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Today’s News - Monday, November 16, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Our hearts are heavy with news from Paris, Europe, and just about everywhere else - it seems anxiety rules, at least for the moment, but with no sign of receding any time soon (read Hume). One can always hope. On a more mundane note, we've been invited to participate in an NCARB panel early tomorrow morning, so it will be a no-newsletter day. We'll be back Wednesday, November 18.

•   ANN Feature: Lauer describes the Rebuilding Union Beach demonstration project that has returned 14 families who lost everything to Superstorm Sandy to new, affordable, sustainable homes, and the newly-launched online Project Guide for other communities needing to rebuild in the wake of a natural disaster.

•   Hume tackles what makes cities truly vulnerable to unspeakable violence: "As the Paris banlieues make clear, cities contain the seeds of their own destruction. What the forces of density bring together, they can also tear apart."

•   Cramer (in a pre-Paris editorial) discusses the growing demand for mosques that is bringing "NIMBYism in Europe to a new level" - and a possible solution "with sound political, architectural, and even theological precedents: sharing."

•   How a French graphic designer's "raw reaction becomes a global symbol of peace and solidarity" with his "Peace For Paris" symbol following Friday's nightmarish events: "It's an image for everyone. I don't really care about ownership."

•   Capps minces no words about why Reguly's rant about skyscrapers ruining cities is "flawed": "no building is as ugly as inequality. It's looking at demand and saying, 'Let them eat cake.'"

•   Hatherley takes an in-depth look at Kiev, "one of the most fascinating, beautiful and conflicted cities in Europe," and ponders whether the city should "erase its Soviet past or learn to live with history - the contemporary built environment is an increasingly desperate vision of extreme inequality."

•   Green ponders the role architects and landscape architects play in gentrification, and how they "can ensure they don't further contribute to the problem"; one thought: avoid "'bright shiny object' designs that trigger adulation."

•   Stephens cheers visioning exercises that "are blurring the lines between technology and earth and between designer and public" with "a dazzling array of new visualization tools," but warns "they must be used with discretion."

•   Kamin cheers Gang's "Polis Station" as "an audacious attempt to address the tensions between police and African-Americans - she is not a formalist obsessed with the way buildings look at the expense of how they work," which she calls "actionable idealism."

•   Schumacher's previous doubts about the Milwaukee Art Museum's new lakefront atrium have been (mostly) laid to rest: it is "a gracious, rugged success and full of industrial grit. It asserts itself beside powerful architectural statements with poise and a quiet intelligence."

•   Capps delves into some of the not-so-welcome surprises found when contractors tore into the walls for the restoration of the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery: there were "tons and tons of band-aids" left over from "renovations and shortcut repairs done over the course of more than 150 years" - "a pair of long-forsaken shoes" included (fascinating!).

•   Roche says that while the Eisenhower Memorial may seem "stuck," it's "merely on the wrong track - it's a problem that has more to do with policies on the memorial commission than with Gehry."

•   On a brighter note, Philadelphia is the first American city to be named a World Heritage City by the OWHC; the mayor "hopes that the designation will increase investment in the city and strengthen its (already lucrative) heritage tourism sector."

•   Eyefuls of Collective-LOK's "Heart of Hearts" that will be stealing hearts as the 2016 Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition winner.

•   CTBUH names Boeri's Bosco Verticale/Vertical Forest in Milan the 2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide for its "extraordinary implementation of vegetation at such scale and height" (along with awards for other impressive people and projects).

•   Eyefuls of both the 2015 Association of Licensed Architects Design Awards + AIBC 2015 Architectural Awards.

•   Call for entries: Tokyo Pop Lab International Architecture Competition: design an institution that will teach students the history of popular culture.

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