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Today’s News - Thursday, August 14, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a reminder that we're on our summer schedule now, and not posting on Fridays and Mondays. We'll be back Tuesday, August 19.

•   Some of our fave critics (18!) "ponder the future of their profession" (Sorkin pens a poem; Kamin speaks of "shallow tweets and click-whore noise") - a must read!

•   Wise slams a congressional hearing that slammed the State Department's embassy design excellence program: perhaps "the department may have some PR work to do" (though with this congress, it probably wouldn't do much good).

•   Cramer responds to the congressional criticism: "good design and tight security are not mutually exclusive."

•   Kamin bemoans the sad state of Chicago's Thompson Center, Jahn's 30-year-old "postmodern glitter palace": it has its faults, but "adown-on-the-heels state government building is like bad advertising. In the long run, it'll cost you."

•   The golden façade of the 75-story Trump Tower Mumbai will sparkle plenty: "It has been my desire for many years to have the Trump name adorn Mumbai's beautiful skyline" (no indication from rendering if he means that figuratively or literally, a la Chicago's 20-foot-tall garish moniker).

•   Wainwright x 2: he offers a masterful round-up of "killer towers" and "how architects are battling hazardous high-rises" - one, an "outlandish proposal that has all the elegance of strapping leg splints on a Dalek" in Leeds, and "a laser-shield for London's own laser death-ray building," the Walkie-Talkie. "These killer towers of doom are in good company."

•   He parses plans for a lido in London with the best opening line we've read in a long, long time: "When you're floating in the river Thames, gliding on your back below soaring bridges, the chances are you're dead" (and a great round-up of other urban beaches/baths).

•   Bevan, meanwhile, wonders whether a bigger plan, of which the Thames Baths would be a part, can transform Aldwych into "a glamorous district to rival the South Bank - the whiff of marketing hangs heavy."

•   Kennicott talks to Gothic architecture expert Tallon, who is putting the Washington National Cathedral under the microscope to "measure the majesty and refinement of the landmark" - and to find out if Goodyear was "right about the inherent beauty of imperfection."

•   Olcayto cheers Adjaye's admission that the Stephen Lawrence Centre is a failure in some respects: his "honesty is astounding and more than a little welcome" (and the "very existence of the center is cause enough for celebration").

•   Crabapple eloquently pens and artfully illustrates her personal journey to Saadiyat Island and "the dark side of high art" being "built on the backs of men who are little more than indentured servants...they also - improbably - are fighting back" (an astounding read!).

•   Dunlap delves into the multi-tasking new World Trade Center logo "packed with references to the area's past and present" (towers! tridents! memorial pools! oh my!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   The 6-part "Rebel Architecture" series profiles architects who are using design as a form of activism and resistance - turning away from elite 'starchitecture' to design for the majority" (great info, images) + Q&A with the series producer re: "what makes a rebel architect and the social and economic challenges they face."

•   Harper, though intrigued, raises some good points re: the V&A's examination of "ingenious designs of protest movements" in "Disobedient Objects": "Do romanticized notions of clever subversion serve to diminish the violent reality within which objects were originally forged?"

•   Betsky brazenly challenges the "Brooklynization of Manhattan" in the Museum of Arts and Design's "NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial": "A temple of good taste in the heart of the canyons of capitalism has been taken over by an unruly mob of makers and their stuff."

•   Kats finds some "misconceptions of space" in MoMA's "Conceptions of Space: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Architecture": "the thematic glue here doesn't offer an especially convincing argument for why these particular objects are being collected."

•   Moreau finds the Art Institute of Chicago's "Architecture to Scale: Stanley Tigerman and Zago Architecture" to be an "energetic exhibition" that "presents architecture brimming with curiosity and exploration."

•   Pearson parses Jacobson's "New Museums in China" that "brings a journalist's eye to the subject, acknowledging the odd and sometimes amusing aspects of China's newfound love of museums" that is giving "an emerging generation of Chinese architects the chance to cut their teeth with these jobs."



  


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