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Today’s News - Monday, June 2, 2014

•   ANN Feature: Belogolovsky brings us a lively, thoughtful conversation he had with Vignelli "infused with his sincerity, wisdom, and, of course, his sense of style."

•   Sorkin offers a long take on the importance of architectural criticism: "I see criticism as a service profession - the question to be asked is whose interests are served."

•   Heathcote gets us ready for the Biennale with a fascinating take on the Giardini pavilions - "each attempting to say something serious and legible about the nation that built them. They represent extremes of hubris, humility and hope."

•   Three NYC architects discuss working on post-Soviet projects, offering "a taste of the contradictions inherent to working in a former Soviet satellite."

•   Toderian tackles the tall tower debate that he thinks is becoming more about dogma than the real issues, like "the quality of tower and neighborhood design."

•   Baillieu cheers U.K. universities' "spending spree" on new buildings, but the "architecture is less important" than how it looks in marketing brochures - it is "uninspiring, prosaic and capable of damaging the very image it's trying to sell." ("There are exceptions, of course.")

•   Architecture students imagine Washington, DC's skyline with skyscrapers (and they're compared to the Taliban?!!? Give us a break!).

•   Hightower delves into "the way Texas' tight oil boom is affecting the built environment" (man camps included) - it's not a pretty picture (and it doesn't bode well for the future, either).

•   King, on a brighter note, cheers the transformation of a once "stark and bleak" senior care facility in Palo Alto reborn as a boutique hotel with "dynamic flair - the design testifies to the virtues of recycling."

•   Brussat revisits Ranalli's "gem" of a community center in Brooklyn: what makes it "unique" is "its beauty...a 'third way' between traditional and modernist design."

•   Ransford calls for moving beyond "guesses and innuendo" when it comes to the debate on housing regulation and the role of foreign investment - use data and facts "to cut through all of the superfluous issues and get to the questions that really matter. They are not simple questions."

•   Gallagher is heartened by efforts to rescue and preserve architects' drawings, models, and business records that often wind up in a dumpster: "A community that throws away its past probably doesn't have much of a future, either."

•   Hough understands that urban landscapes now must deal with resiliency, but "does beauty still matter?" It "may still be a goal, but is increasingly hard to find within in all of the diagrams and flow charts."

•   Landscape master Haag, "a spirited environmentalist, civic activist, teacher, and captivating storyteller," is the newest story teller in TCLF's video oral history project.

•   Another great take on the bus shelter project in the tiny Austrian village of Krumbach "that has given its 1,000 inhabitants unique bragging rights - they've got the best bus shelters in the world."

•   Jacobs talks to material experts re: what happened with Willis Tower's glass observation deck cracking: glass is "unpredictable," susceptible to "catastrophic failure."

•   One can only hope the same won't happen with the glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk in the Canadian Rockies.

•   An impressive group takes home the Zumtobel Group Award 2014.


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