Today’s News - Wednesday, July 15, 2020

●  Urban planner James Rojas describes how he "spent the better part of his career reconciling his formal training with his lived experience as a Gay Chicano" that led to his Place It! interactive urban planning workshop shows people "how their lives and actions can shape policy and infrastructure (rather the other way around)."

●  Pacheco reports that a Sorkin's Terreform-designed project for Chicago nonprofit Blacks in Green is "moving ahead with the BIG Green Homestead," a "'sustainable-square-mile' that will bring community-owned sustainable housing and commercial spaces to the city's South Side."

●  McKie reports that Foster is "under fire" from climate activists who are none to happy with his firm "agreeing to design an airport in Saudi Arabia despite signing Architects Declare climate emergency manifesto" (the firm "will not be responding").

●  Meanwhile, what looks like a small UFO that crash-landed in San Francisco Bay is actually the Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab created by design architects from the California College of the Arts and port and marine research groups "that's helping designers learn how to blend biology with architecture."

●  As the new 26-acre St. Pete Pier and adjacent entertainment/cultural district opens to the public in St. Petersburg, Florida, Hickman revisits the decade-long saga of the $92 million project on the Tampa Bay waterfront.

●  The renovation of the Venice Jewish Museum includes "an immersive replica of ancient ghetto housing and some of the most important synagogues and ancient Jewish dwellings built from the start of the Renaissance" (with the archive and the library waterproof up to 7 feet).

●  The Sessions Hotel in Bristol, Virginia, combines a grain mill, a candy factory, and a grocery building into a "70-room boutique hotel that honors the property's storied past" by mixing "modern and retro themes with traditional and industrial elements."

●  Architect Kevin Glad has donated his design services for a 20-unit residential facility for transplant patients and caregivers "who qualify for financial assistance through the Georgia Transplant Foundation."

●  A shortlist of 12 in the running to win RIBA's international RETHINK: 2025 post-pandemic design competition.

●  USGBC announces LEED Homes Awards for multifamily, single family, and affordable housing projects from around the world (alas, architects and/or design teams of these cool projects not included).

●  ICYMI: 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."


●  Call for entries: Network Rail and RIBA Competitions launch the international competition Re-Imagining Railway Stations: Connecting Communities "to shape the future of Britain's railway stations."

●  Call for entries: The Architect's Newspaper's 8th Annual Best of Design Awards for "great buildings, building elements, interiors, and installations in 50 categories."

●  Call for entries (deadline reminder): Applications for the 2020 Arcus/Places Journal Prize "to support innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and the built environment."

●  Call for applications for New York Public Library's international 2020-21 Cullman Center Fellowships;" open to academics, independent scholars, journalists, creative writers, translators, and visual artists at work on a book project."

COVID-19 news continues:

●  Mortice's great Q&A with Chicago-based Site Design Group's Ernie Wong re: city planning becoming more socially equitable, post-coronavirus: "We can no longer do the things the way we've constantly done them" (check out his (great!) idea for ParkCoin - a new currency(!) and rentable outdoor workspaces).

●  Grabar's great Q&A with experts on cities and suburbs, the NYT's Emily Badger, Natalie Moore of WBEZ Chicago, and Amanda Kolson Hurley of Bloomberg Businessweek re: "Will COVID-19 push people out of cities for good?"

●  Mina Chow's op-ed: "With media burning and a virus raging, should we look to architecture? As we find ourselves caught in a misinformation maelstrom of viral proportions, awareness of the art of architecture may help move us forward with more equanimity and understanding."

●  Dickinson: "Humanity is in a frenzied rush to devine how COVID-19 changes the way we build - all of us need to take a breath and listen - the world may just be telling us just to get over ourselves."


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