Today’s News - Thursday, April 20, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, April 25. Don't forget to cheer Mother Earth Day on Saturday (keeping our fingers crossed we're not really doomed)!
• Krumwiede digs deep into how and why the American Dream has begun to fail: "We'll need new dreams" that "prioritize community."
• Davidson x 2: In a similar vein, he explains why it "would be more accurate to talk of swing neighborhoods than swing states" in our "cities vs. Trump" world (both are excellent companions to Bhatia's analysis of density and voting behavior - click "Yesterday's News" above).
• On a lighter note, his eloquent paean to Pei, who celebrates his 100th birthday April 26: "The best of his creations look at once audacious and inevitable," yet "his belief in the redemptive power of architecture, could lead him fantastically astray."
• Wainwright takes a "luxury property safari": their billboards "show expensive developments bustling with white 30-somethings - the new real-estate concept of ethnic cleansing" (though some signs are "mutating" into "instruments to appease the local community").
• Just in time for Earth Day 2017 on Saturday: the AIA issues a statement that includes "8 principles governing how architects can mitigate climate change," and "urges policymakers to keep carbon neutral goals for built environment."
• Speaking of the AIA, a good reason to head to Orlando next week: "Anticipate need, challenge, change" is the theme for this year's AIA confab, with a keynote by Michelle Obama (cool!).
• Call for entries: RFP for Gateways to Chinatown: a functional landmark for NYC's Canal Street Triangle + MAD Architecture Travel Fellowship 2017 for 5 global and 5 Chinese students + UIA World Congress, Seoul 2017 International Ideas Competition for Student and Young Designers.
• Two we couldn't resist: Philip Johnson's 1946 Booth House needs "appreciative stewards" to buy it before a developer snaps it up to replace it with a McMansion or two (if we had $1 million...).
• A must see: a hilarious (and depressing), animated intro to a 1976 Soviet rom-com TV show: an architect's creative designs morph into drab cookie-cutter apartment blocks that spread across the country by politics and red tape (Russian not required).
• Weekend diversions:
• "Architecture of Independence: African Modernism" at NYC's Center for Architecture explores how five countries "started to build following colonial rule - asserting their identities in avant-garde architecture."
• Also in Manhattan, the Cooper Union presents "one of Hejduk's most provocative sociopolitical works. The gravitas of his work is still relevant today."
• St. Hill cheers Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art for offering "wonderful insight" into Wang Shu and Amateur Architecture Studio's "intentions and methods."
• Hawthorne gives thumbs-up (with caveats) to "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City" that leaves "Jacobs trapped in the rubble of old arguments" (along with her "Goliath - the slimily self-confident Robert Moses").
• Roston cheers "Citizen Jane": a must-see for "anyone looking for some uplift with substance in these troubling Trumpian times."
• Murrian feels much same about "Citizen Jane": a "lean and punchy documentary about an underdog triumph of the past that is just what we need right now."
• In "The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream," Al shows that, "far from being an outlier," Sin City "has become a model for cities around the globe."
• A great Q&A with Davidson re: his NYC walking guide "Magnetic City": "All of the arguments that we have now have been had before."
• Heathcote parses the "stars of London's architecture renaissance" that are "bringing about the most radical shifts in scale and skyline that the city has seen since the medieval era" (the best are "modest pieces of infill").
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Keith Krumwiede: As the American Dream dies, we must rethink our suburbs, homes, and communities: ...the magic formulas...began to fail. The dream quickly became a nightmare...the suburban house...masked our delusions...as the distance between us increases - we vote more myopically...In the future...We’ll have to prioritize community...We’ll need new dreams. [author, "Atlas of Another America: An Architectural Fiction"]- The Architect's Newspaper
Justin Davidson: Cities Vs. Trump: Red state, blue state? The urban-rural divide is more significant: The political gulf between city and non-city has deepened even as the physical boundaries between them have blurred. Cities have become more suburbanized and suburbs more citified...Density makes towns more liberal. So does public transit.- New York Magazine
Justin Davidson: A Portrait of I.M. Pei at (Nearly) 100: ...the aristocrat of American architects...has drawn on a dazzling range of influences...He blended the austere modernism of the Bauhaus with opulent Beaux-Arts classicism, technological daredevilry with reverence for precedent...The best of his creations...look at once audacious and inevitable...his belief in the redemptive power of architecture, could lead him fantastically astray.- New York Magazine
Oliver Wainwright: The property billboards that reveal the truth about Britain’s luxury housing market: The glossy advertising...show expensive developments bustling with white thirtysomethings...The new real-estate concept of ethnic cleansing..."We spend a lot of time discussing what kind of clothes people are wearing, not what colour their skin is"...traditional site hoarding is mutating from a device to sell flats into an instrument to appease the local community. -- Frank Gehry; Foster + Partners; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- Guardian (UK)
Where we stand: Architects respond to climate challenges: AIA urges policymakers to keep carbon neutral goals for built environment: ...issued 8 principles governing how architects can mitigate climate change...the design and construction of sustainable and resilient buildings is already creating jobs and growing the American economy.- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
