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Today’s News - Friday, September 26, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: Monday is next week's "floating" no-newsletter day. We hope to be back Tuesday, September 30, but our nosy news mouse is on call for jury duty, so if you don't see ANN in your inbox, it's because she's being a good citizen.

•   ANN Feature: Azaroff reports on his recent visit to Japan to check out what recovery looks like three years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami - he finds many parallels to the post-Sandy conditions in the Northeast U.S. Do they have the answers we seek?

•   Chua dives deep into how Singapore's Marina Barrage "acts as an ocean flood barrier, retains fresh water and provides recreation space in a crowded city."

•   Goodyear has a great Q&A with Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities re: "how cities get things done even when nations can't, how infrastructure isn't always the biggest challenge a city faces, and the limitations of philanthropy."

•   Beatley's "Blue Urbanism" offers "a blueprint for how cities can help solve the problems of the oceans (first prize for bluest city: Wellington, New Zealand!).

•   Lewis lays out why it takes more than handbooks, conventional standards, and traffic engineers to create "beautiful, durable and sustainable streetscapes": "the payoff of high-quality design can be big."

•   Bloomberg Philanthropies names 5 cities as winners of the 2014 Mayors Challenge: Barcelona is the €5 million Grand Prize winner; others "win funds for innovative solutions to pressing urban challenges."

•   McGuigan is quite taken with Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris's Bois de Boulogne: it is "an astonishing work of architectural couture" that "may appear transparent, but it is a building that doesn't easily give up its secrets" (and "a garden folly made for giants").

•   Q&A with L.A.'s Materials & Applications gallery founder Didier re: how the "exhibition space is redefining what an architecture gallery can be."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Well, it doesn't launch online until Tuesday, so be sure to bookmark "Briefly," a new documentary "about the many-headed beast known as the brief. Clients, take note" (What makes a bad brief? Gehry, Rockwell, et al. tell all).

•   Heathcote x 2 - both from the Barbican: cheers for "City Visions" film series: "The cities in our heads are from the movies. To see them on screen again is, ultimately, a kind of lucid dreaming."

•   He also gives thumbs-up to "Constructing Worlds" that proves how "photographers use scale to provoke both angst and awe," and "makes clear that photography has at least as much influence on the way we perceive buildings and cities as the physical locations themselves."

•   Wainwright x 2: he wonders what happened to Wenders and his "Cathedrals of Culture," a documentary in the Barbican series "that tries - and fails - to find the souls of buildings; the sickly-sweet results feel more like a series of vapid promo videos." Instead, catch "Living Architectures" - which provides "a fascinating window on to the real lives of buildings."

•   He's fascinated by Hemingway's 'pop-up' restored flat in Goldfinger's Balfron Tower - and yet there's "something deeply uncomfortable about feeding off the lost ambition of what the building once was" now it's "being spruced up and sold off - eviscerated of its original social purpose."

•   Bevan basks in the Barbican's "glorious" photo exhibition, "Constructing Worlds : Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age."

•   Lamster lauds "Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio" at the Nasher Sculpture Center: his "humane modernism makes Heatherwick such an appealing figure, and gives joyful life" to the show that includes designs for "buttons, benches, boats, buses, buildings and bridges - and that's just the Bs."

•   Robinson hails Heatherwick, "who shines a brilliant beacon of hope that things can be better - much, much better": while "Provocations" may "not offer an end to world hunger or bring about world peace, it does address the world's built environment with wonderfully ingenious solutions that seem inspirational."

•   In St. Louis, "Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarksky and the Architectural Association" at the Kemper "reveals that some of the finest architectural minds of our time were indeed visionaries" ("They forecast the buildings to come").

•   NYC's Center for Architecture kicks off Archtober with "New Practices New York," showcasing the innovative winners of the biennial competition (we'd like to know how some came up with some very strange firm names - and some fairly annoying websites).

•   Parsons presents "How Things Don't Work: The Dreamspace of Victor Papanek," which features "previously unexplored materials in dialogue with the work of emerging designers from Vienna, London, and New York City."

•   Grabar grapples with why Caro's "The Power Broker" remains the "bible of the modern American city" and "an essential primer on American power."


Archtober - Architecture and Design Month

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