Today’s News - Thursday, May 14, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 19. 'Til then: Stay well. Stay safe. Stay in!
● ANN feature: Jeffrey Paine & Turan Duda consider: What now, in designing for wellness: "Designers must be at the forefront of ensuring that the spaces of the future embrace the lessons of 2020 without sacrificing beauty, comfort, and our shared need to come together safely and to foster human wellbeing.
● Betsky parses "the last student shelters at Taliesin West - a tradition that dates back to 1937" - as the school goes "into exile, with a new name yet to be determined" (it can't refer to either Wright or Taliesin).
● Kennicott paints wonderful word pictures of his December visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House in Buffalo, NY - "one of the great masterpieces of [FLW's] architecture - its two-decade return to glory is an inspiring story. In a perfect world, you'd be able to visit" in full bloom (with a rainy-day side trip to Graycliff - our favorite).
● Architecture Research Office takes home the AIA 2020 Architecture Firm Award (our heartiest congrats!) + Yao, Cassell, and Yarinksy's (often amusing/irreverent) responses to an "architect's version of the Proust questionnaire."
● The International Living Future Institute: celebrates its 2020 Living Future Heroes - an interesting and impressive mix of "individuals in the regenerative design community."
● 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.
Weekend diversions + Page-Turners:
● Ravenscroft parses all eight episodes of Netflix's "Abstract: The Art of Design" series, now available - for free! - on YouTube (link included).
● NYCxDESIGN has migrated from physical spaces to "a curated collection of NYC's best virtual design platforms. Explore films, webinars, online galleries, design learning and more."
● WantedDesign joins the fun with an online podcasts and live talks through next Friday - check out Be Original Americas on May 19: "Reinvention Time," led by Caroline Baumann, former Director, Cooper Hewitt - and other very cool folk "who have shifted their missions and re-imagined their life and their work."
● Parman cheers the news that Design Book Review (1983-2002), the quarterly he co-founded that "documented two important decades in the history of design in an unusually thorough way" and has been behind a firewall, is now "back from the dead" and accessible via California College of the Arts + Q&A (fab covers - we want the car!).
● Wainwright cheers "The Property Lobby: The Hidden Reality Behind the Housing Crisis," Colenutt's "urgent new book" that "brilliantly" exposes the grip "fat cat developers" and lobbyists have on Britain - "and provides several suggestions for a possible way out - there is no longer any excuse not to act" (not just the U.K.!).
● Max Kuo considers "Unresolved Legibility in Residential Types," Thenhaus's "idiosyncratic rumination on 10 different types of American residential architecture": While it "can be difficult to apprehend at times - there are plenty of delights throughout."
● Budds invites critics, curators, historians, and archivists to recommend "5 essential books to understand mid-century design. Get the lay of the land from these historian-approved tomes."
COVID-19 news continues:
● Columbia University and its Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space offer 20 free(!) weekly lectures that explore "AEC industry experiences from COVID-19," with speakers from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Seoul, and Singapore."
● Saffron x 2: She ponders what Philly's Center City, now "a ghost town," will "look like when the virus subsides. Our lives today may be the prototype for how downtowns will look in the future."
● She considers the future of corporate offices and "gleaming trophy towers" in a post-pandemic world, given that "many employees seem to like their new arrangement" of working from home - many employers like the idea, too - but "will management compensate them for providing their own workplace, or just pocket the savings?"
● Ravenscroft, meanwhile, reports that U.K.-based Weston Williamson + Partners has in mind "a social-distancing office" to allow its 100 employees who "want to return to the office the opportunity to do so. 'Some are very enthusiastic about moving out of their flats'" - a "template for other companies," too.
● Portland, Oregon-based Mackenzie has "just put out a COVID-19 design guide available for any business to download - remember cubicles? They might make a comeback."
