Today’s News - Tuesday, October 29, 2013
• Reflecting on Superstorm Sandy one year later, Hanscom looks into "green infrastructure" and why "engineers say that's a bunch of baloney."
• While green infrastructure may sound like "a warm and fuzzy thing, natural features are, at best, an uncertain solution."
• Beck delves into how NYC's "rebuilding and resiliency efforts stack up - a number of the most noteworthy programs are all but stalled."
• Seven seasoned architects talk about how to safeguard cities against the next Hurricane Sandy.
• Eyefuls of a beautiful bamboo house designed by a Hanoi-based firm as "a prototype house to keep inhabitants safe from floods, rainstorms, and more."
• Outram minces no words about why she is a former architect: "Dear architects, You're outdated. You don't listen to people. No wonder architecture has become a niche vocation."
• Benfield agrees, but only somewhat: the most interesting question is not whether architects have "lost touch," but rather "does an architect have an ethical duty to the public?"
• Jones takes Bansky to task for his fake NYT op-ed claiming 1WTC is "a fearful building" that "proves that terrorism has won": it's people, not buildings, that make a city: "He wouldn't say that if he'd been there in the months after the attacks. It was simply astonishing to experience the wounded city's irrepressible joy."
• Lamster cheers an "audacious new proposal" to take down an elevated highway dividing Dallas whose "effects on its immediate surroundings have been brutal" - if it comes down, the city "will be in a position to recast itself as a home to the kind of walkable, high-density urbanism that is driving city growth around the globe."
• Las Vegas may have "embraced a higher-density urban lifestyle," but things aren't going quite as planners had hoped in the 'burbs, where a gas station/convenience store won out over a more urban multistory development.
• Hadid tapped to design the Documentation Center of Cambodia - Cambodians were invited to submit, but "they were 'not up to standard.'"
• Mecanoo's Houben talks about the Library of Birmingham: "Libraries are the cathedrals of these times"; and how being a woman makes a difference as an architect: "I think more intuitively, more personally. Sometimes the men don't like it."
• A Texan has big plans to transform Detroit's crumbling Packard Plant into a manufacturing plant for modular homes and offices.
• Pokharel reports on a gathering of Asian architects in Nepal "to deliberate the twin themes of spirituality and city image building" to create "a better vision for built environment in future - a vision which enables to move forward duly looking back."
• Some notable industry experts nominate an impressive list of who they think future historians will consider today's greatest inventors.
• The newly-established China Lewis Mumford Research Center may seem "stranger than fiction," but its leaders think otherwise: "Time will tell what effect the center will have on urbanism in Shanghai and beyond."
• One we couldn't resist: eyefuls of the largest land art in the U.K.: "The monumental mug spans 11 acres in a field in Belfast's Titanic Quarter" (amazing!!!!).
• Call for entries: IMOA Atacama 2014 International Architecture & Design Student Competition: International Museum of Astronomy.
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Nature vs. nature: Is "green infrastructure" the best defense against climate disasters? A year after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast, some scientists argue that restoring reefs and marshes can protect us next time. Engineers say that's a bunch of baloney. By Greg Hanscom- Grist Magazine
Natural Allies for the Next Sandy: Nature’s own walls, like reefs and marshes, have appeal and provide many other benefits, but questions remain on how much protection they would provide, especially in a major storm...“A lot of people want wetlands to be a solution, instead of walls...It’s a warm and fuzzy thing.” But natural features are, at best, an uncertain solution. -- Rebuild by Design; WXY/West8- New York Times
New York Has Only Completed 20 of Its 257 Post-Sandy Tasks: The city seems to be back on track, but it’s barely gotten started on the recommendations in its own resiliency plan...how do New York City’s rebuilding and resiliency efforts stack up? ...a number of the most noteworthy programs are all but stalled. By Graham T. Beck -- Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR)- Next City (formerly Next American City)
7 Architects On How To Design For Disaster: ...top architects speak exclusively to Co.Design on how to safeguard cities against the next Hurricane Sandy. -- Peter Gluck/GLUCK+; Michael A. Manfredi/Weiss/Manfredi; Craig Dykers/Snøhetta; Diana Balmori/Balmori Associates; John Cary/ Autodesk Impact Design Foundation/PublicInterestDesign.org; Stephen Cassell/Architecture Research Office (ARO); Lisa Switkin/James Corner Field Operations- Fast Company
A Bamboo House That Weathers Storms: Vietnamese Firm H&P Architects builds a prototype house to keep inhabitants safe from floods, rainstorms, and more: ...Blooming Bamboo - or Bb House...Hanoi-based architect says that the structures could potentially contribute “to [the] ecological development as well as economic stabilization” of affected regions. [images]- Fast Company
