Today’s News - Thursday, March 14, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: News is a bit longer than usual today, but you have lots of time to take it all in. We're taking a break, beginning tomorrow, until Tuesday, March 26 (when we'll have lots of catching up to do!).

●  ANN feature: Downtown is for People: We are pleased to present an excerpt from Deborah Talbot's newly released "Who the Hell is Jane Jacobs? And what are her theories all about?"

●  Kimmelman takes us a deep (deep!) dive into the politics and architecture of Hudson Yards: "Architecturally, details deserve shout-outs. But details are details. Over all, it epitomizes a skin-deep view of architecture as luxury branding - architecture without urban design is just sculpture" (MK at his best!).

●  Lusk parses hers and others' studies re: why "bike-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just for wealthy. Surveys show that the fastest growth in cycling rates has occurred among Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American riders" (the Harvard research scientist actually responds to some pointed comments).

●  Green x 2: Trump (surprisingly?) signs bipartisan legislation that "permanently re-authorizes the Land & Water Conservation Fund, which finances important and popular conservation and park projects," including "the expansion of eight national parks and the creation of three new ones" (will wonders never cease!).

●  Green reports on the ASLA and EESI's briefing on Capitol Hill "to explain how communities and landscape architects are using green infrastructure to help communities become more climate-resilient" - and points to "helpful organizations for communities seeking to finance their own plans and projects."

●  Klein talks to a number of architects designing schools re: their efforts "to ensure that safety features are behind-the-curtain so that students hardly notice them."

●  NPR's Here & Now hosts Hobson and Bentley take a tour with Kamin of "the architectural giants of downtown Chicago": The Hancock Tower "resembles a 'Prohibition-era gangster wearing a tuxedo'" (and no Chicago-style "macho, muscular expression" in Gang's Aqua Tower).

●  Ditmars takes us on a tour of Vancouver, "one of the world's most liveable yet unaffordable cities - in the midst of a housing crisis, it is seeing a slew of new public projects - as well as some of the world's biggest names in architecture flocking in to build here."

●  Goldberger steps inside Gehry's new Santa Monica "dream house" that has a "sense of being at once unconventional and enthusiastically welcoming - it both celebrates the notion of a traditional villa and subverts it" (lots of pix!).

●  On a bleaker note, Venturi's Abrams House in Pittsburgh "is one step closer to demolition after a City Council preliminary vote went "against designating the property as a city historic landmark. 'Unless, miraculously, someone comes forward to spend money, it's going to fall down eventually'" (the owners oppose the historic designation).

●  Bateman, on a brighter note, tells us how Mies's Toronto-Dominion Centre "sparked an architectural arms race among Canada's major banks. No single development has transformed the skyline quite like" his TD center (critics "thought the design was already passé by the time it was built").

●  Theaster Gates to headline the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial's new list of participating designers that hail from five continents - "many are little known to the broader public. But like him, they focus on socially conscious design."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Winner and Finalists Announced in the "rise in the city" Design Competition for Affordable Housing in Lesotho, Africa.


●  Call for entries: International Architectural Design Competition for the Knowledge and Innovation Center at Oscar Niemeyer's Rachid Karami International Fair, Tripoli, Lebanon - no fee, but March 18 registration deadline looms! (submissions due in June.)

●  Call for entries: 2019 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship: open to students enrolled in schools of architecture around the world.

●  Call for entries: 11th Edition of Dedalo Minosse International Prize for Commissioning a Building 2018/2019, "honoring the Client's role in the design process along with the architects" (no fee!).

Weekend diversions:

●  Kamin x 2: "7 highlights from Venice Architecture Biennale are now in the soaring Wrightwood 659 gallery in Chicago. 'Dimensions of Citizenship' opens the way for new visions of belonging - a very strong show - compact but intellectually expansive, smart and smartly designed."

●  His take on "The Whole World a Bauhaus," at the Elmhurst Art Museum: "an informative yet overstuffed traveling exhibition - its overabundance of material can be tiresome (did no one get the less-is-more memo?), I'd still recommend that you see it."

●  Mortice offers a closer look a handful of exhibits in "The Whole World a Bauhaus": The "show has the meticulous obsession of a deep dive into the archives - what emerges, once you come up for air, is not a retrospective on the Bauhaus, but a picture of the conflicts and factions that shaped it."

●  Doezema introduces us to a traveling show that "aims to both honor and challenge the Bauhaus legacy" - and "comes in the form of a downsized model - on wheels - of the original Bauhaus school in Dessau" (after Dessau and Berlin, the bus heads to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Hong Kong).

●  In Berlin, "Two Sides of the Border: Reimagining the Mexico-United States Region: A collective academic initiative led by Tatiana Bilbao, Mexico City" presents "architectural and urban concepts of 13 architecture studios from universities across Mexico and the U.S." that "focus on one common region rather than two nations."

●  In Boston's BSA Space, "The Reasons Offsite" focuses on "prefabricated and modular building systems presented in a 3D virtual reality environment and viewed on Oculus headsets and projected" (cool!).

●  For "Because It Rains" at the Seattle Center for Architecture and Design, Laura Bartunek's explorated Florida, New Mexico, Hawaii, London, and Norway to consider: "Can we design not just around the rain, but with it?"

●  In Prato, Italy, "Green Prato. Urban experiments between ecology and reuse" explores "the actions and strategies implemented in recent years to define the new instrument for the Tuscan city's urban policies."

●  An abandoned 1950s Modernist mansion in Mexico City, with "blood-red walls, heavy drapes, and deep pile carpets," is "a dramatic backdrop" for "Collective/Collectible" showcasing "Mexican makers who explore the cusp between architecture, art, and design."

●  At A/D/O design center in Brooklyn, NY, "Neotenic Design" highlights the trend "whose objects feature anatomical associations and soft, exaggerated proportions: Blobby. Pudgy. Zoomorphic" (talk about "cute factor" - The Baby Bear Chair!).


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