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Today’s News - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

•   A very juicy news day: Paulick pens a most thoughtful look at how architects are tackling the refugee crisis through "architecture of welcome" that will integrate new arrivals, avoid ghettos on city limits, and foster urban regeneration.

•   Students at Leibniz University design "a range of creative alternatives" for housing refugees that include floating barges, apartment rooftops, flat-pack housing, and abandoned buildings (tents and shipping containers not included).

•   Betsky hopes the U.S. and Europe will "learn from each other" as the refugee crisis "continues to unfold": "It not only would be disappointing if both would fail to learn from the American Dream and the space it provides, it would be a crime against humanity made real in the space of the closed trucks where immigrants die."

•   Hogan makes a plea for architects to stop trying to turn shipping containers into buildings, and being "drawn to the idea of using them as housing for poor people. There's just one problem: Shipping containers turn out to be a uniquely poor building block for human shelter."

•   Q&A with Sinclair re: his new Small Works venture, why he'll "'die happy' knowing that he will never win the Pritzker Prize," and his dismay that "there aren't enough educational platforms" for humanitarian architecture.

•   Social and cultural geographer Garrett eviscerates proposed Public Space Protection Orders around the U.K. that "could severely restrict people's freedoms in urban spaces - often aimed at the poor and the vulnerable."

•   Wils of the Hudson River Park Trust criticizes the critics who claim Heatherwick's Pier55 is a vanity project for Diller and von Furstenberg: "Far from a billionaire's do-what-I-please, public-be-damned fantasy island," it is "a thoughtful plan with one overarching goal: to provide a fantastic amenity for the public. Let's not belittle that."

•   Sweeting delves deep (very deep!) into who's behind the LowLine: "What appeared to be a scrappy but ambitious urban design project" to create "green space in an underserved community seems to actually be quite a large and well-supported organization with close relationships to developers crashing projects into the immediate neighborhood" (Kickstarter success notwithstanding).

•   Stott uses BIG's Kickstarter campaign "to seed fund one of the firm's quirkiest designs" to ponder the question: "Has visionary architecture really been reduced to a near charity-case?"

•   Abello cheers "a growing group of small-scale developers" who are "revitalizing communities, one small lot at a time," and, through CNU, sharing common resources and organizing small-scale developer boot camps.

•   A Perth councilor wants to put a dollar value on urban trees "that must be taken into account in planning decisions. If a tree still needs to be knocked down, it should be treated as an asset and paid for by the developer."

•   Jaffe has a few issues with a new study's methodology, but has no argument with the concept that "urban trees enhance children's brains" (and we posit everyone else's).

•   Impressive (and eclectic) shortlists in the running to remodel FC Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium and Palau Blaugrana arena.

•   We cheer the winners of Arch Record's 2nd Annual Women in Architecture Awards (a very cool group!).

•   The 2015 Architect 50 list is out: an updated methodology that includes new metrics means "many respected firms missed the cut; some small boutique firms rose through the ranks."

•   Call for entries: Letter of Interest and RFQ to re-envision Downtown L.A.'s Pershing Square + RFP: create a new campus gateway for Gallaudet University in Washington, DC + Deadline reminders: RFQ for the Obama library in Chicago + 2016 City of Dreams Pavilion on NYC's Governors Island.


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