Today’s News - Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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●  Kamin x 2: he ponders "where to draw the line between coverage of aesthetics and politics" when it comes to architectural criticism - "should critics strive for a position of Olympian detachment," or "engage in political acts?" His answer: yes, engage. "This is what journalists do" ("civic criticism" - yes!).

●  He parses what lessons the next Chicago Architecture Biennial should learn from the current edition: the "most obvious, widely criticized shortcoming - jargon-laced archi-babble" wall labels, for one," but "the answer isn't to dumb down the material."

●  Moore takes on his "tweeting colleagues in the architectural press who have chosen to be particularly unkind" to London's new U.S. embassy: it may be "bland, vanilla," and "somewhat Starbucks," but it's better than everything going up around it - "faint praise, of course, but it's not damning."

●  O'Sullivan also has issues with "America's passive-aggressive" embassy in London: "despite its softened edges and embellishments," it's still "a miserable barrack - the screen of fiddly sails comes across like a piece of tatty 1970s costume jewelry" (let bunkers be bunkers).

●  Hong Kong architect Lim thinks the city should rethink its vertical growth: "urban planners and developers should be more creative - think more about street-level development," and find "a balance between making money and good urban planning."

●  Mathew parses "the power of the Louvre Abu Dhabi" to reshape the Gulf's image: "the project's long term success has two factors in its favor": location and the "chance to choose its own distinct identity" when it loses the "Louvre" in 2037.

●  Hume hails Toronto's new "beautiful" subway extension - the new stations are "a stunning visual treat - but it's not the line we should've built."

●  Bateman finds some "shortcomings" in Toronto's newest subway stations, but each of them beautifully "blurs the line between public art and architecture" (with big development coming soon!).

●  Florida finds hope and opportunity in the great "retail apocalypse" that is turning retail stores and malls "into more productive community spaces"; some great examples to be found in Dunham-Jones and Williamson's database of more than retail 1,500 retrofits and redevelopments.

●  Rogers looks at "the airport's terminal identity crisis - not really knowing what they are anymore. My optimistic pitch for the terminal of the future is all about embracing the terminal-ness of it all."

●  FXFOWLE falls for the tower it designed, now rising in Brooklyn, so it'll be decamping from Manhattan and moving in.

●  Voien takes on "everything you should know" about the new Penn Station, "NYC's most despised transportation hub - there are competing schools of thought for what should be done with the current 'modernist mediocrity.'"

●  Aghajanian cheers Detroit's Hamtramck Disneyland, and how a quirky art installation created by an auto-plant worker "has become a symbol for the hope and heartbreak of immigrants" for over 25 years.

●  Koolhaas has big plans for the Guggenheim Museum's spiral rotunda in fall 2019: "Countryside: Future of the World" ("the California-Nevada border near Reno has been turned into 'Silicon Valley's back of house'").

●  When it comes to solving the cruise ship crisis in Venice, "who calls the shots? (not the city of Venice, that's for sure)."

●  Jolliffe calls for stripping RIBA awards from practices that exploit unpaid internships: "Ultimately if we devalue our own qualifications in our employment practices how can we expect anyone else to value what we bring to the table?"


●  Call for entries: nominations for the 2018 ASLA Honors, including the ASLA Medal; Community Service Awards; Landscape Architecture Firm Award; etc. (scroll down past 2017 info for 2018 details).

●  Call for entries: AIA/ALA Library Building Awards.

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