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ANN feature: Jeffrey Paine, FAIA & Turan Duda, FAIA: INSIGHT: Design for Wellness: What Now? Designers must be at the forefront of ensuring that the spaces of the future embrace the lessons of 2020 without sacrificing beauty, comfort, and our shared need to come together safely and to foster human wellbeing.- ArchNewsNow.com
Aaron Betsky: The Last Student Shelters at Taliesin West: the end of a tradition at the School of Architecture at Taliesin: As of July 31, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will no longer allow the school to use either of the two campuses...nor will it be able to use any name that refers to either Wright or Taliesin. The school will go into exile, with a new name yet to be determined...the six shelters students constructed over the past year...will be the last such examples of a tradition that dates back to 1937...each student has interpreted Wright’s legacy in a radically different manner... -- Dylan Pero; Cynthia Godinez; Michael Simmons; Jose Amayo; Lorraine Etchell; Clara de los Rios; Anh Luc- Architect Magazine
Philip Kennicott: This Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece is back in bloom after a 20-year restoration. In a perfect world, you’d be able to visit: At the Martin House in Buffalo, all that’s missing is an audience for the glory of spring: ...one of the most important and ambitious building complexes Wright designed...I visited [it], and Graycliff...on the shores of Lake Erie, in December...part of the remarkable legacy the architect left in this city...The house is one of the great masterpieces of [his] architecture, and its two-decade return to glory is an inspiring story.- Washington Post
AIA 2020 Architecture Firm Award: Architecture Research Office: “We create architecture that unites beauty and form with strategy and intelligence": ...founded in 1993 by Kim Yao, Stephen Cassell, and Adam Yarinksy, has pushed the boundaries of practice...Here ARO responds to our architect’s version of the Proust questionnaire. "ARO was founded under a combination of good timing, opportunity, necessity, and friendship...There is a strict no-asshole policy within the office...Our biggest extravagance is...the curated coffee and crowdsourced selection of beers."- Architect Magazine
International Living Future Institute: Celebrating our 2020 Living Future Heroes: ...created to acknowledge and celebrate individuals in the regenerative design community... -- Jane Abernethy/Humanscale; George Bandy Jr./Mohawk Group/Green Business Certification; Alessandro Bisagni/BEE Incorporations; Andreas Gyr/Google; Rex Hohlbein/Facing Homelessness/BLOCK Architects/BLOCK Project; Melissa Kops/Pirie Associates; Jenn LaFreniere/BLOCK Architects/BLOCK Project; Drew Lavine/Re:Vision; Jacqueline Patterson/NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program; Drew Shula/Verdical Group; Ellen Southard/Site Story- Trim Tab/International Living Future Institute
Tom Ravenscroft: Watch all eight episodes of Netflix's "Abstract: The Art of Design" series: ...available on Youtube as part of an initiative to make its documentaries free to watch during the coronavirus lockdown...The series follows eight leading designers operating in different industries.- Dezeen
NYCxDESIGN: The Virtual Experience: a curated collection of NYC's best virtual design platforms. Explore films, webinars, online galleries, design learning and more.- NYCxDESIGN
WantedDesign, in response to the cancellation of the 2020 fair, put together an online program with daily episodes of Clever podcast and live talks through and May 22. May 19: "Reinvention Time - Life Stories of Renewal & Realignment": Be Original Americas presents Caroline Baumann, former Director, Cooper Hewitt, leads a conversation with 4 dynamic “originals”who have shifted their missions and re-imagined their life and their work. -- John Edelman, former CEO, Design Within Reach; Bruce Mau, Co-Founder, Massive Change Network; Deborah Needleman, Editor; Lisa Strausfeld, Founder, Informationart; Design Milk + Clever- WantedDesign
John Parman: Re: Design Book Review (1983-2002): ...the quarterly that Laurie Snowden and I founded in 1983, was digitized in its entirety by Google and placed behind a firewall...David Meckel at California College of the Arts in San Francisco...“I can’t believe we own this!” At that moment, the stars finally aligned, bringing DBR back from the dead...One impetus for starting DBR was the volume of design-related titles in the early 1980s...It documents two important decades in the history of design in an unusually thorough way... -- Richard Ingersoll; Cathy Lang Ho; Bill Littman- Medium
Oliver Wainwright: Fatcat developers created our housing crisis. Here's how to stop them: Housebuilders, armed with foreign cash and backed by top lobbyists, keep property prices high. But Bob Colenutt has brilliantly exposed the grip they have on Britain: In his urgent new book, "The Property Lobby: The Hidden Reality Behind the Housing Crisis," he identifies the RICS [Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors] as one of numerous actors in a complex network...engaged in propping up the status quo to ensure that their interests prosper - at the expense of everyone else. The housing crisis is no accident...[he] identifies how we got into this situation, and provides several suggestions for a possible way out...Seeing the stark reality spelled out in such clear terms...there is no longer any excuse not to act.- Guardian (UK)
