Today’s News - Thursday, June 14, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, June 19. And a heads-up that, with the AIA's A'18 confab coming to NYC next week, we will only be posting on Tuesday.
● ANN feature: Bloszies' Left Coast Reflections #5: San Francisco's Tilting Tower: Is the Millennium Tower likely to fall over? In a word: NO: Bedrock, in San Francisco anyway, is over-rated.
● A resolution calling for changes to the AIA Code of Ethics addressing harassment, abuse, and inequality is on its way to the conference in NYC next week.
● Radtke Russell, Poirier & Parsons take a deep dive into "why another hurricane can devastate Puerto Rico and Texas - again, and how Florida is doing a better job of protecting itself": "Perversely, most government financial incentives are rigged in favor of rebuilding instead of resilience. If there's any silver lining to the 2017 storm season, it's that it brought the conversation of resilience to a new level."
● McCool delves into whether Uganda's "critical shortage of architects is costing lives (there are just 178 registered architects - 18,700 short of the Commonwealth Association of Architects' optimal number) in this rapidly urbanizing country, where buildings frequently collapse," but "more professionals may not be the solution."
● Miranda takes a deep dive into how automation is "transforming buildings, and making them less hospitable for human use," creating "post-human architecture."
● New renderings of the Chicago Architecture Foundation's new riverfront home by AS + GG in Mies's 1970 Illinois Center (very cool!).
● Lamster had us laughing out loud with his musings about "who would win a World Cup determined by architecture. Group C: France: Le Corbusier: adored, hated, brilliant, essential, just like the French. Denmark: Bjarke Ingels is the Cristiano Ronaldo of contemporary architecture, a preening bad boy who craves adoration, and sometimes deserves it" (and we don't even follow soccer!).
Dateline: Venice Biennale:
● Betsky's Part 2 review: "there are some beautiful places that were just empty, or nearly so, creating a simple moment of freedom - other pavilions and displays approach the question of what frees space by showing the opposite" (with his own fab photos).
● Alleyne sees the U.S. Pavilion as a rebuke of Trumpism: "It was perhaps inevitable that the shadow of the Trump administration would loom dark over the American exhibition"; meanwhile, British Pavilion "counters the Brexit-era rhetoric of isolationism and nationalism with a striking gesture."
● As a fragment of Robin Hood Gardens now sits in Venice, Peter St John considers what its destruction "says about London's housing crisis" at a time when market-driven private housing seems "mean and ordinary compared to the social vision of many architects working within the welfare state in the 1960s and 1970s."
● "Past, Present, Future" is a new documentary series of interviews that aims to "serve as a database of useful thoughts on design intended to push the next generations of architects and designers forward in pursuit of the architecture of tomorrow."
● A pick of the 7 best pavilions at Belgium's 2nd Triennale Bruges, themed "Liquid City," which "focuses on how urban locations are easily susceptible to change."
● Josh Stephens is quite taken by Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez's "City Dreams" at MoMA: The "bright, garish, playful, unlikely, and intricately detailed models of buildings and cities look astonishingly like a collaboration between Le Corbusier and Pee-wee Herman - for all his whimsy, his creations convey earnest political messages - quite a burden for a collection of foam core and cardboard" ("Corbusier would have a heart attack").
● Wainwright cheers the "magnificent" Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition (and his "penchant for garish color schemes") in Glasgow: "From sci-fi libraries to steam-punk tearooms, his dazzling creations made Glasgow a design paradise - and even crop up in Blade Runner, Doctor Who and Madonna videos."
● "Idencity: six designs from the LSA to challenge the identity of London" at the Roca London Gallery is the first exhibition of the LSA's Design Think Tanks, where "students from the London School of Architecture work alongside some of Britain's leading architects" (worth clicking through to project links - great presentations!).
● Bronstein's "London in its Original Splendour" envelops the London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE in "a fantasy London" of 3D rendered wallpaper inspired by archaeological artifacts and "the design legacy of the nearby buildings" of Wren, Soane, Lutyens, and Stirling.
● Langdon cheers Farr's "ambitious" new book "Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future" that "aims to help urban designers, architects, planners, and engaged citizens grasp the complex challenge - a conscientious and extremely generous compilation of ideas, techniques, and model projects that can make the world a better place. Be sure to seek it out."
● It's an Alexandra Lange kind of day: Keith's great Q&A re: "The Design of Childhood," and "why child-focused design is actually for everyone. 'Designing for children can shake architects out of their workaday patterns, but I wish they would apply that color and movement to adult space too.'"
● West's great Q&A with Lange re: "her fascinating book" and the importance of "movements like Free-Range Parenting."
● Last but not least: an excerpt from "The Design Of Childhood": "An eye-opening exploration of how a child's playthings and physical surroundings affect their development reveals the surprising histories behind human-made elements in a child's landscape."
