Today’s News - Thursday, July 19, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, July 24.

It's a Stirling Prize shortlist kind of day!

●  Wainwright: "a shortlist that lacks showstoppers. Together, the buildings make a bit of a dull group, celebrating the mute and austere over the bold and expressive."

●  Ijeh, on a more positive note, "hails a vintage year - a real mix of scales and building types" in a shortlist that "offers genuine variety, quality and interest and provides some of the star quality recent years have lacked."

●  Astbury cheers "some great projects, but where's the housing?" ("Bloomberg prompts an eye-roll - a great collection of products and gimmicks but architecturally vapid" - ouch!).

●  Waite notes "surprise omissions," but does include William Hill's odds of winning, the jury citations, and links to detailed building studies.

In other news:

●  Haggart & Spicer take a deep dive into Toronto's Quayside project: It "was supposed to be a brag-worthy global showcase for what a smart city, 'built from the internet up,' would look like," but concerns about data gathering, control, and use "are not trivial issues"; they offer "three key principles to consider for future smart city infrastructure projects."

●  Carucci talks to Doherty of development/technology/autonomous transportation/architectural firm The Digit Group re: "how this entrepreneur is changing the world one smart city at a time" (including 8 new smart cities across central Australia!): "Remain human-centric."

●  A not-so-smart idea: the "U.S. Army Corps proposes concrete and steel barrier wall" across New York Harbor "to combat NYC floods" (fingers crossed Riverkeeper and others will keep the proposal at bay!).

●  Sander parses a new Harvard Business School study that "should be the final nail" in the coffin "for open-plan offices - poor design can have unintended consequences."

●  Meanwhile, on a brighter note, Saint-Gobain, in partnership with the University of Oregon's High Performance Environments Lab, releases its own HQ occupant comfort study that "reveals the collective benefits of a systems-based design approach."

●  Miranda delves into whether the L.A. Times complex should be protected: "Purely from a design perspective, preserving the complex is a difficult proposition." Hess and Schave lead the charge with a 378-page recommendation report to save it; Hawthorne and Ouroussoff weigh in.

●  Watch The Architecture Foundation's "Architecture for All," which "follows south-London design teacher Neil Pinder," and "presents an alternative manifesto for British creative education and the future of diversity in the creative economy."

Weekend diversions:

●  AS+GG's Adrian Smith weighs in on what went into his role as advisor in developing the design for the fictional mega-tall tower The Pearl in "Skryscraper": the director wanted "a tower based on real possibilities" (so, who better to get than someone behind some of the world's tallest!).

●  "Skyscraper" production designer Jim Bissell re: creating a 240-story tower in Hong Kong: "We were doomed for failure in the eyes of the architectural community. I had no delusions that it was going to incite the ire of many of my architectural peers" ("but he wanted the building to be a 'hero' nonetheless").

●  The authors of the upcoming book "Soviet Modernism, Brutalism, Post-Modernism: Buildings and Projects in Ukraine from 1960-1990" offer "a dramatic short film that makes a case for preservation" by "bringing viewers right to the structures that have fallen into the background and into disrepair."

●  Glancey offers a most thoughtful take on "the concrete remains of Yugoslavia's brutalist past," on view in MoMA's "Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-80": "Will the splintered republics that still house this architectural tour de force come to appreciate its qualities? Only time, and a new-found fascination with these concrete buildings, will tell."

●  Eyefuls from the Bruges Triennial "Liquid City" and the "striking installations" by innovative architects and artists that explore the Belgian city's "connection to water in a whole new way" (we'd like to get our feet wet!).

●  Using Microsoft smartglasses or an augmented reality (AR) smartphone app, Mel Chin's "Unmoored" will show you Times Square under water, with sinking ships creating gridlock (we can't wait to see this!).

●  Eyefuls of "Playsages II - Go Outside and Play!" and the playful installations on view in Quebec's 2018 International Garden Festival within the historic Reford Gardens in Grand-Métis.


●  Bernstein talks to "deft writer " and "skilled photographer" Wainwright re: "Inside North Korea": "Seeing the leaders and their buildings lets us imagine North Korea as North Koreans see it. Wainwright's book is a revelation."

●  Campbell-Dollaghan finds a "bleak portrait of Trump's failed Atlantic City kingdom" in Rose's "Atlantic City" (with intro by Goldberger): it's "a visual meditation on both the demise of Atlantic City and the rise of the president. You're looking at the urban impact of a distinctly Trumpian form of business management - and a profiteering ethos."

●  Eyefuls from Brian Rose's "Atlantic City": his "critical, observational eye reveals the dystopian landscape of fantasy architecture and socioeconomic decay that characterize the city today."

●  Lange on "what makes a school flourish - a shiny new building isn't always the answer" (a great excerpt from "The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids").

●  Welton cheers "Dream of Venice in Black and White," Locktov's third book, and an "elegant little tome on her favorite Italian landscape" (fab photos!!!).


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