Today’s News - Tuesday, May 26, 2020

●  Design historian Bess Williamson on "the state of accessible architecture": "Hunters Point Library stands as one of the more notable architectural blunders in several decades of them - access is rarely more than an afterthought," but perhaps 3 much less familiar projects "will shape new practices that center disability rather than treat it as a sideline."

●  Kamin x 2: He gets a sneak-peek of Chicago's once-threatened Cook County Hospital - "a triumph of historic preservation" by SOM and KOO that gives "new life to an ornate, more-is-more work of architecture" - and much, much more.

●  He reports that SOM's "plan for two skyline-altering residential skyscrapers" to replace the gaping hole - all that remains of the Calatrava-designed Chicago Spire site - "moves a step closer to groundbreaking" (but also faces "the financial hurdle of a sharp, pandemic-induced economic downturn").

●  Immen on how "interest in Indigenous design" in Toronto "has been growing as a response to globalization and a search for architectural styles that convey a sense of place," but "because there are only 16 Indigenous architects in Canada," such "features work within contemporary buildings - co-designed with non-Indigenous architects."

●  Eyefuls of SPARK Architects' master plan for the 12.9+ million-square-foot Guangzhou Shipyard that aims "to create a people friendly world class waterfront founded on the pragmatic principles of good connectivity, density, and quality public spaces."

●  Fairs reports on Adam Nathaniel Furman's colorful "New London Fabulous" design movement: "Design education 'brainwashes' students into rejecting color, pattern, and ornament," but "a group of London designers is finally overcoming bias against their use" and "overturning entrenched bias in the design establishment."

●  Kenney reports on how National Geographic is going to defend its "disputed plan to remove" Zimmerman's 1984 "Marabar" to D.C.'s preservation review board this Thursday: It doesn't "qualify as a historic landmark. Nor is it 'a feature of the Washington built landscape that draws attention' - the existing redesign concept for its campus will fulfill a public good."

●  Deadline extended to June 1! Call for entries: 2020 North American Copper in Architecture Awards (projects must be located in the U.S. or Canada).

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Katie Faulkner: The wickedly funny Michael Sorkin, known to many as Comrade, was a social justice warrior. He maintained perpetual outrage in the course of writing 20 books and hundreds of articles, honing his invectives for gentrification, Disneyfication, waste, and conspicuous consumption.

COVID-19 news continues:

●  A do-over (we had wrong URL on Thursday - and this is a great read!): Alissa Walker's (impressive!) takedown of some urbanists who "are using the coronavirus" to perpetuate "the delusion that all cities need are denser neighborhoods, more parks, and open streets to magically become 'fairer.'"

●  King at his best: "What lies ahead for post-shutdown cities? Depending on which supposedly omniscient source you prefer, the specter of a lethal virus signals the end to dense cities once and for all - or a chance to return to the creative, inclusive urban ideal - much of what we are hearing will turn out to be irrelevant or wrong."

●  Kate Wagner's (serious with a dose of humor) takedown of the "design phenomenon" she calls "Coronagrifting - cheap mockups of COVID-related design 'solutions'" by "tone-deaf art world creeps - filling the endlessly scrollable feeds of PR-beholden design websites" that "should frankly know better" ("PR-chitecture" at its worst).

●  Moore considers: "Will Covid-19 show us how to design better cities? It would require creative use of the planning system. A virus can't change city planning all by itself, but it can be used as a chance to push changes whose time has come."

●  Emma Grey Ellis looks at "how smart city planning could slow future pandemics - it's time to start thinking proactively, and long-term. If the cost of inaction is another pandemic, prevention is worth the price."

●  Frank McDonald dreams of a Dublin that "could be heaven - we need to dream about a different world: cracking down on the Airbnb plague; promoting more affordable housing rather than office blocks we may no longer need; shopping locally instead of enriching Amazon…"

●  Norfleet reports on how LEED, RELi and WELL building certification systems are looking "to adjust to the COVID-19 era - piloting tweaks to respond to the spread" of the virus - and "asking for ideas on how they can continue to evolve."

●  Bernstein talks to some of the best re: "How architects are already planning the future of offices. Will some large office buildings become white elephants? Not necessarily."

●  Juliette Kayyem, formerly with the Department of Homeland Security, considers how the coronavirus "killed corporate culture. Get used to working from home. It has accelerated trends that were already under way."


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