Today’s News - Thursday, September 10, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, September 15. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe.
● We lose Bill N. Lacy, FAIA: "In a remarkable 50-year career ascending through the ranks of leadership - he achieved top positions in academia, government, non-profits," and more (president of the Cooper Union, Pritzker Prize executive director, National Endowment for the Arts Director of Architecture and Design, etc.).
● DC-based architect and author Melvin L. Mitchell says that fixing the "chronic" affordable housing problem for Black Americans "must involve Black individuals from every aspect of the building industry" - he calls for African American architects to "catalyze a Black-controlled housing industry and develop/build one million affordable new houses over next 10 years."
● Litt reports that Cleveland throttled public input over a bridge replacement, "quietly" announcing "that it had eliminated the best solution for redirecting industrial truck traffic" away from a public housing complex - "a glaring example of environmental injustice" that "appears to be a clear example of systemic racism in city planning, but it didn't start out that way."
● Gehry releases his designs for "an expansion of the Colburn School campus that includes a glass-enclosed, 1,100-seat concert hall and a 700-seat studio theater" joining "the lineup of cultural centers that currently span Grand Avenue" in Los Angeles.
● Former NYC Park Commissioner Adrian Benepe is departing the Trust for Public Land to be President and CEO of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
● Zoë Ryan is leaving her post as Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago to lead the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.
● Marani's Q&A with Omar Khan re: "his transition to leading the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture after nearly two decades at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning - and how ideas he forged there have translated to his vision for CMU": "We want to unapologetically align architectural design to specific societal and design concerns."
● ICYMI: 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.
● Expressions of Interest/EOI: The Camden Highline international competition for London's park in the sky - a 15-minute green walking route inspired by the iconic New York High Line.
● Call for entries: "Q-Village - Gangtou" International Young Designer Competition: revive the village with the power of design; cash prizes.
● Call for entries (deadline looms!): Hyperloop Desert Campus international ideas competition; cash prizes.
Weekend diversions + Page-turners:
● The London Design Festival 2020 kicks off on Sunday: "With very little, if any, international travel, it will be a Festival for Londoners" + Heartiest congrats to Paola Antonelli who's won the London Design Medal!
● Betsky's review of "Designs for Different Futures" when it was in Philly, now about to open at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis: It "evokes nostalgia and dread as much as it inspires - strangely enough, there is a whiz-bang exuberance" and "works like an avant-garde science fair."
● Sitz brings us eyefuls of what's on view at Chicago's Wrightwood 659, now hosting "Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People" that highlights the Pritzker Prize-winning "visionary Indian architect, urbanist, and educator's skillful melding of Modernism with the forms and techniques of his home country."
● Holland Cotter cheers the "big, beautiful wall" on the roof of NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art: "Héctor Zamora's 'Lattice Detour' is a monument to openness over enclosure, lightness over heaviness, transience over permanence. It's also fraught with political meanings" (great pix!).
● Brendan Cormier on the V&A Dundee's "Now Accepting Contactless" that explores how the pandemic is restructuring curatorial practice, "entirely conceived and created during the lockdown" - and what went into gathering an amazing collection of "pandemic objects."
● Betsky's take on Diana Darke's "Stealing From the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe": "The title alone is meant to provoke - based on Darke's obsession with proving that Syria is the heart of civilization. I found the book to be a bit of a mess. Its argument, however, is worth rehashing."
● Moore's take on Drake's "Stealing from the Saracens": "Sometimes Darke overstates her case. Some of the connections she makes don't convince - but she assembles overwhelming evidence that extensive exchanges of ideas and knowledge took place - a useful reminder of the interconnectedness of civilization."
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Obituary: Bill N. Lacy, FAIA, 1933 - 2020: In a remarkable 50-year career ascending through the ranks of leadership, [he] became an international ambassador for design...achieved top positions in academia, government, non-profits, and as a corporate advisor in architecture and planning...president of the Cooper Union...collaborated [with] Ada Louise Huxtable, serving on a jury...executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize for 15 years...As Director of Architecture and Design at the National Endowment for the Arts...built on the design guidelines of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- Rice University; University of Tennessee; American Academy at Rome; McNay- San Antonio Express-News (Texas)
Melvin L. Mitchell: Build Something Big! One Million New Affordable Housing Units, 2020-2030: The U.S. has an ever-growing affordable housing problem. For Black Americans, however, this problem has been a chronic condition...the work needed to fix this must involve Black individuals from every aspect of the building industry...references [his] book "African American Architects: Embracing Culture and Building Urban Communities"...asserts that African American architects must catalyze a Black-controlled housing industry and develop/build one million affordable new houses over next 10 years. Revisiting Three Big Black Wealth Creation Initiatives Since 1966: Soul City, North Carolina; Fort Lincoln, Washington, DC; "Buy The Block" (BTB)- Archinect
Steven Litt: Jackson Administration throttles public input over Willow Avenue Bridge replacement, air quality, at Lakeview Estates public housing complex: ...quietly announced...without any opportunity for public feedback that it had eliminated...the best solution for redirecting industrial truck traffic out of the Lakeview area...has been a glaring example of environmental injustice for decades...The need to repair or replace the [bridge] represents a once-in-a-generation chance to fix the air quality problems at Lakeview...appears to be a clear example of systemic racism in city planning, but it didn’t start out that way.- cleveland.com (Ohio)
