Today’s News - Thursday, May 10, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 15.

●  Weder offers "a modest proposal" to make architecture awards more significant: "the architecture is not judged by the primordial experience of walking in and around it, but by flattering photography, drawings and texts" - awards "are in danger of becoming more like photography competitions."

●  AJ convenes and impressive panel to discuss "what is going wrong with architectural competitions and the industry's love-hate relationship with the design contest - the competition process has lately experienced a fall from grace."

●  di Palma & Robinson pen an epic essay about the "epic struggle" for control of the Los Angeles River: though "the river's future is clouded by a fog of unresolved social, technical, and environmental factors," it is also now "a medium for politically bold projects and creatively subversive civic acts" (great read!).

●  Speaking of the L.A. River: Gehry donates $1 million for arts education, via Turnaround Arts: California, to schools in underserved communities abutting the river - matched by an anonymous donor.

●  Kamin offers an eloquent personal connection to the news that a former newspaper building in Columbus, Indiana, a 1971 Modernist icon by SOM's Goldsmith, will soon be home to Indiana University's new master of architecture program: it's "a dazzling Miesian pavilion - not intimidatingly opaque - it spoke with resonant clarity and conviction, powerfully symbolizing the transparency of the free press."

●  Brown parses some of the 17 postmodern buildings granted listed status by Historic England: "the bold, bright and often witty architectural style is very 1980s and has always divided opinion" (definitely worth clicking on "Listed postmodern buildings - in pictures").

●  Zara cheers "a lovely tribute" to 10 of Britain's "lost mid-century gems - the sketches are a delight to look through, even if it is a little depressing" (also a bit sad (and odd) that a design publication doesn't mention the architects).

●  LeBlanc, with "Concrete Toronto Map" (ERA Architects) as his guide and camera in hand, takes us on "a brutal trek through Toronto's Brutalist architecture" ("brutal trek" refers to rather brutal weather conditions).

●  Students form the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning are heading to Venice to install their award-winning "Alchemy," a rather whimsical and intriguing structure composed of "forgotten and discarded materials such as reclaimed wood from a 150 year-old Cincinnati church, copper scraps, fragments of decorative limestone," and more.


●  Call for entries: 8th Building Trust international design competition: "Affordable Housing Design Challenge" for new affordable housing for low-income workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (no fee; $40,000 prize fund).

●  Call for entries: Great Kemeri Bog Visitor Center international architecture competition for an iconic entrance to the Kemeri National Park in Latvia (cash prizes).

Weekend diversions:

●  Wainwright walks us through the V&A's "The Future Starts Here: 100 projects shaping the world of tomorrow": "Can a robot fold towels? Could your toaster turn against you?" are among the "unsettling questions" in "a thought-provoking probe into where exactly this new generation of smart technology is taking us" ("drunken droids" included).

●  Kolson Hurley offers a great Q&A with Martin Moeller, curator of the NBM's "Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project," who "argues that the cities reflected the broader architectural interests of their era, and that their legacy can be felt in postwar suburbs and even Park Avenue skyscrapers."

●  "Offsite: Shigeru Ban" at the Vancouver Art Gallery includes a Kobe Paper Log House, constructed under his direction using readily sourced materials.

●  The Cooper Hewitt's "Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color" delves into product design, subway wayfinding, industrial standardization, consumer culture, and more (lots of yummy images!).

●  Palladio's Basilica in Vicenza, Italy, hosts "David Chipperfield Architects Works 2018," showcasing 15 buildings in an installation designed by master himself.


●  Sabatino cheers the "West Coast Modern House Series," penned by a number of notables, that "seeks to raise awareness of an aggressive phenomenon - it is fitting" that this "educational and militant series starts out with a house that has been razed."

●  Johnson cheers "Baby's First Eames: From Art Deco to Zaha Hadid," an architecture-themed ABC book that includes "a cat, looking unimpressed" ("Don't be surprised when baby's first word is Marimekko (also for M)".


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