Today’s News - Thursday, September 6, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, September 11. (And our apologies for posting so late - the technology gods seem to be having as difficult a time with the heat as we are.)
● Researchers Keeler, McNamara & Irish contend that "far-sighted adaptation to rising seas is blocked by just fixing eroded beaches," which reduces "incentives for communities to make long-term plans for retreating from the shore."
● Kamin considers outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's legacy: He "thought and built big, but progress was painfully uneven. Chicago is a tale of two cities - one thriving, the other struggling" (the next mayor "needs to spread the benefits of boom times" to all of the city's 50 wards).
● NYC is expanding Hudson Yards Park - at more than $124 million per acre: "It blows out of the water by far the previous most-expensive park that I had ever heard of, which is the High Line," sayeth Benepe.
● Eyefuls of the "psychedelic sustainable landscape" that is L.A.'s first roundabout, a stormwater-retaining traffic island (very cool!).
● Birnbaum explains why landscape architects shouldn't "rely on architecture-centric media - if they are to receive the recognition they rightly demand and deserve. Rather than cry 'boo-hoo' - it's our responsibility to frame the narrative" (lively comments!).
● The Oakland A's are banking on BIG to bring something entirely new to ballpark design, "with the surrounding development taking a key role in the project."
● Call for entries: Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved by College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
● Call for entries: "Beauty"-themed installations for the 14th Festival des Architectures Vives in Montpellier, France, next June; open to young architects and landscape architects.
● Vote for the People's Choice Award in the AIA Film Challenge (check them out!).
● Suliman sees hope as "art triumphs over war" at London Design Biennale 2018 and the 40 "immersive installations" that "illustrate how design influences feelings."
● Egypt, USA, and Latvia win London Design Biennale awards for their "response to the theme Emotional States."
● Gilmartin cheers "Now What?! Advocacy, Activism and Alliances in American Architecture Since 1968" in L.A., "an expansive undertaking" that "reveals" the feminist design collective (from the '90s) Chicks in Architecture Refuse to Yield to Atavistic Thinking in Design and Society's "little-recognized, political work - alongside others who fought for inclusivity in the architecture world."
● Also in L.A.: "R. Buckminster Fuller: Inventions and Models" includes Bucky's "rarely seen" collection of steel and wire tensegrity models.
● Schwab informs us that Bucky was "his own number one fan - and even made his own fan art posters" - now for sale at $7,000 a pop at the "R. Buckminster Fuller: Inventions and Models" show (time to buy a lottery ticket!).
Page-turners (it's a "Making Dystopia" kind of day):
● Bayley minces no words about what he thinks of Curl's tome: "In 'Making Dystopia,' Curl calls contemporary architecture 'psychotic' and 'deranged'. But it's his own views that are dystopian" - not only is it "windy, overwritten, under-edited, repetitive and full of clichés" - it's "a visually dreary book" (ouch!).
● Aslet, meanwhile, "cheers on a spirited, scholarly assault on the tin gods of Modernism," but worries that Curl "seems about to explode" - "Making Dystopia" is "a rant" + Powers cheers Dunster's "ZEDlife."
● Brussat takes on Bayley and Aslet: "Curl seems not to be outlining a conspiracy but rather a deadly virus of gargantuan stupidity. Bayley disagrees. He doth protest too much, and in so doing has confirmed the high qualities of 'Making Dystopia.'"
● He finds it "hard to fathom" how Aslet could write "a rosy assessment of prospects for the classical revival" - and, "at the same time, penned a desultory review of 'Making Dystopia' - he supports and rejects either side of the same architectural coin. Neat trick - but the result is sure to be dysfunctional."
● Miranda's great Q&A with Lange re: "'The Design of Childhood,' the pivotal role of women designers, the shape of schools during segregation, and why Silicon Valley may be appropriating the language of children's design."
● Green cheers Campbell's "A Few Minutes of Design": "This well-crafted little packet of fun" offers "52 ways to ignite your creative spark."
