Today’s News - Thursday, August 27, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking an end-of-summer break next week (yay!). We'll be back Tuesday, September 8 (the day after Labor Day). In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe.

●  ANN feature: RKTB's Carmi Bee parses the firm's Infill Housing Prototype that offers a model for developing affordable urban housing on a neighborhood scale, and that also addresses health and safety measures.

●  Welton introduces us to Lagos, Nigeria-born Victor Body-Lawson and his "mission to humanize public housing - he has built his career by designing some of the most humble architecture in New York with balance, cadence, and attention to detail."

●  Kamin considers the high hopes - and pitfalls - of Chicago's $750 million Invest South/West program: "Woe to the city planner who paints a rosy picture of a shining tomorrow but fails to deliver. He doesn't just flop - he breeds distrust among those who put faith in him. That's the danger confronting Maurice Cox" ("Buck Rogers razzle-dazzle" not included).

●  Nadine Post reports on the U.S. Representative "demanding answers from the head of the GSA about newly released criteria for construction, which call for two new courthouses to be built in the 'classic architectural style'" (a precursor to the proposed executive order "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again"?).

●  Vanamee reaches out to TCLF's Charles Birnbaum re: "why it's good that we fought about the White House Rose Garden redesign": "Managing change and the dynamism of the White House grounds is always an issue worth raising questions about. We're having this conversation today because of this ruckus."

●  OMA New York unveils its design for a 3-story glass volume atop Tiffany & Co's New York flagship store on Fifth Avenue that will be used for exhibitions and events.

●  A wonderful profile of Perkins and Will's Vancouver-based Annie Boivin, and how she "conquered the world of architecture": "I am someone living with a disability, and I am proud and comfortable about that. But I am much more than my disability" (truly inspiring!).

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Mary Ann Lazarus & Joyce Lee explain why they and a group of industry leaders launched a petition to the World Health Organization to work with industry experts to develop much-needed indoor environment guidance that is currently hard to find, contradictory, and minimal at best.

COVID-19 news continues:

●  We cheer three recent initiatives that "outline how experts in the built environment are advocating for policy changes on public health and climate change," including petitioning WHO, AIA's Platform 2020: "Building a Healthy America," and new USGBC credits.

●  Erika Morphy parses a KPMG survey that found "large company CEOs plan to decrease their office footprint. The work-from-home genie is out of the bottle" - but "large leases are still being inked, showing that the office is not dead."

●  Nate Robson parses a Gensler survey to find out what changes employees want "before returning to the office in the wake of COVID-19" - they're "also wary of being discouraged from using public transit" (and millennial and Gen Z'ers are "the least prepared to work from home" gasp!).

Weekend diversions + Page-turners:

●  Deane Madsen talks to the SmithGroup designers who are installing "Society's Cage," a temporary pavilion opening tomorrow on the National Mall - the "intimate platform for grappling with racial injustice" will be on view only until September 4.

●  Another great reason to head to Washington, DC, tomorrow: "Murals That Matter: Activism Through Public Art" opens on the National Building Museum's west lawn, featuring street art created in response to social justice protests and commissioned pieces (meet the artists tomorrow and Saturday!).

●  Steven Holl's 'T' Space in Rhinebeck, New York, is hosting "Hiroyuki Hamada: Recent Works" in which the Guggenheim Fellow's "powerful, meditative sculptures will enter a spatial dialogue with Holl's architecture."

●  The show you won't see - at least for now: Architect Jaimie Shorten's "SHARKS!," winner of the Architecture Foundation's Antepavilion competition, will not be swimming in the Regent's Canal because the local council's planning department issued a court injunction (called "pathetic" by a juror).

●  Stephanie Rogers cheers Hillel's "City Dreamers" that "sheds light on the work of Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown - if it weren't for the patriarchal glass ceiling they continually had to fight back against, they'd probably be celebrated alongside their most famous mentors and colleagues."

●  Amy Plitt's great Q&A with Jason Diamond re: his book "'The Sprawl: Reconsidering the Weird American Suburbs,' the cultural power of the American suburb, why stereotypes about it persist, and how life among the cul-de-sacs could change."

●  Sara Hendren: "The tyranny of chairs: why we need better design: Most chairs aren't designed to serve human bodies - but a better seat is possible" - great excerpt from her book, "What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World."


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