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Today’s News - Friday, January 13, 2012

•   Feffer posits: "Want to build a new society for peace, justice, and sustainability? Ask an architect" - a fascinating take that entails North Korea's slow steps towards sustainable building and AfH's Open Architecture Challenge re: alternative uses for military bases.

•   Hatherley tackles whether the "Skyscraper Index" really does predict recessions - and why "not all towers are built by phallic capitalism": the hospital next to the "ludicrously overpowering, overscaled, overpriced Shard" may be "a mere high-rise. It's made of concrete, it's inexpensive and, worst of all, it serves a useful function."

•   Benfield on the Healing Cities Institute's "8 Dimensions of a Healing City": an "intriguing list" that is "about how well cities are working for their is clearly on to something" (great links, too).

•   We're thrilled AJ has made its "Women in Practice" issue available to all, with an interesting explanation of why Barbie graces the cover, while the issue "contains more than 60 non-plastic practicing architects" + Some startling (and some not so surprising) results from its first Women in Architecture survey.

•   Dvir does his best to decipher the details re: the one-says/the-other-says drama playing out around Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance: if the Wiesenthal Center works with another architect using Chyutin Architects' design, "it would be the first time in Israel that a major public structure was built using the design of an architect who was not actively involved in the construction" + The architects claim they still own the design copyright and are ready to go to court (Gehry must be glad he's free of this one!).

•   Hume, on a higher note, hails plans for the Pan Am Games 2015 Athletes Village in Toronto's West Don Lands: it's the public-sector investment in green infrastructure that's bringing in private-sector investment (to the tune of about $1 billion).

•   Glancey x 2: he cheers A Room for London atop Queen Elizabeth Hall on South Bank + He reviews "a week of happy beginnings and sad departures."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   An urban planner builds an 80-square-foot scale model of Long Beach, CA, so that residents and business owners "can try their hand at city planning. The process is more than child's play."

•   Webb and Heller offer high praise for "Eames Words" at L.A.'s A+D Museum (just a few more days to catch it!).

•   As MCNY celebrates Roche's New York, the architect reflects on his road from Ireland to the Big Apple: he didn't set out to be an emigrant."

•   King cheers "A Negotiated Landscape: The Transformation of San Francisco's Waterfront Since 1950": "If you're a planning junkie, all this is catnip."

•   Balmori and Sanders' "Groundwork: Between Landscape and Architecture" presents "compelling arguments for increasing collaboration between the two disciplines."

•   Welton gives thumbs-up to Hicks Stone and the "first comprehensive book on his father's work...raising a new curtain on one of this nation's most original architects."

•   Long says "The Art-Architecture Complex" "gently debunks the reputations of a series of ageing architects who probably don't give a damn what anybody thinks any more, while offering little to the rest of us."

•   Australian Design Review's top 10 books of 2011.

•   "Becoming Julia Morgan" explores the life of California's first licensed woman architect; the Julia Morgan Project hopes to perform the play at Morgan-designed buildings around the state.

•   Happy Friday the 13th (it's always been a lucky day for us)!


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