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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Aaron Betsky: Sometimes, Architects Should Just Do It: Lord save us from bloviating architects. It seems to be one of the banes of the profession that designers, given a chance...make overly grand claims for their work...At the Mextropoli Conference...in Mexico City, I was confronted...with the spectacle of a couple of very good architects giving very bad lectures...I had such high expectations...good buildings deserve to be seen and discussed seriously, modestly, and specifically. Only if architects can do this will they be able to convince all of us that their work deserves the podium they demand. -- Rafael Aranda/RCR Arquitectes; Valerio Olgiati [images]- Architect Magazine
UN urban chief on mission to reform and make cities better for women: UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif: "Before I see change in cities I want to see change in UN-Habitat to make sure it is relevant": ...one of her most immediate challenges is to reform UN-Habitat so that it can be a global driving force in implementing the New Urban Agenda...making cities more liveable for women is one of her priorities because the benefits will be far-reaching.- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
Laura Youngkin: Architecture Of The Future Will Be Better Because It Will Be Inclusive: ... when John Cary...asked his audience how much more beautiful and functional our schools, hospitals, homes, and offices would be if women and people of color were behind half of all the design - I couldn't help but shout out in affirmation....firms should look to Gabrielle Bullock's leadership and what she's accomplished at Perkins+Will for inspiration on equity and inclusion initiatives...Trends are steadily improving, and Millennial and Gen-Z grads will only help improve these numbers over time...I'm optimistic...- Forbes
The Design World Rediscovers the Grand Dames of Design: "Charlotte Perriand, Eileen Gray, Zaha Hadid, and Lina Bo Bardi," Nina Yashar, the Milan design world's inimitable queen bee...holds up four fingers. "You can count the really important ones on one hand." She's talking, of course, of the design and architecture world's leading ladies. Or, shall we say, the lack thereof...as matters of gender equality remain under constant scrutiny...the design world appears to be making steps toward not only being more inclusive, but re-canonizing the historical heavyweights. -- Libby Sellers/"Women Design"; Bodil Kjær; Nathalie du Pasquier; Johanna Grawunder [images]- Architectural Digest
Male-dominated architecture industry is undergoing "dramatic change" says Elizabeth Diller: Her Time 100 2018 ranking follows a series of victories and celebrations for women in architecture this year...However, she warned that still not enough women who study architecture end up in the profession after they graduate..."This is something that is difficult to decode. How does this happen? Where is the attrition?" -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R); Itsuko Hasegawa; Frida Escobedo; Carme Pinós- Dezeen
Debra K. Rubin: Secrecy Decried as Architects Weigh Steps After Meier Sex-Harass Claims: ...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...At ["Re-Balancing the Power: Solutions for Sexual Misconduct in Architecture and Design Culture"] seminar sponsored by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, participants said incidents, victims and abusers have been hidden in arbitrations and non-disclosure agreements...Laws Catch Up:- ENR/Engineering News Record
David Thorpe: Can the market deliver affordable housing in England? Proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework...to tackle a housing shortage, in particular affordable housing, have received a mixed reception. At the centre of the objections are the proposals’ reliance on market forces and generosity to developers: The removal of the need to build housing for affordable rent..."is unlikely to provide comfort to those currently without the means to buy a property"..NPPF has also come under attack from the Town and Country Planning Association and over 50 organisations...- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Nicolas Kemper: Vivian Loftness on Biophilia and Why We Must Design Buildings Connected to Nature: Q&A with one of the world’s foremost experts on biophilic design: "...high design has a number of different roads to triumph. One of the roads is unusually shaped and clad buildings. I use the words shape and drape...gets a lot of press...They are about the iconic game of 'what has never been seen before.' Yet that is only one path. Another path is actually looking at nature: biophilic rich architecture." -- Christopher Alexander- Common Edge
Nikos A. Salingaros: The Legacy of Christopher Alexander and A New Conception of the Universe: ...on architecture, wholeness, grace and belief: Alexander and his collaborators have derived techniques for generating the design components necessary for life, and also the rules for putting them together. But the final coherence - or lack of it - is a surprise that cannot be predicted or “designed"...Achieving coherence comes down to applying one of Alexander’s 15 fundamental properties: “Not-separateness.” [lecture given at the Building Beauty Master’s Program, Sorrento, Italy]- Common Edge
Christopher Hume: Van attack highlights pedestrian vulnerability in a city designed for the car: To protect pedestrians, Toronto’s only option is to redesign roads...: To be fair, pedestrian safety is difficult to achieve in any city. But in Toronto, it’s been impossible...As well as issues of engineering, design, speed limits, bylaws and civic attitudes, there’s a lack of political will...urban officials opt for barriers, metal bollards, concrete planters and the like...No one wants Toronto to look like the space around the U.S. Consulate...where the streetscape reeks of paranoia.- Toronto Star