2017 American Institute of Architects National Conference: "Anticipate need, challenge, change"; Orlando, Florida, April 27 - 29; keynote by Michelle Obama- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Call for entries: Request for Proposals/RFP: Gateways to Chinatown: design and construct a symbolic and functional landmark on Canal Street Triangle for Chinatown, Little Italy, and the surrounding Lower Manhattan neighborhoods; budget: $900,000; deadline: June 19- Van Alen Institute / NYC Department of Transportation / Chinatown Partnership
Call for entries: Ma Yansong / MAD Architecture Travel Fellowship 2017: 5 global architecture students (for travel in China) and 5 architecture students of Chinese-nationality (for worldwide travel); deadline: May 14- MAD Architecture
Call for entries: UIA World Congress, Seoul 2017 International Ideas Competition for Student and Young Designers: "Post-human Urbanity: A Biosynthetic Future on Namsan": new visions for a central site in Seoul; cash prizes; deadline: May 31- International Union of Architects (UIA)
Threatened Philip Johnson Booth House seeks buyer - now: Booth House, built in 1946 [in Bedford, New York]...was the architect’s first built work...Sirkka Damora wants “appreciative stewards”...the house’s fate uncertain...a future developer could demolish the (small by today’s standards) home and build a McMansion or two... [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
"The Irony of Fate" (or "Enjoy Your Bath"): a hilarious, animated intro to a 1976 Soviet roamantic comedy TV show - an architect's creative designs morph into drab cookie-cutter apartment blocks that spread across the country by politics and red tape. [under 3 minutes - must-see TV!].- Mosfilm (Russia)
Africa's avant-garde architecture: A symbol of independence: "Architecture of Independence: African Modernism"...how five countries started to build following colonial rule...asserting their identities in avant-garde architecture...despite international designs...buildings invariably ended up being shaped by local aesthetics...employed many of the same architects but with radically different outcomes; at the at the Center for Architecture, Manhattan -- Manuel Herz [images]- CNN
Cooper Union exhibition reveals the life and work of John Hejduk: Seven works from the New York-born architect are on display inside with his Jan Palach Memorial exhibited outside...offers insight into his career as an architect, teacher, and person...one of his most provocative sociopolitical works..."House of the Suicide" and "House of the Mother of the Suicide"...The gravitas of his work is still relevant today. -- Nader Tehrani; Hélène Binet [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Cate St Hill: Wang Shu at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark: Amateur Architecture Studio goes against the tabula rasa approach...exhibition provides a wonderful insight into the studio’s intentions and methods... -- Lu Wenyu [images]- DesignCurial / Blueprint Magazine (UK)
Christopher Hawthorne: A new documentary leaves Jane Jacobs trapped in the rubble of old arguments: “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City,"...Chutzpah was probably central to getting the movie made...It’s not often we see debates about urban planning and the design of cities hashed out on the big screen...a David and Goliath story in which Goliath, in the person of the slimily self-confident Robert Moses... -- Robert Moses; Paul Goldberger; James Howard Kunstler; Michael Sorkin; Alexander Garvin- Los Angeles Times
Tom Roston: “Stop being victims. I think it’s wicked, in a way, to be a victim”: Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City”: A David and Goliath battle pitted Jane Jacobs against Robet Moses...Anyone looking for some uplift with substance in these troubling Trumpian times...If you’re freaking out about Donald Trump, these are seven takeaways from [the film] and the High Line to put in your toolkit. -- Robert Hammond- Salon
Samuel R. Murrian: "Citizen Jane: Battle For the City" Is a Timely, Inspiring Documentary You Can't Miss: Fascinating, relevant and only about a million-and-a-half times more entertaining than you’d expect a documentary about urban planning and housing developments to be...lean and punchy documentary about an underdog triumph of the past that is just what we need right now...Seek it out, and take it to heart. -- Robert Moses- Parade
Las Vegas an architectural wasteland? No way, says author of new book: In “The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream," Stefan Al argues that the city’s ever-changing design landscape has reflected decades of important cultural, societal and economic trends...Far from being an outlier, he contends, Las Vegas has become a model for cities around the globe.- Las Vegas Sun
Q&A: Justin Davidson on "Magnetic City," his NYC walking guide: ...critic and urbanist discusses more than a century of change - and resilience - in New York: "All of the arguments that we have now have been had before...The fact that New York even continues to exist and is at a peak population now goes counter to what anybody in the mid-’70s would have predicted."- Curbed New York
Edwin Heathcote: Modern icons: The stars of London's architecture renaissance: ...the 21st century is arguably already bringing about the most radical shifts in scale and skyline that the city has seen since the medieval era...a skyline that once combined commercial development with social housing into one that celebrates the victory of private wealth...Many of the best new works appear...as pieces of infill - considered, modest... [images; excerpt from "New London Architecture"]- CNN Style
ArchNewsNow nominated for JDR Industry Blogger Award in Architecture: Vote Today! Voting Closes on April 24.- Jackson Design and Remodeling
Jeff Risom/Gehl: Livabilitization - Numbing the Urban Experience: The term livability...what we associate with the welfare of a city...current definitions create a clear hierarchy where architecture and design is at the top...more disciplines need to be involved in the conversation and broader citizen perspectives need to be included...the most important question here is: livable for whom? [images]
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