Today’s News - Thursday, April 2, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, April 7. Stay safe…

●  Moss, Mayne, Holl, Gans, and many others remember Michael Sorkin: "Michael was a character like Cervantes's Don Quixote in the best way."

●  Smith's thoughtful Sorkin profile - and he talks to Paul Goldberger, "who sparred with him in the 1980s before reconciling in recent years": "He was one of the only radicals I've ever known who had a light spirit to him."

●  Wagley wades into the LACMA saga: "At first, it was met with cautious optimism. But eight years later, the project has been criticized as 'uninformed' and a 'scorched-earth plan.' There is already a hole in the side of the Ahmanson Building" (project "has been deemed 'essential'" construction).

●  On a brighter note, Steiner spotlights Diamond Schmitt Architects and Claude Cormier + Associés' 100-acre parcel of the 400-acre Vaughan Metropolitan Centre in Ontario - its "strong ideas about building, landscape and urban design, both on paper and constructed, are abundant."

●  Dickinson laments "the unique pain of architects: letting go" of altered or demolished projects: "It never stop hurting. I should get over it. But I never will."

●  McMansion Hell's Wagner's great Q&A with Andersen & Preissner, curators of "American Framing," the U.S. Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale, re: the "broader issues of labor, democracy, and suburbia," and their "promise to explore aspects of the system other than its material attributes."

●  A little eye candy never hurt (unless you think they're eyesores): Mafi brings us "12 buildings that show the beauty of deconstructed architecture, from Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum."

Weekend diversions (to be enjoyed at home) + Page-turners:

●  Wainwright weighs in on "Weird Sensation Feels Good" at Sweden's ArkDes (and online): "This way for brain tingles" in "a shiver-inducing exhibition of ASMRtists provoking the strangely pleasurable autonomous sensory meridian response" (who couldn't use a bit of a "brain tingle" right about now!).

●  The CCA's new documentary "'What It Takes to Make a Home' considers the questions of how architects might address the intractable urban reality of homelessness, and the meaning of living without a reliable home" (featuring Hagner and Maltzan).

●  AN editors' "picks for architecture-themed movies and shows to enjoy while housebound - everything from French New Wave classics to sordid 1980s thrillers to dystopian neo-noir epics to trashy (but oh-so-enjoyable) reality TV and more" (with official trailers).

●  Kimmelman & historian Dolkart stroll NYC's Museum Mile that's "like Gilded Age proto-McMansions along a posh stretch of 5th Avenue" for a virtual tour "intended to be consumed at home, not on foot."

●  Hilburg brings us exhilarating photos of Jacob Jonas The Company's #CamerasandDancers that "blends contemporary ballet with breakdancing and acrobatics to draw attention to" to stunning architecture of notable institutions that "has taken on a new poignancy at a time when most, if not all, are now closed."

●  Wainwright talks to landscape architect Julia Watson re: "Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism," featuring "tree-bridges and fish that love sewage - indigenous customs could save the planet - but are under threat": "We've got our priorities wrong."

●  Ruthen cheers Beasley's "Vancouverism": "It's an entertaining ride, rife with stories of the trials and tribulations of working with developers, architects and politicians," and "will be essential reading for years to come."

●  Crook cheers Provoost's "Beautified China" in which the country's "'iconic architecture' is depicted as abstract forms against bright blue skies - influenced by his practice as an architect."

●  Starling Lyons on her children's book "Dream Builder: The Story of architect Philip Freelon" (with an afterword by Freelon himself): "Once Phil agreed to be a part of the project, I started the process for the book. I interviewed him and his wife Nnenna various times. From there, the story began to unfold."

COVID-19 news continues, ending with Kamin's cure for cabin fever - sigh:

●  Former NYC parks commissioner, now SVP of The Trust for Public Land Adrian Benepe: "Parks are cathedrals, especially now. Across the country, urban outdoor spaces are playing roles as places of respite and hope. Now is the time to make sure they are kept open as much as public health concerns allow."

●  Russell talks to Romano, Crispino, and Prochner re: the "daunting challenge" to "deliver thousands of COVID-19 rooms in weeks" as our "healthcare infrastructure is breaking under the strain" ("We're looking at a cathedral").

●  Gerfen parses MASS Design Group's open-source resource offering "information and best practices developed over a decade of designing to minimize the spread of infection": "There's an incredible amount of need for designers and architects to be of service," sayeth Murphy.

●  Rhode Island-based architect Baldwin ponders "public life in the time of pandemics. Can we redesign quotidian routines that maintain sociability at a distance, that dim the lights of civic life without switching them all off?"

●  Kamin's cure for cabin fever: Take a walk - with the world on pause, you've got a chance to hit your own pause button and see things you've never taken the time to see before" (but "be sure to maintain the social distancing").


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