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Today’s News - Friday, March 16, 2012

•   Weinstein weighs in on books about Barragán's home BNIM's Omega Center that "reveal how transparently daring designs teach Nature's processes."

•   Kent minces no words about what he thinks of critics' high praise for architecture as object instead of architecture creating "place" - he takes architects and landscape architects to task as well (and names names).

•   Muscat finds Australian "green-tinged admirers" of "Triumph of the City" have "mostly missed the point": "for Australia, Glaeser's core argument simply doesn't hold."

•   Could our current "concrete jungles become urban forests of wooden skyscrapers"?

•   Saffron says "seeing the modernized Gardner Museum campus is good preparation for assessing the shock to come at the Barnes...If the Barnes can make the move to its new home with its eccentricity intact, all the rest may be mere details."

•   A German architect is breaking new ground by transforming above-ground WWII bunkers into bright living or working spaces; now the government is getting serious about selling the "grim structures" and launching a competition for conversion ideas (alas, we couldn't find competition details).

•   Darley reflects on urban wildernesses "loaded with layers of significance" and a book that concludes professionals need "to learn when to stand back" and apply "the aesthetics of thrift": "No one can quarrel with the message but don't for a moment imagine that the light touch is the easiest solution."

•   Levinson has a lively Q&A with Czerniak and Sisko re: Syracuse University's UPSTATE interdisciplinary design center that focuses on the impact of design, research and real estate in the post-industrial city.

•   In an excerpt from "Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture," CCA's Zardini and Borasi call for a "new moralistic philosophy: healthism": can we "replace the prescriptive solutions of 'cure' with the more expansive goals of 'care'"?

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Russell ruminates on MoMA's "Foreclosed": it "doesn't suggest that architecture can float underwater mortgages," and "unfortunately the architects only intermittently make a persuasive case for their visions...I say keep trying."

•   Flint finds "Foreclosure" is an "abject lesson of how not to accommodate a society's population," but his "confidence in mankind's ability to plan for growth was restored" by MCNY's "The Greatest Grid."

•   LeBlanc cheers "Big Enough?" on view in Toronto that asks, how much space do we really need? The show "succeeds because it doesn't preach."

•   "Houses of the Sundown Sea" highlights iconic homes by Harry Gesner: at 86, he still surfs and still ponders turning waste into fuel: "Solid waste is something I've been working on for the last 50 years" (great Q&A).

•   NYC's Japan Society presents the first U.S. survey of Japanese Art Deco, today through June 10 - then it hits the road.

•   Pawson has first major exhibition in Germany: "He is the great master of paring his designs down to a minimum to yield a maximum richness of clarity and purity" + a fabulous eyeful of his photography from a new book (who knew he had an addiction to photography).

•   Welton cheers Lange's "Writing About Architecture": it's much more than just "a delight to read."

•   Q&A with Stelter re: his "By The El: 3rd Avenue and its El at Mid-Century" (great pix!).


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