Today’s News - Thursday, February 15, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: Happy Birthday to us! February 18th marks our 16th ANNiversary (it was on a Monday in 2002)! Today marks our 3,353rd newsletter and 541st feature. To celebrate, tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, February 20.

●  ANN feature: Guy Geier brings us Nuts + Bolts #16: Branding can be a bit of a foreign concept for architecture firms. Here are some central takeaways from a firm rebranding itself after 40 years in practice.

●  Salman parses what a truly disabled-accessible city would look like and how it would benefit, and offers her take on a few cities "undergoing a remarkable shift."

●  Pedersen has a great Q&A with Saffron re: Philly's renaissance, affordable housing, and why Amazon's HQ2 might be good for the city: "Sure, Amazon is the evil empire, but they could be our evil empire!" (but, if the city wins, "I am confident that I will hate their architecture").

●  Architectural theorist and mathematician Salingaros and philosopher François take a deep dive into "building with biophilia" and how "the way we shape our buildings, as Winston Churchill remarked, comes to shape us."

●  Towering dreams in Tokyo: a 70-story skyscraper built with "wood accounting for 90% of the construction material" - and around $5+ billion (but will city code allow it?).

●  McManus cheers a new venture between USGBC and DowDuPont in a "big LEED move" advising two cities to help them achieve LEED certification - the "initiative may create a process other communities can adopt and follow."

●  How Ellsworth Kelly's "Austin," an almost church-like building to "rest your eyes, rest your mind," ended up alongside the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin.

●  Agbo makes the case for a renaissance of traditional African architecture: "only a few design schools in Africa teach traditional architecture as a standalone course, and even that hasn't translated into much in terms of brick and mortar," and "city authorities have the moral obligation to demonstrate faith in it by commissioning some of its public architecture in this style."

●  Sisson, meanwhile, parses "the architecture of Afrofuturism," and why film "'Black Panther' - and science fiction seen through a black cultural lens - has a lot to say about architecture, urbanism, and cities."

Weekend diversions:

●  Modernism Week, "the ultimate celebration of midcentury architecture, design and culture," kicks off today in Palm Springs (we'll make it there one of these years!).

●  The Architecture & Design Film Festival makes its Washington, DC, debut next week at the National Building Museum.

●  Israeli architect Nili Portugali's film "And the Alley She Whitewashed in Light Blue" is "a deep intimate journey to the holy city of Tsefat - she feels that ancient mystic structures play a vital role in the quest for spirituality and salvation."

●  One of Barragán's modernist masterpieces on the outskirts of Mexico City hosts "Sean Scully - San Cristóbal," the first exhibition at the equestrian and residential complex, "installed in a bold yet poetic dialogue with the architecture" (great pix).

●  In London, "Building Images" at the Sto Werkstatt gallery "showcases the best of the best of the Architectural Photography Awards.


●  Betsky cheers Interboro's "The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion," a "guide to modes of resistance, and thus an implied manifesto about how we can address architecture's complicity with social exclusion" - it should be on every architect's desk.

●  Green parses "Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity," an "impressive new book" that concludes "design is a political act" - though the editors "seem to disagree on the extent to which participatory design should be used to actively fight injustice."

●  Wood says Rael's "richly illustrated 'Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the US-Mexico Boundary' couldn't come at a better time or with a greater sense of urgency."

●  Moore revels in Agrawal's "Built: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures": "Collaborative and unpretentious, she just very much likes what she does, and wants other people - especially girls and women - to know how good it is, too."

●  An excerpt from Rattenbury's "The Wessex Project: Thomas Hardy, Architect" explains how the novelist and architect's project "was as radical in its time as 'Learning from Las Vegas' and 'Delirious New York' were in theirs."

●  Schwab cheers architects Harpman and Specht's "Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture" that "chronicles the decades-long history of an object you've probably never thought about in much detail - except to curse it when the inevitable drips occur."


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