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Charles F. Bloszies: Left Coast Reflections #5: San Francisco's Tilting Tower: Is the Millennium Tower likely to fall over? In a word: NO: Bedrock, in San Francisco anyway, is over-rated.- ArchNewsNow.com
Ahead of 2018 AIA Conference, Architects Rally for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: A resolution calling for changes to the AIA Code of Ethics addressing harassment, abuse, and inequality is on its way to the conference: This latest effort comes nearly a decade after the first AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, and directly on the heels of allegations of sexual harassment by prominent men in the industry that were levied in the first half of this year. -- Frances Halsband/Kliment Halsband Architects; Rosa Sheng/Equity by Design/SmithGroupJJR; Toshiko Mori- Architectural Record
Pam Radtke Russell, Louise Poirier & Jim Parsons: Why Another Hurricane Can Devastate Puerto Rico and Texas - Again: And how Florida is doing a better job of protecting itself from storms: ...the regions affected by Harvey, Irma and Maria are still fragile - and the forecast calls for 10 to 16 named storms this year...Perversely, most government financial incentives are rigged in favor of rebuilding instead of resilience...Azaroff points out that [the] industry needs to be proactive and incentivize more resilient structures...If there’s any silver lining to the 2017 storm season, it’s that it brought the conversation of resilience to a new level. -- Josh Sawislak/AECOM; Illya Azaroff- ENR/Engineering News Record
Alice McCool: Is Uganda's 'critical shortage' of architects costing lives? There are just 178 registered architects in this rapidly urbanising country, where buildings frequently collapse. But more professionals may not be the solution: ...non-registered professionals designing the city is a concern..."You get a very skewed reality, which means architects are not really dealing with the crisis - they are just adding more fuel to the fire”...attitudes need to shift across the board...As long as it is the architect’s job to give the powerful what they want, would more of them make any difference? -- Doreen Adengo/Adengo Architecture; Peter Oborn/Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA); Emmanuel Mugisha/Felix Holland/Studio FH- Guardian (UK)
Carolina A. Miranda: The Unbearable Awkwardness of Automation: The machine age is changing the nature of work. In the process, it is also transforming buildings, and making them less hospitable for human use: ...it has reshaped the architecture that contains those experiences - making them more efficient, often, but also putting machines above people...“post-human architecture” - one in which structures are geared more at generating machine interactions than in bringing human beings together. -- Greg Lynn Form; Mariana Pestana; Rory Hyde; Derek Moore/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)- The Atlantic
A first look inside the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s new riverfront space: The Chicago Architecture Center is set to open on August 31: ...a fresh batch of renderings offering a sneak peek inside its upcoming facility...new digs will occupy roughly 20,000 square feet at the base of Mies van der Rohe’s 1970 Illinois Center office complex...CAF’s popular downtown Chicago model will make its highly anticipated return. Expanded from 1,300 to 3,000 buildings... -- Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Gallagher & Associates [images]- Curbed Chicago
Mark Lamster: Who would win a World Cup determined by architecture? Not who you think: Admittedly, without the participation of the United States (Frank Lloyd Wright), Italy (Palladio), and Greece (Phydias), it is a diminished field, but the competition would still be fierce. How we see it: Group C: France: Le Corbusier: adored, hated, brilliant, essential, just like the French. Denmark: Bjarke Ingels is the Cristiano Ronaldo of contemporary architecture, a preening bad boy who craves adoration, and sometimes deserves it.- Dallas Morning News
Aaron Betsky: Empty Halls Mean Freedom? a tour of the country pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale shows almost nothing: If it is difficult to find something that resembled the theme of “Freespace”...it is much easier to discover examples that might be worthy of the name in the various country pavilions and collateral events...the act of putting on a Biennale creates a “freespace” in Venice...there are also some beautiful places that were just empty, or nearly so, creating a simple moment of freedom...Beyond these overtly free spaces [Switzerland, U.K., Estonia], most of the other pavilions and displays approach the question of what frees space by showing the opposite. [images]- Architect Magazine
Allyssia Alleyne: With the world watching, U.S. architects rebuke Trumpism at the Venice Biennale: ...it was perhaps inevitable that the shadow of the Trump administration would loom dark over the American exhibition..."Dimensions of Citizenship"...The contrast between the research and artwork displayed...and the rhetoric from the White House is overt...None of the presentations seem as paradoxical as "MEXUS: A Geography of Interdependence"...goal to reframe how the public perceives the border and, consequently, the people living on the other side...British Pavilion...countering the Brexit-era rhetoric of isolationism and nationalism with a striking gesture...Cruz: "Architects more and more need to take a political position against what is morally and ethically wrong." -- Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman; Caruso St John Architects; Marcus Taylor [images]- CNN Style
