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"!).
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Apartheid ended 20 years ago, so why is Cape Town still 'a paradise for the few'? The South African city is World Design Capital 2014, yet residents of Khayelitsha township live in cramped, unhygienic conditions. The need for long-promised urban reform is urgent...the feeling of division is permanently carved into the city's urban form...[city] has pumped around £3m of public money into its year of design, but it's hard to tell quite where all the cash has gone...established designers and architects have decided to boycott the bonanza. By Oliver Wainwright -- Michael Krause; Jo Noero; Heinrich Wolff- Guardian (UK)
Ethics and the Road to Convention: Durban and Chicago: ...Rick Bell and I drafted a letter denouncing the RIBA proposal...centered on inclusion and dialogue, as opposed to exclusion and highly prejudicial, selective condemnation...On another front...wrestled with the ethical issues related to the architect’s role in the design of facilities for incarceration. By Lance Jay Brown -- International Union of Architects (UIA); Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA); Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)- e-Oculus (AIANY)
Japan's disposable home culture is an environmental and financial headache: 15 years after being built the average home in Japan is worth nothing, creating a perverse market where construction is booming but housing barely increases...has produced a huge number of architects, who are kept busy... By Elisabeth Braw -- Alastair Townsend- Guardian (UK)
Moscow says: Shukhov Tower should become a site of federal importance: ...the architectural community never ceased to sound the alarm...Moscow chief architect Sergey Kuznetsov noted it is one of the “beacons of patriotism” which needs to be preserved and developed. [images]- Architectural Council of Moscow / Archcouncil of Moscow
‘The Architecture of Diplomacy’ exposes undiplomatic approach to citing works: The embassy design staple “The Architecture of Diplomacy” by Jane C. Loeffler now shares name with new picture book...might be a small publishing tempest...except that the book industry today is all too susceptible to the ugly culture of celebrity and entitlement that infects so much of the rest of our life...Whoever chose the title...“The Architecture of Diplomacy: The British Ambassador’s Residence in Washington” broke all the unwritten rules. By Philip Kennicott- Washington Post
University of Lethbridge selects team of architects: ...to bring its vision for the Destination Project to life...will lead the design process for the science and academic building and the utility energy centre. -- Stantec Architecture; KPMB Architects- Lethbridge Herald (Canada)
Landscape architect designs toolkit to make cities inclusive of adults with autism: Elizabeth Decker has a goal for her master's research: help professionals create urban environments that are inclusive of her younger brother...[who] will soon reach adulthood...proposes knitting together urban opportunities...used Nashville, Tennessee, as a test city...[her] suggestions can apply to cities across the country.- Medical Xpress
Designing Buildings for Children With Autism: And what it can teach us about architecture...ASPECTSS Design Index, a unique tool that assesses architectural environments for people with autism...creating these kinds of places, she says, can reveal important lessons about how people are impacted by architecture. Q&A with Magda Mostafa. By Sarah Goodyear -- Progressive Architects, Cairo [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Hans Hollein, the Art-Minded Architect: He gloried in the archetypal, the monumental, the irreverent and the intellectual...name does not turn up much in the indexes of contemporary architecture...casual neglect seems to be the fate of several 20th-century architects with postmodernism in their past...reveled in mining the past in order to flesh out a more exciting future. It is his turn to be the one explored. By Julie V. Iovine- Wall Street Journal
RECORD Honors STUDIOS Architecture, Novartis: Our third annual Good Design Is Good Business Lifetime Achievement Award was presented at the American Architectural Foundation's Accent on Architecture Gala in Washington, D.C...AAF’s Keystone Award, went to the Chicago Architecture Foundation...- Architectural Record
"War Port Microtecture" architecture vision competition results announced: ...targeted at revitalising the coastal Latvian town of Karosta... [images]- Homemade Dessert
Art Is Therapy: Alain de Botton as doorstepping self-help evangelist: ...has filled the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, with giant yellow Post-it notes that spell out his smarmy and banal ideas of self-improvement – but leaves us no room to look at the art...his huckster's sincerity make him the least congenial gallery guide imaginable...He doesn't make us want to look at all. By Adrian Searle- Guardian (UK)
The Wrong Stuff: An exhibition on Frank Lloyd Wright’s urban agenda exposes the architect’s near-irrational fear of real cities: ...Broadacre is a paragon of lazy utopia building...The MoMA exhibition, too, suffers from its own problems, resulting from a mix of hero worship and unadventurousness. By Samuel Medina [images]- Metropolis Magazine
"Mies" by Detlef Mertins: To some, Mies van der Rohe was a god among architects, to others a Teutonic control freak...a long, slow reappraisal of Mies has been going on, of which this imposing 500-page work sets out to be the definitive statement...Like its subject, it demands to be taken seriously. But if you're up for it, it's worth it. By Rowan Moore- Observer (UK)
Architect offers a new take on preserving the old: We should be glad that developers have spared many sturdy buildings...But few of these acts of conservation have demanded much more from local architects than a certain knack for taxidermy...not the worst thing that can happen...Becoming a zombie is...Toronto can do better than this. How much better we can do is one thing I learned from the entertaining and engaging "Old Buildings, New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations" by Françoise Astorg Bollack. By John Bentley Mays- Globe and Mail (Canada)
The Architect's Bible: Abby Suckle sifts through the new "The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, Fifteenth Edition": Since architects do not take any classes in business management in architectural school, here is B School lite...sidesteps many thorny hot button issues...sticker price alone hovers around $250...virtually ensures that the tome is a deal breaker for the smaller, less financially stable practices who could benefit from its collective wisdom the most.- The Architect's Newspaper
Eerie Photos Of Abandoned Shopping Malls Show The Changing Face Of Suburbia: In "Black Friday," photographer Seph Lawless documents 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. By Adele Peters [images]- Fast Company
Size Doesn't Matter: Big Ideas for Small Buildings: "Small: Architecture Now!" by Philip Jodido draws together the architectural underdogs that, despite their minute, whimsical forms, are setting bold new trends for design. -- Terunobu Fujimori; Crosson Clarke Carnachan; Garcia Studio; Haugen/Zohar; Toyo Ito; Kota Mizuishi; Olson Kundig Architects; REX; Rintala Eggertsson Architects; Rojkind Arquitectos; Salmela Architecture; Suzuko Yamada Architects; Shigeru Ban [images]- Architectural Review (UK)
Taking on the Immensity of Climate Change through Song: "The Great Immensity," a musical...that tackles climate change and our inadequate personal and institutional attempts to confront it...Regardless of how effective its message is in moving people to action, it is worthy of praise for its ambition and role in bringing conversations about climate change into mainstream art practice. By Jonathan Tarleton- Urban Omnibus
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