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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Martin C. Pedersen: Edward Mazria With Some Good News About Combating Climate Change: The founder of Architecture2030 on the need for a green energy grid and a Zero carbon code: The news about real action on climate change tends to track toward the gloomy. It is easy to despair...But there is progress being made in the built environment - just not nearly fast enough. Q&A re: his take on where we stand. Some of the news, alas, is pretty good. "in the past 15 years we kept adding new buildings every year, and energy consumption in the sector didn’t increase! ...Because we’ve used up a portion of our carbon budget, we must couple incentives with mandates..."- Common Edge
What if Manhattan had four Central Parks worth of land to play with? PAU's Vishaan Chakrabarti on the real estate implications of a New York less reliant on private cars: ...PAU’s vision of freeing up more than 3,000 acres currently devoted to them...Q&A re: the development aspects of the plan...the kind of housing that could be built, and how it could usher in a very different real estate market. "We’ve got to get real. This entire discipline has to focus on the needs of everyday people...'next model has to be about affordability, and it has to be about equity.' I think we should start with our streets." -- Practice for Architecture and Urbanism- The Real Deal (NYC)
Justin Davidson: The 15-Minute City: Can New York Be More Like Paris? And should it? This is a season of envy for American cities, as Tokyo subways fill, Berlin museums reopen...like most concepts that lend themselves to a catchphrase, the 15-minute city glosses over complexity, combining the seductive with the counterproductive. Adopting the mantra could, paradoxically, attack inequities and increase them at the same time...Many New Yorkers already live in well-served insularity...If there’s one lesson to be learned from the pandemic, it’s the benefits of flexibility. -- Carlos Moreno- New York Magazine
Joann Plockova: A ‘Smart District’ Takes Shape in the Netherlands: The Brainport Smart District, an effort to create an environmentally and socially sustainable community, will comprise 1,500 homes set on 380 acres in the town of Helmond...will include a business district and plenty of green space...will not be built according to a set design plan but developed in response to the needs and habits of its 4,500 future residents and what is learned along the way...a flexible grid that can be easily adapted to the agricultural lines of the landscape. Plans for the district speak more to the atmosphere than to specific housing types. -- Ben van Berkel/UNStudio; UNSense; Elphi Nelissen/Eindhoven University of Technology- New York Times
William Morgan: Some big proposals for tiny Central Falls: Rhode Island's smallest city...[it] is one of the densest municipalities in the country...also one of the most diverse...now a down-at-the-heels place, was once an industrial powerhouse...it deserves better than a reputation of corruption and hopelessness...Recent transformation of some [magnificent mills] into housing is a positive development...How about some immodest proposals to make all of [it] a national laboratory for the study of architecture and urban design, and much more? Given its density and smallness, [it] could become a model cooperative experiment, showing the region and the nation how to create an urban renaissance in a post-pandemic world.- New England Diary (Rhode Island)
Matthew Messner: Accessibility Experts and Architects Consider 30 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act: ...the ADA's guidelines and protections have changed the way we work, learn, and move through space: ...doing the right thing is not always easy: the complex (and overlapping) guidelines and requirements of the ADA, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and local and national building codes can mean a lot of homework...much of the ADA’s guidance has been internalized by the many...who have never designed without it...“ADA has allowed disabled people to just be people.” -- Janis Kent/Certified Access Specialist Institute/Stepping Thru Accessibility; Marcela Abadi Rhoads/Abadi Accessibility; Osama Quotah/LMN Architects- Architectural Record
Imani Day/Gensler: Building 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 of reaching racial and economic prosperity: ...our industry has the opportunity to pivot from dispersed discussions and one-off strategies to a structured framework that calls for a major shift in private, public, and political priorities...Building codes and the ADA...revolutionized the design industry by providing a legal armature by which we hold architects accountable...How can these existing models of structured policies apply to a mission of racial equity?- Architect Magazine
Elizabeth Fazzare: United In Design Brings Equity To Interior Design In The United Kingdom: Along with systematic racism, the history of interior design is important to understanding why disenfranchised people have historically been excluded from pursuing the profession...In the U.K....Sophie Ashby and Alexandria Dauley have teamed up to hold their industry accountable...with the mission to address its lack of diversity...teamed with fellow nonprofit Interior Educators, which accredits interior design programs...goal for this year was 50 sign ups, however, so far, approximately 100 design firms or individuals have taken the [seven-point] pledge -- Studio Ashby; Dauley Design- Forbes
