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Today’s News - Tuesday, September 8, 2015

•   ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of (very cool) CEBRA Toons that "communicate the insistence on a room for optimism, playfulness, and vigor in contemporary architecture."

•   Lange is a bit fed up with architects claiming their grass-topped "wedge" buildings are landscapes, not architecture: "Pulling up the earth (and filling the hole in with glass) is as willful and timely a gesture as slotting people into boxes in the sky. It's not magic, it's architecture, circa 2015."

•   Sudjic and Jones debate whether the Walkie Talkie should be knocked down: "demolish this deranged building to create a firebreak that ends the inferno of towers" + "What we need now is less dynamite, less sound and fury, and a hard look at how we can do things better" (perhaps "turn it into a refugee hostel").

•   Beauman calls the Walkie Talkie "a sty in London's eye - and proves we can't say no to money" - the Carbuncle Cup "is a perverse celebration of this. It's a sarcastic toast by a maudlin drunk."

•   Gehl et al. respond to NYC's "kneejerk reaction" to "a couple of street performers' shaking down tourists" in Times Square: "Civic culture needs cultivating and curating. Unless we do so, public space can become a public nuisance."

•   Hume cheers Cormier's small, new plaza coming to Toronto, though the idea of public space being part of daily life "remains difficult for some, especially in a city historically suspicious of any occasion or space that encourages people to sit and enjoy themselves."

•   Cramer sees the World War I Memorial design competition as a chance for traditionalists and modernists "to set aside their differences" (fat chance).

•   Baillieu parses the RIBA for Clients report: the "well-meaning but ultimately fruitless client research...has merely dodged the big question: who is responsible for the mind-numbing mediocrity of so much new building and for demanding of these same clients that they stand up for quality? The answer I suspect is no one."

•   McGuigan returns from the Aalto Symposium in Finland, where the appreciation of design "provides an impressive lesson in the power of good architecture brought to a wide public realm."

•   Wainwright finds a few "design niggles" with RSH+P's colorful prefab Y:Cube homes for the homeless, but thinks it's a "a laudable initiative" - as long as it's not taken as a "silver bullet" for the U.K.'s housing crisis: "there's a very real risk it could sow the seeds for a future of cheaply built, meanly scaled, less stable housing that can be conveniently swept away at a moment's notice."

•   Ayers finds much to like in OMA's Fondazione Prada: it's "no temple of ostentatious wealth": "the conversion constitutes a 'catalogue' (how very OMA) of preservation strategies, from minimal intervention to total facsimile."

•   As Gallaudet University launches its $60 million design competition, campus architect Bauman "shares insights from a decade of research into DeafSpace design" and designing "for people who hear with their eyes."

•   Julia Morgan's beautiful Herald-Examiner building in L.A., which "has been ripe for revitalization" for a long, long time, is being brought back to life.

•   McGregor Coxall is tapped to design the landscapes for SANAA's Sydney Modern.

•   A good reason to be in Detroit later this week: Culture Lab Detroit 2015 puts the focus on green space - "a topic already high on the list of urban planners, politicians, business leaders, foundations and artists in a city with so much abandoned property."

•   Eyefuls of USGBC 2015 LEED for Homes Award winners + Eyefuls of the 88 projects shortlisted for Australia's Sustainability Awards (both great presentations).

•   One we couldn't resist: the four designs (out of 10,292) vying to be New Zealand's new flag (three ferns and a koru).


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