Today’s News - Tuesday, March 17, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: We know the new reality of "social distancing" in an industry as social as ours is stressful, but we hope everyone is being wise and staying safe. In the meantime, we're raising a (virtual) glass of green beer and cheer to you all.

●  Sitz profiles urban planner, writer, architect, and curator Vittorio Gregotti, who has succumbed to the coronavirus at 92, and talks to Eisenman, co-curator of the 1976 Venice Biennale, about Gregotti's focus on the relationship between Europe and America.

●  Pressman is disappointed with Johns Hopkins' plan to revamp the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue: "'Adaptive reuse' is a way to retain worthy architecture. But what makes sense in theory doesn't always translate to reality - the redesigned facade takes a clunky step backward rather than the smart upgrade it could have been."

●  Morgan, on the other hand, gives two thumbs-up to the "fabulous" Fascitelli Engineering Center at the University of Rhode Island: Instead of starchitecture "strutting displays of egotecture," Ballinger's "sparkling, light-collecting" center is "no frills, no gimmicks, just a focus on good design" and "a brilliant gesture at re-branding the university."

●  Kamin considers how his alma mater Amherst College has also rejected the typical "Bring in the starchitects!" approach, stressing instead "architectural evolution, not revolution; reuse rather than replacement" that responds "to today's needs without sacrificing their core identity."

●  Wichita, Kansas, has two FLW buildings and will soon get a third - sort of: A never-built design for the Wichita State University, found in a drawer in a maintenance shed, is the inspiration for the Fundamental Learning Center for children with dyslexia (learning design, dance, drama, art, building, technology, and more!).

●  Gamolina's great Q&A with Frances Halsband re: "giving back, staying in touch, and ethical behavior": "Don't plan a career arc because there's no such thing. Don't create some cloudlike vision that you're just going to waste a lot of time on. Instead - be ready to say yes when something good comes along."

●  Betsky heads to Blacksburg to serve as director of Virginia Tech's School of Architecture + Design.

●  Brownell is heading to Charlotte to be the director of the University of North Carolina College of Arts + Architecture.

●  Chipperfield and Wirtz International Landscape Architects win the competition to transform an abandoned industrial site in Berlin into an almost car-free "lively residential and commercial neighborhood" with 1,400 affordable rental apartments and lots of green space.

●  The International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers announces the winners of the IFI Global Awards, and the inaugural IFI Design Distinction Awards.

●  2019 Brick in Architecture Awards honor 37 winners from the U.S., Australia, and Canada (with link to BIA's Photo Gallery).

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Weinstein uses a new British Museum exhibition catalogue as the starting point to delve into Piranesi's architectural imagination and why his architectural art matters today more than ever.

COVID-19 news continues:

●  The AIA postpones its May 2020 conference in L.A., and is "currently exploring options to reschedule the event and issuing refunds to registrants."

●  The CDC's MicrobeNet and the University of Oregon Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center publish "tactics for minimizing COVID-19 transmission in the built environment."

●  Betsky: "Suddenly, we are isolated. The response to the outbreak does raise questions about the fragility of our increasingly aspatial world and the value of place. How should architecture react?"

●  Marcus Fairs' fascinating Q&A with trend forecaster Li Edelkoort: The coronavirus is causing a "quarantine of consumption" that offers "a blank page for a new beginning - this is what I am hopeful for: another and better system."

●  Lau lines up a number of architecture firms who "offer insight on the impact of the novel coronavirus on their staff, operations, and projects" (to be "updated continually with new responses and developments").

●  Budds takes a (riveting!) deep dive: "Throughout history, how we design and inhabit physical space has been a primary defense against epidemics - using space as a way to address epidemics has renewed interest."


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