What Starbucks Gets that Architects Don’t: Or why I left the architecture profession: Dear architects, You’re outdated. I know this because I once was one of you...despite your love of a great curve, and your experimentation with form, you don’t understand people...I correct myself. You don’t listen to people...No wonder architecture has become a niche vocation...if I’m wrong, prove it. For now I remain humbly disappointed. By Christine Outram/Deutsch LA/City Innovation Group- Medium
Has Architecture Lost Touch With the People? Are designers preoccupied with making artistic statements rather than spaces where people would actually want to be? The most interesting question to me...Does an architect have an ethical duty to the public? By Kaid Benfield -- Christine Outram; Mithun Architects; Dover Kohl; Goody Clancy [images, links]- The Atlantic Cities
Banksy, you're wrong: the soul of New York is at street level: His fake New York Times op ed targets the anodyne One World Trade Centre – but...the real life of the city lies in its people, not its buildings...It's a fearful building, he complains...He wouldn't say that if he'd been there in the months after the attacks...It was simply astonishing to experience the wounded city's irrepressible joy...it's a place that fizzes. By Jonathan Jones- Guardian (UK)
How to fix Dallas: Cut the noose of Interstate 345 and let it breathe: An audacious new proposal, put forward by a pair of local urban planners, Patrick Kennedy and Brandon Hancock...calls for tearing down the highway...The road’s effects on its immediate surroundings have been brutal...If Dallas can summon the will...it will be in a position to recast itself as a home to the kind of walkable, high-density urbanism that is driving city growth around the globe... By Mark Lamster- Dallas Morning News
Suburbs struggle with urban lifestyle: Las Vegas has embraced a higher-density urban lifestyle...But efforts to export the concept to the suburban fringe...aren’t working as well...Town Center area...to add a suburban staple, the gas station/convenience store/car wash, on land where city planners had called for a more urban multistory development...hasn’t developed as planners envisioned..- Las Vegas Review-Journal
DC-Cam taps Zaha Hadid for institute: After a five-year search, the Documentation Center of Cambodia’s much-anticipated genocide studies institute has its designer...a significant step forward for the Sleuk Rith Institute...as the country’s go-to archive for Khmer Rouge history...solicited designs from Cambodians, but none of the submissions were picked...they were “not up to standard”.- Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia)
Robe and Crown: Its brutalist predecessor divided opinion in the city, but the new, £189m Library of Birmingham triumphs as a building of the 21st century. It should also be a building for the next century, hopes Mecanoo’s Francine Houben...Does being a woman make a difference as an architect? "I think more intuitively, more personally. Sometimes the men don't like it." [images]- DesignCurial / Blueprint Magazine (UK)
Texas doctor plans to turn Packard Plant into manufacturing plant for modular homes, offices: Crumbling abandoned plant may soon have new life...has long been a target of scrappers, arsonists, graffiti taggers and vandals.- Crain's Detroit Business
Spirituality in architecture: ...ARCASIA conference organized by Society of Nepali Architects (SONA)...Asian architects have gathered in Nepal to deliberate...the twin themes of spirituality and city image building...something fruitful will emerge...to guide the whole of Asia towards...a better vision for built environment in future — a vision which enables to move forward duly looking back. By Jiba Raj Pokharel- The Himalayan Times
Who Will Tomorrow's Historians Consider Today's Greatest Inventors? We asked leading figures in technology, science, medicine, and design for nominations. Here's what they said: Janette Sadik-Khan nominated by Allison Arieff; Michael Murphy/mass Design Group nom. by Tim Brown/Ideo;Jack Dangermond/Environmental Systems Research Institute/ESRI nom. by Richard Saul Wurman/TED Conference; etc.- The Atlantic
Stranger Than Fiction: Mumford in China: [He] might seem irrelevant to the contemporary study of top-down planning in China. The leaders of the newly established China Lewis Mumford Research Center think otherwise...Time will tell what effect the center will have on urbanism in Shanghai and beyond.- Architectural Record
Behold, the Largest Land Art in the United Kingdom: Hey, is that field staring at me? The monumental mug spans 11 acres in a field in Belfast's Titanic Quarter..."Wish" is the creation of Cuban-American visionary Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, who spent 18 months planning and four weeks executing it with the help of volunteers and GPS for an Irish cultural festival. By John Metcalfe [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Call for entries: IMOA Atacama 2014 International Architecture & Design Student Competition: International Museum of Astronomy; cash prizes; deadline: January 16, 2014- Arquideas (Spain)
Nuts + Bolts #6: Changing Habits: The Secret to Successful Time Management: Some practical steps to make time for business development when you've been avoiding it or aren't sure how to fit it into your day-to-day practice. By Donna Maltzan- ArchNewsNow
-- HARQUITECTES + dataAE: Residence for Architecture Students, Barcelona, Spain
-- Álvaro Siza: Leça Swimming Pools, Porto, Portugal
-- Ateliers Jean Nouvel: ...persistence, insatiable urge for the creative experimental and his resistance against the ordinary...
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