Today’s News - Tuesday, May 12, 2020

●  A sad way to start the day: Bernstein brings us the news that we've lost Cooper Robertson's Jaque Robertson, the architect and planner "known for his extreme erudition and wit - the ideology he best represented was common sense" + Link to a personal tribute by Robert A.M. Stern: "Jaque prevented New York from destroying itself."

●  Hewitt's personal tribute to The Architect's Newspaper's Bill Menking: "AN could persist because it stayed focused on bread-and-butter issues, not on fleeting theories or glamorous color spreads. He won't be replaced. He won't be forgotten. His wide-eyed vision will remain in that little newspaper."

●  Sidewalk Labs calls it quits (for now) on Quayside, its Toronto Waterfront mega-project - it "considered that the coronavirus crisis has made the smart city-within-a-city project financially unsustainable."

●  Wainwright minces no words re: the "miserable mishmash" plans (and its "garbled platitudes") for Gateshead Quays on the River Tyne - the "local authority clearly has more urgent priorities. But that's no excuse to see the waterfront desecrated with such mediocre fare."

●  Gaul calls into question the wisdom of walling off ("a big wall of distraction") Charleston, South Carolina's "historic downtown from rising seas and surging storms - just one of a growing number of extravagantly expensive barriers proposed to defend U.S. coastal cities."

●  aLL Design's plans for student housing in Cambridge, U.K., is being "compared to a spaceship" by "an architect on steroids" (the spirit of Will Alsop lives!).

●  China clamps down on "copies of foreign architecture - 'plagiarizing, imitating, and copycatting' designs is prohibited in new public facilities" (heights of new skyscrapers also limited).

●  Dickinson considers "architecture's vernacular in a post-COVID-19 world. Right now, being International is to be endangered - and density has risk. This is not about 'traditional'" or "'style.' There is meaning in indigenous materials - the context of our time and our communities. Architecture should aspire to be of our lives, rather than reflect how we want our lives to be."

●  Victoria Young, University of St. Thomas Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences, is named president of the Society of Architectural Historians (our heartiest congrats!).

●  VJAA's Jennifer Yoos is appointed head of the University of Minnesota's School of Architecture - "the latest in a string of women rising to top spots at architecture schools in recent years."

●  Heathcote (not behind a paywall!): "128 Things About the City: 1. Time wandering the streets is never wasted. 97. Ghost signs" (this should make you smile!).

●  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.

COVID-19 news continues (last items - fun stuff for kids and creatives!):

●  Crosbie's Q&A with educator and researcher Ashraf Salama re: "how might COVID-19 change architecture and urban design" and architectural education: Public health issues, biophilic design, environment-behavior studies, and building performance "will be brought from the margins" + Link to peer-reviewed paper on some of his findings.

●  James Hamblin, M.D., makes the case for opening streets - to people: "The decision to crack down on parks rather than make more space available is a microcosm of America's default to punitive rather than restorative justice. We assume the worst in people. Dynamite the asphalt, sod the land, plant trees and flowers, and do not look back."

●  Ockert delves into "what coronavirus can teach architecture schools about virtual learning - most institutions are not producing the creative thinkers the world urgently needs - how we currently teach today produces groupthink - the move to online learning is a fantastic opportunity to remove some of the inflexible bureaucracy that has built up over decades."

●  Speaking of online learning, the Society of Architectural Historians' SAH Archipedia "offers teaching resources, including K-12 lesson plans and research and writing tools for university levels that emphasize the history of the built environment" - and "promote literacy skills and discussion."

●  And now for the fun stuff: Ravenscroft rounds u[p "five of the most entertaining architecture, design, and engineering activities for children to ward off the boredom of coronavirus lockdown."

●  A spotlight on AIANY's Center for Architecture #architectureathome "fun family activities to help kids develop new skill sets while instilling the importance of learning about the built environment - with downloadable PDF content that parents and educators can use."


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