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Today’s News - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're heading to Harvard and the Lincoln Institute tomorrow for the Journalists Forum on Land and the Built Environment (we're psyched!) - we'll be back Monday, March 30.

•   A sad way to start the news day: we lose Ralph Mancini, founder of Mancini Duffy + SAH's Saliga pays tribute to Chicago preservationist and philanthropist Persky (with link to Kamin's colorful obit) + Brake's tribute to Frei Otto: "an unusual and in many ways inspired choice by the Pritzker Prize jury" (he "had a groovy side," too).

•   Williams visits a Chinese factory to see for himself what all the brouhaha that an "increasingly gullible" press is eating up re: 3-D printed houses: alas, "it is more of a nightmare, comprising the shell of the building and a building site within" - leaks included (with pix to prove it).

•   On a brighter (and hopefully no leaks), the Ikea Foundation is gearing up to ship its first 10,000 flat-pack shelters for UN refugees (solar panels included).

•   Wainwright channels his inner Lewis Carroll on seeing SelgasCano's new design for this year's Serpentine Pavilion: "it looks as if an exotic caterpillar might have nibbled on a magic mushroom before spinning its chrysalis" - though "the devil will be in the detail...there's a danger it could look like a half-baked student project."

•   Ottawa's West Block on Parliament Hill to undergo a massive $1.3 billion makeover: "For inspiration, the design team looked at the Oxford Museum of Natural History in England."

•   Hardwick takes a hard look at lifestyle centers "parading themselves as Main Streets from a bygone era" - but are they "reinvented communities" or just "dressed-up" shopping malls?

•   There's sure to be lots of buzz around RIBA's proposals to overhaul the U.K.'s architectural education system (including starting business courses earlier in the process - gasp!).

•   A good reason to head to New Orleans in a few weeks: the always scintillating 2015 Applied Brilliance Conference: Lifelines: How Storytelling Can Save Humanity.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Great Q&A with Bergdoll re: MoMA's about-to-open "Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980": its "timely arrival, MoMA's own history with Latin America, and what's left of this rich legacy today." + Eyefuls from "one of the most fecund periods in the region's architectural history."

•   Cross the East River to the Museum of the Moving Image and take in "Matthew Weiner's Mad Men": even if you're not a fan, it's "more than a TV-focused spectacle. It's a resurrected world of Americana as frozen in time a half-century ago."

•   Q&A with CCA's Zardini re: "Rooms You May Have Missed": "architectural photography so often fails to capture the true essence of a place" by focusing on "more acrobatic moments" - this show "burrows into these contemplative spaces."

•   In Pittsburgh, "Sketch to Structure" explores the architectural process "across eras and project types...that is more poetic than regimented."

•   Vitra Design Museum's two exhibitions explore African design's present and past.

•   "Scaling Washington: Photographs by Colin Winterbottom" at the National Building Museum is "a coincidental homage to Michael Graves": the "star of the show, installation-wise, is a reconstruction of a piece of Washington Monument scaffolding and scrim."

•   Kushner "dances about architecture" in "The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings," an "exhilarating, lavishly illustrated survey."

•   Way wends his way through Preciado's "Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy's Architecture and Biopolitics": the "breadth of subject matter, topics, and anecdotes keep the discourse from becoming dry," and "navigates a fine line between gender politics, architectural and social history."

•   One we couldn't resist: Babina is back, uncaging his ARCHIZOO (some commentors should just lighten up...just sayin').


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