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Today’s News - Thursday, May 28, 2015

•   Mock takes a long look at the "failures and merits of place-based initiatives. Neighborhood revitalization projects are trivial when what's really needed is an extreme makeover of capitalism. In short: We need a revolution."

•   Slade minces no words about why she thinks Boston is building "the most mediocre architecture in its history" in "a sugar rush of development" with "click, copy, paste" architecture that is "profoundly banal" - it certainly isn't for lack of local talents who "are designing beautiful, exciting buildings. Just not in Boston."

•   King gives (mostly) thumbs-up to San Francisco's new Public Safety Building that is "Mission Bay's first serious work of architecture, dense yet refined - an architectural machine of carefully balanced parts."

•   Eyefuls of SHoP Architects/Studio O+A's Uber HQ in Mission Bay that will house a "small corporate army of 3,000 workers" (and "some amenities for the little guy at street level").

•   Big plans for a $139m revamp of Sydney's Walsh Bay Arts Precinct that "will see Dawes Point Park at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the new Barangaroo Point Park connected via a reinvigorated waterfront."

•   Bernstein's very interesting Q&A with billionaire Barry Diller re: the High Line, his "Heatherwick-designed island [Pier55], disagreeing with Gehry, and why he hates Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Avenue."

•   Dunlap and Pilkington parse the "time-lapse rocket ride" to the Observatory atop 1 WTC, opening tomorrow: "the plan to confront sightseers with an image of the old tower spurred a lot of debate" + "New York is back up in the clouds, the message clearly states, so let's celebrate. The designers have thrown in every bit of whizz-bang digital innovation they can think of."

•   Toronto's just-opened Aga Khan Park, which took "a painstaking 10 years" for Lebanon-based landscape architect Djurovic to create, "is nothing short of spectacular."

•   On a sadder garden note, Oberlander and Katz stroll through their 1970s Marine Gardens townhouse complex - soon to be replaced by condo towers (what else?): "It may be faded and weary, but it is testament to design principles aimed at making people feel good about where they live," and "a deal between the city and the developer could have been struck. 'We flew a man to the moon. This is not rocket science.' But it is Vancouver."

•   Zeiger delves into the Getty's Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative that hopes "to develop a holistic approach" to preserving our midcentury architectural heritage - "the research will help revive buildings whose future is far less certain."

•   Caldwell delves into the past - and future - of Sea Ranch at 50: "How does an aging community renew itself? There are challenges - as with the original place itself, a dash of youthful genius could move it forward for the next 50 years."

•   Lange laments the impending loss of her Sert-designed modernist elementary school in Cambridge: it was "a city in miniature" that "made children comfortable - the grown-ups were another story. Its legacy instead becomes part of a chain linking too many other postwar buildings felled by longstanding prejudice, green-washed replacements, and the promise of the new."

•   Watch now (live!): NYC's IDEAS CITY Festival Conference: "The Invisible City" (quite an impressive line-up!).

•   The Graham Foundation's 2015 Grants to Individuals go to 63 "outstanding projects" (great presentations of projects, too [yay Shumi Bose]!).

•   Monica Ponce de Leon heads to Princeton as dean of the School of Architecture.

•   Colomina and Wigley to curate the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial in 2016.

•   One we couldn't resist: Bucky's FBI file: "he was a counterculture icon. And as we know, the FBI has historically been rather uncomfortable with counterculture icons" (curious redactions included).

•   Call for entries: Entrepreneurs Meeting Point Student Competition to reimagine Barcelona's formerly industrial area as a technological and innovation district.


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