Today’s News - Thursday, July 18, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, July 23.

●  Wainwright parses the 2019 Stirling Prize shortlist, "from a cork creation to a Teletubbies-style whisky distillery - the most interesting and varied Stirling prize shortlist for some time."

●  Locktov, of "I Dream of Venice" series fame, pens an open letter re: the cruise ship crisis in Venice: "The critical issues of overtourism cannot be solved with a hashtag or turnstiles or automatic people counters. They can't even be solved with fines. Removing the cruise ships would at least be a start. Because Venice is too miraculous to fail."

●  Buday explains "why the profession desperately needs new architectural manifestos right now," and offers a tutorial on how to write one: "Over-the-top isn't over the top in manifesto writing. Outrage and anger are not out of place, either. Quirky and crazed is not only acceptable; it's preferable" - and launches the Common Edge Architectural Manifestos Contest.

●  Kapps considers a new study re: gentrification that "claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement. What if the conventional wisdom about gentrification is kind of wrong?"

●  Zeiger considers three design proposals for a major new park along an 11-mile stretch of the L.A. River: "It is reasonable to ask: Who will benefit? Renewed attention to the waterway is driving speculative real estate development and concerns about gentrification."

●  Plitt reports that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved contested changes to the former Four Seasons restaurant: "The operators made changes to the iconic Philip Johnson-designed interiors without seeking approval", which "prompted a swift backlash," but "a majority of commissioners voted to approve the modifications."

●  Sayer says DS+R's "High Line-esque" elevated walkway on London's Greenwich Peninsula "signals some attempt at placemaking" amidst "rampant development" ("walking along The Tide is like touring candidates for the Carbuncle Cup").

●  Stinson, meanwhile, cheers Snøhetta's "Path of Perspectives" hiking trail in the Austrian Alps, "designed to encourage hikers to take a breather and absorb their surroundings - turning the already picturesque landscape into an art walk of sorts."

●  Serratore delves into "the magical (postmodern) world of Disney - the champions of postmodern design deserve to be recognized as more than just great works of corporate architecture": Graves "intuitively understood what a Disney building ought to be"; Celebration "is a hyperreal version of the hyperreal itself" (and "Stirling cast aspersions on the idea of designing for Disney at all" - great read!).

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Taylor cheers "Bauhaus Beginnings" at the Getty Research Institute that is so impressive, the president of Germany wondered, "How can there be so much great Bauhaus material outside of Germany?"

●  ICYMI: 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.

Weekend diversions:

●  Your must-read of the day: Kennicott reviews "The Evidence Room," a "small but powerful" show at the Hirshhorn Museum that presents architectural and design elements of the Auschwitz gas chambers: It "arrives in Washington at a critical moment in the degradation of America" and "encourages us to ask: Who made these gray detention rooms in which Vice President Pence stood."

●  Volner, meanwhile, says Libeskind's "Through the Lens of Faith," a temporary "simple, open-air gallery" at Auschwitz, "combines a unique commemorative mission with a much-needed programmatic function," and "introduces a tranquility to the busy entry plaza, as well as a moment of spiritual refreshment."

●  Cumming cheers the "strong affinity" between "Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life" and "Takis" at London's Tate Modern: "From foggy tunnels to galleries of rain, Eliasson's hypnotic installations highlight the state of the planet, while Takis's humanoids and insects are just magnetic" (bring old T-shirts for recycling and get cool stuff!).

●  Madsen strolls "Lawn" at the National Building Museum with Rockwell as he "works intently on folding a paper airplane": "'I think this is going to be a place where people will do something they didn't expect to, like building a paper airplane.' And with that, he releases his."

●  "Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior" at the District Architecture Center in Washington, DC, "illustrates the myriad - both obvious and subtle - ways he created the visual character of interior space and objects within it."


●  A fascinating excerpt from Volner's "The Great Great Wall: Along the Borders of History from China to Mexico" that chronicles "the rise (and fall) of Trump's border wall prototypes."

●  Lange revisits Alexander's "A Pattern Language": "It looked handsome in my dorm room - enshrined but unread," but "turns out to be an ideal candidate for a re-read. There's a vegetarian-stew earnestness - but sometimes you need to be earnest - plain speech can ripen into something subversive and amusing."


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