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Today’s News - Thursday, September 18, 2014

•   Heathcote and Brussat weigh in on what Scottish independence could mean for Scottish architecture: would it make a difference (for better or worse)?

•   Merrick, meanwhile, fears that the masterplan for the sweetly-named, 3,500-home Ipswich Garden Suburb "will produce a business-as-usual legacy of mediocre housing and amenities."

•   Anderton's lively Q&A with L.A.'s City Architect Mulder re: "what a City Architect does, the kind of temperament that suits public work (calm!), and the projects she never expected to work on."

•   Finch makes a case for why "architects and planners can't and shouldn't be blamed for society's woes": design "can make a profound difference," but "there are the many obstacles placed in the way of anyone building anything at all, rarely having anything to do with design quality."

•   Wainwright is woeful about the University of Greenwich's Heneghan Peng-designed library and academic building (housing the architecture school): "a good building that could have been a truly great one"; sadly, "UNESCO guidelines have drowned the design in a vat of heritage syrup."

•   Hodges brings us cheerier news from Detroit, where developers are "suddenly" restoring or re-creating lost architectural detailing that, not too long ago, would have been considered too expensive: "Much of this new interest in architectural authenticity boils down to economics" (of course).

•   Flint cheers the Lawn on D Street, Boston's new "wildly successful" temporary park: "what's happening on the waterfront is somewhere between traditional planning and guerilla urbanism. The more adaptive, slightly on-the-fly approach is being embraced in cities across the country, or should be" (we want those swings!).

•   Litt, meanwhile, delves into "the brief life and rapid death" of the Horseshoe Casino's Dice Park proposal: it may have "had the best of intentions," but Clevelanders "won't tolerate flat-out bad design - it was less a work of Pop Art than a piece of roadside kitsch."

•   On a much brighter note, PARK(ing) Day 2014 is tomorrow in cities around the world (Rebar may have closed its doors, but the Day is still theirs - and yours).

•   Best news today: a "new, reimagined" (and beautifully restored) Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center is about ready for its close-up after being closed for five years (we've missed our favorite NYC spot!).

•   Citizen scientists are turning the spotlight on bright night-time lights in big (and not-so-big) cities, gathering data "to both raise public awareness and to furnish information that might prove useful to scientists" (and data could prove useful in lobbying for smarter night lighting).

•   Meanwhile, SunBeamers "could radically change how we light (and live in) tall buildings" by piping real sunlight into shadowy spaces.

•   Studio Mumbai's Jain "takes a collaborative approach to sustainable building," but "dismisses questions about what message architects working in the West can take away from his ideas and designs - whether it's about social justice or the response to climate change."

•   The Getty Foundation's Keeping It Modern initiative grants conservation funding to 10 modern architectural gems around the world.

•   A look at how 3D printing saved FLW's gem of a chapel at Florida Southern College that "will serve as a prototype for the restoration of textile blocks around the country."

•   Eyefuls of the winning proposals for a Baltic Thermal Pool Park in Liepaja, Latvia.

•   One we couldn't resist: "Cards Against Urbanity" is a new card game that "pokes fun at new urbanists but also aims to teach a serious lesson."

•   Call for entries: Architects and Designers: Show Us Your Baldwin contest.


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