Today’s News - Thursday, October 3, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, October 8.

●  de Graaf considers measuring happiness with architecture: "At long last, an elusive subject like architecture can be held accountable: good architecture makes people happy, bad architecture does not," but "how does one logically correlate happiness (or a lack thereof) to the features of a building?"

●  Wainwright cheers Grafton Architects' 2020 RIBA Gold Medal: For Farrell and McNamara, "place is more important than personality, and making good buildings a higher priority than theory, rhetoric or appearing in magazines. In a world of lightweight frames and clip-on cladding systems, this is solid architecture that is built to last."

●  Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Chicago's Lincoln Common that "could have been an urban design disaster," but "by tapping the modernists at SOM and the traditionalists at Antunovich Associates it looks like it grew up over time" - though it still has "a long way to go before it fulfills its promise and becomes the vital common ground its name implies."

●  Emre Arolat's 5-star Museum Hotel in Antakya, Turkey, combines modern architecture with ancient Antiochian mosaics and ruins in "a rare and ideal compromise between private ambitions and public interests, between business priorities and access for all."

●  The Society of Architectural Historians releases the newly designed SAH Archipedia, the "open-access online encyclopedia that tells the history of the U.S. through peer-reviewed histories, photographs, and maps for over 20,000 structures and places."

●  Mafi brings us "The Best Weapon," Snøhetta's peace monument at the United Nations HQ in NYC, inspired by the Nelson Mandela quote: "The best weapon is to sit down and talk" (until October 15 - its permanent home will be Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded).

●  A round-up of "11 must-attend Archtober events" in NYC, according to four industry pros.

●  Only a week left to catch Singapore's 13th annual Archifest that "celebrates 'Craft' in architecture" by posing the question: "Where would we locate craft within the realm of architectural production or construction in an age where expediency and efficiency are privileged?"

●  To "help audiences engage with the future of their cities and challenge the way architects and city planners communicate with the public, the 7th Oslo Architecture Triennale consists essentially of theater and fiction."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Weinstein: "Simon Unwin envisions children in their playful place-making defining architecture's essence in 'Children as Place-makers.'"

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Maxinne Rhea Leighton: What is a Sage? Climate Week and the Design Profession: This is not about fighting climate change. This is about standing with the planet, our communities, our youth.

Weekend diversions:

●  Wainwright considers "why Britain booted out the Bauhaus": RIBA Gallery's "Beyond Bauhaus: Modernism in Britain 1933-66" is "an illuminating show that not only documents the little-known output (built and unbuilt) of the Bauhaus on these shores, but also traces the evolution of Britain's own homegrown brand of modernity."

●  Kafka cheers the Royal Academy of Arts' "What Is Radical Today? 40 Positions on Architecture," in which a who's who of "protagonists of the 1960s" to today "show what being radical means to them" with a single image on A3 paper in "a light-hearted stroll through pressing ideas."

●  For "Drawing Attention: The Digital Culture of Contemporary Architectural Drawings" at Roca London Gallery, CMU's Ficca, RISD's Kelper, and Harvard GSD's La "have curated a diverse and surprising collection of some 70 contemporary drawings from established and emerging practitioners around the globe."

●  Keats delights in "Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World," a comprehensive retrospective that's taken over Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris that "shows how she broke the glass ceiling in architecture - and co-invented Modernist design" (sounds terrific!).

●  D'Arcy finds "Taiwan embraces 'weird' building boom with NYC's RUR Architects at the helm," in "Building Beyond Place: RUR Engages Taiwan's Architectural Cosmopolitanism," which "tells at least two stories," on view in NYC (only through October 17).

●  Chicago's Ando-designed Wrightwood 659 "is a fitting location" for "Ando: Museums & Galleries," which includes models "constructed by a team of students and instructors from Chicago's three architecture schools."

●  Goldhagen minces no words re: "Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright": With "florid prose" and "breathless descriptions," the book "would be simply forgettable if Hendrickson weren't perpetuating a romantic mythology of artistic genius that is at once tiresome, simplistic, long past its expiration date and wrong" (ouch!).

●  Sisson, on the other hand, finds Hendrickson's "Plagued by Fire" offers "storytelling befitting the self-mythologizing architecture icon" in a "pitch-perfect" and "towering new biography" (though it "grows a bit tiresome after hundreds of pages of analysis, research," etc.).

●  Tarmy hails Bradbury's "Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses" that charts "the reason behind Mid-century Modern's global success - he stumbled across a few unlikely bastions of modernism" along the way (with a mile of examples).

●  One we couldn't resist: Welton's take on Roberts' "Mr. Waffles Explains Design" in which a once-shelter cat finds himself "in a home full of iconic furniture. The idea is to increase awareness of design. Besides, a jet-black cat grabs anyone's attention" - this "could be a book for cat lovers, but it's for design aficionados too."


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