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Today’s News - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

•   Wainwright weighs in on the Serpentine's pick for its 2014 pavilion: "one of youngest and least-known architects" ever selected offers a "cow's udder stuffed with newspaper and wrapped in strips of masking tape" that promises to be "one of the strangest structures Kensington Gardens will have ever seen."

•   Eyefuls of Radic's Serpentine design that is "excitingly futuristic, appearing like an alien space pod that has come to rest on a Neolithic site."

•   Kiger explains the evolution of "Vancouverism": the city's secret of success "may be its deliberative, values-driven evolutionary process" in which "planners, developers, and the citizenry have labored to form a consensus vision of what their city should be like - and then come up with creative solutions for achieving it."

•   Ransford, on the other hand, thinks it might be better to involve "randomly selected people" to weigh in on planning decisions because they "can see the big picture better than those with vested interests" - otherwise, "good planning suffers. It's time we took the risk to try new methods."

•   The planner for a small Tennessee town explains why working for a small town can make one a better planner: "designs and theories of your favorite urbanist du jour are only an abstraction of what the town and city really is: people. Planning for the theory, the aesthetic, and the system is easy. Planning for the people is hard."

•   O'Sullivan offers an amusing (and serious) take on why no one is happier than Berliners about Berlin being "over": many are "half-hoping that journalists sounding the death knell of the city's hipness are actually right."

•   Lubell reports on BIG's "dramatic" change of plans for Park City, Utah's Kimball Art Museum from "a twisted, log-cabin-like box" to a "concrete wedge."

•   Savannah has big plans to give its now-dormant 100-year-old Georgia Power plant "a glamorous new life."

•   Rice University's 1969 Art Barn that "inspired the tin-house architecture movement" gets a second chance, thanks to alumni who have won "a stay of execution" to figure out if it can be removed and stored until a new location can be found.

•   Europa Nostra issues its annual Seven Most Endangered list that includes some 20th-century buildings considered among "Europe's most threatened heritage."

•   Tokyo has "slashed greenhouse gas emissions from office buildings" - but not for reasons that have much to do "with the world's first city-level carbon-trading system."

•   Goodyear bemoans (as do we) a U.S. Supreme Court decision that has dealt a "big legal blow to the rails-to-trails movement": "it reflects a very real undercurrent of anxiety in the American psyche. Private property is sacred" (toxic trains are less threatening than "the prospect of another person on foot or on bike, who might even say hello").

•   Winners all: Busby takes home the 2014 RAIC Gold Medal + 2014 Wood WORKS! BC 2014 Wood Design Awards + 15 projects take Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Awards of Excellence + IIDA names winners of 41st Interior Design and 22nd Will Ching Design Competition + Three finalists in Moscow's Ukraina Hotel Entryway Competition + Three in the running to transform Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square.

•   Call for entries: Grant/Residency Opportunity to engage with one of two affordable housing communities in Southern California and Phoenix, AZ + PER/FORM Live Design Competition to create designs that are both aesthetically pleasing and high performing.

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