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Today’s News - Thursday, March 19, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day (forecast: 3-6 inches of snow...oh joy) - we'll be back Monday, March 23.

•   Fox on the sad state of today's broken planning system in the U.S., where "opposition politics rule and the answer is usually 'no.' Vocal minorities have hijacked the system and rendered impossible a reasonable and rational debate on development."

•   We're not alone: Butler digs deep into how Canada's planned Memorial to Victims of Communism "has followed a winding and often secretive path en route to becoming the capital's most contentious new landmark - and has provoked strong opposition to its size, design and prime location."

•   Grabar explains how American cities (a.k.a. tax-payers) can stop being screwed by "sporting oligarchs" wasting millions of our dollars on new sports complexes: "It's been clear for decades that new stadiums don't bring the business they promise, let alone enough economic activity to justify the investment."

•   Litt reports that Cleveland's new "iconic" lakefront pedestrian bridge won't be finished in time for the 2016 Republican National Convention - but that's not such a bad thing: "meeting the original deadline would have required changing the design in ways that would have compromised its aesthetic integrity."

•   Capps tips us off on how London's Nine Elms "fancy bridge contest got punked" by OMA's entry: it "was never a serious proposal - it was a protest. OMA's design gets it right: This is no way to build bridges."

•   Copenhagen is getting a "new 'designer' mosque" by Henning Larsen that will bring "a new architectonic pearl" to one of the city's "slightly forgotten districts."

•   Places launches its new Future Archive series of online postings of important 20th-century writings on design with a 1968 doozy by the "once formidable, now forgotten" Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, introduced by Stratigakos (Breuer lovers: beware - it's a bruiser - and a must-read!).

•   ICAA announces the winners of the 2015 Arthur Ross Awards for Excellence in the Classical Tradition.

•   Eyefuls of the fantastical 2015 Fairy Tales Competition winners.

•   Call for entries: Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation Design Competition + 2015 Fuller Challenge (deadline looms!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Goldmann is riveted by "Ways to Modernism: Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, and Their Impact" at the MAK in Vienna: "it is hard to leave without feeling that the times we live in are somewhat impoverished."

•   Q&A with curator Herz re: who/what/why is on view in "Architecture of Independence - African Modernism" at the Vitra Design, and "how the continent's bracingly modern buildings reflected notions of liberation and autonomy."

•   Heathcote is totally taken by two Brodsky shows in London: His "surreal architecture seemed unrealizable, yet in the 2000s he began building" (never mind the "remarkable density and intensity" of his drawings).

•   Edelson advises "those seeking a substantive discussion" about the Obama library "and not the constant prattle around it, look no further" than "Presidential Libraries: Designing a Legacy" at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

•   Bentley visits "Treatise: Why Write Alone" at the Graham Foundation in Chicago: "a bright and unusual show more playful than provocative, but a strong statement nonetheless. No solitary designer could dream up the wild collection of work" (great pix!).

•   "A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA" celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Katonah Museum of Art - and its architect.

•   Dovey delves into "Tactical Urbanism" by "two of the buzz-term's leading advocates" Lydon and Garcia: "It's about cheap, quick models that can be modeled, debated and even discarded, with community involvement the whole way."

•   Newman gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Sharoff's "evocative text" and Zbaren's "crisp, luminous photography" in "Last is More: Mies, IBM, and the Transformation of Chicago."

•   Bernstein basks in Borromini in "a rarity: a fictional film about real architecture - it has no surprises, except how good 350-year-old buildings look on 21st-century screens."


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