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Today’s News - Monday, March 31, 2014

•   ArcSpace brings us Holden Platt's take on MAD's "thunderbolt-hued" China Wood Sculpture Museum; a Q&A with Melgaard re: the relationship between architecture and film; and a profile of Viñoly, whose "star status has been a little burnt" of late.

•   Betsky explains why he thinks Ban deserved to win the Pritzker "for one reason above others: His work demonstrates that socially-responsible architecture can also be beautiful" (even though not everything he does is beautiful, and "some even seem banal").

•   Ijeh argues against RIBA's "pointless actions" re: the Israeli Association of United Architects: "in its own twisted way, the institution's core intentions were probably well meaning. But nothing dilutes righteousness as systematically as hypocrisy" (comments warrant reading as well).

•   Scruggs delves into "how gritty, crime-ridden Medellín became a model for 21st-century urbanism," though "there is still some discord over the process."

•   London's tower debate rages on: Moore ponders: "Why the lack of consultation? London tower design tends to go out of its way to be as assertive and architecturally antisocial as possible."

•   Farrell explains "why the UK does not need a formal architecture policy: real change cannot happen unless the wider public starts to expect and demand more of their built environment."

•   Waite lays out Farrell's wish-list in detail, which includes "a shake-up of architectural education and a revolutionary shift to 'proactive' planning."

•   O'Sullivan weighs in on New London Architecture's survey that has developers "rubbing their hands with glee at the news," but "look more closely and you notice that this freshly announced enthusiasm is far from unbridled."

•   Al Sabouni considers two Titanics of the desert in the UAE: "we have to ask what has gone so wrong that such buildings are getting recognition. On what level have these buildings succeeded?"

•   Simpson considers public space design in Dubai and Rotterdam, where "the overwhelming motivation for construction appears to have been commerce and traffic control, not civic placemaking."

•   Sydney's first new town center in a century includes plans for up to 10 major new buildings at Green Square, but Gehl raises "concerns about the density" and the crucial need for "extra good public spaces."

•   While Australia may be "playing catch-up with America and Europe" when it comes to green roofs, here's a round-up of six that get it right.

•   Hawthorne gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Mayne's "hulking new Hollywood campus" for Emerson College: "The first question is simply what to call the architectural box in which it comes packaged (think "alien popping out of Sigourney Weaver's stomach").

•   King finds some flaws in expansion plans for San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center, "but they're not fatal": while critics "have strong, valid points...this doesn't mean the expansion should be stopped in its tracks."

•   Bernstein has a most interesting Q&A with Schumacher, who "discusses everything from his high-profile partner to the state of contemporary architecture, about which he has been posting furiously on Facebook."

•   Moscow's chief architect wants Shukhov Tower to stay where it is - with the caveat: "I am offering my opinion as an architect and as an individual."

•   Fast Company offers its World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture list for 2014 (not all the usual suspects, either!).

•   Call for entries (deadlines loom!): 2014 Fuller Challenge + Call for Papers: 2014 AIBC Annual Conference: "Shifting Perspectives" + Midtown Viaducts Public Art + Light Project to transform the undersides of two Detroit viaducts (funding included for winning proposals!).

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