Today’s News - Thursday, November 12, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow will be a no-newsletter day. We''ll be back Monday, November 16. Happy Friday the 13th!
• ANN Feature: In our "A Filtered View #2," Bloszies ponders "ubiquitous stuff" like mailboxes, newspaper stands, and signs of all kinds, and wonders: "Why is most of it so ugly?"
• Wirtschafter reports on a symposium that pondered the future of downtown Cairo that "opened a window onto contested visions for the city" from "long-term residents, a newly-arrived creative class, and private developers."
• More details (and great diagrams/sections) of Denmark's ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum expansion by schmidt hammer lassen and James Turrell.
• Kennedy cheers the reopening of the "magnificent" Musée Rodin in Paris that "has been playfully vamped up" ("a chocolate surprise" included).
• Owens outlines concerns raised by the Planning Accreditation Board's proposed changes to its standards that "would tone down current diversity language considerably," and "have shocked planners across the field," leaving some wondering "if the new diversity standards will be toothless."
• Betsky is a bit concerned about plans to merge the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the National Architectural Accrediting Board: "I have no particular desire to preserve more bureaucracy, but I do think the two organizations stand for - or should stand for - two different things."
• Cary and Pealer are more than a bit concerned about the AIA/AIAS's proposed student debt initiative, the National Design Services Act that "only advocate for architects" and not all designers, and point out an 8-year-old federal loan forgiveness program for graduates who work for 10 years in a public sector or nonprofit setting.
• In the U.K., Jolliffe sees "immense value in professional experience during architectural education, but I am wary that there are tremendous opportunities for exploitation of students and a risk of over-burdening the profession."
• Call for entries: 2016 AIA COTE Top Ten / Top Ten+ Awards.
• Two we couldn't resist (and on our Christmas wish list): The architect-designed Arckit, a new model building toy, "has gained a strong foothold in the lucrative construction toy market but it is not just for kids."
• Back to the future: the 1960s The Modern Christmas Tree has been brought back to life by the designer's grandson and lusciously photographed in Koenig's Stahl House overlooking L.A.
• Weekend diversions:
• Kamin cheers two Chicago Architecture Biennial outlying exhibits that offer "real-life evidence of how design can improve the human condition - you'll find a small miracle."
• The Biennial's "Outside Design" tackles attempts to "re-weird design" (bats, frogs, and poetry included).
• Filler flips for "Arkitektur-Striper: Architecture in Comic-Strip Form," an "intriguing new exhibition" in Oslo that "proves why a once déclassé graphic genre is able to explain buildings to the general public better than even the most immersive virtual-reality techniques" (with pix to prove it).
• Sullivan sails around NYC in an excerpt from his "Sea Level: Five Boroughs at Water's Edge," written to accompany the Center for Architecture's show of the same name - with fab photos by Felicella.
• Millard weighs in on Kim and Carver's "The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform" that "is both a handy overview of improvisations against accelerating crises, and a cogent set of arguments why no sane inhabitant of Earth can consider conditions anything but critical."
• Bernstein gives thumbs-up to Mayne and Yi's "Haiti Now" and Lewis's weighty "Open City: Existential Urbanity."
• "The Only Street in Paris" and "St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street" offer "surprising histories of the coolest streets in New York and Paris."
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A Filtered View #2: Ubiquitous Stuff - Why is Most of it so Ugly? Maybe Apple should design all of this stuff; or maybe Philippe Starck. By Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
Symposium Deliberates the Future of Downtown Cairo: As order finally returns to the Egyptian capital, will gentrification set in? The built and open spaces surrounding Tahrir Square...have undergone a transformation this year...long-term residents, a newly-arrived creative class, and private developers are wrestling over the future of downtown Cairo...international symposium...opened a window onto contested visions for the city. By Jacob Wirtschafter -- Omar Nagati/Beth Stryker/Cairo Lab for Urban Studies (CLUSTER); American University in Cairo [images]- Architectural Record
This Scale Model Embodies a New Synthesis Between Architecture and Art: As an artist primarily concerned with light and space, James Turrell’s installations often manifest as whole buildings...latest cross-disciplinary collaboration is with...schmidt hammer lassen architects...to design and build a dramatic extension to the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum...“The Next Level"...a 12,900-square-foot (1,200-square-meter) subterranean gallery together with two semi-subterranean installations named The Sphere and The Dome. [images]- Architizer
The magnificent Musée Rodin reopens in Paris - with a chocolate surprise: It was a ruin when he lived there, then nearly ruined by millions of trampling tourists after his death. Now...has been playfully vamped up - and it’s even got a giant chocolate tribute to France’s most famous sculptor...Restoring his legacy...was “not merely a technical necessity – it was a moral duty”...built in 1730...Confiscated by the state, it was saved from demolition in the early 20th-century... By Maev Kennedy [images]- Guardian (UK)
Urban Planning Faces Possible Diversity Setback: The Planning Accreditation Board...released proposed changes to its standards...The changes, if accepted, would tone down current diversity language considerably...potential edits have shocked planners across the field...Softening them to more pliable terms like “providing opportunities” have made some planners wonder if the new diversity standards will be toothless...comment period is set to begin on November 16... By Cassie Owens- Next City (formerly Next American City)
