Today’s News - Tuesday, March 24, 2020
● Political historian and biographer Baker re: "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" draft proposal - it "repeats as mantras the four pillars" of Moynihan's 1962 guidelines: "federal buildings 'must provide dignity, enterprise, vigor and stability.' But who is to say when a building expresses dignity or stability, much less enterprise and vigor?" (Latrobe would have none if it!)
● Hosey parses "the origins of sustainable design in the U.S." in honor of the 30th anniversary of the AIA COTE Committee: "It is time to reflect on the pioneers who took up the cause when few others would," and "laid out all the issues that still challenge the industry today."
● Fast Co. x 2: "The world's most innovative companies of 2020 in architecture."
● Its round-up of "the 10 most innovative urban development and real estate companies of 2020 transforming our built environment, from 3D-printed homes to turning parking lots into underground farms - and cemeteries that are actually forests."
COVID-19 news continues:
● Harvard GSD's Forsyth on the role planning and design plays in a pandemic, "COVID-19's impact on the future of urban life," and the important questions raised "for future research and practice."
● Golden's take on "what COVID-19 teaches us about resilience - this pandemic may give rise to the power and value of local sourcing."
● Speaking of sourcing: A deep dive into how coronavirus shipping delays are slowing down projects "as materials from overseas become harder to get," and "domestic sources may not be so easy to line up overnight."
● Thorpe looks at what's going on in Europe, and "the potential sources of hope amidst the terrifying gloom" - though the "twin Covid-19 and climate change disaster threats could break many countries' abilities to support their industries."
● Fahd & Oscar's fascinating take on why photos of empty public spaces are so impactful: "Our attraction to images of the world without us reveals a collective fascination for the apocalypse or, perhaps, extinction" (similar to "ruin porn").
● Cramer: "September 11 changed the world, and not necessarily for the better. This time, as we adapt to life with COVID-19, let's aim for improvement" - and "keep fighting for a more healthy, resilient, just society. Architects are good at it."
● Moore made it home from Australia just as the coronavirus was taking hold: "Like London, Melbourne's recent skyline is atrocious, made of gimmicky glass towers delivered in both cities by much the same cohort. Which only goes to show that this junk is global."
● Lydia Lee talks to "architects and designers in U.S. cities under siege" re: "how they are running their practices from a distance" ("we're going to start to miss real 'face time' pretty quickly").
● Walsh offers a great list of tips and resources for architects now working at home "that can help you find your feet, restore your confidence, and activate your imagination" ("limit your news diet") - and some global firms weigh in on how they're coping.
● Evelyn Lee's tips for "maintaining business continuity with a remote workforce: Empower your team; get everyone the right hardware & software; own up to mistakes if they're yours, or be empathetic to those who make them" - and more.
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Jean H. Baker: Trump’s Plan for Federal Buildings: Make America Old Again: While superficially bowing to the past, [his] draft proposal for regulating federal architecture would undo two centuries of precedent going back to Benjamin Latrobe: “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again"...repeats as mantras the four pillars of [1962 Moynihan] guidelines: federal buildings “must provide dignity, enterprise, vigor and stability.” But who is to say when a building expresses dignity or stability, much less enterprise and vigor? Beware a future of faux classical structures, glinty gold trim, and Louis X1V-type flourishes...Throughout his life Latrobe fought lonely battles against any interference by federal officials including presidents.- The Daily Beast
Lance Hosey: A Quiet Revolution: The Origins of Sustainable Design in the United States: On the 30th anniversary of the AIA Committee on the Environment, it is time to reflect on the pioneers who took up the cause of sustainability...when few others would: [In 1990] a small group of architects...redefined the direction of American architecture...With a sense of urgency...the group laid out all the issues that still challenge the industry today... “sustainable architecture"...appeared in print only four times that year...COTE’s vision for truly radical transformation seems prophetic. -- Bob Berkebile, Paul Bierman-Lytle, Greg Franta, Kirk Gastinger, Harry Gordon, Hal Levin, Bill McDonough, Chris Stafford, Kelly Vresilovic- Metropolis Magazine
The world’s most innovative companies of 2020 in architecture: Olson Kundig, Snøhetta, and Studio Gang made the list again this year, joined by some surprising upstarts. -- New Story; WRNS Studio; Lever Architecture; Foster + Partners; KieranTimberlake; Nendo; Gh3- Fast Company magazine
The 10 most innovative urban development and real estate companies of 2020: Zillow, Hello Alfred, and eight other companies transforming our built environment, from 3D-printed homes to the next-gen experiential mall...turning parking lots into underground farms, urban air-quality monitors, car-free communities, cemeteries that are actually forests -- Icon; Sitelab Urban Studio; Aclima; Roofstock; Mirvac; Proxy; Better Place Forests; Area15- Fast Company magazine