● Stamp brings us eyefuls from Frampton's "Kengo Kuma Complete Works, Second Edition," which "explores the ways in which Kuma has spent a career taking the ordinary, and through creative energy, turning it into something extraordinary:"
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Andrew G. Keeler, Dylan McNamara & Jennifer Irish: Far-sighted adaptation to rising seas is blocked by just fixing eroded beaches: As we see it, market forces and public risk reduction policies interact in unexpected ways, reducing incentives for communities to make long-term plans for retreating from the shore. Nourishing beaches and building seawalls signal to individuals and businesses that their risks are lower.- The Conversation
Blair Kamin: Rahm Emanuel thought and built big, but progress was painfully uneven: ...his urban planning achievements did not bring him widespread popularity...for all his achievements, he never could escape the shadow of the violence wracking the city’s South and West sides...Chicago is a tale of two cities - one thriving, the other struggling...he leaves a list of unfinished major initiatives...- Chicago Tribune
At $125M an acre, Hudson Yards park would be city's costliest: New York City plans to spend $374 million to expand a green space...by three blocks. At more than $124 million per acre, that would make the extension the costliest park project in local history...Adrian Benepe...at the Trust for Public Land and a former city parks commissioner: "It blows out of the water by far the previous most-expensive park that I had ever heard of, which is the High Line"...City Hall cited several reasons for the high price. -- Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates- Crain's New York Business
Los Angeles’s first roundabout is a psychedelic sustainable landscape: ...Riverside Roundabout, a stormwater-retaining traffic island...definitely brings the spectacle. Greenmeme, a studio working at the intersection of art and architecture, brought nine eye-catching granite sculptures to the site and created a resilient, varied landscape...egg-shaped pods, ranging from 8 to 12 feet tall, each feature a face from a randomly-chosen local resident..."Faces of Elysian Valley"...Everything is powered by sun-tracking solar voltaics... [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Charles A. Birnbaum: Landscape architects can't rely on architecture-centric media: [They] need to fly the flag for their profession if they are to receive the recognition they rightly demand and deserve: Rather than cry "boo-hoo", the profession should buck up and take charge of the messaging. We can't just rely on others...to tell our story...Using a single image of a landscape to convey its identity would be like showing a doorknob to represent a building...So what can we do? ...it's our responsibility to...frame the narrative. -- The Cultural Landscape Foundation/TCLF- Dezeen
What To Expect From Oakland's New BIG-Designed Ballpark: ...the Oakland A’s are banking that Ingels...will bring something entirely new to the Major League Baseball stadium landscape...We could also see a completely modern play on ballpark design, all with the surrounding development taking a key role in the project...the A’s have already started experimenting with concepts we may see inside the venue. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Gensler; HOK- Forbes
Call for entries (international): Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved by College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (The Lemon Project); cash prizes; deadline: October 12- College of William & Mary
Call for entries: Submissions for "Beauty": installations for FAV 2019 - 14th Festival des Architectures Vives, Montpellier, France, June 11-16, 2019; open to young architects and landscape architects; deadline: December 3- Festival des Architectures Vives (FAV)
Vote Now for for the People’s Choice Award: AIA Film Challenge Showcases Design Solutions to Community Hurdles; deadline: October 7- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Adela Suliman: Building hope: art triumphs over war at London Design Biennale 2018: Maps of destroyed Yazidi shrines and flat-pack emergency shelters are among exhibits focusing on the destructive legacy of war...The art and design festival features 40 decorative and digitally immersive installations along the theme of "emotional states", seeking to illustrate how design influences feelings. thru September 23 [images]- Thomson Reuters Foundation
London Design Biennale 2018 announces Egypt, USA and Latvia as award winners: The huge design exhibition...has seen 40 countries across six continents create designs in response to the theme Emotional States...Three medals have been awarded to countries for their contributions, including the overall medal, the emotional states medal, and the best design medal. [images]- Design Week (UK)
Wendy Gilmartin: Before #TimesUp, these activist architects fought for equity in their industry: In 1993, the feminist design collective Chicks in Architecture Refuse to Yield to Atavistic Thinking in Design and Society (CARYATIDS), burst onto the Chicago scene with a body-forward, playful but cuttingly subversive exhibition...25 years later, these concerns still haven’t been cured, but “Now What?! Advocacy, Activism and Alliances in American Architecture Since 1968" reveals the collective’s little-recognized, political work - alongside others who fought for inclusivity in the architecture world...an expansive undertaking...WUHO Gallery, Los Angeles, thru October 7 -- Lori Brown; Andrea Merrett; Sarah Rafson; Roberta Washington; Nina Briggs; Noel Phyllis Birkby; Architecture Lobby- Los Angeles Times
