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Today’s News - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

•   Padjen reports from the VAI/GSD's "The Design Competition Conference," and the very different takes on the competition conundrum: "The search for the best ideas 'is just an alibi that unfortunately continues to seduce too many of our best talents'" - or it "can be empowering."

•   Wainwright weighs in on the 10,000-room "steroidal" megahotel and other developments in Mecca: "The holy city is fast becoming a Las Vegas for pilgrims" with designs "seemingly filtered through the eyes of a Disneyland imagineer" (it's turning into "Mecca-hattan").

•   Horne and Nethercote report on research that finds current "requirements, borne out of original concerns with safety, are seemingly inadequate to the delicate task of ensuring quality while enabling innovation" (along with livability and affordability) in Australian cities.

•   Finoki explains "how anti-homeless measures diminish a city's responsibility to its most vulnerable citizens. And the architectural surface often has to deliver the message" (with pix to prove it).

•   Lindsay lauds the Mumbai-based "urbanologists" of URBZ, who have "spent the last six years working in the world's most infamous slum. They refuse to call it that, however, and so do its residents" ("think about Steve Jobs' garage next time you say the word 'slum'").

•   Chattanooga's Glass House Collective "now has a strategy for the organization's next steps" to revitalize a neighborhood overlooked in the city's much-lauded "urban renaissance" by using a menu of "lighter, quicker, and cheaper solutions" to create a new, "safe and progressive business district."

•   There's something "afoot in the backstreets" of Melbourne's "bohemian" Collingwood, where roads and parking lots are turning into parks, but "how do you plan for safe, durable places that don't kill the vibe?"

•   Are we building too many museums? No, says Fun Palaces' Stella Duffy; Yes, says the V&A's Kieran Long.

•   An impressive shortlist of six teams now vying for Ontario's Canadian Canoe Museum's new home (no pix yet).

•   Nouvel talks philosophy, eroticism, the moral dilemmas of building in Abu Dhabi - his "aspirations" for MoMA's 53W53 "sound almost modest: 'It's going to try to be good enough for New York. Architecture is still an art, sometimes.'"

•   A look at the British design collective Assemble (shortlisted for the Turner Prize), its methodology, and results that make it a stand-out in the profession: "None of us are actually licensed architects - we're not caught in architecture-speak"

•   Carradine, a former VP at Disney Imagineering, remembers (oh so eloquently) Jon Jerde and his "unvarnished enthusiasm for Disneyland as successful and important urban design - a profound lesson that narrative placemaking was not just acceptable, but socially important and necessary."

•   Perkovic's take on the architect who shaped Sydney Modernism: "The marriage of Seidler and Sydney was never truly harmonious," but his buildings "came to define the new, modern" city.

•   Edwards offers the compelling story of Norma Merrick Sklarek, the "Rosa Parks of architecture."

•   Eyefuls of the 2015 North American Copper in Architecture Award winners (we do love copper!).

•   Morpholio Project's Inside2015 Competition winners are "ambitious, exploratory, insightful, and full of promise - they question the status quo and remind us all to think more creatively."

•   One we couldn't resist: eyefuls of Vivid Sydney, "a magical festival of lights."

•   Call for entries: 2015 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture.


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