Today’s News - Thursday, July 9, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, July 14. In the meantime, this week's Weekend diversions include virtual shows (except one - in the U.S., of course) - and exhibitions you can actually walk through (what a concept!) in Berlin and Norfolk, U.K.
● ANN feature: Bloszies' Left Coast Reflections #7: Plague 2.0: Architects, for the most part, are idealists but have little power to affect change beyond altering the built environment one building at a time. What does COVID-19 portend when economic growth is driven by "greed-ocracy."
● Lamster cheers the Trinity Park Conservancy's plans to reimagine "the ugliest building in Dallas" and develop new playgrounds by MVVA along the Trinity River that "will dramatically reshape the entry into downtown, transforming what is now an unremarkable journey into a dramatic scenic passage" (click "Yesterday's News" above for RFQ for Dawson Jail project - deadline July 23).
● Kimmelman parses proposals to turn NYC into a "biking city" with "425 miles of interconnected bike lanes" and "new car-free bridges into Manhattan from Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The main obstacle is political courage - not engineering."
● Goyanes reports on "'a real climate of fear' as students and former staff speak out about the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's CEO" with "allegations of intimidation, threatening comments, retaliation, and a hostile work environment" (reads like a bad/sad soap opera - but the characters are real).
● Sussman & Ward: "Science tells us we're attracted to buildings that are connected to our bodies" using Sicily's FestiWall, "devoted to enhancing the public realm," and biometric software.
● Jocelyn Rogers offers a wonderful profile of Julian Abele, whose "legacy is no longer in 'the shadows' - his story serves as a poignant yet inspiring example of the challenges faced by generations of African American architects."
● Balderrama Morley's Q&A with Goteh, Grandoit, and Stillwell, founders of Deem, a new "biannual journal that approaches design as a social practice": "Design fell in love with itself and forgot about the people."
● USGBC names recipients of its 2020 European Leadership Award: "Watch and see how five companies are advancing sustainable, healthy, and resilient buildings, cities, and communities."
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Peter Piven's "The New Norm, Part 2: Finances": Recommendations and mandates to fight the COVID-19 pandemic impacted architectural practices immediately. The operational changes have financial consequences.
Of protests, racism, and urban issues - the industry responds:
● Saffron puts a spotlight on "Philadelphia monuments we need to preserve" - Black cultural sites that should be "properly recognized and supported - especially those that desperately need some TLC right now."
● Wandile Mthiyane, founder and CEO of UDG, an architectural organization that focuses on social impact design projects, explains why "it's important for us as architects to take responsibility for the fact that design has historically been one of the most powerful tools to perpetuate systemic racism. Architecture is never neutral; it either heals or hurts" (his summer abroad program sounds cool!).
● Germane Barnes' reading list: "My research practice attempts to interrogate a multitude of issues in disenfranchised black communities and raise awareness of the legacies those communities possess. These texts provide entry to those legacies."
COVID-19 news continues:
● Zeiger delves into how "the magnitude of this pandemic" has made clear "that architecture's capacity to protect is limited - it's now, while everything is in flux, that new, hybrid approaches might take root - especially since COVID-19 and the ongoing climate crisis are not just parallel emergencies but intertwined."
● Leah Kemp, of the Small Town Center at MSU, looks at "how small towns are responding to the pandemic" to remain "active and vibrant" - they are "more nimble and responsive to crisis than cities," with "fewer regulations and more opportunities to be creative about problem-solving."
● Sisson looks at how, while "the pandemic hastens the retail apocalypse, some developers are betting that empty malls can mix housing with stores and community space."
● Suchayan Mandal looks at how architects in India see a green future in a post-COVID-19 world - "the need for sustainable buildings with the focus on hygiene will be the calling card of urban planning - turning existing buildings green will add an edge to the green movement."
● Roychowdhury delves into how COVID-19 is transforming hospital design in India: "The buzz words seem to be a modular design [and] recycling sea containers" - the pandemic should also "act as a warning to correct the defective infrastructure and policies to strengthen existing medical facilities."
● The 4-day thedesignfestival.nyc launches July 15, reimagined as "an ongoing, socially distant celebration" (with an impressive list of curators!).