Elizabeth Fazzare: Harvard GSD Students And Alumni Raise $80,000 For Anti-Racism With Design Yard Sale: ...Prompted by the death of George Floyd...five Harvard Graduate School of Design students and alumni were moved to rethink the power of design...came together to invent a way that their industry could provide instant support for anti-Black racism, based on a concept pulled straight from imagery of suburban America: the yard sale...100% of the proceeds benefit nonprofit The Bail Project and New Orleans-based architecture and design justice practice Colloqate Design, organizations that are dedicated to fighting systemic racism...this week is its final auction. -- Yaxuan Liu; Tessa Crespo; Grace Chee; Izzy Kornblatt; Edward Han Myo Oo; Architectural League of New York- Forbes
Miriam Sitz: Cooper Union's Saturday Program Offers Free Architecture Education to Public School Students: A bastion of public arts education in New York City for more than 50 years, "SatPro" has allowed some 15,000 high schoolers to deeply engage with the arts, learning from - and alongside - undergraduate student instructors...Each year, two or three of Cooper Union’s architecture school’s new enrollees are SatPro alumni...The fall 2020 program will take place online. -- Elizabeth O’Donnell- Architectural Record
Kara Mavros: Chicago Mobile Makers Introduces Public School Students to Architecture: Founded in 2017, the non-profit mentorship organization provides on-demand design education to students and schools around the Windy City: ...program facilitators (who are architects or designers) visit classrooms once a week, for up to 10 weeks...The organization was built on several questions: “How do we diversify the architecture and design fields? And how do we improve the disinvested communities...And then can these things happen simultaneously?” ...next phase...converting a former USPS truck into a mobile design studio called the “Makerspace.” The truck will be outfitted with power tools, a laser cutter, and a 3D printer... -- Maya Bird-Murphy- Architectural Record
Suleman Anaya: Luis Barragán’s Forgotten Works, Revisited: After moving to Mexico City in 1935, the architect set about designing a series of obscure functionalist residences that he would later disown: ...[he] refers to his creations from this period as...“nothing great"...Not all of these buildings are masterpieces...one senses the architect’s inner conflicts and his unwillingness to compromise...Melchor Ocampo 38 is revelatory...why has his early...work effectively been denied...perhaps, [it] is that to talk about this phase...means to acknowledge him as a visionary salesman as well as a prodigiously gifted architect. -- Luis Beltrán del Río; Andrew Sosa; Max Cetto- New York Times Style Magazine
Projects to Revive Traditional Spanish Architecture: Winners of the 2019-2020 Richard H. Driehaus International Architecture Competition: ...put on by the Spanish government...awarded extra if their projects include employment opportunities for the communities they work within...The ultimate hope of the competition is to showcase designs that solve many of today's housing and urban dilemmas while also honoring Spain's architectural history and culture. -- Eva Niño/Elia San Román/Carmen Carral; Jiménez & Linares; Alfonso Zavala y Ramón Andrada; etc.- ArchDaily
Dow and USGBC announce the results of inaugural Carbon Challenge: ...pushed property owners to engage and excel, collectively demonstrated continual GHG emission reductions across 63 building projects in Northern Asia...also presented winners with an opportunity to contribute their carbon savings to Dow’s Carbon Partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
Celebrating Austin’s Finest Public Restroom Architecture: Austin’s got its problems, sure, but one thing this city’s crushing is public restroom design...their existence is critical for safe, equitable urban life. -- Jobe Corral Architects; Miró Rivera Architects; Studio 8 Architects; Mell Lawrence Architects- TOWERS Austin (Texas)
James S. Russell: No Magic Cure for COVID-19 Closures of Performance Spaces: The need to socially distance within locations designed to create intimacy has made reopening performance spaces a distant dream: European venues can afford to perform to small or non-existent audiences because they are largely state supported. It’s not a viable model in the U.S...Consultants are helping arts organizations improve [streaming video] production values to differentiate themselves. -- Scott Crossfield/Theatre Projects; Barton Meyers Associates; Raj Patel/Arup; H3 Hardy Collaborative; Gehry Partners- Architectural Record
Alissa Walker: Is This the Saddest Pandemic Dining Experience in America? I had lunch in a mall parking garage, and it was actually just fine: The somewhat open-air dining area opened on Friday, and responses...were not generous...the acoustics are challenging...the cavernous shade and cross-breeze, the garage is, in many ways, an improvement over in-street dining...where your meal is served with an uneasy feeling that a speeding vehicle could land on your table at any moment...What the novel coronavirus has really snatched from us are those in-between spaces in our daily routines...During our pandemic summer, a free, shaded, and spacious garage café is the next best thing.- Curbed
ANN feature: Lesson Plan #10: Life in Ornament: 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. By Miguel Córdova-Ramírez- ArchNewsNow.com
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