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Today’s News - Friday, December 12, 2014

•   McGuigan and Mirviss find out how Scott Brown feels about the "close vote" that almost garnered Venturi Scott Brown the 2015 AIA Gold Medal instead of Safdie: "It's not ripping my flesh off."

•   Florida crunches the numbers from a variety of studies that prove irrefutably that "walkability is no longer just an ideal - walkable neighborhoods not only raise housing prices but reduce crime, improve health, spur creativity, and encourage more civic engagement in our communities."

•   Tierney delves deep into "how the arts drove Pittsburgh's revitalization," now "widely regarded as the most impressive and successful such effort" (a "band of dreamers" required).

•   Norman looks into recent research that found "cities could be the secret to fighting climate change. The very real challenge now is to plan, design and construct cities that will minimize harmful emissions - but still keep them livable."

•   Six impressive teams shortlisted in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Culture & Education Quarter competition (a real international mix of almost 50 firms!).

•   Saffron has some reservations about the velodrome proposed for Philly's FDR Park: it offers "a seductive set of renderings" and a "tantalizing" package of public benefits in exchange for a sliver of a public park, but there are still questions to be answered before the city gives away a piece of its patrimony.

•   Steinberg waxes poetic about Philly's 2,000-acre Fairmount Park, but warns against taking "this massive legacy landscape for granted - it must develop the civic stewardship and social infrastructure required to support a park of this magnitude."

•   The last segment of Maya Lin's Confluence Project spanning 438 miles of Oregon's Columbia River ("the largest public art project in the U.S.") gets a big boost.

•   Kats is impressed with how the "past meets the present" in the Cooper Hewitt's 3-year make-over, due to the "monumental efforts" of 13 design firms (she only names three) "to achieve minimal aesthetic intervention into the landmarked Carnegie Mansion's historic fabric."

•   Call for entries: Call for Presentations for ASLA 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago next November + IS ARCH Awards for Architecture Students.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Ciampaglia is more than a bit disappointed in the documentary "Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli": "in the end it's just a well crafted, glossy, superficial art volume in cinematic form - and an unfortunate missed opportunity."

•   Flint finds many lessons to be learned from MoMA's "Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities."

•   Metcalfe previews "Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change" at L.A.'s Annenberg Space for Photography: it's a "haunting" photo exhibit and "the rare disaster show with an uplifting twist" (by some stellar photogs!).

•   Webb is wow'd by "Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: "Architects will be drawn to the elaborate sets and city streets," and by Maltzan and Murphy's installation design that "subtly conveys an air of menace, mystery, and insecurity."

•   Skolnick's design for "Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection" at New-York Historical Society "is what happens when you let grown men play with toys" (we saw it - it's wonderful!).

•   Moore says "The English Railway Station" is "just the ticket": "The story of the English railway station since its Victorian heyday is that of a distinctively creative free-for-all." + His pick of the best architecture books of 2014.

•   Ferro gets a peek from Rockwell re: his creative process just as "What If...? The Architecture and Design of David Rockwell" is about to come out.

•   Lange gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Thomé's "Sottsass": "While I wish the text was arranged differently, there's no denying the visual power of the work, which is more timely than ever."


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