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Today’s News - Monday, May 18, 2015

•   Moore makes the case for why coalition air strikes should defend Syria's Palmyra: "We must not stand by and do nothing" as Isis threatens to obliterate it. "One of the ghastly ironies of the current violence is that the places where civilization started are now the world's most barbarous."

•   Capps calls into question the cultural cost of the Obama Presidential Library being built "at the expense of vibrant historic parks. This would never fly in Central Park. What's so different about Chicago's South Side that its parks are worth so much less?"

•   King, on a brighter note, cheers Corner's tweaked designs for the Presidio's Crissy Field that "balance subtlety and spectacle," and show "real progress toward creating spaces worthy of the setting. The question now is whether they'll survive."

•   Finch flinches at "a small but vociferous gang of moaners" and "snapping terriers" criticizing London's Garden Bridge plan, which he thinks is a "fabulous idea" (vociferous comments indicate otherwise).

•   It will be interesting to see how vociferous comments may be now the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition winners have been announced.

•   Stephens explains how the landmarked Four Seasons landed in the owner's crosshairs for major modifications as the proposal goes before the Landmarks Preservation Commission tomorrow.

•   Lambert and Stern each offer eloquent opposition to altering the restaurant's famed interior: "I fear the alterations proposed do more than simply tweak and freshen a detail here and there." + It would "undermine the meaning of landmark preservation in America. If the commission buckles under and approves the plan, it will admit that the wishes of a wealthy developer are more important than the culture of the city."

•   Wainwright elaborates on the importance of Assemble's urban venture landing on the Turner Prize shortlist: "The story of the street and the young architects succeeding where every official plan has failed has caught the art world's attention."

•   Griffiths, Richardson, Alsop, Nissen, and others "react to the shock inclusion" of Assemble on the Turner shortlist: it is "a rebuke to a profession that has sold its soul."

•   If further proof is needed, a new report warns that "professional bodies must find common voice and leadership or risk being irrelevant" within 10 years.

•   Heathcote offers his (rather amusing) take on the Design Museum's Design of the Year category winners: "From the overhyped to the delightfully quirky, the competition always mixes a mean cocktail of the strange, the striking and the elegant" - Elemental's UC Innovation Center falls in the "elegant" category (and the "anthropomorphic 'face'" of Google's self-driving car "might cause some designers to wince").

•   Jacobs parses Safdie's Habitat 67: "The story of a revolutionary work of architecture that seemed, for a moment, as if it was really going to change the world, is almost operatically sad" - until now.

•   McGuirk talks about his goals as the new head of the Design Academy Eindhoven's Design Curating and Writing master's course: "there is an urgent need to train a new generation of writers and critics."

•   Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 starts tomorrow, with "over 200 architectural practices, from Grimshaw to Zaha Hadid and over 60 design showrooms" (wish we could be there!).

•   Eyefuls of the 2015 Australian Interior Design Awards winners.

•   One we couldn't resist: Snickers' "You Make Mistakes When You're Hungry" guerrilla marketing campaign called attention to design and construction details "rendered dysfunctional due to oxymoronic signage and absent minded structural errors" around NYC (they're a hoot - if not also a bit scary).


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