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Today’s News - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

•   A rather grumpy news day: Williamson's blistering take-down of starchitects: "The 'starchitect' is almost always and everywhere the enemy of the public good, but American public planners have a terrible weakness for celebrity architects and public grandiosity" - and let's not forget: "global-warming hysteria has been sustained by celebrity much more than by science" (somehow Emma Watson, Lena Dunham, and politics have a hand in it).

•   Capps offers his own take-down of Williamson: "'Starchitect' has become a partisan dog-whistle well outside its context in design. Conservative voices are welcome and needed. But be wary of a coded term meant to cut the debate short."

•   Hosey has issues about "why architecture isn't art (and shouldn't be)" - who are we to argue when he quotes Frank Zappa?

•   Heathcote x 2: he delves into "the bad, the ugly and the dysfunctional" in design, and why "the power of the brand has led to many designs that do not work but remain desirable" as "a signifier of taste and wealth - contemporary design culture does not judge through the lens of function."

•   He says the absence of a glitzy/elaborate/over-the-top "Bond Villain's Lair" aesthetic in the latest James Bond flick "reveals the disconcerting state of London's corporate architecture."

•   It's Ijeh vs. Dunnett re: whether Spence's Hyde Park Barracks should come down: "it was the Walkie Talkie of its day - a dubious and damaging misalignment of architectural belligerence and contextual insensitivity" vs. it "introduced a new kind of 'townscape.'"

•   Betsky ponders Jahn's Thompson Center and United terminal, each "with disparate futures" - neither "is beautiful in either the classical or the modernist sense. They are raw, jaunty, and very much present. Their architecture makes you find your own way and make up your own mind."

•   It's green space vs. mass transit re: what to do with a sunken, long-abandoned freight-rail line in the South Bronx: "The conflict rekindles a long-running debate about what to do with old rail corridors."

•   A call for NYC (as elsewhere) to allow micro-apartments: "A shift from subsidizing affordable housing to downsizing apartment sizes would help house young workers and low-income seniors."

•   A small rural school in Wyoming "with an explosive view of the Teton Mountains" (and moose stopping by) "gets a rugged weathering steel skin" (very cool).

•   Sessa sizes up the "4 edgiest architects designing around the world": their styles, star projects, and where you'll see them next.

•   A good reason to plan to be in Brisbane: 8th International Urban Design Conference: "Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects."

•   Eyefuls of the 28 winners of the 2015 New Zealand Architecture Awards.

•   One we couldn't resist: Stott parses "150 weird words that only architects use - this isn't a list of words you should immediately stop using; simply be aware of who you're talking to."

•   Call for entries: FIGMENT NYC Minigolf 2016: "Mini is the New Big" on Governors Island + 2016 Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards + LAGI 2016 Youth STEAM Prize for middle and high school students.

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