Today’s News - Thursday, May 7, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 12. 'Til then: Stay well. Stay safe. Stay in!

●  Zeiger minces no words re: "the cruelness of demolishing LACMA - half will be erased - all we will be left with is the museum's ambiguous future in the form of a construction shed surrounding a ditch seeping tar" (Citizens' Brigade competition "schemes aren't particularly great. Then again, neither is Zumthor's").

●  Gunts reports on an NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission's review of "a seemingly innocuous" schoolyard fence proposal that "turned into a larger, Jane Jacobsean-discussion about urban playgrounds in general" and "creeping privatization" (a faux-ivy vinyl screen and Zoom issues included).

●  Q&A with Cooper Robertson's Donald Clinton re: large-scale, mixed-use developments: Can megaprojects become actual neighborhoods? They "can be very successful as true neighborhoods, but to be viable and livable - one of the most important questions is: How does it connect with, and integrate into, the surrounding city?"

●  Welton considers Thomas Phifer's North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, 10 years later: "Inside, the building continues to articulate its commanding essay on the power of natural light," and though the museum has gone virtual for now, its art park (the largest in the U.S.) is open. "For life during a time of Coronavirus, that's an exotic visual treat. And it's free" (+ link to video Q&As).

●  The Australian Institute of Architects 2020 National Prizes announced: The "architect's architect" John Wardle wins the 2020 Gold Medal ; President's Prize: Sydney Mayor Clover Moore; Leadership in Gender Equity Prize: Parlour; and more!

●  Call for entries - deadline looms!: COVID-19 Design Innovation Grants, sponsored by the International Design Awards (IDA) in collaboration with European Product Design Awards (ePDA).

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: The New Norm: A Report by Peter Piven: The results of a survey of firm principals across the U.S. about the differences they envision in technology/working remotely, in markets and marketing, in work life and culture, and in society in our post-pandemic future.

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Weinstein cheers Impelluso & Fusaro's "Villas and Gardens of the Renaissance": What better escapist yet relevant book could an architect desire? The splendors of Italian Renaissance architecture illuminate our Dark Age and transform eye candy into brain food.

Weekend diversions + Page-turners:

●  Detroit gallery Library Street Collective offers "SITE: Art and Architecture in the Digital Space" that inserts "works by an exciting and diverse coterie of contemporary artists" into James Haefner's "evocative photographs" of some of the city's landmarks (sales proceeds go to good causes).

●  The 2020 Barcelona Architecture Week launches today, "this time with a 'from-home' edition," and includes Fundació Mies van der Rohe's virtual exhibition "Architectures on the Waterfront" and the European Conference on Architecture & the Media.

●  Tokyo-based architect and video blogger Martin van der Linden teams up with the Virtual Design Festival "to present a selection of his best short architecture videos, which explore the urban and architectural landscape of Japan" and "its rather mysterious urbanity."

●  Morgan cheers Baldwin & Bell's "SLICE: The Inhabited Facade": "Simply put, the concept constructs shallow, usable spaces behind a building's façade," and the book "offers a practical and much needed downtown revitalization tool to save the existing fabric - spelled out in clear language."

●  Lamster is quite taken by "new revelations" about why La Reunion, a socialist commune, failed in Dallas, found in the late architect James Pratt's "Sabotaged: Dreams of Utopia in Texas" - a "compulsively researched book" that turns "history on its head. Why do communities fail - with "quarantine and our civic institutions under assault, it is a question worthy of examination."

●  Favermann recommends three "superior graphic novels" that "cleverly explore the highs and lows of architectural theory as well as urban planning and design. They also delve into the practice of the craft."

COVID-19 news continues:

●  The AIA's Disaster Assistance Committee has "developed the Re-occupancy Assessment Tool to provide public officials, businesses and architects with practices that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public while businesses, stores, restaurants, etc., reopen."

●  King talks to park managers as "Bay Area parks brace for another month of perilous popularity" - they "once again will confront the dilemma of being too much in demand" - restrictions will remain in some, others will be closed ("I hope it's the worst thing, professionally, that I ever do," says one park director).

●  Cheng's Q&A with Woods Bagot CEO Nik Karalis re: "the firm's survival strategy, the importance of collaboration, and the role architecture can play in creating the post-pandemic future": "Ultimately, the important thing is preserving jobs so that we are able to re-scale up."

●  Yuen, parses his architectural software company's 4-day work-week, and what post-pandemic work-life might be: "The workplace shifts we might experience will be less focused on requiring core work hours and more on maintaining consistent communication and connectivity - evidence suggests it's good for business."


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