Today’s News - Thursday, May 3, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 8.

●  ANN feature: Stark pens Nuts + Bolts #17: The Dismissal Luncheon (or Breakfast): If your boss asks you to join him or her for breakfast or lunch and there is no specific agenda, beware. Something is afoot.

●  Kafka, like Wainwright (see Yesterday's News), minces no words re: OMA's Blox project in Copenhagen that "rejects typical Danish urbanism - it feels uncomfortable - welcoming becomes watched, intriguing becomes befuddling."

●  Fairs parses Schumacher's latest "provocative intervention" ('er diatribe?) in the housing debate written for a free-market think-tank (miles of comments, as expected).

●  Six firms release preliminary renderings of design solutions for the Grenfell Tower estate restoration as part of a 456-page book of ideas - "however, the tower is not included in renovation plans."

●  Desmond, of "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" fame, talks about the National Building Museum's show and Princeton University's newly-launched Eviction Lab website.

●  Two of our faves: Walker's great Q&A with KCRW's Anderton re: "why valuing L.A.'s good design matters more now than ever": "When I started the show, I do remember hearing people express puzzlement at the notion of a show primarily focused on L.A. architecture, as in, 'what architecture?'"

●  Five finalists chosen for Quebec's "Architecture and community commitment: A tale of aluminum" competition (vote for People's Choice Award until May 25).

Weekend diversions:

●  Corcoran on "Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project," opening today at the National Building Museum, that "examines the exceptional design thinking required to build three clandestine cities" - SOM's "hidden cities were a laboratory for the most cutting-edge explorations of town planning, engineering, and efficiency of mass and scale."

●  Madsen on "Secret Cities": "The clandestine nature of these places is by design - their history and built forms became proving grounds for planning concepts; these instant communities continue to thrive" (we have family in Oak Ridge, TN - an interesting burg if ever there was one).

●  Filler tackles the "whirling mechanical Precisionism" found in "Cult of the Machine" at the de Young Museum in San Francisco (then moving on to Dallas): "Over the past decades, there have been frequent reiterations of this familiar subject matter - the question inevitably arises, 'Why again?' The material on view is, to be sure, perennially popular with the general public," with "cocktail shakers that look like skyscrapers, skyscrapers that look like cocktail shakers," and an "almost complete absence of human figures" (great images!).

●  NLÉ Works' "Prelude to The Shed" is a temporary arts pavilion that teases what DS+R// Rockwell Group's arts building in Hudson Yards will be in a year: it's "a reconfigured steel shed crossed with a party limo - a humble dwelling amid the towers."

●  Curators Becker & Negussie's great Q&A Jan Gehl adapted from the book accompanying "Ride a Bike! Reclaim the City" at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt.

●  Jones is fairly smitten with "Monet & Architecture" at London's National Gallery: "He is known as a joyful painter of lilies and picnics. But this thrilling show recasts him as an artist aghast as the world hurtled towards calamity - he was painting to restore the heart of a heartless world."

●  Wainwright finds "Disappear Here" at RIBA, London to be "a muddled view on architectural perspective - in danger of vanishing thanks to a scattershot display - it wouldn't have hurt to put the theme of perspective more in perspective."


●  McGuirk cheers Sennett's "Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City": "His experience as a planner notwithstanding, it is Sennett the writer and sociologist who is most rewarding. Part of the charm of the book is its intimacy. The nub is that the open city is a demanding place - getting people to agree is hard work."

●  Moore cheers Boughton's "Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing," a "serious, heartfelt book" that "makes a convincing case that publicly provided homes have to be at least part of the response to the dysfunctional state that British housing has now attained."

●  Ducote decodes Chey's "Multi-Unit Housing in Urban Cities: 1800 to Present Day": It "is not only refreshing to read but a tremendously valuable tool for city planners, urban designers and architects."

●  Logan talks to Maki re: "City with a Hidden Past," written over 30 years ago "as a way to understand the hidden factors that make the seemingly inscrutable city of Tokyo legible" - and now available in English for the first time.

●  In "New York New York: A Visual Hymn by Richard Koek," the Dutch photographer "went after light and color. It enters through a bridge and leaves the same way. You are swept in, there's no turning back."


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