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Today’s News - Friday, November 15, 2013

•   Wainwright weighs in on Foster's Apple HQ with a weighty, wary (and often amusing) musing: "in the desperate pursuit of innovation, is the building in danger of being nothing more than a machismo monument to technocratic supremacy?" ("It's a very macho exercise - it's all about big egos," says one former designer).

•   Saffron is more than a bit disappointed in Piano's "lackluster," "wan," and "dreary" companion to Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth: "Minimalist architecture doesn't have to be this dull."

•   King has high hopes for Snøhetta's SFMOMA addition, with even higher hopes that "the fused creation doesn't have the unfocused anonymity of a high-end shopping mall."

•   Bernstein hopes that the student-users disagree with his take on the University Center at The New School in Greenwich Village.

•   Nelson ponders why so many modern Australian buildings are "unfriendly and inhospitable": they tend to lack "a quality of public engagement" and "social presence" that should come from their design.

•   Hosey offers one solution: "Stop building altogether...industry would be forced to turn its attention to improving the nearly 300 billion square feet of existing building stock."

•   Jaffe would concur, suggesting parking garages should be designed "with an eye toward their afterlife" (it's actually happening already).

•   Steinberg outlines "the challenges and opportunities" surrounding Philly's 96-acre rail yards "poised to be reimagined...will this project be our gift to the 22nd century?"

•   Now a moment for a bit of the bizarre and absurd: the Chinese millionaire building "eccentric projects" everywhere: "I don't have any hobbies, except for planting trees and building castles."

•   Call for entries (registration deadline looms!): The Architect's Newspaper 1st annual Best of Design Awards.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Museum of Arts & Design curator hopes "Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital" clarifies "the role of digital design, from its capabilities to its significance in our daily lives": "People just didn't get it."

•   "The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley" at the Boston Architectural College puts a spotlight on the master's endangered sites.

•   A good reason to be in Melbourne next week: the Link Festival of Design, Technology and Social Change "will bring together 400 emerging and established leaders in community development and design thinking" to explore "humanitarian technology and design for social change."

•   Stephens has a few quibbles with Montgomery's "Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design," and its "combination of earnestness and 'gee-whizz' curiosity," though by and large finds it "amiable, insightful and informative."

•   A selection of excerpts by contributors to "Ian Nairn: Words in Place" who "attest to the influence that Nairn's work has had on their own."

•   Burkhalter finds Ogata's "Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America" to be "a valuable and inspiring resource."


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