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Today’s News - Friday, September 19, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: Monday is next week's "floating" no-newsletter day. We'll be back Tuesday, September 23.

•   Urban Taskforce Australia says "big towers and big infrastructure" are the way to go in addressing the burgeoning urban population, but it "seems to have forgotten about the fine-grain, bottom-up, human scale that informs the success of any healthy city."

•   Davies ponders whether cable cars over Darling Harbour is the way to go in relieving an overly-congested (i.e. well-used) pedestrian/cyclist bridge: the proposal seems geared more towards tourists (who will pay for the ride) - why not just build another walking/cycling bridge to help commuters.

•   The Macmillan Dictionary has identified a new term: "hostile architecture": "those who think this kind of thing is good often use the term defensive architecture or defensible architecture instead."

•   After Maltzan's winning design bit the dust, maybe the second time trying will be the charm as an impressive list of 16 teams are making a bid to re-think the St. Petersburg Pier in Florida.

•   London's Southbank Centre gives in and skateboarders win in the prolonged battle to keep the undercroft for sportsters.

•   Kamin reports that Chicago's mayor "wants to stop any repeats" of Trump's "awful" sign along the city's riverfront: "The idea of sign restrictions along the river has its critics."

•   Rosenbaum parses "a persistent Twitter backlash" by some notable critics re: the Met Museum's "vibrant new plaza": their views "may have been clouded by the prevailing sentiment against the politics of the project's controversial megabucks donor."

•   Kats says the Met's made-over plaza is "an even more pleasant place to linger - even for those who disdain Koch's patronage, the reopened plaza offers ample opportunity to say as much."

•   The UN hails Manchester, U.K., as an "urban resilience model" because of its "10-point checklist designed to help metro areas prepare for natural and manmade disasters."

•   Eyefuls of the Holcim Awards 2014 for North America for sustainable construction (great presentations).

•   Wainwright has much to say about Harrods' new (and rather pricey) line of luxury homeware from "Planet Zaha": "a mutant genealogy of creatures - like early embryonic forms of her buildings, plucked from the parametric womb" (and that's just the beginning - a must read!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   4th Annual Detroit Design Festival is about to kick off with lots of happenings and lots of designers.

•   Also heading to Detroit: Michael Ford's "Hip Hop Inspired Architecture" exhibit: "The grandfather of hip-hop was white, bald, and often wore a bow tie" (a.k.a. Le Corbusier; ditto Robert Moses).

•   San Francisco's 11th Annual Architecture and the City Festival is in full swing.

•   As part of the London Design Festival, the V&A showcases new products, created by 10 emerging talents teamed with 10 stars, that are on the notables' "wish list" (pencil sharpener included - very cool).

•   In Houston, "Buildering: Misbehaving the City" explores "the unsanctioned use of architecture and the urban environment."

•   In Chicago, "Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971" presents archival documentation of the famed workshops to the public for the first time.

•   Green is quite taken by Lerner's "Urban Acupuncture: Celebrating Pinpricks of Change that Enrich City Life": it is a "slim yet rich volume" that "pulls you in with its natural, intimate tone - one of the most intriguing recent books on the city."

•   Hickling hails Freud's "Mr Mac and Me": "The novel is lit up by flashes of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's irascibility and sense of injustice; not least the lack of credit he received for the Glasgow School of Art."


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