Rarely Seen Buckminster Fuller Collection to be on Display in Los Angeles: The show centers around original screen-printed films from the architect's "Inventions" portfolio that includes the iconic Geodesic Dome: "R. Buckminster Fuller: Inventions and Models" [includes] the architect's collection of steel and wire tensegrity models... Edward Cella Art & Architecture, September 8 - November 3 [images]- Architect Magazine
Katharine Schwab: Buckminster Fuller made his own fan art posters: And now they’re for sale in a Los Angeles gallery for $7,000 a pop: "R. Buckminster Fuller: Inventions and Models" at the Edward Cella Art & Architecture gallery is featuring a series of posters of Fuller’s most famous inventions, with line drawings from his patents superimposed over a photograph of the thing itself. While they look like something Fuller aficionados might have created after the man’s death to celebrate his work, he actually created them in partnership with the gallerist Carl Solway near the end of his career. September 8 - November 3 [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Stephen Bayley: Modernist architecture isn’t barbarous - but the blinkered rejection of it is: In "Making Dystopia," James Stevens Curl calls contemporary architecture ‘psychotic’ and ‘deranged’. But it’s his own views that are dystopian: His ambition is to compose the critique of all critiques, joining a tradition of anti-modern alarm...It is windy, overwritten, under-edited, repetitive and full of clichés...its design is a disgrace...a visually dreary book...But worst of all, Curl’s ambitions are undermined by his simplistic argument and awful prose...Here is a book that does not make sense.- The Spectator (UK)
Clive Aslet: Modernism’s feet of clay: Aslet cheers on a spirited, scholarly assault on the tin gods of Modernism, but questions its timing: I worry about the author of "Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism" - James Stevens Curl seems about to explode. His rage against the orthodoxies of modern architecture...is constantly at boiling point...Don’t expect impartiality...It’s a rant...book’s scholarship is precise...[it] would have been a better book if he had tried harder to understand his opponents. + "ZEDlife" by Bill Dunster: ...opportunities to save money - as well as the planet - are there for the taking.... this book challenges us to catch up, take action and spread the word. (Alan Powers)- Country Life Magazine (UK)
David Brussat: Stephen Bayley on Curl’s “Dystopia”: ...Curl seems not to be outlining a conspiracy but rather a deadly virus of gargantuan stupidity. Bayley disagrees...I am just on Chapter 4...but what I’ve read so far is masterful in its compilation and arrangement...of facts and texts. Modern architecture and its advocates are toast, or ought to be...Richard Morrison in the London Times describes Curl’s writing as “entertainingly apoplectic,” and I agree...Bayley seems to think there’s something wrong with that...[He] doth protest too much, and in so doing has confirmed the high qualities of James Stevens Curl’s "Making Dystopia."- Architecture Here and There
David Brussat: Clive Aslet on classicism’s future: ...longtime editor of Britain’s tony Country Life magazine, has written a rosy assessment of prospects for the classical revival...So it’s hard to fathom why the same writer at the same time penned a desultory review of "Making Dystopia" by James Stevens Curl...In “Modernism’s feet of clay"...his optimistic assessment of classicism’s future and his put-down of "Making Dystopia" he supports and rejects either side of the same architectural coin. Neat trick if he can do it, but the result is sure to be dysfunctional. No thanks. That’s what we already have now.- Architecture Here and There
Carolina A. Miranda: From schools to sand piles: Critic Alexandra Lange tracks how design has shaped kids and kids have shaped design: ...the intersecting topics of kids and design is something she has revisited regularly...And it’s something she explores at length in her new book, “The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kid"...Q&A discussing the pivotal role of women designers, the shape of schools during segregation and why Silicon Valley may be appropriating the language of children’s design. [images]- Los Angeles Times
Jared Green: 52 Ways to Ignite Your Creative Spark: "A Few Minutes of Design" by Emily Campbell: This well-crafted little packet of fun may work just as well for inspiring creativity among children and young adults as it does for rekindling the spark of a semi-burnt-out designer confronting endless deadlines...There are engaging exercises not only for budding graphic and industrial designers, but also landscape architects, urban planners, and architects.- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Elizabeth Stamp: The Complete Works of Kengo Kuma Show the Dynamic Powers of Japanese Architecture: A new book explores the ways in which Kuma has spent a career taking the ordinary, and through creative energy, turning it into something extraordinary: Read on to see some of the spectacular buildings featured in the new edition. -- "Kengo Kuma Complete Works, Second Edition" by Kenneth Frampton [images]- Architectural Digest
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