Today’s News - Wednesday, March 11, 2020

●  McDonald cheers Grafton's Farrell and McNamara going "from small-town Ireland to architecture stars" - winners of the 2020 Pritzker Prize and the 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal "have come a long way, yet neither of them became divas" - their "stellar" career is "simply because they are so good at what they do."

●  Overstreet considers what's next for women in design: More women "are gaining the recognition that they deserve," but "men are the face of the profession - creating a repeated system of not including women in positions of power. The battle for equality in design is far from over. If anything, it has just begun."

●  Joyner turns the table on Madame Architect founder Julia Gamolina in a Q&A re: "her career, expertise in communications, thoughts on women in architecture, and some of the powerful lessons she's learned on her multi-dimensional journey."

●  A round-up of "50 women rocking the world of architecture. They have proven that, while often faced with marginalization, it is possible to rise to the top and get extraordinary things built" (a great list - we can think of a few others!).

●  Behre blasts the proposed "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" executive order: "A more useful step would be to urge the GSA to work even more closely with communities - it should empower, not restrict, local voices wherever they plan to build."

●  Piccolo parses efforts to defeat social and urban barriers in a Rio favela: "City planning and urban interventions can be precious tools in overcoming physical barriers. They can also perpetuate the status quo" (a Niemeyer-designed pedestrian bridge "intended to foster connectivity" was one effort).

●  Architectural lighting guru Linnaea Tillett raises the alarm about the "worldwide trend to embed Smart City data collection devices and surveillance technologies into street furniture" - with street light poles playing a key role: "As lighting designers working in the public realm, we are very concerned. This is proceeding rapidly without meaningful oversight and accountability."

●  A redesign of Korb & Associates Architects' Ascent mass timber apartment tower in Milwaukee that would see it grow to 25 stories gets the city's planning commission's endorsement as samples of its wood floors are tested for fire safety in San Antonio ("wooden columns already tested successfully").

●  Waldek reports on the battle brewing in Oslo to keep a building damaged by a car bomb in tact instead of moving Picasso murals and bulldozing the building.

●  A lovely profile of Edward Daugherty, ".the dean of Atlanta landscape architects," who, at 93, is still designing - perhaps "his equanimity comes from a lifetime of building tranquil places."

COVID-19 and A/E/C industry (sigh):

●  Peters ponders "what would happen if the world reacted to climate change like it's reacting to the coronavirus - there are similarities" (public health, anyone?).

●  NYT's tech columnist Roose pens "a few words of caution" from a "quarantine bunker" in his dining room, where he's "getting plenty of work done, but what remote workers gain in productivity, they often miss in harder-to-measure benefits like creativity and innovative thinking - I can't wait to go back to work."

●  Walsh wonders whether the coronavirus is "the beginning of the end of offices. Architects may be called to design a new, not-yet-realized typology of space," which "leads to a question of what happens to existing office typologies."


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