Frank Gehry Reveals Designs for New DTLA [Downtown Los Angeles] Concert Halls: ...an expansion of the Colburn School campus that includes a glass-enclosed, 1,100-seat concert hall...and a 700-seat studio theater...venues will join the lineup of cultural centers that currently span Grand Avenue, such as The Broad, the Museum of Contemporary Art and The Music Center, and Gehry’s $1 billion mixed-use development, the Grand, which is currently under construction... -- Yasuhisa Toyota- Los Angeleno (California)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Selects Former NYC Park Commissioner Adrian Benepe as its New President and CEO: Nationally recognized leader of parks, gardens, and open spaces...only the seventh leader in the Garden’s 110-year history...widely recognized for spearheading one of the most dramatic expansions of city parkland in modern times...as senior vice president of the Trust for Public Land, he initiated and led a national equity drive to ensure that every city resident in America has a high-quality park within a 10-minute walk of home.- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Zoë Ryan to lead the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania: Since 2006, Ryan has been the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, and before that she was at the Van Alen Institute in New York...ICA arranges exhibitions by contemporary artists but has no permanent collection.- The Architect's Newspaper
Matthew Marani: Omar Khan discusses his transition to leading the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture: After nearly two decades at the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Architecture and Planning...Q&A re: his tenure in Buffalo and how ideas he forged there have translated to his vision for CMU: "I am particularly proud of the Graduate Research Groups...We wanted to unapologetically align architectural design to specific societal and design concerns...At CMU we’re going to have a similar opportunity to reach out to manufacturing within and around Pittsburgh...If we don’t take an antiracist position right away, then this rot at the root will continue to...shape the kinds of attitudes we have toward communities.- The Architect's Newspaper
Call for entries: Expressions of Interest/EOI: The Camden Highline international competition for London's park in the sky: ...search for a diverse and radical team that can both design and deliver their exciting proposal for a 15-minute green walking route, inspired by the iconic New York High Line. Occupying 1.1km of disused railway viaduct; deadline: October 7- Colander Associates / Camden Town Unlimited
Call for entries: “Q-Village · Gangtou” International Young Designer Competition: Traditional Architecture Renovation + Culture & Creativity Industry Planning: cash prizes; revive the village with the power of design, find the lost cultural memories, and rebuild the self-confidence of rural culture; registration deadline: November 15 (submission deadline: December 1)- Urban Environment Design/UED Magazine / Guangzhou Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau
Call for entries: Hyperloop Desert Campus international ideas competition; cash prizes; at least one team member aged from 18 to 35; regstration deadline: September 20 (submissions due September 23)- Young Architects Competitions (YAC)
London Design Festival: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been looking hard at our options for LDF 2020 going ahead. With very little, if any, international travel, it will be a Festival for Londoners...the number of Design Districts has grown. Each one has its own growing personality...We hope that these local clusters of design will be a defining feature + greater online activity...Paola Antonell wins the London Design Medal- London Design Festival
Aaron Betsky: Unsettling Explorations of Utopia: "Designs for Different Futures" paints a disconcerting picture of the future: ...one of the best compendia of utopian thinking I have seen in a long time...evokes nostalgia and dread as much as it inspires...shows that utopias aren’t what they used to be...The problem is that [it] does not really offer us something tangible to grasp or hope for...strangely enough, there is a joyfulness...that belies its message...whiz-bang exuberance...works like an avant-garde science fair... -- Neri Oxman; Andre Jacque; Francis Kéré; Alejandro Aravena; Lundén Architecture; Forensic Architecture- Architect Magazine
Miriam Sitz: Chicago's Wrightwood 659 to Host Balkrishna Doshi Exhibition: ...visionary Indian architect, urbanist, and educator...won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2018. "Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People" highlights his skillful melding of Modernism with the forms and techniques of his home country. thru December 12 -- Vitra Design Museum- Architectural Record
Holland Cotter: What’s That on the Met’s Roof Garden? A Big, Beautiful Wall: Héctor Zamora’s “Lattice Detour” is a monument to openness over enclosure, lightness over heaviness, transience over permanence. It’s also fraught with political meanings: ...proves to be exactly right for its moment and place...Zamora, whose New York solo debut comes with this commission, has made political commentary through architecture central to his work...as both a homage and a critique of “Tilted Arc"...it reasserts the idea that public art and politics should be - just are - inseparable.- New York Times
Brendan Cormier: Pandemic Objects: .V&A Dundee...one of the first in the world to debut an exhibition that was entirely conceived and created during the period of closure...the topic of the exhibition is the pandemic itself..."Now Accepting Contactless"...to pull together an exhibition in such speed and all while working from home, an entirely different way of working had to be constructed...exhibit shows] that museums also have an important role to play in being quick-footed and reactive to the world. -- Sophie McKinlay- V&A Dundee
Aaron Betsky: When Europe Stole From Islamic Architecture: He reviews "Stealing From the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe," Diana Darke's account of how the West appropriated Arab design: The title alone...is meant to provoke...based on Darke’s obsession with proving that Syria is the heart of civilization, a thesis she develops with shards of arguments and rehearsals of well-known bits of architecture history, leavened with footnotes citing television shows and eccentric authors...I found the book to be a bit of a mess. Its argument, however, is worth rehashing.- Architect Magazine
Rowan Moore: "Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe" by Diana Darke - a long-overlooked cultural exchange: This persuasive study argues that northern Europe’s greatest gothic buildings are deeply indebted to the Arab world: Sometimes Darke overstates her case. Some of the connections she makes don’t convince...but she assembles overwhelming evidence that extensive exchanges of ideas and knowledge took place...a useful reminder of the interconnectedness of civilisation.- Observer (UK)
ANN feature: Carmi Bee, FAIA: Health and Safety in Urban Housing: RKTB’s Infill Housing Prototype offers a model for developing affordable urban housing on a neighborhood scale, and that also addresses health and safety measures.- ArchNewsNow.com
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