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Today’s News - Monday, September 14, 2015

•   Heathcote takes a long, fascinating look at how starchitects are changing NYC's skyline with "a catwalk of anorexic skinnyscrapers" and the "turbocharged" development along the High Line: "The question is what these starry names are able to contribute to the cityscape - beyond marketing and profit."

•   Betsky ponders the future of this year's Carbuncle Cup winner, and "how wonderful it would be if" the U.S. had a similar award - showing what is truly bad gives you a chance to talk about what is good" (and "a little nip and tuck" for the Walkie-Talkie might be in order).

•   Environmental psychologist and neuroscientist Ellard presents studies that show why boring streetscapes "are exerting a measurable effect on our behavior, and likely our brains," proving "the prudent design of city streets and buildings is a matter of public health."

•   Galan-Diaz and Martens explain why "architecture's brief love affair" with environmental psychology in the '70s should be revived: "If 21st-century buildings are to be fit for purpose, psychologists need consulted much more often" - otherwise we'll end up "pulling down today's new buildings in much the same way as we are pulling down many of our post-war developments now."

•   Davidson pens an ode to the artisans restoring St. Patrick's Cathedral: builders of luxury towers complain "that it's too expensive or impractical to revive the craftsmanship of yore" - it's "so much more efficient to order curtain walls from China," but "projects like this one give the lie to that self-serving shrug."

•   A great profile of David Waggonner: "the urban and environmental architect who wants New Orleans to come to terms with the fact it is a delta city" (and should look more like Amsterdam).

•   Zacks takes a long look at "how a band of 'dirty little artists'" landed on "the front lines of urban renewal," sparking "a vexed discourse about race, economic disparity, and neighborhood change that resonates today" (bolt cutters and a black trench coat included).

•   Ulam offers an in-depth look at "an era of urban renewal" in the South Bronx, "still recovering from the dark days of the 1970s."

•   Hagberg previews the ideas on housing to be presented at the Chicago Architecture Biennial: "These projects are all 'capital-A Architecture' - each of these architects is trying to figure out what people need emotionally, intuitively, and physically, and then provide that in built form."

•   Kamin cheers Chicago's new Chinatown library by SOM: it "is everything its banal, prototype predecessors are not" - it is "a memorable design" that "used common, off-the-shelf materials to achieve uncommon results."

•   Gehry is making his mark in L.A.'s Watts with a pro-bono design for the Children's Institute Inc.: "It's simple, it's direct, it has a nice humanity about it," he says ("shining metal roofs at Gehry-esque angles" included).

•   Bernstein gets a sneak peek at DS+R's McMurtry Building for the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University: "a grab-bag program led to a joyful explosion of formal invention" (with scouting shots by Iwan Baan, no less).

•   Maltzan takes on a new public plaza for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, along with a new Center for Dance and Innovation, creating "a revamped model for civic engagement."

•   Hume hails Cormier's new Berczy Park in Toronto that "will let fun flow" with "something for everyone" (including dogs!).

•   King picks his favorite in the batch of "top-notch events" during this month's Architecture and the City Festival in San Francisco: "'Play: Design in Action.' Which means, well, pretty much anything in this age of work = play = live."

•   Good reason to head to Denmark and Montreal this week: RISING Architecture Week: "Growing Cities" + 2nd Circuit Index-Design Montréal.

•   Eyefuls of winners in the 6th annual Cocktail Napkin Sketch Contest (cool time-lapse video included).

•   One we couldn't resist: 2 round-up's of stunning images from Burning Man ("a few gorgeous snaps from Bjarke Ingels are just the start").

•   Call for entries: Design Trust's Call for Fellows in Urban Design, Green Infrastructure, and Lighting + San Juan Cruise Hub international architectural competition for students and young architects.



  

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