Today’s News - Thursday, August 13, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, August 18. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe.

●  Chakrabarti's PAU responds to Betsky's rather negative response to PAU's proposal to ban private vehicles in Manhattan: "Calling our proposal a 'fairy tale' is not only factually unsubstantiated, it is highly irresponsible given that serious and similar discussions are being advanced all over the world."

●  Fazzare gets feedback from "15 architects on being Black in architecture - their challenges, successes, and hopes for the future in the architecture industry, where change is a long time coming."

●  Harvard GSD's no-holds-barred interview series "Dismantling Systemic Racism in Pedagogy and Practice" offers faculty (Mori, Mehrotra, Whiting, Waldheim & many more!) discussing "systemic racism and anti-Black violence embedded in and facilitated by the disciplines of design and planning" and "the need to rebuild pedagogies, institutional structures, forms of professional practice, and accountability in moving forward."

●  A round-up of 6 initiatives around the world "that empower women in the architectural and construction sectors."

●  Former RIBA president and chair of HTA Design Ben Derbyshire considers how the U.K. "should approach a nationwide design code. It's really important that these proposals are not subverted by a political sensibility with its roots in a conservative predilection for all things 'traditional'" (traditional "'houses that look like houses' came 6th and last in the ranking of spontaneous likes" in one study).

●  Parman explains why the attempt to end local control of housing development in the U.K. echoes similar attempts in California - in both places, "the top-down proposals present a Hobson's Choice between dysfunctional local control and top-down measures that resolve it by eliminating it. Back to the drawing board!"

●  Meanwhile, Prince Charles offers encouragement in a message to Gerald Bauer and Austin Tunnell, winners of the Award for Emerging Excellence in the Classical Tradition, bestowed by ICAA, The Prince's Foundation, and INTBAU.

●  NYC-based Stephen B. Jacobs, "known for his multimillion-dollar creations - recently finished a much different project - and charged nothing" - a Holocaust memorial in Tirana honoring Albanians who saved Jews; he also designed a memorial at Buchenwald, where he spent time as a child.

●  Novakovic- is quite taken by "Magical Imperfection: The Life and Architecture of Raymond Moriyama," a new documentary that "traces the architect's commitment to social justice and public good through the built environment - with vivid narration from the 90-year-old architect. It's refreshing (and rare) to see the built environment's potential explained so clearly."

COVID-19 news continues:

●  The latest version of "Manual of Physical Distancing" offers 211 pages of new updates and drawings "that make legible the spatial, architectural, and urban issues and impacts of COVID-19," created by LTL Architects in collaboration with Guy Nordenson, and supported in part by Princeton University Covid-19 Research Projects.

●  MASS Design Group's Alan Ricks "says that long before COVID, the poor condition of public school buildings was a problem - challenging us to face the reality of our failures. We need a radical reimagining of schools as a critical infrastructure - there is no physical and social infrastructure more important."


●  A great Q&A with Inga Saffron re: her new book "Becoming Philadelphia: How an Old American City Made Itself New Again": What is the state of architecture in Philadelphia? "Not good - we're still so traumatized by the bad years that we're afraid to demand good design from developers."

●  Wainwright parses Diana Darke's "Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe" - an "exhilarating, meticulously researched book that sheds light on centuries of borrowing" - and "takes an eloquent sledgehammer to ignorant, dog-whistle propaganda" of right-wing nationalist groups.

●  Pagliacolo cheers Bruce Mau's "MC24" that "provides a roadmap for radical optimism - full of bold, big-hearted vision. There's never been a better time for bringing down the house and building something better in its place. Mau has laid out the ultimate how-to."

●  Pedersen's essay in the book "Jewel Changi Airport": Safdie's "boldest achievement: an astounding public space - an audacious experiment in placemaking, the urban garden. To experience this makes me giddy" (we want to see this "friendly invader (think E.T.'s rescue ship)"!).

●  Gideon Fink Shapiro cheers the 21 essays in "Frederick Kiesler: Face to Face with the Avant-Garde" that "are like 21 faces of a prism that reveals Kiesler" and "sheds light on projects and events [and] sometimes warm, sometimes fraught relationships of this ever-beguiling artist-architect."

●  Leilah Stone cheers the Canadian Centre for Architecture's "Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Effects," based on Sylvia Lavin's 2018 exhibition and "richly illustrated with unassuming items lost or disregarded in prominent histories."

●  Catherine Bauer's "Modern Housing," first published in 1934, is being reissued with a foreword by architectural historian and Places columnist Barbara Penner - "it seemed strange to have to 'introduce' Bauer - for three decades one of America's most prominent advocates for public housing - at all. But the inaccessibility of much of her writing has meant that her work has been little discussed in architectural histories."


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