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Today’s News - Thursday, September 19, 2013

•   Wigglesworth issues an eloquent rallying cry for "the profession to stop kowtowing to clients and start setting the political agenda: We need to lead the resistance against the privatization of public space, the poorly planned, the cheap and the undersized."

•   Flint reports on a major new report about the mega-project, perhaps too often considered "the white elephant, the boondoggle, never on time, always over budget - maybe we're not judging them on the right criteria."

•   Q&A with one of the authors of the mega-project report: "Don't go along with the myths, or whims of politicians who have a gut feeling."

•   Speaking of mega-projects, Betsky bemoans the rebuilt World Trade Center as "boring": "we are building forgettable structures"; 1WTC "might have been elegant, but a combination of value engineering and paranoia about terrorism attacks leached just about anything elegant out of the structure."

•   Russell rues Amazon's new Seattle HQ being "cursed by dullness," with a glimmer of hope found in an "injection of engineering bling" that "hints at the energy that could jolt the entire complex to life."

•   Kamin takes on the critics of the Illinois State Capitol's west wing restoration: it was "worth every penny" despite the state's troubled budget - it is "a shining example of seamlessly combining the practical and the aesthetic."

•   Brussat bristles when critics use an "absurd argument" to oppose a proposed "modest yet elegant welcome center" to replace an ugly tent and porta-potties at Newport's famed The Breakers.

•   A new report indicates that Australia may have too many designers to meet the "the realistic demands for design services."

•   At least they now have a new (another?) design organization "to advocate Federal and State Governments to formally recognize building design as a profession."

•   Woodman and Wilson report from the Lisbon Architecture Triennale: "mix of spectacle and social radicalism...has the feeling of an institution in search of an identity" + a sometimes heavy curatorial hand "can come across as an intellectual exercise that is an end in itself. I did start to rue the lack of a bit of built-stuff as ballast" (both w/great pix, though).

•   Melâneo reports on Mendes da Rocha's Coach Museum, Lisbon's "empty treasure chest," and why it is "stuck in suspended animation" - with stunning (though often sad) photos by Cera.

•   Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale tapped to transform Philip Johnson's Crystal Cathedral campus in California.

•   Eyefuls of Chipperfield's photography museum for Marrakech.

•   ASLA launches The Landscape Architect's Guide to Boston, a (fabulous!) new website "reveals Boston's role as an urban innovator."

•   Eyefuls of the Emporis Skyscraper Award winners, led by MAD's "Marilyn Monroe" in Mississauga.

•   Yesterday, Litman took issue with the word "issues"; today, FAT's Holland "shares a handy list of words that architects should avoid" to achieve "a 100% jargon free life in architecture."

•   Call for entries: EOI to redesign London's Natural History Museum grounds.

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