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Today’s News - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

•   Tributes to a young, inspiring Australian/British architect gunned down in Nairobi siege.

•   We lose van Sweden, whose landscape architecture "celebrated the seasonal splendor of the American meadow while promoting its inherent ecological and sustainable values."

•   Eyefuls of Collective-LOK's winning design in the Van Alen Institute's Ground/Work competition.

•   Who wasn't at Friday's TEDCity2.0 conference in New York (with link to their talks)?

•   A firm known for its towers of steel and concrete, SOM joins the "movement to construct tall buildings largely with wood as an environmentally friendlier alternative."

•   RMIT's Ware cheers the NewActon precinct on Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin that offers a "fine-grain deviation from the Griffins' monumental master plan."

•   It's a health-minded sort of day: Researchers at UC Berkeley set out to find out if smart growth planning principles shape activity and health: "Kids in the smart growth neighborhood showed local activity levels that were 46% higher than those of kids who resided in the ticky-tacky suburbs."

•   Grabar reports on some "amazing" new studies that "show nature reduces aggression, fights depression, improves mental function" - with "provocative implications for architecture and urban design."

•   A Detroit neighborhood partners with a university urban planning program to transform itself into "one of the greenest neighborhoods in the city" by creating complete streets and a more walkable environment, with a clinic for uninsured residents and a farmers market included.

•   Yale students are bringing a prefab house to "an economically challenged neighborhood" in New Haven.

•   Wainwright weighs in with some woebegone tales of what it's like to live and work in past Stirling Prize winners that include "leaky roofs, sweltering space-bubbles, windows that won't open - and playgrounds you can't play in."

•   Betsky looks at the problems with modernizing old museums: the Yale University Art Gallery and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are both "superb examples of making the old shine, though they also make apparent the problems inherent in old buildings."

•   Hatherley hails the listing of the Preston bus station as "a spectacular victory for a conservation campaign for the sort of building that conservationists used to oppose bitterly"; too bad the Birmingham central library can't celebrate as well.

•   Pogrebin brings us more details on the battle of the blue-bloods swirling around plans to replace porta-potties with a small pavilion at the Breakers, the Vanderbilt family's "cottage" in Newport, RI (Brussat is for the new this time).

•   Bey has a few reservations about the DePaul arena in Chicago, but on the whole, the "building as depicted doesn't seem like an architectural afterthought. If it has to be built, at least the makings of a bright, transparent, urban-sensitive building are there."

•   Dixon revisits a 1955 P/A Award winner, Saarinen's Milwaukee War Memorial Center "that later sprouted an addition by Santiago Calatrava - which is seen by some as a worthy complement to Saarinen's work, and by others as an ostentatious rival."

•   One we couldn't resist (Trekkies that we are, how could we resist!??!): "a wonderfully retro new book" that renders all 80 original "Star Trek" episodes as movie posters.


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