Today’s News - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Farewells to Phil Freelon (sure to be more)

●  Welton "has lost a highly respected friend, and the world an articulate voice for architecture and the African American community. Phil Freelon was a kind, generous and patient man whose work transcended his own God-given talents."

●  Sisson says Freelon was "one of the most influential black architects of his generation. His practice has long prioritized design meant to embrace and elevate community" - his approach as a juror for Curbed's 2017 Groundbreakers: "...great design should be enjoyed by everyday people in the public realm."

●  Campbell-Dollaghan remembers Freelon as "a visionary architect who championed diversity - and designed some of the most influential American architecture of the 21st century" + Budds' profile of Freelon, Co.Design's 2017 Architect of the Year: "America's Humanitarian Architect."

In other news:

●  ANN feature: Salingaros: "Signs versus Symptoms": A Reply to the Open Letter from British Architecture Students Calling for Curriculum Change: Asking for radical reforms in architectural education, this courageous appeal could help this latest effort be taken seriously, and not simply dismissed, as previous cries for reform have been.

●  Ravenscroft parses Schumacher's take-down of architecture education - it's "in crisis and detached from the profession": "The paradigm we are looking for is parametricism" (as if we expected anything else from him - miles of comments, of course).

●  AE7 's Ortman bemoans "the physical qualities of design" being "watered down because we no longer have to draw a chair or bathtub, but can simply download them - educators and design professionals alike must task ourselves to adjust our curriculums and processes so that they include the study of craftsmanship and constructability."

●  Wainwright delves into what's behind the global "epidemic" to "build cities from scratch - each branded as the ultimate techno-eco-utopia - futuristic and climate-inappropriate - all of which follow the cookie-cutter approach of car-based, hi-tech hubs, rarely planned with existing populations in mind" (Bad Consultant designed one - check out the "Cities from Scratch" series!).

●  Muldoon-Smith & Greenhalgh explain why "the world's aging architecture is a $217 trillion risk: The cost of making buildings more energy efficient can seem staggering - until you look at the cost of not retrofitting them."

●  The Rockefeller Foundation may be disbanding its 100 Resilient Cities, but it is launching a new climate and resilience initiative to support the work of chief resilience officers and members of the 100RC network.

●  Block parses the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission's "Creating space for beauty" report that urges "UK councils to reject 'ugly' housing schemes": "We need to deliver beauty for everyone, not just the wealthy."

●  Wainwright cheers Assemble's "spellbinding" Granby Winter Garden, and tells the "intoxicating David-and-Goliath tale" about transforming "abandoned houses into beautiful, permanently affordable homes. Easy as that, hugs and teary eyes all round" - sort of ("barbecue-smoked ceramic doorknobs and colorful tiles" included).

●  Betsky on the new Hong Kong West Kowloon Station: "Sometimes a good building that I nevertheless probably shouldn't like just bowls me over. Rarely in recent years have I seen a project with more expressive power" - though "one has to ask if it helps perpetuate social and economic injustices," this is "a romantic building that captures the ability of architecture to express an optimism" (with a park on top!).

●  Davidson cheers SHoP's Staten Island outlet mall that "intends to defy the retail apocalypse with bargains and lively architecture" by reconciling "a collection of generic, inward-facing stores with a never-ending street party" (ditto South Street Seaport, "though to clunkier effect").

●  Studio O+A's Alexander, after designing offices for decades, explains what she got wrong, and "questions the cushy, amenity-laden offices that her design firm helped pioneer. The way forward is to introduce a little friction into the workplace."

●  Chakrabarti heads west to lead UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design - and a west coast PAU office; Modi will hold down the fort in the NYC office.

●  One we couldn't resist: Handler hangs out with a bunch of "av geeks" at the TWA Hotel's rooftop pool that "has become an aviation nerd's paradise. JFK may be a Lynchian nightmare for almost all of us, but for just enough people to fit on one tiny rooftop, it's the most heavenly place in the world" (a hoot of a read!).


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