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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Our Carless Future: PAU Responds to Aaron Betsky's Story: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism argues the merits of its proposal to ban most private vehicles from Manhattan: In the story “Welcome to Our Carless Future"...Betsky fails to grasp primary elements of what our firm proposed...despite the fact that these elements could have been found easily had he done the most basic research...calling our proposal a “fairy tale” is not only factually unsubstantiated, it is highly irresponsible given that serious and similar discussions are being advanced by sustainability and equity advocates all over the world. -- Vishaan Chakrabarti; Janette Sadik-Khan- Architect Magazine
Elizabeth Fazzare: 15 Architects On Being Black In Architecture: Though anti-racism statements have been made and justice, equity, diversity and inclusion actions have been pledged, the fact remains that only 2% of all of the licensed architects in the U.S. are Black. We spoke with...15 about their challenges, successes and hopes for the future in the architecture industry, where change is a long time coming. -- Katherine Williams; Steven Lewis/ZGF Architects; Samantha Josaphat/Studio 397 Architecture; Richie Hands/Lamar Johnson Collaborative; Daimian S. Hines/Hines Architecture + Design; Kwesi Daniels/Tuskegee University; Melanie Ray/Hord Coplan Macht; Sekou Cooke; Pascale Sablan/S9 Architecture; Ibrahim Greenidge/BOLT Architecture; Jason Pugh/Gensler; Richey Madison/Stantec; Kwesi Daniels; Anzilla R. Gilmore/Rice University; Renauld Deandre Mitchell/Moody Nolan; Tiffany D. Brown/SmithGroup- Cultured Magazine
Dismantling Systemic Racism in Pedagogy and Practice: An Interview Series: faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Design discuss systemic racism and anti-Black violence embedded in and facilitated by the disciplines of design and planning in the U.S...[and] the need to rebuild pedagogies, institutional structures, and forms of professional practice across the design disciplines, and the accountability of leading institutions like the GSD in moving forward. -- Toshiko Mori; Rahul Mehrotra; Sarah M. Whiting; Charles Waldheim; Sean Canty; Abby Spinak; Diane Davis; Mark Lee; Chris Reed; Anita Berrizbeitia; Krzysztof Wodiczko; Alex Krieger; Dan D'Oca; Erika Naginski; Malkit Shoshan; Preston Scott Cohen- Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)
6 Initiatives that Empower Women in the Architectural and Construction Sectors: ...everywhere around the globe. Playing a huge role in the integration of female power into these disciplines, these movements take on many forms such as organizations, websites, platforms, etc. working with professionals, artisans, and workers. -- Tiffany Brown, 400 Forward; Anastasia Elrouss/Warchée (Middle East); Carina Guedes/Architecture in the Periphery (Brazil); Rebelarchitette; Pioneering Women of American Architecture/Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF); Carol Vasques/Débora Boniatti/MMW - Mulher, Mujer, Woman- ArchDaily
Ben Derbyshire: Beauty, privacy and cupboards. What do the people really want? He asks how we should approach a nationwide design code: ...Urbed (Urbanism, Environment and Design), has been appointed...to come up with a national model urban 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”...Three studies confirm that the lay public have a wide view of what outcomes they are seeking from the development of new homes and neighbourhoods - and beauty is just one of these...Traditional architecture or ’houses that look like houses’ came sixth and last in the ranking of spontaneous likes... -- HTA Design- BD/Building Design (UK)
John J. Parman: Boris Johnson’s Wake-Up Call to Housing Advocates in California: His attempt to end local control of housing development echoes attempts in the Golden State: What Johnson and his Steve Bannon-like lieutenant...are proposing is a hodgepodge of Prince Charles-inflected New Urbanism with John Ruskin-inspired borrowings from Roger Scruton...proposing to control real estate development from the top and gut local control...Both in California and in the U.K., the top-down proposals on offer present a Hobson’s Choice between dysfunctional local control and top-down measures that resolve it by eliminating it...My sense is that we have better options. Back to the drawing board!- Common Edge
Prince Charles Champions Classical Architecture and Its Emerging Talents: [He] shared a message with the winners of the Award for Emerging Excellence in the Classical Tradition: ...issued by the Institute of Classical Art & Architecture (ICAA), The Prince’s Foundation, and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU)...his statement expressed a belief that the classical tradition can build a bridge linking the past, present, and future of architecture and design. -- Gerald Bauer/Wade Weissmann Architecture; Austin Tunnell/Building Culture- Architectural Digest
This Holocaust survivor turned architect designed a memorial honoring Albanians who saved Jews: ...Stephen B. Jacobs is known for his multimillion-dollar creations...But he recently finished a much different project - and charged nothing...a Holocaust memorial for Albania’s capital...at the entrance to the Grand Park of Tirana...Jacobs himself is a Holocaust survivor who spent time in a Nazi concentration camp as a child...His career ended up bringing him back to Buchenwald...commissioned to create a memorial for the “little camp,” a quarantine zone where new prisoners, including Jacobs, stayed in brutal conditions.- Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Stefan Novakovic: Magical Imperfection: A New Documentary Explores the Life of Raymond Moriyama: ...the film traces the architect's commitment to social justice and public good through the built environment: "Magical Imperfection: The Life and Architecture of Raymond Moriyama" offers an approachable look at the work of a luminary. Anchored by vivid narration from the 90-year-old architect, Scott Calbeck’s film situates [his] built work in a powerful historical and social context...It’s refreshing (and rare) to see the built environment’s potential explained so clearly. -- Moryiama & Teshima Architect- Azure magazine (Canada)
