Today’s News - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

●  Betsky comes away from the Mextropoli Conference in Mexico City with a plea: "Lord save us from bloviating architects," after "the spectacle of a couple of very good architects giving very bad lectures - good buildings deserve to be seen and discussed seriously, modestly, and specifically" (other "amazing talks" gave him "optimism about what architecture can do to make the world better").

●  The new UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif (former mayor of Penang) is on mission to reform the agency "to make sure it is relevant" and to "make cities more liveable for women because the benefits will be far-reaching."

●  Youngkin (former Disney Imagineer and founder of The Brave Millennial) is optimistic that "architecture of the future will be better because it will be inclusive - she finds inspiration in John Cary and P+W's Gabrielle Bullock's equity and inclusion initiatives.

●  Nina Yashar, "the Milan design world's inimitable queen bee," is helping to put the spotlight on the "Grandes Dames of design. Or, shall we say, the lack thereof - the design world appears to be making steps toward not only being more inclusive, but re-canonizing the historical heavyweights."

●  Diller, meanwhile, says that, while the "male-dominated architecture industry is undergoing 'dramatic change,'" and sees "her inclusion on this year's Time 100 list as a positive step towards gender parity, not enough women end up in the profession after they graduate."

●  Rubin reports on the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation's recent seminar "Re-Balancing the Power: Solutions for Sexual Misconduct in Architecture and Design Culture": "practitioners are pushing to make women more aware of inappropriate office behavior and more vocal in reporting it, with tougher misconduct sanctions in company ethics codes."

●  Thorpe parses the mixed reception to proposed changes to the U.K.'s National Planning Policy Framework "to tackle a housing shortage, in particular affordable housing. At the center of the objections are the proposals' reliance on market forces and generosity to developers" (not a formula for promising outcomes).

●  Kemper's great Q&A with Loftness re: biophilic design, "why we must design buildings connected to nature," and high design's "different roads to triumph" ("All of us are inspired by Christopher Alexander, in one way or another").

●  Salingaros offers his take on "the legacy of Christopher Alexander, architecture, wholeness, grace and belief" - from his lecture at the Building Beauty Master's Program, Sorrento, Italy.

●  Hume considers how the recent van attack in Toronto "highlights pedestrian vulnerability in a city designed for the car - the only option is to redesign roads," but aside from the "issues of engineering, design, speed limits, bylaws and civic attitudes, there's a lack of political will."

●  Move over, High Line New York - Pittsburgh's newest mega-conversion of a piece of the city's post-industrial landscape includes an elevated roadway transformed into the Highline park.

●  Your eye-candy for the day x 2: Eyefuls of Iwan Baan's (of course spectacular) photos of Nouvel's National Museum of Qatar.

●  STUDIOS's revamp of Gehry's cafeteria at 4 Times Square "still keeps the fundamental curves in place," but the titanium walls and ceiling are now white, and "the bright seating has been reupholstered in hues of beige. The end result is more IAC Building than Disney Concert Hall."

●  The Russian deputy culture minister warns that the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale "may be a target for protests or 'provocations' as relations with the West deteriorate - we must be vigilant," but the pavilion's commissioner "dismissed concerns."

Modernism goes mainstream?

●  The Smithsonian is angling to get Bunshaft's Hirshhorn Museum landmark status for its "unique representation of post-war Modernist architecture."

●  There may not be a memorandum of understanding yet, but word is that IKEA may have plans to turn Breuer's "beloved by preservationists" 1969 Pirelli Tire Building in New Haven, Connecticut, into a hotel.

Winners (and hopefuls) all:

●  Speaking of Modernist architecture, 13 "outstanding projects" will take home DOCOMOMO US's 2018 Modernism in America Awards on June 20 in NYC (great presentations).

●  Gerfen parses the 10 winning (and impressive) projects taking home the AIA/ACSA COTE Top Ten for Students Awards (also great presentations).

●  Forensic Architecture is in the running for this year's Turner Prize: "The list is more overtly political than in previous years."

●  Ravenscroft has a very interesting conversation with Forensic Architecture's Eyal Weizman re: his "mixed feelings" about the Turner Prize nomination - he "expressed concern that the organization would get 'subsumed within the arts-financial complex' - being considered artists has been detrimental to the group's efforts to highlight serious humanitarian issues."

●  The 2018 Lexus Design Awards winners focused around the prefix "Co-" - "almost perfectly fulfilling Lexus' inclusive brief" (interesting!).


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