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Today’s News - Friday, May 2, 2014

•   Wainwright leaves the luxe, lavish World Design Capital fetes in Cape Town to explore townships where, even 20 years after apartheid ended, "the feeling of division is permanently carved into the city's urban form" (and local design talent "decided to boycott the bonanza" of the city's year of design) - a must read!

•   AIANY's Bell and Brown pen a letter to RIBA re: its proposal to ban Israel's architects from the UIA with line of reasoning "centered on inclusion and dialogue, as opposed to exclusion and highly prejudicial, selective condemnation."

•   Braw delves into Japan's "disposable home culture" that is "creating a perverse market where construction is booming but housing barely increases" (but at least it "has produced a huge number of architects, who are kept busy").

•   We cheer Moscow's chief architect coming out in favor of preserving Shukhov Tower where it is.

•   Kennicott doesn't buy (and neither do we) that someone wasn't unaware of "The Architecture of Diplomacy," Loeffler's "embassy design staple," when they gave a "new picture book" the same title - it's more than a "small publishing tempest" in a teapot.

•   Stantec and KPMB tapped to team up for the University of Lethbridge's Destination Project in Canada.

•   A landscape architect designs a "toolkit to make cities inclusive of adults with autism."

•   Goodyear has a good Q&A with Mostafa re: the Cairo-based architect's ASPECTSS Design Index, another "tool that assesses architectural environments for people with autism."

•   Iovine pays eloquent tribute to Hollein from different angles than most others: "casual neglect seems to be the fate of several 20th-century architects with postmodernism in their past...It is his turn to be the one explored."

•   STUDIOS Architecture takes home Arch Record's Good Design Is Good Business Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Architectural Foundation's Keystone Award goes to the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

•   Eyefuls of winners in the "War Port Microtecture" competition.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Searle pens a searing review of de Botton's "Art is Therapy" show at the Rijksmuseum, where his "giant yellow Post-it notes spell out his smarmy and banal ideas of self-improvement - his huckster's sincerity make him the least congenial gallery guide imaginable."

•   Medina finds "the wrong stuff" at MoMA's Wright show that "exposes the architect's near-irrational fear of real cities," and the show itself "suffers from its own problems, resulting from a mix of hero worship and unadventurousness."

•   Moore tackles Mertin's "Mies": to some, he's "a god among architects, to others a Teutonic control freak - this imposing 500-page work, like its subject, demands to be taken seriously. But if you're up for it, it's worth it."

•   Bentley Mays learned how much better - and more - Toronto could do with its old buildings from Bollack's "entertaining and engaging" new book, "Old Buildings, New Forms."

•   Suckle sifts through the new "The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice" and finds much to like (and not like): "here is B School lite" (with some meatier parts), but its steep price is "a deal breaker for the smaller, less financially stable practices who could benefit from its collective wisdom the most."

•   "Black Friday" by photographer Seph Lawless offers some very eerie photos of dead malls that "document how the shifting economy has brought about the demise of these old symbols of American commercialism - at least part of the shift also has to do with bad design."

•   Jodido's "Small: Architecture Now!" gathers a selection of "architectural underdogs that, despite their minute, whimsical forms, are setting bold new trends for design" (fab photos!).

•   It closed yesterday, but we couldn't resist letting you know about a musical about climate change that Tarleton gives thumbs-up - and down - to (we'd like to hear the song that includes "charismatic megafauna"!).

Van Alen Institute Spring Party

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