Thomas Jefferson Awards for Public Architecture: Alexander Cooper/Cooper, Robertson & Partner; Daniel J. Feil, FAIA/executive architect on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission; Robert Peck/GSA Public Buildings Service Commissioner- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Give the Gift of Design this Holiday Season: There are countless holiday gift guides...including many aimed at design lovers. We’d like to recommend 10 nonprofits that are using design to make an impact. By John Cary and William Drenttel -- Catapult; Community Solutions/Common Ground; Center for Urban Pedagogy/CUP; Code for America; Design Impact; Embrace; HERO: Hale Empowerment & Revitalization Organization; IDEO.org; MASS Design Group; TeachAIDS- Change Observer
Call for entries: EDRA 14th Annual Great Places Awards to recognize professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design; deadline: January 27, 2012- Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
"How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?" and "John Portman: A Life of Building": ...a treatment of Foster so reverential it verges on camp...Where the Foster documentary is hilariously hagiographic, [Portman] is infomercial-like...Not that eye or imagination is what matters most with architecture, or so both of these documentaries would seem to indicate, however unwittingly. It’s ego. By Mark Feeney -- Deyan Sudjic- Boston Globe
Sculpting the History of a City: Matthew Picton creates accurate block-by-block sculptures of sections of cities out of paper...with city-specific documents, such as the pages of novels or the headlines of a newspaper...these aren’t just 3D models of maps, nor or they of just any city...at the Christopher Henry Gallery in New York City. By Nate Berg [slide show]- The Atlantic Cities
Katsumi Hayakawa Carves Sprawling Cityscapes Out Of Paper: The artist's multilayered works are abstract compositions rather than paper replicas. [images]- Fast Company
How repairing sprawl can be a snap: "The Sprawl Repair Manual" by Galina Tachieva/Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co...most of the places targeted for repair have been beaten silly with an ugly-stick...So long as the suburbanization of America continues, the manual offers step-by-step instructions to fix it...a model for the suburbanites of tomorrow - if the future looks kindly upon that species. By David Brussat [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Eames: The Writers: About halfway into the documentary "Eames: The Architect and the Painter," the filmmakers turn to Charles Eames’s way with words - or lack thereof...he and Ray spoke to me, nonetheless, and to thousands of designers in India over the last five decades, through a slim document they wrote in 1958, called The India Report. By By Avinash Rajagopal- Metropolis Magazine
Noah's Arkitecture: From dog-shaped cafes to crocodile-shaped hotels, a survey of animal-shaped buildings from around the world. By Oliver Wainwright- BD/Building Design (UK)
‘The Rubber Duck Knows No Frontiers’: The yellow, doe-eyed icon — a preferred bathtub ornament of toddlers and royals alike — would have never existed were it not for Charles Goodyear.- New York Times
One-on-One: We architects are politicians: Interview with Giancarlo Mazzanti: "Now is the time to think of how architecture can change the world. We architects can assume that role and make a real difference in how people live and behave." By Vladimir Belogolovsky [images]- ArchNewsNow
Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture: Steel Hut & Silver Hut, Imabari, Japan
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