Today’s News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: Happy 1st Day of Spring! As we batten down the hatches for Big Blow #4: 12-18 inches forecast in our neck of the woods - yikes! If we don't post tomorrow, it will be because we didn't light enough candles to the weather gods.

●  Malhotra pens a wonderful profile of Pritzker-winner Doshi, "the architect who shaped Ahmedabad - and not only through his buildings," with input from his peers, students, and fans, and the controversy around a Benninger-designed building on the CEPT campus.

●  Hall Kaplan cheers Doshi's Pritzker win: "How refreshing - hopefully might just help edge architecture back to its noble calling of designing spaces and places for human endeavor."

●  Giovannini cheers Hadid's "desert think tank" in Riyadh, that combines "architectural beauty and sustainability - she changed direction, becoming an architect she had never quite been, creating a design she had never quite done" (and sadly, never got to see).

●  Gehry's plans for L.A.'s Grand Avenue get even grander with plans to design the Colburn School extension and concert hall that will "create connective tissue between Colburn, The Grand, and Disney Hall with busy pedestrian corridors" (images expected in about 6-8 months).

●  Assemblage's master plan for the Greenwich Design District in southeast London is set to start: nine firms are designing16 buildings for creative industries, education facilities, and retail.

●  Lewis pens an eloquent ode to "background buildings": "a background building can do more than its urban duty if a talented architect and a supportive developer strive for design excellence - let's take more notice of background buildings exhibiting architectural excellence."

●  With 67 commercial buildings "verified as net energy in the U.S. and Canada in 2017, and another 415 in construction or in the evaluation process," a new study shows zero-energy buildings are on a "rapid rise," in part, because of technology.

●  "Tucked behind a house for the wealthy" in Texas, "perhaps lies some hope for the significantly less so" with a small "proof-of-concept" 3D-printed home that took 48 hours to build (lots of coverage and images elsewhere, but more details - and pessimistic comments - here).

●  Mortice's Q&A with 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial artistic director Yesomi Umolu: "This is not just a curatorial project; it's a civic project as well."

●  Kleinschmidt has Common Edge's Pedersen on the other side of a Q&A with a lively chat re: authentic public engagement, Saarinen, and more: "There's a restlessness within the architecture world. We're now at a point of crisis, especially in our coastal cities, but I'm hopeful. I see glimmers that it can be different."

●  Woodman bemoans the decline of publishers for serious books on architecture: "The trajectory of architectural history has been influenced by the written word to an incalculable extent. It is a contribution to architectural discourse that needs defending and nurturing, now more than ever."

●  U.S. "design talent triumphs" in the 2018 MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Awards, "scooping one third of all prizes."

●  Call for entries: 2018 Sweets College Scholarship for current or incoming students at U.S. or Canadian universities; the 2017 winner is Lais Weba of Virginia Tech.

Of critics and controversy:

●  Lubell bemoans Hawthorne leaving the L.A. Times: "It goes without saying that the L.A. Times absolutely must name a new full-time architecture critic. Along with landscape architecture and urban design, it is a public profession. It is for the public, not despite them. We need to empower more informed voices to keep it that way" (Kimmelman "is M.I.A.," and the New Yorker never replaced Goldberger).

●  Walker talks to bunches of critics about who should replace Hawthorne: "Probably a woman."

●  Pedersen's great Q&A Hawthorne, L.A.'s new Chief Design Officer: He "possesses an elegant set of social skills that will make him an effective advocate for design in the public realm."

●  LaBarre hears from critics Goldberger, Heintz, Pedersen, and Helfand, who weigh in on whether to - or how to - boycott a building: "The question hangs over countless buildings now that architecture's #MeToo moment has arrived" (there's a link to LaBarre's exclusive with the anonymous founder of "Shitty Architecture Men": "False reporting is not something I'm concerned with" - not a good sign; we couldn't find an actual website for the crowd-sourced "spreadsheet" of misbehavior).

●  Kamin and Ross Barney reflect on "#MeToo's humbling one of architecture's top figures": "While the field has changed for the better - some things remain the same, including architects' habit of working together, deep into the night. That can be a double-edged sword."

●  Brussat ponders the same issue: "Classical architects were probably just as arrogant. But preventing dastardly behavior must not be allowed to throttle innocent behavior. Romance often germinates in the work environment - innocent flirtation mustn't be punished for the deeds of the sexually irresponsible" 9and he's fine with Betsky's admiration of Kahn).


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