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Today’s News - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

•   Kimmelman tackles the sticky wicket of "prison architecture and the question of ethics," and the AIA rejecting ADPSR's proposed amendment: if it's architects' calling to "make the world a better place - is it really too much to ask that the organization representing architects take a stand against projects whose sole purpose is to do the reverse?"

•   Parman minces no words about what he thinks of AIA's rejection: "It was the wrong decision. It privileges business-as-usual and displays cowardice."

•   Marshall offers a fascinating take on the lessons that can still be learned about urban planning from Las Vegas: "Long before America's current urban revival, the Strip was ditching its street-side car parks for promenades and conceiving its own version of the 'Bilbao effect.'"

•   Betsky attempts to describe the "bigness - and beige-ness - in cities": "The city cannot be tamed. We have to figure out how to make our home, our place, and our sense of belonging within its contours. This is the work of architecture."

•   Farrelly finds much to like about Nouvel's One Central Park in Sydney well beyond its big budget and "bringing much-needed pedestrian porosity to a disused industrial site clotting the city's heart. It makes sustainability seductive, enchanting, desired. If the design professions had to choose a mission for the future, that should surely be it."

•   Bernstein cheers Rick Joy's big win for Princeton with a small train station - and an adjacent WaWa, "which has to be the most sophisticated convenience store ever."

•   Rick Mather Architects wins Hay Castle restoration.

•   The new German Embassy in Oman "will reflect both German modern architectural design as well as features of classic Omani architecture."

•   Miranda has a great Q&A with FLW's Hollyhock House curator Herr re: its restoration, "the surprises they found along the way" (in some trash), and its history: the client "ultimately fired Wright." "Well, if the architect says it will cost $50,000 to build and it costs three to four times that, it can make you cranky."

•   Mount cheers the Landmark Trust that has rescued "desperate, troublesome or unfashionable" old properties by making them useful: "It would be easy to cast us Landmark obsessives as Downton Abbey wannabes. But I don't think that's right. A lot of the buildings are far from grand."

•   Moore lists his pick of the "10 best ruins in Britain" that are "worthy of celebration."

•   Good news on the education front: Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is the first Chinese architecture program to be accredited by RIBA (kudos to our friend Austin Williams!) + Portland State University launches a Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design.

•   On a possibly more dubious note, the U.K.'s University of Warwick has big plans for a 6,000-student campus near Sacramento, California, but it's drawing criticism "for using a college campus as a stalking horse to get development approvals" (i.e. homes and businesses - sounds like a recipe for sprawl to us).

•   Robert Robinson Taylor, "believed to have been both the first African-American graduate of MIT and the nation's first academically trained black architect," is honored with a postage stamp.

•   Call for entries: Bangkok: I Am Fashion Hub open ideas competition (registration deadline looms!) + 2015 Brick in Architecture Awards + Barcelona's Monumental Future: design a new use for the city's old bullring.


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