Today’s News - Thursday, April 9, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days (so we have time to explore the last item!). We'll be back Tuesday, April 14. 'Til then, stay safe, please!

●  Franklin takes a deep dive into how "big things are happening" in Arkansas, "a place that's far from the profession's traditional epicenters," that are pushing it "to the forefront of architectural innovation" - and the many who's who with projects there.

●  Broyles talks to Wheeler Kearns' Calli Verkamp (a native Arkansan) about how she and her team transformed a former Kraft cheese factory into The Momentary, a new contemporary art space for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, and "the latest example of Northwest Arkansas' cultural renaissance."

●  Scholar and critic Marc Treib pens an open letter making the case that National Geographic should not demolish Zimmerman's 1984 "Marabar": "It is a key representative of American site-specific art, elegant in its form, impressive in its use of stone, and engaging in its effects."

●  Hart Howerton 2020 Travel Fellow is Sarah Zamler, a Master of Architecture candidate at Columbia GSAPP, who "will study the history and role of 'The Company Town.'"

●  Eyefuls of Fairy Tales 2020 winners, who "offer tales of warning and hope during uncertain times - through wonderfully crafted short stories and artwork."

●  Barragan reports that demolition of the first of four LACMA buildings "is being torn down right now - clearing the way for a flashy new building - as long as crews follow safety measures" to prevent the spread of the coronavirus + "some images of the fated buildings as we'll remember them."

●  Call for entries (deadline - next Wednesday!): Pop-Up Architecture Competition: More Not Less: LACMA not LackMA, sponsored by The Citizens' Brigade to Save LACMA, with $10,000 in prize money.

●  Call for entries: Dezeen x Samsung Out of the Box Competition (no fee!): design innovative new objects for the home by repurposing cardboard packaging; prizes total $20,000.

Weekend diversions (yes, they still exist!) + Page-turners:

●  Kimmelman and Berke stroll NYC's East River waterfront promenade that "dazzles," and where ropes dangling from the "nondescript" 90th Street ferry landing are part of the Billion Oyster Project - reminding "everybody that the oysters are returning, gurgle, gurgle, doing their job. The city is at work."

●  A round-up of 10 "upcoming art fairs, festivals, and exhibitions available for virtual viewing - an intentionally diverse mix that reflects these weird and challenging times."

●  Camilo José Vergara's "Documenting Crossroads: The Coronavirus in Poor, Minority Communities" is the National Building Museum's online-only exhibition of his "photographs and observations of the urban spaces and people most likely to be affected by COVID-19."

●  Heilmeyer cheers Vitra Design Museum's "Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors" that "creates some important, original, and fun connections between ideas and places" - much of it viewable online + fab slideshow!

●  Every Thursday, you can take a virtual tour of a number Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings: "The hope is that even though the tours are free, digital visitors might still feel inclined to demonstrate a bit of largesse."

●  Bozikovic considers Dougherty's tome "Golden Gates" that "examines the housing crisis and how housing and inequality are connected" in the Bay Area and "other prosperous cities. It's a dark picture, and it's hard to imagine how it will grow brighter after the virus" (is the "the traditional cry of NIMBY going to ring out louder"?).

●  Betsky says: "In these uncertain and gloomy times, it is nice to have voices in architecture that are both forward-looking and filled with humor. If you are looking for such an entertaining (and somewhat acerbic) distraction, I recommend Garcia and Frankowski's "Narrative Architecture: A Kynical Manifesto."

●  Sisam cheers Miller's "comprehensive and very fine" book, "Toronto's Inclusive Modernity: The Architecture of Jerome Markson," and Norsworthy's images that "reaffirm Christopher Hume's observation that Markson is 'the rare architect who creates cities while designing buildings.'"

COVID-19 news continues (last item is for kids, but it's how we plan to spend the weekend!):

●  Arieff looks at how "social distancing gives us a rare chance to fix cities" - it is "glaringly apparent how poorly existing systems (and places) have been working for most. Time and tragedy create opportunity to make them work for all" (a great read!!!).

●  Karrie Jacobs's fab Q&A with Manaugh and Twilley - when they started researching the forthcoming "'The Coming Quarantine" that explores the "connections between quarantine and architecture, they never imagined that they'd be finishing it during a global pandemic."

●  FXCollaborative's Geier: "The resilient nature of the city itself and its residents allows us to come back stronger than ever - it's uplifting to think of how applying that can-do attitude to other crises could result in a better world for cities and beyond."

●  On a lighter - but serious - note: "10 magazine covers that offer creative takes on the coronavirus crisis - from somber to defiant ("F*ck off Covid-19" smiley).

●  One we couldn't resist (and our weekend diversion!): The James Dyson Foundation has come up with "44 engineering challenges for children during lockdown - using common household items."


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