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Today’s News - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

•   Cary x 2: while architecture "has long wrestled with its elitism," the emerging field of public interest design "stands on the brink of becoming a self-sustaining profession and making a tangible impact on the world."

•   He suggests a re-think of the Solar Decathlon: instead of building show houses, build them where people need them.

•   Debate and controversy about the Eisenhower Memorial seem to overlook "two stones of 'heroic scale'" (one a gigundo bas reliefs of Ike addressing his troops on the eve of D-Day), and more details about how the project developed.

•   Citizens of Aberdeen are voting - and will find out tomorrow if DS+R's controversial "Granite Web" (a.k.a. "Teletubbie Park") design for the City Garden Project will go forward.

•   Stuart MacDonald minces no words about what he thinks: "Aberdeen doesn't need a 'McGuggenheim'" - the project "has become an object lesson in how not to do procurement"; the city "did have a more innovative alternative," but seems to prefer "bombast and grandiosity over elegance and simplicity."

•   Belmont Freeman offers an oh-so-thoughtful take on the Cuban National Art Schools: while they are "masterworks of extraordinary beauty and importance," he fears the "excessive attention has occluded our view of post-1959 Cuban architecture to the extent that a larger and richer story is ignored" (great pix, too).

•   Bernstein tools around the Smith Center for the Performing Arts: it might be "easy to dismiss as an art deco confection"; but Schwarz's "architecture is not about irony - it is entirely in earnest. And if that guarantees critical disdain, Schwarz is ready."

•   The Smith Center "should help re-establish Las Vegas' place as a cultural destination...the housing collapse has made the city more affordable for striving artists, and galleries, playhouses, and dance workshops are flourishing."

•   Grimshaw's Frost Museum of Science in Miami will be "an oasis in the midst of urban density" - sharks included (great slide show).

•   King has high hopes a once-moribund corner in San Francisco will become a new hot spot that "signals a more experiential form of urbanity, one where grit and gloss can coexist."

•   Behre cheers new life for what "may be the finest architectural work on the former Charleston Naval Base."

•   There are high hopes for the recently discovered underground cistern in Houston's Buffalo Bayou Park; meanwhile, above ground a former "trash-strewn forgotten waterway" is being transformed into landscape infrastructure.

•   Douglas Cardinal waxes poetic - and pragmatic: "Why do something that just adds to the misery of human beings? You have to choose if you want to make a difference with your profession or not."

•   Calthorpe enters the debate about how to make cities safer for cyclists and pedestrians: "It starts with better design."

•   Dyson minces no words about "lazy engineering behind fake energy efficiency": we need to "get people interested in engineering again. The rest should take care of itself."

•   It's Leap Year Day, so how could we resist x 2: an irresistible eyeful of the more than 200 egg sculptures, designed by a who's who in art and design, scattered around London (until Easter weekend) in Fabergé's Big Egg Hunt charity fundraiser.

•   ArchNewsThen (November 4, 2005): High Tech High-Los Angeles by Berliner and Associates, Architecture - recently translated into Bulgarian! (with link to original post).


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