Today’s News - Wednesday, January 25, 2017
• Let's get the "saddening/maddening" (h/t to Illya Azaroff) Trumpian news over with: A sobering look at what federal agencies and programs could see major cuts in Trump's "bulldozer budget" - many should be of major concern to the A/E/C industry.
• Gag orders placed on a number of agencies (EPA, HHS, etc.) banning employees from communicating with Congress, the press, and the public (tweeting included).
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "abruptly cancels" its long-planned Climate and Health Summit.
• An architect in Texas outlines how architecture could make the Mexican border "an economic driver instead of militarized wastelands - if we do it the right way."
• Kayden let's us end on a lighter note as he talks about the "checkered history" of Trump Tower's "little bench that could" that now serves "the public interest in ways never imagined."
• The revised concept of Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial in DC may have been approved, but faces more hurdles (National Civic Art Society's Shubow railed against the original design, but "said the original is superior" - go figure).
• Wainwright cheers technologies being developed to make urban planning more inclusive and less "complicated, time-consuming, and full of confusing jargon" (then there are the critics).
• Hawthorne ventures into L.A.'s Arts District Park: the neighborhood may be "thrilled," but it "gives the strong impression that it is not a fully public space."
• Saffron explains why Philly's "Great Rittenhouse Square No-Sitting Controversy is far from over," despite the mayor's "Sit where you want" tweet.
• A great round-up: "Borders: Stories about places on the edge."
• Gallagher cheers the news that the long-abandoned Albert Kahn-designed Free Press building in Detroit will be rescued and re-used (no mention of restoration architect).
• The American Academy in Rome names preservation engineer, architectural historian, and professor Ochsendorf as Director (we loved his Guastavino exhibition and monograph!).
• Eyefuls of the winning design "to re-imagine Mumbai's 'forgotten' Maharashtra Nature Park."
• Eyefuls of the Moontopia competition winners offering "visions for lunar architecture."
• The Arch League puts the spotlight on its Emerging Voices 2017 winners (great group!).
• Call for entries: Arch League's Deborah J. Norden Fund Travel and Study Grants + Deadline extended for Harvard GSD 2017 Wheelwright Prize + 2017 Buckminster Fuller Challenge + Speaker proposals for VERGE 2017 Conference and Expo on technology and sustainability.
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Trump's Bulldozer Budget: ...staffers are reportedly building a budget proposal with major cuts to federal agencies and programs. These are the ones that could hit cities the hardest. Reduce funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund; Eliminate funding for the Paris Climate Change Agreement; Eliminate Environmental Justice Programs; Eliminate greenhouse gas regulations; etc.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Trump bans EPA employees from giving social media updates: ...banned employees of the Environmental Protection Agency from...speaking with reporters...other reports of agency staff being restricted from interacting with the members of the Congress or the general public...EPA grants had been frozen, with agency employees barred from speaking of the matter.- The Hill (Washington, DC)
CDC abruptly cancels long-planned conference on climate change and health: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...Climate and Health Summit...scheduled for next month in Atlanta...intended as a chance for public health officials around the country to learn more about the mounting evidence of the risks to human health posed by the changing climate.- Washington Post
Fernando Luiz Lara/UT Austin: Use architecture to make border an economic driver: Instead of militarized wastelands, we could have proper parks, water-cleaning meadows...We should create community integration and economic opportunity for those sister cities...it would create a border of social and economic integration instead of wasting money on strategies of segregation that are doomed to fail...architecture can help in a big way, if we do it the right way.- San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas)
Jerold S. Kayden: At Trump Tower, the little bench that could: Improbably, a 22-foot-long, legally required public bench...has become a prime vantage point into a new political era...the quiet return last July...was a small win in an ongoing struggle to hold the private sector to its public commitments...Now, [it] is serving the public interest in ways never imagined...- Boston Globe
Eisenhower Tapestry Design Will Require Additional Approval: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts approved a revised concept for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., but...asked for additional details about the 400-foot steel tapestry before final approval: ...[and] concerns about the the image's clarity on the steel material, the new location for the young Eisenhower statue, and the removal of four trees from the park. -- Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners [images]- Architect Magazine
