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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Obituary by Matt Shaw: AN co-founder William ‘Bill’ Menking, 72: ...architectural historian and educator...co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Architect’s Newspaper [with Diana Darling]...a prolific curator and writer...tenured professor and trustee at Pratt Institute...curator of the 2008 U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennal...art was his life and he made life into an art...will be remembered as someone who was always in the right place at the right time, agitating and connecting, breathing life into whatever was around him...For me, his influence is palpable: How to avoid the status quo or the cliché...How to do more with less...How to keep the social mission radical. -- Barry Bergdoll; Marion Weiss; Robert A.M. Stern; Phyllis Lambert; Eva Franch I Gilabert- The Architect's Newspaper
Fred A. Bernstein: Obituary: William Menking, 1947-2020: He was an indispensable part of the architecture world long before he and Diana Darling launched [The Architect’s Newspaper]. He was an author and curator with a particular interest in the radical architecture movements of the 1960s and 70s...“Bill was ahead of the curve"...His belief that architecture should be a tool for social justice was clear in all of his endeavors...“He spoke truth to power in a profession saturated with elitism and the cult of personality"... -- Sharon Prince/Grace Farms Foundation; Barry Bergdoll; Harriett Harriss/Frances Bronet/Pratt Institute; Deborah Gans; Walter Meyer- Architectural Record
Lisa Landrum: Propaganda of Optimism: A tribute to Michael Sorkin: Creating joyful, just and sustainable cities remains our urgent task! ...a prolific champion of felicitous serendipities tragically succumbed to...COVID-19...tributes extol Michael’s exceptional wit, ferocious criticism and visionary verve in fighting for the city as a vital instrument of social justice, while also emphasizing his empowering charisma and generous humanity...the hyperbole is warranted...In 1994, I had the privilege of being a student...That studio was unlike any I had experienced before; and, ever since, I’ve been striving to live up to its playful yet principled expectations...I have since led multiple urban studios with my own students, some deploying Sorkinesque twists...- Canadian Architect
Cornelia Dean: Rising Seas Threaten Historic Houses: Coastal communities try inventive strategies to save significant structures: ...along the eastern seaboard...the ocean has risen about a foot since the middle of the 20th century, and the rise is accelerating...three main approaches to saving historic buildings...moving them inland, armoring them with sea walls, or raising them on stilts. But these techniques can destroy the historic character that makes a property worth preserving in the first place...repeated flooding is prompting an urgent rethink, including consideration of an array of unconventional or even bizarre remedies...sea-level rise is a problem that must be tackled not building by building but rather with a community or regional perspective.- Architectural Record
Jen Jones Donatelli: Female Architects Are Shaping Cleveland: Though their career paths have been far from conventional, Allison Lukacsy-Love, Marika Shioiri-Clark, Jennifer Coleman and Lillian Kuri are paving new possibilities in the 216: Professionally trained architects are now at the helm of organizations such as Ingenuity Cleveland, Ohio City Inc. and more - and with “design thinking” skills now in high demand across industries, chances are more architects will be following in their footsteps...leveraging their design background in unexpected and impactful ways to shape the larger civic landscape.- Cleveland Magazine
Shane Reiner-Roth: Sharon Davis Design completes rammed earth community hospital in rural Nepal: 7.5-acre campus is designed to accommodate an estimated 100,000 patients a year...[Bayalpata Hospital] primarily built with locally-sourced rammed earth and stone using low-tech construction methods, with the exception of a reusable, plastic lock-in-place formwork implemented to speed up the construction process...several sustainable guidelines were met to make the campus as self-sufficient as possible by including its own water supply and storage, wastewater treatment facilities, and a photovoltaic array...- The Architect's Newspaper
