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Today’s News - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

●  AIA releases "Guides for Equitable Practice" as "an educational resource to architects and firms on equity, diversity and inclusion issues" to AIA members - and "available to the public early next year."

●  Okamoto parses "five takeaways from the AIA's Guide for Equitable Practice - but will it impact the profession for the better?" (hopefully!).

●  Giovannini ponders PoMo's "Lazarus moment": "The irony of purposely ironic buildings that joked with history is that they are themselves verging on history, and history more than beauty is proving their strongest defense - the style wars continue."

●  Kolson Hurley ponders "the folly of the U.K.'s new architectural style wars," now exacerbated by the new housing czar, Roger Scruton: "First, his theory" about what caused the housing crisis "is so off-base that any 'solution' premised on it will only make things worse - he really ought to look around more. The architectural culture he hopes to rein in is currently besotted with tradition, of all things."

●  Tabor offers one of the best takes we've found re: the Amazon HQ2 saga: It "is an infrastructure company. The HQ2 bids were reconnaissance - data collection was the purpose all along - on its drive to become almost a para-governmental institution, it has always relied on help from actual governments to gain advantages over its competitors."

●  Moore, in the meantime, mulls "the retail apocalypse," and what local spaces can "still offer that the internet can't - one of the main forms of shared public life is shopping, its loss becomes an existential threat to society; every town has the ability to reinvent itself," and "repurposing of retail space can come from the bottom up, if it is allowed to."

●  Bliss considers the new draft plan for Sidewalk Labs' Sidewalk Toronto: "It's not that radical. Barring a few details, Quayside's pieces don't appear to break much new ground in urban design - the future doesn't look that much different from the present."

●  Kamin considers a proposed 28-story residential tower, and whether it will "mar the beauty" of FLW's Unity Temple just down the road - a fascinating clash of public policy agendas is taking shape. No transit-oriented high-rise, no matter how much energy it saves, should be allowed to undercut its transcendent beauty."

●  In Marfa, Donald Judd's "artsy outpost in the West Texas desert," new higher taxes on adobe homes are "pinching lower-income families who have lived there for decades." The absurdity: "because of the new tax revenue," the town "must refund more than $400,000 to the state for use in districts with less money" ("Why are you going to tax them for using the cheapest building material they could get?" - good question).

●  Fazzare finds out from Diller why Aleph Zero + Rosenbaum's Children Village in Brazil won the 2018 RIBA International Prize: "The selection of a project with a philanthropic mission achieved a 'humble heroism' in its design," and "indicates that social architecture is what some of today's top practitioners consider an important conversation. 'We're no longer just looking for a great icon.'"

●  Cotter cheers ("with reservations") the new Menil Drawing Institute in Houston: "It brings to mind a Shinto shrine, one of the simpler rural kinds of no-nonsense elegance - the building, despite its restraint, has all kinds of visual felicities" (though the exhibition gallery "is a letdown").

●  Kafka hails Haworth Tompkins bringing back the Grand Hall, the "crown jewel" of London's Battersea Arts Centre, with "a sensitive, yet triumphant, new lease on life after a 2015 fire" ("Pluto the theater cat survived three days stuck in the basement" - yay!).

●  Canadian Jack Diamond tells us how he "was lured by one of Britain's most famous boarding schools to transform a shabby hall into a state-of-the-art performing arts center": "There were limits on altering" the Grade II listed building. "But, as Diamond puts it, 'the secret of success in architecture is to make a virtue of a necessity."

●  A dive into how architects are using "prefabricated modular buildings on a scale never attempted in the U.S., pioneering new [and "striking"] design solutions for affordable housing."

●  The Dutch "typography whiz" Hansje van Halem is "using her unique vision to make a big impact in three dimensions" - her "most ambitious" project yet: designing "motifs in the main entryways of two affordable housing developments - tasked with the goal of giving residents 'the feeling of coming home.'"

●  RAIC releases a "richly illustrated" Reconciliation, Place-Making, and Identity report on its International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium that "summarizes the presentations of Indigenous architects, designers, and other professionals from across Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, to foster and promote Indigenous design and architecture."

●  UNESCO and UIA to begin designating cities as "World Capitals of Architecture - seeking to create a 'synergy between culture and architecture in an increasingly urbanized world.'"

●  One we couldn't resist: Snarkitecture's Snark Park will open in NYC's Hudson Yards next March (food, drink, and "retail experiences" included): "If it sounds like yet another Instagram 'museum' trap, that's because it is. But Snarkitecture was actually at the forefront of the phenomenon."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: rise Up: Sponsors are cheering on their student/architect teams working to find low-cost, sustainable housing solutions in the rise in the city 2018 design competition - but there are still teams that need sponsorship. Join those who are already reaping the rewards of the partnerships!


  


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