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Today’s News - Tuesday, September 6, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: A lot of catching up to do after being away so long! And just a heads-up that we might have even more catching up to do if yours truly begins jury tomorrow morning - we'll know tonight, and you'll know tomorrow if ANN isn't in your inbox.

•   A sad way to start the week: We lose Jane Thompson (a.k.a. "Sir Lady Jane"), who "called herself an 'architect without portfolio.'"

•   And some grumpy ways to start the week: Dickinson delves into 10 ways "the profession sabotages its value and relevance" ("must-cantilever will soon follow shipping containers, blobitecture, and Corbu glasses into the dustbin of been-there/done-that").

•   Krier makes the case that the public is "entitled to their architectural preferences and modernists have no right to judge them."

•   Dunlap is more than disappointed to discover that, beyond the "bravura" of Calatrava's World Trade Center Transit Hub, it "is - and was always intended to be - a shopping mall with an ancillary transportation purpose."

•   A most thoughtful profile of al-Sabouni and her "architectural autopsy" on her home town of Homs, Syria, and how the "failings of design and infrastructure paved the way for its eventual destruction" (do take the time to link to her TED Talk!).

•   Zeiger is so distressed by the "scorching summer of bigotry and violence," she's taken to bed: "Architecture can feel like a paltry gesture in times like ours," but "we still need to get out of bed."

•   Dittmar digs into why "we don't have the choice" anymore between mitigating emissions and building climate resilient cities and towns: "architecture and urban planning are going to be critical."

•   Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change is a new, "industry-focused public outreach campaign to push for meaningful legislation on climate change - don't remain silent."

•   After the earthquakes of August, Italy's Prime Minister asks Piano to help in reconstruction; he comes up with "a far more comprehensive proposal" (he is a Senator-for-life, after all).

•   Jacobs cheers how Svigals + Partners "navigated a fraught commission" to rebuild Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT: "The end result is a fascinating study in what happens when a firm invests its ego in the quality of its collaboration with the people who will use them" (ducks included).

•   Hawthorne gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Svigals' Sandy Hook school: "The architects had to fight to protect some of their more ambitious design features from the sort of cost-cutting that is all too typical in public-school construction."

•   Brandes Gratz "clears up some misperceptions" about Jane Jacobs: she didn't want "every neighborhood to be like Greenwich Village. If she pushed anything, it was primarily the value of local wisdom and the need to get out and observe, observe, observe."

•   Misra parses new research by the Urban Institute that "makes the case for preservation instead of construction" of affordable housing, with examples "that have successfully preserved existing affordable stock."

•   Making the case for why McMansions should go the way of the dodo: aside from "shoddy construction and ostentatious design," they have low resale values "because the market considers the homes an ugly investment, too."

•   Ijeh offers a round-up of BD's shortlist for the 2016 Carbuncle Cup (w/links to great write-ups - winner announced tomorrow).

•   A good reason to head to London tomorrow: the first London Design Biennale has more than 30 countries and territories exploring the theme "Utopia by Design."

•   An impressive shortlist of six teams now vies to win London's Illuminated River International Design Competition (we only listed team leaders - check out the rest of an impressive roster of team mates!).

•   An inspiring list of six finalists now vies for the 2016 Fuller Challenge $100,000 prize.

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