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Today’s News - Monday, April 21, 2014

•   Boston Proud: as the Boston Marathon kicks off today, we cheer the collaboration of building professionals bringing "accessible design into the homes of those injured in last year's attack."

•   Quirk takes a long, thoughtful look at what might be in store for Chile's cultural capital that was recently "brought to its knees by vicious forest fires": government proposals don't quite cut it, but it's "a country with 3,500 architecture students that produces 1,400 architects a year, and 12,500 victims have been left without homes. Together, surely innovative solutions can be thought up and executed" (look at Medellín, Colombia).

•   Marshall minces no words about the upside of tearing down inner-city highways, but "what is needed is a game plan for doing it, and a coherent vision of the city that will emerge in their absence."

•   Lamster laments that "ad hocism reigns" in Dallas, "a city of grand ambition," but no "guiding vision that unites these sometimes conflicting plans - our plans are at once too susceptible to meddling, yet somehow inflexible in the face of changing priorities."

•   Hough on why it's so hard for the "coveted creative class" to find "neighborhoods with lots of character": "Maybe it is because we are trying too hard. We all know the broken window theory, but need to stop overcompensating against it all the time."

•   Simon on why "even the most practically engineered buildings need to be endearing" if they're to endure.

•   Betsky is hard-pressed to find anything good to say about Piano's new Whitney Museum: it's "big, boxy, and boring. Is there any hope? I can only hope for interior redemption."

•   Kennedy on the critical cries against MoMA's expansion plans - and its director: "There are a number of us...who don't want to see the museum become a mere entertainment center," says Agnes Gund.

•   Saffron, on the other hand, cheers NIMBYs and developer finding "harmony" re: redesign of planned tower on Philly's Schuylkill riverfront: "the big surprise isn't just that the new version is superior; it's that both sides enthusiastically agree it's better."

•   Kolson Hurley reports on Walmart's "sharp departure from its usual formula" by scaling down and building residential up in a Washington, D.C. neighborhood.

•   Chicago's mayor gives marching orders to civic leaders: "Find spot for the George Lucas museum" - serious efforts to ensue.

•   Eyefuls of the eight impressive shortlisted teams in the running for the UK's Milan Expo 2015 pavilion (can you match names to designs?).

•   Pettersen parses Crosbie's crowdsourcing design feature on ANN, and tools around Arcbazar: "it's an intriguing way for clients to get ideas from trained designers - it is a great resource."

•   Welton is wowed by the SCADpads: "like the 19th century warehouse, the mid-century modern parking deck could be transformed soon into the trendiest loft space of the 21st century."

•   Bernstein gets a lot of architects to wax poetic about their memories of the '64-65 World's Fair, and how it inspired these "designers-to-be."

•   Bucky's much-loved Dome Home in Carbondale, IL, is getting a much-needed restoration (great vintage pix, too!).

•   Taiwan- and Shanhair architects take home the 8th Far Eastern Architectural Design Award (and a nice purse).

Van Alen Institute Spring Party

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