A High Line in Pittsburgh? Officials bet big on elevated park in Steel City: Move over, New York...for the Highline, Pittsburgh’s newest mega-conversion....to redevelop the Pittsburgh Terminal Warehouse and Transfer Company on the city’s deindustrialized South Shore...Highline project seeks to revitalize a significant site within the city’s post-industrial landscape...Below...will be a lower park dubbed the Yards which will serve as an extension to the city's preexisting river trail system. -- Charles Bickel (1906); Indovina Associates Architects- The Architect's Newspaper
Iwan Baan photographs Jean Nouvel's National Museum of Qatar as it moves towards completion. [images]- designboom
Take a look at revamped Gehry cafeteria at the former Condé Nast headquarters: ...has turned away from Gehry's original orange-and-grey scheme...the redesign appears to have thoroughly modernized the space...still keeps the fundamental curves in place. The titanium paneling on the walls and ceiling have been painted white, the floors and accents have been replaced with American white oak planks...The bright seating has been reupholstered in hues of beige...The end result is more IAC Building than Disney Concert Hall...marks the launch of the Durst Organization’s Well& amenity brand... -- STUDIOS Architecture, [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Russian minister issues Venice Architecture Biennale warning: Country's pavilion may be targeted as relations with the West deteriorate: ...may be a target for protests or “provocations...we must be vigilant,” said Vladimir Aristarkhov, the deputy culture minister...Semyon Mikhailovsky, the commissioner of the Russian Pavilion says...“We don’t have censorship"...dismissed concerns about other countries...ministry is not contributing to the exhibition’s nearly €1m - it has provided virtually no funding to the Russian Pavilion for years- The Art Newspaper (UK)
Smithsonian Recognizes Significance of Modernism With Landmark Status Request For Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: ...filing the application...under Criteria G, which allows a newer building to qualify if it “embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction"...the Hirshhorn is a unique representation of post-war Modernist architecture...part of an ongoing project by the Smithsonian to obtain landmark status for all its buildings. -- Gordon Bunshaft/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) (1974)- WAMU.org - American University Radio
Hotel Eyed For Pirelli Tire Building: ...beloved by preservationists who feared it would be destroyed, is slated for new life as a hotel. IKEA...is in discussions with a New England hotel developer...negotiations are ongong and have not yet produced a memorandum of understanding...“IKEA has not announced any new plans for [the building]. We do not have any additional updates at this time." -- Marcel Breuer (1969)- New Haven Independent (Connecticut)
2018 Modernism in America Awards: 13 outstanding projects showcase the highest level of expertise and commitment to careful preservation methods while serving as strong testaments to the efficacy of grassroots efforts, and public and private partnerships. -- Eero Saarinen/Harley Earl/SmithGroupJJR; Albert Ledner/Perkins Eastman; E. Saarinen/Dan Kiley/Mills + Schnoering Architects; Richard Neutra/Lawrence V. Lof; HAC Lab/over,under/Chris Grimley/Michael Kubo/Rami el Samahy/etc.; Nathan Eddy/"Starship Chicago"; Frank Lloyd Wright/Harboe Architects; etc. [images]- DOCOMOMO US
Katie Gerfen: AIA and ACSA Announce the Winners of the COTE Top Ten for Students Awards: The 10 winning projects were developed by students at nine different schools in the U.S. and Canada: ...was run in collaboration with Architecture 2030, and had a special focus on responsive design that takes into account the impact that climate change will have on cities in the future. [images w/links to full project presentations]- Architect Magazine
Turner prize shortlist pits research agency against film-makers: Forensic Architecture investigates international crimes and injustice, and comprises architects, film-makers, archaeologists, investigative journalists, lawyers and scientists, has been nominated...The list is more overtly political than in previous years... -- Eyal Weizman [link to images]- Guardian (UK)
Tom Ravenscroft: Forensic Architecture has "mixed feelings" about Turner Prize nomination in week of setbacks: Eyal Weizman...was "very surprised and a little overwhelmed" by the nomination and expressed concern that the organisation would get "subsumed within the arts-financial complex"...group was awarded the Princess Margriet Award for Culture by the European Cultural Foundation [and] working with the V&A to curate the UK pavilion at the 2018 London Design Biennale. But it also received disappointing news from three of the court cases it has been involved with in Israel and Italy...Unfortunately, being considered artists has been detrimental to the group's efforts to highlight serious humanitarian issues.- Dezeen
Co-Creating Towards a Better Future: A Journey Through the 2018 Lexus Design Awards: ...focused around the prefix "Co-"...Guided by the meaning of "Co-" and almost perfectly fulfilling Lexus' inclusive brief, it was no surprise that this year's grand prix laureates were New-York based design studio Extrapolation Factory..."Testing Hypotheticals"...props created during a two-day workshop, where community members from Queens were invited to test-out, explore and imagine alternate futures for their neighborhood. -- Sota Ichikawa/dNA (doubleNegatives Architecture); Eriko Yokoi; aesthetid; DigitaLab [images]- Core77
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