Oliver Wainwright: Tinder for cities: how tech is making urban planning more inclusive: Having a say in what your city or neighbourhood should be like is often complicated, time-consuming and full of confusing jargon. A new wave of digital tools are trying to make the process transparent and interactive...But the digitisation of these processes has its critics too.- Guardian (UK)
Christopher Hawthorne: Building Type: Long road to the Arts District's first park: Its no-frills name is Arts District Park...By all accounts, the neighborhood is thrilled...But in its details and big gestures alike, the park gives the strong impression that it is not a fully public space...Forgive my bluntness, but here’s why those details and big gestures matter... -- John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects- Los Angeles Times
Inga Saffron: For Rittenhouse Square's beloved public space, worrying signs of exclusion: Thanks for the tweet, Mayor Kenney, but the Great Rittenhouse Square No-Sitting Controversy is far from over...“Sit where you want"...was a crowd-pleaser, it addresses only the most superficial aspect of the larger problem: the city’s increasing reliance on a private partner to manage and fund this most beloved and democratic of Philadelphia public spaces.- Philadelphia Inquirer
Borders: Stories about places on the edge: "When Borders Melt: An Italian project maps how climate change is now shifting the nation’s boundaries" by Feargus O'Sullivan; "The Hidden Fences of August Wilson's Birthplace: The structures both define and devalue a fabled Pittsburgh neighborhood" by Brentin Mock; "When Invisible Borders Trump the Real Ones" by Richard Florida; etc.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
John Gallagher: Bedrock to turn old Free Press building into offices, retail, residences: ...restoration project...rescues another Albert Kahn-designed classic from slow deterioration...also evokes nostalgic memories of past newspaper glory. The Free Press staff won eight Pulitzer prizes in the building... [images]- Detroit Free Press
The American Academy in Rome Names John Ochsendorf as Director: The structural engineer, preservationist, and MIT professor will begin his three-year appointment at the prestigious organization in July. -- Ochsendorf, DeJong and Block- Architect Magazine
Winners revealed in design competition to re-imagine Mumbai’s 'forgotten' Maharashtra Nature Park: ...makeover...with new landscaping and a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Mithi River. -- Sameep Padora & Associates; Design Cell; Ratan J Batliboi Consultants [images]- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
Nine visions for lunar architecture revealed in Moontopia competition: ...to draw up plans for a self-sufficient lunar colony for living, working, researching and space tourism. One winner and eight runners up were selected... [images]- Dezeen
Emerging Voices 2017: spotlights North American individuals and firms with distinct design "voices"... -- Brian Bell/David Yocum/BLDGS, Atlanta; Eduardo Cadaval/Clara Sola`-Morales/Cadaval & Sola`-Morales, Mexico City and Barcelona; Roy Decker/Anne Marie Duvall Decker/Duvall Decker Architects, Jackson, MS; Frida Escobedo, Taller de Arquitectura, Mexico City; Chris Leong/Dominic Leong/Leong Leong, New York City; Thomas F. Robinson/LEVER Architecture, Portland, OR; Jonathan Tate/OJT, New Orleans; David Scott/Susan Scott/Scott & Scott Architects, Vancouver [link to images, info]- Architectural League of New York
Call for entries: Call For Proposals: Deborah J. Norden Fund Travel and Study Grants: open to students and recent graduates; applicants must reside in, but need not be citizens of, the U.S., Canada, or Mexico; deadline: April 23- Architectural League of New York
Call for entries (deadline extended): Harvard GSD 2017 Wheelwright Prize: International competition for early-career architects to win $100,000 traveling fellowship; deadline now: February 3- Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) / Wheelwright Prize
Call for entries: 2017 Buckminster Fuller Challenge (international): $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a design solution that addresses complex global problems; deadline: March 31- Buckminster Fuller Institute
Call for entries: Speaker proposals for VERGE 2017 Conference and Expo on technology and sustainability, Santa Clara, CA, September 19-21; deadline: March 31- GreenBiz / VERGE
Jason Dibbs: Marina Tabassum Architects: Baitur Rauf Jame Mosque, Dhaka, Bangladesh: ...utilizes simple, unadorned materials and vernacular construction techniques to immense effect, emphasizing the interplay of light and shadow, and creating a space for religious reverie and transcendence. [images]
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