Team Representing Columbia University and Pratt Institute Wins 2020 ULI Hines Student Urban Design Competition with Plan to Redevelop Miami Site: Members of the winning team were awarded a prize of $50,000... three finalist teams...each will receive $10,000...[mixed-use development proposal] “La Mezcla” is designed around three pillars: ecology, community, and economy.- Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Robert A.M. Stern Architects Announces Winner of 2020 RAMSA Travel Fellowship: Yaxuan Liu, a Master of Architecture candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will be awarded $10,000 to travel along the west coast of Taiwan to document and analyze the historic Qilou building type, which has persisted through waves of cultural influences over nearly three centuries..."Qilou: Where Freedom Takes Shape"...a controlled experiment to trace how a succession of cultural influences transformed a single typology in one region over time.- Robert A.M. Stern Architects
NEH Award Will Help Researchers Expand Work on Fay Jones: "Housing the Human and the Sacred" will introduce the renowned architecture of Fay Jones to a broader audience through interactive gaming technology, made possible by a $250,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.- University of Arkansas News
The Architect’s Newspaper introduces "Trading Notes": Architects and designers transitioning to their living rooms...while trade partners labor on building sites - where they remain open, that is. Who counts as “essential” and “nonessential” in this scenario? Have we been measuring productivity wrong? And what new techniques might emerge to bridge the gap? Friday at 1:00 p.m., [AN] launches...a weekly discussion series that will tackle questions such as these...Registration is free- The Architect's Newspaper
Marcus Fairs: Dezeen announces Virtual Design Festival starting 15 April: With much of the world in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic...It will complement and support fairs and festivals around the world that have had to be postponed or cancelled and will provide a platform for design businesses, so they can, in turn, support their supply chains. We are inviting individuals, companies and organisations to get in touch [and] other architecture and design publications...technology companies and developers... everything will be free...get involved...- Dezeen
Marcus Fairs: Send us a video message from lockdown for Virtual Design Festival and we'll publish the best one: ...VDF, which starts on 15 April and runs until 30 June...will include a special montage of video messages to launch the festival, which will be soundtracked by musician Beatie Wolfe.- Dezeen
Justin Davidson: The Return of Fear New York, a child of disaster, remembers its past: Looking out my living-room window, I see terror saunter down vacant streets, reclaiming a city that had forgotten how to fear. I wonder how long the feeling will linger...The hospital tents in Central Park will be dismantled like a melancholy circus...it’s difficult to grasp what kind of city the epidemic will leave behind...coronavirus...exploits the downside of density...I worry about...how long it will take for the artistic infrastructure to regrow, how many storefronts will reopen, how deeply density will be associated with death...[in 2001] I wrote in a letter to my then-3-year-old son..."This is what I wish for you...that New York will remain the same infuriating, overcrowded, expensive, glamorous mess it was when you were born and that you will come to understand what a privilege it is to make a life here.” He has.- New York Magazine
Jack Balderrama Morley: How architecture is exacerbating the coronavirus crisis for minorities and black Americans: ...particularly housing...crowded housing in low-income neighborhoods could be facilitating the spread of the disease...One answer...is for communities to invest in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods...will require a mix of policy, development, and design professionals working together, ideally with teams that reflect the communities they’re serving..."architects of color will probably struggle to get back to where they were"...black and other minority architects may flee in greater numbers, damaging diversity in a profession that is already overwhelmingly white. -- Kimberly Dowdell/HOK; National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA)- The Architect's Newspaper
Oliver Wainwright: Smart lifts, lonely workers, no towers or tourists: architecture after coronavirus: Is the open-plan office dead? Can skyscrapers survive? Will our phones control everything from the lights to ordering coffee? Our writer meets the architects already shaping the post-Covid-19 world: ...our cities and buildings have always been shaped by disease...Form has always followed fear of infection, just as much as function...some have been blaming the density of cities for the rapid spread of the disease...some of the densest cities in the world have proved to be the best at curbing the spread...Some are using the current crisis to take a step back and reassess fundamental assumptions about how cities are structured. -- Design Research Unit; Darren Comber/Scott Brownrigg; Arjun Kaicker; Foster + Partners; Zaha Hadid Architects; Sara Jensen Carr; Wouter Vanstiphout- Guardian (UK)