● Neri Oxman takes her interdisciplinary MoMA retrospective online - complete with "a close-up view of Silk Pavilion II, a towering web of spun silk," a collaboration between Oxman and "an army of 17,532 silk worms."
● Kamin cheers "Edith Farnsworth's Country House," a "daring and fascinating exhibition" that is "the closest we've ever come to seeing it as its namesake lived in it, not as Mies would have furnished it. She emerges as formidable rather than pitiful - first because she hired Mies - and then because she defied him - her presence is palpable."
● Nate Berg parses "Snøhetta: Arctic Nordic Alpine - In Dialogue With Landscape" in Berlin that "suggests that architecture can coexist with the extreme landscapes of a changing climate, without itself exacerbating the changing climate. And might just be models that other buildings in more populated places need to follow."
● "Anish Kapoor at Houghton Hall" in Norfolk, U.K., presents his "ground-breaking body of work created over the past 40 years" that "challenge the classical [Palladian] architecture of the house and the idyllic beauty of the grounds."
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ANN feature: Charles F. Bloszies: Left Coast Reflections #7: Plague 2.0: Architects, for the most part, are idealists but have little power to affect change beyond altering the built environment one building at a time. What does COVID-19 portend when economic growth is driven by "greed-ocracy."- ArchNewsNow.com
Mark Lamster: Say goodbye to the ugliest building in Dallas - and hello to new playgrounds along the Trinity: Trinity Park Conservancy plans to replace 'beige-block eyesore' jail as part of ambitious overhaul: It will take quite a bit of imagination to remake Dawson State Jail, which is not so much a work of architecture as an obscenity in three dimensions...The park, along with the remade jail, will dramatically reshape the entry into downtown, transforming what is now an unremarkable journey into a dramatic scenic passage. -- Matt Urbanski/Elizabeth Silver/Michael Van Valkenburgh Architects (MVVA); Mell Lawrence Architects- Dallas Morning News
Michael Kimmelman: New York as a Biking City? It Could Happen. And It Should: A new report proposes 425 miles of interconnected bike lanes across the five boroughs. Another sees new car-free bridges into Manhattan from Queens, Brooklyn and New Jersey: The challenges are staggering...Getting through this whole crisis depends on city leaders’ capacity to think ahead, not hunker down...New York today has become good at shooting down new ideas...The main obstacle is political courage...not engineering. -- Sam Schwartz; Queens Ribbon; T.Y. Lin International- New York Times
Rob Goyanes: ‘There’s a Real Climate of Fear’: Students and Former Staff Speak Out About the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s CEO: The direction of the iconic architect's foundation is under scrutiny as it severs ties with the School of Architecture at Taliesin: In interviews, two students and five former employees of the foundation have made allegations of intimidation, threatening comments, retaliation, and a hostile work environment against Stuart Graff..."everybody really cared deeply about each other. All of that just kind of changed under his leadership. It was very much about corporate backbiting, a tear-everybody-else-down kind of mentality.” -- Aaron Betsky- artnet News
Ann Sussman & Janice M. Ward: Empathy in Design: Measuring How Faces Make Places: Science tells us we’re attracted to buildings that are connected to our bodies: Since 2015, Ragusa, Sicily has hosted FestiWall...devoted to enhancing the public realm...The image shows two views of a residential tower before and after FestiWall. Which one grabs your eye? Running the image through biometric software predicts you’ll immediately focus on the man in the mural...It all goes to show how to best promote empathy in design: Start with us, respecting the hidden traits that make us human. -- The Genetics of Design- Common Edge
Jocelyn Rogers: Julian Abele: Honoring a legacy no longer in “the shadows”: Monmouth University’s most prominent building, dating from 1929, was designed by Abele, the first African American to earn an architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania. But it was named for Woodrow Wilson, whose legacy includes reinstituting racial segregation in the federal workforce. That disconnect is no more...Abele's his story serves as a poignant yet inspiring example of the challenges faced by generations of African American architects...there is poetic justice in removing Wilson’s name while honoring the African American architect who persevered... -- Peter Cook/HGA- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Jack Balderrama Morley: Deem, a new journal, wants design to focus back on people: Nu Goteh, Alice Grandoit, and Marquise Stillwell launched Deem, a biannual journal that approaches design as a social practice...first issue, “Designing for Dignity,” came out in print earlier this year...Q&A re: the journal and how design can better serve cities and the people who live in them..."Design fell in love with itself and forgot about the people." -- adrienne maree brown; Hilary Malson; Milton S. F. Curry/SCI-Arc; Cruz García & Nathalie Frankowski/WAI Architecture Think Tank- The Architect's Newspaper
