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Today’s News - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

•   Giovannini x 2: He lambasts Orange County legislators and their plans for Rudolph's OCGC: "The administrative bullying was transparent; the chutzpah was breathtaking; the taste level was Neanderthal" (with a reference to the Taliban thrown in for good measure).

•   He offers a viewpoint re: the Hadid/Filler/NYRB episode that is different from anyone else's we've read: Filler's article "morphed into a cautionary tale about the arrogance of critics - they were criticizing a victim who refused to be victimized. Criticism, not architecture, lost this battle" (a must-read for all you critics and critics of critics out there!).

•   Davies sees a bigger problem with the Bingler/Pedersen take on architects not caring about their buildings' users: it's "a real issue, but let's not lose sight of the fact there's also much they get right - it's primarily a problem with the ethos of the profession - reinforced especially by many architecture schools."

•   Kamin takes Lucas Museum boosters to task: "The avant-garde's defense of the mountainous blob speaks volumes about all that's wrong with architecture today: a celebration of object-making at the expense of public space - Superrich clients! Icons! The Bilbao effect! They need to sober up" (he means you, Gehry and Sorkin).

•   Capps explains why Dallas is home to "the best U.S. architecture per square mile - no place packs in better design than the Dallas's Arts District. Houston comes in at a close second."

•   Rao mourns that Marfa is losing its magic: "When we love something we inevitably ruin it with our enthusiasm" - it's turning "into something closer to a ritzy suburban enclave for the world's wealthy."

•   Davies warns against a "dystopian vision of a Melbourne ruined by towering 'slums of the future' - greedy developers, mercenary (Asian) investors, vertical sprawl, and dogbox-sized apartments" are "risks that can and should be managed."

•   Meanwhile, a group of Melbourne architects have created the Nightingale Model, "a new development model that will deliver environmentally, socially and financially sustainable homes."

•   Brake cheers the Cooper Hewitt's makeover as "a refreshing example of public stewardship, institutional self-reflection, and intelligent restraint."

•   A look at how Senator Renzo Piano's G124 team is using "urban patching" to revitalize three Italian cities' peripheries "one shipping container at a time."

•   Let the office wars begin, starting with a look at some "thought-provoking" designs for "a realm often woefully lacking in design inspiration for the average desk-bound employee: the workplace interior."

•   Kaufman delves deep into why "Google got it wrong" - the open plan "is destroying the workplace. Workplaces need more walls, not fewer" (and studies are proving it).

•   Another take on why open-plan offices can be "a recipe for skyrocketing anxiety, productivity ground to a screeching halt, and a host of other problems that can be quite dangerous" (especially for the "Highly Sensitive Person/HSP").

•   On the other hand, furniture manufacturer CEO Zalcberg says: "Bashing the open office is getting a little too easy. It's not destroying the workplace or trapping America's workers on the dark side, and it doesn't need to die."

•   A good way to end such a heavy-handed news day: Eyefuls (and great presentations!) of Contract's 36th Annual Interiors Awards + Arch League's intriguing Emerging Voices 2015 winners + A smattering of images from the winners of the Chicago Architectural Club/Chicago Architecture Foundation's competition to design a hypothetical Obama Library (an international lot it is!).


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