Today’s News - Thursday, July 23, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, July 28. A refreshing change of pace for the second time: no special COVID-19 coverage. Stay well. Stay safe. Stay cool…

●  ANN feature: Lesson Plan #10: Peruvian architect Miguel Córdova-Ramírez: Throughout history, ornament has been used to transform the built environment into a friendlier and more empathetic place. Not to teach this higher role means to not value part of our centuries-old cultural history.

●  Thomas Fisher tackles "the looming architecture school enrollment crisis - facing a slow-moving demographic disaster. We need to remain committed to the goal of diversifying the profession because it's the right thing to do. But it's also a question of professional survival."

●  Gibson reports on RISD President Rosanne Somerson's open letter announcing a series of initiatives to tackle the school's "multiple racist issues."

●  Parman delves into the history of architectural licensing, and the calls for long-overdue reform - or elimination - to address issues of equity and diversity - other countries can teach us something (fascinating read!).

●  A profile of the Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry, one of a number of mentorship programs that "are taking steps to broaden and diversify the pipeline of young people - helping high schoolers of color understand that a profession in architecture, engineering, or construction is attainable."

●  L.A. Times' Christopher Knight takes it to LACMA architect Zumthor in an open letter: "You have had no experience with encyclopedic art museums -.and it shows - the museum's building design is ultimately irrelevant, except for the ways it serves the curatorial program. Believing otherwise betrays your inexperience -no architecture can compensate for lost context" (ouch!).

●  Kamin thoughtfully considers what Chicago should do with its statue of Columbus, donated by "proud" local Italian Americans in 1933 - the city "is taking a first step toward confronting the issue through deliberate analysis rather than facile groupthink and an ill-considered rush into destruction."

●  Dickinson on "the blurred line between the real and the rendered" - software options have resulted in "a plethora of pictures of somewhat mysterious origin, offered up as eye candy - so realistic that the hand of the maker is erased it architecture?"

●  Abdel offers eyefuls of such eye candy, comparing renderings of projects by starchitects to the final reality - "examples of how meticulous consideration of visualizations can help achieve inspiring works of architecture."

●  Brussat minces no words when it comes to the "Democracy in Design Act" legislation that would block the now-infamous proposed executive order mandating traditional architecture for federal buildings: "The AIA asserted that the legislation 'will ensure the federal government maintains its current neutrality on architectural styles.' What a joke - there is no such neutrality."

●  Belogolovsky, on a brighter note, offers a wonderful profile of Geoffrey Bawa on the Sri Lankan architect's 101st birthday (today!): We have to "analyze his achievements without categorizing him. His work is at once pre-modern, modern, and post-modern - his buildings are like plants; they unfold and make everyone within comfortable and joyous."

●  To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York Times has created a special section on disability available in Braille and audio - with its own style guide: "At the heart of the project is the story of 'the ADA generation.'"

●  Hickman reports on Yves Be´har's fuseproject and Fabien Cousteau's "initial conceptual designs" for an underwater research station and habitat - "a cursory glance at the imagery might lead to its dismissal as a sci-fi-inspired offshore folly - a particularly Verne-ian take of PR-chitecture - the idea isn't that entirely quixotic."

●  Speaking of futuristic architecture, photographer Stefano Perego has "documented a series of works that exemplify the legacy left behind by the radical architects of the 1970s. Truly acolytes of their time."

Weekend diversions:

●  Wainwright is quite taken by "Derek Jarman: My Garden's Boundaries Are the Horizon": "The late director's otherworldly cottage and garden in Kent - one of the strangest, most magical garden scenes in the world" (locals "feared something occult was afoot") - now transplanted to the Garden Museum, one of the first to reopen in London.

●  The Museum of Design Atlanta's online offer: "Learning from Nature: The Future of Design," a "survey of biomimicry-influenced design" in "a traversable recreation of the institution's interior, complete with explanatory texts, embedded videos, and high-resolution photos."

●  The Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona presents (in person) "It All Begins With One Word. Choose your own," a "new structure, both architectural and linguistic" by artist Katarzyna Krakowiak and curator Marcin Szczelina ("Architecture Snob") + link to interview between the artist and the curators.


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