USGBC announces 2020 European Leadership Award recipients: Watch and see how five companies are advancing sustainable, healthy and resilient buildings, cities and communities. -- COIMA; Ecover; International Olympic Committee; Palazzo del Monte di Pieta; Union Investment Real Estate- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
Inga Saffron: Let’s talk about the Philadelphia monuments we need to preserve: Tearing down offensive statues feels good, but it’s not enough: Philadelphia’s history won’t be served unless its neglected Black cultural sites are properly recognized and supported... monuments to their achievements and suffering tend to take other forms. There are dozens of them around the city if you know where to look...after interviews with preservationists and historians, I decided to focus...on the lesser-known cultural buildings, especially those that desperately need some TLC right now. -- Paul Robeson; John Coltrane; Dox Thrash; Henry O. Tanner; etc.- Philadelphia Inquirer
Wandile Mthiyane: The Architects of Systemic Racism: “Architecture is never neutral; it either heals or hurts,” argues South African architectural designer and Obama Leader, and the founder and CEO of Ubuntu Design Group (UDG), an architectural organization that focuses on social impact design projects: ...it’s important for us as architects to take responsibility for the fact that design has historically been one of the most powerful tools to perpetuate systemic racism...Architecture is never neutral; it either heals or hurts...Ubuntu Architecture Summer Abroad Program has created a cross-cultural design-build experience for architecture students from around the world...to expose students to design problems stemming from systemic racism...- Architizer
Germane Barnes: Reading List: Black People, Porches, and Politics: The search for positive identity politics in architecture has typically proven empty for this racial group...My research practice attempts to interrogate a multitude of issues in disenfranchised black communities and raise awareness of the legacies those communities possess. These texts provide entry to those legacies. -- Jean-Paul Bourdier & Trin T. Minh-ha; Jay D. Edwards; John Michael Vlach; Maren Stange; Rashad Shabazz; Craig Barton; Gaston Bachelard; Rachael Woldoff; Carrie Mae Weems; Sharon E. Sutton- Places Journal
Mimi Zeiger: Can Quarantine Propel Us Toward Planetary Sanctuary? The magnitude of this pandemic falls outside human comprehension, but for the luckiest of us, refuge is manageable: ...what has become clear...is that architecture’s capacity to protect is limited...the destructive effects of modernity’s progress...The systems and structures of quarantine may be the obvious place to begin when translating refugia from an ecological to an architectural condition....it’s now, while everything is in flux, that new, hybrid approaches might take root - especially since COVID-19 and the ongoing climate crisis are not just parallel emergencies but intertwined.- Metropolis Magazine
Leah Kemp: How small towns are responding to the global pandemic: ...as I’ve seen in my work at the Small Town Center at Mississippi State University, small towns have the advantage of being more nimble and responsive to crisis than cities...they have fewer regulations and more opportunities to be creative about problem-solving...Here are some ways people in small communities are adapting existing plans and creating new ways to keep their towns active and vibrant.- The Conversation
Patrick Sisson: The Dying Mall’s New Lease on Life: Apartments: As the pandemic hastens the retail apocalypse, some developers are betting that empty malls can mix housing with stores and community space...[in] a suburb north of Seattle, an adaptive reuse project...suggests that America’s vast stock of fading shopping infrastructure could indeed get a second life as places to live...Avalon Alderwood Place, a 300-unit apartment complex [with retail]...exemplifies how the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t as much changing real estate as accelerating existing trends...The mall may be evolving, but the desire, and challenges, in creating a community-oriented development still remain.- Bloomberg CityLab
