Today’s News - Wednesday, August 5, 2020

●  OLIN's Alexa Vaughn-Brainard, a Deaf woman and a landscape designer, considers the ADA, 30 years on: "It's time to examine whether both the ADA and the design professions have done enough to guarantee our right to fully access the public realm" - and "recognize that the built environment itself is the real problem.".

●  Elsa Lam considers what reforming policing "would mean for the architecture of the justice system. Some answers may already be visible [great examples]. It is an opportune time to rethink how such facilities can be constructed to honor community, offenders, and victims alike."

●  McGuigan x 2: A great Q&A with Mabel O. Wilson, Mario Gooden, and Justin Garrett Moore re: "how racism has shaped, and operated within, the profession of architecture" ("even with excellence, you can still be invisible").

●  Another great Q&A with Walter Hood re: "his forthcoming book, 'Black Landscapes Matter,' how his design work increasingly is inspired by his identity as a Black man and by history" (he really hates the word "placemaking"), and his landscape/art project for Henry Cobb's International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.

●  Audrey Wachs reports on the Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, established by an impressive list of preservation groups, to provide "financial and technical resources to preserve buildings and landscapes" (many designed by African-American architects) at up to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

●  Jennifer Baum Lagdameo reports on the fascinating "unsung story of Eichler Homes and how they helped integrate American neighborhoods. In 1958, Joseph Eichler resigned from the National Association of Home Builders when they refused to support a nondiscrimination policy."

●  Kaley Overstreet x 2: She ponders the very different fates of Natalie de Bois/SOM's 270 Park Avenue and Philip Johnson's 550 Madison Avenue: "Why will one be torn down without much opposition and the other is so heavily guarded? What makes one building more important than another?"

●  She brings us eyefuls of photographer Amanda Large's black & white series "Fifty/50" that documents 50 Modernist churches in Toronto in "an ode to their enduring importance to the city" - and "also raises questions about preservation and architectural legacy in Toronto."

●  Moore cheers the new Maggie's Centre in Leeds: "I am a Heatherwick-sceptic: too many of his works are cute ideas and glib gestures that under-deliver," but here, the "commission has brought out the very best in him - the project rises to the ambition, stated in the brief."

●  Kimmelman takes his second "walking" tour with conservation ecologist Eric W. Sanderson, this time in the Bronx, from Yankee Stadium to the Bronx Zoo, imagining what it was before it became part of NYC in 1898 (the beavers are back!).

●  Sitz reports on a partnership between the Architectural League of New York and two CUNY colleges that "pairs students with local professionals" to introduce them "to the broader professional community - particularly important for students who may lack the built-in network that comes with attending a 'name- brand' school."

●  Aaron Smithson talks to educators and researchers at Harvard GSD re: what they're doing "to analyze and challenge systems of oppression, both within the disciplines and more generally, in building just cities."

●  The University of Minnesota School of Architecture's Jennifer Yoos and many students and faculty are working "to address racial justice - and refocus the curriculum, improve recruitment, contribute to environmental justice, and more" (a survey wasn't all that helpful).

●  Industry organizations, like IWBI, UIA, WorldGBC, etc., and built environment experts totaling 680 from 51 countries petition the World Health Organization "urging enhanced guidance on the role of buildings in addressing COVID-19."

●  The ASLA-supported Great American Outdoors Act becomes a new law that "permanently and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides funds to address the maintenance backlog in our national parks and other public lands."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Samuel G. White: The Legacy of Paul Spencer Byard: The author of "The Architecture of Additions," published 20 years ago, proposed parameters for evaluating additions to historic buildings - more timely than ever considering the proposed Executive Order mandating classical architecture for federal buildings ["architectural pudding" included].


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