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Today’s News - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

•   Hou offers a most thoughtful exploration of the "recent wave of citizen protests" that "has brought renewed attention to the role of public space in democratic society," from Occupy Wall Street to Tahrir Square.

•   O'Sullivan observes "how Spanish urbanism lost its leading edge": the country's "planners approved spectacular projects that wowed the public but ended up becoming loathed monuments to pork barrel sleaze."

•   Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum (finally) reopens: "It has not been an easy ride," and the end result? "Hideous...a narcissistic architectural disaster" - a.k.a. "the bathtub" or "flying nun" (ouch!).

•   Panero finds the "temporary hijacking of Columbus Circle is but the latest chapter" of what is a "monumental problem": "neither the progressives nor the traditionalists excel at monument design on their own," which may explain "why the bad designs and the ridicule of monuments seem bound to continue."

•   Kennicott raises similar - and even more pressing issues when it comes to the proposed Ukrainian Famine Memorial in Washington, D.C.: "We don't really know whether a memorial should be an argument, or a statement, an act of provocation or consolation."

•   He also weighs in on proposals for renovating DC's MLK Library: The "dream big" approach "was probably intended to generate momentum toward solving one of the District's most fraught architectural sagas" - and "will raise serious philosophical issues about what is essential to the Mies design."

•   A young architect conducts her own survey to find out why "there's a renaissance happening among young architects - and it's not in maintain the health of the profession, a fundamental change in how young interns are integrated into the design environment needs to occur."

•   Hopkirk waxes nostalgic about London's Commonwealth Institute - until she tours it with its original architect, Cunliffe: "He was persuaded that the interior was not fit for its 21st-century purpose, so I guess I have to be too. Over to you, John Pawson."

•   New renderings released for Chicago's Bloomingdale Trail: the elevated linear park "will be recontoured to connect with the street and provide a dynamic experience throughout the park."

•   Duggan Morris Architects wins Floating Cinema competition with "A Strange Cargo of Extra-Ordinary Objects," slated to set sail next June.

•   Stephen Hawking calls KPMB's Quantum Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo "a work of architectural genius."

•   Canada launches a federally-funded program that will streamline the licensing process for internationally trained architects.

•   AIA launches a 10-year commitment to make design a catalyst for public health, and announces the recipients of the first-ever Decade of Design research grants.

•   TCLF's Bridging the Nature-Culture Divide II conference next week will undoubtedly include some "interesting debates about man and nature in urban parks."

•   2012 Emirates Glass LEAF Awards winners announced (alas, not much info).

•   One we couldn't resist: an artist collaborative in Osaka is transforming rusty old phone booths into goldfish aquariums (with great pix to prove it!).


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