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Today’s News - Friday, April 13, 2012

•   Youngerman ponders the role "bad neighborhood design" might have played in the Sanford, FL, tragedy: "the subdivision is designed for driving, so something as human as walking is odd behavior. Suspicious even."

•   Bwalya ponders whether there is such a thing as Zambian architecture: "The colonialists did not only pollute the Zambian tradition, they also influenced the town planning and architectural development to reflect the political setup of the day."

•   Apartment building design in the Twin Cities seems to be stuck in a rut: "The exteriors play with color and materials but underneath the tricked-out finishes, the boxy, flat-roof shapes resemble, well, giant bricks of cheese" ("It always comes down to parking, stupid").

•   For someone who "has avoided 'doing rich guys' houses' all his life, Gehry sure has changed his spots" with the Opus Hong Kong luxury tower.

•   Q&A with the man himself re: why he dislikes design competitions and how he responds to requests for another Bilbao: "Well, they ask for it...I don't pay any attention to it."

•   Now a London mayoral candidate, Livingstone says he was right to champion Piano's shard (and takes a swipe at Shuttleworth).

•   Two starchitects and two up-and-comers are in the running to design the Menil Drawing Institute.

•   Adjaye unveils his plans for a cultural campus in Frankfurt - his largest ever project in Europe.

•   Carmody Groarke, the firm that has "made a career out of creating unconventional spaces in the most unexpected of places," gets the WSJ treatment (it's all good).

•   A new U.K. library "is not immediately likeable. It's big and it's brash" (and it sparkles) from the outside, but "inside there is great warmth, liveliness and dignity."

•   Rose has lots to review this week, including the Hive library with its "ostentatious gold cladding. Gold seems to be the current thing for jazzing up historic towns," and Ikea's neighborhood plans (and even he couldn't resist the architecture LOLcats!).

•   Dvir gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Jerusalem's version of the High Line: "Even if the design isn't perfect, it's hard to argue with its success in developing green spaces and adding a new twist to the neighborhoods along its path."

•   A new ASLA report is "a response to the need to further quantify the economic benefits of green infrastructure."

•   Azure's AZ Awards lines up 60 finalists (there are some pleasant surprises).

•   Deadline reminder: Call for entries for Core77 Design Awards in 17 categories.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   SO - IL and the Guggenheim kick off the museum's third installment of "stillspotting nyc" this weekend with "Transhistoria" that will "explore how one finds calm and inner peace" in ever-bustling Jackson Heights, Queens.

•   The documentary "Surviving Progress" paints a bleak view of humanity's future, but could use "a good extra 30 minutes, at the very least, to provoke meaningful debate."

•   Kansas City, which has never had a World's Fair, gets a fitting tribute with a Nelson-Atkins exhibition offering "a splendid substitute" designed with a "you are there" feeling.

•   Meuser's "Architectural and Cultural Guide: Pyongyang" does not "criticize or reprimand" North Korea's totalitarian architecture.

•   Plummer's "Nordic Light" catalogs "elegant solutions" by contemporary Scandinavian architects "to keep the cold out while letting the light in."

•   Happy Friday the 13th (always a lucky day for us)!


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