Max Kuo: "Unresolved Legibility in Residential Types" by Clark Thenhaus is a deep dive into American Housing: ...an idiosyncratic rumination on 10 different types of American residential architecture...The purpose of [its] diversity of content, tantalizing in different ways, can be difficult to apprehend at times...celebrates the cultural politics of building practices and the many audiences that exist beyond the navel-gazing expertise of architects...there are plenty of delights throughout. -- ALLTHATISSOLID; Endemic Architecture- The Architect's Newspaper
Diana Budds: 5 essential books to understand midcentury design: Get the lay of the land from these historian-approved tomes: We asked curators, historians, and archivists to recommend their favorite titles. Alexandra Lange: "Mid-Century Modern Architecture Travel Guides" by Sam Lubell and Darren Bradley; Juliet Kinchin/MoMA: "Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century" by Pat Kirkham; Amy Auscherman/Herman Miller: "In a Cloud, In a Wall, In a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury" edited by Zoë Ryan; Sam Lubell: "Ezra Stoller" by Pierluigi Serraino; Sarah Archer: "Vital Forms: American Art and Design in the Atomic Age" edited by Brooke Kamin Rapaport and Kevin L. Stayton- Curbed
Columbia University | CBIPS: AEC Industry Experiences from COVID-19: What We Did | What We Are Doing | What We Will Do: ...will address past, current, and future initiatives, constraints, and budgets. Weekly programs are scheduled every Tuesday from noon to 1 PM EST, via Zoom. There is no fee to participate...20 weekly lectures between now and the end of August, with speakers from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Seoul and Singapore.- Columbia University Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space (CBIPS)
Inga Saffron: Philly’s downtown is a ghost town. What will it look like when the virus subsides? Center City is likely to bear the economic brunt...What’s unknown is whether Philadelphia’s eclectic downtown will ever recapture the same level of activity and dynamism that existed before we learned to say COVID-19...If people have fewer reasons to make the trip, can downtown remain the democratic meeting ground it has always been...Will the daily tide of daily commuters...be diminished? Will tourists, who dropped $7 billion on the city’s economy in 2018, visit...the crisis has shown that we still want to gather [in] public spaces. Our lives today may be the prototype for how downtowns will look in the future. -- Brent Toderian- Philadelphia Inquirer
Inga Saffron: Will we ever work in the company office again? What happens to the corporate office can potentially reshape the downtown office district as we know it, depopulating gleaming trophy towers and further depleting the tax revenues of American cities: Creativity and productivity have improved since everyone began hunkering down in their homes...Big corporate offices...could be transformed into something more like conference centers...many employees seem to like their new arrangement...Given the choice between retrofitting their offices with expensive safety features, or allowing employees to work from home, it’s a good bet that many companies will choose the latter...it will...shift the cost of maintaining and renting office space from the company to the employees. Will management compensate them for providing their own workplace, or just pocket the savings? -- Brian Phillips/ISA; John B. Campbell/FCA- Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Ravenscroft: Weston Williamson + Partners envisions social-distancing office: ...with transparent screens around desks, hands-free doors and a barista...to allow employees that want to return to the office the opportunity to do so..."We want to give our colleagues the choice...Some are very enthusiastic about moving out of their flats"...the studio intends on allowing at least half of its 100 staff to work from home each day, with office attendance assigned by day...it could serve as a template for other companies trying to figure out how employees can safely return to the office. -- Chris Williamson- Dezeen
Portland, Oregon, architect firm envisions look of workplaces following pandemic: Face-to-face work stations could be out while hands-free technology and one-way traffic could be the new trends: Mackenzie | Architecture, Engineering, Design, Planning just put out a COVID-19 design guide available for any business to download...remember cubicles? They might also make a comeback...the biggest challenge will be restrooms...The bottom line is things might look different when we head back to our workplaces. It might even be a bit uncomfortable at first. But all those changes will make them safer. -- Dietrich Wieland- KGW-TV (Portland, Oregon)
ANN feature: The New Norm: A Report by Peter Piven, FAIA: 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.- ArchNewsNow.com
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