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Today’s News - Thursday, April 16, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Monday, April 20.

•   Seward cheers Houston's quest for its "first comprehensive vision statement. But without spirited leadership to see its provisions through, and a little watch-dogging, it will just be a piece of paper."

•   Kamin cheers seeing construction cranes on Chicago's skyline again, but the apartment building boom "has yet to give us architecture with a capital 'A,'" and two new towers make his point that they should be "assessed as much for their public presence as for the private amenities."

•   King, meanwhile, takes us on a whirlwind tour of the Windy City "where the built terrain trumps anything that nature has to offer. Context meets kapow" (with a dash of Trump and hubris thrown in).

•   Wainwright weighs in on London's "great garden swindle," with developers "using green garnish as a decoy to soften the blow of steroidal overdevelopment."

•   Lindsay checks out San Francisco's Market Street Prototyping Festival, "a three-day trial run of more than 50 projects vying to become permanent additions to the city's most prominent thoroughfare."

•   Baillieu has more than a few issues with open source architecture: "While many would agree the profession needs a good kicking, the idea that anyone can be an architect belongs with those other fruitcake utopian movements like the Metabolists and CIAM."

•   Godsell's inaugural MPavilion lands at its permanent home at Melbourne's Hellenic Museum.

•   12 projects land on the AJ Building of the Year shortlist.

•   One we couldn't resist: "5 most angry architects" (Herzog calls the H&deM-master planned 2015 Milan Expo a "bore and waste of money").

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Farago finds a few faults with MoMA's "Latin America in Construction": it "captures the grandeur of their vision, but unfortunately glosses over the period's nasty bits" - but he still thinks it's pretty terrific.

•   "Chatter: Architecture Talks Back" at the Art Institute of Chicago "features five young architects who are shifting how building design engages the architectural canon" (comics and neon included).

•   Rus revels in Gregory Ain taking center stage at L.A.'s WUHO gallery in a show that "celebrates an architect who did more than just talk about design for the so-called common man."

•   "100 New Objects" at the Bauhaus-Archiv in Berlin celebrates the museum's 100 new acquisitions (including some great toys!).

•   "Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks" at the Museum of the City of New York highlights "examples of the law's achievements as well as its controversies."

•   Stephens ponders whether the world needs another tome about Robert Moses, "America's greatest dictator-planner": "It does when that book is Christin's and Balez's engaging, unexpected graphic novel - a human portrait of a hardened man and a stirring rendering of his works."

•   Q&A with Locktov re: her "enchanting" book "Dream of Venice," and her love affair with La Serenissima (and lots of Charles Christopher's dreamy pix!).

•   Acciavatti's "Ganges Water Machine" is "a magnificent portrait of the Ganges River Basin, and a timely and relevant volume of encyclopedic ambition and exquisite design."

•   Merkel cheers "Saarinen Houses": apart from being "beautifully illustrated," it is "important because most writing about Eero pays far too little attention to the influence of his father, Eliel, or to the collaborative nature of both their practices."

•   In an excerpt from "WOW: Experiential Design for a Changing World," Wow Architects "explain that anything is possible if you incorporate context into the building's form."


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