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Today’s News - Friday, March 30, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for missing yesterday's news - our Internet tubes broke and didn't get fixed 'til late afternoon...

•   An architectural study trip to (pre-Arab Spring) Syria "revealed the Old Town of Damascus to be long-abandoned and lamentably neglected"; it continues to deteriorate (some amazing pix).

•   Stickells tackles the debates surrounding Sydney's Barangaroo development plans: "Fuller public engagement could have allowed a more meaningful role for architects in helping to negotiate social and political issues."

•   Florida explains how "rampant" globalization "exposes smaller, niche cities to an onslaught of ferocious global competition" that will prove "a major challenge for mayors, city leaders and global policy makers for some time to come."

•   Kimmelman cheers the makeover of a 1960s public housing tower in a poor Paris suburb that is "a case study in architectural ingenuity and civic rejuvenation."

•   Brussat has high hopes that attention will be paid to the CEU White Paper on Three Paris Projects: "The president of France and the mayor of Paris "have plans to destroy Paris as we know it. Will Paris fight back?"

•   Mays is dismayed by a new Toronto condo tower that could/should have been so much more than something "formally prim and dull, decked out in a strange and glittering skin - like a post-modern Christmas tree ornament, though not a really delightful one."

•   Woodman cheers Chipperfield's choice to make actual "architecture" the subject of the Venice Biennale's "Common Ground" + One-fifth of the 56 architects he picked are Brits.

•   Rose reviews the week in architecture: "It was a good week for women architects - except for the most famous one," and he discovers "a practice that not only has one of the best names in the business but looks to be living up to it."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Huxtable finds much to celebrate in MCNY's "The Greatest Grid": it is "beautifully researched and organized" to show off "a strange city of serendipitous side effects, where what seems wrong often turns out to be right."

•   Lange gives mostly thumbs-up to "Deco Japan" at NYC's Japan Society: she "might have preferred more abstraction, fewer animals," but she's still "excited about the cultural intrepidness of design ideas." + Q&A with the curator about the "breathtaking range of Japanese decoera art - highbrow, lowbrow and everything in between" (fab slide show, too!).

•   Also in Manhattan, a chance to see the technology behind Delancey Underground (a.k.a. Low Line).

•   Sooke sails through the V&A's "British Design 1948-2012": the curators "have done a sterling job," but "I could have done with less drum-beating and greater emphasis upon more difficult aspects of the past 60 years."

•   Two takes on Bucky's comeback in San Francisco: "He spent a lot more time talking than doing" (and why "the Web has proved more decisive in his renewed popularity") + The visionary was "always looking for better ways to keep this large spaceship Earth moving forward."

•   King cavorts through the "Mobius strip" that is "Architecture in the Expanded Field" - a "captivating exhibition of creative provocations."

•   "Shorelines - Urban waterfront living" at the Museum of Finnish Architecture takes four different perspectives on waterfront development in five cities sharing the World Design Capital title this year.

•   "Chairs Without Legs" at the Bauhaus Archives is "an almost irreverent celebration of mundane household objects transformed" (great pix!).

•   Ascher's "The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper" is well written and illustrated, offering "a level of handholding that will perfectly suit some but others may find overly pedantic."

•   Q&A with Gesner re: "Houses Of The Sundown Sea" and more: the "debonair longboard surfer" was "something of a renegade who was environmentally conscious long before it came into vogue."



  


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