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Today’s News - Wednesday, July 18, 2012

•   Doig does a nifty job of parsing the essays debate re: "creative class urbanism": perhaps "coffee shops and bike shares aren't a real urban policy."

•   Priestman ponders who will design the homes of the future if architecture students aren't being taught how to design them: "With a lack of structural knowledge taught at universities, it is easy to see why we create so many terrible buildings."

•   Torpiano laments that Malta's "built environment is, generally speaking, ugly and getting uglier," so it's time to re-think how buildings are commissioned: "The young designers of the heritage of the future cannot be selected on the basis of who is cheapest."

•   Rykwert, Olcayto, Finch, Heathcote, and others enter a lively debate about what the 2012 RIBA Awards tell us (it's not all hearts and flowers).

•   Berger is more than a bit cautious about Seattle's billion-dollar waterfront plans: "are we to become a breeding ground for white elephants?" ("scaled back ambitions" might be smarter).

•   Ulam reports on the possibility of Toronto scaling back MVVA's grand Lower Don Lands river reclamation plan: it "may succumb to value engineering" (or even turn into a "fire sale of assets" to developers).

•   Iovine is a bit concerned about NYC's "city-wide trend of pumping up the volume at outdoor venues" that "favors tricked-out park amenities and flashy attractions over continuing attention to maintenance" (though HWKN's "Wendy" at PS1 "looks spectacular from the elevated subways leaving Queens").

•   Kamin gives a hearty "a thumbs-up on function" but a disheartening "thumbs-down on form" to Chicago's new Ronald McDonald House: it "serves families better than it serves the skyline."

•   H&deM's Tate Modern Tanks space is ready for its close-up + Herzog pens his recollections of his first visit to the Tanks, a "dark, sinister industrial world...yet it also had a romantic side to it."

•   Lerner on the world's tiniest car made by MIT's Media Lab: "When is Hiriko coming? Sometime after the day after tomorrow."

•   Bey offers an eyeful of amazing archival images of Chicago's long-gone McCormick Inn, courtesy of its original architect: the interiors had "a Hefner-esque cheese quality going for them - but hey it was the '70s."

•   Call for entries: Gowanus by Design's Water_Works Open Design and Planning Competition.

•   One we couldn't resist: an Austrian court orders a farmer to remove the cowbells from his herd because the endless clanging keeps residents awake (he's refusing, "arguing that they were traditional and had a generally calming effect").


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