Today’s News - Wednesday, April 8, 2020

●  Hickman reports that "one of the largest surviving sections" of the Berlin Wall in a "not particularly touristy" suburb was demolished to make way for condos - the Berlin Wall Foundation and others "were left 'horrified,'" but "city officials seemed largely unsympathetic to the outrage."

●  Brandon profiles a 1940s-era Las Vegas motel "transformed into a retail and community hub" that "offers a lesson in historic preservation and human resilience in times of social distancing."

●  Whiteman profiles "the Australian architects designing homes to withstand bushfires - it's possible to create a fire-resistant home that doesn't resemble a bunker."

●  Reiner-Roth reports on the University of Kentucky and Somewhere Appalachia's The Somewhere Project "to transform coal mining sites into arts spaces" - final projects will be presented on May 1 and exhibited at the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale.

●  Australian ABC RN radio's Qada "riffs on creativity, design, and toys" in a Q&A with design critic Alexandra Lange and product design educator Barry Kudrowitz re: how "design and creativity really can work together."

Deadlines & Winners all:

●  Call for entries: The Terraforming and Strelka Ma's The Revenge of the Real - "a joint call for papers, projects, and research "to address the core issues of establishing a viable planetarity through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic and its urban realities."

●  Call for entries: Tree House Module international ideas competition to design a tree house for three French castles, open to 18-35-year-olds; cash prizes (early bird registration - save money!).

●  Call for entries: The Architect's Newspaper 6th annual Best of Products Awards (early bird registration - save money!).

●  University of Virginia & Monticello announce recipients of 2020 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture: Weiss & Manfredi; Citizen Leadership: Dr. J. Shah, The Rockefeller Foundation; Global Innovation: Ted Turner; Law: Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.

●  Harvard GSD selects three finalists for the $100,000 2020 Wheelwright Prize.

●  Eyefuls of the winners of the Kiribati Floating Houses Young Architects Competition.

COVID-19 news continues - last two items are much-needed light-hearted notes:

●  McGuigan ponders how "the pandemic is changing how we practice and how we live" - large firms are coping "with relative ease"; it's more difficult for smaller firms; and "architecture schools have had to make dramatic changes as well."

●  Ing takes a deep dive into how the roughly 18,000 architecture students in the U.K. are "coping with coronavirus shutdowns - and what it could mean for their futures. Even when students do finish, they face an industry in crisis."

●  Joyner's great Q&A with architect, design strategist, and Slack's sr. experience designer Evelyn Lee re: "business continuity during a time of crisis": "We are three recessions away from becoming extinct as a profession," which has "never been agile, but it's never too late to start building some of that in."

●  Lamster: "During the pandemic, it seemed natural to turn to the poet laureate of Dallas architecture Max Levy to find meaning in architecture in this difficult moment" (renderings are splendid!).

●  A serious look at "how Covid-19 is shaping the future of senior living architecture and design" (from personal experience - it can't happen soon enough!).

●  As NYC's St. John the Divine transforms to a field hospital, Hickman looks at how Indian Railways is transforming 20,000 "old train cars into coronavirus quarantine coaches that can be deployed to remote and hard-hit areas" - oddly, "air-conditioned carriages are being held for regular passenger use when service resumes" (with links to detailed reports).

●  Cannon Design's Dylan Coonrad "reimagines public street signs to reflect a world facing coronavirus" (our fave: a plastic yellow Caution Wet Floor stand replaced "with text that reads Celebrate Healthcare Workers - the person icon waving its arms in celebration instead of slipping on a wet surface").

●  Stinson highlights Zoom's virtual backdrops for video chats inspired by famous rooms of "Friends," "Big Little Lies," "Seinfeld," "Frasier," and more (let's hope they're secure!).


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