The ACSA and NAAB Merger: ...the pros and cons of a long-discussed merger between the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the National Architectural Accrediting Board: I have no particular desire to preserve more bureaucracy, but I do think the two organizations stand for - or should stand for - two different things. By Aaron Betsky- Architect Magazine
Why Does the National Design Services Act Only Advocate for Architects? John Cary and Casius Pealer offer alternatives to the AIA and AIAS's [American Institute of Architecture Students] joint student debt initiative: ...you may be surprised to know that a federal loan forgiveness program already exists,...Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF), passed in 2007, will completely forgive the remaining federal student loan debt for graduates who work for 10 years in a public sector or nonprofit setting.- Architect Magazine
The future of architectural education - can it work in practice? Giving students more practical experience is a good thing - but it could place an unbearable burden on small firms: I believe that there is immense value in professional experience during architectural education...but I am wary that there are tremendous opportunities for exploitation of students and a risk of over-burdening the profession. By Eleanor Jolliffe- BD/Building Design (UK)
Call for entries: 2016 AIA COTE Top Ten / Top Ten+ Awards for built projects that establish a standard of over-all design excellence creatively integrating sustainable design strategies; open to architects licensed in the U.S.; deadline: January 19, 2016- AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)
A design for life: architect’s modelling kits plug a gap in the market: Arckit has gained a strong foothold in the lucrative construction toy market but it is not just for kids, as its founder Damien Murtagh explains: ... the popularity of the kits has now spread to hobbyists and children, prompting comparisons with Lego and Meccano.- Guardian (UK)
The Modern Christmas Tree company got permission to do a photo shoot in the iconic Stahl House overlooking Los Angeles: Originally designed by Lawrence “Bud” Stoecker in the mid 1960s, The Modern Christmas Tree is made from concentric acrylic rings and decorated with chandelier crystals and ornaments...the trees have been brought back to life by Stoecker’s grandson, Matthew Bliss. -- Pierre Koenig [images]- Contemporist
Chicago Architecture Biennial's outlying exhibits offer evidence of power of design: If you want to see real-life evidence of how design can improve the human condition, and not simply comment on the condition of humans, then head to one of the biennial's peripheral sites...There you'll find a small miracle...Stony Island Arts Bank [and] the lone remaining building of the former Jane Addams Homes...a troubled past isn't being erased but creatively recycled. By Blair Kamin -- Theaster Gates/Rebuild Foundation; FitzGerald Associates Architects; National Public Housing Museum; Landon Bone Baker Architects- Chicago Tribune
How to Re-weird Design: Can leaving the comfort zone push designers to re-imagine what is possible? "Outside Design"...at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago shows that the answer to this question is yes...part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial...shows us how small changes in perception can yield interesting results...Inspiration may come in the form of bats, frogs, or poetry. -- Analog Media Lab; Ants of the Prairie; David Benjamin/The Living / Ali Brivanlou Lab; Species of Space; Sweet Water Foundation [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Amazing Building Adventures! Architecture and comics...the multi-panel drawing format can do several things that other visual methods cannot to advance broader knowledge of the building art...An intriguing new exhibition, “Arkitektur-Striper: Architecture in Comic-Strip Form,” at Oslo’s National Museum-Architecture provides a fascinating overview of this phenomenon...proves why a once déclassé graphic genre is able to explain buildings to the general public better than even the most immersive virtual-reality techniques. By Martin Filler [images]- New York Review of Books
Take a Look at All of New York’s Boroughs From Water Level: Excerpted from "Sea Level: Five Boroughs at Water's Edge"...Presented by the Center for Architecture, as part of an exhibition on view at Center at the Seaport. By Robert Sullivan; photos by Elizabeth Felicella [images]- New York Magazine
Green Futurism In Vitro: "The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform" by Janette Kim and Erik Carver explores innovations at the intersection of energy, politics and architecture: ...is both a handy overview of improvisations against accelerating crises and a cogent set of arguments why no sane inhabitant of Earth can consider conditions anything but critical. By Bill Millard- The Architect's Newspaper
Busy Bodies: "Haiti Now" edited by Thom Mayne and Eui-Sung Yi/Morphosis, and "Open City: Existential Urbanity: The Architecture of the City Studio 2001–2014" by Diane Lewis/Diane Lewis Architect: ...they represent thousands of hours of painstaking effort. Among their creators...students at the architecture schools where these practitioners somehow find time to teach...both books demonstrate the appeal - and limitations - of print. By Fred A. Bernstein- Architectural Record
The Surprising Histories of the Coolest Streets in New York and Paris: Two new books chronicle the changes on St. Marks Place and rue des Martyrs: ...taking a single street...and using it as a microcosm for the vibrant chaos and layered past of an entire city...Not many streets could bear this kind of sustained attention, but these authors have plenty of material. "The Only Street in Paris" by Elaine Sciolino; "St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street" by Ada Calhoun- The New Republic
Atelier Christian de Portzamparc: Cidade das Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Paying homage to an archetype of Brazilian architecture, [it] is seen as a large house - a great veranda above the city...The building is a small city contained in one big structure... By Kirsten Kiser [images]
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