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Today’s News - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

•   Giovannini starts us off with a no-holds-barred take re: the "real scandal" behind Zumthor's "amoebic pancake" and "recycled, low-grade avant-gardism" for LACMA, and the "dirty little secret of this sadly Napoleonic leap of conquest" for land it doesn't really need (never mind the environmental impact hearing "scheduled for a low-turnout" tomorrow - ouch!).

•   Platkin's take on LACMA's plans: it's "long on hype," but "short on context," as are "two other nearby museum projects" that "have already been abruptly plopped into place. Why is context so ignored?"

•   O'Sullivan finds out why Gehl thinks his hometown of Copenhagen "needs more Jane Jacobs" as plans for "what could have been a vibrant quarter are being watered down to create an indifferent, developer-driven final product" that will end up being "a luxurious but life-lorn dormitory."

•   Three reasons why Vienna is "one of the world's best places to live," and the "lessons cities around the world can learn from it."

•   Berg x 2: residents of Las Vegas's once-vibrant historic Westside, now "a wasteland of urban disinvestment," are "skeptical about whether any new plans are just opening the doors to displacement and gentrification."

•   On a brighter note, he cheers San Francisco's plan to bury a freeway under a park that reconnects the Presidio to the waterfront - "an appealing way to squeeze more public space into crowded cities."

•   Lange on the Lowline: it "is not a park: And that's okay - as long as everyone understands the true nature of this $60 million space" (at least she isn't mad at it anymore).

•   There's a movement afoot in Honolulu to uncover a now-buried "vast irrigation system" and put it "back into the urban landscape" for lots of good reasons, but "adoption has been slow."

•   Dokulil parses the recent 2016 Housing Futures conference that offered "insights, research and inspiring projects that collectively questioned the status quo. Now, we urgently need governments to get with the program."

•   Sociology professor Torres finds some very disturbing statistics re: the senior homeless population: "Creating affordable housing for seniors is much cheaper than building expensive nursing homes" - and L.A. could lead the way.

•   A pilot project in Australia is building "a tiny house village" for the homeless that "shies away from the 'twee and delightful' idea of a traditional tiny house."

•   Brownlee finds Ikea's 2017 catalog offers a "terrifying glimpse into" the future of micro apartments: they might be "the utopian cure to cities' housing shortages," but "even Ikea couldn't make living in a pallet-sized studio for half your salary look anything less than nightmarish."

•   Breathing a sigh of relief in the U.K. as developers' confidence seems to be "undimmed" by the Brexit vote: "Fears that Brexit would trigger the wholesale mothballing of building projects has failed to materialize so far" ("so far" being the operative word).

•   Trudeau's "cure for Canada's slump": architects, and service exports, with Jack Diamond as "an unlikely poster child" for "the kind of business that the government sees as the wave of the future - brainy, urban and globally competitive."

•   Shaw's Q&A with Schumacher re: the future for Zaha Hadid Architects, the impact of starchitecture ("We don't want to be stars"), and why parametricism is the "next modernism."

•   An Iranian firm launches an open-source DIY kit for architects of a digital brick laying technique that takes a "lo-fi" approach to digital fabrication (parametrics involved).

•   A great round-up of some of the up-and-coming Canadian designers to keep eye on (great profiles!).

•   Ross reports on the potential demise of Thomas Mann's house in L.A.: "The threat of demolition has caused an outcry in Germany," with a call for the German government to buy it and turn it into a writers' retreat.

•   A rather amusing look back at the few times FLW visited Milwaukee and gave the city "an earful": the county courthouse is "hardly worth blowing up" (and that's just the beginning).

•   Call for entries: Fentress Global Challenge 2016: 5th Annual Airport of the Future International Architecture Student Competition.

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