Manual of Physical Distancing: latest version is a 211 pages of new drawings that make legible the spatial, architectural and urban issues and impacts of COVID-19...includes updates and new sections: Additional designs for public spaces, parks and streets to accommodate increased demand for exterior areas; Techniques and proposals for expanding cycling infrastructure; etc. -- LTL Architects; Paul Lewis; Marc Tsurumaki; David J. Lewis; Guy Nordenson; Princeton University Funding Program for Rapid, Novel and Actionable COVID-19 Research Projects- LTL Architects
Alan Ricks: What “Back to School” Should Mean in America: MASS Design Group's founding principal and chief design office says that long before COVID, the poor condition of public school buildings was a problem. Let's seize this moment to fix that: While it’s clear that the pandemic didn’t create the state of America’s public school buildings, it is challenging us to face the reality of our failures...our grand vision of elevating schools has been left to rot over the last 60 years...here are three among many adaptations we can and must make...We need a radical reimagining of schools as a critical infrastructure...It’s time to recognize there is no physical and social infrastructure more important.- Metropolis Magazine
America’s Biggest Small Town: Inga Saffron discussed her new book "Becoming Philadelphia: How an Old American City Made Itself New Again" and the state of the city with Charles F. McElwee: What is your takeaway from the city during that 20-year period [1999-2019]? "The city has gone from trying to manage decline to trying to manage success"...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."- City Journal/The Manhattan Institute
Oliver Wainwright: Looted landmarks: how Notre-Dame, Big Ben and St Mark's were stolen from the east: ...an explosive new book [says] the designs of Europe’s greatest buildings were plundered from the Islamic world: "Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe" by Diana Darke, an exhilarating, meticulously researched book that sheds light on centuries of borrowing...book comes at a charged time, when supposedly western architecture is being mobilised by right-wing nationalist groups to bolster their idealised vision of a “pure” European identity...Darke’s work takes an eloquent sledgehammer to such ignorant, dog-whistle propaganda...- Guardian (UK)
Elizabeth Pagliacolo:"MC24," Bruce Mau’s New Book, Provides a Roadmap for Radical Optimism: Arriving at an unprecedented moment, the Massive Change founder’s latest offering presents 24 principles for transforming your life, work and world: It is the worst of times...book arrives in the midst of a ravaging global pandemic and an anti-racist movement...But could it also be the best of times for designers? ...book is full of bold, big-hearted vision...And it’s all good. 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.- Azure magazine (Canada)
Martin C. Pedersen: Changi Airport’s Jewel: For Every Traveler, a Garden: It’s an astounding experience for both travelers and Singapore locals: Once upon a time, we’re told, there was a “golden age” of air travel...No one without a ticket goes to the airport [today]. Fortunately...Changi’s boldest achievement: an astounding public space...audacious experiment in placemaking, the urban garden...To experience this...makes me giddy...Changi (along with Tokyo Narita) is an anomaly: an actual “Aerotropolis” heavily frequented by local residents...spatially oriented...toward its beating heart. You’re always aware of the garden...if the great garden...inspires imitators...then that will have been just one of Jewel’s great legacies. -- Safdie Architects; Thomas Heatherwick; KPF- Common Edge
Gideon Fink Shapiro: "Frederick Kiesler: Face to Face with the Avant-Garde" argues Kiesler was the influencer at the center of American modernism: Its 21 essays “on network and impact” are like 21 faces of a prism that reveals Kiesler...It’s jarring, at first, to see a serious artist-architect characterized as “a dedicated networker"...But the truth is he spent a lot of time schmoozing...helped fuel his career...sheds light on...projects and events [and] sometimes warm, sometimes fraught relationships...To this day [The Endless House] brings new designers and thinkers into the orbit of this ever-beguiling artist-architect... -- Peter Bogner); Hani Rashid; James Wines/SITE- The Architect's Newspaper
Leilah Stone: Finding Purpose in the Quotidian Relics of “Postmodernization”: A new book from the Canadian Centre for Architecture gathers the "obsolete artifacts" often overlooked by Postmodernism's historians: "Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Effects" is a compilation of research that fueled CCA's 2018 exhibition...curated by Sylvia Lavin...filled with unassuming items lost or disregarded in prominent histories of Postmodernism...richly illustrated...objects and ephemera are accompanied by essays from 16 contributors... -- Giovanna Borasi- Metropolis Magazine
A New Edition of Catherine Bauer’s "Modern Housing": ...first published in 1934...being reissued by University of Minnesota Press with a foreword by architectural historian and Places columnist Barbara Penner...As she wrote [in 2018], it seemed strange to have to “introduce” Bauer - for three decades one of America’s most prominent advocates for public housing - at all. But surveying her prodigious accomplishments as a public intellectual, writer, curator, activist, and educator...found that the inaccessibility of much of her writing - out of print, undigitized, or hidden behind paywalls - has meant that her work has been little discussed in architectural histories.- Places Journal
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