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Today’s News - Tuesday, February 26, 2019

●  Bliss reports on #BlockSidewalk's goal to block Sidewalk Labs' controversial Quayside smart city in Toronto for its lack of "transparency, accountability, and democratic governance - headlines are helping normalize the idea of protesting a tech giant among regular citizens who weren't as engaged before."

●  Quito, meanwhile, delves into how WeWork is "nurturing a cadre of analytics-minded architects who are as interested in databases as they are in drawings - architecture should be shaped by a methodical study of how people utilize spaces instead of unique aesthetic signatures."

●  Three experts from Down Under take a deep dive into Passive House initiatives: PH is "'just the first step' - it is not the whole staircase," says PH design trainer Kress.

●  Davidson visits Harvard's HouseZero (by Snøhetta), and ponders whether it is "the greenest house in America - the lessons that emerge" from "this office/lab/walk-in-computer/showcase - could yield software cheap and flexible enough to work in modest houses and gargantuan towers" (and Malkawi "is bored by its beauty").

●  Barber parses a proposal for a car-free, bike-friendly, Dutch-style city in Colorado using Dutch easement and platting standards as a model for a city of about 50,000 people called Cyclocroft (hopefully they'll rethink the current name).

●  Brussat minces no words about what he thinks of REX's design for Brown University's proposed performing arts center and its "quirky, makeshift appearance - it can be accused of wrecking any hope that the new facility will be beautiful."

●  Eyefuls of REX's Brown University Performing Arts Center design, so you can make up your own mind.

●  Kaehler, on a brighter note, cheers Olin's Mill River Park in Stamford, Connecticut: Once "neglected and polluted," and "a public menace," it is now "undoubtedly one of the city's most exciting and successful projects that might be as important to downtown Stamford as Central Park was to New York City more than 150 years ago."

●  Corbett parses a new study comparing experts' and visitors' views on "curvy" architecture: "Is the public as charmed by all these bending, arching, sloping surfaces as the architects are who designed them?" Answer: No.

●  Moore, speaking of curvy, spends some quality time with Gehry (who turns 90 on Thursday): "His buildings are vivid characters. He psychoanalyses chain link. As a student in the 1980s, when postmodernism was bloating - it was a revelation to find someone who could be so inventive, so enjoyable and so free, while still to the point" (though "it can be a bad sign when Gehry uses metaphors too glibly").

●  Isenberg, author of "Conversations with Frank Gehry," talks to the maestro re: aging, music, how the Luma Arles "fulfills my lifelong dream of painting with light" - and "the one building he most wants to design" (a church or a synagogue).

●  Welton profiles Kamphoefner, "called a rock star, a cast-iron S.O.B., an incredible visionary, and an arrogant curmudgeon - one of the most enlightened design educators of his time, and someone who changed the architectural landscape of North Carolina."

●  Tory-Henderson takes us on a tour of the National School of Art in Havana - "a series of sculptural buildings organic in plan and form - a project of spatial riches" (with many of her own fab photos - views we've never seen before).

●  One we couldn't resist: "Traveloka asked 100 people to illustrate major cities around the world. The drawings are beyond charming. They also illustrate an important thesis: We categorize cities through architecture and food."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Saxon Henry: Raw Elegance in Black and White: Q&A with JoAnn Locktov, the editor and publisher of "Dream of Venice in Black and White," who talks about her creative process and strategies in creating the third book in the "Dream of Venice" trilogy (luscious images!).

Winners all:

●  Somewhere Studio wins the 2019 City of Dreams Pavilion with "Salvage Swings," made out of scrap cross-laminated timber from a University of Arkansas construction project, which will swing on NYC's Roosevelt Island this summer, then be relocated to city parks and schools.

●  Profiles of the 2019 Frame Awards winners honoring the world's best interiors (great presentation).


  


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