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Today’s News - Tuesday, December 17, 2013

•   Campbell-Dollaghan reports on (and bemoans - as do we!) the break-up of FAT, "England's architect provocateurs": in a world "overrun by design smarm," they combined "biting criticism with laugh-out-loud wit that reminded us all that architecture and photoshop are not synonymous" (with pix to remind us).

•   It's a (snowy) NYC kind of day: Soon-to-be ex-mayor, Bloomberg sets up "an urban SWAT team" - with many of his best from City Hall (and some of our faves) - to help other cities "solve knotty, long-term challenges" (clients will not be charged).

•   Meanwhile, he still has a few days left to push through $12 billion worth of real estate projects: "We haven't tried anything wacky at the last minute."

•   Davidson hopes incoming Mayor de Blasio realizes that streets "belong to all of us, not just frustrated drivers in two-ton steel shells. Being a flâneur in New York" is "no longer an extreme sport."

•   Saffron cheers a former Philadelphian getting "his chance to make Rome a more bike-friendly place" now he's mayor of the Eternal City; he's assured Romans "they would get used to it."

•   Walker makes the case for tall buildings and the need to overcome "the conventional wisdom that tall means bad."

•   Halbur takes her to task on a few issues re: tall buildings: "There are a lot of ways to structure a building envelope to house a significant number of people and a mix of uses without going up, up, up."

•   Gunther makes an impassioned plea for Congress not to allow towers around the National Mall: it would be "an unconscionable sellout of the Republic's founding soul. No single generation should be so sanctioned" (and other nabes urgently need new construction).

•   A suburban San Diego project will be either "the last piece of the 20th-century conventional suburban development pattern or it is the first step in rebuilding toward a 21st-century mixed-use, walkable, infill redevelopment pattern." (skeptics abound!).

•   Badger parses the AIA/MIT "thick new report" on health and urbanism: "A recurring thread is one of humility: We don't know as much as we think we do, and there are certainly no silver-bullet design solutions for systemic public health problems."

•   Oberholtzer on resilience and sustainability: they "are not synonyms, but rather complementary forces, a yin and yang, which must be tackled in equal measure."

•   Calys on the decision to "defer decision" re: Crissy Field development in San Francisco's Presidio: it specifically calls out the Lucas proposal "with nary a word about the other two" that have "real merit. But if the only means to stop the Lucas project is delay the whole effort, then it's worth thinking about."

•   Selldorf's Sunset Park recycling facility in Brooklyn is an "eye-catching civic project": "we turned the structure to the outside, which gives you this Prouvé kind of memory."

•   Kiser's take on H&deM's Pérez Museum: it "reflects the natural and urban landscape of Miami and responds to the city's rapid growth as a cultural destination."

•   Q&A with Ennead's Olcott re: Stanford University's new museum for the Anderson Collection: "We went through some wilder things - we said "What if we made it out of CorTen steel?" (the answer was "No").

•   The "What Moscow Wants" exhibit may be over, but it gave young architects a chance to visualize an "awesome" city: "That Russia's emerging talent is often kept in the shadows did not go unnoticed by foreign experts."

•   Call for entries: d3 Housing Tomorrow international ideas competition + DWR Champagne Chair Contest: create a miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage and cork (one of our faves).

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