Today’s News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

●  Hawthorne marks the end of an era with an eloquent explanation about why he's leaving the L.A. Times to become the city's chief design officer, hoping to nudge "huge public-sector agencies to see good design as fundamental to their missions" (good news for L.A. - we're sad - but thrilled for him - cheers, friend! We hope the paper finds someone great to take his place - big shoes to fill, f'er sure).

●  Shaw makes the case for why SOM's Union Carbide building "should be torn down": There's "been little to no convincing argument offered to save 270 Park Avenue - we should cheer as it falls because it represents the worst of midcentury American corporate architecture" and "shouldn't be cried over."

●  Lange thinks otherwise, offering both "an appreciation of the trailblazing" Natalie de Blois, and "many reasons to save the Union Carbide Building - it remains one of the best examples of the postwar modernist building boom in New York."

●  Meanwhile, here are eyefuls of 17 "ambitious concepts" shortlisted in a competition to re-imagine the median along the stretch of Park Avenue that includes 270 Park, Lever House, Seagram Building, etc. (worth a gander at some bizarrely wonderful stuff - two winners to be named tomorrow).

●  Hatherley explains why "the destruction of Coventry's post-war architecture needs to stop" before it takes on the mantle of U.K. City of Culture in 2021: "These are not the moves of a city that is proud of its architecture."

●  It's a Toronto kind of day: A look at how "Google's sibling" Sidewalk Labs plans to "turn Toronto into a world renowned innovation hub" using "high-tech infrastructure as a way to solve urban problems cities face."

●  Rider says not so fast, as experts warn of "the risks of becoming a Google city" - it's all about the data - who controls it and how it's used (never mind it spilling over into 800-acre, city-owned Port Lands): "Sidewalk's assurances that it envisions making money from licensing new technologies created in the high-tech district, rather than selling data, are not allaying fears."

●  Hume cheers a new program to fund "people with ideas about how to make better use of public space," but fears "Toronto's political masters" getting in the way by watering down winning projects "beyond recognition. Toronto's record on civic space is spotty."

●  Liddell takes a deep - and fascinating - dive into why "we should steal da Vinci's ideas" about urban planning: He "came up with a series of alternative designs that hold valuable lessons for today's cities" to "pivot away from an inefficient and untenable past and toward a more livable, sustainable future."

●  Honolulu architect Wozniak "has become a leader of Oahu's efforts to develop innovative solutions to the low-income housing shortage" (often for free).

●  Liminal Studio, Snøhetta, and Rush Wright Associates win the Cascades Female Factory competition to transform "Australia's most significant historic site associated with female convicts" into a new history and interpretation center.

●  O'Donnell explains why it's important for architects to embrace artificial intelligence: "Not all architects have taken advantage of emerging technologies, and there is a growing sense that if firms don't incorporate AI into practice, they'll get left behind."

●  ArchPaper offers a useful round-up of scholarships and resources for women in architecture.

●  Kapoor is "disgusted" by the NRA's use of his Chicago "Bean" sculpture in an ad: "The National Rifle Association's 'intolerant, divisive vision perverts' the work's democratic nature with its representation as a sinister, anti-populist object" (Gehry and Piano turn sinister, too).

It's a Doshi/Pritzker kind of day:

●  Keegan's great Q+A with the 2018 Pritzker Prize Laureate: How important is it to be the first architect from India to win the award? "It's very significant for us, for our country, and also for creating a new generation to imagine what India can do, in terms of planning, and urbanization, housing, quality of life, etc. Those issues can now come out in the forefront."

●  Doshi "is still actively looking for the intangible" in a "quest for kumbhaka - the gap within. 'Between inhaling and exhaling, there is a gap. That gap is what we're looking for in a building.'"

●  Beaumont talks to Doshi about his call for the "profession to rethink the way it approaches building for the most impoverished communities - his Aranya stands out as a success story in a country with substantial and persisting housing issues for its poorest citizens."

●  Doshi gets the Vogue India treatment with "a look back at his genius": Even at 90, his "passionate commitment coupled with a compulsive need for challenge makes him virtually unstoppable."

●  And just because: a round-up of architecture critics' twitter comments about Doshi being the Pritzker pick, and whether "juror Richard Rogers had a conflict of interest."


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