Ann Forsyth: What role do planning and design play in a pandemic? COVID-19’s impact on the future of urban life: For the past decades, those looking at the intersections of planning, design, and public health have focused less on infectious diseases and more on chronic disease, hazards and disasters, and the vulnerable. The current pandemic brings the question of designing for infectious diseases back to the forefront and raises important questions for future research and practice...More will need to be done internationally...I want to examine three smaller scales and the built environment. Cities and regions; Neighborhoods; Home- Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)
Sarah Golden: What COVID-19 teaches us about resilience: ...we’re getting a real-time lesson in how intertwined our transportation and distribution systems are...this pandemic may give rise to the power and value of local sourcing...Local supply chains = resilience...Local supply chains = decarbonization.- GreenBiz / VERGE
Chinese Copper, Italian Marble: Coronavirus Shipping Delays Hurt Developers: Work on residential and commercial projects is slowing as materials from overseas become harder to get, posing a threat to construction jobs: ...sending jitters through the construction industry...Delayed so far...goods like...furniture, lighting equipment and elevators - and even models of buildings themselves...Delay...have so far not forced widespread layoffs in the U.S. construction industry...Projects now on the drawing board may be in trouble...domestic sources...may not be so easy to line up overnight- New York Times
David Thorpe: Europe and COVID-19 like WWII ... but not: Here are the latest developments, and the potential sources of hope amidst the terrifying gloom: Industry is grinding to a halt; How will it affect climate change? Some see some hope in the crisis...improvements in air quality are being seen everywhere that is on lockdown. That’s good, right? However, there is concern that these environmentally beneficial curve-downs will reverse...twin Covid-19 and climate change disaster threats could break many countries'...abilities to support their industries. They may have to choose between fighting climate change and supporting fossil-fuel industries...Construction industry fall-out- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Cherine Fahd & Sara Oscar: The uncanny melancholy of empty photographs in the time of coronavirus: Images of empty public spaces...make us stop, look, and linger as we try to comprehend what these places without people are saying...Our attraction to images of the world without us reveals a collective fascination for the apocalypse or, perhaps, extinction...Why is our absence from the world so fascinating...Anthony Vidler described as “the architectural uncanny"...familiar spaces become unfamiliar...images by news photographers point to our fear of the pandemic and, fundamentally, of each other...we are - somewhat strangely - bearing witness to our own erasure.- The Conversation (Australia)
Ned Cramer: COVID-19 Should Change Us: September 11 changed the world, and not necessarily for the better. This time, as we adapt to life with COVID-19, let’s aim for improvement: Many observers are already saying that [it] is changing society, not just in this nervous moment, but fundamentally...the profession will soon enough need to address the pandemic’s causes and long-term consequences... If we want change, we have to make it ourselves. The most effective design response to a plague - or financial downturn, or natural disaster - is to keep fighting for a more healthy, resilient, just society. Architects are good at it.- Architect Magazine
Rowan Moore: How Australia faces up to the coronavirus, global architecture, and sharks: After the wildfires...the country’s latest challenge: Mallacoota, in the Australian state of Victoria, has the jump on most of us when it comes to confronting the apocalypse...one of the first acts of restoration...a brand-new public barbecue facility...I am not sure if this work is mad or touching - possibly both. To drive from Sydney to Melbourne...is to alternate between shock and hope...Like London, Melbourne's recent skyline is atrocious, made of gimmicky glass towers delivered in both cities by much the same cohort...Which only goes to show that this junk is global...Aboriginal sin.- Observer (UK)
Lydia Lee: How Architects Are Making It Work from Home During COVID-19: Architects and designers in U.S. cities under siege talk about how they are running their practices from a distance: We talked to principals at some firms in the hardest hit areas..."I think we’re going to start to miss real 'face time' pretty quickly." -- Mark Jensen/JENSEN Architects (San Francisco); David Galullo/Rapt Studio (San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York); Stephen Yablon Architecture (New York City); Cary Bernstein Architect (San Francisco); Phil Harrison/Perkins and Will (global);- Metropolis Magazine
Niall Patrick Walsh: Tips for Architects Working At Home During COVID-19: ...it is possible not only to work from home, but to use this time to greatly enhance your skills, knowledge, and development as an architect...we have created a broad list of tips and resources that can help you find your feet, restore your confidence, and activate your imagination. Limit your news diet; Maintain a routine; Software and Technology; Creating a Healthy Work/Life Balance; Online Learning. -- GBBN; MAD Architects; Henning Larsen; Foster + Partners; Gensler; S3DA Design- ArchDaily
Evelyn Lee/Slack Technologies: Maintaining Business Continuity with a Remote Workforce: ...tools and best practices for design firms that are transitioning their operations in wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic: Empower Your Team; Get Everyone the Right Hardware & Software; Meet Your Employee’s Needs at the Policy Level; Accept That Mistakes Will Happen: Own up to them if they’re yours, or be empathetic to those who make them.- Architect Magazine
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