Today’s News - Thursday, August 3, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days; we'll be back Tuesday, August 8.
● A great round-up of 15 cities "that set the bar highest for progressive design and good living - and the advocates who are moving forward."
● A look at "how demand for walkability is changing the way communities are designed" - it is "now a permanent part of development."
● King cheers plans for a floating fire station on San Francisco's Embarcadero - if it survives scrutiny of 17 agencies and "a perennial political hotbed."
● Simpson considers wHY's Ross Pavilion in Edinburgh: "The other short-listed designs were quite unnecessarily attention-seeking - the judges have chosen the best design" (but do the Princes Street Gardens need to be "revitalized"?).
● Dickinson takes a swipe at technology and how it has "skewed" architectural competitions: "despite the click-bait criteria of today's judging, the results are the same: most of us lose."
● The (very) young South African architect Mthiyane, "born and bred in slums," is "partnering with shantytown communities to build sustainable, efficient and affordable housing and infrastructure to restore their dignity."
● Betsky cheers Olson's craft that "hides in plain sight - the most expensive and difficult skill in all design and construction is to make the effort disappear."
● The architecture of Columbus, Indiana, is a leading character in the film "Columbus": filmmaker Kogonada has "always been interested in Modernism, and then on a larger scale what it means to be modern."
● Reinholdt's short film "A Choice to Make" documents "personal struggles in order to pursue a more creative life. These are challenges we all face and questions we all seek answers to."
● Levere x 2: "Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical" at the Met Breuer "introduces a Sottsass you've never seen before."
● She talks to curator Wilk re: the V&A's "Plywood: Material of the Modern World," a show he proposed 20 years ago: "no one had ever seriously researched or written about it. Almost all on the Internet about it is wrong."
● Thorpe cheers "The Art of Building a Garden City" (in 2 parts): the "ambitious new book is a thorough attempt both to tell the history of the garden city movement and to provide guidance on planning and creating such a city now."
● Hall Kaplan has a few issues with Friedman's "The American Idea of Home": "with all due respects to the earnest author," among 30 interviews, "most expose the profession's self-absorption and the sorry lack of its social responsibilities."
● An excerpt from Newhouse's "Chaos and Culture: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens."
● An excerpt from Morshed's "DAC/Dhaka in 25 Buildings" that profiles "a quiet masterpiece that serves as Dhaka's gateway": it "symbolized a 'golden age' of architecture in Bangladesh during the 1960s," and "today presents many social commentaries on the city's grinding life."
● "Hard Hats" by a Chicago real estate developer is a "real estate action superhero comic book" about the construction industry: it's "an entertaining yarn" (with "more than one berserk machine").
● Three takes on the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "No Small Plans": the graphic novel "aims to shape Chicago's next generation of city planners," and is "an attempt to bridge the civic education gap."
● The characters in "No Small Plans" "jump off the page" in "a gorgeous and thought-provoking call to action" - 30,000 copies will be given to Chicago students.
● An excerpt from "No Small Plans" that follows Chicago teens "as they wrestle with designing the city they want, need, and deserve."
● Eye-candy for the day: "Dronestagram contest winners and the art of the drone-based selfie."
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The World’s Best Design Cities 2017: ...15 cities around the globe that set the bar highest for progressive design and good living: ...examining their achievements and challenges and highlighting the advocates who are moving forward. -- Frank Gehry; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rios Clementi Hale Studio; OMA New York; Mia Lehrer + Associates; Agence Ter; Studio Gang; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Site Design Group; Kengo Kuma; Mount Fuji Architects Studio; Jamo Associates; Torafu Architects; Fletcher Studio; Neal Schwartz; Charles Bloszies; Cary Bernstein; Envelope A+D; Rockwell Group; ARCHIVO Diseño y Arquitectura; Emiliano Godoy/Tuux; Rozana Montiel; Höweler + Yoon; MASS Design Group; Nader Tehrani/NADAAA; AMLgMATD; Daoust Lestage; IBI Group; ERA Architects; Adamson Associates Architects; etc.- Metropolis Magazine
How demand for walkability is changing the way communities are designed: ...impacting the kinds of features developers include in new communities and how they market them...A multigenerational trend...“Walkability...is now a permanent part of development.”- Construction Dive
John King: Fireboats’ new Embarcadero station may be a floating pier: ...could be a streamlined fire station...perched atop a permanently docked barge...It’s a fascinating project...an approach prompted by concerns about the likelihood of sea-level change. -- Shah Kawasaki Architects [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
James Simpson/Simpson & Brown Architects: Ross Pavilion has potential to be distinguished piece of architecture: Do the Princes Street Gardens need to be “revitalised”? ...we should be clear that “revitalisation”...means transforming the gardens from an oasis of calm at the centre of Edinburgh into another money-generating component...The other short-listed designs were quite unnecessarily attention-seeking. If there must be a Concert Arena, the judges have chosen the best design. -- wHY Architecture- The Herald (Scotland)
Duo Dickinson: Swipe Left: How Technology Has Skewed Architectural Competitions: The digital revolution has transformed a studio experience into a form of online dating: If life were like architecture school...Architects would be given a problem without humans attached to it...despite the click-bait criteria of today’s judging, the results are the same: most of us lose.- Common Edge
