Today’s News - Tuesday, April 14, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: We've been mourning the loss of our friend and hero Michael Sorkin. Now, we are heartbroken once again with the passing of another friend and hero, Bill Menking of The Architect's Newspaper fame - and so much more. A sad way to start the news day…

●  Shaw paints a perfect portrait of Bill Menking, co-founder, with Diana Darling, and editor-in-chief of The Architect's Newspaper: "Art was his life and he made life into an art" - he "was always in the right place at the right time, agitating and connecting, breathing life into whatever was around him" (Bergdoll, Weiss, Stern, Lambert, and Franch I Gilabert weigh in).

●  Bernstein: William Menking "was an indispensable part of the architecture world. His belief that architecture should be a tool for social justice was clear in all of his endeavors."

●  University of Manitoba's Lisa Landrum pays eloquent tribute to Michael Sorkin and his "'propaganda of optimism - a prolific champion of felicitous serendipities. In 1994, I had the privilege of being a student. I have since led multiple urban studios with my own students, some deploying Sorkinesque twists."

●  NYT's science writer Cornelia Dean delves into how coastal communities are trying "inventive strategies" to save historic structures - "repeated flooding is prompting an urgent rethink, including consideration of an array of unconventional or even bizarre remedies."

●  Donatelli profiles five female architects who "are shaping Cleveland" by "leveraging their design background in unexpected and impactful ways to shape the larger civic landscape."

●  Reiner-Roth brings us Sharon Davis Design's rammed earth community hospital in rural Nepal, "primarily built using low-tech construction methods," and sustainable strategies "to make the campus as self-sufficient as possible."

●  The Columbia University/Pratt Institute team wins the 2020 ULI Hines Student Urban Design Competition with a mixed-use development proposal for a site in Miami "designed around three pillars: ecology, community, and economy."

●  Robert A.M. Stern Architects' 2020 RAMSA Travel Fellowship goes to Yaxuan Liu, a Master of Architecture candidate at the Harvard GSD, who will "travel along the west coast of Taiwan to document and analyze the historic Qilou building type" and how "cultural influences transformed a single typology over time."

●  A $250,000 National Endowment for the grant will help a University of Arkansas team complete "Housing the Human and the Sacred" that will introduce the "architecture of Fay Jones to a broader audience through interactive gaming technology."

●  Every Friday, The Architect's Newspaper is livestreaming "Trading Notes," a series that tackles questions such as "Supplying the Front Line: Tips for 3D Printing of Medical Components" and "System Disruption: Managing Project Logistics During the Pandemic" (free registration!).

●  Marcus Fairs x 2: Dezeen is launching the Virtual Design Festival tomorrow to "complement and support fairs and festivals that have had to be postponed or cancelled, and provide a platform for design businesses, so they can support their supply chains - everything will be free - get involved."

●  He puts out a call for "video messages from lockdown for Virtual Design Festival."

COVID-19 news continues…

●  Davidson at his best, from NYC: "Looking out my living-room window, I see terror saunter down vacant streets, reclaiming a city that had forgotten how to fear - it's difficult to grasp what kind of city the epidemic will leave behind."

●  Balderrama Morley parses "how architecture is exacerbating the coronavirus crisis for minorities and black Americans," and why architects of color "may flee" the field "in greater numbers, damaging diversity in a profession that is already overwhelmingly white."

●  Wainwright, once again, wonders about "architecture after coronavirus. Is the open-plan office dead? Can skyscrapers survive?" And he "meets the architects already shaping the post-Covid-19 world."

●  Heathcote considers "closing parks when they're needed most" to be "especially cruel. The inoffensive park seems to have become the shifting site of warfare between the nanny-state advocates and police-state doom mongers."

●  Diaz describes how cities are "giving pedestrians and cyclists extra elbow room during the coronavirus pandemic" (NYC "experimented with a short-lived pilot program").

●  King considers whether cars could "emerge with a better image when San Francisco emerges from coronavirus emergency - the problem with cars isn't that they're immoral. It's that they infringe on everything else."

●  Kamin calls for a revival of the Sunday Drive - "a leisurely car trip with no particular destination. Today, with roads of all sorts practically empty, it stands ready as a relief valve for those bottled up in their homes."

●  Sitz's 2-parter re: how the pandemic is affecting a who's who of architectural photographers; Part 1: The impact on their livelihoods.

●  Part 2: How architectural photographers are spending their "unexpected free time": "We are taking lots of photos of the kids!"


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