Today’s News - Tuesday, November 27, 2018

●  Davidson minces no words about what he thinks of Foster's "Tulip": the "London observation tower is Instagram architecture at its emptiest. This kind of vision London can do without - an airborne snow globe" (and "a prodigious spermatozoon").

●  Wainwright x 2: He's no fan of Foster's Tulip, either: "His strange proposal for a Mini-Me Gherkin on a stick is a parody of architectural hubris - all of London's whimsies packed into one pointless aerial capsule" (and a "spectacle-hungry trinket").

●  He ponders "how the world's leading architects fell under the Instagram spell. Social media-savvy mayors and their city marketers should be careful of the unintended consequences" (though several notable names disagree).

●  Mortice considers "the unspoken class divide" that limits design media's "reach and impact" by "drawing from an absolutely miniscule segment of the population that is in no way representative of the whole."

●  Moore minces no words about Scruton heading the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission: "His talks are such fusillades of inaccuracy and outdatedness that it's hard to know which errors to correct first - his special cocktail of arrogance and ignorance should also disqualify him" (and his "past remarks on subjects other than architecture" are appalling!).

●  Brussat, on the other hand, considers Scruton's "first beauty volley. Naturally, all those who are opposed to beauty in architecture are on the warpath against him" (with link to Scruton's "brilliant" 13-page lecture, "The Fabric of the City").

●  Friends of Zaha "have written an open letter denouncing Schumacher for his attempt to legally change who controls her [£70 million] estate - Schumacher has already replied."

●  On brighter notes: Michigan State University researchers offer "a new way to fight blight before buildings are even constructed": Domicology would have structures designed to be deconstructed "once they reach the end of their usefulness" and "the valuable components repurposed or recycled - the goal is to prevent another blight epidemic like the one we see today in Detroit."

●  Zeiger talks L.A. traffic, climate change, and authoritarianism (having to do with the thermostat) with Koolhaas and Shigematsu - oh - and their upcoming Wilshire Boulevard Temple expansion.

●  Artsy parses Rem's "first ground-up building in L.A. following several near misses - and the dialogue that'll occur between the 'dignity' of the 1929 synagogue and the 'vitality' of his trapezoidal addition."

Architectural education on the brain:

●  Hollander & Sussman make the case for "why architecture education needs to embrace evidence-based design. This approach has been largely dismissed by the architectural education community," but "can no longer be ignored by architectural educators -.we've found students clamor for it."

●  Kemper parses the annual Dean's Roundtable in NYC: "The Postmodern revival in schools has architecture deans worried: Are their fears well-placed? If it was once the activists versus the builders" in the 1960s, now it's the activists versus the image makers."

●  Horowitz reports on a new school in Rotterdam launched by Dutch activists that "will teach students to think critically about the links between urbanism and migration" and "will offer post-graduate students the chance to effect real change by blurring the lines between critique and practice, as well as research and policy."

●  Bernstein is blown away by what he saw at Global Grad Show that gathered 150 projects by students from 100 design schools in 45 countries during Dubai Design Week "in what must be one of the greatest gatherings of innovators ever" (he was one of the judges).

Winners all:

●  Glancey cheers the RIBA International Prize for the world's best building: "Spacious and effortlessly gracious new boarding houses" in rural Brazil "are both intelligent architecture and a wake-up call - rigorous in terms of engineering and planning -yet they exude an effortless air of delight and even festivity."

●  Wainwright concurs: The world's best building is "a remote Brazilian school made out of wood - a model of light-touch environmental design," with buildings that "have taken on a life of their own."

●  A 23-year-old designer wins the £50,000 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Cities for our Future competition with his bamboo communal housing units that take four hours to construct and cost £50/square meter that address the Philippines' slum crisis.

●  Three projects ranging "from the reimaging of a former asylum to the adaptive reuse of a historic school to the groundbreaking transformation of a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use facility" win NTHP's Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards.

Amazon HQ2 on the brain:

●  Davidson says "the company shouldn't be seen as a threat. New Yorkers are welcoming their robot overlords with clenched fists and a nasty snarl. It's important to separate the deal, which stinks, from the long-term effects, which don't. Reneg on the helipad. But let's not flush the baby."

●  Russell parses the two HQ2 sites: "Amazon's presence will restore luster to an enclave which had been deemed obsolete" in Virginia. "By contrast, the Queens site is tiny - but rich in urban vibrancy and potential amenities. The prize many cities were willing to do almost anything to get now may face a rough road ahead."

●  Chakrabarti explains why "New York City needs Amazon as much as Amazon needs us": The "deal will yield direct economic benefit - many multiples of the incentives offered," and is "not money that would otherwise go to subways and schools."

●  Baca, a Washington, D.C.-based urban planner, explains what worries him about Amazon moving next door: "Here are three big takeaways to consider for DC residents who want to think about what this means for the region - and the country more broadly."

●  The Washington, D.C. metro area "doesn't have enough affordable housing to meet the needs of its current workforce. While some locals are excited about the promise of new jobs, others dread the strain those jobs will put on local schools, transportation systems and housing supply."


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