Today’s News - Wednesday, July 29, 2020

●  Pedersen's (great) Q&A with Architecture2030's Edward Mazria, who has "some good news about combating climate change" - a nice change when news "tends to track toward the gloomy - there is progress being made in the built environment - just not nearly fast enough."

●  Q&A with Vishaan Chakrabarti re: "PAU's vision of freeing up more than 3,000 acres currently devoted to cars, the development aspects of the plan, and the kind of housing that could be built - the 'next model has to be about affordability, and it has to be about equity.'"

●  Davidson considers the 15-minute city, and whether New York could/should "be more like Paris - like most concepts that lend themselves to a catchphrase, it glosses over complexity, combining the seductive with the counterproductive. Adopting the mantra could, paradoxically, attack inequities and increase them at the same time."

●  Plockova reports on UNStudio's plan for a "smart district" in the Netherlands, "an environmentally and socially sustainable community" of 1,500 homes with "a business district and plenty of green space - not built according to a set design plan but developed in response to the needs and habits of its 4,500 future residents" (whiffs of Sidewalk Labs' now-defunct plan for Quayside in Toronto?).

●  William Morgan offers some big ideas for Rhode Island's smallest city, but also one of the densest and diverse in the country, and now "a down-at-the-heels place": It could be "a national laboratory for the study of architecture and urban design - a model showing the region and the nation how to create an urban renaissance in a post-pandemic world."

●  Matthew Messner talks to accessibility experts and architects re: 30 years of the ADA: "Much of its guidance has been internalized by the many who have never designed without it. 'ADA has allowed disabled people to just be people,'" sayeth Janis Kent.

●  Gensler's Imani Day re: the need to build "a centralized equity framework into architecture. Until we embed inclusion and equity into our code, our policies, and the built environment, our industry will continue to fall short. How can existing models of structured policies apply to a mission of racial equity?"

●  Fazzare x 2: She talks to Sophie Ashby and Alexandria Dauley, co-founders of United In Design, who are looking to bring "equity to interior design In the U.K. Along with systematic racism, the history of interior design is important to understanding why disenfranchised people have historically been excluded from pursuing the profession."

●  She reports on 5 Harvard GSD students and alumni who found "a way that their industry could provide instant support for organizations dedicated to fighting systemic racism" - the online Design Yard Sale has already raised $80,000 (this week is its final auction - some cool stuff donated by some big names!).

●  Sitz reports on the Cooper Union's "SatPro" Saturday Program that , for more than 50 years, has offered free architecture education to public school students (some 15,000 so far) - the fall 2020 program will take place online, of course.

●  Mavros introduces us to the Chicago Mobile Makers, "a non-profit mentorship organization that provides on-demand design education to students and schools around the Windy City - facilitators are architects or designers - next phase: converting a former USPS truck into a mobile design studio called the 'Makerspace.'"

●  Suleman Anaya traveled to Mexico City to check out "Barragán's forgotten works - a series of obscure functionalist residences that he would later disown" (a totally fascinating read!).

●  A look at the winners of the 2019-2020 Richard H. Driehaus International Architecture Competition, put on by the Spanish government: "The ultimate hope is to showcase designs that solve many of today's housing and urban dilemmas while also honoring Spain's architectural history and culture."

●  USGBC and Dow announce the results of the inaugural Carbon Challenge in Northern Asia that "pushed property owners to engage and excel, and collectively demonstrate continual GHG emission reductions."

●  One we couldn't resist: A round-up of "Austin's finest public restroom architecture. Austin's got its problems, sure, but one thing this city's crushing is public restroom design" (it's true!).

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Lesson Plan #10: 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.

COVID-19 news continues:

●  Russell talks to experts about how "the need to socially distance within locations designed to create intimacy has made reopening performance spaces a distant dream" - and how they're helping resolve the problem.

●  Alissa Walker has lunch in a mall parking garage, expecting it to be "the saddest pandemic dining experience in America - and it was actually just fine" - in many ways, better than "in-street dining where your meal is served with an uneasy feeling that a speeding vehicle could land on your table at any moment."


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