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Today’s News - Friday, March 8, 2013

•   Lubell calls for a smarter, more transparent building process in Los Angeles if "we want a more innovative, visionary urban environment" (a good idea for any city).

•   An "especially well-informed political and humanistic observer of local government" newly arrived in L.A. doesn't see a problem: the "mayoral forums have been very revealing. Consistent with my forefather's values, I would classify each as forums for uncovering opportunities for good graft or getting in line for a comfortable job" (we know who TJ really is - but we can't tell you).

•   Murphy fears that the "brutalist spirit of the Southbank Centre may be lost" in translation: "Standard notions of conservation may not apply, but a big glass extension and generic retail offerings? Really?"

•   Saffron, on the other hand, says "the architecture gods have smiled on Philadelphia" with a new Cheesecake Factory - it "promises to be one of the city's finest new buildings."

•   New seismic rules in New Zealand means older buildings may have a very different look: "the choices will be either to show off what's making the building stronger or disguise it in favor of character or heritage elements" (or just demolish it).

•   Ingersoll has a fascinating conversation with Garatti re: his ballet school in Cuba: now that Foster is on board to revive it (and not answering his letters), "how much influence he will have on the project remains uncertain."

•   An equally fascinating encounter with Hadid re: how she runs her business - you can't be a "doormat"; "those who know her (and prefer not to be named) characterize her as volcanic - she blows up but then it's over" ("I make allowances for people if I like them" - poor kids).

•   Active Design "could benefit employers to the same degree that green strategies have, but it's a harder sell"; still, "there are larger and more important societal costs that it can help bring down" (we're glad to see the subject being seriously discussed beyond A/E media pages!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Coming to a screen near you: In RIBA's "Designing for Champions," London 2012 Olympics architects (finally!) get to speak out about their designs + A "sizzle reel" form "Cool Spaces," an architecture docu-reality show being developed for public television; first up - Las Vegas (bike riding included!).

•   Menking marvels at Cooper Union's "Lessons From Modernism": it's "the smartest and most compelling exhibition ever mounted in New York (and maybe anywhere) on the influence of nature and the environment in architectural to see it before it vanishes."

•   Stephens sits down with Bergdoll to talk about MoMA's Labrouste show: "He's an Architect's is valuable to see how an architect pushes experimentation but keeps control over it."

•   Davidson has a most interesting take: you may have never heard of Labrouste, "yet, indirectly, he reshaped New York" via Corbu, Stern, Foster, and Gehry (like we said - a most interesting take!).

•   Merrick cheers Powell's "Cult Buildings" that "digs into the phenomena of these rare architectural beasts" by "a tramp-like Catalonian vegetarian, and a young Italian with Mussolini on his mind."

•   The future of flight takes wing at three Los Angeles museums.

•   Rago raves about Iwan Baan's one-man show, also in L.A., that "chronicles the artist's prolific career...he seems to captivate the current ethos of the time whether it be the starchitecture of the 2000's or the more socially and politically engaged practice of today" (great pix - of course).

•   Libeskind's drawings on view in Rome are "free-form, elaborate, textural artworks that hypnotically draw the eye into a maze of shades and angles" offering "a peek into his painstakingly intense visioning process."

•   Benfield just finished reading "a very good - no, make that fantastic - book: Campoli's "Made for Walking" - "it's the best-illustrated book on neighborhood-scale urbanism that I have ever seen."

•   An excerpt from Hilderbrand's "erudite and accessible essay" from "Visible/Invisible" that "examines modernists' humble approach to lands


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