Today’s News - Wednesday, March 14, 2018

●  Walker's great Q&A with Hawthorne, L.A.'s first chief design officer, re: why he wanted to work for the mayor, "how the city's sidewalks will be in many ways the heart of his focus, why he sees the 2028 Olympics as a "nearly perfect" time frame for getting things done," and what the LA Times should consider when picking his successor.

●  Betsky on why "saving the big bland box" (a.k.a. Union Carbide Building) "might not be such a bad idea" - but not for the "spurious" reasons that it "was designed by a woman or that it is a great piece of architecture" (it's not).

●  Dismantling has begun on the façade of the 1982 Portland Building: "What got built wasn't the original design intent," says Burke of Michael Graves Architecture & Design, who consulted on DLR Group's project. "It was a cheap version" (critics remain unconvinced).

●  Saffron bemoans the sad fate of Philly's Mercantile Library, a 1953 "modernist landmark that defied every convention of library design," now covered in plywood and graffiti: "Despite its horrendous condition, it is too important to write off" - it "should be a good candidate for renovation and reuse."

●  A call to landmark Suuronen's 1965 prefabricated Futuro House (a.k.a. UFO house), "currently housed on a go-kart track" in a Melbourne suburb.

●  A look at how some cities that lost out on Amazon HQ2 are planning to reuse their bid materials for future projects: "The impetus to continue with projects already in the pipeline might be the most tangible legacy of an unsuccessful HQ2 bid."

●  A depressing report: "Global construction waste will almost double to 2.2. billion tons by 2025": "'reduce, reuse, and recycle' policies are necessary to control construction waste, but insufficient resources, slim profit margins, policy apathy, and lack of education on the issues are keeping that from happening."

●  Meanwhile, cities like Boston and Baltimore "look to 'zero waste' plans and material bans to reach sustainability goals - cities of all sizes can do it."

●  Sharma parses Pritzker-winner Doshi's low-cost housing project Aranya, "one of the wonders of India - a housing project that actually works. It's time for today's architects and planners to take a step back and listen to Doshi."

●  The photo op at today's groundbreaking for the Lucas Museum will star George Lucas - along with Ma Yansong's newest model and renderings, which include "landscaping for the museum's 11 acres, formerly asphalt parking lots."

●  Fazzare talks to Sugimoto re: "his transformative design" for the lobby of Bunshaft's 1974 Hirshhorn Museum, "his unexpected work as an architect, and what goes wrong when starchitects design for art."

●  Sitz outlines the seven "Dimensions of Citizenship" projects commissioned for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale: each team is "grappling with questions of belonging, sovereignty, and ecology as they investigate how citizenship is represented at different scales."

●  The V&A is bringing its rescued segment of the Smithsons' Robin Hood Gardens to the Venice Biennale - a "street in the sky" included.

●  Mortice marvels at the makeover of The Gateway Arch in St. Louis that no longer stands "in splendid isolation": cheers for MVVA, Cooper Robertson, et al. for finding "ways to amplify the arch's appeal through the neighborly connection of park to street to river" - and it being "the largest public-private partnership investment in a U.S. National Park ever."

●  The teenage design-researchers of the Yes Loitering project offer "a creative, positive vision for Youth-Affirming Public Spaces: Yes Sitting, Yes Skating, Yes Music."

Meier's #MeToo moment (we are saddened to have to cover this):

●  Pogrebin talks to five women who have accused Meier of sexual harassment - he's taking a six-month leave from his firm: "I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions. While our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior."

●  AIA responds to the allegations: "Sexual harassment is not only illegal, it flies in the face of our values and ethics," says AIA president Carl Elefante.

●  Cornell's Kleinman "severs ties" with Meier: "We will decline his new gift to name the chair of the Department of Architecture."

●  Hagberg Fisher, who has dealt with her own painful sexual harassment case against UC Berkeley, offers her own wish-list for stopping sexual harassment in design: "Some of us have been wondering when #MeToo would hit architecture and design. The time appears to be now - there are very specific - and very actionable - measures that we can take."


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