Today’s News - Tuesday, September 8, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: It feels like we've been away since forever - we're glad to be back! With lots of catching up to do…

●  Goldberger's eloquent tribute to developer and "architects' 'Medici'" Gerald D. Hines, who held "to the credo that good design is good business - what he cared about most was fusing a point of intersection between serious design and profit-making real estate development. He took issue with colleagues who saw creative architects as dangerous to the bottom line."

●  WSJ critic Michael J. Lewis: "It is hard to know which prospect is worse - that we are no longer capable of making beautiful public spaces, or that we no longer desire them" - that the City Beautiful movement "could die seems inconceivable. Yet die it did, and largely because of modernism" that "still works against the making of beautiful public space."

●  Jeff Andrews explains why, "despite what cable news is saying every day, a mass migration to the suburbs isn't happening: There is zero empirical evidence to support such a trend. So why do they keep repeating this thoroughly debunked narrative?"

●  Davidson's fab takedown of the gloom-and-doomers - despite meeting friends in the park, farmers' markets, and such, "obviously, New York is a fiery hellscape of crime, anarchy, and misery - from the godlike vantage point of Greenwich, Scarsdale, or Water Mill - nobody could possibly want to live in this ravaged Aleppo-on-Hudson."

●  Jessica Helfand's fab Q&A with Allison Arieff, who "reflects on where we are six months into a crisis that has laid bare racial and economic inequalities - 'planning, architecture, city building are in a time of reckoning right now - undergoing this massive period of soul searching and trying to figure out how to do something different."

●  Janette Sadik-Khan offers her vision for rethinking "our streets to create the six-foot city" and "a pandemic recovery led by returning urban space to citizens. Streets in the time of Covid-19 offer the precious territory needed to reimagine a new, safer, more inclusive and equitable century."

●  Kimmelman "strolls" Jackson Heights, Queens, "the city's most global neighborhood, with author Suketu Mehta: "If I were Baudelaire," the pedestrianized Diversity Plaza "is where I would do my flâneur thing" - Scrabble was invented in Jackson Heights by an unemployed architect (who knew? We want a Kitchen Sink Sundae for eight!).

●  Saffron parses the Philadelphia 76ers' vision for Philly's Penn's Landing on the Delaware waterfront: "Depending on how you feel about a bunch of sports executives taking on [the city's] most cursed real estate project, the proposal is either a display of canny ambition or ill-informed greed. There are other reasons to be skeptical."

●  UNSW Sydney's Melonie Bayl-Smith "says debates about what is inspired and copied in architecture cut to the heart of the worst aspects of the drive for originality - architecture today suffers not because of plagiarism, but from an originality syndrome - they don't necessarily produce a better building" ("There are no prizes for reinventing the wheel").

●  Gabon-born, NYC-based Naila Opiangah bemoans that "Black architects are forced to be palatable in order to be successful - I long for the day where suppressing my identity is no longer part of the job."

●  The Architects Foundation aims to help change that with a Black Women in Architecture Scholarship with the Desiree V. Cooper Memorial fund (over 30 architecture firms and studios have committed to matching donations).

●  "Architects are the Rodney Dangerfields of the building world," says Vancouver architect Michael Geller: "We get no respect" - it's 'terribly wrong' that architects get so much less than real estate agents"; HMDA's Darryl Condon and Omicron's Kevin Hanvey weigh in as well.

●  Hausman & Rossman offer tips for "strategically planning your firm past the COVID-19 pandemic - become nimble, quick, and ready to pivot as circumstances demand: Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly makes you more prepared - planning is not just a spreadsheet of statistics."

●  California architect Bill Melby creates a free, downloadable handbook that "cites the types of calamities for which a business should plan, and the tips, tactics, why and how-to of minimizing disaster consequence."

●  Hopkirk was the first to report that Richard Rogers is stepping down from RSHP - "his name will be dropped from his practice by July 2022 at the latest" (the plan has been in the works since 2007).

●  Wainwright parses "Richard Rogers' thrilling legacy - he has probably influenced the face of urban Britain more than any other architect of the late 20th century" by "his influence on public policy" + link to Wainwright's "Rogers' 10 best buildings - in pictures."

●  Ben Flatman ponders: "Where will the next Rogers and Foster come from? We urgently need architects who can capture the public imagination - we seem to lack recognizable and effective public advocates and influencers - it's hard not to feel that the profession and our built environment would both benefit from a new Foster or Rogers sometime soon."

●  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.


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