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Today’s News - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

●  Giovannini's: LACMA, Part I: "It's much worse than you think - the county and the museum, both evidently co-conspirators to keep hidden the galloping cost escalation [and] the deception about size - the spendthrift plan enshrines dysfunction" (and "a major architectural let-down" to boot).

●  Eck takes issue with architects complaining "that our profession is somehow out of touch" and "irrelevant. Is there room for improvement? Always. But we have much to offer for a better world - we need to keep prodding and educating about what we do."

●  Nolle takes issue with the School of Architecture at Taliesin becoming a non-accredited program - no one from the school or the FLW Foundation "has indicated what has changed to suddenly prefer a non-accredited program" - it seems that "neither entity is truly aligned with their mission statement or the legacy they have been entrusted to protect."

●  Taliesin student Martinec makes the case that "the greatness of this place exists not in the buildings, but in the profound ideas that created them" - perhaps it's time to "start somewhere else" - if there's someone "with great means and fortitude" to support "a just cause and a great passion to continue - otherwise this is the end of FLW's way of learning architecture."

●  Betsky on architectural history and "the move towards a more complex and global approach to teaching the past - treating your classes more like a collage than a hierarchical and focused body of knowledge can liberate us from the focus on the new and monumental."

●  Crosbie on his approach to "teaching an appreciation for architecture through film. Might a cinematic experience offer non-architecture majors a way to access architecture in its most visceral ways?"

●  One we couldn't resist: a Cherokee-red Frank Lloyd Wright-designed cat house finds a forever home at Ohio's Feline Historical Museum: "It may not be the most expensive FLW home ever sold, but it's certainly the cutest."

"Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again": take a deep breath before continuing (two thumbs-ups included):

●  Kimmelman: The draft executive order is "a shiny object, Twitter bait" that "provokes inevitable allusions to authoritarian regimes. Just to have this argument feels demeaning, like so much else about American public discourse today."

●  Davidson says the plan proposed by "Trump's dumb grumps" is "boneheaded. But not worth the outrage. This administration's attack on the natural environment is far more dire - aesthetic arguments devolving into juvenile attacks on other people's taste" is "a losing game."

●  Leigh, no surprise, says the draft executive order "has caused an uproar in the modernist-dominated architectural community - a sign that the draft is on the right track" (the High Line's "freak show of architectural novelties" included).

●  Brussat: "To most people, this looks like a long-overdue corrective - a start at reintegrating beauty and civility into a field where every aspect of city making has been the fiefdom of the few, to the dismay of the many."

●  Kamin's advice: "Rip it up. Less than six weeks into 2020, we already have a leading candidate for the year's most misguided architectural idea" that "appalled some ardent classicists I contacted."

●  The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board: "The fear of an open society is palpable" - the order is "another intellectually shallow and self-aggrandizing move" that "belongs in the ashcan of history. One of marble, with domes and columns, if that helps."

●  King: "Scary thing is, the taste police might get their wish. When cultural zealots court a cynical politician, all bets are off - self-appointed design czars are guilty of the same fault they ascribe to modernists - an elitism that views any differing opinions with disdain."

●  Cramer: "Authoritarianism isn't a good look. Instead of playing politics over style, we should be working toward an architecture with zero-net carbon emissions, and the survival of civilization as we know it."

●  Wagner considers "the ignorance and racism behind the right-wing push for 'classical' federal buildings" that "reflect the architectural philosophies of online white supremacists, a developer-president, and a right-wing think tank - it's so cheap that it's hard to ascribe any real morality to it" ("nincompoops" included).

●  Kolson Hurley: "A fringe group of traditionalists persuades the White House to take its side - rewriting Moynihan's guidelines would be draconian. A classicism mandate would signal to architects that innovation and progress are subversive" (and trad and mod are not really opposites).

●  Kennicott: The "Ozzie-and-Harriet document doesn't look terribly professional - risible" and "so old-fashioned - it's that over-the-top angry about issues most people simply don't argue about anymore."

●  Lamster: "Let's be clear about what it is: a waste of time, a needless distraction at a moment when the profession has far more serious issues to address. Let's focus on those challenges, and not waste our most precious architectural commodity: time."

●  Dickinson: "Dictating the terms of 'beauty' is a very slippery slope - there is no one true way, no Church of Architecture. There is no war in architecture, but there should be meaning and beauty."

●  Knowlton School's Gannon: "With their thumb firmly on the scale from the outset, the authors' message is clear - the American debate on beauty is settled - entirely on the side of entrenched authority."

●  American Institute of Architects: "Given that the specific type of architecture preferred can increase the cost of a project (to up to three times as much) - to be borne by U.S. taxpayers, this is not an inconsequential concern - political appointees as the arbiters of architectural taste sets a dangerous precedent" and "thumbs its nose at societal needs."

●  National Organization of Minority Architects: "We have a duty to advocate for design that reflects the values of the people we serve: ALL of the people. The Executive Order would signal the perceived superiority of a Eurocentric aesthetic. This notion is completely unacceptable."

●  National Trust for Historic Preservation: "The draft order would put at risk federal buildings that represent our full American story - to impose a narrow set of styles based on the architectural tastes of a few individuals will diminish, now and for the future, our rich legacy of federal architecture."

●  Docomomo US: The executive order would "set a dangerous precedent for how we value our nation's architectural diversity and history."

●  American Society of Landscape Architects "believes that the public interest is best served by a collaborative place-based process that continues to produce federal projects that reflect the unique needs and values of each community and its citizens."


  


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