Today’s News - Thursday, March 22, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, March 27.

●  Hagberg Fisher's must-read Q&A with Kamin re: the differences between "writing and reporting on architecture's #MeToo moment": "There is this question of, can people who do bad things make good or great architecture? The field has to confront this - this is a watershed moment - time's up on denial."

●  Cramer pens an open letter to the men of architecture: "Gentlemen, Let's be honest: The architecture profession still smells like a men's club. We may not like to think so, but - can we admit that the burgeoning #MeToo movement makes many of us ... uncomfortable?"

●  Subramanian offers a fascinating look at how Doshi "bent Le Corbusier's Modernism to the needs of India. The Chandigarh project brought him mixed satisfaction - buildings looked as if they'd been imported whole and plunked down in India - it had streets and open spaces," but "it had no life."

●  Anklesaria, a Brooklyn-based architect who studied at CEPT and worked in Doshi's office, cheers his Pritzker win, but is not so cheery about much of the media coverage, which seemed to have "an eagerness to fit the contribution of the man into a neat box" that "exposes a certain state of contemporary culture where practices of resistance are few and far between" (NYT's coverage "was particularly reductive, if not offensive, to those more familiar with the work").

●  Kamin & Ori parse the "behind-the-scenes debate" over a plan for an aerial tram linking Chicago's Riverwalk to Navy Pier: Backers "say it will give Chicago an iconic tourist attraction on a par with the London Eye - opponents contend that it would be an eyesore, crowd the narrow Riverwalk, and compete with tour boats."

●  Brownell considers lead, "both a Gehry favorite and a material pariah - paint suppliers in Kenya evidently prefer to continue selling lead-rich paint. In both cases, human health is considered peripheral to function, economics, and aesthetics."

●  Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee fame takes on a new role as new chair of Harvard Graduate School of Design Architecture Department.

●  Four finalists in the running for Harvard GSD's 2018 Wheelwright Prize, and $100,000 travel research grant, hail from Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S.


●  Call for entries reminder: 2018 Innovation By Design Awards early bird registration deadline (save money!) ends today!

●  Call for entries: 2018 Sustainable Design Versatility Awards: Moonshot: A Lumber Lunar Colony: No-Fee Student Architect Competition

Weekend diversions:

●  Open House San Diego opens this weekend - "a sprawling showcase that will open up 84 architecturally significant sites across the city."

●  Kamin considers the "Concrete Chicago Map" an "admirable but imperfect effort. By starting an informed dialogue, the new map gives the best structures of this often-maligned material a fighting chance to survive."

●  A round-up of 101 movies about cities, from documentaries and shorts to "science fictions and dystopias imagining our sometimes-bleak urban future, and cinematic classics-turned-totems for the places we live and love."

●  "Metrophysics": Work on The City by Michael Sorkin Studio and Terreform at CCNY "foregrounds projects rooted in the urban from a team that operates as a 'traditional' architectural studio and as a research practice that formulates its own agenda of investigation and intervention."

●  Madsen seems quite taken with "Do Ho Suh: Almost Home" at D.C.'s Smithsonian American Art Museum: his "ability to recall and reproduce places makes him perhaps the most compelling architectural artist alive. The work is hauntingly familiar while an earnest expression of his deeply personal spatial experiences."

●  Moore parses the high-tech presented in "Superstructures: the New Architecture 1960-1990" at Foster's Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts: "In its desire to slip loose the surly bonds of Earth, hi-tech can suffer pratfalls when it meets human reality" ("kitsch" and "retail fungus" included).

●  In Madrid, "Joaquín Vaquero Palacios: The Beauty of the Colossal. Asturias, 1954-1980" tells the "untold story of the architect who turned Spain's modernist power plants into art" with models, original sketches - and fab photos by Luis Asín (take a look!).

●  In Berlin, "Rural moves - the Songyang story" showcases Chinese architect Xu Tiantian's work in the county: "In less than four years, she has built a series of aesthetic public buildings" by adopting local building materials and landscape, and residents' needs.


●  Leblanc has a few quibbles about "Toronto Architecture: A City Guide": "Where McHugh came off as cheerleader, trying to infect readers with a 'get out there and see it!' bug, Bozikovic sometimes treats his entries as a place for criticism that can border on cruelty - perhaps the sad reality is that the only way to sell walking tour books in the 21st century is to favor arsenic over architectural lace."

●  O'Sullivan cheers Bronstein's "Pseudo-Georgian London," a "photogenic and tongue-in-cheek look at the commonly reviled design trend" and "a re-appraisal of a critically reviled architectural style that is unlikely to end up heavily featured in any histories."

●  Wills cheers Benedik's "Masterworks of Architectural Drawing from the Albertina Museum," and spotlights "some of the most compelling selections - which double as a pretty good argument against our computer-obsessed present."


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