Peter St John/Caruso St John Architects: What the destruction of Robin Hood Gardens says about London's housing crisis: It will be poignant to see parts of the former housing estate...at this year's Venice Biennale...The decision [to demolish] came at a time when an immense volume of market-driven private housing was being built...How mean and ordinary it all seems compared to the social vision of many architects working within the welfare state in the 1960s and 1970s...It is important that the best architectural examples of this period are preserved, not least for the socially generous ideas that they represent. -- Alison and Peter Smithson [images]- CNN Style
"Past, Present, Future": Leading Dutch and Italian Designers on Being an Architect Yesterday, Today, and Beyond: ...aims to open a research path based on the analysis of successful practices in the 21st Century...begins with a select group of 11 international architects..documentary series serves as a database of useful thoughts on design intended to push the next generations of architects and designers forward in pursuit of the architecture of tomorrow. -- Gianpiero Venturini/Itinerant Office- ArchDaily
Seven of the best pavilions to see at the Bruges architecture triennale: a floating timber school and a swan-inspired tower are among the pavilions to see at the Triennale Bruges 2018, in Belgium...invited architects and designers from across the globe to create temporary structures throughout the city's centre...Now in its second edition...theme of "Liquid City." It focuses on how urban locations are easily susceptible to change... thru September 16 -- Kunlé Adeyemi/NLÉ; Renato Nicolodi; OBBA; Peter Van Driessche/Atelier 4 Architecten; Raumlabor; SelgasCano; John Powers [photos by Iwan Baan]- Dezeen
Josh Stephens: Urban Utopias Under African Skies: An exhibit by Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez at the Museum of Modern Art invokes urban idealism at the same time that it serves as a foil for poverty and deprivation in the megacities of the developing world: The two-dozen or so bright, garish, playful, unlikely, and intricately detailed models of buildings and cities on display in "City Dreams"...look astonishingly like a collaboration between Le Corbusier and Pee-wee Herman...Corbusier would have a heart attack...For all of Kingelez's whimsy, his creations convey earnest political messages...quite a burden for a collection of foamcore and cardboard. MoMA, NYC, thru January 1, 2019 [images]- PLANetizen
Oliver Wainwright: Charles Rennie Mackintosh: He was doing art deco before it existed: From sci-fi libraries to steampunk tearooms, his dazzling creations made Glasgow a design paradise - and even crop up in Blade Runner, Doctor Who and Madonna videos. We join in the 150th anniversary celebrations: His penchant for garish colour schemes is revealed in a magnificent exhibition...which takes visitors on an encyclopedic romp through the work of both Mackintoshes, as well as a number of contemporaries and influences of the time. "Charles Rennie Mackintosh Making the Glasgow Style," Kelvingrove Art Gallery, thru August 14 -- Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh; Simpson and Brown- Guardian (UK)
"Idencity: six designs from the LSA to challenge the identity of London": The first exhibition of the LSA’s Design Think Tanks at the Roca London Gallery...to showcase radical architectural and urban design proposals for London by students from the London School of Architecture working alongside some of Britain's leading architects. thru August 11 -- aLL Design; Orms; Allies & Morrison; Penoyre & Prasad; Maccreanor Lavington; Studio Egret West; Klassnik Corporation; Grimshaw Architects; IDOM, Jestico + Whiles; Wimshurst Pelleriti; Hawkins\Brown; PDP; OEB Architects; Assemble [images]- London School of Architecture / LSA
Pablo Bronstein's "London in its Original Splendour" [at] London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, location of the Roman Temple of Mithras...installation creates a fantasy London by enveloping the space in a 3D rendered wallpaper, inspired by the archaeological artefacts found on the Bloomberg site as well as the design legacy of the nearby buildings of Christopher Wren, John Soane, Edwin Lutyens and James Stirling. thru January 12, 2019- London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE (UK)
Philip Langdon: Neighborhoods are key to sustainable future: Douglas Farr’s "Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future": ...ambitious new book aims to help everyone - but particularly urban designers, architects, planners, and engaged citizens - grasp the complex challenge and steer civilization away from danger....defines the threat through a deeply researched text...Whatever its flaws, [the book] is a conscientious and extremely generous compilation of ideas, techniques, and model projects that can make the world a better place...Be sure to seek it out. [images]- Public Square: A CNU Journal / Congress for the New Urbanism
Kelsey Keith: Q&A: Alexandra Lange on The Design of Childhood: From wooden blocks to city blocks, the Curbed critic’s new book ["The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids"] explains why child-focused design is actually for everyone: "Designing for children can shake architects out of their workaday patterns, but I wish they would apply that color and movement to adult space too."- Curbed
Allyn West: How can we design the world for children? A conversation with Alexandra Lange about her new book, "The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids": She wants us to examine the schools and playgrounds and neighborhoods we have built in our own cities. Are they good enough for our children? Have they been designed to help them be healthy and curious and safe? Q&A about her fascinating book.- Houston Chronicle
Alexandra Lange: Excerpt "The Design Of Childhood: How The Material World Shapes Independent Kids": An eye-opening exploration of how a child's playthings and physical surroundings affect their development reveals the surprising histories behind human-made elements in a child's landscape- NPR / National Public Radio
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