Suchayan Mandal: The future is green: Post COVID-19 world stares at a more eco-friendly way of architecture: As [India] reopens, the need for sustainable buildings with the focus on hygiene will be the calling card of urban planning: What is needed is incentivising time and money, in addition to fast-tracking projects and giving subsidies to encourage construction...The ‘Housing for All’ initiative...a unique opportunity to integrate affordable and resource-efficient housing...turning existing buildings green will add an edge to the green movement. -- Jamshed Banaji/Banaji & Associates; Vivek Singh Rathore/Salient Design Studio; Jehan-Ara Poonawala/JJ Poonawala Architects; Avikal Somvanshi; Avinash Singh/Ark Village 24; Kanhai Gandhi/KNS Architects; Amit Khanna/AKDA- New Indian Express (India)
Viveka Roychowdhury: How COVID-19 is transforming hospital design: [In India], tthere is no doubt that healthcare facilities AC [After COVID-19] will be very different from BC [Before COVID-19]...the new normal called for new approaches in hospital building design and architecture...The buzz words seem to be a modular design [and] recycling sea containers...But is there any hope for turning around existing medical facilities? Thankfully yes...this pandemic should act as a warning to correct the defective infrastructure and policies to strengthen them. -- Nejeeb Khan/Katerra; Akshat Bhatt/ Architecture Discipline; Mitu Mathur/GPM Architects and Planners; Chinmay Patil/Edifice Consultants- Express Healthcare (Indian Express)
Freshly launched NYC design festival seeks to give ‘voice to those who create’: Initially envisioned as a four-day event, thedesignfestival.nyc has been reimagined...as “an ongoing, socially distant celebration...on July 15, the festival will formally unveil the first of several planned “self-guided and socially distant” mini-itineraries that will be released each month...This first...will showcase noteworthy outdoor design elements in several different neighborhoods [and] suggestions for takeout dining options... -- Colony; Jean Lin; Madeleine Parsons; Robert Higa; Paola Antonelli; Annabelle Selldorf; Wendy Goodman; etc.- The Architect's Newspaper
Neri Oxman Takes Her Interdisciplinary MoMA Exhibition Online: With the Museum of Modern Art in New York closed due to the COVID-19 pandemi9...multidisciplinary designer, inventor, and founder and director of the Mediated Matter Group at the MIT Media Lab, has launched an online version of her recent retrospective, "Neri Oxman: Material Ecology"...projects...explore the "ability to design living matter as the built environment, rather than for it"...highlight - close-up view of Silk Pavilion II, a towering web of spun silk commissioned for the show create in collaboration by Oxman and an army of 17,532 silk worms.- Architect Magazine
Blair Kamin: A different view of the masterful Farnsworth House - hers, not his: ...Mies van der Rohe’s modernist masterpiece...As graceful as a Greek temple and as serene as a Shinto shrine...one of the purest and most poetic distillations of the International Style...A daring and fascinating new exhibition, “Edith Farnsworth’s Country House"...restores her presence to the house that bears her name...the closest we’ve ever come to seeing [it] as its namesake lived in it, not as Mies would have furnished it...through December 2021...She emerges as formidable rather than pitiful - first because she hired Mies...and then because she defied him in furnishing its interior...[her] presence is palpable. So is the underlying tension between architect and client... -- Dirk Lohan; Scott Mehaffey; Alex Beam- Chicago Tribune
Nate Berg: How the world’s most remote buildings can help us adapt to climate change
In many cases, the right thing to build is . . . nothing: "Snøhetta: Arctic Nordic Alpine - In Dialogue With Landscape" in Berlin suggests that architecture can coexist with the extreme landscapes of a changing climate, without itself exacerbating the changing climate that’s making these landscapes so extreme. And these remote projects might just be models that other buildings in more populated places need to follow. Aedes Architecture Forum, Berlin, thru August 20- Fast Company / Co.Design
"Anish Kapoor at Houghton Hall": Seminal works by the celebrated British sculptor will go on show across the grounds and historic interiors of Houghton Hall in Norfolk, UK, July 12 - November 1...had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of measures...will be put in place following government guidelines to allow visitors to experience the works...ground-breaking body of work created over the past 40 years...will challenge the classical [Palladian] architecture of the house and the idyllic beauty of the grounds... -- Colen Campbell & James Gibbs (1722)- FAD Magazine (Fashion, Art and Design)
ANN feature: Peter Piven, FAIA: The New Norm, Part 2: Finances: Recommendations and mandates to fight the Covid-19 pandemic impacted architectural practices immediately. The operational changes have financial consequences.- ArchNewsNow.com
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