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Today’s News - Tuesday, August 25, 2015

•   Yours truly went swimming with the fishies on WXY's SeaGlass Carousel last week - Dunlap was right: it's like no carousel you've ever ridden (with our own pix to prove it - oooh's and aaah's will ensue).

•   Two pieces of news make us very sad: Edinburgh-based Malcolm Fraser Architects has closed its doors; and Nervi's Palazzo del Lavoro in Turin was being renovated, but it's gone up in flames - "most likely the result of arson."

•   Some interesting takes on New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina: Mock explains how "a complicated culture of 'experiments' continues to shape the city," and that with climate-change planning, "we're all living in laboratories now" - but we need to "keep our eyes on 'who is being experimented on, and who's doing the experiment.'"

•   Burnley digs into data that show "a murkier picture of economic progress emerging" in New Orleans, but there's also "a potential anecdote to guide the city to a more equitable future: the 'clusters theory.'"

•   MacCash looks into how Make It Right's "story of the collection of angular, brightly painted homes has become a piece of New Orleans lore - an icon of inventive recovery"; Pitt feels "fantastic" about it, and is taking its lessons elsewhere.

•   Beware! Barbarians (and naked boobies!) at the gate! NYC's mayor looks into abandoning Snøhetta's currently-under-construction Times Square plaza; police commish: "I'd prefer to just dig the whole damn thing up and put it back the way it was."

•   Kimmelman weighs in on the "harebrained scheme": "What the city needs is serious thinking from the mayor about planning and public space. What it's getting is zero vision." - Davidson's Times Square take: tearing up the plaza might "clear out the undesirables" and "return the bow tie to its old denizens: cars," but "solving a current problem by reverting to an old one is, at best, a cop-out." - Goodyear sees no good in the offing: "Rather than coming up with modern-day strategies for managing these spaces, city leaders seem to be considering a return to the old status quo of just making them inhospitable to human life" (we're stunned by the number of comments in all the articles that support reverting to the old car-clogged Crossroads of the World!).

•   Chaban, on a brighter note, cheers NYC's efforts to "beautify part of the nearly 200 miles of scaffolding covering city sidewalks - a ubiquitous New York eyesore."

•   Kamin cheers Chicago's "fiercely competitive, frequently wise-cracking mayor" for "publicly promoting architecture - good design is a key instrument in the mayoral toolbox."

•   Perhaps the powers-that-be in NYC (and every city) should take a look at the Project for Public Spaces' new database of "Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper" projects that prove "expensive and labor-intensive initiatives are not the only, or even the most effective, ways to bring energy and life into a community's public space."

•   Meanwhile, FR-EE is "tapped to design a major new urban intervention along one of Mexico City's oldest roads" (it's much more than a "Mexican High Line").

•   Newman minces no words about two "giant eggs" being laid in Los Angeles, made even more disappointing because their architects "are among the most gifted museum designers in the world."

•   Moser revisits the (rather amusing) history of The Donald's first effort to sue a critic: "Kamin got off easy compared to his predecessor," Paul Gapp.

•   Betsky x 2: an interesting take on the "potentials and pitfalls of crowdsourced architecture."

•   He has high hopes for the 2016 Venice Biennale: "After the cynicism, realism, or constructive criticism (depending on your take)" of Koolhaas's 2014 effort, "Aravena promises a Biennale that will argue for architecture that improves the quality of living for all" (what a concept!).

•   Volner gives Stern, "architecture's king of tradition," the New Yorker treatment: he "sees himself as a vessel for the best and oldest principles of American urbanism, maintaining and recapitulating them in a field too often swept up by novelty" (a great profile).

•   How new findings in neuroscience offer insight into why a building like Palladio's Villa Rotunda "holds such power and why it won't abate."


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