Today’s News - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

●  Kamin explores what Chicago can expect when Maurice Cox departs Detroit to become the Windy City's next planning commissioner: "An eye for design, an emphasis on equity, and maybe, spats with aldermen" ("I think you're in for a very interesting ride with Maurice," sayeth Gallagher).

●  The $7.5 billion Bleutech Park Las Vegas will be "a mixed-use mini-city" (workforce housing included) that "aims to redefine the smart city" using lots of technological bells and whistles, such as AI, AR, IoT, self-healing concrete, etc.

●  Q&A with smart cities research specialist John Harlow re: "how to prioritize people over tech when planning smart cities. Deploying innovations is difficult, but community involvement can be key to efficiency."

●  Sidewalk Labs "is leading the way" in using mass timber for its smart city in Toronto - "but the smart material faces major obstacles. What's stopping mass timber?"

●  Speaking of mass timber: Rice University's Jesús Vassallo's "Tall Timber" mass timber construction project wins the Shepley Bulfinch Award.

●  Peters parses start-up Geoship's bioceramic fireproof, hurricane-proof geodesic domes and their "long list of advantages" that could make them post-climate change houses of the future; Zappos wants some near its Las Vegas HQ to give to the homeless.

●  Betsky at his biting best re: Hudson Yards: "It all turns out to be mirrors, with the Vessel and Shed as the smoke, that hide the soulless waste of space and material" (ouch!).

●  Grabar & Kotob ponder: "Can any school be massacre-proof? How are architects responding to an era of active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks?"

●  Brownell, on a brighter note, cheers the result of this year's China Building Center/UED magazine's design competition that is restoring the dilapidated village of Xiamutang with design interventions that "disrupt traditional models of historic preservation. Equally transformative is the social change that the village's makeover has brought about."

●  Chris Downey gets a "60 Minutes" moment: "What he has done in the 10 years since losing his sight, as a person, and as an architect, can only be described as a different kind of vision."

●  A good news/bad news kind of day for Mid-century Modernism: Indiana University's Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design is getting a new building inspired by a never-built 1952 Mies van der Rohe design being "brought to life by the architectural firm of Thomas Phifer and Partners."

●  Rinaldi explains why it's a good idea to head to Denver at the end of the week for the city's new Modernism Week: "Hidden midcentury-modern neighborhoods aren't so hidden anymore."

●  Meanwhile in Minnesota, FLW Jr.'s 1965 Birdwing is biting the dust, and "its park-like 12-acre estate, Birdsong, will be carved into lots for 13 single-family luxury homes" called Bird Song ("the house is so-so at best").

●  Architects Advocate signs on for the Global Climate Strike on September 20 - everyone is "encouraged to disrupt business as usual."

●  Across the Big Pond, RIBA and the UK Green Building Council are urging architects to join the Global Climate Strike on September 20.

●  Fisher & Hopkins explain "why Bennetts Associates is joining the Global Climate Strike. There are many business reasons. Above all - it is simply the right thing to do."

●  The Cultural Landscape Foundation will be launching a new international biennial landscape architecture prize that comes with a $100,000 purse.

●  Nine finalists from around the world take home the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture "presented to individuals and organizations who have promoted, encouraged, advocated, or influenced the advancement of architecture in the Middle East."


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