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Today’s News - Friday, November 14, 2014

•   We lose David Mackay, the British-Irish architect "best known for projects completed in his adopted home city of Barcelona."

•   McGuirk explains why "getting rid of slums won't solve anything"; a brighter sign is that European migrant workers moving to the favelas "suggest that if Europeans can find value, and homes, in the favela, Brazilian politicians might start to see them differently too."

•   Russell rounds up a raft of "elite" universities that "have emerged from the recession riding a multibillion-dollar wave of architecturally ambitious arts facilities" (starchitects included). "Not everyone is on board."

•   Kennicott finds much to cheer - and much to worry about - in BIG's big plan for a "bold remake" of the Smithsonian Castle grounds on the National Mall with its "curly-chip architectural flourish"; it "has captivating elements, but much that is precious and intimate would be lost" (never mind the price tag!).

•   Wainwright looks at some of the "most outlandish projects" by the "Lego-loving, mountain-making hero of Danish architecture" (a.k.a. Bjarke Ingels) as the "wacky wunderkind "descends on London for the first time."

•   Betsky makes the case that "architects need to think a little weirder to design better."

•   On a more sobering note, Jolliffe makes the case that "public apathy" about the Stirling Prize "is a critical issue for architecture: The opportunity to debate the merit of good architecture, or even to point out what we believe good architecture is, was lost."

•   Just when you thought the RIBA/IAUA brouhaha might have simmered down, Palestinian architects are none to pleased with a recent RIBA visit to the region; add to that, the fracas is estimated to have cost the Brits "more than £100,000 in lost donations and bookings."

•   On a brighter note, Betsky is quite taken with Stern's "light-footed tower in La Défense, one of the most maligned modernist enclaves in Paris" (it is a welcome "denuding of the modernist traditions").

•   Ferro ferrets out the details of just how James Carpenter "gave NYC subway riders a portal to the sky" at Grimshaw's new Fulton Center: it "recalls an era when transit design aspired to great beauty."

•   Preservationists cheer a Google/NASA deal for the Internet giant "to take over much of Moffett Field, and restore beloved Hangar One" - but "not everyone was enthusiastic."

•   Eyefuls of the Regional Holcim Awards 2014 Asia Pacific winners (fab presentation!).

•   International talent in the running as five finalists are named for the 2015 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program + Another five in 2014-2015 Yap Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program.

•   Cape Town dons "a disastrous" and "grossly inappropriate" memorial to Nelson Mandela, though it's a "dream come true for Ray-Ban's marketing team" (we find it hard to believe the artist's artsy-babble was taken seriously!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Eyefuls of wonderful in the V&A's "Architects as Artists" exhibition that explores the relationship between art and architecture.

•   Anderton's Q&A with Maltzan and Murphy re: the "dreamscape" they designed for LACMA's "Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s" that captures "the anxiety and dreamscape-quality of expressionist film, without mimicry."

•   Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center opens with "An Eloquent Modernist: E. Stewart Williams," marking the end of an eight-year journey that began only as 'a crazy dream'" to transform a former Williams-design bank, thoughtfully made over by Marmol Radziner.

•   Rotterdam puts the spotlight on Hertzberger and the Dutch Structuralists: "it seems the financial crash has led to a resurgence of interest in the movement - often the inspiration is more related to form than to ideology."

•   "Decades of Design 1948-2014" in the West Hollywood Design District explores the city's "history as a design and style mecca."

•   Welton is totally wow'd (and so are we!) by Locktov and Christopher's "Dream of Venice" (breathtaking, dream-inducing photos!).


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