Edwin Heathcote: Closing parks when they’re needed most is especially cruel: These spaces have always been at centre of power, class warfare and both progressive and far-right politics: The inoffensive park seems to have become the shifting site of warfare between the nanny-state advocates and police-state doom mongers...Urban parks are usually conceived as a public good, but they always embody another agenda. Whether gentrification, slum clearance, inflating real estate value...their accessibility and openness often masks unseen goals...to close the parks when they are needed most looks like a particular cruelty. -- Robert Moses; Joseph Paxton; Frederick Law Olmsted- Financial Times (UK)
Johnny Diaz: Cities Close Streets to Cars, Opening Space for Social Distancing: Boston, Minneapolis, Oakland and other cities...giving pedestrians and cyclists extra elbow room during the coronavirus pandemic: New York City...experimented with a short-lived pilot program...In Oakland, some 74 miles of roadway...will eventually be closed to through motor traffic...Boston suburb of Brookline...approved the extension of sidewalks...modifications repurpose parking lanes...Jonathan Berk, a proponent of new urbanism, applauded the efforts...said they allow residents to see their cities in a new light. -- Samuel I. Schwartz- New York Times
John King: Could cars emerge with a better image when SF emerges from coronavirus emergency? ...private automobiles have a role to play in large cities - even ones like San Francisco, where public policy...has focused on trying to carve out space for as many transportation options as possible while also making streets safer and more enticing for pedestrians...as congestion increased with each economic boom, so have initiatives to create alternatives to lone car drivers gridlocking streets...People who rely on cars...bristle...advocates for cycling and walking are upset that changes aren’t made more quickly...the problem with cars isn’t that they’re immoral. It’s that they infringe on everything else.- San Francisco Chronicle
Blair Kamin: Revive the Sunday Drive - suddenly it’s once again a great way to escape home and see your city: Those of a certain age will remember...It was...a leisurely car trip with no particular destination...Today, with roads of all sorts practically empty, [it] beckons anew...Judging by the number of car parades that have popped up to celebrate birthdays and other milestones, the authorities aren’t cracking down on pleasure driving...Advocates of pedestrian-friendly cities and mass transit may be shocked to hear me championing the Sunday Drive. But...in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, [it] stands ready as a relief valve for those bottled up in their homes...- Chicago Tribune
Miriam Sitz: Pandemic Threatens Architectural Photographers’ Livelihoods: RECORD spoke with 10 photographers across the globe about how they’re navigating the rapidly changing landscape...While some shoots have been rescheduled for the summer, others...are on hold until fall at earliest...Travel bans and international flight cancellations ruled out work for others...many have at least part-time help...situation is not so good for freelance assistants...Repercussions of the pandemic will undoubtedly shape the industry going forward, but just how, and how much, is anyone’s guess...."the impact on our clients will ultimately determine the impact on us, the photographers.” -- Albert Vecerka/Esto; Danica Kus; Roland Halbe; Nick Merrick/Hall + Merrick; Steve Hall; Kendall McCaugherty; Younes Bounhar/Amanda Large/doublespace photography; Casey Dunn; Peter Molick; Ema Peter; Bruce Damonte- Architectural Record
Miriam Sitz: Left with Unexpected Free Time, Architectural Photographers Catch Up and Plan Ahead: With most construction brought to a standstill and photo shoots postponed indefinitely, many photographers are facing an unexpected break in their usual pace...10 professionals [share] the ways they are using that time...“we are taking lots of photos of the kids!” -- Alan Karchmer; Peter Molick; Ema Peter; Casey Dunn; Timothy Hursley; Nick Merrick/Hall + Merrick; Amanda Large/Younes Bounhar/doublespace photography; Albert Vecerka- Architectural Record
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