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Today’s News - Monday, November 12, 2012

•   ArcSpace brings us a park brought back to life in Belgium, a stunning library in Scotland, and a museum in Finland.

•   Florida has a most enlightening Q&A with Andrew Zolli and Jonathan Rose, who "weigh in on how to prepare our cities to fight back against nature."

•   Bernstein reports on NYC architects' desire and efforts to respond to post-Sandy aid - but are stymied (for the moment) by the state's lack of "Good Samaritan" laws.

•   Finn sits down with Washburn, NYC's urban design director (and himself impacted by Sandy): "the urbane architect is more interested in concocting public spaces than constructing impressive buildings."

•   The Committee for Sydney's chief exec takes on Farrelly's trouncing of Sydney's urbanism: the city's "decision-making deficit must be overcome...But wait. That sound I hear is of Sydney beginning to remember where it might have put that mojo."

•   Australia's Healthabitat offers reams of evidence from the Housing for Health survey/fix program that "disproves a number of entrenched myths" about housing for disadvantaged communities, and is more than a bit concerned that "the largest ever investment in Indigenous housing is proceeding in a manner that disregards this evidence base and the lessons learned."

•   Wainwright x 2 (from the bold to the blatantly absurd, if not laughably ludicrous - in our opinion, anyway): pop-up' housing for homeless people: A proposal for pop-up housing for the homeless in London: "Is this a bold new vision to exploit underused space for urgent housing need, or a recipe for ghettoized barracks that will exacerbate the problems of deprived inner-city areas?"

•   He digs deep into a "new billionaires' craze" for building "iceberg houses" - i.e. "luxury bunkers" under their posh London homes (his descriptions are priceless).

•   Perth does an about-face "following outrage at plans to tear down a local landmark": its original 1928 component, now in storage, will be rebuilt on a man-made island (better than nothing, right?).

•   A Chinese architect contends: "planners need to take account that urbanization is also a mental process for people, not just about physical relocation" (and some may want chickens in their mega-city apartments); also, he doesn't think "there is any division between Chinese and foreign architects, just between good and bad ones."

•   McDonald cheers Scotland's Department of Education first design competition since 1973, though he - and architects - are dismayed by "the obsession with fees," and "design quality ranking way down the list of criteria."

•   Q&A with AIA's Ivy re: "why it's important for architects to cross-pollinate ideas with software programmers": "we want more proof that buildings are making an impact. We want evidence."

•   McGuigan highlights the highlights of Record's 10th annual Innovation conference: "Anyone who can't understand why architecture remains such an alluring profession should have dropped in."

•   Gallagher sees greatness in Hadid's Broad Art Museum at MSU: she is "now the latest outsider to gift a great building to Michigan."

•   Litt revisits Gehry's Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western 10 years later: yes, it's had its "snags," but it "could be considered a case study on the positive impact architecture can have on the soul of a business school."

•   London's oldest memorials are still the best: "most of the new memorials fail to move or inspire as they should...divided between banal literalism and meaningless abstraction."

•   Heathcote finds "proportional perfection" in two homes "separated by about four centuries and the Pacific Ocean," yet "are among those that most influenced the modern movement."


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