Born and bred in slums, youngster alters world’s view of shantytowns: In an unprecedented development, the sprawling shantytowns of South Africa have emerged a source of inspiration to a humble young architect...has embarked on an internationally-endorsed programme partnering with shantytown communities to build sustainable, efficient and affordable housing and infrastructure to restore their dignity. -- Wandile Mthiyane/ Ubuntu Design Group- Centre for African Journalists/CAJ News Africa
Aaron Betsky: Craft Hides in Plain Sight: A recent visit with Olson Kundig's Jim Olson showed that the more you spend, the harder it is to see the cost: Somewhere behind the planes are some pretty complicated details which mortal eyes will never see...The effect is supremely elegant...The most expensive and difficult skill in all design and construction is to make the effort disappear. [images]- Architect Magazine
Modern love: Columbus architecture plays starring role in new film made in Indiana: ...caught the attention of Kogonada, a single-named filmmaker...“I’ve always been interested in Modernism, and then on a larger scale what it means to be modern...[town] felt like the embodiment of something that I had been thinking about: ‘Does art matter? Does architecture matter? Does cinema matter?’” -- Eero Saarinen; I.M. Pei; Harry Weese; Kevin Roche [trailer]- Indianapolis Star
Eric Reinholdt's short film ponders on the struggles of the traditional architecture practice: "A Choice to Make"...documenting personal struggles in order to pursue a more creative life. These are challenges we all face and questions we all seek answers to. -- 30X40 Design Workshop- designboom
Jane Levere: Pomo Man: Met Breuer "Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical" introduces a Sottsass you’ve never seen before: ...a fascinating new exhibition...reevaluates his career...no exhibition would be complete without a discussion of his designs for Memphis...someone whose work “both cut across the grain” and “makes us smile"...thru October 8 -- Christian Larsen [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Jane Levere: Layers of History: New V&A exhibit explores the little-known history of plywood: ..curator Christopher Wilk...proposed the exhibition, "Plywood: Material of the Modern World," to the V&A 20 years ago, in part, because “no one had ever seriously researched or written about it. Almost all on the Internet about it is wrong.” [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
David Thorpe: How to build a garden city: Part 1 & 2: An ambitious new book is a thorough attempt both to tell the history of the garden city movement in Britain and to provide guidance on planning and creating such a city now. "The Art of Building a Garden City: Designing new communities for the 21st Century" by Kate Henderson, Katy Lock and Hugh Ellis- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Sam Hall Kaplan: The Stuff of Dreams: Bernard Friedman’s "The American Idea of Home: Conversations About Architecture and Design": ...with all due respects to the earnest author...Whither architecture when homelessness mounts? Nevertheless, the book is compelling, if only to those curious about the current drift of the design profession...with a few exceptions, most expose the profession’s self-absorption and the sorry lack of its social responsibilities.- Los Angeles Review of Books
Victoria Newhouse: Going Greek: "Chaos and Culture: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens" details the saga. [excerpt]- The Architect's Newspaper
Adnan Morshed: A quiet masterpiece that serves as Dhaka's gateway: ...the Kamalapur Railway Station symbolised a “golden age” of architecture in Bangladesh during the 1960s...ironically, it transforms into a night time refuge for the city's less-fortunate inhabitants. More than any other building, this architectural masterpiece today presents many social commentaries on the city's grinding life. -- Robert Boughey; Daniel Dunham [excerpt from "DAC/Dhaka in 25 Buildings"]- The Daily Star (Bangladesh)
"Hard Hats": The Only Superhero Action Real Estate Comic Book You're Likely To See: ...an unusual subject for that medium: the construction industry...of course there is more than one berserk machine...The comic is fast-paced and the artwork kinetic...an entertaining yarn. -- Robert Frankel; Roberto Gutierrez; Francis Penavic and inked by Rage Ledbetter; Rich Perez [images]- Bisnow.com
"No Small Plans" by Gabrielle Lyon: This graphic novel aims to shape Chicago’s next generation of city planners: The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s latest venture...to help young Chicagoans envision and build a city that they want now, and in the future...an attempt to bridge the civic education gap... [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Weaving architecture, history and social justice together, Chicago is imagined anew in “No Small Plans”: The graphic novel shakes up the format of the civic primer with illustrations and characters that jump off the page: ...takes time-hopping and socially conscious comics in a brand-new direction...a gorgeous and thought-provoking call to action. -- Gabrielle Lyon; Chicago Architecture Foundation- Salon
A Teenage Throwdown Against Displacement, the Graphic Novel Version: "No Small Plans" follows the neighborhood adventures of teens in Chicago’s past, present and future as they wrestle with designing the city they want, need and deserve. [excerpt from the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s new publication]- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Dronestagram contest winners and the art of the drone-based selfie: A book of drone photographs, "Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography From Dronestagram"... [images]- Los Angeles Times
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