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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Do 5,000 towers make for a healthy city? How do we address the burgeoning population crises in our cities? Big towers and big infrastructure, says Urban Taskforce Australia. It has missed the smaller picture...seems to have forgotten about the fine-grain, bottom-up, human scale that informs the success of any healthy city. + Q&A with SHoP Architects’ Vishaan Chakrabarti- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Would a cable car help Sydney’s cyclists and pedestrians? ...Pyrmont Bridge...is at capacity due to an increase in the number of cyclists using it...there are other solutions...One is simply to build another walking and cycling bridge...I doubt this proposal is really about helping commuters; it seems to be more about supporting businesses that rely heavily on tourism. By Alan Davies- Crikey (Australia)
'Hostile' architecture on the defensive: What do we call these building elements meant to keep certain kinds of people out? Macmillan Dictionary has identified...a new term..."hostile architecture"...those who think this kind of thing is a good idea (“valuable in discouraging criminal or anti-social behaviour”) often use the term defensive architecture or defensible architecture instead.- Christian Science Monitor
What 16 design teams want to do to the St. Petersburg Pier: ...professionals from Tampa Bay to New York to London and Colombia are making a bid... -- ahha! Design Group; Alfonso Architects; ATYPE Design Collaborative; AZPML/Charles H. Benson; Cooper Johnson Smith Architects and Town Planners; Fisher and Associates; FR-EE/Civitas/Mesh Architecture; h2hold; El Equipo de Mazzanti/Hayes Cumming Architects; Perkins+Will; Ross Barney Architects/Long and Associates; ASD/Rogers Partners/Ken Smith Landscape Architect; St. Pete Design Group/Yann Weymouth/Harvard Jolly/Wannemacher Jensen; Studio V Architecture; VOA; W Architecture and Landscape Architecture- Tampa Bay Times (Florida)
Skaters will stay at the undercroft as London's Southbank Centre gives in: ...a victory for the Long Live Southbank campaign...conclusively thwarting plans to redevelop their undercroft into shops and restaurants.- Guardian (UK)
After 'awful' Trump Tower sign, mayor proposes restrictions along Chicago River: ...unable to remove a sign that his administration greenlighted, Emanuel wants to stop any repeats by regulating...high-rise signs along the downtown waterfront...The idea of sign restrictions along the river has its critics...owners should be free to treat their buildings as they see fit. By Blair Kamin [slide show]- Chicago Tribune
Poking Koch: Meet the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Vibrant New Plaza & Its Detractors: There’s been a persistent Twitter backlash...expressing displeasure over the lively, engaging new urban space created by OLIN’s redesign of the museum’s entrance plaza and fountains...the critics’ view of the plaza may have been clouded by the prevailing artworld sentiment...against the politics of the project’s controversial megabucks donor - David H. Koch. By Lee Rosenbaum -- Adrian Benepe; Roberta Smith; Michael Kimmelman [videos]- ArtsJournal
Public Space, Private Funds: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s New Courtyard: ...a thorough, if subtle, overhaul...eaves much about the plaza and stairs unchanged...makes the David H. Koch Plaza an even more pleasant place to linger...even for those who disdain Koch’s patronage and public presence, the reopened plaza offers ample opportunity to say as much. By Anna Kats -- Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo (1968); OLIN [images]- Artinfo
Manchester hailed as urban resilience model: ...selected because of its implementation of a ten-point checklist designed to help metro areas prepare for natural and manmade disasters. According to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), it is the first UK city to join the UN’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign...- Citiscope.org
Holcim Awards 2014 for North America: Sustainable construction awards showcase resource efficiency and innovation. -- Water Pore Partnership; Rebuilding by Design/BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group; David Benjamin/The Living; NADAAA; Kennedy & Violich Architecture; Arid Lands Institute, Woodbury University; etc. [links to images, info]- Holcim Foundation
Harrods launches Zaha Hadid's luxury homeware line: From £252 candles to £9,999 serving platters...Is this where her future lies? Across the collection, the ghosts of her buildings begin to emerge...a mutant genealogy of creatures...like early embryonic forms of her buildings, plucked from the parametric womb...bijou sculptural experiments that may work better when elegantly perched on a shelf, rather than forcefully lumbering across an urban block...[she] might well have found her calling. By Oliver Wainwright -- Zaha Hadid Design [images]- Guardian (UK)
4th Annual Detroit Design Festival Joins Forces With DLECTRICITY to Explore the Intersection of Art + Design in Detroit...will feature 30 design happenings and 500 designers...September 23-28- Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) / College for Creative Studies / Knight Foundation
Michael Ford brings ‘Hip Hop Inspired Architecture’ exhibit to Detroit: Could Hip-Hop Inspire the Next Great Era of Design? The grandfather of hip-hop was white, bald, and often wore a bow tie...According to Ford...the seeds of what we now call hip-hop subconsciously sprouted inside the brain of Le Corbusier...in the beginning, he had quite a few critics, namely other architects. -- Brandnu Design- Detroit Metro Times
AIA San Francisco and Center for Architecture + Design's 11th Annual Architecture and the City Festival. This year's theme...Home: My San Francisco; through September 30- AIA San Francisco / Center for Architecture + Design
The Wish List: 10 established designers coupled with 10 emerging talents create new products for this year’s London Design Festival (LDF) -- Alison Brooks/Felix de Pass; Terence Conran/Sebastian Cox; Norman Foster/Norie Matsumoto; Zaha Hadid/Gareth Neal; Allen Jones/Lola Lely; Amanda Levete/Win Asskul; John Pawson/Studio Areti; Richard Rogers/Ab Rogers/Xenia Moseley; Paul Smith/Nathalie de Leval; Alex de Rijke/Barnby & Day [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
"Buildering: Misbehaving the City": ...a traveling group exhibition exploring the unsanctioned use of architecture and the urban environment; Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston- Blaffer Art Museum (Houston)
"Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971": ...landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and avant-garde dance pioneer Anna Halprin...brought dancers, architects, environmental designers, artists, and others together...through new approaches to environmental awareness.
presents archival documentation of the workshops to the public for the first time... [slide show- Graham Foundation (Chicago)
Jaime Lerner’s "Urban Acupuncture: Celebrating Pinpricks of Change that Enrich City Life": ...one of the most influential urban leaders of our time has written down all of his hard-earned wisdom about the city in one slim yet rich volume...pulls you in with its natural, intimate tone...presents deceptively simple stories that reveal deeper wisdom about what makes good urban life...one of the most intriguing recent books on the city. By Jared Green- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
"Mr Mac and Me" by Esther Freud: meeting Charles Rennie Mackintosh: An oblique portrait of the Scottish architect and designer's retreat to the Suffolk coast during the first world war: The novel is lit up by flashes of his irascibility and sense of injustice; not least the lack of credit he received for the Glasgow School of Art... By Alfred Hickling- Guardian (UK)
"House in Motion": Danish artist Jes Fomsgaard has worked with architectural motives - inspired by the principles of modern city planning...Architect Anders Abrahamsen has been exploring the field between art and architecture in both theory and praxis for years...a first time collaboration between the two; at the Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen [images]
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