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Today’s News - Thursday, June 25, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Monday, June 29 (and apologies for late posting...those pesky tech gods - again).

•   Boys Smith explains why "the very last arbiters of what we should be building are architectural prizes or design reviews. Professionals are, empirically, the very worst judges available of what people want or like" (and architectural prize criteria are "not reassuring").

•   Olcayto puts it all in a nutshell: "We can't please everyone, all the time."

•   Baillieu minces no words when it comes to the "out-of-touch dinosaurs" who are not helping "to convince the public that Robin Hood Gardens is worth saving - if you want to win a heritage battle, ditch the pensioner protest: social media is where you need to be."

•   A rather confusing report re: Hadid's Tokyo Olympic Stadium: Japan "to push ahead with the controversial and costly main showpiece," though it "will take into account the views of experts" (like Maki's offer of an alternative design): "We have never said the Zaha plan is our final decision" (huh?).

•   King finds a strong "whiff of cynical opportunism" in critics opposing Gang's San Francisco tower: "projects like this show that good design and good policy can go hand in hand."

•   Wainwright reveals (exclusively) "how developers exploit flawed planning system to minimize affordable housing" - a fascinating (and totally depressing) read.

•   News just broke that the Supreme Court has (unexpectedly) ruled to uphold the Fair Housing Act, but Schmidt's in-depth look at what would have happened if the court had voted differently is well worth reading.

•   Jaffe digs Corner and his plans for Cleveland's Public Square: "Few people have done more in recent years to breathe life into America's dead or dying public spaces."

•   Pagliacol praises "the newly vibrant Queens Quay West" in Toronto, which "used to be an eyesore, a mean concrete jungle and a symbol of how the city had turned its back on its waterfront."

•   The Getty Foundation hands out 14 more Keeping It Modern Grants to help conserve some amazing 20th-century architecture around the world.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Kennicott can't say enough about "Latin America in Construction": it's "everything one wants in a MoMA show: historically thorough, visually sumptuous, educational, enlightening and provocative" (though "a bittersweet reminder of what the museum used to do, was meant to do and should still be doing").

•   Ciampaglia gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "The New Rijksmuseum: Years of Metamorphosis," which tracks, in "almost excruciating detail," every "moment of celebration-turned-exasperation-turned-resignation-turned-relief" in the 10-year-long renovation project.

•   BBC's "Imagine: Frank Gehry" ponders whether he is "an architectural superstar," or, as Farrelly calls him, "the Kim Kardashian of architecture."

•   Nonko offers a great overview of MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program that has become "an unexpected haven for ambitious, bizarre designs," and highlights "two of the most ambitious projects" since the focus has shifted to promote sustainable architecture.

•   Korody's Q&A with Jaque re: his just-opened COSMO at MoMA PS1: his hope is that it "instigates progressive ways of relating to plumbing."

•   Eyefuls of the "recycled, upcycled, and bicycled" (and oh so colorful!) Organic Growth Pavilion that just opened on Governors Island.

•   Moore cheers "Landscapes of Communism," Hatherley's "epic and insightful revelatory voyage." + In Hatherley's own words: five communist buildings that "tell a story more complex than hope/dictatorship/stagnation."

•   Jacobs finds "pure pleasure" in flipping through the pages of "30 Years of Emerging Voices" - it "rebukes the whole notion of starchitecture. What a fabulous ride."

•   Welton's "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" proves "that at its root, architecture is still an artistic discipline," and "holds the line for the architect's most basic drive - to physically make a mark - in its oldest, most essential form."


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